School of Health Professions

BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy with Integrated Foundation Year

Physiotherapy is a hands-on healthcare profession that uses physical approaches to promote, maintain and restore physical, psychological and social wellbeing. Our innovative curriculum uses real clinical scenarios and diverse practice settings ranging from neurological rehabilitation to acute respiratory care and sports. Reflecting the conditions that Physiotherapists treat, our approach is designed to bring your learning alive and develop your clinical reasoning.


Students completing the BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy with Integrated Foundation Year course will normally progress to year 1 of BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy. 

Careers with this subject

Physiotherapists manage mobility problems caused by injury, ageing or disability to restore physical, psychological and social wellbeing. Creating bespoke treatment programmes for people of all ages, they utilise movement science and evidence-based practice to improve their patient’s quality of life.
Physiotherapists work with a wide range of conditions to help improve patient’s overall mobility and quality of life. These can be grouped into five main categories:
  • Cardio respiratory 
    Relates to the action of both the heart and lungs. Some of the conditions physiotherapists work with include COPD, Cystic fibrosis, post organ transplant and chest infections. 
  • Musculoskeletal
    Relates to the muscles and the skeleton. Disorders that physiotherapists see frequently are lower back pain, fractures, nerve related pain, persistent pain conditions and Arthritis.
  • Neurological
    Comprising of the anatomy, functions and disorders of the nerves and nervous system. Some of these conditions include Multiple Sclerosis, Stroke, and Parkinson’s disease.
  • Diverse patient groups 
    Physiotherapists work with a wide range of different people. For example, amputees, paediatrics, occupational health, rheumatology, palliative or end of life care, and learning disabilities.
  • Physical problems
    Some of the conditions physiotherapists might see are patients with a loss of a limb, impaired balance, reduced strength, lack of sensation in a limb, reduced confidence with mobility, loss of movement, a need to return to a sport, the control of movement, persistent pain, reduced vision and reduced awareness.
Physiotherapists work with people of all ages, from the very start of life to end of life care. As a result, some conditions may be more prevalent in certain patient groups than others. Some of these patients you might see are:
  • people with complex needs or multiple medical conditions
  • people who are recovering from surgery
  • acutely unwell people in need of ventilator support
  • people with cardio respiratory problems
  • people with musculoskeletal problems
  • people with neurological problems
  • people with diet-related conditions such as diabetes
  • people with age related conditions.
Within the physiotherapy profession there are a multitude of job opportunities. You could work in the NHS, within the public or private sector. For example:
  • Public Health in NHS hospitals
  • in imaging departments
  • communities
  • sports teams
  • at a school
  • private practice
  • Armed Forces
  • GP surgeries
  • nursing homes
  • education and academia
  • research
  • leadership roles
  • voluntary roles.

Key features

  • Experience excellent placement opportunities in a variety of clinical settings, which have ranged from acute teaching hospitals to the community, sports clubs and the Armed Forces. This includes a full placement in your first year with all placement marks potentially contributing towards your degree classification. 
  • Learn to study independently and in small groups with our enquiry-based learning curriculum.
  • Achieve your potential as an autonomous practitioner with highly developed problem-solving skills.
  • Benefit from extracurricular experience by providing supervised physiotherapy support at our pop up clinics, such as local sports events.
  • Explore, collaborate and contribute to research informed practice, with a physiotherapy team engaged in research at an international level.
  • Train and practice your professional healthcare skills in an inspiring purpose-built environment, InterCity Place.
  • Graduate armed with the skills and experience to find employment in a variety of environments – from the NHS to private practice, armed forces to sports clubs working locally or internationally.
  • On successful completion of the course, you will be eligible to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council. As a successful graduate, you’ll be able to progress from student to full membership of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.
Please note: in order to successfully complete your course and be eligible to apply for a professional registration you must complete a specified number of practice placement hours along with your theoretical study. This is a requirement of the HCPC. You will only be able to take personal holidays during the specified leave periods for your course. This includes induction week where it is vital you attend ALL sessions.

Course details

  • Year 0

  • Our Integrated foundation course prepares you for the undergraduate degree in BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy. Taught by University lecturers on campus, you’ll be part of the University from day one. If your current qualifications don’t allow you direct entry to degree level, this course is for you. Students completing the BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy with Integrated Foundation Year course will normally progress to year 1 of  BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy.

    Core modules

    • Infection, Immunity and Therapeutics (BHCS001)

      This module will provide an introduction to microbiology and the human immune system. Students will learn the fundamental biology relating to bacteria, helminths, viruses and fungi. And also develop an understanding of how our immune system has evolved to combat infection. The module will also explore methods to control microbial contamination and therapeutic strategies to prevent disease.

    • Current Developments in Human Biology and Biomedical Sciences (BHCS002)

      This module examines the role of science in addressing key contemporary issues in Human Biology and Biomedical Sciences. The module aims to take an integrative approach, aiming to develop in students both a critical appreciation of the ways in which issues in Human Biology can be approached and resolved, and to develop an understanding of the skills and attributes needed for effective study of such issues at undergraduate level.

    • Molecules to Cells (FMD001)

      This module introduces key concepts involved in cell regulation including genetic inheritance, metabolism and protein expression. The important role of enzymes in the control of biochemical pathways will be introduced, as will an introduction to cell signalling. Cellular organisation within different tissues will also be outlined, enabling students to recognise links between structure and function. Students should develop sufficient theoretical and practical understanding to enable progression to relevant honours degree programmes.

    • Introduction to Human Physiology (FMD002)

      This module will provide a foundation of knowledge and understanding of human anatomy and physiology. Using example systems, it will emphasise relationships between structure and function and examine homeostatic regulation in these systems. Students should develop sufficient theoretical and practical understanding to enable progression to relevant honours degree programmes.

    • Interdisciplinary Learning and Team Based Learning (Enquiry learning) (FMD004)

      This module is designed to enable learners to develop key skills required for working in multidisciplinary teams. Students will be encouraged to work with their colleagues to manage tasks and tailor learning according to their own particular discipline

    • Learning Skills for Health and Social Care Professions (SOHP001)

      This module is designed to enable learners to adapt to the learning environment of higher education by developing an independent, reflective and managed approach to learning and professional development.

Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest course structure and may be subject to change:

BSc Hons Physio with Integrated Foundation Year Programme Specification 24 25 7772

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

32 - 48

Applicants need to achieve 5 GCSE passes (grade C/grade 4 or higher) which must include the following subjects:  
  • English (Consideration may be given to equivalent literacy qualifications)
  • Mathematics (Consideration may be given to Functional Skills Level 2 in Mathematics) 
  • Science 
Students not achieving mathematics GCSE at grade C/4 on application may be offered a free online mathematics support package and an examination equivalent to C grade GCSE to enable the achievement of appropriate entry requirements prior to commencing the programme. This examination is offered during the recruitment cycle to all eligible candidates. 
Plus suitable Level 3 qualifications or experience as outlined below: 
A level
Typical offer 32-48 points from a minimum of 2 A-levels including grade E in a Science subject. Excluding General Studies.
Applications from students with non-standard qualifications, including those without science qualifications at level 3, are welcomed and are assessed on an individual basis. This course is also suitable for those returning to study who can offer work or other related experience in place of formal qualifications and who have the equivalent of basic mathematical, English and science skills (i.e. the equivalent of a grade C/4 at GCSE level).
International Baccalaureate
24 overall to include 3 at Higher Level science subject. English and mathematics must be included.
PPP in a science related subject.
T level
Accepted, a minimum of a Pass (D or E in the Core) = 72 points – preference pathways would be Health or Science. Typical offer will be confirmed once an application is received.
Pass an Access to HE Diploma (e.g science/combined studies/natural sciences/nursing).
Other qualifications and professional experience may be considered. Interview may be required, please refer to institution for individual consideration
English language
We are aware of the various education systems throughout the world and make offers based on equivalent qualifications to those listed in our entry requirements. You should be able to possess the ability to study in the English language and be familiar with this in a scientific context. To that end, we ask for a minimum IELTS score of at least 7.0, with a minimum score of 6.5 in each section. 
We welcome applicants with international qualifications. To view other accepted qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary. 
Extended entry requirements
Further information

Fees, costs and funding

Student 2023-2024 2024-2025
Home N/A £9,250
International N/A £18,100
Part time (Home) N/A £770
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances. More information about fees and funding.
NHS bursaries are available from stage 1 of BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy, for more information please see the BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy course page.

Additional costs

All students within the School of Health Professions will spend time in placements away from university. The South West is a largely rural region, which often requires students to travel longer and further distances than may be expected when universities are in largely urban areas. In many cases, students will stay away from home for the duration of that placement. Some students on these courses are eligible for reimbursement of additional travel and accommodation costs over normal daily travel costs. This support is part of the Learning Support Fund administered through the NHS Business Services Authority. However, this should be investigated by the student to make sure this applies to their chosen course of study.
It is difficult to give a precise estimate of placement costs for each individual programme, due to the geographical spread of placements, and duration. However it is recommended you attend an Open Day to find out more about what placement costs can be anticipated or discuss placement with a member of our admissions teams.
Despite these costs, placements offer an excellent opportunity to learn from experienced practitioners and are recognised as an essential part of students' development towards becoming a registered practitioner.
Further information
More details of any additional costs associated with the faculty's courses are included in Faculty of Health additional costs

How to apply

All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code. 
Apply for this course on the UCAS website.
For more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.
The deadline for the receipt of international applications is 31 May 2024 for entry in September 2024. 
All NHS funded professional courses are required to select and interview their applicants using a ‘values based’ approach. As part of this process, your UCAS personal statement requires this additional information, which will demonstrate insight into your understanding of the importance of NHS values in your chosen professional discipline.
Ranked top 10 for physiotherapy in the Complete University Guide 2024.

First-class facilities to prepare you for your career in physiotherapy

From 2023, InterCity Place will be where undergraduate and postgraduate students from a variety of disciplines learn together under one roof.
Complementing existing clinical facilities, our new innovative suites, simulations and practice labs will help us to train and develop the next generation of nurses, paramedics and allied health professionals.
Intercity Place Physiotherapy Lab
Biomechanics and Neurophysiology Lab mock up at Intercity Place
Intercity Place Cafe

Placements: hands-on experience

Placements are an integral part of our physiotherapy programme providing you with the opportunity to develop and apply the theoretical knowledge and skills you have learnt to a range of clinical settings and graduate with a broad range of clinical placement experience.
You will complete a minimum of 1000 hours of practice placements spread across all three years, where you will work with patients under the close supervision of experienced physiotherapists.
Our placement areas range from large NHS teaching hospitals to rehabilitation units and community teams, plus some non-NHS areas including with the Armed Forces and professional sports clubs. 
Placements are located across the South West region, including Devon, Cornwall and Somerset. Due to the wide geographical spread of our placement opportunities, you will be expected to undertake placements outside the local area. This may require you to relocate and find secondary accommodation for the duration of the placement (see additional costs under the fees, costs and funding section).
Physiotherapy students
BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy more information
"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."
Hayley Ranachan
Physiotherapy graduate insight hayley Ranachan

Enhancing your experience

We encourage and support a range of voluntary, additional opportunities to enhance your employability and professional development. These include providing Physiotherapy services at events such as the Plymouth Half Marathon, Plymouth 10K and assisting court side with Plymouth Raiders Basketball Team, plus supporting students in their own charitable and community engagement.
Opportunities exist throughout the programme for personal development for example: leadership opportunities by becoming a PALS (Peer-Assisted Learning Scheme) lead; enhancing your confidence and communication as a student ambassador; or developing clinical skills via our pop up Half Marathon and Functional MOT clinics. 
Your Personal Tutor will guide you throughout the programme; providing face-to-face academic and pastoral support.
Sarah Piercy receives strength and conditioning advice from Lecturer in Physiotherapy Dr Erin Byrd

Ruthy Pritchard – graduate profile

“Plymouth equipped me with skills beyond the clinical training:
  • it prepared me to be an effective problem solver
  • it taught me to evaluate the learning process, to be part of a team and to accept differences of opinion
  • it taught me to recognise strengths and weakness in a positive, constructive way
  • it taught me about learning from failure, and learning from success.
“Studying at Plymouth definitely changed how I see myself, it gave me confidence and direction. It taught me how to enjoy and appreciate long life learning.”
Ruthy Pritchard
Kiah Rosenstein, physiotherapist for Plymouth Raiders Basketball team.

Careers insight – Kiah Rosenstein

“I want to help others achieve their physical potential and be the best they can be. This has been a very rewarding career and given me great personal satisfaction.”
Tom Rogers - BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy graduate

Careers insight – Tom Rogers

Since graduating in 2009, Tom Rogers has gone on to work as a Physiotherapist at Swansea City Football Club.

The skills you need to be an allied health professional

We worked with Your Future Career on the 2020 Careers in Science and Healthcare campaign. A printed publication is enclosed within every copy of The New Scientist newspaper and the content is also available online
The campaign featured exclusive content about the importance of the science and healthcare industries from key thought leaders and industry voices.
Read more at Your Future Career
Helicopter ambulance paramedic