BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy - student insight - Hayley Ranachan
"I chose Plymouth University mainly because I liked the sound of the course. It was different from other universities in the way that the content was taught, and the way the placements were arranged throughout the year. I also preferred it to other universities because of the facilities we have at the Peninsula Allied Health Centre – the building is quite new, and free transport is provided to get there! What finally sold Plymouth to me was Plymouth itself. I like the city and the surrounding areas – good shopping, nice beaches and the Hoe and Barbican are lovely.

I chose the course because I have wanted to be a physiotherapist since I was at secondary school. I chose my A levels with a physiotherapy degree in mind, so that was always my aim. I was always very sporty and active which also influenced my decision. I want to gain a degree that will actually go towards getting me a job after university - with a physiotherapy degree, you have a career waiting for you when you leave!

Placement is probably the best part of the whole course. It gives you the chance to apply the knowledge and skills you have acquired at university, and makes you realise you know more than you think. It was quite daunting to start with, but eventually you start to look forward to placement! We have to complete 1000 hours (30 weeks) on placement, which is split into six placements of five weeks long. This gives us the chance to cover lots of different areas in physiotherapy, and makes you understand that there’s lots of specialities you may not have known before university. The placements are also organised for you which saves a lot of time and hassle, and you get the chance to work in different hospitals/trusts across Devon and Cornwall.

Good bits of the course:
  • Placement – the fact it is organised for you and you may get an elective placement in the final year.
  • You get opportunities to enhance your portfolio with events outside of university such as: Plymouth 10K, Plymouth half marathon, Boardmasters Festival and Plymouth Raiders Basketball Team.
  • Practical sessions at university, which are combined with a lecture and a problem-based learning (PBL) session to enhance learning.
  • Support is available throughout the three years from your personal tutor.
  • Problem-based learning (PBL) allows you to work in a group and discuss real case studies.
Bad bits of the course:
  • Sometimes finance can be an issue when you have to move away for placement. However, there is extra funding you can apply for, and also the NHS bursary for some.
  • It is hard work. I never expected it to be easy, but you have to be willing to put the graft in.
I'm currently in my third and final year of the physiotherapy degree, and preparing to start applying for physiotherapy jobs in the summer. It is currently mixed feelings, as I am sad about leaving university behind, but excited for what a future in physiotherapy brings for me."