The BSc physiotherapy degree is a three year course that enables you to register to practise with the Health and Care Professions Council. As a graduate you will also be entitled to register with the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.
This is a dynamic healthcare profession that uses a physical approach to establish all round wellbeing. Physiotherapists work with people of all ages to treat physical problems caused by illness, accident, or ageing.
Our BSc Physiotherapy degree has been ranked first in the UK by The Good University Guide 2016 and 2017. This reflects the success of our research-led education programmes and exceptional student experience, bringing together world leading experts in physiotherapy education, research and clinical practice and our commitment to maintaining education excellence. The Physiotherapy degree course offers a wide range of quality placement settings, excellent learning facilities and is accredited by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.
The 4 year pathway gives students the option to split either their first or second year over 2 years. There is also a two year MSc in Physiotherapy available for those with a previous degree.
Programme overview for the BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy:
The exercise of clinical judgement and informed interpretation is at the heart of this BSc degree in physiotherapy. By graduation you should be a clinician, educator, evaluator and manager. You must also be a good communicator, motivator, educator, logical problem solver, and team player too; needless to say, you will require a wide range of skills.
In addition, our curriculum is values-based, which means we place special emphasis on humanitarian virtues like empathy and compassion.
All undergraduate applications should be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Visit our How to Apply page for information on the application process and further details about UCAS' website, phone and contact details. Specific application deadlines are available on the UCAS website.
You will be working with clients, their families and other healthcare professionals through a combination of academic study and clinical placements. Teaching methods are varied and include lectures, group work and self-directed learning. You will also make use of case studies as a basis for applying theory and guiding problem solving.
Our Chartered Society of Physiotherapy accredited programme is ranked first in the UK by The Good University Guide 2016 and 2017
100 per cent of BSc Physiotherapy students were satisfied with the overall quality of their course, NSS 2016
100 per cent of students in work six months after graduation (DLHE 2014/15)
Wide range of placement settings: acute and critical care, neurological rehabilitation, special client groups , community care and neuro-musculoskeletal
Work with clients, their families and other healthcare professionals through a combination of academic study and clinical placements
“I have undertaken a one-week observation placement in a neuro-centre and a six-week musculoskeletal out-patients placement. Not only have I learnt so much but I have also got to know qualified physiotherapists who are happy to answer questions and pass on valuable extra skills”
Applications should be submitted through UCAS. Once you have submitted your application, the Admissions Team will review it to check that you either already meet or are on target to meet our academic entry criteria for this course. If so, your application will be passed to the Programme Admissions Tutor who will review your personal statement and reference and assess these against fixed criteria.
What will the Admissions Tutors look for in my Personal Statement?
The Admissions Tutor looks for evidence that you offer a caring and compassionate approach; that your personal values and attitudes align with those of the NHS Constitution and the University; that you have realistic insight to the area you plan to study; and that you are committed to both study and practice parts of the course.
Why do you want to be a Physiotherapist? - What is it about ‘your’ attitudes, values and character that makes this profession so appropriate for you?
What do you understand about the role? - To further strengthen your application, it is important that you demonstrate a clear insight into your chosen profession and scope of the role. This should hopefully be achieved by reflecting on relevant work experience, volunteering or shadowing you may have undertaken.
Discuss your relevant academic preparation - What have you particularly enjoyed during your studies and how do you feel this has prepared you for this degree. Discuss any particularly relevant projects/coursework you may have undertaken.
Personal interests – sports / music / drama / ‘team’ / job / responsibilities / relaxing / etc. Identify transferable skills that will be useful in your chosen profession
The Admissions Tutor will then decide whether to shortlist your application and invite you to attend a selection session or reject your application. You will normally be notified of this decision within 3 weeks of submitting your application, however at peak times this can be longer.
What happens if my application is shortlisted?
If the Admissions Tutor decides to invite you to a selection session you will receive an invitation via email. You will be offered a range of dates to choose from and further information on how to confirm your attendance. You will also receive a link to a website with important information informing you how to prepare and what to expect during your selection session.
Physiotherapy Selection Sessions normally last approximately 5 hours and include:
Group Discussion – small groups of around 6 applicants will have 20 minutes to discuss a particular topic linked to NHS Core Values. Two assessors will monitor this discussion and you will be assessed on your contribution and your interaction with other members of the group. It will be helpful to draw on your experience during this task and hopefully interesting to hear views and opinions from others with similar interests to you.
Interview – approximately 20minute discussion between you and two interviewers. During this interview you will have the opportunity to demonstrate your understanding of the role of a Physiotherapist and reflect on your work experience.
For each activity you will be given a numerical score. All scores will be combined and used in conjunction with details from your application to determine whether to make you an offer or reject your application. You will normally be notified of this decision within 2 weeks of attending the selection session.
During the selection session you are likely to meet academic members of staff, current students and clinicians. Their thoughts and observations support the evidence you have provided on the day but be assured that all final decisions are made by the admissions tutor, who will review your whole application to enable a final decision to be made.
As part of the selection session, you will also have the opportunity to pose yours questions to Admissions Tutors and current students in order to discover more about the course and studying at Southampton. We get a lot of information from you in this session so it’s important that you ask all your questions too.
Understanding your offer
If you receive an offer of a place to study on our course, this will be a “Conditional” offer. This means to secure your place on this course you need to meet certain conditions such as attaining certain academic grades/qualifications. Any conditions attached to your offer will be shown on UCAS Track.
All offers are also made on the condition that you pass an Occupational Health check and Disclosure and Barring Service (criminal record) check. Further information on these processes will be provided to you before you start the course.
You will only be able to enrol on the course when you have met all these conditions and your offer becomes “Unconditional”.
Typical course content
There is a large practical component to the BSc physiotherapy course where skills are learnt by practising on your fellow students. Students will be able to apply what has been learnt to develop further knowledge and skills under the guidance of their clinical supervisor, when on clinical placement.
Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the
programme and the learning outcomes that a typical
student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage
of the learning opportunities that are provided.
More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide
Fees & funding
Course fees for 2017/18 full-time UK and EU undergraduate students are typically
£9,250 per year.
Tuition fees for international students differ between each course. Most
part-time courses cost 50% of the full-time fee.
Scholarships, bursaries or grants may be available to support you through your
Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or
your country of origin.
These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.
Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such
essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the
academic requirements for each programme of study.
There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the
You will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationary items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc.). Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.
Calculators: Candidates may use calculators in the examination room only as specified by the University and as permitted by the rubric of individual examination papers. The University approved models are Casio FX-570 and Casio FX-85GT Plus. These may be purchased from any source and no longer need to carry the University logo.
Where a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source.
Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.
Laboratory Equipment and Materials: Physiotherapy suggested generic statement: A number of essential items for use in the Centre for learning Anatomical Sciences will be provided to you e.g.: safety goggles; examination gloves; plastic aprons.
Please see clothing.
Medical Equipment and Materials: Fob watch; stethoscopes - A number of essential items for use in practical sessions will be provided to you e.g.: goniometers; tape measures; electrotherapy consumables; examination gloves; plastic aprons.
However you will need provide yourselves with a fob watch; stethoscope (advice will be given at the appropriate time regarding which models) for use in the practical classes and whilst on clinical placement.
Lab Coats: You will need to provide yourselves with laboratory coat for use in the Centre for Learning Anatomical Sciences. These can be purchased from any source.
Printing and copying
In the majority of cases, coursework such as essays; projects; dissertations is likely to be submitted on line. However, there are some items where it is not possible to submit on line and students will be asked to provide a printed copy. A list of the University printing costs can be found here: http://www.southampton.ac.uk/isolutions/services/copying_for_students_and_visitors/faq.php#594
Accommodation: Students in receipt of an NHS Bursary can recoup costs of accommodation whilst on placement. Those who are not in receipt of such a bursary must bear these costs themselves.
Insurance : Insurance/indemnity costs will be met by the University except for overseas trips where normal travel insurance must be arranged.
Travel costs: Students in receipt of an NHS Bursary can recoup costs to and from placement. Those who are not in receipt of such a bursary must bear these costs themselves. In addition, students are required to attend certain external events or community resources and they will be expected to bear these costs.
Immunisation/Vaccination Costs: These will be paid for by the commissioning body.
Accommodation: If you have been approved to participate in an Erasmus+ Study/Work Placement you will automatically qualify for an Erasmus+ grant and details of this will be sent to you as part of the application process. Students who participate in the Erasmus+ scheme can benefit from an EU-funded grant. It is not intended to be a maintenance grant but rather a contribution towards the extra costs associated with studying abroad. The International Office will calculate your grant for you once you have given them the dates of your placement. You will be sent an Erasmus Grant Agreement confirming the amount of your grant and conditions of participation.
Accommodation: Cost of incidental travel which is required as part of a module, e.g. visits to external facilities or exhibitions, is the responsibility of the student.
Optional Visits: Some modules may include optional visits to a museum, galleries, etc. You will normally be expected to cover the cost of travel and admission, unless otherwise specified in the module profile.
In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated
with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also
ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and
Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at www.calendar.soton.ac.uk.
Careers in Physiotherapy
As a physiotherapy graduate you can expect excellent career prospects in a whole range of healthcare environments where physiotherapy is practiced, such as: intensive care, stroke recovery, occupational health and care for the elderly.
The largest employer of health practitioners is the NHS, but other options include: social care, private practice and the armed services. There are also career opportunities in industry, leisure and education. Our graduates are highly valued by employers:
"In a recent recruitment drive for band 5 physiotherapists the calibre of the University of Southampton graduates shone through. They were highly engaging and professional – we were extremely impressed." Physiotherapy team - University Hospital Southampton, NHS Foundation Trust
Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) Survey 2014/15
100 per cent of students are in work six months after graduation
Typical average salary of £21,872
94 per cent positive employment (percentage of individuals employed in graduate-level roles)
Most common job roles: physiotherapist
Learning & Assessment
During this physiotherapy degree you will learn what it takes to make life better for all sorts of people. You will be assessed on your academic work as well as your clinical placements, using a variety of methods. These include written exams, essays, oral presentations, practical exams and a research project.
This programme is available to study over 3 or 4 years. The three year programme is full time. If you wish to study the programme over 4 years, there is the option to complete level 4 OR level 5 over two years.
BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy (3 years)
This programme is the full time 3 year programme.
BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy (4 years - route A)
Route A allows you to study level 4 modules across two academic years. Level 5 and 6 of the programme are then studied full time.
BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy (4 years - route B)
Route B allows you to study level 4 full time, Level 5 modules are taken across two academic years, then you return to the full time programme for Level 6 modules.
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