Veterinary Physiotherapists are part of a multi-disciplinary team supporting animals (primarily horses and dogs) through injury, disease, fitness acquisition or post-operative recovery; they are also actively involved in the maintenance of wellbeing and welfare. It is a growing discipline, with more veterinary surgeons recognising the benefit of working alongside veterinary physiotherapists for the benefit of the individual animal. Understanding the mechanisms of injury and disease, the processes of operative interventions and the requirements of the animal for rehabilitation and repair are what make this highly technical career so exciting and fulfilling.
Postgraduate Certificate Animal Health provides an entry point to the Veterinary Physiotherapy postgraduate courses for those students with non-typical entry qualifications. It is designed to provide the under-pinning knowledge required to subsequently develop skills to support veterinary surgeons in the rehabilitation of a variety of species. It will in particular focus on equine and canine patients.
The course will be run on a part-time basis over one year, with the majority being delivered at weekends (there will be the occasional Friday that requires attendance, such as academic Induction and examinations.
Applications will take into consideration:
- Your academic profile
- Your academic/professional references- relevant reference letters to be sent alongside your qualification for your application, from employers and/or lecturers
- Your practical experience - relevant reference letters to be sent alongside your qualification for your application, from professional providers who supervised your placements (see below practical experience needed to de evidenced)
- Your equine handling skills - practical task videoed and sent for evaluation
- Your answers to formal questions during the interview that will take place over the phone or online
When applying, you will be asked to produce a personal statement and name 2 referees from whom you will require recommendation letters on the pro-formatted template we will provide. Alongside your application, you must send copies of all your qualifications. Applications must be complete in order to be processed.
Practical experience evidence
We would like to see evidence of a minimum of:
- 150 hours for equine
- 100 hours for canine
done under the supervision of professional providers ready to vouch for your skills. Ideally the placements are done prior to the interview (letters from the providers, on headed paper, stating the date and length of the placements, the animal handling activities undertook and the skills developed, are to be sent with your application. Alternatively, proof of competition (equine or canine), BHS qualification must be sent for evaluation.
References for placements must be sent to Admissions by the 15.06.23. If placements have not been done prior to the interview, reference letters confirming that you have secured your placements must be submitted by the same date. All placements must have been effective before the beginning of the course. Placements must be less than three years old to be taken into consideration. We are looking at practical hands-on placements, not observational ones.
Applicants could consider:
- For equine: a yard, a riding school, a sanctuary, an equine vet practice
- For canine: kennels, dog groomer, dog walker, dog day care, RSPCA, Dog trust, small vet practice, hydrotherapy centres
Owning a dog or a horse does not constitute evidence of practical handling.
You will be asked to send a video evidence of your practical skills. The task, simple but aiming at evaluating how safely you handle a horse, will need to be videoed by someone. The video must be less than 10mns. It must not be edited and does not necessitate running commentaries. Video evidence needs to be sent before the interview date you will be attending. Failure to submit the video before the set deadline will result in losing your interview slot. Not being able to perform to adequate standards will result in no potential offer being made.
There will be two interview dates for this recruiting cycle: 05.04.23 and 12.07.23
An interview with the academic team will form part of the admissions criteria for entry onto the course. The interviewer, knowing your level of handling skills after evaluating your video evidence, will discuss your practical experience and ask more formal questions as part of the interview.
It is recommended that applicants hold a recognised qualification in either canine or equine massage.
Applications from mature students from a relevant academic background will also be considered on an individual basis.
A large proportion of the material will be delivered via traditional lecture sessions, laboratory practicals (including dissections), practical animal sessions (for surface anatomy, individual animal assessments and also for the acquisition of animal handling skills), seminars, discussion forums, via visits, visiting speaker sessions and online learning activities
In addition to module delivery time each student will need to undertake a clinical observation day.
There are a range of jobs within the equine and canine industries and associated ancillary industries that would suit a graduate from this course. Primarily however, this award is aimed at those either wishing to establish a career as a veterinary physiotherapist as a self-employed practitioner, or working for a veterinary practice. The PG Certificate is aimed at those not meeting the entry requirements for the associated Postgraduate Diploma or MSc Veterinary Physiotherapy qualifications. Successful completion of the PG Certificate will enable direct progression onto the second year of the Postgraduate Diploma Veterinary Physiotherapy.
Alternative roles may include those based in the business sector, such as within insurance, sales jobs for companies (providing products such as equipment), feed companies, and breeding companies.