Changes to physiotherapy education and student funding

There are changes taking place to physiotherapy education funding in the different UK nations.


Growing the profession across the UK

The background to these changes is that there is a shortage of graduate physiotherapists. Many services across the UK are currently finding it difficult to fill vacancies, so more physiotherapists need to be trained.

Changes to student funding in England

Government plans

The Westminster government is introducing changes to the funding arrangements for physiotherapy education and students in England from 2017/18.

The CSP is trying to influence the new arrangements, to ensure there are enough student places to meet future needs and demands.

Information on this page will be updated as implementation of the proposed funding changes becomes clearer.

CSP response 

CSP Council recognises that the tuition/student loan model could create an opportunity to increase the number of physiotherapy students in England.

Our support for the proposed change to the funding model depends on any new system ensuring the following:

  • Expanding the number of university places
  • Safeguarding entry to the profession from all parts of society
  • Upholding education quality and workforce supply (including during the period of transition)

Following the decision by Council, CSP members and staff have developed the position further on a number of key points of concern and importance to the profession, students and HEIs.

Changes to student funding in Wales

In 2017 the Welsh government confirmed the continuation of the NHS bursary scheme arrangements for physiotherapy and other healthcare students entering pre-registration programmes in Wales in 2017/18.

It has proposed that these include tie-in conditions, which means that some graduates may have to pay back the bursary if they take up a position of work outside of Wales following graduation.

CSP response

The CSP has welcomed the continuation of the NHS bursary scheme in Wales, but has serious concerns about the tie-in conditions and the impact this could have on CSP members.

We have raised these concerns with Welsh Government through the Workforce Education and Development Service (WEDS), and asked for clarity on a number of issues.  

    Funding in Scotland and Northern Ireland

    The systems for funding physiotherapy education are different in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

    The planned changes affect only England, but the we will monitor the impact of change in all four countries.