Physiotherapy is an allied health care profession and physiotherapists themselves are concerned with human function and movement. Physical approaches are used to prevent and treat many disabilities and diseases, but physiotherapy can also be used to help people gain strength and mobility after an illness or hospital stay.
Physiotherapy has it roots in ancient times. The Chinese in around 2500BC used massage as a treatment and Hippocrates described massage and hydrotherapy in 460BC. Since then the list of conditions that physiotherapy can have a part to play in their treatment has grown and grown. The modern practice of physiotherapy is thought to have come into being during the nineteenth century with the overseeing professional body, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy being set up in 1920.
Physiotherapy is now used to treat conditions such as asthma, back pain, cerebral palsy, tinnitus, heart disease, osteoarthritis, mental health, strokes and ulcers. Some of these may seem a little unusual but physiotherapy can be broken down into different areas such as cardiovascular and respiratory physiotherapy, musculoskeletal physiotherapy and neurological physiotherapy so may 'systems' in the body can be treated.
Example areas of study
Physiotherapy courses are available across the UK and it is worth noting that if you accept an NHS-funded place on an accredited physiotherapy degree course you may receive and NHS means-tested bursary.
Most physiotherapy courses are very similar in content, especially those that lead to Chartered status of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists. An idea of the type of modules that you will study is listed below:
- Professional and clinical practice
- Musculoskeletal physiotherapy
- Physiotherapy practice
- Cardiovascular and respiratory physiotherapy
- Neurological physiotherapy
- Health and social care
- General pathology
- Clinical reasoning
- Clinical sciences
- Psychosocial studies
- Health and disease
- Community physiotherapy
- Movement and exercise science
- Medical sociology
- Occupational health
- Palliative care
- Women's health
- Electrotherapeutic interventions
- Mental health and learning disabilities
- Sports medicine and science
- Rehabilitation studies
Some career possibilities
Most qualified physiotherapist either work within the NHS or the private sector within hospitals, doctors surgeries or out in the community. Other setting for physiotherapists may include private companies, sports centres or private practice.
What do I need to get on a course?
Entry requirements vary from institution to institution but a general guide to the grades and qualifications you need is listed below:
- UCAS Tariff: 240-370 points including biology or human biology
- A-levels: BBB including biology or human biology
- SQA Highers: BBBB-AABBB including biology or human biology
- Irish Leaving Certificates: BBBB-AABBB including biology or human biology
- International Baccalaureate: 32-34 points including a human biological science
- European Baccalaureate: 74-78% including a human biological science
- BTEC National Diploma: DDM in a relevant biological subject
- Access: in a relevant subject for mature entry
For your application or interview, the following may be useful:
- Work experience is a good idea to allow yourself to decide for sure that physiotherapy is for you. This may also be looked on favourably by the institutions that you apply to
- Further information on physiotherapy and state registration is available from The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy
To find out more about the typical subjects you will study, potential career paths and further information useful for your application log-on to Course Discover at www.coursediscoveronline.co.uk*
*NB: Your school or college will need a subscription to Course Discover in order for you to gain access, for further information go to:www.coursediscover.co.uk