Physiotherapy BSc (Hons)

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

2015 National Student Survey "94% of our Physiotherapy students said that overall they are satisfied with the quality of their course, and 96% said that the Physiotherapy course is intellectually stimulating."

The University of Birmingham is ranked second for Physiotherapy in the 2017 Complete University Guide.

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Physiotherapists 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.

Rachel-Kim Dallimore

“My placements really helped to prepare me for the working world and made the transition from university to full time employment seem a lot less daunting”

Rachel-Kim Dallimore - Principal Physiotherapist at Alexandra Hospital, Singapore
Read more...

Download the Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences Undergraduate programme brochure (PDF 487kb)

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; practical and study skills, professional codes of conduct, cultural competence, psychosocial basis of patient-centred care, will be taught in the first year. 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, musculo-skeletal physiotherapy and research in practice. Two six-week clinical modules during 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 project. Modules in this year will expand your knowledge of wider practice and complex integrated care. Three clinical placements, ranging from 4 weeks to 8 weeks in duration, take place in year three.

Placements

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 allocated 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.

You will carry out an elective clinical placement to develop learning and experience diversity in practice between your second and third year.

Where are our placements?

Please see our placement map for details of where our placements 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. There are aspects of inter-professional learning, both within the University and clinical environments. 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 Care Professions Council.

Modules

Year 1

The following must be taken: 

Year 2

Year 3

The modules listed on our website comprise the BSc Physiotherapy (Hons) Programme that has been approved and validated by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC UK). In the unlikely event that a change to a module is necessary, we will let you know as soon as we can.

Fees and funding

Standard Home/EU student fees 2017-18

The Government has announced that it will raise the cap for undergraduate fees in line with inflation. Assuming that the relevant regulations are passed by Parliament, which is expected to happen in Autumn 2016, the University of Birmingham will increase fees to the revised amount, expected to be £9,250 for home/EU students. Visit our tuition fees page for more information.

Standard international student fees 2017-18

International fee
Fee Band (Undergraduate) Full-time
Band 3a (Laboratory) £19,710

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

Entry requirements

Number of A levels required:
3
Typical offer:
AAB
Required subjects and grades:
A level Biology/Human Biology or PE at grade A. Minimum of seven GCSEs grade B or above including Mathematics, English and Science.

Specified subjects excluded for entry: 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.

BTEC Diploma: 
BTEC Extended Diploma accepted in Sport & Exercise Science, Health Science, Health & Social Care and Applied Science. Grades required - D*D*D* with distinctions in all units. BTEC Extended Diplomas in other subjects will require an additional A level in Biology or PE at grade A.

BTEC Diploma accepted in Sport & Exercise Science, Health Science, Health & Social Care, Applied Science, Sport Science, Sport when offered in combination with A level in Biology or PE. Grades required - D*D* plus grade A.

BTEC Subsidiary Diploma accepted when combined with 2 A levels to include Biology or PE. Grades required D* plus AB.

All BTEC students should contact us before submitting an application.

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). English and Maths at GCSE grade B or above.

International Baccalaureate Diploma: 6,6,5  in Higher level subjects plus 32 points overall. Higher level subjects need to include the required subjects as defined for the A-level qualification, where applicable.

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:

IELTS: 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.

Standard English language requirements apply 
Learn more about international entry requirements

Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in one of our foundation pathways, which offer specially structured programmes for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on Birmingham International Academy web pages.

How to apply

Apply through UCAS at www.ucas.com  
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.

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.

What can you expect?

Throughout your Physiotherapy degree you can expect between 11-14 hours of contact time per week varying from year to year as some modules have more of a guided independent study focus than others.

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.

Katie Watson

“I loved the course as it offered a real balance of supported learning, practical and hands-on experience.”

Katie Watson - Flow Physio & Pilates
Read more...

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 be assigned your own personal tutor who will get to know you as you progress through your studies. They will provide academic support and advice to enable you to make the most of your time here at Birmingham. We also have dedicated welfare tutors who provide professional support, advice and guidance to students across a range of issues. They can meet with you to discuss extensions, disabilities, reasonable adjustments, extenuating circumstances, or talk through any problems you might be experiencing, and help you access wider support on campus and beyond.

During your first year it is important that you have a smooth transition into University. You will be able to talk to your tutors about this and discuss if there are particular areas where you need support. 

Some positive comments from the 2015 National Student Survey (NSS) are listed below:

“We get a large amount of practical experience in a wide variety of settings and I feel the course has developed my communication, clinical and professional skills.”

“Overall a thoroughly interesting, exciting and intellectually stimulating degree.”

“All the staff are incredibly enthusiastic and passionate about both the course and the profession and therefore are willing to dedicate time and effort into helping students.”

“Very friendly, approachable, helpful staff always willing to go the extra mile to support their students both in university and whilst out on placement.”

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 15 working days, 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.

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.

97.7% graduate employability rate
2014/15 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.

Andrew Dean-Young

“...the continual feedback and support from the Clinical Educators whilst on placement gave me the chance to further develop my handling skills, assessments and overall patient management”

Andrew Dean-Young - Community Band 6 Physiotherapist, S. Wales
Read more...

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 Care Professions Council on successful completion of the programme.

Birmingham has transformed into one of Europe's most exciting cities. It is more than somewhere to study; it is somewhere to build a successful future.

Clubs and societies

The Guild has over 200 Societies, community volunteering groups and associations for you to join; they cover every topic and activity that you can think of - there really is something for everyone.

Shape your academic experience

Choose to study here and you will have a Student Representative, who works with the University and Students' Union on issues that directly affect students. You could even become one yourself. Not only would you be making a difference to the academic student experience, but you would also be developing transferable skills for the future. Find out more on the Guild of Students website

Accommodation

Coming to Birmingham might be your first time living away from home. Our student accommodation will allow you to enjoy your new-found independence in safe, welcoming and sociable surroundings.

The City of Birmingham

One of Europe's most exciting destinations, Birmingham is brimming with life and culture, making it a wonderful place to live, study and work.

Our students fall in love with the city - around 40% of our graduates choose to make Birmingham their home.