This Postgraduate Certificate equips qualified osteopaths with the knowledge and skills to apply their training to the evaluation, treatment and management of animals.

Taught by the Osteopathic Centre for Animals (OCA) and validated by the UCO, the course focuses on the osteopathic examination, evaluation and treatment of equines and canines, but the principles can be used to apply to other animals.

You will learn about the behaviour, psychology and interactions of animals, their working and/or recreational environment and the implications this may have on their physical and psychological health. On completion you will have an applied understanding of functional anatomy, conformation and biomechanics and a critical understanding of how these relate to gait, force transference and the life of the animal.

Course content includes a combination of lectures, small group discussions, animal dissection, the integration of patho-physiology and pathology, and practical sessions at local kennels and stables.

Key course features

  • This one-year credit bearing course will enable you to build on your existing knowledge and clinical skills so that you can work within the field of animal osteopathy and enable you to confidently treat a range of small and large animals.
  • The course features a mixture of lectures and discussion based work and has a strong emphasis on practical sessions in order to promote deep learning of the range of clinical skills and expertise necessary to work in this interesting area.
  • You will learn about common patho-physiological and pathological changes in animals and how this may relate to your osteopathic evaluation.
  • You will be able to explore current thinking on areas such as animal welfare, animal husbandry and farriery and how these may relate to your osteopathic understanding.
  • You will explore the legal and ethical responsibilities of an osteopath working with animals; your role in animal welfare is a central part of the course. This will be covered in theoretical sessions and embedded during the many practical sessions so that you develop inherent good practice in this field.
  • Practical sessions include dissection work and a significant amount of time spent working with a range of dogs and horses in different stables and kennels, enabling you to develop your skills as an osteopath working with animals.
  • Teaching staff are all highly experienced in the field of animal osteopathy and have been teaching nationally and internationally.
  • The course is delivered on a part-time basis enabling you to continue with work and other commitments.

Entry requirements

  • Registration with the General Osteopathic Council (for UK osteopaths) or equivalent registration with the relevant regulatory authority or association (for EU/international osteopaths)
  • Possession of appropriate indemnity insurance that includes working with animals.
  • Students whose first language is not English should be able to demonstrate fluency in spoken and written English equivalent to an IELTS overall score of 7.0
  • You will be asked to sign a declaration that you have never been banned from keeping or working with animals.

The UCO is committed to a policy of inclusion, actively seeking to widen participation and to increase opportunities for high-calibre students with the aptitude and potential to undertake a degree in osteopathy. Students from diverse ethnic and social backgrounds, UCO-leavers, mature ‘second career’ applicants and students with a range of seen and unseen disabilities are all warmly welcomed. Every application to the UCO is considered on its own merits.

Additional entry requirements

Due to the essential practical elements of the course, you should consider your physical abilities and any implications any disabilities may have on your ability to work safely and effectively in an environment with animals. If you have, or think you may have, a disability or special learning need which is likely to affect your studies, then you are advised to disclose this to Course Leader at the OCA, so that we can establish how to best support you.

All students must agree to comply with our Student Terms & Conditions and other Policies and Procedures.

Careers & employability

Graduates who complete this course will be sufficiently confident and competent to apply their skills and expertise to the osteopathic treatment of animals. This may be as a sole practitioners, as part of a larger osteopathic team or as part of a team of healthcare professionals working with animals, such as a veterinary practice.

Course structure & delivery

The course consists of two units with equal weighting.

Unit Credits   Level   
Unit 1:
Functional Anatomy & Biometrics
in the Osteopathic Evaluation of Animals
30 7  
Unit 2:
The Osteopathic Evaluation,
Treatment & Management of Animals
30 7  


More information can be found in the Course Information Form available to download from this page.

Unit information

More information can be found in the Course Information Form available to download from this page.

Assessment & feedback

The course is assessed through both summative and formative assessments including:

  • a critically reflective account
  • case reports
  • case analysis 
  • practical skills assessments

More information can be found in the Course Information Form available to download from this page.

Mode of study


Dates & duration

September - July, 1 year 


Osteopathic Centre for Animals (OCA)
Orchard House
Portway, Wantage
OX12 9BU

Award & awarding body

Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert), University College of Osteopathy

Discussions with AECC University College 
The UCO is currently in discussion with AECC University College about a proposed merger to create a unique inter-disciplinary environment for education, clinical practice and research in osteopathy, chiropractic, and across a wide range of allied health and related disciplines. This may involve a change to the awarding body for UCO courses. About the proposed merger...

Professional body accreditation


Facilities & resources

In addition to resources available at the Osteopathic Centre for Animals, students also have access to a variety of resources at the UCO to support learning. These include a recently refurbished library with an extensive collection of osteopathic recources, an ergonomic IT suite, and spaces for group and independent study. Students also have access to our online resources.

Read more about our facilities and resources.

Support for students

Throughout your studies you will be supported by the Course Leader and your lecturers who are available to discuss any matters, academic, practical or otherwise, that may be affecting your studies. The UCO also has a dedicated Student Support team who are on hand to provide advice and guidance on a range of issues, including learning and welfare, budgeting and finance, disability and dyslexia, pastoral care, bereavement and personal issues, as well as counselling. Find out more.

Costs & financial support

For details of course fees please contact the Osteopathic Centre for Animals on 01235 768055 or Students should be aware that there may be some additional costs to consider when budgeting for the course. 

OCA does not offer accommodation but you can get advice on finding local accommodation at ​

How to apply

Applicants should apply directly to the Osteopathic Centre for Animals on 01235 768055 or


Please note that while the University College of Osteopathy makes every effort to run courses as advertised, courses are subject to change or cancellation if enrolment targets are not met. 

Courses are typically approved for a period of five years from the point of approval to the point of periodic course review. During this period it may be identified that modifications to a course would enhance the provision. As part of this process current students shall be consulted on any proposed change and current and prospective students shall be notified of any change.