Indicative Content Year One

Below you will see an overview for year one of the equine diploma programme.

  1. Introduction and health and safety considerations;
  2. Horse handling and equine paces;
  3. Palpation practice;
  4. Animal welfare, ethics and legislation; 
  5. Equine behavioural science;
  6. Equine Applied Learning Theory;
  7. Case history taking and report writing;
  8. Osteopathic Concepts & Principles – Part One
  9. Global assessment, gait and active assessment;
  10. Forelimb anatomy (arthrology, osteology and myology), orthopaedic considerations and forelimb assessment;
  11. Hindlimb anatomy (arthrology, osteology and myology), orthopaedic considerations, hindlimb and assessment
  12. Thoracic and lumbar anatomy (arthrology, osteology and myology), orthopaedic considerations and assessment;
  13. Cervical anatomy (arthrology, osteology and myology), orthopaedic considerations and cervical assessment;
  14. Soft tissue theory and practical application;
  15. Stretching theory and practical application;
  16. Joint articulation theory and practical application;
  17. Osteopathic integration;
  18. Creating treatment plans, home management advice and considerations;
  19. Paraprofessional communications (and conduct) and the role of multi-disciplinary teamwork in veterinary care;
  20. Personal and professional development;
  21. Study and digital platform skills;
  22. Clinical reasoning and principles of reflective practice;
  23. Professional studies; 
  24. Legal and regulatory landscape; 
  25. Summary and consolidation of learning.

Indicative Content Year Two

The diploma programme comprises of units that complete the necessary toolkit for an osteopathic practitioner to start in practice. Ensuring that they can assess and treat a wide range of maladies, safely and competently. In the year two of the programme moves toward a clinical focus with a significant focus on hands-on practice. Students will learn how to integrate osteopathic concepts, advanced limb, and spinal assessment. General health screening, pathophysiology, functional neurology and advanced limb/spine and neurological testing. In addition, students will be taught Balanced Ligamentous Tension for the animal patient, veterinary intervention, and advanced clinical reasoning. By the end of year two, students should be competent practitioners who can work confidently in a vet-led environment. 



The course includes: online modules with extensive presentations, videos and transcriptions to help foreign students. On-demand webinars, live drop-in sessions and case analysis. Plus self-directed learning activities, practical exploration, critical reflection, practical clinics, externship and assessments. 


The Diploma has been written in line with the UK Academic Framework (Level 6-7). That being the same as a degree and postgraduate study. This is to guarantee that students have undertaken a course of good academic and clinical standing.

Accepted Applicants of the Diploma are expected to: 

  • Fulfill the entry criteria.
  • Create a weekly study schedule that supports the requirements of the programme.
  • Complete all elements of the online course a month before the practicum.
  • Act professionally at all times.
  • Have access to a computer (not just a tablet or smart-phone) and strong internet access, so that all elements of the online course can be completed without disruption. 
  • Be comfortable studying and working autonomously and in virtual groups.
  • Engage regularly with the online community.
  • Complete all requested formative activities during the course as part of their studies.
  • Have a fair level of digital literacy i.e., be comfortable using the internet, emails, social media, Word, PowerPoint (or similar) etc. 
  • Have an English literacy level of IELTS 6.5 or above (or equivalent);
  • Feel comfortable locating suitable research and information during the course to support their studies.
  • Comply with plagiarism regulations and the need for referencing of all academic work. 
  • Complete the externship after the practicum and to do so in a timely and professional manner. 

Successful completion of the Equine Functional Osteopathic Diploma results in formal certification by the AOI. Students are reminded however, that the Diploma is the first of three levels of study within the Functional Osteopathic Academic Pathway, and the minimum amount of study required for any practitioner to use the taught skills. 

If you are a registered and practicing human osteopath, physiotherapist or chiropractor with an additional advanced-level qualification in Animal Osteopathy e.g., Vluggen/UCO/OCA, Veterinary Physiotherapy e.g. ACPAT or Chiropractic e.g. IAVC, you maybe able to bypass some aspects of year one via a conversion course. All other practitioners will be expected to study the entire Diploma, unless they are able to demonstrate that they are in clinical practice and have successfully completed a degree programme of study at the depth of knowledge required for this course. This will be managed on a case-by-case basis under our RPL (recognition of prior learning) process.