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Physiotherapy (BSc)

  • B160

3 Years (full-time) / n/a (part-time) / n/a (distance / e-Learning)

The School of Healthcare Sciences is the leading provider of education and research for Allied Health Professionals in Wales, and one of the leading Schools in the United Kingdom.

The Complete University Guide 2015 ranked physiotherapy first in the UK on the basis of student satisfaction, entry standards, student-staff ratios and graduate prospects. Our students also rate their experience highly: overall student satisfaction with teaching was 90% in 2011, one of the highest scores in the University.

Validated by the Health & Care Professions Council and the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, the BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy degree offers excellent career opportunities. You will spend much of the course – at least 1,000 hours – on clinical placements throughout Wales and beyond, applying your skills alongside practising professionals.

The fees for students from the UK and European Union are paid by the Welsh Government - who commission around 90 trainee physiotherapists each year - and you will also be eligible for a non means-tested bursary of £1,000 and possibly up to a further £5,000 in means-tested bursaries.

The School also provides pre-registration programmes recognised by the UK Health & Care Professions Council, in Occupational Therapy, Operating Department Practice, Diagnostic Radiography and Radiotherapy & Oncology. These professional strengths contribute to vibrant inter-disciplinary environment, with opportunities for shared learning and inter-professional education that are not available at many institutions.

A wide range of post registration and postgraduate programmes are also offered, supported by a rapidly developing research profile. Substantial investment is taking place to ensure that the facilities and staff - the environment within which you will be studying – are at the forefront of the expansion of knowledge and expertise in healthcare.

Key Facts

to include B in Biology
UCAS Code B160
Duration 3 years
How to apply
Accreditation Validated by the Health & Care Professions Council and the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy
Typical places available c90 Home/EU Welsh Government funded places
Typical applications received 700
Scholarships & Bursaries

Funding for Healthcare related courses

Fees and Funding

Typical A-level offer AAB
Admissions Tutors Amy Bendall and Jill Morgan
Tel Number 029 2068 7538 (HCARE Admissions Team).
Email address
School website

Physiotherapists work in a variety of settings, treating patients with conditions ranging from breathing difficulties and neurological problems to muscle and skeletal injury. Working as independent clinicians, physiotherapists need to motivate, teach, reassure, and empathise.

Our Physiotherapy BSc aims to help you become a physiotherapist who can practise using an evaluative and problem-solving approach. Throughout the course, you are given opportunities to develop knowledge and understanding of clinical sciences, in particular musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, cardiovascular and respiratory physiotherapy.

You will spend at least 1,000 hours on clinical placement throughout Wales and possibly further afield. These placements provide the range of working environments you may experience during your career, from hospital-based physiotherapy departments to community-based practice based within urban centres and more rural locales.

The programme is validated by Cardiff University, the Health Professions Council and the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. We have an excellent graduate employment record, with our alumni specialising in clinical work, NHS management, research and education.

The course structure is as follows:

Year One

Foundation studies, which include the biomedical and Human Sciences, commence in Year 1 (Level 4) alongside Physiotherapy Studies in which knowledge of the theory and practice of the profession allows you to begin to acquire basic therapeutic skills. It is important to be aware that the practice of these skills, under supervision, will take place on fellow students and your acceptance of a place on this programme implies your consent to this practice. Level 4 is by continuous assessment, written and practical examinations throughout the year.

Year Two

Diagnostic assessment and treatment skills are extended in the second year (Level 5) of study. Students apply these skills, using a problem solving approach, in the clinical situation and begin to develop an understanding of evidence based practice. Continuous assessment, including assignment writing, practical examination and placement learning assessment occurs during Level 5.

Year Three

During Level 6, students will develop their understanding of managing patients with complex conditions and multi pathologies. They will also extend their understanding of research and evidence based practice. Continuous assessment at Level 6 includes placement learning, a research dissertation, portfolio and a final written examination.

You will find further information on the programme at:

Visit the Cardiff School of Healthcare Sciences website for more information about modules and credits.

The School of Healthcare Sciences has an international reputation for its education provision, rating strongly in formal audits of its programmes, as well as by the students themselves. The School has scored consistently highly in the National Student Survey, in 2011 scoring 88% for overall student satisfaction with teaching. Within the survey, areas relating to learning & assessment score strongly, particularly ‘Teaching on my course’ (87%), ‘Learning Resources’ (93%) and ‘Personal development’ (91%).

The 2012 Times Good University Guide ranked the University as joint 4th in the UK for the quality of its healthcare programmes (‘Subjects Allied to Medicine’) on the basis of student satisfaction, entry standards and graduate prospects.

All our programmes of study have been designed to be stimulating, flexible and relevant to the needs of a professional healthcare career. Great emphasis has been placed on the practical and clinical aspects of the programmes, all of which have been accredited by the relevant professional bodies.

A diverse range of learning and teaching methods are used throughout the Schools Programmes, reflecting the module content, students’ developing knowledge and growing expertise. All modules have a formalised teaching and learning structure which will employ, for example, formal lectures, seminars, workshops, skills laboratories and case scenarios, as and when appropriate.

The modular structure also includes and embraces the teaching and learning opportunities available in the clinical environment, where you will spend over 1,000 hours on placement. The acquisition of knowledge and skills through the practical experience in which you engage is key to the Cardiff Physiotherapy degree.

As in the professional environment, a greater emphasis is being placed in working in a multi-disciplinary team, and opportunities for shared learning and inter-professional education – training alongside students from other disciplines – are increasingly embedded.

Information Technology

The School of Healthcare Sciences has a wide range of information systems and facilities available to students, designed to support your learning and development. Our virtual learning environment is accessible on a variety of desktop and mobile devices, and ensures students have access to a variety of electronic resources from anywhere in the world. In addition, onsite dedicated computer labs, student study rooms, campus-wide WiFi networks, printing facilities and a brand-new Healthcare library are available year-round for students' use. Staff are also available onsite to assist students in getting configured and to provide support and advice.


The School of Healthcare Sciences has recently implemented an unprecedented level of investment in new facilities and equipment, ensuring some of the best technology and modern facilities at your disposal throughout your career as a student. These include a dedicated Research Centre for Clinical Kinesiology with cutting-edge equipment, a completely refurbished radiographic imaging suite, a Virtual Environment Suite allowing for 3D simulations and brand-new dedicated occupational therapy and operating department suites, allowing for training and research in industry-standard environments reflecting real-world conditions.


The School of Healthcare Sciences is committed to engagement within the community, with programmes such as 'Physios supporting athletes across all abilities', an all-Wales initiative that will give participants the chance to feed into a world-class volunteer support service provision for all international teams based in Wales prior to the 2012 Games in London, and establishing a legacy network of support for sport in Wales well beyond 2012. The School has also recently launched App Iechyd Da, a mobile app highlighting the importance of the Welsh language within allied healthcare in Wales, and providing information about a variety of Welsh language-specific initiatives such as demographic trends, political directives, economic influences and useful Welsh language communication guides. The app is freely available to all via the Apple App Store. Further investment in engagement is planned with the opening of a community children's play clinic as well as a physiotherapy clinic, both will be open to the public.

Minimum Entry Requirements – Programme-specific entry requirements are summarised below. An offer may differ from the typical offer as it is based on the review of the individual’s overall profile.

UCAS Personal Statement – The personal statement is an important part of the selection process and assessment of this is detailed within the School Selection Procedures.

Standard Entry Requirements - All candidates are required to have 7 GCSE’s at grade C or above including English/Welsh language, Maths and a Science. Scottish, Irish and International applicants must offer equivalent GCSE qualifications.

In addition to the GCSE requirements applicants are expected to have achieved:

Typical A-level Offer

AAB to include a B in Biology.

(General Studies, Critical Thinking and Citizenship are not acceptable at GCE AS or A2 level)

Typical WBQ Offer A in WB Advanced Diploma including AB at A-Level including Biology.
Typical Int Bacc Offer Overall 34 points. 3 Higher Level subjects. 2 minimum of grade 5 or above. Biology minimum of Grade 6 at higher level
BTEC Extended Diploma BTEC Science - DDD

Access to Higher Education Diploma

Access to HE Diplomas must have a strong academic base rather than a practical skills base. Generally we consider that access courses are suitable for adult learners who have been out of education for at least 3 years. The certificate must be issued by the AVA (Authorised Validating Agency) containing the relevant information and recognised logo. Examples of access course that we accept are: Access to HE Diploma (Allied Health Professions) and Access to HE Diploma (Science).

You will be required to attain a pass of 60 credits overall, with 45 credits at level 3, to include 36 credits with Distinction (with at least 18 in Biology) and 9 credits at Merit. This is additional to GCSE entry requirements

For further more detailed entry requirements, please refer to our website.

Open Days

Prospective students are encouraged to attend one of the four Cardiff University Open Days. Details can be found via our website.

Additional Requirements for Admission

Health Checks

All offers given by the School of Healthcare Sciences will be conditional upon a satisfactory health check. A Health Declaration form will be sent to applicants when offers are made. Applicants who have decided to accept offers given by Cardiff University will be sent an 'Occupational Health Questionnaire' which they are required to complete and return to the University's Department of Occupational Health by 31st July in the year of entry.

Criminal Record Check

Admission is subject to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (1974) Section 4(2)(Exemption) Order 1975 and DHSS Circular HC(88)9 guidelines regarding child protection and criminal record checks. It is also considered important to ensure that an applicant's attitudes and values are such that they can reasonably be admitted to the profession. All offers given to applicants will therefore, include a condition relating to a satisfactory criminal record check. This condition must be satisfied by 31st July in the year of entry. Applicants will be required to complete the University's own Criminal Record Disclaimer form and also to complete the Disclosure and Barring Service process (at the "Enhanced" level). DBS application forms will be sent to applicants who decide to accept Cardiff University's offer, in their year of entry.

Information on the Disclosure process can be found on the Disclosure and Barring Service Website. Enrolment on to the course cannot take place until a satisfactory disclosure has been received from the Disclosure and Barring Service. Delay in returning the DBS form may also compromise an applicant's university accommodation options. Those who are known to be travelling overseas at the relevant time should endeavour to authorise another individual to deal with this correspondence on their behalf.

Detailed information will be given to successful applicants with letters offering places. Information on the Disclosure process can be found on the Disclosure and Barring Service Website. All information will be treated in absolute confidence and applicants with convictions to declare will be assessed as to their suitability for the programme to be studied.

Resit Candidates

The School of Healthcare Sciences will consider resit applicants on an individual basis.

UCAS Personal Statement

The personal statement is an important part of the selection process and assessment of this may have implications on the conditions set for entry. Demonstrating that you are making an informed choice of career is vital in your personal statement.

International Applicants

The physiotherapy course at Cardiff University regrets that it is unable to accept applications for the 2016/17 intake (including deferred applications to 2017/18) from international fee-status applicants.

For non UK EU students, the majority of applicants offer A level subjects, some other international qualifications are acceptable. Academic IELTS (International English Language Testing System) with an overall score of 7.0 with not less than 7.0 in listening and reading and not less than 7.0 in writing and speaking.

Deferred Entry

The School of Healthcare Sciences has no objection to the possibility of deferred entry providing the year is spent in a positive and worthwhile way. Candidates wishing to apply for a deferred entry must reflect the intended year on entry on their UCAS application. Candidates that have applied for the forthcoming year of entry must be aware that any requests for deferral of their application to the following year will not be considered unless in exceptional circumstances.

Please find here further information about admissions and selection criteria for this degree programme.

Our graduates have the third highest job prospects of the 72 institutions in ‘Subjects Allied to Medicine’ in the Times Good University Guide 2012, and within 12 months 80% of our 2011 graduates had found graduate employment or gone on to further study. Employers included: NHS Trusts, private clinics, community health services, local government social service departments plus organisations such as Age Concern and the Cardiff Blues rugby team. Career destinations included: occupational therapist, physiotherapist, diagnostic radiographer, therapeutic radiographer and operating department practitioner.

We are committed to supporting the School's recent graduates in finding meaningful employment. Bespoke online and text message-based early warning systems have been established to highlight job postings, relevant courses that would strengthen CVs, advice on job applications and plenty of other useful information to help in the preparation of job applications, such as writing a personal statement and practice interview questions.

Next intake: September each year

School Contact

Name: Healthcare Sciences Admissions Team  

Telephone: +44 (0)29 2068 7538 



School Website:

More information

School of Healthcare Sciences