*BSc (Hons) Canine Therapy

We are pleased to confirm that Writtle University College and ARU (Anglia Ruskin University) are joining together. The merger will happen during the 23/24 academic year. Writtle’s full range of Higher and Further Education courses will continue to be delivered on site at the Writtle campus, enhanced by resources available at nearby ARU. If you are starting your course in September 2024, your degree will be awarded by ARU. Find out more about ARU, including our recent Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework, at

The purpose of this programme is to provide a balance of vocational and academic study that is intellectually challenging, vocationally relevant and provides clear foundations to pursue a progressive career in the field of Canine Therapy.

Academic knowledge and understanding reinforces and supports the development of vocational skills equipping the students with the abilities and the knowledge relevant to their employment or the need of their employers.

The BSc (Hons) in Canine Therapy will produce highly qualified practitioners specialised in various aspects of canine therapy, but prioritising hydrotherapy and massage. These are popular disciplines within the industry and students will acquire the skills enabling them to pursue a career in this field.

The aims of the programme are to:

  • Build on basic scientific principles to develop an advanced academic knowledge of the canine both in health and disease
  • Appreciate the effects of normal and abnormal movement patterns in the dog, including assessment for compensatory mechanisms that may change movement patterns or elicit pain
  • Compile structured care plans for injured or post-operative animals and introduce a plan to re-educate the structures relevant to the normal patterns of that animal in conjunction with the referring veterinarian
  • Complete a portfolio of evidence demonstrating skill in the workplace when applying hydrotherapy and massage to dogs
  • Demonstrate the skills to run a business and interact with other professionals, such as the veterinary surgeon or trainer

The BSc Canine Therapy is a '2-in-1' qualification as it embeds the relevant vocational award.

The BSc Canine Therapy got its AHPR accreditation in 2018. The clinical skills for hydrotherapy and massage therapy will be informed by professional placements in commercially-run sessions on WUC premises, under vet's referral.

Introduction to Canine Physiotherapy Assessment
(30 credits)
Anatomy and Physiology with Applied Surface Anatomy (Canine)
(30 credits)
Canine Nutrition, Behaviour, Ethics and Welfare
(30 credits)
Professional Skills and Personal Development
(15 credits)
Components Effecting Canine Performance and Wellbeing
(15 credits)
Canine Hydrotherapy and First Aid*
(15 credits)
Research Methods
(15 credits)
Introduction to Manual Therapies and Remedial Exercise (Canine)
(30 credits)
Exercise Physiology (Canine)
(15 credits)
Functional Anatomy (Canine)
(15 credits)
Introduction to Canine Biomechanics
(15 credits)
Canine Health, Disease and Pain Management
(15 credits)
Capstone Project
(30 credits)
Applied Massage, Rehabilitation and Hydrotherapy Techniques (Canine)*
(30 credits)
Business and Client Management
(15 credits)
Applied Clinical Anatomy (Canine)
(15 credits)
Veterinary Pathophysiology and Biomechanics (Canine)
(30 credits)

* These modules incorporate the 10 mandatory units of the SEG award level 3 Certificate in Canine Hydrotherapy (5 at stage 2, 5 at stage 3).

The following information provides the entry requirements for this particular course.

UCAS Tariff Points


GCE A Levels

96 UCAS tariff points, to include one GCE A level grade C or above

Irish Certificate

96 UCAS tariff points, to include 4 x H3 higher, one of which in a relevant science-based subject

Scottish Highers

96 UCAS tariff points, to include 3 x B

International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma

Total (IB) Diploma point score of 24 or more

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma


BTEC Level 3 Diploma


C & G Level 3 Advanced Technical Extended Diploma (720)

Distinction (96)

C & G Level 3 Extended Diploma

Merit (96)

C & G Level 3 Diploma

Distinction (96)

Please note:

An equivalent or higher combination of grades to that indicated above will also be accepted.


All applicants must hold a minimum of four GCSE passes at grade C/4 or above to include English, Maths and Science.

Access course

Science or Physiotherapy 45 credits at level 3 with a mix of Distinction and Merit in relevant science-based subject to meet the overall UCAS entry tariff.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL/APEL)

Information about our Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL/APEL) policy can be found on our Higher Education Regulations and Policies page.

Other course specific entry requirements

Also, you will be able to demonstrate good physical fitness, and animal handling skills experience corresponding to at least:

  • 100 hours for canine

Under the supervision of various providers.

If the placements are done prior to the interview, letters from the providers stating the date and length of the placements, the animal handling activities undertook and the skills developed must be submitted during the interview.

If the placements have not been done prior to the interview, letters from the providers stating the date and length of the coming placements must be submitted during the interview. All placements must have been effective before the beginning of the course. Placement must be less than three years old to be taken into consideration.

Owning a dog cannot constitute evidence of dog's practical handling.

The following list shows the variety of learning and teaching methods experienced on this course.

  • Tutorials
  • Seminars and debates
  • Theoretical learning
  • Practical learning
  • Small group work
  • Field visits
  • Independent learning

The acquisition of knowledge and understanding is approached through an emphasis on student-centred learning. Integration of theoretical and practical learning ensures the strong vocational focus as a priority in the provision. The emphasis on independent learning methodologies increases at the higher level.

Where possible knowledge and understanding will be gained through work related experiences, in this case making particular use of the excellent canine resources on site, which include a hydrotherapy suite, underwater treadmill, kennels and a therapy-specific unit.

The aim of the course is to provide a diverse range of assessment types to reflect the learning styles of the increasingly diverse student profile. There is also a strong emphasis on different types of formative assessment and these are aligned with the summative assessment specific to the module in question.

Assessment methods will include:

  • Assignments
  • Reports
  • Written examinations
  • Observed structured practical examinations
  • Observed structured clinical examinations
  • Oral presentations
  • Debates
  • Capstone Project

With a range of vocationally-relevant practical competencies embedded within the award, the hope is that students will readily gain employment within the sector, working either independently or aligned to existing veterinary provision.


* Subject to final validation approval

Canine Therapy with Lauren Hunt

Join Writtle University College lecturer Lauren Hunt as she poses the question "Is it just humans that benefit from rehabilitation" in a series of episodes that culminate in a totally original and exciting Subject Spotlight focussed on Canine Therapy.