Below, you will see the key criteria which is used to help us determine if a student is suitable for this course or not. If you come from one of the named professions, then it is likely that you will get accepted on our programme; places permitting. However, if you come from a slightly different therapeutic background, please complete the contact form below and we will answer your request individually.

Please note: this is a demanding professional course. It can be challenging  for those completely new to the field of animal medicine, and it does require that you undertake additional reading, research analysis, home study and case activities. 

Who may apply for this course? 

Regulated Professionals: 

  • Osteopaths;
  • Physiotherapists;
  • Chiropractors;
  • Doctors or Surgeons;
  • Animal practitioners from one of the above disciplines, who wish to study osteopathic approaches to equine patients and want to start from day one year one of the Diploma;
  • Veterinary Surgeons;
  • Veterinary Nurses.
  • Students of any of the above professions, who have completed their penultimate year of study and feel confident and comfortable about the additional time commitment. 

Other professionals who may apply, but will be reviewed on a case by case basis: 

  • Fully qualified equine professional bodywork therapists who have undertaken extensive professional study (including live practicums) and have been in regular clinical practice for at least 12 months – post qualification. You must also be comfortable studying at FHEQ Level 6 and above. That being the same as a degree.
  • Equinology graduates who have successfully completed the EEBW training from Equinology and are in regular clinical practice. 
ACPAT, IAVC, OCA/UCO graduates or similar professional animal practitioners, are welcome to discuss the chance of bypassing some of year one via a conversion course/assessment. Email the office with your current qualifications and ask for more information. 

Due to ongoing changes in the political landscape of animal manual medicine in the UK and Europe, AOI has opened its doors to non-osteopaths since its inception. This is because (whilst osteopathy and its philosophies are firmly embedded into our teaching strategy), animal health and welfare is at the heart of what we do and that is best supported by well trained practitioners with the right educational background, not just prerequisite titles. 

Legally, we also know that animal practitioners who are not veterinary surgeons do not have the right to treat remedial cases autonomously without veterinary referral (in the UK at least). This means that manual medicine for humans is a very different profession to that with animals. Animal practitioners need to be good communicators, team players and have the diagnostic skill set to a) do no harm and b) know when to refer back to the vet.

We have also seen enough evidence to know that an empathic vet and other professional therapists can make excellent animal practitioners with the right training. As such, this course is open to those who have a veterinary or professional therapeutic background (such as vets, veterinary nurses, osteopaths, physiotherapists, advanced bodywork therapists etc.). It is also suitable for final year students, from any of the regulated disciplines (who may start a course with us as soon as they complete their penultimate year. 

In line with the above statement, students who wish to apply for the Equine Diploma Programme and aren’t currently registered with a regulating governing body (such as GOsC, GCC, HCPC or RCVS) will be asked to map their past qualifications against our academic entry criteria under our Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Process. This is because we must make sure that those who participate in our Academic Pathway, are likely to succeed with a typical amount of study, effort and commitment. The other upside of this process is that those who already hold a professional qualification in Animal Osteopathy, Veterinary Physiotherapy or Animal Chiropractic may be better suited to year two via a conversion course, which will allow you to bypass some elements of year one.

We recommend that anyone who applies for this course, ideally be comfortable studying at degree level, be wholly comfortable around horses, have some experience handing them in a therapeutic manner and enough clinical competence from past experience, to understand the professional commitment that they are entering into. If you have not studied at degree level, you maybe asked to fulfil a prerequisite access course and an online course in Clinical Research, Methodology and Analysis (written by Dr. Nicole Rombach)  to ensure that you are properly prepared.