Physiotherapy - BSc (Hons) - Video

Training you for success as a modern, proficient, up-to-date and research-informed physiotherapist.

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Important notice – campus change This course will move campus from September 2019 onwards.

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Training you for success as a modern, proficient, up-to-date and research-informed physiotherapist.


Are you aware that physios work in all areas of health (e.g. elderly care, community care, intensive care, respiratory care, stroke care, mental healthcare, etc.) not just in musculoskeletal/sports injuries? Are you willing to put patients first in everything you do, and treat all with respect, dignity & compassion? Do you realise that, for the safety of their patients, all physio students are required to be vaccinated and to pass both a medical and an enhanced criminal record check? Do you appreciate that physio students are expected to act in the role of patients for their classmates during practical classes, and that this can mean you undressing to your underwear? Are you prepared to put in a lot of work (20+ in-class hrs/wk in Year 1, plus plenty of home study)? If so, this may be the course for you.

We will train you to cope with virtually all situations that physiotherapists meet professionally. We will also focus on your academic development, aiming to leave you able to: identify problems that need solving, seek out related information and critically appraise its value, come up with solutions for the initial problem, and produce a report/presentation with which to transmit your recommendations to an audience.

The University regularly 'refreshes' courses to make sure they are as up-to-date as possible. The University call this process 'academic revalidation'. This course will be 'refreshed' during the 2017/18 academic year, with changes put in place for students entering in Sept 2018. For the most up-to-date course/module information, E:

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About this course

In this section


“The BSc Hons Physiotherapy programme at Ulster is, quite rightly, a very highly regarded pre-registration programme in the UK” (External Examiner based in another UK University).

Physiotherapists use a range of mainly physical approaches to help their patients regain their original levels of health. If this is not achievable (maybe due to a worsening degenerative condition) then physiotherapists help their patients achieve the maximum that is now possible.

We will train you to be able to cope with virtually any of the day-to-day situations that present to a modern physiotherapist. You will study alongside other students who share your desire to help others. As well as attending lectures and seminars, you will take part in practical classes. In these classes, you will practice the skills that you will eventually use on placement.

You will complete a minimum of 1,000 clinical hours spread over five 6-week placements in Northern Ireland. On placement, you will work in a wide range of physiotherapy disciplines (such as neurology, cardiorespiratory, orthopaedics, burns & plastics, musculoskeletal outpatients).

Ulster has a well-developed postgraduate research group. This means that, once you graduate, you will have the opportunity to continue your studies here working towards a Masters or Doctoral degree.

The presence of our active research group ensures you will be taught by lecturers who are fully up-to-date in the latest research, as well as leaders in their various clinical fields. These lecturers will strive to give you the best possible start on your own professional journey. We take great pride in meeting/reading of past students who are now our peers, being experts in their own right.

You will be part of a strongly-knit team of supportive students. With this support, you have every reason to be confident that you will achieve your goal of becoming a physiotherapist.


Ours is a 3-year, full-time course. In addition, two of your 6-week placement blocks occur in summer semesters (that is, at a time when you would otherwise be on your summer holiday). One placement occurs at the beginning of the summer holiday before Year 2, and one occurs at the end of the summer holiday before Year 3.

In Year 1, you can expect to attend 5 days per week. You will have approximately 20 hours of staff contact time and 30 hours of self-directed study per week. In subsequent years, the amount of staff contact time reduces and the amount of self-directed study increases.

As part of our commitment to supporting you through your time at university, we will monitor your attendance closely and follow-up any non-attendance.

From September 2018, this course will be based at the Coleraine campus.

Start dates

  • September 2019
How to apply


Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.

Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.

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Year one

Structure Function & Assessment 1

Year: 1

By introducing the student to the anatomy and assessment of the lower limb, this module helps lay the foundation for much of the work to come within the rest of the course.

Therapeutic Skills 1

Year: 1

This module introduces the student to some of the core physiotherapy skills such as massage and therapeutic handling required for clinical practice, It also introduces students to problem-solving, goal setting and clinical reasoning skills. The module also introduces evidence based practice, pain and the ethical principles underpinning physiotherapy practice will also be explored.

Therapeutic Skills 2

Year: 1

This module builds on Therapeutic Skills 1 and introduces the student to more of the core skills required for clinical practice such exercise prescription and the management of fractures. It also builds on the students' problem-solving skills, goal setting and clinical reasoning skills.

Applied Clinical Skills for Physiotherapists

Year: 1

This module introduces the student to many of the core skills and techniques that physiotherapists use in the clinical environment, and builds on the material covered in the `therapeutic skills' modules in semester one of the physiotherapy course. It allows students to develop these skills and techniques within the context of a selection of common rheumatological conditions, and provides a basis for developing problem-solving and clinical reasoning skills in keeping with current best practice.

Structure Function and Assessment 2

Year: 1

By introducing the student to the anatomy and assessment of the lower limb, this module helps lay the foundation for much of the work to come within the rest of the course.

Cardiorespiratory 1

Year: 1

This module provides students with knowledge and understanding of the role of the physiotherapist in the management of the spontaneously breathing patient with respiratory compromise. Students will develop new physiotherapy assessment and treatment skills relevant to common clinical respiratory disorders.

Knowledge and Skills for Personal & Professional Development

Year: 1

This module provides opportunities to learn in an interprofessional context. Students will acquire skills for both academic and practice based learning. It will provide them with an opportunity to acquire knowledge and skills on issues relating to professional practice and personal development within a supportive environment.

Knowledge and Skills for Personal & Professional Development 2

Year: 1

This inter-professional module introduces students to the key concepts in health communication and health psychology that are necessary for effective practice as a health professional. The module is delivered primarily through online activities which students complete independently and using group work.

Year two

Research Methods

Year: 2

The module provides a foundation of knowledge and skills for using research evidence to inform practice and for designing and conducting research and clinical audit post-registration. The focus is on research design and qualitative and quantitative methods appropriate for healthcare research. A series of lectures and workshops provide theoretical knowledge and practical experience of research activities including data analysis.

Neurological Rehabilitation

Year: 2

This module develops student knowledge of neuroanatomy, neurophysiology and normal movement analysis and relates this information to the management of people with a range of neurological conditions.

Neurological Rehabilitation 2: Applied Clinical Skills

Year: 2

This module enhances and further develops student knowledge gained in 'Neurological rehabilitation: core principles'. It relates this information to the management of people with a range of neurological conditions.

Professional Practice Placement 2

Year: 2

This is the second of five integrated practice-based learning modules and will equip students. It will give students the opportunity to acquire knowledge of practical skills relating to clinical practice within a supportive environment designed to meet level 5 learning outcomes.

Musculoskeletal Dysfunction

Year: 2

This module builds on previous learning. Assessments of the peripheral body are progressed, and students encouraged to use clinical reasoning to make sense of information obtained. Having already covered Maitland mobilisations, the students' range of treatment options will be expanded to cover techniques from different manual therapy schools including Mulligan and Cyriax. This module should leave students able to competently assess a range of peripheral musculoskeletal conditions, arrive at a working diagnosis and suggest a reasonable management plan.

Physiotherapy Practice in Context

Year: 2

This module will enhance the student's knowledge of physiotherapy practice in context through analysis of more complex patient presentations in neurological conditions with additional problems in the cardiorespiratory system, and the clinical specialties of paediatrics and learning disability.

Physical Activity for Health

Year: 2

This module will enhance the student's knowledge of the health promotion role of the physiotherapist, and how physical activity and exercise programmes can both maintain/improve health but also prevent ill health. The module is designed to enhance the student's knowledge of physical activity levels in healthy adults and those with clinical conditions and the physical and psychological benefits to engaging in physical activity.

Musculoskeletal assessment and management: Spinal

Year: 2

In preparation for this module on assessment and management of spinal dysfunction the student is introduced to the anatomy and biomechanics of the spine, pelvis and trunk. This module then introduces the student to the assessment, management and prevention of vertebral dysfunction through a manual therapy approach incorporating evidence based practice and psychosocial issues using a clinical reasoning approach.

Physiotherapy Placement 3

Year: 2

This is the third of five integrated practice-based learning modules and will provide students with a comprehensive placement at the start of year 3 of the BSc (Hons) course. It will give students the opportunity to acquire knowledge of practical skills relating to clinical practice within a supportive environment designed to meet level 6 learning outcomes.

Year three

Research Project

Year: 3

In this module students will develop research skills by undertaking a research study on a topic related to practice. Each student, with support, will have an opportunity to undertake one of the following types of research project: (i) a systematic critical review to inform practice;(ii) a research protocol involving the design of a research study or health promotion activity or (iii) a research report involving the collection and/or analysis of data to produce evidence to inform practice. Lectures and clinics, supplemented by online material, will provide the theoretical knowledge and guidance required to undertake the research task. Workshops will provide support for practical skills such as systematic searching for literature, using critical appraisal tools and data management and analysis.

Critical Care

Year: 3

This module enables students to synthesis and evaluate evidence relating to the role of the physiotherapist in the management of the critically ill patient.

Physiotherapy Placement 4

Year: 3

This is the fourth of five integrated practice-based learning modules. This module will prepare students for practice and provide a fourth placement experience. This will provide students with a comprehensive placement during year 3 of the BSc (Hons) course. The in depth case study will encourage students to critically analyse, reflect on and evaluate physiotherapy practise. It will give students the opportunity to acquire further knowledge of practical skills relating to clinical practice within a variety of health care contexts designed to meet level 3 learning outcomes.

Professional Development & Employability

Year: 3

In this module health and social care policy relevant to the delivery and organisation of physiotherapy and other services will be discussed. The emphasis is on preparation of the student to move into the work place equipped with knowledge and understanding of the issues that will have an influence on their professional practice.

The Person with Complex Needs including Professional practice placement 3

Year: 3

This module will enable students to synthesise knowledge and theory with the application of their professional skills to enhance their clinical reasoning skills in the management of complex problems in relation to rehabilitation and palliative care for older people with long term conditions.

Professional Practice Placement 5

Year: 3

This is the final integrated practice-based learning module. This module will prepare students for practice and provide a fifth placement experience. This will provide students with a range of comprehensive placement during the 3 years of the BSc (Hons) course. It will give students the opportunity to develop further knowledge of practical skills relating to professional practice within a supportive environment designed to meet level 6 learning outcomes.

Entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.

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A level

The A Level requirement for this course is BBB to include a grade B from one of the following: Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Double Award Life & Health Sciences (grade BB) or Double Award Applied Science (grade BB).



Overall BTEC award profile DDM (to include a unit grade profile of 9 distinctions) in a relevant science based BTEC.

Irish Leaving Certificate

Overall Irish Leaving Certificate Higher grades H3,H3,H3,H3,H3 to include two H3 Highers in the following: Maths, Biology, Physics or Chemistry. Plus English and Mathematics Grade H6 at Higher level or Grade O4 at Ordinary level.

Access to Higher Education (HE)

Overall Access profile pass with an overall mark of 70%, including 70% in each level 3 module to include two level 3 modules from the following: Maths, Biology, Physics or Chemistry, NICATS maths (25 credits) or maths 1 & 2 or GCSE grade C Maths.


GCSE Profile to include English Language and Mathematics at grade C/4.

Essential/Key Skills in Application of Number is not regarded as an acceptable alternative to GCSE Mathematics.

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 7.0 with no band score less than 6.5.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Additional Entry Requirements

Satisfactory performance in the HPAT-Ulster selection test is also required. More information on the Health Professions Admissions Test (HPAT-Ulster) can be found at Pease note that there is a cost to undertake the test.

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 AccessNI. The cost for this is payable by the applicant and is currently £33. More information on Enhanced Disclosures may be accessed by

You will also be required to demonstrate good health prior to commencing the course. You will therefore complete a health declaration form which will be screened by Occupational Health who will confirm your medical fitness to undertake the course. Following the screening, you may be required to undertake a vaccination programme. You will be liable for the cost of both the health screening and vaccinations. Costs will be confirmed.

HND (science related) entry requirement:

Pass HND with overall Merit to include 60 distinctions in level 5 credits/units.

HNC(science related)entry requirement:

Pass HNC with overall Distinction to include 90 distinctions in level 4/5 credits/units.

You may also meet the course entry requirements with combinations of the different qualifications to the same standard as recognised by the University (provided subject requirements as noted above are met). Examples of acceptable combinations include:

2 A Levels and BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/BTEC National Extended Certificate

OCR National Diploma and BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/BTEC National Extended Certificate

2 A Levels and Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma

A Level and BTEC National Diploma

For further information regarding combination offer requirements, please contact Faculty Office staff: T: +44 (0)28 9036 6098 or E:

Teaching and learning assessment

You will work both individually and in groups. You will be taught in lectures (approx. 50 students), seminars (approx. 18 students) and practical classes (approx. 18 students). The majority of the course is delivered in practical classes where you will learn and practise the various practical skills needed by a physiotherapist. In these classes, you will alternate between taking on the role of physiotherapist and patient.

You will be assessed in a variety of ways, such as sit-down class tests, practical skills tests, presentations, oral tests, essays, dissertation, etc. You will also be assessed on your performance on placement.

Careers & opportunities

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Career options

Physiotherapists work in both public, community and private settings such as hospitals, GP practices, industry and private practice. There are also opportunities for our graduates to go on to complete higher degrees at Masters and Doctoral level.

Work placement / study abroad

Work placements are integral to this course. All students have to complete at least 1,000 hours of clinical practice. There are five 6-week placements. The first of these is split into one week of observation (in January of Year 1) and five weeks of hands-on placement (in June-July at the end of Year 1).

Most placements occur in Northern Ireland. It might be possible for one placement to occur outside Northern Ireland.

Professional recognition

Health and Care Professions Council, the (HCPC)

Approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) for the purpose of providing eligibility to apply for registration with the HCPC as a physiotherapist.

Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP)

Endorsed by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP).


How to apply Request a prospectus

Applications to full-time undergraduate degrees at Ulster are made through UCAS.

Unfortunately, Ulster University is not it in a position to accept applications from students from England, Scotland or Wales due to regulations issued by the Department of Health Northern Ireland. For more info click here.

Start dates

  • September 2019

Fees and funding

In this section

Fees (per year)

Important notice - fees information Fees illustrated are based on 18/19 entry and are subject to an annual increase. Correct at the time of publishing. Terms and conditions apply. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
Visit our Fees pages for full details of fees

To find out more about fees related to this course please visit

Scholarships, awards and prizes

At present, the awards/prizes that are available to our BSc Hons physiotherapy students are:

  • The No Alibis Bookshop Prize for the for the first year student with the highest overall mark.
  • The Ryan X Seeley Award for the first year who is most supportive of fellow first year students
  • The Physiotherapy Educators: Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, NI Board Prize for the final year student with the highest aggregate placement mark.
  • The Collette Downey Memorial Prize for the final year student with the highest-scoring dissertation.
  • The Northern Ireland Board of Chartered Society of Physiotherapy Prizefor the final year student with the highest overall mark.

In addition, the names of all first year and second year students who achieve a year average of at least 70% will be placed on the Dean's List.

Additional mandatory costs

Additional costs include - AccessNI Check, Health Screening, Membership of Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, Placement Expenses, Uniforms, Books.

Uniforms – as part of your course, you will be required to purchase a uniform during the first week of the semester. 2017/18 costs were approx. £100.

Placement Expenses – students may incur expenses during periods of placement. Some placements may be outside Northern Ireland and will incur additional costs.

Membership of Chartered Society of Physiotherapy – The School of Health Sciences feels that it is in the best interest of students to join as student members of their chosen profession. The current cost of student membership is approximately £40 per year.

Books - In 2017/18, buying the Year 1 required reading books new cost £350-£400; the Year 2 books cost approx £250, and there were no additional required books in Year 3.

Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.

We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.

There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.

Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.

Please contact the course team for more information.


Faculty Contact (for advice regarding the admisssions/application process):

Mrs Julie Nesbitt

T: +44 (0)28 9036 6192


Course Director (for advice regarding course content, not admissions/applications):

Mr Mark Poulter

T: +44 (0)28 9036 6220


For more information visit

Faculty of Life and Health Sciences

School of Health Sciences