Physiotherapy BSc (Hons)

Physiotherapy BSc (Hons)

Physiotherapy at Birmingham is a popular modular programme that offers both classroom and clinical-based experience.

2014 National Student Survey "97% of students said they were satisfied with the teaching on our Physiotherapy course"

Course fact file

UCAS code: B160

Duration: 3 years

Places Available: 63 Home / EU subject to SHA funding. Limited International places are available.

Applications in 2014: 650

Typical Offer: AAB with A in Biology, Human Biology or PE (More detailed entry requirements and the international qualifications accepted can be found in the course details)

Start date: September


Heather Watson - Alumni profilePhysiotherapists play a significant part in most health care teams, being involved in the maintenance and/or restoration of movement and function in a range of client groups.

Download the Physiotherapy undergraduate brochure (PDF 324kb)

First year

Modules are centred on the practice of physiotherapy with the relevant theoretical aspects underpinning these. Practical skills are developed through practice on your peer group. Exploration of various topics relevant to your development as a health professional, such as study skills, professional codes of conduct, cultural competence, ethics and research, will be shared with students on the Bachelor of Nursing programme. A four-week block of clinical experience will take place mid-way through the year, helping to integrate theory and practice. 

Second year

This year introduces you to social aspects of health and illness, and continues your studies in professional development.  You will build upon your first year modules, developing knowledge and skills in cardio-respiratory, neurological and musculo-skeletal physiotherapy. Three six-week clinical modules towards the end of the year enhance your clinical reasoning skills.

Third year

Your third year focuses on issues related to the context of health care. Research skills are refined in your dissertation. One module offers a choice of topics such as sports medicine and physiotherapy with children. Academic modules surround the two six-week clinical modules. 


Practice education modules occur across all three years of the programme and assessment of your practice education is continuous.

Learning within the clinical arena is an important and compulsory part of the course. All students have to successfully complete a minimum of 1000 hours of practice education during the programme.

You will be seconded to a range of diverse and exciting placements, where you will gain a variety of experiences with a wide range of client groups, under the guidance of skilled clinicians.

Placements vary as to the experience offered; you may work within the hospital environment, in community-based environments such as clinics or schools, and within the independent and voluntary sectors. You may experience a variety of working practices including extended hours and seven-day working.

Where are our placements?

Please see our placement map for details of where our placement boundaries are. 

Why study this course

This extremely popular programme is modular and comprises both University and clinically-based modules. A variety of teaching and learning methods are used within a supportive environment, with an emphasis on developing professionalism, team working and independent learning skills. Throughout all three years you will study certain aspects of the programme with students from the Bachelor of Nursing programme. This shared learning will facilitate your ability to work collaboratively with other professionals in clinical settings.

Successful completion of this popular three-year programme awards you an honours degree that is recognised by the professional body of physiotherapists - the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, and the regulatory body - the Health Professions Council.


Year 1

The following must be taken: 

Movement Science 1 (20 credits)

Movement Science 2 (10 credits)

Musculoskeletal Practice 1 (10 credits)

Patient Management (10 credits)

Patient-Centred Practice 1 (20 credits)

Patient Centred Practice (20 credits)

Practice Placement 1 (10 credits)

Research 1 (10 credits)


Year 2

The following must be taken:

Practice Placement 3 (10 credits)

Practice Placement 4  (10 credits)

Cardio-respiratory Practice  (20 credits)

Musculoskeletal Practice 2  (10 credits)

Neurological Practice  (20 credits)

Practice Placement 2  (10 credits)

Professional Development  (20 credits)

Research 2  (10 credits)

Society, Policy and Practice (10 credits)


Year 3

The following must be taken:

Practice Placement 6 (20 credits)

Advanced Integrated Physiotherapy Practice (AIPP) (20 credits)

Physiotherapy Research Dissertation (40 credits)

Practice Evaluation and Service Development (10 credits)

Practice Placement 5 (20 credits)

Select one module from the following list:

Exercise in health promotion and rehabilitation (10 credits)

Physiotherapy with Children (10 credits)


This is the current module list, but the programme continues to evolve and you should check the website regularly for any changes for next year.

Fees and funding

Students normally resident in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland qualify for Department of Health funding. This covers programme fees and may include eligibility for a means-tested maintenance grant. For further information visit

Learn more about fees and funding 
Learn more about our scholarships and awards

Entry requirements

Number of A levels required: 3

Typical offer: AAB with A in Biology, Human Biology or PE

Required subjects and grades: A level Biology/Human Biology or PE at grade A

Excluded A Levels: We do not accept Applied Science, Citizenship Studies, Communication and Culture, Critical Studies, Critical Thinking, General Studies, Global Perspectives, Moving Image Arts, Science in Society, Use of Maths and World Development.

Edexcel/BTEC Diploma: Applied Science, Health Studies or Sport and Exercise Science with D*D*D* overall and Distinctions in all units. Certain units are required in these BTECs. Other subjects at may be considered with A level Biology or PE at grade A. All BTEC students should contact us before submitting an application.

GCSE requirements: a minimum of seven GCSEs are required at grades A*, A and B, including English, Mathematics and Science. 

Access to Higher Education: Access to Science, Health Science or Physiotherapy: a minimum of 60 credits overall including 45 at Level 3, all with Distinctions. 36 Science credits at Level 3 (with 18 in Biology). If you do not hold English and Maths at GCSE grade B or above you will need 12 credits at Level 2 in both English and Maths in order to meet minimum University requirements.

International Baccalaureate Diploma: 35-36 points with Biology grade 6 at Higher Level

Graduate Entry Requirements: A relevant degree at 2.1 plus minimum BBB at A level or an unrelated degree at 2.1 plus minimum BBB to include Biology at A level.

Non-academic conditions of entry:

We are looking for candidates who can enable effective patient care framed around good patient experiences. We would like to recruit candidates who are caring, compassionate, capable of putting patients before their organisation or self, work with others to deliver care which is tailored to a person and therefore improve their lives and lives of their families and carers. Ideally candidates should be open and honest and be able to communicate effectively and clearly with service users. We would like to recruit and train candidates who are innovative and safe and who will strive for excellence in care.  Candidates who apply should have a strong ethical stance on equality, non-discrimination and fairness (based on NHS constitution, 2013).

A satisfactory health declaration, including evidence of appropriate immunisations, and other regulatory checks (such as DBS - see below) are required from accepted candidates before registration for the programme. 

Students will be required to complete a successful Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check before admission to the programme.

For healthcare profession courses no convictions, cautions, reprimands or warnings are considered “spent”, this includes those that may have been received when a minor (i.e. under the age of 18).

Declaring any matter likely to be recorded on your enhanced CRB disclosure does not automatically rule you out from becoming a physiotherapist. However, you will have to provide information about this to enable us to make a decision about any offer made. 

All students will be required to sign the subject-specific Fitness to Practise Code of Conduct on entry, details of which will be forwarded with an offer letter.

Additional information:

We are influenced in our selection for the physiotherapy programme by a number of different factors, over and above your academic record. We like, for example to see evidence of your motivation for a career in physiotherapy, and your outside interests too are a pointer to whether you are the sort of person likely to make the most of the degree.

Achieving the minimum entry requirements does not guarantee an interview.

  1. Other qualifications are considered - learn more about entry requirements.
  2. Applicants must gain insight into the breadth of work of the physiotherapist prior to application to ensure informed decision making regarding choice of programme and future profession. This should include shadowing (observing) a physiotherapist and visiting websites related to physiotherapy such as that of the CSP, HPC and NHS. The University open days also provide opportunities to explore the scope of physiotherapy practice meet current physiotherapy students and gain an outline of the physiotherapy degree programme.
  3. Applicants will have been in education within the last 3 years.
  4. Evidence of IT and interpersonal skills development are required.
  5. All candidates offered a place will have been interviewed.
  6. Transfer applicants - we do not consider applicants who have studied, or are studying, physiotherapy elsewhere.
  7. Foundation degrees are usually not accepted.
  8. We take a positive view of what candidates with disabilities can achieve as future healthcare professionals and take seriously our obligation to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that all students with disabilities can successfully complete their studies. All applicants will be assessed up to and including the interview on the basis of the criteria outlined here regardless of any disability. If you declare a disability we will invite you to work with us together with the disability team, clinical colleagues and specialist services (RNIB, for example) to explore how best we can support your studies.
  9. Please contact us to discuss other qualifications not listed.

International students:

We have a limited number of places for International applicants each year. Applicants must achieve an IELTS qualification of 7.0 overall with no less than 6.5 in each band.

Learn more about international entry requirements

Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in the Birmingham Foundation Academy, a specially structured programme for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on the foundation academy web pages.

How to apply

Apply through UCAS at  
Learn more about applying

Key Information Set (KIS)

Key Information Sets (KIS) are comparable sets of information about full- or part-time undergraduate courses and are designed to meet the information needs of prospective students.

All KIS information has been published on the Unistats website and can also be accessed via the small advert, or ‘widget’, below. On the Unistats website you are able to compare all the KIS data for each course with data for other courses.

The development of Key Information Sets (KIS) formed part of HEFCE’s work to enhance the information that is available about higher education. They give you access to reliable and comparable information in order to help you make informed decisions about what and where to study.

The KIS contains information which prospective students have identified as useful, such as student satisfaction, graduate outcomes, learning and teaching activities, assessment methods, tuition fees and student finance, accommodation and professional accreditation.

Learning and teaching

As a Birmingham student you are part of an academic elite and will learn from world-leading experts. From the outset you will be encouraged to become an independent and self-motivated learner. We want you to be challenged and will encourage you to think for yourself.

A wide variety of teaching methods to facilitate learning such as small group teaching sessions, tutorials, practical and seminar work are used. You are encouraged to take responsibility for your own learning through identification of your learning needs and development of self-directed study skills through enquiry-based learning.

To begin with you may find this way of working challenging, but rest assured that we’ll enable you to make this transition. You will have access to a comprehensive support system that will assist and encourage you, including personal tutors and welfare tutors who can help with both academic and welfare issues, and a formal transition review during your first year to check on your progress and offer you help for any particular areas where you need support.

Some positive comments from the 2012 National Student Survey (NSS) are listed below:

“I have absolutely loved the course and I can’t wait to start my career. I have met some fantastic friends through my course and have loved learning in my degree.”

“Very interesting placements with good variety.”

“It has been a great course with lots of variety and opportunities for self-development.”

“Practice placements are an excellent way of working in the working environment and are a valuable aspect of the course.”

Assessment methods

Studying at degree-level is likely to be very different from your previous experience of learning and teaching. You will be expected to think, discuss and engage critically with the subject and find things out for yourself. We will enable you to make this transition to a new style of learning, and the way that you are assessed during your studies will help you develop the essential skills you need to make a success of your time at Birmingham.

You’ll be assessed in a variety of ways, and these may be different with each module that you take. Assessment of learning uses treatment toolkits, seminars, practical demonstrations, practice placement assessments, essays, case studies, research reports, portfolio development, dissertation, written and practical examinations.

During your first year you will undergo a formal ‘transition’ review to see how you are getting on and if there are particular areas where you need support. This is in addition to the personal tutor who is based in your school or department and can help with any academic issues you encounter.

At the beginning of each module, you’ll be given information on how and when you’ll be assessed for that particular programme of study. You’ll receive feedback on each assessment within four weeks, so that you can learn from and build on what you have done. You’ll be given feedback on any exams that you take; if you should fail an exam we will ensure that particularly detailed feedback is made available to enable you to learn for the future.


First destinations of University of Birmingham Physiotherapy graduates six months after graduation


Physiotherapy graduate destinations 2012-13Destinations of Leavers of Higher Education report (DHLE) 2012/13

Preparation for your career should be one of the first things you think about as you start university. Whether you have a clear idea of where your future aspirations lie or want to consider the broad range of opportunities available once you have a Birmingham degree, our Careers Network can help you achieve your goal.

97.8% graduate employability rate
2012/13 Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey (DLHE)

Physiotherapists are key members of most health care teams and work in public and private sectors at home and abroad, although some countries do require further proof of competence to practise. There are opportunities to develop your practice clinically as a clinical specialist or consultant physiotherapist, or you may choose to enter the fields of education, research or industry.

Have a look at our Physiotherapy careers page to see what our students go on to do after completing their BSc Physiotherapy programme.

Your Birmingham degree is evidence of your ability to succeed in a demanding academic environment. Employers target Birmingham students for their drive, diversity, communication and problem-solving skills, their team-working abilities and cultural awareness, and our graduate employment statistics have continued to climb at a rate well above national trends. If you make the most of the wide range of services you will be able to develop your career from the moment you arrive.

David Edwards - Alumni profile

Our unique careers guidance service is tailored to your academic subject area, offering a specialised team (in each of the five academic colleges) who can give you expert advice. Our team source exclusive work experience opportunities to help you stand out amongst the competition, with mentoring, global internships and placements available to you. Once you have a career in your sights, one-to-one support with CV’s and job applications will help give you the edge. In addition, our employer-endorsed award-winning Personal Skills Award (PSA) recognises your extra-curricular activities, and provides an accredited employability programme designed to improve your career prospects.

Find out more about Careers Network .

Professional accreditation

You are eligible to apply to register with both the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and the Health Professions Council on successful completion of the programme.