Bachelor of Science with Honours
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences
School of Health Sciences
The UCAS code for Ulster University is U20
The School of Health Sciences undergraduate programmes will relocate to the Magee campus in Derry~Londonderry from September 2022.
Postgraduate Health Sciences teaching will move to the University’s Belfast campus at the same time.
The School of Health Sciences will remain at Jordanstown for the 21/22 academic year to enable sufficient time for transition arrangements to the new locations.
This location decision reflects the benefits and opportunities presented by the co-location of the School of Medicine, Paramedic Practice and the award-winning School of Nursing based at the University’s Magee campus.
Our Magee campus will best enable the NHS strategic emphasis on development of multi-disciplinary teams and rich opportunities for interprofessional learning.
Training you for success as a modern, proficient, up-to-date and research-informed physiotherapist.
Are you willing to put patients first in everything you do, and treat all with respect, dignity & compassion? Are you aware that physiotherapistswork in all areas of health (e.g. elderly care, intensive care, respiratory care, stroke care, mental health & orthopaedics) not just in musculoskeletal/sports injuries? Do you realise that, for the safety of their patients, all physiotherapy students are required to be vaccinated and to pass both a medical and an enhanced criminal record check? Do you appreciate that physiotherapy students are expected to act in the role of patients for their classmates during practical classes, and that this sometimes means being appropriately dressed for that activity? Are you prepared to put in a lot of work (20+ in-class hours 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 recommendations for tackling the initial problem, and produce a report/presentation with which to transmit your recommendations to an audience.
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Comments from academic peers from other universities include:
"The programme compares highly favourably with similar programmes that I am familiar with at other institutions."
"A highly contemporary professional course that more than meets the requirements of academic and professional regulatory bodies."
"The performance both from an academic and clinical perspective across each student group is reflective of an outstanding level of student support."
"Students are producing a very high standard of work across all three levels."
"I was particularly impressed with some of the writing skills of students in their second year. Written assignments tend to be reduced in courses these days and this may impact on the dissertation in Year 3."
"Feedback to the students was detailed."
"The integration of contemporary policy and professional issues, clearly linked to employment and employability contributes to keeping the programme content highly relevant."
"Quite rightly a very highly regarded pre-registration programme in the UK."
Three years, full-time. In addition, two placement blocks occur in summer semesters.
You will work both individually and in groups. You will be taught in lectures (approx. 60 students), seminars (approx. 20 students) and practical classes (approx. 20 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.
The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.
Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:
As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until near the start date and may be subject to change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days of attendance will often be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.
Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10- or 20-credit modules and postgraduate course typically 15- or 30-credit modules.
The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.
Postgraduate Masters courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.
Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.
Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be via one method or a combination e.g. examination and coursework . Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes. You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessment. The precise assessment will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification and the assessment timetable. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Normally, a module will have four learning outcomes, and no more than two items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised.
The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6 (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).
Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Masters degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.
All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study. In Masters degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.
Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.
The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 59% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.
Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (25%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (20%) or Lecturers (55%).
We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic staff (81%) are accredited fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) by Advanced HE - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.
The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise. The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff. This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.
Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.
Figures correct for academic year 2021-2022.
Our vision is aligned to the strategic growth plan for the city and region.
Enjoy student life in one of Europe's most vibrant cities.
Our facilities in Magee cater for many sports ranging from archery to volleyball, and are open to students and members of the public all year round.
At Student Wellbeing we provide many services to help students through their time at Ulster University.
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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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.
This module will prepare the physiotherapy student for life as a professional particularly in relation to clinical placement. It will address professional codes of conduct and how these need to be adhered to. It will also prepare the student for clinical placement through an understanding of how it is managed and allocated, their role and that of the educator and the academic staff. It will introduce them to reflective practice and portfolio keeping which will be an integral part of the placement.
This module will introduce physical activity and exercise as a core physiotherapy modality to be used with a range of client groups. There will be a strong emphasis on behaviour change and the need to engage the patient in their own care.
This module will introduce the student to physiotherapeutic specific skills in the assessment and management of a number of rheumatological conditions, fractures and soft tissue musculoskeletal disorders. The students will begin to foster an awareness of what it means to work professionally as a healthcare professional and develop clinical reasoning skills.
This module gives the student a firm knowledge base in anatomy and function of the upper and lower limbs. It introduces students to simple clinical pictures and clinical reasoning strategies to make the anatomy meaningful, and introduces them to a basic diagnostic assessment of the peripheral joints.
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.
The module develops research knowledge and skills for using published 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 seminars will develop research knowledge and its application in using and producing research evidence. Workshops will provide practical experience of research activities including data analysis. In addition, course specific seminars will provide guidance on the development of a research idea and presentation of an outline research proposal.
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.
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.
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.
In this module, students will further develop their ability to assess, clinically reason and diagnose musculoskeletal conditions of the peripheral body. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This module enables students to synthesis and evaluate evidence relating to the role of the physiotherapist in the management of the critically ill patient.
As well as including the students' fourth placement block, this module focuses on preparing students for the task of securing a job at interview. Students work in a self-directed manner on group tasks. Assessment involves delivery of presentations and a simulated interview.
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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Grades BBB to include a grade B from one of the following: Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, CCEA Single Award Life & Health Sciences (first taught September 2016), Double Award Life & Health Sciences (grade BB) or Double Award Applied Science (grade BB).
QCF Pearson BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma/ OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Extended Diploma(2012 Suite)(relevant science based BTEC)
Award profile of DDD
RQF Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma/ OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Extended Diploma(2016 Suite)(relevant sciencebased BTEC)
Award profile of DDM
You may also meet the course entry requirements with combinations of different qualifications to the same standard (provided subject requirements are met). Examples of combinations include:
QCF Pearson BTEC Level 3 Diploma/ OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Diploma (2012 Suite)
Award profile of DD (relevant science based BTEC) plus A Level Grade B
RQF Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma/ OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Diploma (2016 Suite)
Award profile of DM (relevant science based BTEC) plus A Level Grade B
QCF Pearson BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma/ OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Introductory Diploma (2012 Suite)
Award profile of DplusA Level Grades BB
RQF Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate/ OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Extended Certificate (2016 Suite)
Award profile of DplusA Level Grades BB
For further information on the entry requirements for this course please contact the administrator as listed in Contact details.
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.
Overall Access profile pass with an overall mark of 65%, including 65% 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.
For full-time study, you must satisfy the General Entrance Requirements for admission to a first degree course and hold a GCSE pass at Grade C/4 or above in English Language, additionally GCSE maths Grade C/4.
Please note that for purposes of entry to this course the Level 2 Certificate in Essential Skills - Application of Number is NOT regarded as an acceptable alternative to GCSE Maths.
English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.
Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.
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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 by research.
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.
Endorsed by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP).
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.
Fees for entry in 2023/24 have not yet been set. See our tuition fees page for the current fees for 2022/23 entry.
At present, the awards/prizes that are available to our BSc Hons physiotherapy students are:
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 Prize for 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 costs include - AccessNI Check, Health Screening, Membership of Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, PlacementExpenses, Uniforms, Books.
Uniforms – as part of your course, you will be required to purchase a uniform during the first week of the semester. 2020/21costs were approx. 85.
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 2018/19, buying the Year 1 required reading books new cost approximately 450; the Year 2 books cost approx 300, and there were no additional required books in Year 3.
It is important to remember that costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges) and normal living will need to be covered in addition to tuition fees.
Where a course has additional mandatory expenses (in addition to tuition fees) we make every effort to highlight them above. 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 Wi-Fi are also available on each of the campuses.
There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.
Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as a part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs, as well as tuition fees.
See the tuition fees on our student guide for most up to date costs.
Mrs Julie Nesbitt
Dr Jackie Gracey