Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton

PSIO1033 Observational Placement Physiotherapy

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 and heath care professionals - take part in assessment and treatment interventions - begin to demonstrate professionalism and self-management skills Integration of Patients The experience of working closely with patients of all ages, cultural backgrounds and across clinical specialities is an essential ingredient to the learning and assessment of competency in Physiotherapy programmes. This placement links to work carried out in other level 4 modules where the assessment and treatment of specific conditions is investigated at a basic foundation level. You need to be aware of patient 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 needs of patients are handled in a proactive and positive manner in all your scholarly and practical activities. Inter-Professional Learning (IPL) The partnership between the academic and practice arena is an essential ingredient in the development, delivery and evaluation of Physiotherapy programmes. During other level 4 modules you will have opportunities to work alongside and learn together in mixed groups of healthcare students and this will be replicated in all practice placement experiences where different professions frequently work together within clinical teams. The aim of Inter-professional learning is to build upon and apply strategies previously developed and to contribute to effective team working and problem solving activities arising in a modern health and social care setting. Learning Activities 1 Arrange opportunities to work with other health and social care professionals 2 Seek out opportunities to learn from other health and social care students whilst on placement 3 Observe and engage with a multi-disciplinary team working in practice focused on patient care 4 Arrange opportunities to work with non-clinical members of the organisation e.g. Patient Safety, Education and Training, Finance, Procurement, Estates, Governance, Coding and how their role contributes to the delivery of quality patient care 5 Talk to a service user and/or use the case notes to map the support networks involved in their patient journey (to include, family, neighbours, lay support, health and social care practitioners and services) and to provide two way feedback on the impact on each persons life and health care journey 6 Attendance at an inter-disciplinary talk, conference or other learning event. This could be held by the University, clinical practice e.g. ward rounds, a student society or a professional event. Students are required to provide evidence they have attended the event and document what they have learnt from this with regards to their role and how they interact with others to the benefit of the service user.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

See learning outcomes below:

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 clinical 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 to provide some ongoing clinical context to the theoretical learning you are undertaking.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

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

Total study time40

Resources & Reading list

Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (2011) Code of Members Professional Values and Behaviour.. London: CSP





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:

Accommodation and Travel

There are potential travel and accommodation costs associated with this module which may be claimed back in some cases.

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.