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Animal Therapy and Rehabilitation (BSc top-up)

BSc (Hons) - single

Department of Biological and Medical Sciences

The BSc (top-up) in Animal Therapy and Rehabilitation allows suitably qualified FdSc and HND graduates to acquire honours-level knowledge and skills to enhance their employability. The focus is on canines but includes a range of other small and large species.

Graduates may progress directly to work in this expanding industry or progress on to master's and other postgraduate studies. Students take applied rehabilitation and hydrotherapy modules that inform improvements in methods of therapy & management within practices, and research their own chosen dissertation. They may also acquire an accredited Level 3 Certificate in Small Animal Hydrotherapy.

Please note, this course begins in September 2020.

Typical offers

Available start dates

September 2020

Teaching location

Abingdon and Witney College

Course length

  • Full time: 1 year
  • Part time: 2 - 4 years

UCAS code

TBC - Abingdon and Witney College
TBC - Solihull College

For full application details, please see the 'How to apply / Entry requirements' section.

  • This course produces graduates at the cutting edge of their profession and emphasises current thinking and novel developments in animal therapy and rehabilitation.
  • The course is strongly aligned to industrial standards and industrial placement is embedded throughout the degree; taking advantage of the college’s close links to the industry and its excellent Animal Care Centre where practical work can be undertaken. There will also be external visits and guest speakers.
  • You will develop interpersonal skills and become critically informed and resourceful individuals, more aware of the wider impact of therapy and veterinary activities on patients, the society and organisational stakeholders.
  • You can enhance your academic and professional qualifications by progressing onto a master's or other postgraduate degree, and enhance your employability by gaining an accredited Level 3 Small Animal Hydrotherapy Certificate alongside your degree.
  • You will access the expertise and resources of both Oxford Brookes University, which accredits the degree, and those of the college where teaching takes place.

The BSc top-up in Animal Therapy and Rehabilitation is a one year degree programme, which builds on your previous studies and offers completion of an honours degree.

The programme develops contemporary, high-level animal therapy and rehabilitation knowledge and skills through modules that are at the cutting edge of their fields and emphasise new, enhanced and emerging therapies.

During this year you also get the opportunity to pursue a research interest of your choice whilst completing your dissertation module.


Study modules

All modules are compulsory. As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules may vary from those shown here.

  • Therapy Centre Management 
  • Applied Hydrotherapy
  • Functional Movement and Rehabilitation Techniques (double module)
  • Preventative Medicine and Veterinary Techniques (double module)
  • Dissertation (double module)




Field trips

You go on a range of optional and compulsory day trips and study tours to a variety of organisations, enabling you to see how the industry works and preparing you for future employment.

Additional costs

  • Students will be required to purchase practical uniform and steel-toe capped boots for use if they work in the Animal Care Centre / Animal Unit.
  • Attendance on a variety of day trips and at a number of guest lectures may be a compulsory part of the course and students will be required to pay the associated fees.
  • There will also be additional costs for learning resources such as books, stationary and for the production of coursework.



Programme changes

On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website. For more information, please visit our Changes to programmes page.

Teaching and learning

Throughout the course, teaching methods are varied and informed by contemporary practice in science teaching in higher education. 

All modules use the Oxford Brookes Virtual Learning Environment - Moodle (typically for locating course and module resources, but also for discussion forums, collaborative information gathering, journal logs and coursework submissions and feedback).

Most modules use lectures to provide a framework for learning and to introduce more difficult concepts. Practical work with animals in the laboratory and the field are key features of some modules, enhancing learning and enabling development of skills needed for a successful career. Other teaching methods include seminar discussions or debates, small group activities, one-to-one or small group tutorials and problem-solving workshops. Reflective learning is encouraged through use of self, peer and staff formative feedback on assignments, group work and project work, and reflective diaries. 

Research literacy is widely taught and practised, and students will be able to develop a research-orientation to their studies through the experimental design and analysis associated with the dissertation module.  Dissertations with industry focus are encouraged. 


Approach to assessment

Your module assessments are vocationally contextualised, and are either combined coursework and examination or coursework only, depending on the module. Overall about 75% of assessment is coursework based.

Coursework assignments are diverse and indicative assignments include essays, laboratory and field notebooks, work diaries, practical reports, video diaries, seminar and poster presentations and problem-solving exercises.

Where assessments include examinations, these will be scheduled at the end of the module. The dissertation module requires a presentation in addition to the written assessment.

Tuition fees

Home/EU - full time off-campus fee: 2019/20: £7,350

Home/EU - part time off-campus fee: 2019/20: £3,750

International - full time off-campus fee: 2019/20: £9,000

*Please note tuition fees may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students.

Oxford Brookes University intends to maintain its fees for new and returning home and EU students at the maximum permitted level.

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course, if any, are detailed in the 'This course in detail' window above.

Questions about fees?
Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088

Funding and scholarships

For general sources of financial support, see:

Typical offers

Students will usually have achieved an average grade (GPA) of 55% in the Fd(Sc) in Animal Behaviour and Welfare or an equivalent relevant animal related level 5 qualification of 240 CAT points, subject to individual credit rating by Oxford Brookes University.

Students who have studied the HND in Animal Management or equivalent HND will need an overall merit profile.

Students who have not studied the Oxford Brookes University Fd(Sc) in Animal Behaviour and Welfare will need to produce a transcript of the modules and learning outcomes they have studied on their level 5 course to allow credit rating by Oxford Brookes University and evidence coverage of sufficient comparable content to allow entrance to this BSc year.

There are limited places on the course and the above requirements are minimum requirements. Gaining a place on the course will also be subject to a successful interview and a strong UCAS application with an appropriate reference.

Applicants with non-standard entry qualifications may be admitted with APL (accreditation for prior learning) or APEL (accreditation for prior experiential learning) in accordance with university regulations.

Specific entry requirements

Students will usually have completed the FdSc Animal Therapy and Rehabilitation or will have achieved an average GPA of 55% in a relevant animal related level 5 qualification of 240 CAT points, or equivalent.

It may be possible, in certain situations, to gain accreditation of prior learning to enable students to enter the course with advanced standing or gain exemption from an element/ elements of the programme. This is assessed on an individual basis and is awarded in line with Oxford Brookes University’s regulations on accreditation of prior learning, available here.

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.

English language requirements

Please see the University's standard English language requirements

How to apply

International applicants

International applications

International students requiring a Tier 4 visa cannot study this course at Solihull College, but can apply to study it at our other partners.

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

Credit transfer

Oxford Brookes operates the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). All undergraduate single modules are equivalent to 7.5 ECTS credits and double modules to 15 ECTS credits. More about ECTS credits.

Support for students studying Animal Therapy and Rehabilitation (BSc top-up)

We understand that going into full-time or part-time education can have a big effect on people's lives. There may be a lot of questions you want to ask before you start on a course, and there may be times during your studies when you will want to seek information and advice from a reliable source.

Students studying at Abingdon and Witney College can access a dedicated independent team of advice and guidance staff. Available throughout the year, they provide information, advice and confidential support services for all students. They are there to enable you to make informed decisions about your studies, and to help you deal with any difficulties that may arise.

Find out more about the full range of support services on the college's website.

Specialist facilities

Abingdon and Witney College’s Common Leys Farm is a 60-acre campus near Hailey, Witney, which provides the practical facilities for a range of land-based courses including animal care. The college provides an ideal learning environment with purpose-built indoor and outdoor units for small animals, a grooming parlour and modern kennel spaces. Students also have access to some larger animals such as horses, sheep, goats and cattle.

You can also find out more about the general facilities at Abingdon and Witney College on the college's website.

General support services

Supporting your learning

From academic advisers and support co-ordinators to specialist subject librarians and other learning support staff, we want to ensure that you get the best out of your studies.

Personal support services

We want your time at Brookes to be as enjoyable and successful as possible. That's why we provide all the facilities you need to be relaxed, happy and healthy throughout your studies.

Career prospects

ABC Awards
Level 3 Certificate in Hydrotherapy for Small Animals
Ofqual Code 600/5955/2

Students are required to complete the Applied Hydrotherapy module and submit an acceptable portfolio of evidence in order to achieve the Level 3 Certificate in Hydrotherapy for Small Animals. Students progressing from our FdSc Animal Therapy and Rehabilitation may incorporate the successful completion of their FdSc modules. Students joining the BSc top up from other accredited learning will be required to demonstrate equivalent Level 4 and 5 competency by completion of a portfolio of additional work.

This certificate is not a compulsory component of the BSc programme.

In this highly competitive and increasingly regulated sector, a BSc (Hons) is becoming a prerequisite for many management and therapy careers. The skills and knowledge gained on this course are directly relevant to a number of careers in the area of animal therapy and rehabilitation. On completion of the course, students will be able to enter careers managing therapy businesses, teaching therapy science, owning/running therapy and rehabilitation businesses and practising small animal hydrotherapy. They will also be able to enter entrepreneurial activities in the therapy industry e.g. developing new practices/products and setting up and running therapy franchises.  

Many of our graduates will find employment in roles such as animal scientists, veterinary or physical therapy practice managers, nutritionists, massage therapists, hydrotherapists, lecturers, or, after undertaking further study, physiotherapists. Through further postgraduate study, more academic students may become leaders in research activities in this rapidly developing and under-researched industry. The dissertation is a particular opportunity to attract the interest of potential employers.

In addition, students may progress to self-employment and a university education can also provides a gateway into careers in management, journalism and the media and leisure industry.



Further study

Suitably qualified graduates may choose to progress to a master's or other postgraduate programme, which could include a teaching qualification.