Our BSc Physiotherapy course is aimed at those who are committed to helping people promote, restore and maintain movement and function, whether this has been affected by injury, disability or illness, improving patients’ physical, psychological and social wellbeing.
The course prepares students in the areas of practice needed to work as a newly qualified physiotherapist. The key is patient focus, meaning students will be expected to exercise sound judgement in a variety of clinical situations, being able to evaluate and adapt their therapeutic skills to meet the needs of the individual patient.
Not only do physiotherapists treat physically, they are also involved with health promotion and illness prevention. As a science-based profession, practitioners aim to evaluate their practice continually and add to the current body of knowledge in order to provide the best possible care for patients.
The Division of Physiotherapy sits within the School of Health Sciences, which is a research active school and has its own dedicated Rehabilitation Research Group, led by Professor Avril Drummond. All of our teaching staff have expertise in the field, contributing to key module content, while many are also practicing physiotherapists.
The physiotherapy course is very challenging, however you feel pushed to your limit to ultimately make you the best physiotherapist going into the continuously changing NHS.
- NSS student feedback, 2016
Watch our student profiles
The majority of teaching will take place in the Clinical Sciences Building at Nottingham City Hospital.
The Clinical Sciences Building is purpose-built and contains a 200-seat lecture theatre, a number of large lecture rooms, several smaller tutorial rooms and four practical rooms. These are stocked with all the equipment necessary for practical skills teaching, including:
- movement analysis equipment (e.g. cybex machine, force plates)
- electrotherapy (diagnostic and therapeutic ultrasound and shortwave therapy)
- exercise based equipment including gym balls, weights and balance equipment
- manikins equipped for respiratory teaching (e.g. auscultation dolls, suction practice and CPR)
A human performance laboratory is also based on site and is used for the analysis of human movement and biomechanics. A smaller laboratory room can be used for nerve conduction studies, imaging ultrasound and upper limb movement analysis.
Located approximately four miles from University Park Campus, Nottingham City Hospital is easily accessed by either the University hopper bus or the Medilink bus service from the Queen’s Medical Centre (adjacent to University Park Campus), so you will still be close to all the amenities on campus such as the Sports Centre and Students’ Union.
The City hospital has a wide range of regional and national centres, which contribute to both the academic and clinical teaching. These include:
- a burns and plastics unit
- a specialist renal unit
- cardiac/thoracic centre
Students also spend a portion of their time at the Queen’s Medical Centre hospital, Nottingham, where facilities include:
- a children’s hospital
- laboratories and dissection rooms in the School of Biomedical Sciences
- clinical skills suite
In addition, students make use of the Sports Village at our Jubilee Campus and the David Ross Sports Village on University Park, for teaching around exercise prescription and functional rehabilitation.
The University of Nottingham is one of the UK’s leading universities for sport and is currently ranked 4th in the university sport rankings*. We have one of the biggest portfolios of sports facilities in the country, including the brand new £40m David Ross Sports Village, which has seminar rooms, a sports injury clinic and a hydrotherapy pool to provide additional teaching and practical experience for physiotherapy students.
* British Universities and Colleges Sport Standings, 2016-17.
Find out more about the sporting facilities on offer in Nottingham.
We are proud to have one of the most active students’ unions at any UK university, with over 300 societies and sports clubs where you can have fun, gain new skills and meet like-minded people.
Students can also join the Students' Union Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Association (SUPRA), who host social activities, organise sporting events and provide welfare support.
We welcome applications from individuals irrespective of age, gender, race, sexual orientation or background, as the diversity this brings to physiotherapy reflects the population you will be caring for as a registered physiotherapist. We are experienced in providing advice relevant to your needs as a mature student through our personal tutor and University support systems.
Find out more about studying at Nottingham as a mature student on the mature students website.
The first year runs in conjunction with the University academic year. It consists of the welcome week, 24 weeks of timetabled theory and four assessment weeks.
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 and an introduction to professional development.
Two modules run throughout the course; one covers the basic principles of research, ending with a 6,500 word dissertation project, while the other includes aspects relating to personal and professional development, such as:
- skills for effective management of learning
- models of healthcare
- medical records/ethics
- life-long learning
There are no placements in year one, as the course focuses on skills training to equip students with the expertise necessary to undertake their first placement in year two.
Read more about our teaching methods, including a sample first year timetable.
Years two and three
Years two and three contain a total of 32 weeks of supervised clinical practice, split into eight four-week blocks in the core areas of physiotherapy. The first placement takes place in the November of year two.
The second year is about building on the basic knowledge and practical skills acquired in year one. Students start to consider more specialist areas, for instance, cardiorespiratory, neurology and long term complex conditions.
We pride ourselves on the flexible approach that we offer in year three, enabling you to select a course of study based on your interests. The choice available in the academic modules in year three also extends into one of the four clinical placements, where you can choose from a variety of special interests, including:
- women's health
- adult learning disabilities
- mental health
- burns and plastics
Students also complete a dissertation in year three, which is particularly beneficial for those wishing to continue to postgraduate study.
Students gain a variety of clinical experience through eight four-week placements. These are designed to reinforce the academic course content, meaning our students are well prepared for the workplace with a whole range of skills.
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)
- inpatient elective
- trauma orthopaedics (either elective, trauma, or spinal)
Three out of four placements are local, and students are reimbursed for their travel costs. There is some flexibility with placement choices, as students complete a questionnaire detailing their preferences, though these cannot be guaranteed.
Please note that students are also required to self-fund any additional accommodation whilst on placement. At present this cost can be claimed back.
We work with certain trusts, including the fixed ones at:
- Queen’s Medical Centre
- City Hospital
- Royal Derby Hospital
- Kings Mill Hospital
There are also hospital trusts offering expertise further afield in Chesterfield, Lincoln and Leicester.
We have a clinical placements team who organise all placements for students and visit them whilst on placement, providing pastoral and clinical support. 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 a student needs further support.
Towards the end of the third year you are given the opportunity to undertake a three week elective placement.
Find out more in the 'International Opportunities' tab.