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Taught postgraduate

PgD / MSc

Veterinary Physiotherapy

Year of entry


3 to 4 years part-time

Start date: 20 September 2021


Final award: MSc
Intermediate awards: PgC Animal Musculoskeletal Function and Dysfunction, PgD Veterinary Physiotherapy

Please note: The course will be delivered part-time over four week-long blocks per year from September 2021 rather than at weekends as it was previously delivered.

The course

We have a long history of successfully delivering animal science-related courses in conjunction with animal healthcare organisations, for individuals and their employers. This programme is another example of collaboration, this time with the National Association of Veterinary Physiotherapists (NAVP). Delivery is provided by colleagues from Harper Adams, technical specialists who are members of NAVP and also specialist external academics.

The programme fulfils the need to support veterinary surgeons who treat both companion and large animals. The veterinary physiotherapist (VP) can provide this support during an animal’s recovery from injury or surgery as well as in preparation of the athletic animal. Considering the number of animals owned and cared for in the UK and a general wish for high standards of animal health and welfare, there is now a growing need for well-educated and highly qualified, accredited VPs to provide this sort of service.

This programme is delivered on a part-time basis and studied over three academic years, with students completing the taught modules of the PgD within the first two years and completing the Masters Research Project within an individually negotiated timescale over one to two years.

How will it benefit me?

Veterinary physiotherapy is now well established as a mainstream complimentary treatment and offers the opportunity to become part of a growing professional community. Successful completion of this programme will provide individuals with more extensive opportunities for graduate employment as a VP in the animal health sector by developing the specific scientific, technical and business skills required. On successful completion, students will gain a recognised Higher Education postgraduate qualification as a veterinary physiotherapist as well as being able to apply for registration with the Animal Health Professions’ Register and membership of NAVP.

Further information

Due to the course being a part-time only, Harper Adams is unable to accept international students who will require a Tier 4 Visa. If you require more information on this please visit the UK Visas and Immigration website.


The three year part-time course is eligible for a postgraduate loan.

Application deadline and Interviews

1st closing date – 14th May 2021 with interviews on Monday 24th May 2021

2nd closing date – 9th July 2021 with interviews on Monday 19th July 2021

Entry requirements for 2021

Candidates would be expected to have obtained a minimum of a 2:1 in an animal science/health, veterinary nursing, veterinary science or physiotherapy degree and have substantial animal handling/work experience to include a minimum of 160 hours with both small animal (cats and dogs) and equine and 40 hours with cattle . We also welcome applications from Veterinary Surgeons where consideration for approval of prior learning may be granted for the first year of study. For all applicants, evidence of previous qualifications is required.

Teaching and learning

Teaching and learning methods will include formal lectures, laboratory practicals, practical taught sessions on animals and professional clinics. Students will also need to attend external placements with veterinary physiotherapists. Typically, modules will be assessed through formative in-course and summative end-of-module time constrained assessments. Importantly, practical competency tests in two of the seven PgD modules must be completed successfully in order to pass that relevant module. High quality ‘hands-on’ skills are recognised as vital for such a practical profession so all students must successfully complete a Skills Enhancement Log over the period of the PgD.

Course structure

All modules are at level 7 unless indicated.

Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Year one focuses on the pre-clinical aspects Year two takes a clinical approach  
PgD Veterinary Physiotherapy MSc Veterinary Physiotherapy
Critical Evaluation of Evidence (level 6) 15 Professional Practice for Veterinary Physiotherapists 20 Research Project 60
Veterinary Anatomy Locomotion & Practical Skills 30 Large Animal Evidence Based Physiotherapy 20
Musculoskeletal, Injury & Disease 15 Small Animal Evidence Based Physiotherapy 20
To be undertaken in alignment with each module throughout the PgD:
Skills Enhancement Log

There are many career opportunities available to the qualified VP such as direct or self-employment within a veterinary practice, teaching and research positions in academic institutions and also within the growing sector of sports performance development. Currently, this is a growing young profession and there are many opportunities to develop a future career in the field of animal health.

98% Employability

Harper Adams University has the best and most consistent long-term graduate employment performance in specialist agri-food higher education

(HESA 2017)

No. 1

In the UK for graduate employment
(Graduate Outcomes 2020)


We work with more than 700 businesses to deliver, develop and drive forward higher skills

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