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The University of Southampton
Health Sciences

Podiatry Placements

Where are my placements likely to be?

You will be placed in a variety of locations and settings across the three year podiatry programme with our placements ranging from West Dorset to London and the Isle of Wight to Sheffield! Most placements are in the South Central and South East region and, based on availability, we a placement area in Singapore although this would require self-funding by students wishing to experience overseas podiatry.

What areas of practice will be included in my placements?

In the first year you will experience a general introduction to podiatric practice with close supervision from a practice educator.  In the second and third years you undertake work focused on nail surgery, care planning in a variety of patients and can experience multi-disciplinary team approaches to care which are a real highlight of placements.

How am I supervised?

Each placement area has an assigned practice educator who will co-ordinate your placement and arrange for different experiences, some of which may be with other healthcare professionals. You will introduce yourself to them by way of preparing a placement passport which is a starting point for you to share any learning needs or interests you may have alongside contact details and other relevant information. The first placement is closely supervised and as you develop your skills and knowledge across the programme, your practice educators will begin to hand over the reigns bit by bit so you have a gradual, safe journey of learning. In addition, each placement area has an assigned academic link – a member of the podiatry team – who is there to ensure the placement runs smoothly and any questions can be answered quickly. The mid-point review of your progress is a great way to highlight areas you need to focus on and form a timely action plan with your practice educator. 

How am I assessed?

Throughout your placements you will have to work successfully for 1,000 hours and demonstrate competencies in a range of areas to the satisfaction of your practice educator. As and when you are successful your practice supervisor will officially ‘sign off' each competency on a form that is then sent back to the University. In the final year placement, a sign-off event takes place where a member of the podiatry academic team joins you in clinic.  This ensures that you are meeting the standard of contemporary clinical practice and are applying the knowledge and skills you have learned throughout your time at University.

How are my placements allocated?

Your placements are pre-planned by us under our ‘fair-shares' model depending on your circumstances. That means we'll take into account where you live, whether you have children under 12 years old or dependent relatives, and whether you have access to a car. You'll be given a form to disclose all the relevant factors.

Can I change a placement?

Placements are allocated based on the diversity of clinical experience they offer and any essential criteria a student has.  Where a student is not happy with their allocated placement we encourage an initial conversation with the placement lead and if you sufficient reason to change you are able to follow a process to request a change.  As placements are not always available where a student may prefer to be placed, there is sometimes the option of deferring to a summer placement based on availability.

Many of our placements that are further from Southampton are good to relocate to for the duration of the placement to allow you to achieve a fully immersive work experience.  Students in receipt of the Learning Support Fund will be able to reclaim these accommodation costs.

What hours will I work?

Most podiatry clinics run Monday-Friday from 8 or 8:30am to 4:30 or 5pm.  Rarely our private practices offer long days where an earlier start and later finish allows for a shorter day later in the week.

How will I get to my placements?

It is your responsibility to get to and from your placements. If you have a car with business insurance cover you can use this for your placement travel.  Some of the more distant placements lend themselves to students relocating close the clinic where a short walk in each day is the mode of transport.  We suggest all students check public transport links early after allocation of placements and decide if temporary relocation would be better than a daily commute. If your placement is on the Isle of Wight you will take a short ferry crossing from Southampton or Portsmouth.

What if I am ill or have an emergency?

If you cannot get to your placement on any given day you must contact your place of work as soon as possible and email your academic tutor to inform him or her about your absence.

How do I make up the hours if I am absent?

This can depend on how many hours you have missed and how ready you are for assessment according to your practice educator. It may be possible to make up the hours by simply working a bit longer in the remainder of your placement. If this is not possible then you should work with the placement lead to find an appropriate way to make up the time lost.  Where significant loss of hours has happened it may not be possible to make up hours in a placement block and you will need to retake the placement in the summer months.

Photo of Christine Yau
All my lecturers are extremely inspiring, with each of them having a specific area of interest. They all push me to be the best I can be, always ensuring I strive to succeed.
Christine YauBSc (Hons) Podiatry

Hours in practice


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