Feet in the air - image courtesy of Shutterstock

Watch our BSc (Hons) Podiatry video

Programme Leader Dr Joanne Paton explains what's it like to study podiatry at the University of Plymouth.

When asking prospective students about podiatry, a typical response is ‘what is it?’.

In short, it’s a rewarding healthcare profession involving scientific understanding of musculoskeletal function (i.e. bones and muscles), and the diagnosis and treatment of foot and lower limb conditions.  

Far from just keeping people on their feet, podiatrists are responsible for treating early signs of serious conditions such as diabetes too. The problems that can come with diabetes, for example, include limb amputation, and podiatrists are on the front line of helping avoid this outcome.

Podiatry can open up a huge range of rewarding career options, on top of equipping you with the skills to offer potentially limb and life-saving treatment.

From minor surgery to sports injuries and wound care as well as managing a business in private practice, there are a whole host of skills you can acquire.

Graduate Jack Loveday has worked with premiership footballers, built a practice, and helped military patients:
"I can’t recommend studying podiatry at Plymouth highly enough; the staff, placements, facilities, and course itself are all very highly thought of within the profession."
Jack Loveday

Research skills are also a key part of what we teach here, empowering students to explore and find solutions to problems that people experience with their lower limbs.

Striving within the clinical research community to help stop diabetic related lower limb amputations gives each day true purpose.

Joanne PatonJoanne Paton
Associate Professor of Podiatry

University of Plymouth podiatry students are also taught by leaders in their field. I’m proud to be Vice Dean of the Directorate of Podiatric Medicine at the College of Podiatry and co-chair of the College of Podiatry’s affiliated Special Advisory Group, MSK:UK. 

In these roles, I have given evidence to Parliament regarding the national debate on whether women should be forced to wear high heels to work and am a trustee of the Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance – a charity which acts to communicate best practice across musculoskeletal professions to inform health policy.

Programme lead Dr Sally Abey is Dean of Education at the College of Podiatry, and Dr Joanne Paton is leading the way on researching into diabetic foot ulcers – a problem which costs the NHS an estimated £650 million per year.

A balance of on-the-job learning at placement, with lectures, seminars and specialist lab work will teach the biology and anatomy you’ll need to excel, and our students typically go straight into employment after graduating.

Even if it’s just to find out more, do look at our website or give us a call. It’s so much more than dealing with feet – it could be the start of a new career.

Emma Cowley provided parliamentary evidence on why women should not be forced to wear high heels to work

Wearing high heels over a prolonged period of time increases the chances of complications occurring compared to occasional wear; meaning wearing them during the working day could not only cause the problem, but exacerbate it too.
Emma Cowley


Podiatrists are experts in foot and ankle health keeping people of all ages active. Choosing to become a podiatrist will give you a broad scope of practice with a scientific approach to diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of people with foot problems.
NIHR podiatry