Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton

PSIO1022 Observational Placement Physiotherapy BSc

Module Overview

The observational practice based experience is with patients/clients in a treatment setting. By applying theoretical knowledge to the practice placement environment, learners develop an appreciation of the role of the therapist and safe working practice. It will provide opportunity to: • observe the interaction and communication between patients/clients and heath care professionals • take part in assessment and treatment interventions • begin to demonstrate professionalism and self-management skills Integration of Service Users (SU) The experience of working closely with SU of all ages, cultural backgrounds and across clinical specialities is an essential ingredient to the learning and assessment of competency in HCP programmes. This placement links to work carried out in other level 4 modules where specific service user groups needs and/or treatment is investigated at a basic foundation level. You need to be aware of SU lived experiences derived from narratives, research and evaluation of practice. This will improve your knowledge base and also underpin any self-development activities linked to practice placement. This combination of theoretical evidence and practice-based work will ensure that the profile and needs of SU are handled in a proactive and positive manner in all your scholarly and practical activities. Multi-Professional Learning The partnership between the academic and practice arena is an essential ingredient in the development, delivery and evaluation of HCP programmes. During other level 4 modules you will have opportunities to work alongside and learn together in mixed groups of HCP students and this will be replicated in all practice placement experiences where different professions frequently work together within clinical teams. It is envisaged that these experiences will have impact on how, and what you explore and in particular may be a feature of aspects of your personal and professional development activities.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims


Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Define different health professional roles within the clinical team.
  • Observe risk assessment and health and safety factors and discuss the principles of safe treatment and practice
  • Recognise the importance of the range of communication styles when working as a therapist
  • Observe the use of assessment methods with individual patients/clients, discuss the results of the assessment and the implications for treatment planning and involve the patient in setting goals
  • Start to discuss the effects of each observed intervention showing consideration for individual patient/client needs, privacy and confidentiality, involving the patient in the collaborative process
  • Reflect on personal organisational skills and professional behaviours in daily tasks, punctuality and appearance.


The module consists of opportunities to observe therapeutic practice across the spectrum of Physiotherapy settings at the same time providing opportunities for raising questions.

Special Features

This is a 1 week observational placement. Service users have had a ‘patient voice’ in developing the learning outcomes for this module. Some practice placements are located in buildings which may be inaccessible to students with restricted mobility, for example, in old hospital buildings. Additionally some practice placements may require students to visit people in their domestic settings with a variety of accessibility issues. However, alternative placements will be made available so that you have an equivalent experience and can meet the required learning outcomes.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Learning is facilitated by placement educators employed directly by health and social care organisations. Placement educators use apprenticeship and experiential methods with observation and reflective practice, directed study and tutorials when appropriate.

Placement Hours40
Total study time40

Resources & Reading list

Resources. Due to the variety of possible specialist practice settings learners take advice regarding set texts from their placement educator. Learners utilise their placement handbooks and module resources to prepare and support their practice based learning.


Assessment Strategy

This placement is not graded and therefore does not contribute to the academic year mark. Whereas it is desired that the learner achieve a positive review of their performance there is no pass or fail status. Performance is discussed as part of a scheduled review with the learner’s personal tutor as part of the Academic and Personal Review (APR) cycle.


MethodPercentage contribution
Placement 100%


Costs associated with this module

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.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Travel Costs for placements

There are costs associated with being on placement. These include the cost of travelling to and from the placement (once at the beginning and again at the end OR daily), the cost of accommodation whilst on placement and the costs of travelling around in the community during the placement. You may, if using you own car, have to carry extra insurance for work purposes and to carry patients as passengers. These costs are borne entirely by you unless you receive a DoH Bursary (which is subject to means testing). If you receive a bursary, these expenses can be claimed back from the Students’ Grants Unit, DoH.

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

Share this module Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.