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Course overview

Launch your rewarding healthcare career with confidence as we prepare you in key areas of practice to work as a newly qualified physiotherapist.

You'll make a difference to a patient's quality of life as you learn to promote, restore and maintain movement and function, whether this has been affected by injury, disability or illness. In practice your work will have real-world impact, improving patients' physical, psychological and social wellbeing.

We develop you as an individual as you learn in a supportive, nurturing environment. Our curriculum uses a patient-centred approach where you will practice and adapt your skills to meet the needs of individuals across a variety of clinical situations, for example, in hospitals and private clinics.

You will benefit from a mix of teaching with clinical practice, giving hands-on context to what you learn. Our practical skills-based teaching uses a range of methods, including movement analysis and exercise-based equipment (for example, gym balls, weights and balance equipment) and manikins for respiratory teaching to enhance your learning experience.

Why choose this course?

  • Our BSc Physiotherapy degree programme is ranked 2nd in the UK in The Guardian Best UK universities for health professions 2021
  • Be part of a small division with a strong support network of staff and students
  • Broaden your experience of the profession with the opportunity to undertake diverse placements across the East Midlands region
  • Develop your professional skills in collaborative learning opportunities with health care students across the University
  • Widen your perspective of the profession with the option to undertake an international placement

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2021 entry.

UK entry requirements
A level offer AAB
Required subjects

A levels: one of which must be in biology or physical education, or acceptable biological science (i.e. human biology). Applicants are required to pass the practical element of assessment in biology, chemistry and/or physics if assessed separately. General studies not accepted.

Plus a minimum of five GCSEs at grade 9-5 (A*-B), taken in one sitting, to include maths, English language and either biology or integrated/combined sciences.
Please note: you must have achieved the GCSEs at the point of application and not at the point of entry.

IB score 34 (minimum of three subjects at Higher Level, including 6 in biology at Higher Level)

Alternative qualifications

 BTEC National Extended Diploma

  • Sport and exercise science pathway - other pathways may be considered
  • Distinction profile (DDD)

Other BTEC diplomas are accepted at (DD profile) if accompanied by A level biology or physical education at grade B

We are happy to consider alternative qualifications on an individual basis. For individual advice, please make an enquiry.

Qualifications for applicants considering a career change or return to academic study

Previous degree

2:1 in a relevant subject (if in a non-relevant subject, contact us for advice).

No previous academic suitability

Applicants who have no relevant academic qualifications, or failed to achieve the required grades, are expected to have a GCSE grade 4 (C) in maths and English language or equivalent, plus one of the following: 

  • A levels: two academic A levels (to include biology or physical education) at B grades.
  • Access Diploma: science or health based; with a minimum of 24 credits in biology. Total of 60 credits are required with 45 passed at level 3. A minimum of 30 level 3 credits must be at distinction.
  • Open University qualifications: 30 points at Level 2, accrued within one year at Pass Grade 2. SK299 Human Biology is usually the accepted module.

Interview

Please note that an an interview is a mandatory requirement in line with our professional and regulatory body requirements.

Work experience

Physiotherapy is a vocational degree and applicants need to be enthusiastic about the profession and sure in their own minds that they really want to be a physiotherapist. 

We require you to undertake as much physiotherapy work experience as possible primarily within the NHS hospital and community settings before applying. Experience in other areas, such as special schools, private practice, sports clinics, and centres for the elderly will strengthen your application.   

Without work experience it is likely that your application will be rejected.

Please note, we are not expecting any work experience to have taken place or be ongoing after March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Your application for 2021 entry will not be negatively affected if you’ve been unable to complete work experience you had planned.

Health and Criminal Records screening

All applicants are subject to satisfactory health screening, by Occupational Health, and Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks before they can commence the course.

Minimum age requirement

We do not consider your application if you will be under 17 years and 9 months on the 1 September of the year you start your course.

Foundation progression options

If you don't meet the requirements for this course and you are a UK or EU student, you might want to consider our one year Health Sciences Foundation Certificate

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

Teaching methods

  • Case-based learning
  • Clinical skills sessions
  • Lectures
  • Placements
  • Practical classes
  • Problem-based learning
  • Seminars
  • Small group learning
  • Self-study
  • Tutorials

How you will be assessed

Assessment methods

  • Case studies
  • Coursework
  • Dissertation
  • Essay
  • Formative assessments
  • Lab reports
  • Objective structured clinical exams
  • Portfolio (written/digital)
  • Poster presentation
  • Practical exams
  • Presentation
  • Workplace-based assessment

Contact time and study hours

You can expect between 12-24 hours of contact time per week, with 12-24 hours of independent self-guided study each week.

You will also complete 32 weeks of supervised clinical practice throughout your degree programme. In order to comply with the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, you will undertake a minimum of 1,000 hours of supervised clinical practice. For each week that you are on placement, you'll work for approximately 36 hours, although the times for each placement may vary slightly. Some placements may require you to work longer days or weekends but you will be notified of this in advance.

Study abroad

You will have the opportunity to spend three weeks on an international clinical elective placement. You'll arrange your own placement and have the potential to go anywhere in the world, provided the country is deemed safe and you are supervised by a physiotherapist whose qualifications are recognised by a relevant Statutory Body, or Competent Authority.

Previous students have undertaken placements in India, Malaysia, Malawi, Spain, Sri Lanka, Uganda and the USA.

As the elective placement takes place in June during the third year, many students choose to do some travelling, or take a holiday at the end of their placement.

Placements

In years two and three you will undertake placements to gain a variety of practical experience. There are 32 weeks of supervised clinical practice (split into eight four-week blocks) in the core areas of physiotherapy.

These are designed to reinforce what you have learned on the course, meaning that you will be well-prepared for practice in the workplace with a whole range of skills that you have developed. 

We work with a number of hospital trusts offering expertise across Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire and Leicestershire.

Placement locations and areas of practice could include:

  • outpatients (clinic or gym based)
  • neurology (may include stroke rehabilitation)
  • cardio respiratory (experience on intensive or high dependency units, community cardiac or pulmonary rehabilitation)
  • paediatrics
  • oncology
  • community
  • inpatient elective
  • trauma orthopaedics (either elective, trauma, or spinal)

We have a clinical placements team who organise all placements and visit you whilst on placement, providing student support services. Visits generally take place midway and at the end of the placement, to coincide with the clinical educator mid/final assessment, though are available as often as required if you need additional support.

Modules

This year provides the basis of the academic concepts and practical skills required for professional practice, including:

  • anatomy
  • physiology
  • common musculoskeletal conditions
  • basic research skills
  • an introduction to professional development

There are no placements in year one, as we focus on equipping you with the skills to undertake your first placement in year two.

Developing Evidence-Based Practice (research)

This module includes:

  • introduction to the process of evidence based practice in a logical sequence and over the course of the year
  • basic principles underpinning evidence-based practice
  • development of skills and ability to use evidence to inform clinical decision making
  • development of basic search strategies including; literature search, literature critique and application of literature to clinical practice

Teaching and learning delivery includes lectures, tutorials, library sessions, directed activities and a mini conference.

Pathophysiology 1 and 2

The module aims to prepare you with the underpinning knowledge of:

  • basic tissue structures, specifically nerve and muscle tissue
  • physiology of muscle contraction
  • control of movement
  • mechanisms of sensation (including pain)

Teaching includes lectures, tutorials, and laboratory-based sessions. 

Musculoskeletal Disorders and Disease

This module includes:

  • mechanism of injuries to the musculoskeletal system
  • pathology of disease e.g. developmental conditions, tumours, bone diseases
  • healing and management of fractures
  • healing and management of soft tissue injuries e.g. ligament, tendon and muscle injury
  • pathology and management of rheumatological conditions e.g. osteoarthritis

This module teaching includes direct teacher contact, lectures and tutorials, directed study, clinical skills sessions and independent learning.  

Neuromusculoskeletal Studies 1 and 2

This module will develop:

  • a solid foundation of knowledge that relates to human structure, function and movement
  • basic physiotherapy assessment and treatment skills
  • promote an awareness of core physiotherapeutic concepts
  • the focus is on the cervical spine and upper limb in semester one
  • the focus is on the lumbar spine, hip, knee, foot and ankle in semester two

Teaching includes a variety of lecture and practical-based sessions, anatomy dissection and gym-based practical work. 

Personal and Professional Development 1

This module will develop:

  • effective study skills and management of your own learning
  • the ability to integrate knowledge gained in different subject areas to assist future learning
  • learning styles, reflection and development of strategies to facilitate independent learning
  • topics include the physiological effects of illness or injury on an individual and the family, including quality of life

Teaching includes a variety of lecture and seminar-based sessions, interprofessional learning and independent study. 

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules may change or be updated over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for the latest information on available modules.

The second year builds on the basic knowledge and practical skills acquired in year one.

You will start to consider more specialist areas, for instance:

  • cardiorespiratory
  • neurology
  • long term complex conditions.

You will begin your supervised clinical practice. The first placement takes place in mid October/November of year two.

Management of Cardiorespiratory Conditions (semester three only)

This module aims to:

  • prepare you to manage patients with acute or chronic respiratory and cardiovascular disease
  • increase your knowledge of predisposing factors and the pathological processes of disease
  • consider current management, treatment programmes and medication
  • enable identification of a patients’ problem and select appropriate treatment methods

Teaching and learning delivery is through a variety of lecture and practical-based sessions.

Management of Musculoskeletal Conditions (semester three only)

This module will:

  • develop your critical reasoning, assessment and treatment skills and concepts within assessment and treatment of musculoskeletal conditions relevant to physiotherapy
  • consider the use of therapeutic techniques such electrotherapy (TENS, ultrasound) in the management of soft tissue injuries and associated pain
  • introduce hydrotherapy in the management of soft tissue injuries & associated pain
  • promote professional conduct and the clinical responsibilities of the physiotherapist

Teaching delivery is through a variety of lectures, seminars and practical classes. 

Management of Neurological Conditions (year-long)

This module aims to:

  • provide an insight into the natural ageing process
  • consider the manner in which society regards the elderly both when in good health and when they are not
  • focus on the pathology, progression and effects of neurological diseases and the possible strategies of care available to the elderly. Eg stroke, falls, Parkinson's disease
  • identify patient problems and discuss how these might be addressed 

Teaching includes the use of case studies, clinical reasoning and practical skills. The delivery is through a variety of lectures, seminars and practical clinic-based sessions. 

Management of Long Term and Complex Conditions (year-long)

This module aims to:

  • introduce the treatment and management of patients and carers with more complex conditions and problems

Teaching is delivered through a combination of lectures, practical-based sessions, clinical sessions and independent learning. The module adopts a case study approach in the final semester. 

Personal and Professional Development 2

This module aims to:

  • build upon the theme of personal and professional communication and management introduced in year one
  • focus on communication, specifically written medical records in advance of clinical placement
  • consider professionalism and the development of personality
  • identify the individual and consequence of behaviour
  • promotes team work, leadership and management

Teaching is delivered through a combination of lectures, group-based activities, interprofessional and independent learning.

Research Methods and Planning

This module aims to:

  • promote interest and ability to identify potential areas and topics for research
  • supports students in developing a particular research question
  • consider how to select appropriate design and analysis in relation to research questions
  • develop skills around the concept of statistical significance and hypothesis testing
  • builds upon the data analysis and interpretation skills introduced in year one

Teaching is delivered through a variety of lectures, seminar and computer-based sessions. 

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules may change or be updated over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for the latest information on available modules.

We offer a flexible approach to learning in year three, enabling you to select modules based on your study interests.

This choice also extends into one of the four clinical placements, where you can choose from a variety of special interests, which could include the following:

  • paediatrics
  • women's health
  • adult learning disabilities
  • mental health
  • burns and plastics
  • oncology
  • rheumatology

Compulsory

Personal and Professional Development 3

This module aims to:

  • continue to develop self-management which is established throughout the previous two years
  • focus on independent learning and reflection to enable effective self-evaluation on academic and clinical performance
  • consider and discuss historical and contemporary professional issues and how these might impact the role and responsibility of physiotherapists 
  • cover the construction of curriculum vitae, personal statements, application forms and interview skills in detail

Teaching delivery and learning includes both lecture and group seminar-based sessions. Case studies, inter-professional learning, and mock interviews are widely included. 

Physiotherapy Project

Over the course of your final year, you’ll have the opportunity to produce a self-directed piece of work, supported by an academic supervisor throughout. You’ll chose an area of research worthy of investigation in the field of physiotherapy and perform a thorough examination through a long essay and a presentation of your project. This module is 100% self-directed although you will have scheduled progress meetings with your supervisor to keep you on track.

Optional

You will have the opportunity to select four optional modules during year three.
Optional modules are delivered over six full days over a six week period.

Please note optional modules may change in future years of this course, as a result of the coronavirus situation or other factors, such as developments in the curriculum. Where we have to make changes to modules, we will update this online prospectus as soon as we can.

The below list is not exhaustive but provides examples of optional modules:

Analysis of Human Movement

This module aims to provide you with an understanding of human movement analysis. The module also aims to provide practical experience in measuring and analysing human movement using data collection equipment, while building on existing skills to evaluate critically the output of these tools and methods. The module aims to demonstrate the relevance of movement analysis to current clinical practice and explore it's use in a clinical or research setting.

The module will:

  • provide an understanding of human movement analysis
  • develop practical experience in measuring and analysing human movement
  • utilise data collection equipment (force plates, muscle strength) and develop skills to critically evaluate these tools and methods
  • consider the relevance of movement analysis to current physiotherapy practice
  • explore the use of movement analysis in both the clinical and research settings 

Teaching delivery is through a variety of lectures, external speakers, group-based seminars and practical sessions.

A Combined Approach to Rehabilitation of the Spine 1 and 2

This module aims to:

  • focus on the lumbar spine and pelvis
  • develop skills in the application and reasoning of anatomical, biomechanical and practical clinical approaches to the assessment and treatment of the spine
  • explore the rationale, philosophy and practical techniques behind different treatment approaches
  • utilise current evidence to underpin current practice within the field

Teaching delivery is through a variety of lectures, external speakers, group-based seminars and practical sessions.

Cardio-Respiratory

This module aims to:

  • build on the knowledge and understanding of problems, presentation and therapeutic management of patients with cardio-respiratory disease
  • consider the role of the physiotherapist as part of a multi-professional team in a variety of speciality areas such as burns, palliative care, cystic fibrosis and others

Teaching delivery is through a variety of lectures, group-based seminars, practical sessions and clinic-based practice visits in the hospital and community.  

Exercise Science and Therapy

This module aims to:

  • introduce the theoretical and practical elements of exercise physiology and biochemistry
  • promote an understanding of the response of the human body to exercise
  • promote an understanding of specific adaptations in the body to various forms of training
  • focuses on a range of nutritional, psychological and exercise-based strategies used to improve human physical performance and health will be examined

Teaching delivery is through a variety of lectures, external speakers, group-based seminars and practical sessions. 

Mental Health

During this module you will develop a broad based understanding of mental health disorders including issues relating to personal, social, cultural, ethical and legislative implications in healthcare. The module considers the aetiology, pathology and management of mental health/challenges related to anxiety, depression and dissociation, psychosis, dementia, substance dependency, suicide, eating disorders and self-harm.

Neurorehabilitation

This module aims to:

  • develop a greater insight into the problems and presentations of patients with disorders of the nervous system
  • focus particularly on the areas of posture and balance
  • build upon previous knowledge gained from both academic and clinical study in year two
  • consider the physiological bases behind major concepts of treatment
  • gain greater awareness of physiotherapeutic practice with patients with neurological conditions/disease

Teaching delivery is through a variety of lectures, external speakers, group-based seminars and practical and clinical based sessions.

Paediatric Care

The module aims to develop your understanding of specific concepts of the physiotherapeutic management of conditions encountered during childhood. It will build on the physiological and psychological aspects of orthopaedic, neurological and respiratory pathologies covered earlier in the programme, and consider both therapy management, alongside other healthcare professionals, and interdisciplinary working.

Physical Activity for Health

This module aims to:

  • develop effectiveness in health promotion and care provision
  • increase awareness of the psychological and sociological perspectives of exercise and activity participation
  • consider the definitions and descriptions of models of physical activity for health
  • explore the benefits and barriers of exercise models for different target populations 

Teaching delivery is through a variety of lectures, external speakers, group-based seminars and practical sessions. 

Rheumatology

This module further develops your understanding and knowledge of a range of rheumatological conditions. The nature, presentation and underlying pathophysiology is reviewed and the impact of rheumatological disease is discussed from a biopsychosocial viewpoint. The role of the multi-disciplinary team in the education and management of the patient is explored and physiotherapeutic assessment and treatment skills are developed.

Sports Medicine and Injuries

This module aims to:

  • introduce the discipline of Sports Medicine
  • promote an understanding of the role of the physiotherapist within the context of sport
  • consider the roles and perspectives of various other members of the multidisciplinary team
  • focus on the injuries and medical conditions in sport
  • incorporate an evening visit to a professional sports facility to observe sports physiotherapy in practice

Teaching delivery is through a variety of lectures, external speakers, group-based seminars and practical sessions.

Women's Health

This module aims to:

  • introduce the discipline of women’s health
  • develop an understanding of the changes that occur at various stages throughout a woman’s life
  • develop an understanding of how changes may affect physical and psychological health
  • explore issues around sexual health, promotion of a healthy lifestyle and inequalities in healthcare
  • develop knowledge and understanding of current physiotherapeutic management of musculoskeletal problems associated with childbirth

Teaching delivery is through a variety of lectures, external speakers, group-based seminars and practical sessions.

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules may change or be updated over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for the latest information on available modules.

Fees and funding

UK students

£9,250
Per year

International students

£25,000*
Per year
*For full details including fees for part-time students and reduced fees during your time studying abroad or on placement (where applicable), see our fees page.

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland starting your course in the 2021/22 academic year, you will pay international tuition fees.

This does not apply to Irish students, who will be charged tuition fees at the same rate as UK students. UK nationals living in the EU, EEA and Switzerland will also continue to be eligible for ‘home’ fee status at UK universities until 31 December 2027.

For further guidance, check our Brexit information for future students.

Additional costs

As a student on this course, you should factor some additional costs into your budget, alongside your tuition fees and living expenses. This includes around £30 for skeleton hire (please note skeleton hire is optional) and the costs of purchasing suitable sport clothing, such as trainers and swimwear, for practical sessions. You are provided with uniform however you may wish to purchase additional items. You should be able to access most of the books you’ll need through our libraries, though you may wish to purchase your own copies.

You will need to pay £40 for an enhanced DBS check, and you may wish to subscribe to the DBS update service for £13 per year.

Travel to your placements is self-funded and costs will vary depending on location. However, you may be eligible to reimburse some of your travel and accommodation costs while on placement.

Please note that these figures are approximate and subject to change.

Scholarships and bursaries

As an allied health student, you will receive an additional payment of at least £5000 a year of government funding which you will not need to pay back. This funding will be introduced from September 2020 and further information is available on the government website.

Supporting promising athletes 

Our range of sports scholarships are aimed at providing an unrivalled level of support to the brightest and best talents in the sporting world. We have four current sports scholarship packages as well as a range of specialist options. For full details, please see the sports scholarships webpage.

Home students*

Over one third of our UK students receive our means-tested core bursary, worth up to £1,000 a year. Full details can be found on our financial support pages.

* A 'home' student is one who meets certain UK residence criteria. These are the same criteria as apply to eligibility for home funding from Student Finance.

International/EU students

We offer a range of Undergraduate Excellence Awards for high-achieving international and EU scholars from countries around the world, who can put their Nottingham degree to great use in their careers. This includes our European Union Undergraduate Excellence Award for EU students and our UK International Undergraduate Excellence Award for international students based in the UK.

These scholarships cover a contribution towards tuition fees in the first year of your course. Candidates must apply for an undergraduate degree course and receive an offer before applying for scholarships. Check the links above for full scholarship details, application deadlines and how to apply.

Careers

By the end of the course you will have a sound knowledge of the fundamentals of physiotherapy and will have extensive experience of relating theories to practice in your clinical placements. You will have developed skills in research, and spent considerable time on personal development.

In the UK, most physiotherapists work within the wide variety of specialities offered by the NHS, including:

  • burns and plastics
  • healthcare of the elderly
  • maternity
  • mental health
  • neurology
  • orthopaedics
  • out-patients
  • paediatrics
  • respiratory
  • women's health 

However, there are many other settings open to you including research and academia, charitable organisations, industry, special schools, sports centres, the armed forces, social services and veterinary practices.

Professional recognition

  HCPC-logo        chartered-society-of-physiotherapy2             

This course is recognised by the Health and Care Professions Council and The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy

Average starting salary and career progression

A newly qualified physiotherapist working in the NHS can expect to be employed at Band 5 with a minimum salary of £24,214.*

*Latest figures from healthcareers.nhs.uk (January 2020)

Studying for a degree at the University of Nottingham will provide you with the type of skills and experiences that will prove invaluable in any career, whichever direction you decide to take.

Throughout your time with us, our Careers and Employability Service can work with you to improve your employability skills even further; assisting with job or course applications, searching for appropriate work experience placements and hosting events to bring you closer to a wide range of prospective employers.

Have a look at our careers page for an overview of all the employability support and opportunities that we provide to current students.

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers (Ranked in the top ten in The Graduate Market in 2013-2020, High Fliers Research).

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Related courses

The University has been awarded Gold for outstanding teaching and learning

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) 2017-18

Disclaimer

This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.