Postgraduate Certificate Animal Health

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.

Applicants will normally hold an Honours degree in Animal Science or a related subject (Equine Science, Zoology, Bioveterinary Science, Veterinary Nursing) or a therapy degree (such as, Equine Sports Therapy, Animal Therapy or Human Sports Therapy) .


Applications will take into consideration academic profile, practical experience (evidenced via reference letters), equine handling skills and a formal interview.

On admission, we would like to see evidence of a minimum of practical experience comprising:

  • 150 hours for equine
  • 100 hours for canine

Practical experience hours need to be completed under the supervision of professional providers able to vouch for skills. Owning a dog or a horse does not constitute evidence of practical handling.

An interview with the academic team will form part of the admissions criteria for entry onto the course. The interviewer will first assess handling skills during a practical test. Then, the interviewer will discuss practical experience. Finally, more formal questions will be asked as part of the interview procedure.

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.