What can I do with my physiotherapy degree?

Discover employment and further study opportunities that you could consider once you graduate with a Physiotherapy degree, and learn how you can stand out to graduate employers.

We encourage you to:

  • undertake career planning and research
  • build your networks, meet employees and graduates
  • gain essential work experience during your course
  • attend career fairs and events
  • continually develop your skills and knowledge
  • get involved with relevant clubs and societies
  • visit the Careers Service for advice.

Knowledge and skills

Physiotherapy is a science-based profession which takes a holistic approach to a patient's health and wellbeing. Physios use their knowledge and skills to improve a range of conditions associated with different systems of the body, such as:

As a result, you will develop a broad range of skills while undertaking a Physiotherapy degree including:

  • flexibility and adaptability
  • empathy
  • organisation and time management
  • leadership
  • determination and tenacity
  • the ability to conduct research
  • problem-solving and decision-making skills
  • the ability to work as part of a team
  • written and oral communication skills, developed through work as part of a multi-disciplinary team and through work with patients and their families/carers.

These are skills which are advantageous in all careers and so will support you in moving into a seemingly unrelated career post-graduation if that is what you decide to do. Many graduate employers don’t specify a degree discipline in their graduate recruitment so there will be many opportunities open to you as a graduate.

Career options

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.

Studying physiotherapy at the University of Plymouth will open a wide range of career choices

both within and outside the NHS, for example in:

  • private hospitals and clinics
  • sports clubs and gyms
  • private practice. 

You could also consider related careers such as:

  • healthcare or leisure management
  • HE Lecturer
  • health improvement practitioner
  • personal trainer

Graduate Management Training schemes with organisations like the NHS or Civil Service as well as a range of post grad pathways such as teaching are also all options.

Researching your career options

Given the diversity of career options open to physiotherapy graduates, it is important to research and explore these fully so that you can make informed decisions about your future.

Take a look at the following useful websites for inspiration and further information:

Gaining work experience

As part of your course, 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.

The University of Plymouth encourages and supports 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.

You can also gain valuable skills and experience through part time work or through the many UPSU societies and sports clubs.

Employment Opportunities

Below is a snapshot of what some of University of Plymouth Physiotherapy graduates told us they were doing six months after graduation. For some graduates, these jobs serve as ‘stepping stones’ to other roles by providing relevant workplace experience.

  • Physiotherapist
  • Rotational Physiotherapist
  • Sports Physiotherapist
  • Healthcare Manager
  • Personal Trainer
  • Higher Education Lecturer
  • Leisure Manager
  • Medical Personnel, HM Forces
  • Lecturer/Researcher with additional study
  • Osteopath

Employers

Further study

Some of the careers chosen by physiotherapy graduates will require or benefit from further study, so this should be considered carefully. The University of Plymouth offers an number of postgraduate study options that could be of interest to graduates of this course; These are advanced professional practice pathways which are available both full time and part time.

You should consider the financial implications of further study as well as selecting a programme that suits your interests, learning style and future career direction. The following websites are a good starting point for exploring postgraduate options, but you may also benefit from talking to a Careers Consultant about your situation.

Some useful websites to help you find a suitable post-graduate programme.

Careers Service support

Accessing support from the Careers Service couldn’t be easier, come along to the Careers Service Helpdesk in the Student Hub or access 24/7 online resources.

There is a wide range of support available from skills workshops to events, placements and internships advice, 1-2-1 appointments and help getting started with LinkedIn.

Our bite-sized Skills Workshops can give your career the boost it needs. Choose from a range of topics:

  • effective career planning
  • job hunting techniques
  • finding part-time work
  • CVs and interviews
  • mastering LinkedIn
  • and more.

Workshops are delivered by the Careers Service; however, they are also an opportunity to learn from your peers, share experiences and ask questions. Visit myCareer to see the full range of activities and to book your place.

Connect with graduates

Build your network and job sector knowledge using LinkedIn alumni’s tool. This will allow you to see the career journeys of graduates from your programme, the qualifications they completed, the skills they developed and employers they worked for. You can then ‘connect’ with people of interest.

  • search LinkedIn for ‘University of Plymouth’
  • click on ‘Alumni’
  • filter the results by subject, sector, company or location.

For more information about the alumni tool click on LinkedIn alumni tool guide. If you are looking for help to set up or learn how to make the most of your LinkedIn profile, click on the LinkedIn guide for students or come to one of our workshops.

Other advice and guidance

The University of Plymouth Students’ Union offers a wide range of volunteering opportunities.

Clubs and societies

Engaging in a sport or society shows employers you are engaged and seek out opportunities, it also helps you improve your teamwork, communication and negotiation skills. Committee members can develop leadership, diplomacy and organisational skills and will gain experience of meetings, handling funds, and society promotion.  

You may choose to join a society that is specifically linked to Physiotherapy (such as the University of Plymouth Physio Soc) or take the opportunity to explore the huge range of clubs, societies and sports, all of which can help you to broaden your horizons and explore new interests.    

Tutor and academic support

Your tutor and other academic staff are an excellent source of support for your career development. They will have experience and contacts across industry and academia, so do approach them for advice and insights into careers you are considering. Your tutor will ultimately be writing references for your employment or further study applications, therefore establishing a positive relationship with this person is invaluable.