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Uni or not uni

Hi, I’m currently in year 13 and about to start taking my A Level exams soon, but I’ve backtracked on my future plans and I’m not really sure what to do now. inItially I set out to study BSc Sport & Exercise Science and I was going to go straight into uni after finishing year 13, but I’m not planning on that anymore, or I’m pretty sure I’m not. I realised that a Sport Science degree wouldn’t get me where I want to be - within sport injury - and that I would need to be starting in Physiotherapy instead. I appreciate I could do Physio pre-reg after the Sport degree but I don’t have any interest in doing it that way round.

The problem is with BSc Physio is that firstly, I might not make the grades by missing them by one grade (most courses require AAB/ABB and I’m aiming for AAC). This is such a shame for me as I completely aced GCSEs with majority 9s and I spent my entire life being highly academic, but unfortunately for me during A-Levels, I had some huge personal issues that really knocked me back which makes me upset that because of this, I will forever be dragging around grades I’m not satisfied with. For the record, retaking a year of A Level is 10000% off the table for me as I need to leave my college ASAP. The second issue with the degree is that, a year ago I went to an open day and I went to a talk about a Physio course and I hated everything about it. I completely hate the idea that you have to work within the NHS and with old people etc, that sort of thing isn’t my thing. I can’t see myself doing it. It’s just such a shame that the degree gets you to where I want to be - I would love to study a MSc in Sports Medicine and either go on to work in a club or for myself, but I just don’t want to do the first degree.

I have thought about as a backup plan if I don’t make the grades, I could potentially reapply in a few years as a mature student and work towards the degree from a foundation course, but it means I’d have to spend 3+ years doing something else. It’s just such a shame that my perfect job is out there - a sport physio - but I probably won’t make or enjoy the process leading up to it.

Does anyone have any advice/been in a similar situation? Thank you :smile:
Think about deferring your Uni place until autumn 2025 entry and you could plan a gap year to get relevant practical experience for Physio (Physiotherapy assistants/support workers | Health Careers) - and then make a decision about picking up the place for Sports Science or dropping that and making a new application for Physio before Jan 2025.
Hi,

Have you thought about taking a gap year and not going to university until September 2025? It might help to have some time to decide what you want to do.

In regards to a degree that would help support you with a career within helping individuals with sport injury's, York St John offer a few different courses, that could help you pursue a career in this industry. I have linked them below if you wanted to have a look at them and see if they would be something you would enjoy

Sport and Exercise Science BSc (Hons) | York St John University (yorksj.ac.uk)
Sport and Exercise Therapy BSc (Hons) | York St John University (yorksj.ac.uk)
Physical Education and Sports Coaching BSc (Hons) | York St John University (yorksj.ac.uk)
Physiotherapy BSc (Hons) | York St John University (yorksj.ac.uk)

I would also recommend that you speak the careers team at your school as they probably have had students in a similar situation in the past, and will be able to support you while your still at school and maybe even signpost you to different pathways that you may have not known were a option

Suzan - Student Ambassador
Postgrad physio courses are only 2 years. If the NHS work side of physio is something you dread then it seems like your original degree choice (and taking any opportunities you can for training alongside your degree) followed up with a graduate physio course would be the best option.
Original post by mcfc0161
Hi, I’m currently in year 13 and about to start taking my A Level exams soon, but I’ve backtracked on my future plans and I’m not really sure what to do now. inItially I set out to study BSc Sport & Exercise Science and I was going to go straight into uni after finishing year 13, but I’m not planning on that anymore, or I’m pretty sure I’m not. I realised that a Sport Science degree wouldn’t get me where I want to be - within sport injury - and that I would need to be starting in Physiotherapy instead. I appreciate I could do Physio pre-reg after the Sport degree but I don’t have any interest in doing it that way round.

The problem is with BSc Physio is that firstly, I might not make the grades by missing them by one grade (most courses require AAB/ABB and I’m aiming for AAC). This is such a shame for me as I completely aced GCSEs with majority 9s and I spent my entire life being highly academic, but unfortunately for me during A-Levels, I had some huge personal issues that really knocked me back which makes me upset that because of this, I will forever be dragging around grades I’m not satisfied with. For the record, retaking a year of A Level is 10000% off the table for me as I need to leave my college ASAP. The second issue with the degree is that, a year ago I went to an open day and I went to a talk about a Physio course and I hated everything about it. I completely hate the idea that you have to work within the NHS and with old people etc, that sort of thing isn’t my thing. I can’t see myself doing it. It’s just such a shame that the degree gets you to where I want to be - I would love to study a MSc in Sports Medicine and either go on to work in a club or for myself, but I just don’t want to do the first degree.

I have thought about as a backup plan if I don’t make the grades, I could potentially reapply in a few years as a mature student and work towards the degree from a foundation course, but it means I’d have to spend 3+ years doing something else. It’s just such a shame that my perfect job is out there - a sport physio - but I probably won’t make or enjoy the process leading up to it.

Does anyone have any advice/been in a similar situation? Thank you :smile:


Working in the NHS is not compulsory when you graduate from a physio degree, and if you think working in the NHS is just about working with old people, then you really need to get some shadowing experience to understand what the job involves and the opportunities and specialisms available. If you want to apply for a physio course, you will need some shadowing experience (both in a hospital and a private practice would be ideal) and public-facing work/volunteering experience. You will be interviewed, even if you apply through clearing, so you need to be prepared.

Where you get your degree from won't matter to employers as long as it is HCPC validated and accredited by the CSP. If you don't meet the grade requirements, look at unis that accept UCAS points instead - with AAC you will be able to apply to many courses. Use the NHS course finder tool to search for courses:

https://www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/career-planning/course-finder

If you do decide to pursue physio, then you need to decide between taking a gap year and applying for an undergraduate degree for 2025 entry (4 years to qualify) or completing the Sport & Exercise course and then applying for the pre-reg masters (5 years to qualify).

Some useful links:

https://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/physiotherapist

https://www.csp.org.uk/
Take a gap year and reapply once you get your results. Then you can discover where would accept you for this course to get you to your dream job, as some uni’s are willing to drop a grade. It would help you already having results too in terms of being able to firm somewhere and 100% know you’re going, and also not doing what a lot of people do when they’re unsure and apply to very high entry req universities and then get much lower, wasting a spot they applied for when they aren’t going to achieve that high.

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