So you want to be a physiotherapist?

  • A physiotherapist uses physical techniques, from soft-tissue mobilisation to ultrasound, to treat movement dysfunction and reduce pain.



  • MSc followed by a postgraduate Diploma in Veterinary Physiotherapy at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) or the National Association of Animal Therapists (NAAT).

  • Chartered physiotherapists can apprentice themselves to an established animal physiotherapist and take a shorter course.


  • RVC is part of the University of London.

  • NAAT postgraduate course is in Aylesbury and at various other locations.


  • MSc in Veterinary Physiotherapy – 2 years’ part-time study

  • RVC postgraduate Diploma – 18 months

  • NAAT postgraduatecourse – 1 year


  • MSc/Diploma: topics include pharmacology, comparative anatomy and nutrition; plus there are practical sessions.

  • NAAT postgraduate course includes pain management and orthopaedics, plus practical work and business management.

    Time commitment

  • RVC Diploma: 1 weekend a month for 18 months, plus home study.

  • NAAT’s postgraduate course: 12 hours’ home study a week; 1-2 seminars a month.

    Normal entry requirements

  • Veterinary Physiotherapy at the Royal Veterinary College: Honours degree or equivalent in human physiotherapy, plus relevant experience; membership of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.

  • The National Association of Animal Therapists’ postgraduate course:

    All previous qualifications and experience will be considered.

    To become a member of the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Animal Therapy (ACPAT), you need to be a Chartered hysiotherapist with a minimum of two years’experience within human general practice. You must then attend ACPAT-certified courses and either train as an apprentice or undertake an MSc in Veterinary Physiotherapy.

    Course fees

  • Veterinary Physiotherapy MSc – £3,325.

  • Postgraduate Diploma – £2,495.

  • The National Association of Animal Therapists’ Introductory course: £500 + VAT midweek or £650 + VAT at weekends. Postgraduate course: about £6000 + VAT.


  • The Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Animal Therapy. Tel: (01962) 844 390; email: secretary@acpat.org web: www.acpat.org.uk

  • The Royal Veterinary College, Royal College Street, London NW1 0TU. Tel: (020) 7468 5000; visit: www.rvc.ac.uk l The National Association of Animal Therapists, Tyringham Hall, Cuddington HP18 0AP, tel: (01844) 291 526.
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