Physiotherapy BSc (full-time programme)

  • Overview
  • Course Content
  • Special Features
  • Teaching & Assessment
  • Employability
  • Fees
  • Entry Criteria

About the Course

Please click on the specific tabs above, to view relevant information about this course.

The highly successful and well established Physiotherapy programme at Brunel is currently offered in three formats: a three-year full-time BSc (Hons) programme, a four-year part-time BSc (Hons) programme and a two-year pre-registration Masters programme (MSc).

All modes of study prepare you for clinical excellence and professional autonomy.

If you wish to learn more about the BSc Physiotherapy part-time programme please review:

If you wish to learn more about the MSc Physiotherapy (pre-reg) programme please review:

To get a grass roots feel for the programme you might like to listen to one of our podcasts below.

Dr Mandy Jones talks to Physiotherapy students about their experiences of studying on the Physiotherapy programme at Brunel.

Dr Cherry Kilbride talks to Physiotherapy students about their experiences of clinical education at Brunel.

Dr Meriel Norris talking to three part-time physiotherapy students about their experiences of studying at Brunel.


It is our aim to prepare you for professional autonomy and excellence in clinical practice. To achieve this aim, the programme provides you with a strong scientific foundation, an impressive repertoire of physiotherapeutic skills, and facilitates the development of excellent clinical reasoning skills.

The programme also provides you with the means to critically evaluate the effectiveness of your own treatments and those of others – a skill which is vital for evidence-based practice. A sound working knowledge of research methodology provides you with the basis for this evaluation process and also provides you with the tools to develop your own research interests at any stage of your professional career.

In addition, the programme facilitates the development of essential communication skills and soundly embeds the core values of professionalism. Our programme aims to produce highly professional graduates with excellent communication skills who are able to function as independent clinicians and as fully interactive members of the multidisciplinary health care team.


For more information please contact:

Full-time mode – standard entry
(for applicants under the age of 21 years at point of entry)
Tutor: Emma Farquharson
Tel +44 (0)1895 268683
Email Emma with your queries:

Full-time mode – non-standard entry
(for applicants over the age of 21 years at point of entry)
Tutor: Pam Shiers
Tel +44 (0)1895 268839
Email Pam with your queries:

Do explore the information provided within the tabs on this course page, which outline the programme and entry criteria, prior to contacting the admissions tutor.

To speak to a physiotherapy student ambassador and get a student perspective of the programme and life at Brunel in general please email Jess:

Please note email is our preferred mode of communication. However, if you need to write to us, our address is:

Health Sciences and Social Care
Brunel University
Mary Seacole Building
Middlesex UB8 3PH

Web: Physiotherapy subject pages

Related Courses

Course Content

Physiotherapy student

The Physiotherapy BSc (Hons) programme at Brunel University is long established, with historical roots extending over four decades. The programme is continually reviewed and adapted to reflect current practice and to ensure it fully best prepares the graduates for their role in a changing work place. The programme has consistently produced high calibre graduates and high levels of graduate employment.

In accordance with good practice and the requirements of the regulatory body (HCPC) all UK physiotherapy programmes are revalidated every five to seven years to ensure they are capable of producing graduates with the knowledge and skills necessary to deliver quality health care in today's health arena. The Brunel programme was most recently revalidated in the spring of 2011.

In keeping with recent changes in government health policy which include a concerted move towards the primary prevention of ill health, and the delivery of physiotherapy in community settings, we took this opportunity to make minor modifications to our programme to reflect the changing NHS and the changing needs of patients. We are confident that these changes - made with input from client groups, students, our alumni and our NHS partners - will enable us to continue producing students who are happy, confident and competent in their studies, and graduates who are excellent clinicians.

The full-time BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy course is an exciting and innovative modular programme, delivered full-time over three years. Applicants should be aware that the programme is delivered over a period of three terms per year. The course is intense, the volume of learning is high, contact hours are significant. All students must be ready to assume responsibility for their own learning. It may be necessary for some students to develop or improve upon their current learning skills and strategies in order to step up to degree level academic work.

Students should expect campus based studies from 9 am to 5 pm five days a week. On Wednesdays classes usually end at lunchtime to allow students time for sport and recreation in the afternoon. Where possible teaching will finish at lunchtime on Fridays.

Scheme of Study

The schema of the programme (Excel) shows how the course is arranged term by term and year by year. The schema indicates where modules lie in relation to each other so you can see how your learning will build up. It also shows you where examinations and holidays fall.

After you have reviewed the schema why not read on to learn about module content.

Please note that all modules without exception are considered core to the curriculum, and are therefore compulsory.

Below you will find a brief description of each of the modules including an outline of the assessment format for each module. Practical modules are likely to be assessed practically while the more theoretical modules may be assessed by unseen exam papers, a viva or a written assignment.

Note all students will normally have a maximum of two attempts to pass any module and to progress through the programme. Re-sitting any failed component for the second time is dependent upon attendance. Students failing to meet attendance requirements will not automatically receive the right to re-sit examinations.

Bypass the module outlines to find out more about clinical education.

Module Outlines

Year 1

Term 1

Anatomy 1

Anatomy class 

In this module you will study the normal structure and functional anatomy of the lumbar spine, pelvis and lower limb. You will also start to consider aspects of disorder and dysfunction.

Assessment: A 20 minute lower quadrant practical anatomy exam

Rehabilitation 1

In this module you will study the theoretical basis of human movement and exercise prescription. The module also includes the study of muscle physiology, aspects of exercise physiology and movement analysis.

Assessment: A 20 minute practical viva, 1,000 word assignment and a one hour written paper.


This module allows you to study the key pathological processes that affect bone, muscles and joints either through trauma or disease.

Assessment: A one hour short answer paper.

Professional Development

The professional development modules run throughout all terms of each of the three years of the programme. They are designed to raise students’ awareness of the appropriate codes of professional standards of conduct and ethics pertinent to the physiotherapist and the physiotherapy student both on campus and out in clinical practice. We expect our students to behave with appropriate professionalism towards their studies, their peers, the staff, and their patients at all times. In addition this module will help you to develop the skills you need for effective lifelong learning and to promote professional development. Assessment: students will be assessed via review of a professional development report.

This 12 week term ends with a one week assessment period in which some of the term's modules will be assessed. After a three week Christmas break, you will return to campus for Term 2 which is also of 12 weeks in duration.

Year 1 – Term 2

Anatomy 2

In this module you will study the normal structure and functional anatomy of the cervical spine, thorax and upper limb. You will also consider aspects of disorder and dysfunction.

Assessment: A 20 minute upper quadrant practical anatomy exam

Rehabilitation 2  

This module provides the opportunity to develop your knowledge of the theoretical basis of motor control, motor learning and skill acquisition. You will be able to build on knowledge and skills attained in Rehabilitation 1 to further develop movement analysis skills; learning for example to analyse normal and abnormal posture and gait.

Assessment: a 35 minute practical examination.

Musculoskeletal 1 - The Lower Quadrant  


This module is the first of two practical orientated modules related to the examination and treatment of musculoskeletal dysfunction. Specifically in this module, you will study common pathologies/conditions affecting the lumbar spine, pelvis and lower limb and learn how to assess and manage patients with these conditions.

Assessment: a 45 minute practical exam.



In this module you will develop a theoretical understanding of normal respiratory physiology and the pathophysiology that underpins common respiratory disease. In addition you will learn to develop analytical assessment skills, and a physiotherapeutic knowledge base and skills repertoire which will enable you to treat and manage patients with a wide variety of symptoms associated with chronic and acute respiratory disease.
Assessment: a 30 minute practical viva and a 1.5 hour written assessment.

Year 1 – Term 3

Term 3 starts after your 3 week Easter break and primarily consists of a three week exam period in which Term 2 modules and any outstanding modules from Term 1 are assessed. You are then free to enjoy a long summer break (at least 16 weeks) before returning to start your second year studies.

Note that in order to proceed to Level 2, all Level 1 modules must be successfully completed.

The re-sit period for second attempts/reassessments is usually in the last week of August.

Year 2

Term 1

This 12 week teaching period includes two new assessed modules plus the ongoing professional development module and the study block Clinical Preparation.

Musculoskeletal 2 – The Upper Quadrant  

This module is the second of two practical modules related to examination and treatment of musculoskeletal dysfunction. Specifically in this module you will study common pathologies/conditions affecting the cervical and thoracic spine, shoulder girdle and upper limb and learn how to assess and manage patients with such conditions.

Assessment: a 45 minute practical exam


In this module you will study key concepts in neurophysiology, neuroanatomy and the pathological processes underlying a range of neurological conditions. You will develop neurological physiotherapeutic assessment and treatment skills including the ability to clinical reason and justify the decisions you make.

Assessment: a three hour written assessment.

Clinical Preparation

This study block falls just prior to your first clinical placement. At this point you will have substantial knowledge and the skills you will need to make your first clinical placement a great learning experience. This module is designed to provide you with an opportunity to investigate issues that affect therapy practice within the NHS for example professional accountability, legislation, multidisciplinary team work, effective communication and documentation, cultural and environmental effects and the role of health beliefs and models of health care delivery. In addition on a practical level you will learn safe and effective manual handling and basic life support.

Assessment: This module is not formally assessed. However you will be expected to demonstrate understanding of the issues explored in this module in your clinical placement modules.

This 12 week teaching period ends with a one week assessment period, followed by the three-week Christmas break. Your first clinical placement starts in January.

Year 2 – Term 2

This term consists of a six week clinical placement period followed by six weeks of campus based studies.

Clinical Placement 1  

This module is the first of the five clinical placements which occur during the second and third year of the full-time physiotherapy programme. Each placement lasts for six weeks. On this placement you will have the opportunity to apply and develop your basic skills of assessment and treatment to a variety of relevant health disorders. With appropriate guidance you will be able to identify patient’s problems and make informed decisions regarding the interventions you select.

Further details of the clinical placement modules are given at the end of the section on Module Outlines – in order to save repetition.

Assessment: You will be assessed on each placement by your supervising clinical educator using a standardised proforma.

Cardiovascular Health  

In this module you will study cardiovascular physiology and pathology including vascular pathology of the coronary circulation and vessels of the lower limbs. In addition you will develop an understanding of the assessment and management of patients with cardiac pathology and lower limb amputation. Integral to these conditions in particular you will also develop skills and knowledge in the arena of health promotion.

Assessment: a 45 minute practical viva exam.

Critical Care  

This module allows you to develop a theoretical knowledge of the pathophysiology resulting in the critically ill patient on the intensive care unit. You will also develop the analytical assessment skills and physiotherapeutic skills necessary to effectively manage this patient group.

Assessment: a 1,500 word case based assignment plus a viva.

Year 2 – Term 3

The three week Easter break will be followed by three weeks of exam period in which Term 2 modules and any outstanding modules from Term 1 will be assessed.

The exam period is followed by two weeks in which you will study specialist modules in Paediatrics and Aging, and the term will conclude with your second six week clinical placement.


This study block provides you with the opportunity to develop your knowledge of early motor development and common paediatric conditions. Through exploring theoretical and practical aspects of paediatric physiotherapy, you will be able to understand the basis of assessments and interventions used within the paediatric services.

Assessment: this study block is not formally assessed. You will however be expected to demonstrate an understanding of the issues explored in subsequent clinical placement modules.

Aging Studies

The aim of this study block is to enable you to effectively plan and deliver interventions that meet the needs of older people. You will gain an understanding of aging from the cellular level, through individual human aging to social policy. You will consider how health promotion can enable people to age happily, healthily and without disability, and you will also consider the specific health care needs of ill elderly people.

Assessment: this study block is not formally assessed. You will however be expected to demonstrate understanding of the issues explored in subsequent clinical placement modules.

Clinical Placement 2  

This module is the second of five clinical placements which occur during the second and third year of the physiotherapy programme. The placement is of six weeks duration. On this placement you will have the opportunity to apply and develop your basic skills of assessment and treatment to a variety of relevant health disorders. With appropriate guidance you will be able to identify patient’s problems and make informed decisions regarding the interventions you select.

Further details of the clinical placement modules are given at the end of the section on Module Outlines – in order to save repetition.

Assessment: Performed by the supervising clinical educator on your placement using a standardised proforma.

Following completion of the 2nd clinical placement you are now free to enjoy your 10 week summer break before returning to us in September. The re-sit period for second attempts / reassessments is usually in the last week of August.

Year 3 – Term 1

Clinical placement 3  

This module is the first of three clinical placement modules which occur at Level 3. As before, all placements are of six weeks duration and all students are assessed by the supervising clinicians.

On your return to college you have approximately eight weeks of study before the three week Christmas break.

Women's Health  

In this specialist study block you will explore the role of the physiotherapist in women's health.

Assessment: this study block is not formally assessed. You will however be expected to demonstrate understanding of the issues explored in subsequent clinical placement modules.

Oncology and Palliative Care  

This specialist study block will promote your understanding of the medical and holistic care of oncology patients and of patients requiring palliative and end of life care.

Assessment: this study block is not formally assessed. You will however be expected to demonstrate understanding of the issues explored in subsequent clinical placement modules.

Research Methods

This module will develop your knowledge of the principles and concepts which underpin quality research. It will also extend your understanding of evidence based practice and the role of ongoing research in clinical practice and in the development of the profession.

Assessment: this will be via two 2000 word critiques of two published research articles.

Research Proposal   

The Research Methodology module aims to provide you with the means to develop your own research proposal. This proposal on a subject relevant to physiotherapy but otherwise of your own choice is where you demonstrate a sound understanding of the research process.

Assessment: a 6,000 word combined literature review and research proposal.

Professional Practice  

This interdisciplinary module will prepare you for the transition from student to practitioner by advancing your knowledge of health and social care. It builds on the communication and evaluation skills of previous inter-professional modules and will enable you to critically evaluate your future role as a practitioner in changing and complex environments.

Assessment: a 4,000 word written assignment.

Following the three-week Christmas break you will complete two weeks of study blocks. The remainder of the time is available for you to prepare for your fourth clinical placement and to continue with and complete the research proposal before you start your final clinical placement.

Year 3 – Term 2

Falls Services

This specialist study block will enable you to effectively plan and deliver interventions within an interprofessional falls service. You will develop your understanding of the risk factors associated with falls and the assessment of individuals who fall. Current clinical guidelines and literature will be used to explore key issues in the provision of falls services.

Assessment: this study block is not formally assessed. You will however be expected to demonstrate understanding of the issues explored in subsequent clinical placement modules.

Mental Health   

The aim of this study block is to enable you to effectively plan and deliver physiotherapy interventions that meet the needs of individual service users with mental health problems. You will also develop an understanding of common mental health problems and the key issues encountered during the provision of healthcare services for this population. You will also consider how the health promotion role of the physiotherapist can contribute to a sense of well being in people with mental health problems.

Assessment: this specialist study block is not formally assessed. You will however be expected to demonstrate understanding of the issues explored in subsequent clinical placement modules.

Clinical Placement 4   

This is your penultimate clinical placement of the programme. As before, this placement is of six weeks duration and you will be assessed by the supervising clinicians. You are now very close to completion of the programme and we would now expect you to be competently and independently managing patients of increasing levels of complexity. Signs of clinical leadership should also be apparent at this stage, and your communication and clinical reasoning skills should be well honed by the end of this placement.

At the end of this placement you will then have a three week Easter break to recharge your batteries and to prepare for your final placement.

Year 3 - Term 3

This is for you a very short term. You have to complete your final clinical placement module, but after that it’s just a case of waiting for the results and of course for the graduation ceremony.

Clinical Placement 5   

This is your final clinical placement of the programme. As before, this placement is of six weeks duration and you will be assessed by the supervising clinicians. You are now extremely close to completion of the programme and we would definitely expect you to be demonstrating an increasing level of autonomy along with an understanding of your professional limitations, accountability and role within the interdisciplinary team. In short we would expect you to be managing your case load much like a newly qualified physiotherapist.

Clinical Education  

Clinical educationClinical education is an integral and invaluable component of the Physiotherapy programme. As such it is strongly embedded within the course structure. Campus based studies provide the skills and knowledge which students require in order to be prepared for their placements.

To get an idea of clinical placements from a student perspective you might like to listen Dr Cherry Kilbride talking to Physiotherapy students about their experiences of clinical education at Brunel.

Continuing modernisation of the NHS has seen a move away from a focus on non-acute health interventions being delivered in hospitals to the delivery of care in the community. Experience gained on all clinical education modules throughout your undergraduate training aims to reflect these developments by providing you with a broad range of experience across a variety of settings including acute NHS hospitals, private healthcare providers, community hospitals, health centres, GP surgeries, schools, nursing homes and sports centres etc.

Regardless of location or specialty students are expected to adopt a holistic approach towards their patient/client, taking into account individual psychological, social, cultural and economic factors, whilst encompassing principles of health promotion and health education.

We do not require you to complete a formal clinical placement at level one. However, at the end of year one, students who have had a limited opportunity to observe physiotherapy prior to the start of course are encouraged to undertake a non-assessed observation placement during the summer vacation period. Students are expected to organise these placements themselves with the support of the clinical placement team at Brunel.

Formal and assessed clinical placement modules in years two and three are organised on the student's behalf by the clinical placement team. This allows us to provide you with a balanced clinical experience both in terms of the specialties / patient groups you have worked with and the range of health care settings you have worked in. It is important that you are exposed to a variety of health settings, which are reflective of current clinical practice.

In total, students will complete in excess of 1,000 hours of clinical experience in order to complete the programme. As you can see from the schema, clinical education occurs in six week blocks which gives you time to "find your feet" and to have a highly valuable learning experience at the same time as providing you with plenty of opportunity to demonstrate your learning. On the full-time course there are five blocks of six week placements, with a total of 12 weeks in the second year and 18 weeks in the final year.

It is anticipated that whilst on clinical placement you will be working a 34 hour week minimum, (compared to full-time workers this effectively means you have one half day off per week). However, the number of hours you work and the time at which you start and finish work is subject to negotiation with both college and the supervising clinical educator and is likely to reflect the normal working practices of the placement.

Whilst on placement you will be supervised by physiotherapists registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Students will be assessed on placement by their supervising clinician(s), using a standardised assessment tool – the Clinical Assessment Record (CAR form). The assessment score from clinical placement modules will contribute to your final degree classification, just as all second and third year academic grades do.

Most clinical placements are located within the Greater London area, ie within the M25, but a few could be further away necessitating "staying over on placement" during the week. This may happen only once or twice during your time on the programme, however you might enjoy "living" on your "placement doorstep" for a while rather than commuting.

We are sympathetic to your needs when we assign clinical placements. However, we are unable to guarantee that any student will be located close to their home or term time address and a student may have to commute or live away from home for the duration of the placement. We do try to give special consideration to students whose personal circumstances fall within specified criteria, ie they have young children, are a main carer, or have a declared disability etc.

If the NHS is paying your university fees, your travel costs and if necessary the costs of alternative accommodation can be reclaimed; this would normally be the case even if you did not qualify for a means tested bursary allowance. Note however there is always a delay between paying out and being reimbursed which can lead to cash flow issues which we urge you to be aware of and where possible to anticipate.

Special Features

  • The School of Health Science and Social Care is located in a new state of-the art, purpose built centre on the Uxbridge Campus. This building (The Mary Seacole Building) offers an excellent environment for physiotherapy education and is complemented by the full range of sporting and leisure facilities found on campus.
  • Successful completion of the programme will enable you to apply for registration to the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Successful registration will allow you to practice as a physiotherapist in the UK. Successful programme completion will also enable you to become a member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (MCSP).
  • Shared learning elements with students of occupational therapy provide opportunities to explore common areas of study in depth and to learn how patients outcomes can be enhanced by different health care professionals adopting a patient –centred approach and by working together to achieve a common goal.
  • Our students do not go on clinical placement until their second year by which time they are fully prepared to engage with clinical practice and to benefit from direct hands-on experience.
  • Six specialist study blocks have been incorporated into our programme to develop awareness of specialist as well as non-traditional areas of physiotherapy. These small study blocks support our students to develop a wider perspective on healthcare provision and the physiotherapy profession.
  • PebblePad software is used as a platform for delivering and monitoring directed Continuing Professional Development (CPD) activities throughout all levels. As Pebblepad software is also used by the CSP, requiring its use throughout the programme prepares students for the transition from student to qualified physiotherapist.
  • Continuing Professional Development study and assessment blocks are designed to enable students to meet the professional requirements of the programme. The blocks extend across the full academic year at each level. A schedule of learning and teaching activities is used to support students’ professional development related to the specific requirements of the programme and the profession at each level.
  • Physiology is taught by physiotherapy lecturers who tailor the design, content and delivery specifically for our physiotherapy students. This means that teaching and learning is focussed on the fundamental knowledge required and applied by physiotherapists in practice.
  • Students interested in continuing their participation in sport or music might like to read about how some of our current students have managed to combine these endeavours with the challenges of the Physiotherapy programme.

    "I continue to hold the opinion that the BSc Physiotherapy programme at Brunel University is guided by high standards and effective assessment processes that are rigorously employed at all levels of the programme. These standards are congruent with (and have been noted to surpass) the standards established for physiotherapy education in the UK."

    (Comments from an external examiner for the Brunel Physiotherapy programme.)

NHS Bursary

All students on the full time course classified as home students and normally resident in the UK will normally receive an NHS means-assessed bursary, also known as a means tested maintenance grant. Their tuition fees will also normally be paid by the NHS.


Successful completion of this course means you will be eligible to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council and to the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.

Facts and Figures

  • The Physiotherapy programme at Brunel has been consistently rated very highly in all of the National Students' Surveys.
  • In 2013 we were once again rated by the National Student Survey as 1st in London and 2nd in the UK. To compare student satisfaction across Physiotherapy programmes in other Universities refer to Unistats.
  • The Brunel physiotherapy programme ranked 2nd in the UK and first in London by the Guardian 2014.
  • The annual intake onto the programme varies from time to time according to predicted NHS workforce planning needs. In 2013 we were able to offer 70 NHS fees-paid places on the full-time programme. Subject to confirmation we anticipate roughly 60 fees-paid places on the full-time programme and about 10 fees-paid places on the part-time programme for September 2014 with an additional 12 fees paid places on our new pre-reg Masters in Physiotherapy programme.
  • Our degree classification profile is reflective of the high calibre of our students on entry, their commitment to their studies and the dedication and professionalism of the teaching team.

Read what our students say about the Brunel Physiotherapy programme.

Richard graduated as a physiotherapist in 2010 and whilst at Brunel he held a University Music Award

Richard has this to say about his time at Brunel:

“I decided to choose Brunel mainly because of the reputation of the course, but also because of the amazing facilities on site. My course is pretty intense by most standards, but it has allowed me to meet some great people. All the lecturers are brilliant and, most importantly, willing to listen and admit when they are wrong (which isn’t often!). Even though employment prospects for physiotherapists in the NHS are very competitive at the moment, I feel my time at Brunel will help put me ahead of the competition.

"A passion of mine is exercise and the great gym facilities on campus have allowed me to continue to work out. Along with this, probably my biggest passion is music. I am currently a Music Award holder at Brunel, which has enabled me to have all my musical tuition paid for. The music life at the University is thriving with loads of choirs, both classical and contemporary, all the way to gospel. There is also a musical production once a year, which is always great fun. I have probably met some of my best friends at Brunel and if you want to go to a university where you can meet great people, leave with a degree from a respected establishment and try new activities, then Brunel is the place for you.”

Megan graduated in 2013

“Originally Brunel was not my first choice of university but after coming to the open day, hearing about the course and looking around the campus Brunel became my first choice. I am so glad I changed my mind as Brunel is definitely for me. I really enjoy living on campus and having everything close by, but also being close to London. Not in the crazy hustle and bustle all the time but you can quickly get into central London on the Tube.

"When I started the course I was really nervous but excited at the same time. The first year was quite intense with the learning but the tutorials were a really good way of interactive learning. I remember the first tutorial I went to: we had to locate the bony points on the pelvis and the femoral pulse so by the end of the first session everyone was at ease with each other and it was actually a good ice breaker, as everyone was in exactly the same position!”

Alana is a final year part-time student

At Brunel we not only focus on providing our students with a physiotherapeutic knowledge base and physio clinical toolkit but also training in professional behaviour. On this point Alana notes:

"One feels very strongly that the lecturers are absolutely dedicated to developing each of us students into excellent physiotherapists. They do not allow any slacking. They bang on about making sure that our behaviour is entirely professional from day one, but somehow they manage to combine being very firm with being very encouraging - and it is completely clear that they are dedicated to helping each of us learn what we need to learn in order to master both the academic subject matter as well as the professional demeanour expected from a physiotherapist."

Oliver graduated in 2012, reflecting back on his time at Brunel Oliver states

"The course at Brunel is brilliant and really prepares you for clinical practice. The lecturers are passionate about their modules and this helps to motivate you to attend the colossal number of lessons. The course is very hard and requires absolute dedication to succeed. The social aspect of university life is essential and from personal experience I would recommend you give serious thought to joining a club or society. They provide a great way to make friends and try new things."

Teaching and Learning

Our primary aim is to combine a thorough professional education with academic excellence. With respect to your university based studies we use a variety of teaching and learning methods throughout the course including lectures, tutorials, and practical sessions (small groups), study guides and computer based learning packages.

In Year 1, learning is largely lecturer led but as you progress through the course you will soon notice a shift towards self-directed learning. An increased ability to perform literature searches and critically appraise the evidence base facilitates the move towards student-centred learning. These skills are necessary for continued professional development and lifelong learning after qualifying.

A small number of modules are taught alongside other health students potentially including students of occupational therapy. This learning environment provides an opportunity to explore common areas of study in depth and see how patient outcomes can be enhanced by a multidisciplinary team approach.


As can be seen from the module outlines where each module is briefly described (see above), a variety of assessment tools are used in order to best reflect the content and learning aims of each specific module. Assessment will therefore include unseen written exams, written assignments, practical exams, vivas, literature reviews and a project proposal.

All modules must be passed in order to proceed through the course. Normally students will have two attempts at passing each assessment. Grades from all modules in Years 2 and 3 excluding specialist study blocks but including all clinical placements contribute to overall degree classification.

Modules will be assessed in the assessment week at the end of either term one or in term three.


Brunel University prides itself on its track record of producing high calibre physiotherapy graduates. It is generally recognised that our graduates leave us with the skills required to be safe, effective and flexible autonomous clinicians. We achieve this record through our focus on:

  • professionalism and professional development
  • the application of basic science and knowledge to the clinical situation
  • the needs of the patient for effective communication, compassion, dignity, confidentiality and respect
  • evidence-based practice
  • practical skills underpinned by a sound understanding of science and scientific principles
  • problem solving as evidenced by our teaching and learning situations and our assessment requirements
  • developing the confident autonomous practitioner who through a process of learnt reflection is aware of their own strengths and weaknesses
  • developing the self-reliant life-long learner with the skills and motivation to address weaknesses and to build on strengths
  • developing the critical thinker able to evaluate scientific evidence and able to make valid judgments regarding evidence-based practice and to contribute themselves to the profession and to the evidence-base via their own research

These are some of the skills which we seek to provide our students with whilst they are with us, during their campus based studies. These skills are further compounded when students spend time completing their 30 weeks of clinical practice.


Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey

Physiotherapy is a vocational degree and on successful completion of the course graduates may apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council and practice as a Physiotherapist in the UK.

In 2011/12, six months after graduating:

  • 84.0% of graduates with a first degree were in employment
  • 2.0% were in full-time further study
  • 2.0% were combining work and study

Read more about graduate destinations for this subject area

At Brunel, the physiotherapy teaching team strongly recommends that graduates enter the NHS on qualification. We feel that the organisation of the NHS and the scope of patients who pass through the NHS offer newly graduated physiotherapists an invaluable learning opportunity and provides a solid clinical foundation on which to base their future career choices.

Our students come to us having attained a reasonably high entry criteria. Our students are committed to their studies, work solidly throughout the programme and perform very well on clinical placement. Our students' passion for the profession and determination to achieve culminates in an excellent degree classification profile. In our experience our students are thought of very highly by clinicians whilst on clinical placements and there is some evidence that this translates well in terms of employment opportunities on graduation.


All our students graduate after successfully completing 30 weeks of full-time clinical experience in a variety of healthcare settings reflective of current practice. Refer to the above section on course content for further information on clinical placements.

  • Clinical placements occur throughout levels 2 & 3 and consists of five placements each six weeks duration
  • On each placement students are given the opportunity to consolidate and build upon skills gained on campus
  • They also have the opportunity to put their clinical skills into practice with patients and to learn alongside expert clinicians, as part of the multidisciplinary team
  • Our expectations of a student's performance in the clinical setting change as the student progresses through the placements – for example, towards the end of their final placement we expect students to be managing their time, patient case-loads and learning needs on a par with junior qualified physiotherapists

At Brunel we provide many opportunities and experiences within your degree programme and beyond – work-based learning, professional support services, volunteering, mentoring, sports, arts, clubs, societies, and much, much more – and we encourage you to make the most of them, so that you can make the most of yourself.

» More about Employability

Fees for 2014/15 entry

UK nationals resident in the UK for three years prior to the start of the programme will normally qualify for an NHS award (ie fees paid place plus a means tested bursary).

EU nationals resident in the UK for at least a three year period directly prior to the start of the programme will normally qualify for an NHS award (ie fees paid place plus a means tested bursary).

EU nationals and UK nationals who do not normally live in the UK or who are not able to provide evidence of residency in the UK for at least the three year period directly prior to the start of the programme will not qualify for an NHS award. Such individuals will be required to self fund at the UK/EU rate for each of the three years. A small annual increment may occur and applicants are encouraged to budget for this fact.

Overseas Fees

Students not designated as UK/EU citizens will be subject to international tuition fees. Currently (2014/15) these fees stand at £16,000 pa. Applicants should budget for the fact that the fees can increase annually.


Fees quoted are per annum and are subject to an annual increase.

Entry Requirements for 2014 Entry

We expect all applicants to have thoroughly researched the profession prior to applying for the physiotherapy programme. This research requires review of the CSP website and other relevant web sites/literature and an observational clinical experience is advised.

Note: applicants will be short listed from their UCAS forms on the basis of their academic profile and their insight into the profession. Short listed applicants will be required to attend a Selection Day (see below for further details).

These are the requirements which we would normally expect from applicants under the age of 21 at the proposed point of entry onto the programme.

For all standard entry applicants 6 GCSEs or equivalent at Grade C or above are required, to include English Language, Mathematics and two Science subjects.  GCE A-level AAB (B for Biology or Human Biology - ideally) and at least one subject from our preferred list at grade A: Chemistry, Classical Civilisations, Economics, English, Geography, History, Languages, Law, Maths (Further Maths or Statistics), Physical Education, Physics, Politics, Psychology, Sociology, Sport Studies.   General Studies/Critical Thinking not accepted.

  • International Baccalaureate Diploma 35 points, with a 5 in Biology at higher level and 6 in a higher level subject from the preferred list (above)
  • BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma D*D*D with an A-level grade B in Biology or Human Biology

Non standard entrants / mature students:

These are the requirements which we would normally expect from applicants over the age of 21 at the proposed point of entry onto the programme.

Non standard entrants and mature students (over the age of 21 years) are welcome and considered on an individual basis. However applicants are normally required to provide evidence of formal academic study of human biology/biology to A-level standard or equivalent within the four years prior to the start of the programme. For all non-standard entry applicants a minimum of 2 GCSEs or equivalent at Grade C or above are also required, to include English Language and Maths.  Please check our Admissions pages for more information on accepted equivalencies in place of GCSEs.

A selection of possible entry level academic qualifications is given below:

  • GCSE All applicants must have GCSEs in English and Maths (grades CC) – equivalents are not normally accepted
  • GCE A-levels At least Grade B in A-level Biology or Human Biology ideally taken within the last four years plus a second A-level at grade C

These qualifications do not have to be attained within the same time period.

Alternatives to the preferred A-level route follow:

  • Access to Higher Education Diploma Complete and pass a related subject Access course with 60 credits at level 3 Distinction profile required. Topics studied to include modules in cardiovascular, pulmonary, skeletal muscle physiology and basic neurophysiology.
  • Birkbeck Life Sciences for Subjects Allied to Medicine Applicants considered with a distinction profile in biology and a merit profile in chemistry.
  • Open University Where applicants otherwise meet our entry criteria except that it is over four years since they last studied a biological science, a 70% minimum pass of each of the 4 TMAs of the 30 credit Level 2 module in Human Biology (SK277) will be considered.
  • Graduates All graduates with a 2.2 minimum profile may be considered. Degrees must be underpinned by a sound academic profile; normally this must include Human Biology/ Biology Grade B at A-level. Any appropriate level study of biology must have been satisfactorily completed within the 4 years prior to proposed start of physiotherapy programme.

Advice for mature students: In order to present us with enough detail on which to base a decision we ask that you:

  • document your full academic history on the UCAS form and not just give us your most recent qualifications(s).
  • Access students please list only the modules you intend to study, not all the ones available for study. Remember that we require GCEs in English and Maths – we do not accept equivalents offered as part of an Access diploma.
  • present documentary proof of previous academic achievements at the point of course enrolment.

Health and the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check

In addition to meeting our entry criteria and a satisfactory selection day outcome, applicants under offer must demonstrate satisfactory health declaration and complete a satisfactory enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) application, previously known as a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check.

For further guidance please Contact Admissions.

Observational Clinical Placements and the Application process:

It is vital that all applicants to the programme are thoroughly aware of what the physiotherapy profession entails. This awareness needs to be properly grounded in reality rather than notional.

Therefore we ask all applicants to undertake a thorough review of the available literature.

We prefer applicants to undertake an observational clinical placement, although we do recognise that this can be difficult.

We advise you in the first instance to write to the physiotherapy managers of your local NHS hospitals requesting a day or two of observation. You may need to write to several hospitals. Asking for short periods of time tends to be received better than asking for too much!

You will not require a long period of observation although the exact time will vary from person to person. However you do need long enough for you to be able to make a "hand on heart" decision that Physiotherapy is the profession for you.

Once you have got to this point you should find it relatively easy to write your personal statement, demonstrating your insight into the profession, explaining how your observational experience has informed your decision to study physiotherapy and highlighting the personal characteristics of the physiotherapist and why you think you’d be a good one!

If you do not manage to secure an NHS short placement, try the private sector – predominantly small physiotherapy private practices. Alternatively try to secure time in a nursing home. These placements have several limitations which you should be aware of but are still extremely valuable. Then it’s up to you to tell us (on your UCAS personal statement) how your experiences have informed your decision to be a physiotherapist etc and how your experiences can be translated to physiotherapy.

The Selection Process

In order to select the very best applicants, short listed applicants will be invited to one of our full day selection days which run between December and March/April.

The selection day consists of

  • Review of academic certification (students are advised to bring all documentation not just the most recently obtained certificates)
  • Commencement of registration for the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)
  • Programme presentations from staff and students
  • An opportunity to tour our facilities and the campus
  • A short written exam (the subject of which will not require specific advance preparation).
  • A group interview – likely to include a group verbal and group practical task. (No prior preparation is required).

The applicant’s written work and performance at interview will be assessed by members of the physiotherapy team and in addition input may be obtained from invited clinicians and members of the public.

Applicants attending selection days will be ranked and the top ranked applicants will receive offers.

We expect to make offers from January through to the end of March/April.

Applicants who are not invited to selection days or who do not perform satisfactorily at selection day will be informed as soon as we can.

Selection Day Dates:

Short-listed applicants only will be invited to one of the following Selection Days:

  1. 4 December 2013
  2. 29 January 2014
  3. 19 February 2014
  4. 19 March 2014

International and EU Entry Requirements

If your country is not listed here please contact Admissions

English Language Requirements

  • IELTS: 7 (min 6.5W, 6.5L, 6.5R, 6.5S) 
  • TOEFL Paper test: 600 (TWE 5) PBT
  • TOEFL Internet test: 100 IBT (R20, L20, S20, W20)
  • Pearson: 64 (58 in all subscores)
  • BrunELT: 70% (65% in all areas)

Brunel also offers our own BrunELT English Test and accept a range of other language courses. We also have a range of Pre-sessional English language courses, for students who do not meet these requirements, or who wish to improve their English.

Our International Pathways and Language Centre offers a range of foundation and pre-masters courses to provide you with the academic skills required for your chosen course.

Page last updated: Wednesday 02 July 2014