ELISTA Education - Education & Training in Animal Assistance & Therapy

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The Animal Assisted Therapy course is an advanced combined course offered by ELISTA Education, now encompassing content of the previous introductory ‘ethical animal use’ programme. Although anyone is welcome to apply, a professional background in health/social care/education or therapy is most likely. Applicants without this background, may be advised to first study the Human Animal Interactions or Animal Welfare programmes before commencing onto Animal Assisted Therapy (in the non-combined format) the following year.

Course Overview:

The Animal Assisted Therapy Course specifically concentrates on the ethical utilisation of animals for the physical, psychological, social and education benefits of people. Learners advance their knowledge through researching scientific studies already conducted and documenting the evidence. Competencies required to work effectively and responsibly with both animals and people are also rehearsed.

This course is accredited by the Institute of Animal Care Education.

Course Content:

The course is divided into eight modules of study, practical skills and competencies are incorporated and rehearsed and assessed during eight practical training days.

  • Ethical Animal Use (part 1)
  • Ethical Animal Use (part 2)
  • Animals as Therapy
  • The Animal, the Client and the Environment
  • Ability and Disability Awareness
  • Animals and Humans; the dynamic relationships
  • Being an Animal Assisted Therapy Facilitator
  • AAT as a business; making programme proposals

Course Delivery:

The course is delivered primarily as a home study course, with 3 workshop style weekends and an assessment day/weekend. Assessments are continuous written and practical.

Practical Training dates are; Fri 13th - Sat 14th November 2019, Fri 17th - Sat 18th January 2020, Fri 13th - Sat 14th March 2020 and Fri 19th OR Sat 20th June 2020 (Depending on group size). Training is based at the ELISTA centre near Abbeyleix Co. Laois.

Course Fee:

Total course fee for ELISTA Education Human Animal Interactions or Animal Welfare graduates making progression within 2 years is €500 (no early bird discount applicable). For applicants who wish to register for the advanced combined course in Animal Assisted Therapy having completed no previous training with ELISTA Education, the course fee is €900 (€750 with ‘early bird’ offer for applicants registering before 1st June 2019).


There are 12 places available on the Animal Assisted Therapy Course.

Applicants should complete the MAP19 Application Form before 1st June 2019 to receive ‘early bird’ registration fee discount or otherwise before 31st July 2019. Applicants who have completed an equivalent course, (for example the QQI/FETAC Level 6 Humans Animals and Society Course) with a different provider, should fill out all sections (including section C) on the MAP19 Application Form available to download below.


Animal Assisted Therapy Course Registration Form

(Animal Assisted Therapy Course Registration Form PDF Download, 444kb)