MSci Physiotherapy

Start date
September
Duration
4 years
UCAS code
B160
Course Type
Undergraduate, Single Honours

Physiotherapy at the University of Birmingham is based in the world-leading School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences.  You will study at a research-intensive university (member of the Russell Group) that offers teaching excellence and a long tradition of physiotherapy education.

Our four-year MSci Physiotherapy programme provides the time and space to ensure students optimally develop their clinical skills and experience alongside academic excellence.

Completing the programme provides eligibility for full membership of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and registration as a physiotherapist with the Health and Care Professions Council.

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

Why study this course?

There are plenty of reasons to study Physiotherapy MSci at Birmingham:

  • A great place to study – Physiotherapy at the University of Birmingham is based in the world-leading School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences.  You will study at a research-intensive university (member of the Russell Group) that offers teaching excellence and a long tradition of providing physiotherapy education.  It is a great place to start your career.
  • A 4-year MSci programme – our 4-year programme provides you with the time and space to optimally develop your clinical skills and experience alongside academic excellence.
  • Excellent placement experience – Birmingham is the UK’s second city with a diverse population of over one million people.  The city is served by some outstanding healthcare facilities (e.g. Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham Children's Hospital, Royal Orthopaedic Hospital) that provide many practice-based placement opportunities for our students.  We take a patient-centred approach to preparing students for placements, with time for reflection on these experiences, ensuring our graduates are prepared for a career as a physiotherapist in a range of contemporary and culturally-diverse healthcare settings
  • Optional modules – The school has many subject experts in physiotherapy, exercise and rehabilitation-related fields.  In the final two years of the programme, you will have the opportunity to study some optional modules, allowing you to follow your specific interests, broaden your perspectives and study alongside other students in the school, including intercalating medical students.
  • Research – As you might expect from a university like ours, the programme has a strong emphasis on science and research.  You will be supported to develop your academic and research skills from Day 1 with related modules spiralling through the years and culminating in students undertaking a major research project in their final year.

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Modules

Please note: You will take 120 credits of modules in each year of study. The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. Unless indicated otherwise, the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2022. On rare occasions, we may need to make substantive changes to compulsory modules; in this event, we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.

Year 1

Compulsory modules

Functional Anatomy & Movement

Human Physiology & Exercise

Becoming a Researcher

Sport, Exercise & Health Psychology

Clinical & Exercise Biochemistry

Scientific and Professional Communication

 

Year 2

Compulsory modules

Clinical Physiotherapy Skills

Long-Term Conditions & Rehabilitation (Community)

Musculo-Skeletal Rehabilitation (Clinic)

Developing as a Researcher

Preparation for Physiotherapy Practice

Acute Care & Rehabilitation (Hospital)

Data Science & Statistical Analyses

 

Year 3

Compulsory modules

Integrated Physiotherapy Practice

Developing Clinical Reasoning Skills

Literature Review

Research Design & Service Evaluation

Two Option modules - Example option modules may include:

Analysis of Motor Performance

Exercise as Medicine

Athletic Training & Conditioning

Clinical Neuroscience & Rehabilitation

Sport & Mental Health

Performing in Extreme Environments

Strategic & Innovation Management (Business School)

Metabolic Perspectives in Exercise & Nutrition

 

Year 4

Compulsory Modules

Constructing Learning from Practice

Research Project

Inter-disciplinary Research & Impact OR Research Skills for Team Science

One Option module - Example option modules may include:

Neuro-Muscular Adaptation to Training

Sports Medicine (Football)

Pain Science & Management

 

Practice-Based Education Placements

You will complete six practice-based education placements during the programme; one in Year 2, two in each of Years 3 and 4 and an elective placement during the summer period between the final two years.  Each placement is six weeks in length and you attend on a 4 days/week basis.  One day per week is protected for you to attend the university to support your ongoing academic studies and so you can maintain any extra-curricular activities (e.g. university sport).

Fees

How To Apply

Apply through UCAS at www.ucas.com  
Learn more about applying

Standard offer

International Requirements



Number of A levels required:
3
Typical offer:
AAB
Required subjects and grades:
A level Biology/Human Biology or PE at grade A.

For 2022 entry,  

A total of seven GCSEs; required subjects will be:

  • English Language at grade 6/B or higher.
  • Mathematics (or one, but not both, of Methods in Mathematics and Applications of Mathematics) at grade 7/A or higher
  • Biology and Chemistry or dual award science at grade 6/B or higher

The remainder of the GCSEs should be at grade 5/C or higher.

For Pathways to Birmingham (A2B/R2P etc.) applicants:

  • Have a minimum of seven GCSEs including English Language, Maths, Chemistry and Biology (or Double Award Science) at 6655 in any order

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 6/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 DBS 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. 

Please note that not declaring in advance anything that you are aware of may have an impact on the outcome on the decisions we make regarding your application.   

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.

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.

Applicants who take the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) and meet our offer criteria will be made the typical offer for the programme, plus an alternative offer, which will be one grade lower plus a grade A in the EPQ.

 

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.

Physiotherapy at the University of Birmingham is based in the world-leading School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences.  You will study at a research-intensive university that offers teaching excellence and a long tradition of physiotherapy education.

Our four-year MSci Physiotherapy programme provides the time and space to ensure students optimally develop their clinical skills and experience alongside academic excellence.

Teaching on the programme is delivered using a range of contemporary methods such as small group tutorials, practical classes, lectures, seminars and laboratory-based workshops as well as lectures.  There is an emphasis on inert-disciplinary and inter-professional learning and we increasingly take a blended approach to education.

Year by year

Year One of the programme provides an introductory year for students transitioning to higher education.  The year is shared with BSc Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences.  You will have weekly tutorials with a personal tutor to support the development of your academic and professional skills while also studying the basic and applied sciences underpinning physiotherapy (anatomy and movement, human physiology and exercise, exercise and health psychology).

In Year Two, there is a strong emphasis on developing your clinical knowledge and related physiotherapy skills.  Physiotherapists work in diverse settings (e.g. hospital-based acute care and rehabilitation, community-based rehabilitation for long term conditions, clinic-based physiotherapy for musculo-skeletal disorders) and you will be prepared for practice-based placements in each of these areas; the first of these takes place towards the end of Year Two.

In Year Three, you will complete two practice-based placements and further develop your clinical reasoning.  University-based study will focus on more complex clinical cases and other specialist areas where physiotherapists practice.  You will continue to develop your academic and research skills, completing a literature review in an area of interest and studying a module focusing on research design and service evaluation.  You will also select and study two optional modules.  Current options include (but are not limited to) Analysis of Motor Performance, Exercise as Medicine, Athletic Training and Conditioning, Clinical Neuroscience and Rehabilitation, Mental Health and Sport.

In the summer period/holidays between Years Three and Four, you will complete an elective placement.  Students arrange these placements themselves (with support) and often travel to different countries, providing a unique opportunity to experience healthcare in an unfamiliar setting.  Elective placements also provide an opportunity for students to gain experience in a specialist clinical area of particular interest.

In Year Four you will complete your final two practice-based placements, developing your critical thinking and clinical reasoning based on these experiences.  This work will prepare you for employment as a physiotherapist and your continuing professional development post-registration.  Another major focus in your final year will be your research project.  Options here are varied, reflecting the diversity of research in the school with many opportunities to undertake laboratory or field-based studies exploring contemporary issues relating to exercise, health and rehabilitation.

Practice-Based Education Placements

Practice-based education placements occur across the final three years of the programme and you will be assessed on each according to the stage of the programme.

Learning in practice-based settings is a critical and compulsory part of the programme. All students have to successfully complete a minimum of 1000 hours of practice-based education during the programme.

We take a patient-centred approach to preparing students for placements, with time for reflection on these experiences, ensuring our graduates are prepared for a career as a physiotherapist in a range of contemporary and culturally-diverse healthcare settings.

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.

In the summer period/holidays between Years 3 and 4, you will complete an elective placement.  Students arrange these placements themselves (with support) and often travel to different countries, providing a unique opportunity to experience healthcare in an unfamiliar setting.  Elective placements also provide an opportunity for students to gain experience in a specialist clinical area of particular interest.

Please note, there may be expenses incurred with travel and/or accommodation on practice-based education placements.

Support

You will have access to a comprehensive support system to help you make the transition to Higher Education.

  • Personal tutors - 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.
  • Wellbeing officers - We have dedicated wellbeing officers 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.
  • Academic Skills Centre - The centre aims to help you become a more effective and independent learner through a range of high-quality support services. The centre offers workshops on a range of topics, such as note-taking, reading, academic writing and presentation skills.
  • Student experience - Our Student Experience Team will help you get the most out of your academic experience. They will offer research opportunities, study skills support and help you prepare for your post-university careers. They will also organise social events, such as field trips, to help you meet fellow students from your course.

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.

Seminars and tutorials

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.

Lecturers and world leading researchers

You will be taught by subject-leading academics and health professionals who are passionate about sharing their knowledge and expertise with you. You will become part of the School’s academic community, which includes professors, lecturers, visiting experts, postgraduate students and researchers.

Alongside their expertise in teaching and research, our world-leading academic staff act as consultants to schools, local education authorities, national governing bodies of sport, charities, businesses and government departments in the UK and abroad. This enables academics to bring a real-world perspective.

Resources and facilities

Our state-of-the-art sports centre sits on the corner of Bristol Road and Edgbaston Park Road, and is a gateway to the University for students, staff and our local community.

The £55 million centre encompasses a unique raft of facilities, including Birmingham’s first 50-metre swimming pool, as well as a large multi-sport arena, a range of activity and fitness studios, an extensive gym, six glass-backed squash courts and various other facilities. The centre underlines the University of Birmingham’s commitment to sport at all levels. In conjunction  with the new athletics track and astroturf facilities, it is a home for our many sports clubs, allowing them to train and compete at the highest level.

Contact Hours

When not on placement, you can typically expect around 12 hours contact time per week.  This contact will be spread across the week.

During placement blocks (36 weeks in total across the programme), you should expect to spend 30 hours working across 4 days.  You will typically also be required to attend sessions at the university on Wednesdays.

Assessment Methods

You will be assessed in a variety of ways. These include:

  • Exams (e.g. multiple choice and short answer questions, essays)
  • Coursework (e.g. reflective writing, oral and poster presentations)
  • Practicals (e.g. Objective Structured Clinical Examinations, or OSCEs)

At the beginning of each module, you will be given information on how and when you will be assessed. You will receive feedback on each assessment within three weeks, so you can learn from each assignment as you move through the programme.

Your performance on practice-based placements is also assessed; see the Common Placement Assessment Form (CPAF)

Our graduates are eligible to apply for registration as a physiotherapist with the Health and Care Professions Council and full membership of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.  This registration provides the basis to work as a physiotherapist in the National Health Service, Social Services or the private sector.  It also eases the process of registration to practice in other countries (e.g. Australia).

As a graduate from our distinctive 4-year MSci Physiotherapy programme, you will have a degree that helps you stand out in the jobs market with transferable skills in communication, critical thinking and problems solving, data analysis and interpretation, and working alongside other disciplines/professions (teamwork). 

The 4-year programme and higher level of qualification (i.e. MSci) is also more typical of physiotherapy education around the world and can ease licensing in many areas (e.g. in some American states).  Our programme is also included on the List of Quotable Qualifications by the Hong Kong Physiotherapists Board.

Most of our graduates initially select to work as Band 5 physiotherapists in the National Health Service.  The NHS has an established career structure for physiotherapists supporting professional development and progression.

An aim of our programme is to also prepare graduates for future careers as clinical academics, helping to advance practice and improve care through research.  On completion of your studies, you will be in a great position to apply for related training programmes and benefit from increasing opportunities to attract funding for physiotherapist to undertake post-registration education to PhD-level and beyond.

Physiotherapists work in a range of diverse settings including:

  • Public sector, e.g. NHS hospitals, clinics and in the community
  • Charities and voluntary organisations
  • Private sector, e.g. hospitals, private practice, care homes, sports clubs

Careers Network

Careers Network, our unique careers guidance service is tailored to your academic subject area. Our team source exclusive work experience opportunities to help you stand out amongst the competition, with mentoringglobal internships and placements available to you.  Once you have a career in your sights, one-to-one support with CVs 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.

Pitch-side assistance training – students have the opportunity to be selected and trained to provide bronze level pitch-side first aid for the university’s elite sporting teams which contain many international-level athletes.

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.

Culture and collections

Schools, institutes and departments

Services and facilities