Becoming a physiotherapist is a long process – as with psychology jobs there are many layers of qualification to get through and experience to attain. However with physiotherapy jobs always being in high demand, it can be a very worthwhile pursuit. In this article, we will look at the necessary steps that have to be taken over several years to become a physiotherapist.
Firstly, at a school level, you will need a bare minimum of five GCSEs grades A-C. On top of this you will need at least one A level in a biological science and/or a further A level in Physical Education, depending on specific university courses.
If you have ascertained these grades from school/college, it will then be possible to enrol on a physiotherapy university course. Being at university can often conjure images of going to lectures, libraries, and labs. With a lot of recreational time also being guaranteed. This is not often the case when it comes to physiotherapy courses. There is a large aspect put on practical work, very much from the word go in a physiotherapy degree. This means both observing and working in hospitals, helping NHS patients directly. In many ways, a physiotherapy degree becomes a full time job. WIth most courses offering something like a Monday-Friday 9-5 timetable, with around 80% of that being practical work taken up in hospitals.
If you were to do this full time, it would be a three year university course. Of course there is also the option of doing it part time, this will take anywhere between four to six years.
If you already have a bachelor’s in a related field, such as something based in a biological science and/or sport, then there are also the options of two-year accelerated MSc courses available.
Another approach is to enter into a degree apprenticeship. These are still relatively new in the UK, with apprenticeships not offering a certificate in education this high up before. However, something such as physiotherapy is the perfect fit for this type of qualification, as such a large portion of the course is practically based. To get into this role, you will need to apply for an apprenticeship with a healthcare provider, often vacancies can be found on the NHS Jobs website.
Once you have your well earned degree it will then be possible to register with the Health and Care Professional Council (HCPC). It is only once you are registered with the HCPC that you can practice as a physiotherapist.