Guide to Studying Physiotherapy


What is Physiotherapy?

  • Physiotherapy is a specialist branch of medicine that helps remediate impairments in movement, and promote patients' quality of life through physical intervention to improve mobility and function.
  • Contrary to the above image, physiotherapy is not simply about bending people hither and thither. You will also be employed in research, consultation and administration. It is practiced alongside other medical techniques.

Why study Physiotherapy?

  • Aside from the usual brand of lectures and seminars as the core of learning, there is a fun practical aspect to studying physiotherapy - problem based learning, tutorials, and eventually work experience in hospitals.
  • Unlike many degrees where you pay your £9,000 each year for a couple of hours of contact time, physiotherapy has plenty of hours in the classroom, allowing you to learn the practice inside out from the experts.
  • While there is more to physiotherapy than giving sports massages, learning how to massage is still a cool skill. It is also a skill in high demand - physiotherapists are among the best paid in the medicine industry.
  • Outside of knowing what muscles to rub to make people better, physiotherapy also teaches  a wide variety of other skills in healthcare provision. A degree here can also lead to jobs in neurological or musculoskeletal care.
  • Physiotherapy is a good degree for social types. You'll be working closely with other people - both patients and colleagues - so you'll have no fear of being cooped up in a lonely office all day.

Coursework, assessment and exams

  • You will get heavily assessed while working on placement. It is based on a knowledge and skills framework that will be fully explained to you once you begin the course.
  • When not on placement, you’ll be involved in practical and clinical sessions. Physiotherapy courses tend to have a small intake so you can be sure of small, supportive learning groups and low staff-to-student ratios.

What degree can I get?

  • BSc Physiotherapy
  • BSc Sport Rehabilitation and Exercise Science
  • International Foundation Programme (inc. Physio and Paramedic Science)
  • BSc Veterinary Studies (Physiotherapy)

What qualifications do I need?

  • Entry requirements fluctuate from university to university and course to course.
  • Always confirm the entry requirements for the particular university/course you are interested in.

Use the CUG Course Chooser to search through Physiotherapy courses.

What are the postgraduate opportunities?

  • There is an exciting range of taught MAs and research degrees at postgraduate level.
  • Examples include a straight MSc in Physiotherapy, as well as MSc Applied Exercise Physiology, MRes Exercise Physiology, PgCert Vocational Rehabilitation and MSc Cognitive Rehabilitation.

Graduate job prospects



*Professional employment refers to a job or occupation which normally requires a degree.
**Non-professional employment refers to a job or occupation which doesn't normally require a degree.

What are the job opportunities?

  • Physiotherapy, obviously, has a clear careers passage, and if you decide to pursue a degree in it you should be committed to it as a career. There are a number of different paths through the field, however.
  • Particular job areas for a physiotherapist to work in include geriatric medicine, intensive care, mental health, outpatients, orthopaedics, paediatrics, and stroke services.
  • Several professional organisations offer specialised positions for Physiotherapy graduates, such as the NHS.