Postgraduate study
Study the theory and practice of veterinary physiotherapy, leading to you qualifying within two years. An additional year of research strengthens your knowledge.
MSc Veterinary Physiotherapy
3 years part-time (MSc)/2 years part-time (PGDip)
Entry requirements
Applicants need a first degree in an animal/science subject, at a minimum of 2:2. Prior learning experience may be taken into account for mature applicants.
Other requirements
A good working and current knowledge of the care, management and handling of dogs and horses is required. This should amount to at least six weeks experience - three with dogs and three with horses. Additionally five days experience in a veterinary practice is required, ideally with a mix of large and small animals. Applications can also be made by veterinary surgeons, veterinary nurses and human physiotherapists. Holders of qualifications in non-animal/science subjects at degree level are also welcome to apply.
7.5 (no less than 7.0 in any element)

If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses may be available
Start date
UK/EU fees
MSc: £13,995; PGDip: £11,196 - Terms apply
International fees
MSc: £22,815; PGDip: £18,252 - Terms apply
Sutton Bonington



Ideal for musculo-skeletal practitioners, veterinary nurses, veterinary surgeons and those wishing to change career direction, this hands-on course will train you to become a veterinary physiotherapist. The course is run on a weekend basis over two academic years (three for the MSc) providing flexible study so you can continue working while you learn.

Applications for this course close on Wednesday 1 May.


Full course details

How you’ll be taught

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 will be delivered by qualified veterinary physiotherapists, both at the campus and at their own practices.

What you’ll learn

You’ll gain the academic and practical skills needed to be a veterinary physiotherapist. Keys skills covered include:

  • electrotherapy
  • exercise programming
  • physiotherapy


A teaching building comprises a lecture theatre, large seminar room, teaching laboratories and a number of small-group teaching rooms. 
A 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. 

The school has taken advantage of IT in its design and way of working – all teaching rooms have electronic whiteboards and students access all teaching materials online through our virtual learning environment. 
Other school facilities include 16 stables for student horses, an indoor ménage and a student smallholding. 



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.
Investigating Pathophysiology 
Integrated with module two, the teaching continues the theme of physiology, focussing on the reaction of the body systems to inflammation, injury and disease.
Foundations of Clinical Practice
This module 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.
Applied Clinical Skills
Building on the skills from module four, this develops clinical assessment, reasoning and evaluating outcomes measures into exercise programming and rehabilitation. There is a heavy emphasis on in-field experience achieved by 28 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. Due to the passage of time between commencement of the course and subsequent years of the course, modules may change due to developments in the curriculum and information is provided for indicative purposes only.


Fees and funding

To access fee information for this course, please visit the main University fees information page.

Additional costs

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.

Weston Scholarship

In 2019/20, we are offering a scholarship of £7,290 towards fees in year one and two of the MSc Veterinary Physiotherapy. 

To be considered for this scholarship, please submit a 500 word (maximum) application to 
before Thursday 30 June 2019.

Although academic excellence is key, we ask that your application also addresses the Weston Foundation’s ethos of delivering services and activities to those in need, especially those from lower socio-economic backgrounds.

International and EU students

We provide information and advice for international and EU students on financing your degree, living costs, scholarships, external sources of funding and working during your studies.


Careers and professional development

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

As this is a new course, there is no current salary or career progression data. School data for the other postgraduate courses is available below. 

In 2016, 100% of postgraduates from the school who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £34,910 with the highest being £58,000.*

* Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates 2015/16. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

Career prospects and employability

The acquisition of a postgraduate qualification demonstrates a high level of knowledge in a specific field. Whether you are using it to enhance your employability, as preparation for further academic research or as a means of vocational training, you may benefit from careers advice as to how you can use your new found skills to their full potential.

Our Careers and Employability Service will help you do this, working with you to explore your options and inviting you to attend recruitment events where you can meet potential employers, as well as suggesting further development opportunities, such as relevant work experience placements and skills workshops.  


Related courses and downloads

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This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.

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The University of Nottingham
Sutton Bonington Campus
Sutton Bonington
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