Equine Diploma – Entry Criteria

Our blended learning format saves you money and the stress of regular travel. It is designed for those who hold the AOI’s Foundation Certificate or an equivalent. See below for more details.

Designed with you in mind..

Our Equine Diploma is intended for those with prior qualifications in equine osteopathy or have graduated from an AOI conversion course and have prior experience in equine physical therapy e.g., ACPAT, IAVC etc.

AOI has been delivering courses (to a range of professionals) with and for the ESO since 2014. Our courses are open to all animal professionals who have a clinical background and fulfil criteria. 

Typical Diploma applicants would hold one of the following qualifications, before attending the Diploma Programme or any of its modules as CPD (without first studying AOI’s Level One).

  1. An ESO Foundation Certificate (equine);
  2. An AOI Stage/Level One Equine Foundation Certificate;
  3. Vluggen Institute student or graduate;
  4. Certification from the Osteopathic Centre for Animals;
  5. UCO PG Certificate in Animal Osteopathy;
  6. Veterinary physiotherapy at degree level from a validated school – via AOI’s conversion course;
  7. Veterinary certification – as a vet or veterinary nurse, who can also demonstrate additional veterinary physiotherapy qualifications – via AOI’s Equine Osteopathic Conversion Course;
  8. A Certificate of Completion from AOI’s Equine Osteopathic Conversion Course, Plus Day 0 (which must be attended before the start of the M2 module)
  9. A Certificate of Completion from AOI’s Equine Functional Osteopathic Conversion Course (for Equinology graduates) Day 0 must also be included prior to Day One of Module 2’s practicum.

Minimum Requirements: In order that ANY practitioner be considered for our Diploma Pathway, they must be able to confirm that they have the following academic knowledge base and can perform the following tasks on a horse (as appropriate to the course in question):

  1. Have an understanding of osteopathic concepts and philosophy and can comfortably integrate that knowledge into your case questioning, assessment process and treatment/management regime, so that it is reflected in your approach as a practitioner. 
  2. Have a robust knowledge of MSK functional equine anatomy, which includes osteology, myology, functional and clinical considerations;
  3. Have a sound knowledge of osteopathic principles and concepts as mapped to the equine patient;
  4. Have a good understanding of common equine orthopaedic conditions;
  5. Be able to undertake a thorough osteopathic case history – to include physical, emotional and environmental factors – utilising concepts such as the osteopathic sieve. 
  6. Be able to undertake an effective movement/gait analysis;
  7. Be able to write a clear and concise vet report that professional explains your findings;
  8. Undertake a thorough, effective and appropriate assessment of the equine patient– actively and passively. This must include ALL joints of the animal and their musculature in a calm, rhythmical and therapeutic manner.
  9. Consider a logical list of differential hypotheses – based on your assessment and clinical findings;
  10. Request appropriate tests by a vet if required;
  11. Conclude with a working hypothesis before the commencement of any treatment;
  12. Devise an effective treatment plan and undertake appropriate structural treatment – to include: joint specific articulation, soft tissue and stretching;
  13. Offer sound home advice and a management plan to the owner.
  14. Feel comfortable studying and researching topics, papers and content, autonomously;
  15. In line with the above, Diploma Pathway (Level 2) students must be in regular clinical practice.

If you cannot undertake such a routine (competently and safely) or this process is something that you have not performed in the last 12-24 months, we highly recommend that you first take Level One. If however, you feel that you have a good handle on most of the above content, but do not have an osteopathic background (or would just like the opportunity to refresh and join Day 0 for extra hands on experience ), we recommend the Equine Conversion Course (see below).

Attending the Diploma without this baseline, is likely to lead to frustration and ineffective learning. You may also be asked to leave if your weakness is disrupting other students. See each course page for more details.

The Foundation Course and Diploma combined, give you everything you need to start a career as a safe, competent, critically reflective equine practitioner. However, for the more discerning practitioner, the Advanced Diploma is an extension of the Diploma, offering an unabridged osteopathic toolkit. These advanced modules extend your veterinary and osteopathic knowledge and enhance the tests and techniques you can use to safely manage diverse clinical cases.

Please note: All Diploma modules can be taken in isolation. However, students must realise that they are intended to be taken as part of the Academic Pathway, and as such, reference to previous modules does take place in the coursework. Graduates of individual modules will only be given a CPD Certificate if taken in isolation and out of sequence. Please also be aware that some modules have prerequisite modules.

Equine Diploma Modules: 

Module 1: Osteopathic Concepts & Philosophies (Part II) 

Module 2The Equine Limbs 

Module 3The Equine Spine

Module 4General Health Screening (GHS) & Functional Neurology

Module 5Balanced Ligamentous (and Tissue) Tension for the Equine Patient

Module 6Veterinary Approach to Equine Conditions with Osteopathic Considerations & Integration

Module 7Clinical Competence & Professional Practice


Those wishing to bypass the Foundation Course from a non-osteopathic background, would be required to undertake our Equine Osteopathic Conversion Course or the Equine Functional Osteopathic Conversion Course. This will help to ensure that you understand the backbone of osteopathic principles and approaches before embarking upon the Diploma.

Whilst we appreciate that there is some overlap between other manual/physical therapies and osteopathic approaches to the animal patient, there are also fundamental differences (especially at the more advanced levels of study). As such, it is important that we ensure that all those who study with us, understand these differences and practice in a way that embraces this subtle yet powerful way of assessing and treating.

It is also our expectation that any prospective students who applies directly to level II, does so in the knowledge that their functional anatomy (osteology, myology and arthrology) is well versed and up to date.

If you feel that you fulfil criteria and want to enrol on the Diploma Pathway, drop us a line on contact@animalosteoppathyinternational.com and we can send you an application form and answer any questions you may have. We are also happy to arrange meetings – via Skype or Click Meeting (our teaching platform) for those who would prefer to talk to us about their experience and where thy might fit in. Please remember, we are here to help you, so don’t be afraid to reach. out 🙂

Payment for the Diploma

On each of the 7 module pages, you will see a price. Depending on the cost of each course, flexible payments maybe available. Students have the option to purchase each module as they go, BUT if you want to attain a Diploma, you MUST successfully complete ALL modules in order – as they are designed to lead neatly on from one to another, to ensure that students have a full professional skill set from which to start in animal practice. 

Total price of all 7 modules would be: £3023.00* (if each module is paid in full and not through flexible payments) or you can pay one module at a time, so long as you complete all 7 modules in 24 months max.

*Plus local taxes where applicable. 

Successful completion of all Diploma Modules leads to a Diploma in Equine Functional Osteopathy

For students who want to undertake all 7 modules as a Diploma Pathway, please inform AOI from the start. Your journey will include: 

  • All online content including sessional webinars; 
  • All practicums, including refreshments (and lunch on full days); 
  • All assessments and assignments; 
  • First refusal on all practicum dates to ensure that you can attend the dates you want;
  • A fluid learning environment that allows you to develop your knowledge in a way that helps you to integrate both your theoretical and practical skills from one module to another;
  • Ongoing support and continuity with your cohort, to instil a sense of camaraderie with your group and fellow colleagues. This offers a much nicer sense of community when undertaking group activities.