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Graduate Certificate in Animal Therapy

Six-month, part-time course

The McTimoney College of Chiropractic offers a Graduate Certificate in Animal Therapy course awarded by Ulster University. This course is unique in that it provides a career path for those with a degree in equine science or animal related sciences to achieve a qualification in animal therapy and access the MSc Animal Manipulation (Chiropractic) course.

Veterinary chiropractors are experiencing high demand, with a multitude of opportunities available in maintenance, rehabilitative, and competition performance roles. Upon completion of the Graduate Certificate in Animal Therapy and the subsequent MSc Animal Manipulation (Chiropractic) courses, many practitioners choose to specialise in these areas or focus on specific species, such as equine, canine, or farm animals.

In the first instance, completion of this six-month, part-time course provides the graduate with a practical hands-on skill in equine and canine massage from which they can start to build an animal therapy business.

It is, however, also an entry route into the MSc Animal Manipulation (Chiropractic) course, which is currently unique in Europe in that it is the only university validated Masters level course that trains students in Animal Manipulation using chiropractic techniques.

By combining academic knowledge with immersive hands-on clinical training, the MSc Animal Manipulation (Chiropractic) course thoroughly equips students for a successful and independent career as animal chiropractors.

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How the Course is Taught

The Graduate Certificate in Animal Therapy is designed to equip individuals from non-manipulative backgrounds with the necessary skills to seamlessly transition into the MSc in Animal Manipulation (Chiropractic) course. Its primary objective is to familiarise students with the essential foundations required for entry into the MSc course.

Term time schedule:

  • The course runs from June to December.
  • Lectures are delivered from Friday to Sunday every 3 weeks depending on timetabling dates.
  • Practicals and lectures are mainly face-to-face, but there is some teaching delivered online too.

6 Month course includes:

  • Introduction to animal sciences for therapists, including anatomy, physiology and biomechanics
  • An understanding of the philosophy and history of the profession
  • A range of training exercises relevant to future adjusting skills
  • Palpation skills
  • Massage skills
  • Animal handling skills
  • Professional skills
  • Business skills

By the end of this course, students are able to demonstrate appropriate competency in relevant palpation, psychomotor and communication skills. Additionally, they will develop understanding of the history and philosophy of the animal therapy and chiropractic profession, and the business and professional skills necessary to start their career in animal therapy.

On satisfactory completion of this course, students will have the skills to start their own animal therapy business and be eligible to enrol on the MSc Animal Manipulation (Chiropractic) course.

Entry Requirements

Applicants are expected to have one of the following qualifications:

  • A member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.


  • Holding an honours degree in Animal Health or Equine Science or other University-level degree where the course leader is satisfied that the animal experience of the applicant is sufficient to successfully complete the course.


  • Applicants who do not hold an animal science degree but have degree level qualifications and significant animal experience may apply for this course under the Assessment of Prior Experience and Learning (APEL) system.

Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • All applicants must satisfy the interviewers of their aptitude for animal work.
  • Be 21 years or over when the course starts.
  • Hold a BSc (Hons) degree in equine, animal, veterinary or similar science attaining minimum 360 credits. Relevant higher qualifications may qualify.
  • Applicants may be accepted under special provision if they fail to meet the specified entry requirements provided that they have suitable alternative science-based qualifications.
  • Consideration of other qualifications under APEL system (Accreditation of Prior Experience and Learning)
  • Knowledge of basic science is necessary.

All students are expected to have the facility and the ability to study in their own home and will be required to purchase certain equipment and textbooks throughout the duration of the course. While tablets may seem convenient, many students encounter limitations that prompt them to favour the versatility and functionality of laptops. We strongly recommend that students use a laptop throughout their studies. Additionally, access to the internet is compulsory, as it becomes progressively an essential tool to facilitate learning.

If English is not your first language

If English is not your first language and you do not hold an honours degree that was delivered in English, you will be required to provide certified proof of ability in written and spoken English to, at least, IELTS 6.0 overall (with a minimum of 5.5 in each component).

Entry Test

We reserve the right to ask you to sit an entrance exam.


No offers are made without interview. Candidates will be selected to progress to interview based on the qualifications, work experience, personal statement and reference provided in their application. Interviews take place throughout the year.

Applicants called for interview are assessed by a panel for their sense of vocation, motivation and qualities of determination and aspiration.

Application Process

All applications for the Graduate Certificate in Animal Therapy must follow the application process below to be considered for enrolment.

Complete the online application form. Please ensure that you have all the required documentation ready.

The Admissions Team will review your application and work with you to ensure you meet all the course requirements.

Upon completing the review process, the Admissions Team will contact you to inform you of your acceptance status.

Intake Dates

Applications Close Intake Dates
June 2024 June 2024

Course Progression

Modules Semester 1 Semester 2
Fundamentals of Business & Professionalism
Introduction to Research
Practical Skills
Animal Handling & Massage

Course Modules

Modules Credits
Fundamentals of Business & Professionalism Compulsory 10
Introduction to Research Compulsory 10
Practical Skills Compulsory 20
Animal Handling & Massage Compulsory 20


You will be assessed in a variety of ways depending on the module and stage development. Some of these assessments will involve animals and owners, where clinical reasoning skills as well as physical assessment skills and professionalism are all considered. You will also be encouraged to reflect and feedback on your own experiences, learning and development.

Forms of assessment can include:

  • Assignments
  • Exams
  • Oral presentations
  • Practical assessments


The Graduate Certificate in Animal Therapy course is delivered at our Oxford location near Abingdon. Venues for practical training are also located in Abingdon, Bath and Dorset.

Tuition Fees & Associated Costs

The entire year’s course and registration fees are due on commencement of the Graduate Certificate in Animal Therapy.

Payment Type Value
Course Fee* Single payment £2,500
College Registration Fee Single payment £150
McTimoney Animal Association Student Membership Single payment £25
* Course fee includes Animal Handling Day and Examination

A deposit of £200 will need to be paid within 48 hours of accepting your offer, in order to secure you place.

In addition to your course fees, there may be additional charges associated with your studies, which include:

Resit fee – Assignments and written exams £75
Resit fee – Practical assessment £100

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Why Choose McTimoney College?

  • Highly regarded qualifications
  • High employment of new graduates
  • A small and friendly college environment
  • Small class sizes and excellent tutor ratios
  • Early hands on experience
  • Well-experienced in-practice faculty
  • State of the art teaching facilities
  • Strong student support structure
  • Strong alumni network and career support services
  • Diverse and inclusive learning environment
  • Integration of modern technology

Questions about the Graduate Certificate in Animal Therapy?

Choosing your course is a big decision. If you have any questions about the Graduate Certificate in Animal Therapy course, the McTimoney Admissions Team is ready to provide the answers. Kindly complete the form below, and we will respond to your questions promptly.

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