This article was written by the TSR community


Entry Requirements - General

  • Nearly ALL universities interview physiotherapy applicants.
  • Not only do applicants have to meet their grade requirements, but you will be expected to pass an enhanced Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check and a health screen. Failure to complete/pass these health screens MAY result in you NOT being able to take up your place.
  • Very few universities have places in clearing for Physiotherapy as the course is very competitive.
  • If you don't meet your grade requirements on results day DON'T PANIC! Have the telephone numbers of your first and insurance choice uni available. Call them up and see if you've been accepted anyway. most uni's will accept a slip of 1 grade or so, but this is dependent on how well everyone else in the application cycle does. Also have a copy of the clearing list available just in case some places are available at other uni's.
  • Still rejected? Either consider resitting/reapplying or do another degree and apply for graduate entry.
  • Be warned graduate entry (MSc) is equally, if not more so, competitive as BSc entry.
  • If you want to work in Sports, DO NOT write this on your personal statement, and do not make all your work experience sport based. Uni's are paid to train students to be able to cope with the demands and pressures of a modern day NHS. They want to see that you know that there is more to Physio than a magic sponge and bucket of water. You will be seriously disadvantaged if sport is all you can talk about.
  • When you do get work experience, try and get as much as you can in as many areas as you can .e.g elderly, inpatient, out patient, intensive care, community, musculo-skeletal etc.

Work experience

  • GET WORK EXPERIENCE - I cannot press this point enough. If you don't have work experience I wouldn't waste your time applying. It is HIGHLY likely your application will rejected with out a second thought. Universities know its hard to get work experience in this day and age, so usually a week is enough to suffice!
  • When you do get work experience, try and get as much as you can in as many areas as you can .e.g elderly, inpatient, out patient, intensive care, community, musculo-skeletal etc
  • Some hospitals operate a waiting list policy for experience students so get yourself on the list as soon as you can, and as many lists as you can.
  • Some physio experience is a must but in addition you could try some other experience e.g. volunteering on a ward, nursing home, with kids etc etc. All these can be used to enhance your application and help you to give examples of situations whereby you used things like "teamwork, motivation" etc etc

BSc in Physiotherapy - Entry requirements/Offers

All information is correct for 2008 entry as of 17th July 07. Up to Leeds Met all information is correct for 2012 (some 2013) entry as of 12th May 2012. Will edit the rest later.

Course Code = B160 (King's College London's course code has now been updated to B160 as with everywhere else)

University of Birmingham - Points Accepted = AAB. Required subjects: A Level Biology/Human Biology/P.E. (Grade A). General Studies not accepted, although a good performance may be taken into account if you fail to meet your offer. GCSE Requirements = 7 GCSEs grade A*-B to include English, Maths and Science. Applicants will have been in education within the last 3 years. Evidence of IT and interpersonal skills development are required.

Bournemouth University - Points Accepted = 360 tariff points, including 320 from 3 A-levels or equivalent, with a 100 in a required subject (e.g. B at A-level). BTEC Extended Diploma: DMM, in addition to an A-level Grade B in a required subject to achieve the overall tariff. General Studies not accepted. Requied Subjects: Biology, Human Biology or PE

University of Bradford - Points Accepted = 300 (BBB). Required Subjects - A-Level Biology/Human Biology/PE. General Studies not accepted. Number of places = 55

University of Brighton - Points Accepted = 320 (ABB). Required subjects: Biology or PE at Grade B. Consideration may be given to a fourth appropriate AS-level. General Studies not accepted. GCSE Requirements = 8 GCSEs grade B in one sitting, Mathematics and English are expected.

Bristol UWE - Points Accepted = 340 min. Required subjects: A-Level Biology/Human Biology at grade B. GCSE Requirements = 5 GCSEs grade A-C to include English, Maths and Science.

Brunel - Typical offer: ABB, to include grade B in Biology or Human Biology and grade B in at least one subject from the following list: Chemistry, Classical Civilisations, Economics, English, Geography, History, Languages, Law, Maths (Further Maths or Statistics), Physical Education, Physics, Politics, Psychology, Sociology, Sport Studies. (General Studies and Critical Thinking not accepted). GCSE requirements = 6 GCSEs grade A-C to include English, Maths and Science

Cardiff - Points Accepted - Typical Offer = AAB GCE A2 level to include Biology or Human Biology General Studies not accepted. 7 GCSEs a C or above in one sitting.

University of Central Lancashire - Typical Offer = 3 passes at grade ABB including one Science, Biology/Human Biology is preferred however Psychology, Sociology & PE are acceptable. (General Studies not included). GCSE requirements - 7 passes at grade B or above including English, Mathematics and Science, not sure why they ask for 7Bs here yet accept very soft subjects in place of Biology at A-level, love to met that genius...

Coventry - Typical Offer = ABB at A2 level including a biological sciences subject. Excludes General Studies. GCSE Requirements = 7 GCSEs Grade A-C to include English, Maths and Science at grade B. Number of places = 162

University of Cumbria - Typical Offer = 300 UCAS tariff points to include a minimum B in Biology, Human Physiology or PE.

University of East Anglia - Typical offer = ABB Required subjects: Biology, Human Biology or P.E. General Studies not accepted.

University of East London - Typical Offer = 300 UCAS tariff points must be BBB (AS levels not accepted) to include a B grade in Biology or Chemistry or Psychology or Physical Education. General Studies not accepted

Glasgow Caledonian University - Typical offer = BBB Note: this course is 4 years NOT 3! Required subjects: Maths or any science subject. Biology or Physics recommended. Number of places = 78.

University of Hertfordshire - Typical offer = 300 (BBB). Required subjects: Two life sciences. GCSE Requirements = 5 GCSEs Grade A-C to include Science, Maths and English.

University of Huddersfield - Typical Offer = ABB. Subjects required: Biological Science at grade B. General Studies not accepted. Number of places = 45

Keele - Typical Offer = ABB (Up from BBB in 2007). Subjects Required: Biology/PE. Number of Places = 80.

Kings College London - Typical offer = 3 A levels & 1 AS level: AAB at A-level plus pass at AS-level (or 2 A levels & 3 AS level: AA at A-level plus BBpass at AS-level)

Compulsory subjects A2 grades to normally include two subjects from the following: Biology/Human Biology, Chemistry, Psychology, Physics, Sociology, Physical Education and Mathematics (students presenting only one subject from the list should have Biology/Human Biology A2). Also a minimum of 8 GCSE predominantly at A grades or above which should include Biology (or Integrated or Combined Sciences), English Language and Mathematics in one sitting Number of places = 70

Leeds Met - Typical Offer = 300 BBB At least 100 points will come from a scientific discipline - including Biology, Human Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Maths, Physical Education, Sociology, Sports Studies or Psychology.

University of Liverpool - Typical Offer = 300. Required subjects: Biology/Human Biology (grade B). GCSE Requirements = 6 GCSEs at Grade B to include Maths, Science and English.

Manchester Met - Typical Offer = 300 (BBB). Required subjects: A-Level Biology/Human Biology/PE/Sports Science). General Studies not accepted. N.B GCSE Requirements = 6 GCSE subjects Grade A-C inc Maths, English and Science

Northumbria - Typical Offer 300. General Studies not accepted. GCSE Requirements = 6 GCSEs grade B or above to include Maths, English and Science.

Nottingham - Typical Offer = ABB (Up from BBB in 2007). Subjects Required: Biology/PE (Grade B). General Studies not accepted. GCSE requirements - minimum of 6 subjects at A or B grades (which should include Maths, English Language and either Biology or integrated/combined sciences).

Oxford Brookes - Typical Offer as of 2012= AAB. Subjects Required: Biology/Human Biology. AS-Level grades BB required. GCSE Requirements = 5 GCSEs Grade C and above to include Maths, English and Science.

Plymouth - Typical Offer as of 2012 = 340 from 3 A-Levels. Subjects Required: 1 A-Level biological science (Grade B). General Studies not accepted. GCSE Requirements = 5 A-C Grades to include Maths, English and Science.

Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh - Typical Offer = 320 (ABB), Required Subjects: Not stated. N.B. This course is FOUR years long NOT 3! Subjects Required: Two from Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Biology.

Robert Gordon University - Typical Offer = 300 (BBB). Required subjects: Two A-Level sciences and English. N.B. This course is FOUR years long NOT 3! General Studies is not accepted. Number of places = 42

University of Salford - Typical Offer = 300 (BBB). Required subjects: Human Biology/Biology (Grade B). GCSE Requirements = 5 GCSEs Grade B to include Maths, English and Science.

Sheffield Hallam - Typical Offer = 300 (BBB). Required subjects: Biology/Human Biology/Chemistry (Grade B). General Studies not accepted. GCSE Requirements = 5 GCSEs grade C and above to include Maths, Science and English.

Southampton - Typical Offer = 370 (ABBb). Subjects Required: Any science subject. General Studies is not accepted. Number of places = 63. Approximately 18 applicants per place.

St Georges University of London - Typical Offer = 300 (BBB). Required subjects: A level Biology (Grade B). General Studies not accepted.

University of Teesside - Typical offer = 300-320 (BBB). Required subjects: A-Level Biology/Human Biology (Grade B). GCSE Requirements = 5 GCSEs at grade C to include English Language, Maths and Science.

University of Ulster - Typical Offer = 300 (BBB) include one science subject from Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physics. Plus Note: This is a 3 year course! Applicants are required to sit the HPAT admissions test (Typically applicants need to place in the ~80th percentile and above for an offer to be made (2013 entry).

From the University of Ulster website:

Applicants should note that, as they will be engaged in ‘regulated activity’ involving children or vulnerable adults as part of their course, there is a compulsory, legal requirement to obtain an Enhanced Disclosure from Access NI or other relevant authority. There is a cost for this service. More information on Enhanced Disclosures may be accessed at (for NI) or (for GB). This is organised by the Faculty Office.

You must satisfy the General Entrance Requirements for admission to a first degree course and hold a GCSE pass in English Language at Grade C or above (or equivalent). You must also have obtained a GCSE pass in Mathematics at grade C or above (or equivalent). Please note that for purposes of entry to this course the Level 2 Essential / Key Skill in Application of Number is NOT regarded as an acceptable alternative to GCSE Maths.

A level: Grades BBB to include one science subject from Biology, Chemistry, Maths, Physics, Double Award Applied Science (BB).

Irish Leaving Certificate: Grades B2B2B3B3B3 at higher level, to include two subjects from Maths, Physics, Biology or Chemistry. English and Maths Grade D at Higher Level or Grade C at Ordinary Level.

BTEC National Diploma: Successful completion of a science related BTEC National Diploma with a DDM profile.

Access/Diploma in Foundation Studies: Pass with overall average of 70 - 71% to include 70% in each final year module. Final year modules must include 2 from the following:- Maths*, Biology, Physics, Chemistry. *Maths to be presented at level 3.

Satisfactory performance in the Health Professions Admissions Test (HPAT-Ulster) aptitude selection test is also required. More information on the HPAT-Ulster can be found at

Note that a fee will be charged to take the HPAT selection test. Further details can be found at: [1]

All candidates are required to undergo a medical examination and criminal records check (AccessNI).

York St John University - Typical Offer = 300 (BBB). Required subjects: A level Biology/Human Biology (Grade B). General Studies is not accepted. GCSE Requirements = 5 GCSEs at Grade C to include Maths, Science and English. Number of places = 30.


MSc in Physiotherapy

  • Accelerated Pre-registration MScs are different to Postgraduate Physio MScs. The accelerated degrees are for those who are NOT trained physios yet, but want to be, and hold a degree in another relevant subject (and don't want to do a BSc). Postgraduate MSc;s are for those who are ALREADY trained and wish to specialise. So be sure you're applying for the right ones!
  • Accelerated MSc entry is as competitive if not more so than BSc entry so it is advised that you apply for both MSc and BSc entry if you can.
  • Some MScs start in September, others start in January/February.
  • Applications are made DIRECT to the chosen university and NOT through UCAS.
  • Tuition fees are usually around 3000 per year and are still covered by the NHS but ONLY if you are at a university in England. Scottish fees are NOT covered by the NHS and are around 6000 a year.

You are NOT entitled to a student loan for MScs but you can apply for Means Tested NHS Bursary

  • Below is a list of the uni's who offer accelerated MScs, their typical offers and start dates.

Robert Gordon - Typical Offer: 2:1 Honours in a Science subject (should usually contain Anatomy/Physiology).

Birmingham - Typical Offer - Not stated. Start Date = January.

Brighton - Typical Offer - Good first degree in biological science/other health professional education. Start Date = March/April. At least 2 weeks work experience required. N.B. is known as MSc Rehabilitation Science NOT Physiotherapy

Edinburgh - Typical Offer - Upper second (2:1) in science/engineering degree.

Essex Typical Offer- 2:2 or higher in a related degree. Start Date = September

Glasgow - Typical Offer - 1st class or upper second science degree which must have had substantial amounts of Anatomy and Physiology. NB Is known as MSc Rehabilitation Science, NOT Physiotherapy. Places available = 22. Start Date = January.

Leeds - Typical Offer - 2:1 Honours degree in Biological/Behavioural science. Start date = February.

Manchester Metropolitan University - programme starts in January. Information available from

Kings College London - Typical Offer - High 2:1 first degree in biomedical sciences/health related subject PLUS good A-Level profile. Places available = 20.

Newcastle - Typical Offer - Minimum 2:1 Hons in a science related subject.

Norwich (UEA) - Typical Offer - Degree in a related subject. Start date: February.

Southampton - Typical offer - 2:1 in a relevant first degree.

Teesside - Typical Offer - Minimum 2:2 in a related subject. Start date = February.

Ulster - Typical Offer - Minimum 2:1 in a related subject. Other requirements - minimum of 14 hours of Physiotherapy work experience. N.B. Entry is currently suspended at this University until further notice, no entry in 2005. So double check that they are taking students for 2006 or further before you waste your time filling in the application form! Start date = June.

Funding and Finances

  • Currently tuition fees are £1175 pounds per year and these are met by the NHS so wahey, you're 100 quid richer than most students. When top up fees come into action, fees will be £3000 but again they are covered by the NHS so you don't need to let the sky high fees put you off! On the downside, there are practice placements to complete - which might cost you a few extra quid in commuting to the placement sites.
  • Student Loan - apply through your LEA for this. The amount you are entitled to depends on the location of uni, the amount your parents earn and how whether you will be living at home or in halls. This is repayable after you start earning 15,000. See for more details!
  • NHS Bursary - for this you apply directly to the NHS Students Grants Unit (they should send you a form!). Again, it is means tested and depends on the same factors as your student loan. BUT, you do not have to pay it back. I strongly suggest you take the bursary even if you are entitled to a measly sum of money. This is because certain costs i.e. placement, uniform, certain travel etc can be claimed back once you've paid for them, but only if you are receipt of a bursary. So even if you're only entitled to 5p, then you should take it otherwise you'll be poorer in the long run! See for more details!

Course Structure

Will be largely based around neuromusculoskeletal studies, musculo-skeletal diseases and disorders and pathophysiology

You must do 1000 clinical hours to qualify, these will normally be split up into 6 placements. You may get to do placements in other areas such as paediatrics, and in a variety of settings (e.g. inpatients, outpatients, community).

Structure will vary largely between universities, but will have the same themes:

  • Anatomy and physiology- focused on joints- the bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, nerves and blood supply of each joint.
  • Assessment- subjective (asking questions to find out the patient's symptoms, where their pain is, past medical history, medications they may be on etc) and objective (performing tests to test out your hypotheses e.g. measuring range of movement, Lachmans test etc).
  • Treatment

Life as a Physiotherapy Student

Do expect to have a lot more hours than your friends on different courses. You can expect to be in lectures 20 hours a week with most free periods taken up by research and revision due to the workload. Do not take this course if your looking for an easy course with little hours. Also expect to be going out less than friends on different courses as lectures tend to be 9-5pm daily with the exception of wednesdays.

How to Cope on a Physiotherapy Placement

Graduate Destinations and Career Prospects

Other Info

What can I do to prepare after receiving an offer?

I would advice buying the 'Atlas of Skeletal Muscles' Stone ISBN:0071244794, an older version can be picked up for around £15 and learning the origin, insertion, action and innervation of upper limb muscles (Neck, Shoulder, Elbow, Wrist and Hand). This book also contains labelled diagrams of bones - it would be good to look over these and be able to point to key features of the bones of the upper limb e.g. the glenoid fossa of the scapula. It would also be advantageous to start looking through pathophysiology books - particularly focussing on the nervous system. Good books for this are Human Physiology by Sherwood and Principles of Medical Physiology by Guyton. However DO NOT BUY THESE BOOKS, they are expensive and you will be able to take them out of the library at university.

Important Websites - Chartered Society of Physiotherapy - Health and Care Professions Council - Musculoskeletal Association of Chartered Physiotherapists (MACP) - Website for physiotherapists in sport (Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Sports Medicine) - Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapists - Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Respiratory Care - Association of Chartered Physiotherapists Interested in Neurology

Useful Websites - Weekly publication which ha lots of letters and articles - very helpful for interviews! - Forum and website hosted by QMUC - Physio-Pedia contains lots of useful information (Articles, Research, interview tips & etc)

Jobs - Good for physiotherapist, physiotherapy assistant and technical instructor jobs - Good for job hurts within private practice and sports, the forums also provide professional help and CPD courses.

Journal Links - enables you to search through loads of journals - British Medical Journal - International Journal of Therapy and Rehab


Vertebral Manipulations - Maitland. ISBN:0750624477 Approximately 40 quid. All about manipulation and mobilisation of the spine - definitely worth buying despite price
Peripheral Manipulations - Maitland ISBN:075061031X. Approximately 40 quid. All about manipulation and mobilisation of the peripheral limbs
Tidy's Physiotherapy, ISBN: 0750632119 by Stuart Porter - Good if you want a brief overview of topic areas but not in depth at all.
The Physiotherapist's Pocket Guide: Essential Facts at Your Fingertips, ISBN: 044307318X by Jonathan Kenyon, Karen Kenyon - pocket sized bible for physio students, perfect for reference during clinical placements!
Principles of Neuromusculoskeletal Treatment and Management: A Guide for Therapists by Nicola J. Petty, ISBN: 0443070628 - Excellent introduction to neuromuscular assessment
Clinically Orientated Anatomy - Moore and Dalley ISBN: 0683061410 - Personally I think this is one of the best anatomy books around. Great quality information and excellent diagrams, tables and pictures. Costs around 35 pounds I think but its definitely worth it £££!
Anatomy, Palpation and Surface Markings, Derek Field ISBN:0750646187, I think this is around 25 quid.........seen some copies going on eBay though
Muscles: Testing and Function with Posture and Pain, Kendall et al, ISBN: 0781747805. About 35 quid................excellent... .......good descriptions
Grays Anatomy for Students, Drake - Essential for learning the joint structures, ligaments and give good summary tables of the muscles.

Originally complied by JackieS on TSR Forums.