• 21 September 2021
  • 4 min read

What Qualifications Do You Need To Become A Physiotherapist?

  • India Gooderham
    Cancer Exercise Specialist
    • Richard Gill
    • Mat Martin
    • Aubrey Hollebon
  • 0
  • 335
“Physiotherapy, as a profession offers a lot of diversity. You could specialise in a particular area such as musculoskeletal, critical care, care of the elderly, paediatrics, or oncology, for example, the list goes on.”

In this article India explores the different routes to becoming a Physiotherapist and gives her tips on the best way into the profession.

Topics covered in this article

Undergraduate University Degree

Entry Requirements For An Undergraduate Course

Annual Payments

Physiotherapy Apprenticeships

Personal Skills/ Traits

Once You Have Qualified And Have Your First Job

Undergraduate University Degree

A university degree is by far the most popular way to become a Physiotherapist. If you choose to take the full-time degree this normally takes 3 years and a part-time course will take six years.

Another option is a two-year accelerated Masters course this is an option if you already have a relevant degree.

On completion of your degree, you’ll need to register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) before you can start practising.

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Entry Requirements For An Undergraduate Course

To be accepted on to an undergraduate Physiotherapy Degree course you will usually need;

• two or three A levels, including a biological science and/or PE

• five GCSEs (grades A-C), including English language, maths and at least one science. Or the equivalent qualifications

• a BTEC, HND or HNC, including biological science

• a relevant NVQ

• a science-based access course

• equivalent Scottish or Irish qualifications

• a previous degree or a full practicing qualification in a related area.

It is worth bearing in mind though that each university sets its own entry requirements, so it’s important to check with them directly.

Most Universities will invite you for an interview and other selection processes are taken into account as well as academic qualifications.

Demonstrating that you have had plenty of relevant work experience is also highly recommended.

Annual Payments

At the time of writing this article people enrolled on a Physiotherapy degree course (not apprenticeships) will receive at least £5,000 a year to help fund studies, through the NHS Learning Support Fund, with no need to repay a penny!

Physiotherapy Apprenticeships

An alternative route to becoming a Physiotherapist is to take on a degree apprenticeship with a healthcare provider.

Apprenticeships give you the chance to earn a living while gaining your qualification.

Your employer and the government team up to pay the tuition fees.

When I trained to be a Physiotherapist back in 2013, an apprenticeship was not an option, but would have been something I would have seriously considered. An apprenticeship can really give you a taste of what the NHS, Physiotherapy and Healthcare is all about.

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Coming in as an apprentice can give you valuable insight on working on the wards, with patients and a real taste of the profession without going straight down the university route.

Personal Skills/ Traits

This article is about ‘qualifications,’ but of course to be a successful Physiotherapist it is also key to;

• be a good communicator

• have the ability to be hands-on

• be able and willing to explain conditions and treatments easily to service users • be caring and have a calm nature

• have good organisational skills

• be physically fit (it can be a very strenuous job).

Once You Have Qualified And Have Your First Job

You’ll have annual Continuing Professional Development (CPD) reviews, where you can discuss your career aspirations and plan how to achieve them.

These reviews can support you to keep moving forwards and stay motivated and inspired.

You’ll also be invited to join the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) this association can support you to continually update your skills and training. Physiotherapy, as a profession offers a lot of diversity.

You could specialise in a particular area such as musculoskeletal, critical care, care of the elderly, paediatrics, or oncology, for example, the list goes on… Research, teaching and management roles are other possibilities.

Outside the NHS, you could work, for example, in a sports clinic, with sports coaches or personal trainers, or open your own practice!

You may very well surprise yourself with which specialities that ‘call you’ once you begin on your training and the direction your career in Physiotherapy takes you.

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About the author

  • India Gooderham
    Cancer Exercise Specialist

India Gooderham’s background is as a Specialist Physiotherapist working in oncology and palliative care in the UK. She is now working as a Cancer Exercise Specialist and Cancer Yoga teacher and is founder of ‘Gentle Recovery’, an online rehabilitation and wellness platform for people affected by cancer. Her mission is to serve, educate and empower people at any stage of their cancer journey through exercise, yoga and wellness online programmes and 1-2-1 online coaching.

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  • India Gooderham
    Cancer Exercise Specialist

About the author

  • India Gooderham
    Cancer Exercise Specialist

India Gooderham’s background is as a Specialist Physiotherapist working in oncology and palliative care in the UK. She is now working as a Cancer Exercise Specialist and Cancer Yoga teacher and is founder of ‘Gentle Recovery’, an online rehabilitation and wellness platform for people affected by cancer. Her mission is to serve, educate and empower people at any stage of their cancer journey through exercise, yoga and wellness online programmes and 1-2-1 online coaching.

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