BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy (pre-registration)

Accredited by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) and approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)

Course details

UCAS Course code B160

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Are you interested in starting a career as a physiotherapist? Want to make sure you learn skills from fully experienced professionals? Then we're here to offer you that and more. We offer a mixture of academic study and supervised clinical practice, providing over 1000 hours of hands-on physiotherapy experience in a variety of practice settings, giving you the valuable knowledge and skills you need to get started in your career.

As well as the practical teaching, you'll learn extensive treatment techniques and communication skills from our dedicated team of experienced and research-active academics. We provide a supportive learning environment that enhances your strengths and identifies areas for development, giving you everything you need to go straight into the fulfilling world of physiotherapy.

2017 Entry

From 2017 the government will cease to provide bursaries for undergraduate NHS courses. Students will have access to the standard student support package of tuition fee loans and support for living costs, rather than getting an NHS grant. This information is based on the understanding provided by The Council of Deans for Health and may be subject to change as further details are released by the government.

How we can support you

If you enrol onto an undergraduate NHS programme in 2017, we’ll cover the costs of your:

  • Uniform
  • DBS check**
  • Occupational Health check
  • Travel costs for placements of up to £300 each year

This is in addition to any government support agreed.

**Paid on successful enrolment onto course

Your first year will introduce you to anatomy and the human body in health and ill health, as well as professional issues including ethics, communication and reflective practice. You will learn about research and the evidence behind physiotherapy interventions, which will lead into the second year, where a more in-depth study of the physiology and pathologies of the human body will take place. 

In year two you move to more in-depth study of the physiology and pathologies associated with the musculoskeletal system, neurological system and cardio respiratory system. You build on the assessment and treatment skills from year one, applying these in both taught modules and within practice placements. Research skills will be developed through the study of research methods, and the development of a research proposal.

Your final year will see you complete a research project and undertake in-depth study of two subjects, by selecting from our range of optional modules. Throughout the course you will undertake placements in a variety of settings to develop your physiotherapy skills in assessment and treatment. You will also study professional and managerial issues to prepare you for graduation and employment.

All our modules have been developed with reference to the HCPC, CSP, NHS and private sector employers, assuring that you'll have developed the right skills for contemporary practice. 


Year one

Compulsory modules

  • Neuro-musculoskeletal Anatomy and Kinesiology for Physiotherapy Practice
  • Applied Pathophysiology for Physiotherapy Practice
  • Physiotherapy: Examination and Therapy
  • Promoting Health through Physical Activity
  • Technology for Physiotherapy Practice
  • Fundamentals of Professional Practice
  • Development of Professional Graduate Skills for Health and Social Care Professions
  • Practice Placement Observation
  • Introduction to Physiotherapy Practice

Year two

Compulsory modules

  • Applied Physiotherapy in Acute Care Pathways
  • Neuromusculoskeletal Physiotherapy
  • Physiotherapy Practice 1
  • Physiotherapy Practice 2
  • Research Methods
  • Working with Others


Year three

In year 3 you will consolidate your academic knowledge and start working more independently in practice to prepare you for graduation.

  • Physiotherapy Practice 3
  • Physiotherapy Management of People with Long-Term Conditions
  • Contemporary Physiotherapy Practice: Enhancing Employability
  • Physiotherapy Practice 4
  • Using Evidence to Evaluate Practice
  • Professional Practice in Context
  • Negotiated Placement

Programme specification

For a detailed summary of all course content please read our programme specification for this course.

Download the programme specification (PDF)

2017 entry

You can find out more about the tariff and qualification options from the UCAS tariff table

120-128 UCAS tariff points from a maximum of 3 A2 Level subjects to include grade B (40 points) in Biology, Human Biology or Physical Education. In addition a minimum of 5 GCSE at grade C or above, achieved in one academic year, which must include English language, Mathematics and Biology or Combined Science.  Potential to succeed can be measured in a number of ways including academic qualifications and skills obtained outside academic study such as work experience.  We have a points range so we can take into account all of the information on your application form and adjust the offer from the evidence provided.

Please check selection criteria for any additional entry requirements.

Selection criteria

  • BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport and Exercise Science - DDM
  • BTEC Extended Diploma in a relevant subject DDM e.g. Applied Science;
  • Health and Social Care DDM. Please note: very specific units are required to meet the 60 credits in biology requirement. 
  • 120-128 tariff points from a maximum of 4 Irish Leaving Certificate Highers with A2 (30 points) in Biology/PE
  • 120-128 tariff points from 4 Scottish Highers to include grade A (33 points) in Biology/PE
  • QAA recognised Access to HE Diploma (60 credits overall, 45 graded credits at L3 Distinction, 21 credits at L3 must be in Human Physiology/Biology)
  • For standard entrance applications, students are expected to have been studying to Level 3 within the past 3 years

Other entry qualifications

Non-standard entrants are required to demonstrate the ability to benefit from, and successfully complete the course. These candidates will need to show evidence of continuous professional development within the last 5 years; relevant work experience; and demonstrate the motivation and ability to succeed. All applicants will need to provide evidence of literacy and numeracy to the equivalent of GCSE in Mathematics and English at grade C.

Work experience

All applicants are strongly advised to seek work experience in physiotherapy prior to application/interview to gain a full understanding of current physiotherapy practice. Applicants who are selected for interview are invited to attend the Fusehill Street campus in Carlisle for an information session and campus tour, followed by a group activity assessment and an individual interview.
Selection is initially based on academic profile, personal statement and academic reference. At interview we are looking for a good understanding of physiotherapy practice; excellent communication skills; motivation and commitment to pursuing physiotherapy as a career; and the potential to succeed as a health professional. Observational work experience or visits to two different workplaces would greatly enhance your understanding of the role of physiotherapy in health and social care.

All places are offered subject to successful interview, as well as Disclosure and Barring Service clearance (DBS formerly CRB), medical fitness to practise and proof of qualifications.

Fitness to practise and health requirements

All offers of a place are subject to satisfactory health screening.   Further information will be provided following the offer of a place.

Please note that Professional Bodies such as the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) have certain requirements regarding health and character status of applicants and their ability to meet the required core professional competencies and to practise safely without direct supervision. Please read the NMC and HCPC information to find out more. Please ask us for advice and/or support as early as possible in the application process if you have any questions about this requirement.

For more information about core competencies and medical fitness to train please click here. There are fitness standards provided here for most programmes of study: health professions, social work and teaching.

In some instances, an applicant may be invited to attend a professional practice panel to discuss any recommended reasonable adjustments, and whether or not core professional competencies are achievable.

In order to be admitted and continue on the course, students must be deemed as medically fit for both practice and theory by the Occupational Health Department. If you have any concerns about a health condition/issue and its impact on your ability to undertake the course please contact the Occupational Health Department as early as possible in the application process.

Disclosure and Barring Service check
If you are offered a place we require you to comply with an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) background clearance check.  Details on the policy can be found here.

Values Based Recruitment

Since 1 April 2015, all Higher Education Institutions delivering NHS training programmes are required to assess students for their values using the core requirements set out in the Values Based Recruitment (VBR) framework. This assessment will take place as part of our recruitment process.

Full-time courses

Apply online through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), between September and January; they will send your application on to us. Applications submitted after this date will be considered late and the course you have applied for might be full by this time; however, we will consider you for alternative suitable courses.

Their website provides all the information you need about universities, courses, locations, entry requirements and financial support. You are allowed to select up to five course choices. You need to use the correct UCAS campus and course codes as not all courses are offered at every campus. You will be asked for the following information when you apply online:

Institution code name: UoC

Institution code: C99

Campus location:

  • A Ambleside
  • B Brampton Road, Carlisle
  • E University of Cumbria at Energus, Workington
  • F Fusehill Street, Carlisle
  • L Lancaster
  • T University of Cumbria in London
  • Y University of Cumbria at Furness College, Barrow-in-Furness

Part-time courses

Applications should be made online directly to the university; visit our website or contact for details and guidance. There is no official closing date but we would encourage you to apply as early as possible, as many courses are competitive.

What makes a good application?

We consider all aspects of your application, not simply your qualifications and grades. We look at your academic background and performance, relevant experience (particularly for professional courses where some voluntary or paid experience is required) and your reference. Above all, we look for motivation, commitment and potential-evidence that you can benefit from study at higher education level.

Make sure you include:

  • Relevant qualifications/evidence of ability: check our website for the specific entry requirements required for each course. Tell us your previous academic results and your projected grades.
  • A supportive reference, from an employer or your school or college.
  • A good personal statement.
  • Explain clearly what attracts you to the course and tell us about your wider interests and experience. If you are applying for a course that incorporates professional training and placements, you should include any relevant experience or visits you have made in the workplace. Highlight your individual strengths and qualities, personal skills, capacity for teamwork, contribution to the community and your enterprise, originality and determination. Select some activities which bring out these qualities.

What next?

When we receive your application, we will send you an acknowledgement and if you are successful at this stage you will get either an offer (with an invitation to visit the campus to which you have applied), or an invitation to interview on a particular date. If we are not able to offer you a place on your chosen course we will usually try to offer you a place on a similar course and will contact you to discuss this. Alternatively, if we think you are suitable, but cannot offer you a place on your preferred campus because of the level of competition, we will offer you a place at another campus if one is available.

And if I accept?

The admissions team will contact you and send further information from February onwards about accommodation, and from May/June onwards about preparing to join the university. If you have any other queries, please telephone the admissions offices for information and advice on 0845 6061144.

Deferred entry

We welcome applications for deferred entry on some courses. If you have specific plans during your year out, indicate these on your personal statement as they may be relevant to your course and could enhance your application.

International students

Applications for full-time undergraduate study are made through UCAS. Please see the international pages of our website for full details of our entry requirements (including English-language skills) as well as contacts for advice and support.

From 2009 the UK Border Agency introduced a Points-Based Immigration System (PBS) for students coming to the UK from outside the European Economic Area (EEA). Students entering higher education will need to obtain a Confirmation of Acceptance (CAS) plus finance confirmation to obtain a Tier 4 student visa. UK education providers are licensed by the UK Border Agency. When students apply for their visa (or entry clearance) they will need a valid Certificate of Acceptance of Studies from the university. Please note that a CAS is not a guarantee that a visa will be issued.

See the following websites for further details:

You'll graduate, ready to register with the Health and Care Professionals Council (HCPC) and apply for membership of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. As a physiotherapist, you'll have options to work in a variety of settings including the NHS, education, private, voluntary or independent practice. The skills you learn will prove valuable for a great range of career paths, not just in the clinical field, and will prove valuable in finding jobs in the UK and abroad.*

*Some countries will require graduates to take an entry examination or assessment.

You'll have access to our physiotherapy skills suite, a dedicated room where you can learn the practical skills required for the course. Practical facilities include a clinical skills laboratory based on a hospital ward, a human patient simulator to practice cardio-respiratory skills and a large sports hall for observational movement analysis. Our physiotherapy and sport science laboratory, located at our Carlisle Fusehill Street campus, is dedicated to the investigation of human performance from a clinical point of view.