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    Full time according to Funding Council definitions

As a physiotherapist you'll be helping to maximise each patient’s potential through your knowledge of human movement and function. There are a range of techniques that you can use to manage physical, psychological and social wellbeing, and this dynamic and exciting course will give you a comprehensive grounding in all of them. What's more you'll have access to state-of-the-art facilities, including physiotherapy skills rooms equipped with anatomical models, electrotherapy machines, rehabilitation equipment and interactive AV equipment.

This course provides excellent career opportunities with 95%* of our students in work or further study within six months of finishing the course. We also know our students enjoy the course as 95%* of our students voted they were overall satisfied with the course, staff made the subject interesting and staff were good at explaining things in the 2016 National Student Survey. Why not visit us so you can find out why our students enjoy this course so much? 

*All statistics shown are taken from Unistats, Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE), BU institutional data and Ipsos MORI (National Student Survey) unless otherwise stated.

Key information

Next start date:

September, 2017


Bournemouth University, Lansdowne Campus


3 years, including mandatory placements


Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) and The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP)

Relevant subjects:

Chemistry, Psychology, Sociology or Physics

Required subjects:

Biology, Human Biology or Physical Education

Entry requirements:

For 2017 entry: (we will use the new UCAS tariff) 136 tariff points from 3 A-Levels, including 40 points from a required subject, or equivalent qualifications. BTEC Extended Diploma of DDD in addition to an A-Level Grade B in a required subject to achieve the overall tariff. For more information check out our 2017 entry requirements page.

International entry requirements:

If English is not your first language you'll need IELTS (Academic) 7.0 (with minimum 6.5 in each of the 4 components) or equivalent.

For more information check out our international entry requirements page

Course details

On this course you will usually be taught by a range of staff with relevant expertise and knowledge appropriate to the content of the unit. This will include senior academic staff, qualified professional practitioners, demonstrators, technicians and research students.

You can view information on our facilities and take a 360 tour of our simulation suites here.

Year 1

Core units

  • Skills for Therapy Practice: Good personal and interpersonal communications are central to collaboration, the efficiency of group working and the resulting quality of care. In this unit you’ll develop communication skills and explore aspects of professional working.
  • Science for Physiotherapy: You'll establish core knowledge of human and behavioural sciences needed for therapeutic practice.
  • Physiotherapy Management of the Inpatient: The aim of this unit is to prepare you to work within the inpatient setting. This unit covers assessment processes and basic management approaches including working with elderly patients and in respiratory and orthopaedic environments.
  • Exercise, Movement and Rehabilitation: Here you’ll develop knowledge of normal human movement, biomechanics and movement analysis. This knowledge will be applied to the use of exercise therapy across a variety of rehabilitation areas.
  • Physiotherapy Portfolio Units - Orientation 1: These practice placements cover Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and the use of critical reflective practice.

Year 2

Core units

  • Exploring Evidence to Guide Professional Practice: This unit aims to raise your awareness of a range of evidence and you will be able to demonstrate an understanding of how different forms of evidence can guide practice.
  • Acute Rehabilitation: In this unit you will acquire the skills necessary for the management of patients in the acute setting. This includes formulating respiratory and neurology management plans and using appropriate physiotherapy skills.
  • Community Rehabilitation: In this unit you will learn to manage patients within the community setting with a variety of problems; including cardiorespiratory, neurological and long term conditions. A problem-solving approach will help you investigate the implications for patients and the required holistic approach to their conditions.
  • Outpatient Rehabilitation: The aim of this unit is to develop your reasoning skills of neuromusculoskeletal assessment and management. It will build on the knowledge of anatomy, biomechanics, physiology and pathology. It will provide you with the skills to deliver safe and effective neuromusculoskeletal treatments.
  • Physiotherapy Portfolio Units 2 and 3: These units contain your two placements where your practice skills are developed. The unit also progresses your use of critical reflection to develop important lifelong learning skills.

Year 3

Core units

  • Service Improvement Project: The purpose of this unit is to provide you with the opportunity to undertake interprofessional project work and develop your skills in team working. Collaborative working is considered an essential skill in physiotherapy practice.
  • Progressing Physiotherapy Practice: The aim of this unit is for you to revise, build upon and integrate physiotherapy knowledge and skills in order to manage complex case scenarios in a variety of settings.
  • Research for Physiotherapy Practice: This unit develops understanding of the research process and ability to undertake a critical literature review. The format of this unit will primarily be through independent study in which you will have the opportunity to undertake an in-depth study of a professional practice topic of your choice.
  • Innovations in Physiotherapy: In this unit you will explore the complexity of physiotherapy practice and develop your use of evidence informed practice and leadership skills. Innovative examples of physiotherapy practice will be explored and applied to UK and international practice.
  • Physiotherapy Portfolio Units 4 and 5: These practical units aim to facilitate your progression towards qualifying as a confident and proficient professional, capable of high-quality, autonomous practice within the interprofessional provision of care.

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

Contact hours

In addition to the scheduled teaching and learning activities you will spend 1000 hours undertaking clinical placements where you gain the practical skills necessary to work as a physiotherapist. Your study time at BU will be split between scheduled learning and teaching activities and guided independent learning, such as preparing for and writing up coursework assignment, and group work.

Year 1 – 24% of your time will be spent in timetabled learning & teaching activities

  • Learning and teaching: 489 hours
  • Independent learning: 448 hours
  • Placement: 263 hours
  • Non-assessed learning and teaching: 20 hours

Year 2 – 22% of your time will be spent in timetabled learning & teaching activities

  • Learning and teaching: 328 hours
  • Independent learning: 422 hours
  • Placement: 450
  • Non-assessed learning and teaching: 25 hours

Year 3 - 14% of your time will be spent in timetabled learning & teaching activities

  • Learning and teaching: 176 hours
  • Independent learning: 611 hours
  • Placement: 413 hours
  • Non-assessed learning and teaching: 46 hours

58% of the course is assessed by coursework

  • Year 1: 56%
  • Year 2: 50%
  • Year 3: 67%

You will complete coursework in all three years of study but you will also undertake practical assessments and group work culminating in your final year Teamwork project, working collaboratively with your peers studying other professions, just as Physiotherapists operate in the working environment.

Programme specification

Programme specifications provide definitive records of the University's taught degrees in line with Quality Assurance Agency requirements. Every taught course leading to a BU Award has a programme specification which describes its aims, structure, content and learning outcomes, plus the teaching, learning and assessment methods used.

Download the programme specification for BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy.

Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the programme specification, the information is liable to change to take advantage of exciting new approaches to teaching and learning as well as developments in industry. If you have been unable to locate the programme specification for the course you are interested in, it will be available as soon as the latest version is ready. Alternatively please contact us for assistance.

*All statistics shown are taken from Unistats, Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE), BU institutional data and Ipsos MORI (National Student Survey) unless otherwise stated.

Placement opportunities

Placements are designed to develop your competence and physiotherapy skills.

How long are the placements?

In the first year you will experience an introductory placement, followed by the first six-week clinical placement. There are two six-week placements in the second year and two six-week placements in the third year to ensure you gain a minimum of 1,000 hours practice experience. You'll be supported by practice placement educator (PPE) throughout your practice placements.

Placements and travel costs

Although your term time address and method of transport are taken into consideration when allocating your placements there is an expectation that all students will have to travel up to 40 miles to reach their placements. Due to the more rural nature of some of the placements you may be required to travel further. When on placement you will experience shift patterns that might include 12-13 hour shifts and weekends.

The NHS Student Bursaries will inform you of the travel expenses you may be able to claim when they assess your bursary; they will also advise on expenses you may claim for accommodation costs incurred as a result of block placements away from home.

Placement locations

Each of our NHS-funded training courses contains a significant amount of placement experience, with this often being undertaken in outlying areas rather than solely in towns/cities. You need to consider this when making your application and be clear about what you will be undertaking. If your placement locality is to be assigned for the full length of the course, i.e. for Nursing, Midwifery and ODP, you will need to consider the realities of training within that geographical area and be specific about which would be suitable for you – whilst being flexible may in some circumstances increase your chances of success, being unrealistic will lead to problems. Don't forget to ensure that you take note of the locality you have been assigned when you receive your offer letter and arrange your accommodation accordingly.

You can find out more about our placement locations here.

Your application

Background and experience

Students on this course will typically have an enthusiasm for and insight into the role of a Physiotherapist. Ideally applicants would have some experience shadowing Physiotherapists (PT’s). This could be in a variety of environments such as hospital wards, physiotherapy departments, community settings, domiciliary care, schools or private practices. We want you to learn from your work experience, so it doesn’t matter how long it was. Use your UCAS application to tell us what you learnt about the role of the PT, their attributes, how the PT gets patients to follow exercise plans, your understanding of the diversity of the job.

If you’re struggling to achieve the above we also consider experience in a healthcare environment e.g. nursing home, elderly care home, HCA, special needs school, voluntary work as a support worker with individuals with disabilities.

For Physiotherapy, we are looking for applicants who:

  • Have an interest in Physiotherapy as well as the motivation and commitment to undertake the course
  • Have insight into the role of a Physiotherapist in the health & social care setting from independent research of the profession or relevant work experience
  • Have an appreciation of the diversity of the profession
  • Are caring, empathetic and friendly
  • Can work in a team
  • Have developed independent learning and study skills.

Physiotherapists work with people all the time and must therefore have excellent communication skills to be able to interact with people from a wide range of backgrounds in different situations. Good written communication skills are very important for completing course work, creating patient records, sharing information with other professionals and developing an on-going record of professional development. You should be able to be comprehensive yet succinct, use correct grammar and present work neatly.

Our courses are built around the NHS’ constitution values, and when assessing your application we will take these values into consideration:

  • Working together for patients
  • Respect and dignity
  • Commitment to quality of care
  • Compassion
  • Improving lives
  • Everyone counts.

Find out more about the NHS Constitution principles.

Selection methods

We’ll use the UCAS applications to create a shortlist of candidates that we would like to find out more about. You can find some handy hints about filling in your UCAS form on our how to apply webpages.

Because we need you to have practical and applicable skills in this particular subject, we’ll then invite the very best students for an interview. These interviews are designed to demonstrate that you have the necessary insight into Physiotherapy, as well as the motivation and commitment to become a Physiotherapist.

What to expect at interview

The day will start at 08.45am and should last no longer than 4 hours. The interview session includes an individual interview of approximately 10 minutes, tour of our facilities, introductory talk and group discussions. 

You can find further information about interviews with the Faculty of Health & Social Sciences here.

Additional reference

In addition to the reference on your UCAS form, once we’ve received your application we will contact you to ask for a second reference; this can be a different teacher/lecturer, employer or person who knows you in a professional capacity.

Our offer making process

Our offer making will typically be based on your three main graded qualifications, including any required subjects. Additional study may be valuable for breadth of study, and we will look at a range of qualifications and subjects, including the Extended Project Qualification and General Studies, although these may not be part of our offer.

If you do not meet the criteria of your original offer, we may still offer you a place. We will review your whole application and consider all academic qualifications (including those not in the offer) and the rest of the application to see if you have the academic potential to succeed on the course. If we feel the answer is yes, we will still confirm your place.

How we'll assess your application

We look at individual applications and make a tailored offer based on your potential to succeed on the course considering a range of factors, including your academic achievements, work and other experience, predicted grades, reference and personal statement, and in some cases, your performance at an interview/selection test.

If you meet one or more of our contextual data indicators for educational disadvantage (such as being in care, living in a low participation neighbourhood or in an area with less advantaged socio-economic characteristics), your offer could be between 6-20 points below the published tariff.

Unconditional offer scheme

Our Unconditional Offer Scheme seeks to reward exceptional applicants who are predicted to achieve top academic results. The scheme is offered to applicants on all courses who are predicted AAA at A-level/DDD in BTEC Extended Diploma, or above, or equivalent, subject to any course selection measures and meeting other entry criteria (i.e. required qualifications).

We believe that unconditional offers will reduce pressure on applicants who will continue to strive to achieve the best grades possible. International qualifications are considered in the scheme; however applicants must satisfy the English language requirements.

2017 entry requirements

The new UCAS Tariff will be used for September 2017 entry

The entry requirements for this course are 136 tariff points from 3 A-Levels, including 40 points from a required subject, or equivalent qualifications. BTEC Extended Diploma of DDD in addition to an A-Level Grade B in a required subject to achieve the overall tariff.

UCAS have created a helpful calculator so you can calculate points to use for courses starting from September 2017 onwards.

Required subjects: Biology, Human Biology or Physical Education

Relevant subjects: Chemistry, Psychology, Sociology or Physics

Excluded subjects: This course does not accept General Studies A or AS-level but Critical Thinking is accepted.

GCSEs: This course requires a minimum of 4 GCSEs grades A* - C (or grade 4 or above in the newly reformed GCSE grading) including Maths and English or equivalent qualifications.

Numeracy and Literacy: We need to be sure that you can express yourself in written English and have basic numeracy skills. We look at level 2 of the National Qualifications Framework, which includes, but is not limited to, GCSEs, iGCSEs, Key Skills and Functional Skills level 2. If you do not have formal qualifications to this level or have alternatives, we may still be able to consider your application – please contact the askBU Enquiry Service to find out more.

Other qualifications

We have outlined below other qualifications that we consider for this course. If you are studying a qualification that is not listed, please contact the askBU Enquiry Service, it may be that we can still consider it.

Access Courses: BU welcomes Access to HE Diploma applicants. This course requires applicants to Pass the Access to HE Diploma (with 60 Credits - at least 45 at level 3 remainder at level 2 or equivalent). A minimum of 15 level 3 credits in Biology is required. Offers will be subject and grade specific, particularly in the science subjects; any combination of grades to meet the overall tariff is acceptable.

BTEC Qualifications

  • Extended Diploma: This course requires a minimum of Distinction, Distinction, Distinction from the Extended Diploma, in addition to an A-level Grade B in a required subject to achieve the overall tariff. Offers will be subject specific.
  • Diploma: This course requires a minimum of Distinction*, Distinction in addition to an A-Level Grade B in a required subject to achieve the overall tariff. Offers will be subject and grade specific.
  • 90-credit Diploma: The 90-credit Diploma will be accepted as part of your overall tariff but it must be accompanied by A-Levels or equivalent qualifications including an A-Level grade B in a required subject. Offers will be subject specific.
  • Subsidiary Diploma: The Subsidiary Diploma will be accepted as part of your overall tariff but it must be accompanied by A-Levels or equivalent qualifications. Offers will be subject specific.

A combination of BTEC qualifications in addition to an A-level Grade B in a required subject is also acceptable to meet the overall course tariff.

Cambridge Pre-U Diploma: We welcome applicants studying the Cambridge Pre-U Diploma or a combination of Pre-U subjects and A-levels.

European Baccalaureate: Applicants are required to achieve a minimum score of 80% overall.

International Baccalaureate (Diploma): The IB Diploma is welcomed as part of the International Baccalaureate (IB). This course requires 34 points including 5 points from each of the 3 Higher Level subjects.

Scottish Qualifications: Scottish Advanced Highers, Scottish Highers and other Scottish qualifications are all welcomed providing that your results meet the overall course tariff and include required subjects as appropriate.

Welsh Baccalaureate: The Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma is welcomed alongside A-Levels or equivalent, to meet the overall course tariff.

Open University: If you currently have some academic qualifications but do not have Biology/Human biology and this is a required subject for your course we recommend you consider studying the Open University course SK277. If you do not currently have any academic qualifications you will need to complete 90 credits from the SK277- Human Biology (30 credits) unit AND the K101 - Health and Social Care (60 credits) unit. Offers will specify a specific pass rate from Open University units.

OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Qualification:

The OCR Extended Diploma or a combination of one Diploma and one Introductory Diploma is acceptable for entry to this course.
Extended Diploma
This course requires a minimum of Distinction, Distinction, Distinction in addition to an A-Level Grade B in a required subject to achieve the overall tariff. Offers will be subject and grade specific.
Other combinations of OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical qualifications to meet the overall course tariff may be acceptable.

Extended Project Qualification: The grade achieved for the Extended Project may be taken into account when considering whether or not to accept a candidate who has marginally failed to meet the conditions of their offer.

Other Health Care Level 3 Qualifications and Bridging Programmes: We are aware that there are a wide range of health care qualifications which people undertake in their workplace. Find out more information about Bridging Programmes and some frequently asked questions about them here. If you would like to know if the qualifications you have or are working towards meet our entry criteria; please ring  01202 967307 or email us: for further information and advice.

Deferred Entry: We are happy to consider applicants for deferred entry.

Non-academic requirements

Occupational Health (OH) Checks

Physiotherapy is physically and mentally demanding and you will  need to be mentally and physically able to undertake your chosen course. Places are offered subject to passing an OH check, and this will be carried out at the University Hospital Southampton. Health conditions  need to be dealt with on an individual basis e.g. deafness, blindness, eczema (or other dermatological allergic reactions) on exposed areas, epilepsy, back problems, or mental health conditions, eating disorders and other disabilities. These do not automatically exclude you but please ensure that you fully disclose your condition to OH. The University can then consider the recommendations made by OH and whether reasonable adjustments can be made to support you on your chosen course. If you require more guidance please contact us for more information.

You will be required to provide a record of your immunity status or be vaccinated or have the required blood tests. Please see this table for the required immunisations. You may need to ask your GP or current OH department or find your childhood vaccination record  for details of your past immunisation records. You should be aware that there may be charges made (for which you will be liable) relating to your gaining the appropriate immunity required prior to starting your training programme.

Refusing Immunisations

The University has an expectation that all students will comply with the vaccination programme.  This ensures that you will be able to undertake the wide range of training placements that your course will require. Occasionally some vaccinations  are contraindicated in certain medical conditions. OH will advise the University in these cases. The University will consider students on an individual basis. Refusal to have immunisations will result in the student not being allowed to attend practice placement and being withdrawn from the course. There is no opportunity to appeal against the requirements of the immunisation policy.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Check (previously known as CRB)

All successful applicants will be subject to an Enhanced Disclosure and Barred List check; this will be a condition of offer and will need to be completed prior to commencing the course. Please see the Government website for the most up to date information.

International entry requirements

From September 2017 we will be welcoming international students to this course.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you will need to provide evidence that you can understand English to a satisfactory level. English language requirements for this course are normally:

  • IELTS (Academic) 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component of writing, speaking, listening and reading or equivalent.

View further information about our English language requirements.

If you do not meet the English language requirement for your degree then why not join our Pre-Sessional English course. Successful completion of our Pre-Sessional English course will meet your English language requirement, without the need to re-take IELTS.

Academic entry requirements

You can find details of the international qualifications we accept, and what level of study they apply to, on our entry requirements for non-UK students’ page.

We offer a number of preparatory programmes through the Bournemouth University International College. These courses offer you progression from High School in your home country to a Bachelor’s degree at BU.


  • Students in work/study six months after graduation: 95%*

The aim of this course is to give you all the skills you need to work as an autonomous physiotherapist once you graduate. The employment prospects are excellent with 95%* of our student working or in further study within six months of finishing their degree, and of those working 100% gain professional or managerial roles. This qualification will allow you to work all over the world, as well as in the UK.

On graduating, you can feel confident to apply for jobs in the NHS or the private sector, or may choose to move into education rather than practice. Among the roles you can apply for are:

  • Basic grade – band 5
  • Specialisation – band 6
  • Specialist practitioner – band 7
  • Consultant therapist – band 8
  • Lecturer – practitioner.

On successful graduation, you can apply to become a registered physiotherapist with the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) and you can become a professional member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP). These accreditations can be vital when it comes to securing work as a physiotherapist overseas.

Industries worked in

  • Healthcare
  • Sport
  • Education
  • Therapy.

Further study

Once you have completed an undergraduate Honours degree, you can further develop your education by studying for a postgraduate degree. Please visit our Postgraduate section for further details about our range of Master's degrees.

*All statistics shown are taken from Unistats, Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE), BU institutional data and Ipsos MORI (National Student Survey) unless otherwise stated.

No hidden extras

Course specific material(s) included in your tuition fee:

  • Uniforms
  • Professional body accreditation
  • Disclosure & Barring Service check
  • Occupational Health  check

As a student at BU we will provide many things to support you and there will also be additional costs you may encounter whilst studying at BU. The information below will help you understand our provision and what you need to budget for.

What you can expect from us

All of your teaching and assessments are included in your tuition fees, including, lectures/guest lectures and tutorials, seminars, laboratory sessions and specialist teaching facilities. You will also have access to a wide range of support and services, many of these are included on the Next Steps insert enclosed with your offer letter.

  • One set of study-related consumables such as a memory stick/ DVD
  • Materials for laboratory and field-based teaching activity
  • Support for placements (UK or abroad) and fieldwork
  • A range of student services – advisors, help desks, counsellors, placement support and careers service
  • The Library – access to a wide range of electronic resources (databases, e-journals and e-books), print and multimedia collections, subject librarians and study spaces
  • IT labs (some open 24/7), wireless network, AV equipment to borrow
  • Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) scheme
  • Disability and additional learning support
  • The BU Language Centre to help you develop/improve foreign or English language skills
  • 24 hours a day, 365 days a year security team.

Costs of living and other expenses you need to consider

  • Accommodation and living costs: view our price guide.
  • Text books: remember that our award-winning library is stocked with a large range of text books for all courses, as well as online resources such as industry journals, free of charge
  • General stationery and other supplies such as print and presentation materials: the Students’ Union shops stock a wide range of stationery supplies on both campuses
  • Travel to, from and between BU campuses: our bus service operates in the local areas offering a subsided travel rate; we also have a large number of secure bike storage compounds
  • SportBU membership: check out our student membership packages, sports events, varsity teams, information about our new facilities and more on the SportBU webpages
  • Fieldwork travel, outdoor wear and footwear (where applicable)
  • Telephone and travel costs incurred when undertaking interviews for coursework/securing placements.
  • A fee will be payable towards the cost of an Educational Psychology Assessment if this is required in connection with additional learning support. BU pays for approximately two-thirds of the cost of this assessment for UK students. For more details and current pricing please visit the Students section of the website.

Repeat Units

If you need to repeat one or more units during the course of your studies, you may be required to pay an additional fee of £1,500 per 20 credit unit. 

Financial help available from BU

We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries to students who are beginning their studies at BU. Our website also provides details on living costs, budgeting and paying your tuition fees.

What our graduates think

Tracy Sherwood

Bournemouth University allowed me to learn in a supported environment, while giving me the freedom to develop and become the autonomous practitioner I am today.

What our graduates think

Jo Ponting

One of the massive benefits of the BSc Physiotherapy at Bournemouth was the expertise of tutors, not only were they leaders in their fields but also truly passionate towards teaching and very approachable.

Additional information

student nurse

NHS bursaries for February 2017 entry

The NHS provides financial assistance to students studying eligible health and social care courses in February 2017 - learn more about the various bursaries.

applicant open days

Open Days

We give a warm welcome to anyone who comes to meet us and we love showing off our campuses and Bournemouth to prospective students and their families. 

An NHS student

NHS placement locations

Find out more about our NHS locations and where you may be based for some of your NHS placements.

Image of people jumping

Application and interview guidance

Watch helpful videos on what we are looking for in your healthcare application - what to include in your personal statement and interview preparation tips.
Physiotherapy suite

Physiotherapy suite

Explore our physiotherapy suite where you can learn important skills and practice on real patients.

Living room

Community setting

Discover our community setting where you can gain experience of working in a home or community environment and practice relevant skills.