There are various entry routes to becoming a physiotherapist. Regardless of academic level, each route provides you with a high-quality learning experience and the knowledge and skills needed to register and practise as a physiotherapist in the UK.
Is this your first degree?
Bachelor of Science degree (BSc)
One of the most common ways to become a physiotherapist in the UK is to complete an undergraduate degree in physiotherapy. These degrees typically take three years full-time (four years in Scotland) and provide you with a solid foundation in physiotherapy.
Study includes a combination of lectures and practical learning at your universities, and 1,000 hours of placements at various physiotherapy settings.
Tuition fees for BSc degrees are up to £9,250 per year for UK full-time undergraduates (2023-24 academic year). Tuition fees for international students vary.
Integrated masters are four-year, full-time undergraduate degrees enabling you to gain enhanced skills in areas like research, leadership, management, which would be beneficial to those wishing to advance to those career areas.
Like BSc degrees, you will have a combination of lectures, practical learning and placements, in addition, part of your study will be set at the masters level.
Integrated Masters are undergraduate degrees and therefore are up to £9,250 per year for UK full-time undergraduates. Tuition fees for international students will vary.
Entry requirements are usually set higher than BSc degrees due to the masters-level learning, and each degree will vary with each university.
Earn while you learn:
BSc degree apprenticeship (only available in England)
To become a physiotherapy apprentice in the UK, you will need to find an employer willing to take you on as an apprentice.
Apprenticeships typically take two to four years to complete, and you will work alongside experienced physiotherapists while gaining practical experience in the field.
You will also complete academic coursework through a university programme and 1,000 hours of practice-based learning. Apprentices are normally employed for a minimum of 30 hours per week, including training time away from the workplace.
To be accepted onto an apprenticeship programme, you must apply for a physiotherapy apprentice position with a healthcare employer or be offered one with your existing healthcare employer. You will also need to meet specific entry requirements from your employer and the university.
Do you already have a degree?
Master of Science degree (MSc pre-registration)
Another entry route into physiotherapy is through a master's degree programme. To become a physiotherapist through this route, you must complete a two-year master's degree in physiotherapy.
Most universities in the UK offer master's degree programmes in physiotherapy, and you will need to meet specific entry requirements to be accepted onto a programme. These requirements typically include a bachelor's degree in a relevant subject, such as sports science, biology, or healthcare, as well as relevant work experience, but you will need to visit each university page for their specific entry requirements.
Like undergraduate programmes, you'll have a range of lectures, placements and assessments but within two years.
Pre-registration physiotherapy doctorate
Pre-registration doctorate programmes are another route for applicants with a degree in a relevant subject.
Like MSc (pre-registration), these programmes have a mixture of lectures, placements and assessments, enabling you to gain a physiotherapy qualification.
Additionally, doctorate programmes include additional time for you to complete a period of supervised postgraduate research at a post-registration level and gain a physiotherapy doctorate. The duration of a pre-registration doctorate is usually 3.5 – 4 years.
Earn while you learn:
MSc degree apprenticeship (only available in England)
Apprenticeships take two to four years, and you will work with experienced physiotherapists while you gain experience.
You have to find an employer to take you on as an apprentice.
You complete academic coursework at a higher education institution as well as 1,000 hours of practice-based learning. Apprentices are usually employed for at least 30 hours per week, including training away from the workplace.
To gain a place on an apprenticeship programme, you must apply for a apprentice position with a healthcare employer or be offered one with your existing employer. You'll also have to meet entry requirements from your employer and the HEI.
Find out more
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Have a look at the full list of universities offering physiotherapy programmes. Entry requirements will vary with each university, and you are advised to visit individual university websites for more details.