The majority of physiotherapy graduates work as physiotherapists, helping a range of patients with physical difficulties to improve their health and quality of life
Job options directly related to your degree include:
Jobs where your degree would be useful include:
- Dance movement psychotherapist
- Exercise physiologist
- Health service manager
- Health promotion specialist
- Personal trainer
Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here.
You'll need to successfully complete a minimum of 1,000 hours of clinical experience as part of your degree programme. Placements are often in an NHS setting under the guidance of skilled clinicians.
However, it's also useful to gain additional work experience in supportive roles within the private, voluntary or local authority sectors to broaden your key skills and career opportunities.
Opportunities are available in hospitals, physiotherapy practices, sports clinics, football clubs, special schools and nursing homes. You could also get experience within the voluntary sector, for example with the British Red Cross, St John Ambulance service and various healthcare charities.
Paid opportunities that involve helping others, for example care assistant work in hospitals and clients' homes, can also help you develop key skills and evidence core values of physiotherapy.
Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.
The NHS is the major employer of physiotherapy graduates. You can work in a range of departments, for example, outpatients, intensive care, stroke services, orthopaedics, elderly care, paediatrics and in GP practices.
Opportunities are also available with:
- private sector employers - hospitals, professional sport clubs, gyms and leisure centres, residential and nursing homes, health centres, private practices and higher education institutions (teaching and research).
- the public sector - local authorities, for example schools and children's centres, and the armed forces.
- healthcare charities and health-related voluntary organisations.
Skills for your CV
Physiotherapy students develop a range of profession-specific skills, such as:
- an understanding of the types of exercise and movement used to help improve mobility and function
- how to perform manual therapy safely
- how and when to use electro-physical modalities and other physical approaches in complex care practices.
However, you also develop a range of other skills valued by employers in many sectors. These include:
- effective time and workload management
- the ability to work well in a team
- decision-making skills
- a problem-solving approach to work
- written and oral communication skills, from working with patients and within a multi-disciplinary team
- research and report writing
- the ability to analyse research findings and to reflect on your practice.
A small percentage of physiotherapy graduates go on to further study directly after their degree. Many prefer to work for several years first to develop professional skills before applying for a Masters (MSc) in a specialist area.
Popular areas of study include advanced physiotherapy in areas such as sports and exercise, rehabilitation, neurorehabilitation, paediatric and neuromusculoskeletal physiotherapy.
Courses in animal physiotherapy are also available. If you're interested in research, there are opportunities to take a PhD.
Practising physiotherapists must undertake continuing professional development (CPD) in the form of courses, workshops, supervision and reflective practice.
What do physiotherapy graduates do?
Six months after graduation, the majority of physiotherapy graduates (94%) employed in the UK are working as physiotherapists. A small percentage go on to further study.
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