27 January 2020
With a working farm on campus, being able to care for the welfare of animals is a priority. Our livestock include dairy cows, sows, hens, two sheep flocks and a beef unit with a host of professionals to care for them. Such care includes veterinary physiotherapy, seeing veterinary service professionals working to help animals recover from a variety of injuries. These are skills we share through our BSc (Hons) Veterinary Physiotherapy degree, sharing a knowledge and passion for animal welfare.
We spoke to Beth Roberts, Senior Lecturer in Veterinary Physiotherapy, about the course and the specialisms it offers to students. She said of the degree programme: "We have two bespoke modules in students' first year that give them an introduction to veterinary physiotherapy as well as skills for the veterinary physiotherapy professional. These core modules encompass a complete understanding of the role a physiotherapist plays and how we go about what we do."
Although understanding the theory of working with animals is important, there is a significance in executing this understanding in the workplace. Beth agreed, commenting: "Hands on involvement is key to what we do. Being comfortable in handling and helping animals is key to success. We start developing this from first year so the students have a foundation for skills to be built upon across the years.
"In putting the theories behind what we do into practice, we hope students feel grounded and confident in their work. The clinical rotations in their final year encompass all of the modules taught over the years and enables them to keep a hand in practical work while they complete their studies. In groups of four or five, the students get to see real clients and cases so they can go into work with plenty of experience."
Alongside the work they get to do on campus, students of the university are given the opportunity to undertake a placement year, working in their chosen industry to get a feel for their occupation outside of campus. Veterinary physiotherapy students work far and wide, seeing graduates at the Animal Health Trust in Newmarket all the way up to Glasgow Vet School.
Having this experience is a value asset for graduate employment as Beth explained the benefits of the opportunity: "One of the best things about vet physiotherapy at Harper Adams is the placement year. It offers the chance to get a really good grounding in all the skills they have learnt as well as make a more informed decision about what they may be interested in pursuing after graduation." Along with this, successful completion of the course will allow entry to the National Association of Veterinary Physiotherapists.
Should you be interested in the work of vet physiotherapy, you can find out more on our course page or by attending our Open Day on March 21. To find out more, you can click to register below.