If you are interested in developing a career as a physiotherapist, it’s important to be able to understand how the human body functions, as well as having a passion for caring for others and good teamwork and communications skills.
At A-level or equivalent, some science subjects such as biology, chemistry, psychology, physics or physical education are usually required, while mathematics and humanities subjects such as English or Sociology also provide useful preparation for studying physiotherapy at university.
To become a qualified physiotherapist in the UK, you will need to study an approved university degree (BSc) in physiotherapy at undergraduate level, which will enable you to become a qualified physiotherapist in the UK.
Alternatively, if you’ve already completed an undergraduate degree in a relevant subject (such as biomedical science, psychology or sports science) you can study a two-year accelerated MSc course in physiotherapy, as an alternative route into the profession.
Studying physiotherapy is a varied career choice and can lead to many interesting work opportunities. Once qualified, you can join the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and choose to specialise in a particular area of practice. Some examples of specialisms include:
- geriatric medicine
- critical care
- sports injuries
- working with children
- working with cancer patients.
Physiotherapists also work in a variety of other settings outside of hospitals, including:
- working in management within physiotherapy services
- setting up their own private physiotherapy clinics
- working with sports professionals
- working in schools
- moving into policy-making roles
- volunteering for international organisations during natural disasters
- academia and research.
Explore opportunities for voluntary or paid work experience in a health or care setting to demonstrate your interest in the field. Speak to private physiotherapy clinics, sports clinics or nursing homes for potential opportunities. Voluntary work for charities such as the British Red Cross or St John Ambulance may also be valuable to support your university application.