On this course, you will gain the academic and practical skills needed to be a veterinary physiotherapist. Keys skills covered include:
- exercise programming
Our teaching building comprises a lecture theatre, large seminar room, teaching laboratories and a number of small-group teaching rooms.
Our clinical building includes a large anatomy laboratory, surgery suite, teaching laboratories, seminar rooms, a large clinical skills laboratory and other clinical skills rooms together with animal facilities.
Other school facilities include 16 stables for student horses, an indoor ménage and a student smallholding.
The school has taken advantage of IT in its design and ways of working – all teaching rooms have electronic whiteboards and students access all teaching materials online through our virtual learning environment.
For the PGDip, you’ll need to complete 120 credits of the taught modules. For the MSc, you’ll need to complete 180 credits, including a research project.
Foundations of Professional Practice
You’ll develop skills in:
- fundamental scientific principles
- risk assessment, first aid, basic approaches to handling
- professional ethics, health and safety law, veterinary surgeons act and exemptions orders
- study skills, IT skills
- professional and peer communications
Anatomy and Physiology
This module covers the musculoskeletal system, including neurology, from cellular microanatomy to gross tissue organization, coupled with the physiology of relevant systems.
You will undertake dissections are of the whole canine, equine limb, and the examination of laboratory specimens. The module also covers biomechanics and gait analysis which serve as the grounding knowledge for module two. Practical work relates to identification of bony landmarks, differentiating between axial and appendicular skeleton and comparative anatomy.
Integrated with the Anatomy and Physiology module, the teaching on this module continues the theme of physiology, focusing on the reaction of the body systems to inflammation, injury and disease.
Foundations of Clinical Practice
This modules introduces specific skills required by the veterinary physiotherapist. These include, palpation, manual techniques – massage, trigger points and myofascial release, active and passive range of motion along with electrotherapies and commonly used equipment such as cryotherapy and thermotherapy, wobble boards, proprioceptive tracks. Many of these skills are taught in small group practical sessions with live animals (horses, greyhounds and agility dogs). The sessions are guided by qualified veterinary physiotherapists.
In addition you will need to undertake at least 15 days of work-based learning within the animal care industry.
Applied Clinical Skills
Building on the skills from the Foundation of Clinical Practice module, this unit develops clinical assessment, reasoning and evaluating outcomes measures into exercise programming and rehabilitation.
There is a heavy emphasis on in-field experience achieved by 32 days of work-based learning. For these days you will be working alongside practicing veterinary physiotherapists on the day-to-day cases referred for treatment. You will also develop communication skills to enable you to engage with other professionals and with owners.
Progress in this module is measured by the Record of Achievement which addresses day-one competencies via the demonstration of professional skills (DOPS).
Project Proposal and Development
This module establishes the groundwork for a clinically-relevant project. You will evaluate current conditions, theories and treatments to identify an area for research. The module will address writing and testing hypotheses, ethics, data analysis and methods of writing up a formal report. Students are assigned an individual tutor for assistance with this.
This module aims to develop investigative skills in the context of the workplace. It aims to develop and demonstrate skills in:
- the analysis of a problem
- planning and organising a task
- exercising judgement in the light of observed and published data
- compiling a report
- data analysis
- writing a literature review
- giving an oral presentation
Clinical Reasoning and Reporting
In this module you will focus on methods of collecting, collating and analysing patient data to prepare feedback reports to the veterinary surgeon. The module also addresses clinical reasoning and critical evaluation of treatment outcomes by comparison with current theories and studies.
The above is a sample of the typical modules that we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. This course page may be updated over the duration of the course, as modules may change due to developments in the curriculum or in the research interests of staff.
Teaching methods and assessment
The course is primarily taught through lectures, practicals and demonstration of professional skills. All the preliminary and pre-clinical teaching is delivered from the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science at the University of Nottingham’s Sutton Bonington Campus.
Much of the practical teaching is delivered by qualified veterinary physiotherapists, both at the campus and at their own practices.
On successful completion of the course, you will be a qualified veterinary physiotherapist. Veterinary physiotherapists have various business models to suit their own circumstances, from part-time to full-time, self-employed or employed within a practice.
Average starting salary and career progression
100% of postgraduates from the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science secured work or further study within six months of graduation.*
* Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates who were available for employment, 2016/17. Salaries are calculated based on those in full-time paid employment within the UK.
Careers support and advice
We offer individual careers support for all postgraduate students whatever your course, mode of study or future career plans.
You can access our Careers and Employability Service during your studies and after you graduate. Expert staff will help you research career options and job vacancies, build your CV or résumé, develop your interview skills and meet employers.
More than 1,500 employers advertise graduate jobs and internships through our online vacancy service. We host regular careers fairs, including specialist fairs for different sectors.
As a student on this course, you should factor some additional costs into your budget, alongside your tuition fees. This includes purchasing essential items for the course such as boots for working with horses, a boiler suit, tunic and a wetsuit, which could cost up to £190 in total.
Your research project and placements are self-funded and travel/accommodation costs will vary depending on location. You should be able to access most of the books you’ll need through our libraries, though you may wish to purchase your own copies. Please note that these figures are approximate and subject to change.
Fee payments are split 40%, 40%, 20% across the three years of the course. This is due to the additional teaching and placements in the first two years.
If you are a UK student and have a government loan for your masters degree, you will receive a third of your overall loan amount each year. This means that you may need to self-fund a portion of year one and year two.
Scholarships and bursaries
Government loans for masters courses
Masters student loans of up to £11,222 are available for taught and research masters courses. Applicants must ordinarily live in the UK or EU.
International and EU students
Masters scholarships are available for international and EU students from a wide variety of countries and areas of study. You must already have an offer to study at Nottingham to apply. Please note closing dates to ensure you apply for your course with enough time.
We provide guidance on funding your degree, living costs and working while you study. You can also access specific funding opportunities, entry requirements and other resources for students from specific countries.