best university for veterinary physiotherapy

Last Updated on September 5, 2022 by Smile Ese

Choosing the best university for veterinary physiotherapy can be a difficult task. There are many good universities out there, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Each person has to decide for themselves which qualities are the most important when evaluating a university. I have compiled a list here of some of the top universities in the world for veterinary physiotherapy, along with a very brief description of why they are so highly regarded.

On this page, we review Best University For Veterinary Physiotherapy, best university for veterinary physiotherapy uk, msc veterinary physiotherapy, veterinary physiotherapy jobs and veterinary physiotherapy degree and more on collegelearners.

To attain your goal of getting into the best university for Veterinary Physiotherapy, you should have a clear idea of why this field appeals to you and what with the course has to offer. If possible take the time to get in contact with some people who are already on the course so you can ask them about it further. You should try to do as much research as possible into the exact requirements of the degree and try and make sure that you fulfill all those requirements. If you don’t or can’t there are ways that are sometimes available to get you into university, but they are very competitive.

For example, Open University accept specific A level subjects if they aren’t available at your school, or in some cases they will accept an equivalency test. Also if you live too far away from a university that has a teaching base in your area, you might be able to study your degree through distance learning. Another thing to consider is how much money you can afford to spend on getting into university; many courses have very high entry fees, especially ones known for the prestige that they hold.

Being a veterinarian is one of the few professions which provide an opportunity to mold the life of a living being. These job profiles are rigorous and calls for immense responsibility in terms of delivering care to pets of our society. The work routine of a vet literally involves day to night activity as he/she is accountable for ensuring the comfort and health of animals 24×7, 365 days a year.

Best University For Veterinary Physiotherapy

We begin with Best University For Veterinary Physiotherapy, then best university for veterinary physiotherapy uk, msc veterinary physiotherapy, veterinary physiotherapy jobs and veterinary physiotherapy degree.

Course overview

Veterinary physiotherapy plays a vital role in helping animals recover or adapt from injury or surgery. Working with vets, owners, and businesses, you’ll ensure animals have the best quality of life after they recover.

At Nottingham, our veterinary physiotherapy course is part-time so that you can continue your career while you learn. With an emphasis on hands-on learning with real animals, plus all the theory. We’ll ensure you have the skills you need to become a registered veterinary physiotherapist.

Ideal for veterinary nurses and surgeons, musculoskeletal practitioners, as well as other related professions – for example defence animal trainers.

Course content

On this course you’ll learn all the theory and practical elements that you require to become a veterinary physiotherapist. The course is taught through lectures and clinical sessions in our purpose-build facilities and clinical caseloads in veterinary practices.

In year one you will cover:

  • electro therapies
  • professionalism
  • anatomy and physiology
  • pathology
  • clinical skills
  • core manual skills and clinical reasoning in the practicals

In year two you will cover:

  • applied clinical reasoning
  • exercise programming
  • case reporting
  • professionalism
  • project proposal for year three
  • advancing your manual skills, clinical reasoning and managing cases within the clinics and placements

In year three you will cover:

A project with relevance to veterinary physiotherapy. You will be allocated a supervisor and be given full support to run and complete your project. The projects run for 365 days.

veterinary medicine university uk

Now we consider best university for veterinary physiotherapy uk, msc veterinary physiotherapy, veterinary physiotherapy jobs and veterinary physiotherapy degree.

Top Eight UK Universities for Veterinary Medicine

1. University of Edinburgh

The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies at the University of Edinburgh was the highest ranked veterinary school in the UK in the Research Excellence Framework 2014 and is currently ranked the best in the UK by the Guardian University Guide.

Extra-Mural Studies placements allow students to further practice their animal handling and clinical skills, as well as increasing their confidence, increasing their work experience and providing a valuable insight into the real world of work and the School is fully accredited by the UK’s Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) and the American Veterinary Medical Association.

  • Course to consider: BVMS (hons) Veterinary Medicine
Postgraduate - Veterinary Physiotherapy PgD / MSc | Harper Adams University

2. University of Cambridge

Modern facilities in the Queen’s Veterinary School Hospital at the University of Cambridge include a five-theatre small animal surgical suite, a fully-equipped intensive care unit and an equine surgical suite and diagnostic unit, with an MRI machine capable of imaging standing horses. Small animals, farm animals and horses are housed on-site to provide continual opportunities to consolidate your animal handling skills. The nearby University Farm also allows all students to become involved in lambing and dairy management.

  • Course to consider: Vet.M.B (hons) Veterinary Medicine

3. University of Nottingham

The School of Veterinary Science at the University of Nottingham ranked top of the National Student Survey (NSS) since its first graduating cohort in 2011, as well as being ranked 2nd in the UK for research power. In a recent Association of Veterinary Students survey, Nottingham was ranked first for career progression preparation, extra mural studies structure and student welfare.

  • Course to consider: Veterinary Medicine and Surgery including a Gateway Year

4. University of Liverpool

The University of Liverpool Institute of Veterinary Science has two on-site working farms as well as two referral hospitals, and three first opinion practices, enabling undergraduates to gain valuable hands-on experience of all aspects of veterinary practice. The Institute was voted second for veterinary science in a recent national student survey of universities.

  • Course to consider: BVSc (hons) Veterinary Science 1+5 year (Foundation route)

5. University of Glasgow

The University of Glasgow Veterinary School is one of only four Vet Schools in Europe to have achieved accredited status for its undergraduate programmes from the American Veterinary Medical Association. In the 2016 National Student Survey, the School of Veterinary Medicine was voted number 1 in the UK for Veterinary Science.

masters in animal physiotherapy

More details coming up on msc veterinary physiotherapy, veterinary physiotherapy jobs and veterinary physiotherapy degree.

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.

Top 10 Veterinary Universities in UK | World Scholars Hub

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 part-time only, Harper Adams is unable to accept international students who will require a Student 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 

Closing date is 1st July 2022

Block-based study

Modules are delivered in one week (and in a select few modules two week) blocks on campus. You will know in advance which weeks require physical attendance as they’ll be scheduled on the timetable. In addition to this, you will be required to allocate time for self-study to complete the assignments associated with each of the modules. Some modules may also include research and/or exam elements, these are also highlighted on the timetable.

Entry requirements for 2022

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.

You will need a minimum of four weeks’ relevant work experience. All applicants must have at least 2 weeks of recent hands-on experience working with large animals and 2 weeks with small animals by July.

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 qualifications is required.

If you don’t have enough relevant work experience at application, the additional amount required may be added as part of a conditional offer.

What constitutes a ‘week’? 5 days (in a block or separate days) totalling 35 hours.

Acceptable types of experience: Hands-on experience with dogs and horses is preferred, including in a riding school, livery/competition/rehabilitation yard, commercial/hunt kennels, grooming parlours or a hydrotherapy centre. Time in the ‘in-patient’ area of a veterinary practice or with a veterinary physiotherapist/chiropractor/osteopath will also give useful insight. For offer making purposes, we will only consider work experience that has taken place in the period 2 years immediately before the course start date (so if you were applying for September 2022 entry, we will not consider experience gained before September 2020); this is to ensure that you have recent experience on the most up to date practices and procedures.

Further information: It is the responsibility of the student to provide evidence of the experience when requested. This evidence must include a reference from each placement on letter headed paper.

While the area of veterinary physiotherapy is quite specialised, it may seem hard to find work experience, however, we accept a wide range of experience provided that it is hands-on with animals. NAVP has a list of members who may be able to help with some experience however, bear in mind that these are often small businesses and may not have the capacity to help, partly due to insurance restrictions. It is important to do some research when applying for experience and ensure you explain what your career aspirations are and to stress that it is part of a university course application.

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 1Year 2Year 3
Year one focuses on the pre-clinical aspectsYear two takes a clinical approach 
PgD Veterinary PhysiotherapyMSc Veterinary Physiotherapy
Critical Evaluation of Evidence (level 6)15Professional Practice for Veterinary Physiotherapists20Research Project60
Veterinary Anatomy Locomotion & Practical Skills30Large Animal Evidence Based Physiotherapy20
Musculoskeletal, Injury & Disease15Small Animal Evidence Based Physiotherapy20
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.

veterinary physiotherapy jobs

Animal physiotherapy is considered an essential addition to the medical and surgical treatment of animals

The purpose of physiotherapy is to restore and maintain mobility, function, independence and performance. It is applied in several treatments, from the management of joint or spinal problems to rehabilitation after fractures or injury.

As an animal physiotherapist you’ll cover the treatment of domestic pets, farm animals and exotic pets, though horses, dogs and cats are the most common. Typical procedures include:

  • assessment
  • massage
  • ultrasound
  • electrotherapy
  • exercise
  • owner education and advice.

Animal physiotherapy can also be referred to as veterinary physiotherapy.

Types of animal physiotherapy

You may specialise in one area of animal physiotherapy, such as:

  • hydrotherapy
  • small animal physiotherapy
  • large animal physiotherapy
  • horse and rider.

However, the majority of animal physiotherapists are self-employed and decide for themselves whether they want to work across the full spectrum or specialise. Your professional qualification will prepare you equally for work with small or large animals, but you may have to undertake further courses in order to perform specialised procedures.


As an animal therapist, you’ll:

  • treat a range of complaints, including spinal problems, joint problems and injuries to muscles, ligaments and tendons
  • facilitate post-surgical rehabilitation
  • devise exercise regimes for a range of conditions, from neurological conditions, to obesity, to preventative physiotherapy.

You’ll also need to:

  • provide advice on adapting an animal’s living environment
  • administer patient records.


  • Starting salaries are around £18,500 a year.
  • Experienced animal therapists (with more than five years’ experience) can earn £20,000 to £25,000.
  • Senior veterinary physiotherapists and consultants may earn up to £65,000 a year.

Many animal physiotherapists are self-employed and charge per appointment, which typically lasts one hour. Rates start from around £25 per appointment and reach £70 for longer appointments or more complex procedures.

Some self-employed animal physiotherapists are also trained human physiotherapists and offer ‘horse and rider’ physiotherapy consultations. These generally fetch higher rates.

Self-employed animal physiotherapists will also charge extra for travel to their client’s home/practice.

Income figures are intended as a guide only.

Working hours

For full-time contracts the typical working hours are 37.5 per week, Monday to Friday. Part-time contracts are also common, and hours vary depending on the needs of the practice.

What to expect

  • Jobs are available in all locations across the country as well as in rural areas where there are a high concentration of horse races.
  • If you decide to open your own practice, be prepared to travel often and over large distances. A driving license will be essential.
  • It’s essential to establish good relationships with local veterinary practices, as you can’t treat animals unless they are referred to you by a veterinary surgeon.
  • Whether you work for a practice or are self-employed, you’ll need to apply for professional indemnity and public liability insurance (PLI).
  • Exercising animals and carrying equipment can be physically challenging and therefore the job requires a good level of fitness.


At the moment, animal physiotherapy is not a protected title, so a variety of training routes are available. Regardless of the route you take, the job requires higher education training. However, you can choose what level of qualification you would like to study for.

Make sure you check which professional bodies you would like to join, as they’ll often have the minimum education prerequisites for membership. Joining organisations before completing your training is advised, as they provide excellent networking opportunities as well as advertise upcoming jobs. Many organisations offer reduced membership rates for students.

The most common routes into the profession are:

  • completing an undergraduate degree in human physiotherapy, followed by postgraduate training in animal/veterinary physiotherapy
  • completing an undergraduate degree in veterinary nursing, followed by postgraduate training in animal/veterinary physiotherapy
  • completing an undergraduate degree in veterinary physiotherapy, currently offered by Harper Adams University and Moreton Morrell College, part of Warwickshire College.

The postgraduate training offered is typically either at MSc or PGDip level.

Opportunities for in-house animal physiotherapists appear rarely, so many animal physiotherapists choose to be self-employed. If you are thinking about starting your own business, consider taking up a business course to learn about the administrative, legislative and accounting aspects of running a business.


To become an animal physiotherapist, you’ll need to demonstrate:

  • a genuine concern for the wellbeing and health of animals
  • a real interest in anatomy and physiology.

You’ll need to have the following skills:

  • strong interpersonal and communication skills
  • teamwork
  • an aptitude for problem solving
  • analytical skills
  • administrative and record-keeping skills.

You’ll also need to be:

  • patient, sensitive, tactful and persistent
  • flexible and adaptable.

If you’re thinking about starting your own business, you’ll need entrepreneurial and enterprise skills.

Work experience

Work experience is essential, not only for securing your first job, but also often for being accepted onto the relevant study programmes. When checking the programme make sure you know if they require you to have prior work experience and how much they’re looking for.

Your work experience is likely to be voluntary, and due to a practice’s insurance policy, what you can do might be limited. However, this is an opportunity for you to watch surgeons, nurses and specialists perform their day-to-day duties. Don’t be afraid to ask questions – the more you ask, the more you learn and the more likely you are to get involved with more advanced patient care procedures.

Very few structured work experience schemes exist, however contacting employers directly and networking can often lead to volunteering opportunities, as the people who run veterinary practices and other animal healthcare organisations are likely to relate to your position.

Find out more about the different kinds of work experience and internships that are available.


The majority of animal physiotherapists are self-employed. They advertise their offers through social media, professional websites and their membership of professional bodies. Professional body membership is also essential if you are looking for an in-house opportunity, as these will often be advertised through their websites and newsletters.

Forming and maintaining positive links with your local veterinary surgeries is essential, as animals have to be referred by a veterinary surgeon. Veterinary practices are also more likely to pay for your services directly to support their in-patients, if they have good relationships with you.

Professional development

Once you start working as an animal physiotherapist, you’re expected to keep up with the developments in animal healthcare, take part in continuing professional development (CPD), and attend conferences and seminars.

CPD training will allow you to further increase your knowledge, specialise and practice in a particular area of physiotherapy, or learn about ways of working will less common animals. Sometimes you’ll have to complete a CPD training in order to perform certain procedures, for example, hydrotherapy.

The most common way of learning about any upcoming CPD or further development opportunities is through membership of professional organisations. Some of the largest are as follows:

  • The Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Animal Therapy (ACPAT) – professional network of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP), which represents the interests of chartered physiotherapists in animal therapy
  • The Institute of Registered Veterinary and Animal Physiotherapists (IRVAP) – represents a group of professionals working in animal therapy and healthcare, committed to linking a sound scientific knowledge base to current clinical practice
  • International Association of Animal Therapists (IAAT) – an international group of therapists, run by its members for its members
  • The National Association of Veterinary Physiotherapists (NAVP) – aims to link a strong foundation of scientific knowledge with clinical practice and continued research. The association played a role in developing the first direct entry routes for veterinary physiotherapy training, at both postgraduate and undergraduate level
  • Register of Animal Musculoskeletal Practitioners (RAMP) – intended to help veterinary surgeons and animal owners choose professionals providing chiropractic, osteopathic and physiotherapy techniques.

Career prospects

Your career prospects and progression will depend largely on your own choices. Through CPD training you may choose to further specialise in one field of animal physiotherapy, such as neurorehabilitation or myotherapy. Once you have acquired sufficient practical and research experience in your chosen field you may wish to work as a lecturer or a consultant.

If you’re employed in-house, you may find opportunities for promotion to more senior or leadership positions. At the same time, if you’re self-employed and establish a successful business, you may wish to consider employing other animal physiotherapists to support your client base.

A good way to develop your professional networks and additional transferable skills is through active participation in your professional bodies, where, depending on your organisation, you may choose to take on additional responsibilities, from membership of a committee to more senior leadership roles.

veterinary physiotherapy degree

Veterinary Physiotherapy (Postgraduate Diploma / MSc)

The University of Liverpool’s Postgraduate Diploma / MSc in Veterinary Physiotherapy is a specialist programme aimed at Chartered Physiotherapists who wish to translate their knowledge and skills developed on humans into practice on animals.

The programme is recognised by the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Animal Therapy (ACPAT) as an upgrading route for ‘Category A’ membership.

PgDip Programme Structure

In order to be awarded the Postgraduate Diploma in Veterinary Physiotherapy, candidates must successfully complete the following six modules over one year full time, or two years part time:

Principles of Veterinary Physiotherapy & Approach to the Animal Patient
Anatomy & Biomechanics for the Veterinary Physiotherapist
Orthopaedics of the Common Domestic Species for the Veterinary Physiotherapist
Neuromotor System in Performance & Disease
Veterinary Physiotherapy Practice 1
Advanced Veterinary Physiotherapy Practice

MSc Programme Structure

In order to be awarded the MSc in Veterinary Physiotherapy, candidates must successfully complete the above six modules, plus a Research Project. The programme is only available over one year on a full time basis.

Method of Teaching 

The modules are delivered as part of a fully-taught, structured blended learning programme, with modules delivered online supported by practical periods in the form of residential schools and clinical placements. During online modules, candidates are encouraged to work with their cohort with assessed and informal online meeting opportunities. There are regular asynchronous learning opportunities with fellow students and academics online via discussion boards and scheduled synchronous evening journal clubs and meetings.

The virtual learning environment also includes access to the University of Liverpool’s online library.

Candidates attend a total of 4 weeks or 20 days practical training at the University of Liverpool’s Leahurst campus, 20 practical days with a clinical educator and an additional 10 days in veterinary practices over the two-year programme. The 50 days of practical training provide candidates with the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills learned on the programme.

Some practical training may be completed abroad for candidates studying from non-UK countries.


Assessment is on-going throughout each module and feedback is provided by module tutors. 


  • Part time PgDip
    • £9,000 UK students 
    • £10,800 Non-UK students 
  • Full time PgDip
    • £9,000 UK students 
    • £10,800 Non-UK students 
  • Full time MSc
    • £12,000 UK students 
    • £15,000 Non-UK students 

Accommodation and travel costs for practical placements are not included in the fees.

Applications for payment in instalments can be applied for and will be assessed on a case by case basis. Please email the VPU Office

UK students on the full time MSc are also eligible for a Government Master’s loan.

Candidate Pre-requisites

Part time PgDip:

  1. Eligibility for registration with the Health Professions Council (or equivalent Physiotherapists Registration Board for international delegates).
  2. One year’s recent experience working as a physiotherapist
  3. References from a veterinarian and a physiotherapist (human or animal) in support of the applicants suitability for the programme.
  4. If the applicant is from a country where English is not the first Language they will be required to show evident of attainment of English at a minimum IELTS score of 7 or equivalent.
  5. Recognition of Prior Learning Policy arrangements will be applicable, as long as the prior learning represents equivalent modules and learning outcomes. APL or APEL from non-veterinary or animal physiotherapy or non M-level programmes (e.g. sports science, science, equine science) will not be considered.

Full time PgDip/MSc

  1. Academic achievement of 2.1 or 2.2 and MSc applicants must provide supporting academic references.
  2. Eligibility for registration with the Health Professions Council (or equivalent Physiotherapists Registration Board for international delegates)
  3. References from a veterinarian and a physiotherapist (human or animal) in support of the applicant’s suitability for the programme.
  4. If the applicant is from a country where English is not the first Language they will be required to show evident of attainment of English at a minimum IELTS score of 7 or equivalent
  5. Recognition of Prior Learning Policy arrangements will be applicable, as long as the prior learning represents equivalent modules and learning outcomes. APL or APEL from non-veterinary or animal physiotherapy or non M-level programmes (e.g. sports science, science, equine science) will not be considered
  6. Recommended work experience: One year clinical physiotherapy practice.

How to Apply

Click here for further information on how to apply.

Please note the application deadline for the cohort starting on 29 August 2022 is 28 February 2022.

The University of Liverpool is the top Veterinary Physiotherapy school in the UK. The Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine administers the degree, which is recognised by both the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and the European Federation of Animal Physiotherapy.

We hope you found this breakdown helpful. Click on the links above to learn more about veterinary physiotherapy and the potential career benefits it can provide. The best way to get started, in our opinion, is to contact a few university programs directly to learn more about their programs and how they can help you meet your own goals and establish an exciting career.

Leave a Comment