Bachelor of Physiotherapy

Course 427AA (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

Year and Campus: 2010 - Parkville
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Undergraduate
Duration & Credit Points: 400 credit points taken over 48 months full time.


Dr Louisa Remedios


School of Physiotherapy, Tel: 8344 4171, Email:
Course Overview:

There is no first year intake into this course after 2009.

The Bachelor of Physiotherapy course is a four-year course recognised by the Physiotherapy Registration Board of Victoria and by mutual recognition in other states of Australia. It prepares graduates to work in health care settings such as hospitals, outpatient clinics, private practice, rehabilitation centres, patients' homes, schools, extended care facilities, sports venues, aged care centres, industrial and commercial premises, nursing homes, psychiatric centres and educational institutions.

Studies include a strong basis of integrated physical, biological, medical, behavioural and physiotherapy clinical sciences. Students are required to participate in practical studies of human physiology, anatomy, kinesiology and physiotherapy techniques. This requires partial disrobing and acting as 'therapist' and 'patient' to learn by observation.

Physiotherapy is a physically demanding profession which requires for its practice the development of a range of precise physical skills. Clinical knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for health education and the compentent assessment, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of patients with movement and physical disorders and disabilities from a wide range of ages and backgrounds are developed.


Objectives of the Bachelor of Physiotherapy course are:

  • to provide graduates with an integrated knowledge of physical, biological, medical and behavioural sciences;
  • to provide graduates with the clinical knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for the competent assessment, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of patients with physical disorders and disabilities;
  • to provide graduates with a capacity for problem solving and self-directed learning and the motivation for life-long independent learning;
  • to provide graduates with a capacity to communicate effectively with patients, colleagues and members of other health professions in diverse cultural and geographical settings;
  • to provide graduates with an understanding of professional responsibility and ethical principles in relation to individuals and the community, both locally and internationally;
  • to provide graduates with an appreciation of the dynamics of their profession by fostering a willingness to adapt practice to reflect advances in medial and physiotherapy science as well as changes to current health care and social policies; and
  • to produce graduates whose qualification is registerable by the Physiotherapists' Registration Boards of Australia and recognised internationally
Course Structure & Available Subjects:

The Bachelor of Physiotherapy is a fully fixed course.

In order to qualify for the Bachelor of Physiotherapy students must successfully complete all subjects as outlined below (400 credit points).

Subject Options:

First Year

Clinical studies commence alongside theoretical and practical studies. Students are allocated to a teaching hospital of the University of Melbourne for clinical studies which they attend one afternoon a fortnight. First-year studies focus on the practice of physiotherapy, the principles of biological science and relevant body systems.
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Not offered in 2010
Not offered in 2010
Not offered in 2010
Not offered in 2010

Second Year

The study of physiotherapy clinical sciences and practice continues and subjects which integrate the basic sciences relevant to physiotherapy are undertaken. Students learn through problem-based learning exercises, lectures and practical classes. A one-week clinical placement in a clinical teaching hospital is also completed.
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:

Third Year

Emphasis is placed on the discipline specific subjects of cardiorespiratory, neurological and musculoskeletal physiotherapy, with the major elements of these subjects conducted in the clinical schools of the University of Melbourne. Theoretical studies are also undertaken in these and other areas relevant to physiotherapy. A global elective is undertaken at the end of the year and this may be in a facility overseas, interstate or in rural Victoria.
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:

Fourth Year

Students extend their clinical skills by undertaking further clinical studies in neurological, cardiorespiratory and musculoskeletal physiotherapy. Paediatrics, gerontology and further elective studies are also completed.
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Year Long
Entry Requirements:

There is no new student intake into this course after 2009.

For information regarding admission into Physiotherapy after 2009 please refer to the Physiotherapy website.

Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage policy, academic requirements for this course are articulated in the Course Description, Course Objectives and Generic Skills of this entry.

The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:

Further Study:

Many physiotherapists undertake further study and the School offers a variety of coursework and research programs at postgraduate level. These programs allow graduates to either specialise in clinical practice or research, or broaden their clinical experience and knowledge. Graduates also pursue further study in a wide range of disciplines outside physiotherapy that complement their physiotherapy skills.

The Master of Physiotherapy by Coursework may be undertaken in the following specialist clinical fields: Cardiorespiratory, Musculoskeletal, Neurological, Paediatrics, Sports and Women's Health and Pelvic Floor. A General stream is also available. The School also offers a number of postgraduate certificates and the Doctor of Clinical Physiotherapy. Research Higher Degrees at PhD and Masters level are also available.

Graduate Attributes:
Professional Accreditation: Graduates of the Bachelor of Physiotherapy are eligible for registration with the Physiotherapy Registration Board of Victoria and by mutual recognition in other states of Australia.
Links to further information:

Applicants for the B.Physiotherapy are required to submit a Level 2 First Aid certificate prior to commencing second year.

Organisations that host clinical placements require that you have obtained a police check regarding your suitability to undertake such placements. If you are an enrolled student, or a prospective student, you are advised that you are required to obtain, and pay for, police checks prior to commencing and during your course.

All students enrolled in the Bachelor of Physiotherapy are also required to obtain a Working with Children check prior to undertaking clinical placements. Year 1 Physiotherapy students need to complete the check prior to enrolment or as soon as possible after enrolment (no later than Orientation Week).

Working with Children checks remain valid for 5 years. If a student is undertaking a course of greater than 5 years duration, a new Working with Children check must be obtained prior to the end of the 5th year of study.

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