Physiotherapists work with people to help with a range of problems which affect movement using exercise, massage and other techniques.

Working life

You’ll help and treat people with physical problems caused by illness, injury, disability or ageing. You’ll see human movement as central to the health and wellbeing of individuals so they aim to identify and maximise movement. As well as treating people, you promote good health and advise people on how to avoid injury.

You’ll treat many types of conditions, such as:

  • neurological (stroke, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s)
  • neuromusculoskeletal (back pain, whiplash associated disorder, sports injuries, arthritis)
  • cardiovascular (chronic heart disease, rehabilitation after heart attack)
  • respiratory (asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cystic fibrosis)

Once they have diagnosed the client’s movement problem, you’ll then work with the patient to  decide how to treat it. This could include:

  • manual therapy (such as massage)
  • therapeutic exercise
  • electrotherapy (such as ultrasound, heat or cold)

Entry Requirements

To practise as a physiotherapist, you must be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). To register with the HCPC, you first need to successfully complete an approved degree level qualification in physiotherapy. This may be a full or part-time course or a degree apprenticeship in physiotherapy. Full time degrees take three years. Part time degrees vary from four to six years.

There are also two-year accelerated MSc courses available to people who already have a BSc degree in a relevant subject.