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Start Date
February

Duration
4 year(s) full-time

Mode
On-campus

Program Code
IHPZ

SATAC Code
414481 (Internal)

Study as
Full-time

Entry Requirements
Selection Rank (Internal): 98.00 (for 2019)
View full entry requirements

Prerequisites
None

Assumed Knowledge
SACE Stage 2 Physics
SACE Stage 2 Biology
More info

Degree overview

  • Study at a university with over 40 years' experience in delivering physiotherapy education.
  • Study the only accredited undergraduate 4-year physiotherapy degree in South Australia.
  • Benefit from our strong industry partnerships and alliances when you complete clinical placements as part of your study.
  • Graduate with clinical experience when you learn in our on-campus Physiotherapy Clinics.
  • Enjoy a rewarding career helping people to develop, maintain, restore and optimise their health and function.
  • Undertake an honours component focusing on research or professional studies.
  • Study a degree that is informed by our well above world-class research in Clinical Sciences1.
  • This degree is accredited by the Australian Physiotherapy Council and satisfies the academic requirements for registration as a physiotherapist with the Physiotherapy Board of Australia.

12018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA).

Snapshot

Physiotherapy student.jpg

This degree prepares you for a rewarding career as a registered physiotherapist in the fast-growing physiotherapy industry, where you will be eligible to work as a first contact professional and valued member of allied health care teams.

Your studies will develop your capability to assess, treat and prevent human movement disorders, enabling people to lead healthy and functional lives. 

Throughout your studies you will undertake supervised clinical practice with patients within a vast range of industry organisations. Some of your placements will also take place in our very own state-of-the-art Physiotherapy Clinics, located on-campus. This practical experience is a great way for you to apply what you have learnt during your studies and encourages you to build industry networks and relationships.

What you'll need

Students who undertake activities where interaction with patients/the public is required for their degree, such as field or clinical placements/visits and in University clinics and gyms, must demonstrate they meet mandatory pre-placement conditional requirements. These include criminal history clearance, a Working with Children Check and immunisation requirements. Please visit the Clinical Placement Unit for information on key requirements, and to access the full student checklists.

All students enrolled in a program leading to professional registration must be registered with the relevant National Board. The registration process is undertaken by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) with the University providing notification to AHPRA following enrolment in the program.

What you'll learn

Physiotherapy student.jpg

Physiotherapists assess, treat and prevent human movement disorders across various areas of practice, including sport, musculoskeletal, cardiorespiratory and neurological conditions in people of all ages.

During your first years of study you will learn the basic medical sciences in courses such as; human anatomy, physiology and psychology relevant to determinants of human health and function. The remainder of the degree focuses on abnormal movement and the prevention and treatment of disease and disability. 

You will be trained not only to work as an autonomous practitioner concerned with prevention and management of disability and illness in the workplace or community, but also as a member of a healthcare team concerned with the physical and psychosocial rehabilitation of people who are ill or disabled.

Throughout your learning you will participate in:

  • laboratory classes, where you will develop manual and technical skills, and
  • professional practical experience at our on-campus Physiotherapy Clinic and during field placements.

You can gain an extra qualification and broaden your career prospects by completing a Diploma in Languages.

Degree structure

Course name Area and cat no. Units Reference  
FIRST YEAR
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
Human Anatomy 100 HLTH 1020 4.5
Human Physiology 100 BIOL 1049 4.5
Foundations of Health HLTH 1029 4.5
Physiotherapy Studies 100 REHB 1026 4.5
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)
Human Anatomy 101 HLTH 1030 4.5
Human Physiology 101 BIOL 1050 4.5
Introduction to Evidence Based Practice and Research in Health Sciences HLTH 1049 4.5
Physiotherapy Studies 101 REHB 1027 4.5
SECOND YEAR
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
Human Anatomy 200 HLTH 2022 4.5
Fundamentals of Pharmacology PHAR 2019 4.5
Physiotherapy Studies 200 REHB 2041 4.5
Exercise Physiology 1 HLTH 2006 4.5
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)
Neurosciences in Physiotherapy REHB 2048 4.5
Biopsychosocial Practice REHB 2047 4.5
Physiotherapy Studies 201 REHB 2042 4.5
Physiotherapy Practice with Older Adults REHB 2012 4.5
THIRD YEAR - PROFESSIONAL STREAM
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3) or Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)
Primary and Ambulatory Care in Physiotherapy REHB 3065 9
Pain Sciences REHB 3009 4.5
Advanced Evidence Based Practice HLTH 3057 4.5
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6) or First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
Acute Care REHB 3007 9
Rehabilitation REHB 3011 9
FOURTH YEAR - PROFESSIONAL STREAM
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3) or Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)
Physiotherapy with Children REHB 3059 4.5
Advanced Rehabilitation B REHB 4051 4.5
Health Promotion in Physiotherapy B REHB 4035 4.5
Elective 4.5
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6) or First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
Advanced Physiotherapy Practice B REHB 4050 9
Work Health and Safety Practice REHB 4011 4.5
Ethics and Communication REHB 4034 4.5
THIRD YEAR - RESEARCH STREAM
Note(s): 4
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
Primary and Ambulatory Care in Physiotherapy REHB 3065 9
Pain Sciences REHB 3009 4.5
Health Science Honours Preparation REHB 3010 4.5
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)
Acute Care REHB 3007 9
Rehabilitation REHB 3011 9
FOURTH YEAR - RESEARCH STREAM
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
Physiotherapy with Children REHB 3059 4.5
Ethics and Communication REHB 4034 4.5
Health Science Honours Thesis REHB 4012 9
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)
Advanced Physiotherapy Practice B REHB 4050 9
Advanced Rehabilitation B REHB 4051 4.5
Work Health and Safety Practice REHB 4011 4.5

Study hours

For each course you study, you will need to allocate time for various classes such as lectures, tutorials, workshops, seminars and practicals. Plus you will need additional hours to study in your own time to complete assignments, readings and projects and contribute to online discussion forums (independent study). So as a general rule, if you are studying full-time you would need to allocate 12 – 26 hours of study when at university and 14 – 28 hours of independent study per week. 

Assessment

Assessment

Your studies will incorporate practical, professionally focused and research-based learning, so assessment types will vary. You can expect them to include:

  • projects  
  • group assignments 
  • workbooks 
  • practical skills tests 
  • examinations  

You will also complete a research project under the supervision of an experienced researcher; as part of this project you will complete a thesis and an oral presentation.

Global opportunities

Enrich your studies and your life – make overseas study part of your qualification. Australian and international students may have the option to do an exchange, short-term program or study tour overseas. We have links with universities worldwide. You can choose short-term or semester-long study from a range of universities and countries depending on your area of study and cultural interests.

Take a look at the global opportunities available.

Global opportunities

Honours

This is a four-year, professional degree with honours. You will graduate with industry experience and connections, and a higher-level qualification than a bachelor’s degree, with your honours preparing you well for a career in industry or research.

Research stream: This option is offered to high achieving students as part of their honours studies. Through undertaking dedicated research training, you will independently complete a real-world research project focused on an area of your interest whilst being guided by an experienced UniSA supervisor. You will produce a proposal and thesis about your findings, making a true contribution to scientific knowledge.

Professional stream: This option will see you working in a small group on an evidence-based literature review project under the supervision of an experienced UniSA academic. You will also work on a second group project with an industry supervisor to address real world problems.  You will strengthen your communication, collaboration and management skills. Your work will include recommendations for clinical practice and will inform industry practice and scientific knowledge.

Examples of previous honours projects include:

  • The impact of hamstring injuries related to AFL and SANFL football players.
  • Core concepts patients should know about living with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)
  • The impact of fit on foot function, comfort and jump performance in children aged 8-12 years
  • An investigation of the effect of 3D printed foot orthoses on lower limb biomechanics during running

Why Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours)

Student helping patient at Magill Health Clinic

Graduating with an honours degree, will ensure you have a competitive edge and are well-placed for a career in industry, research or further postgraduate study. In four years of study, you will gain in-depth theoretical knowledge and the practical skills to become a well-equipped physiotherapist. 

When you study this degree at UniSA you will learn in our on-campus Physiotherapy Clinics. You will learn from registered practising physiotherapists when you take part in laboratory classes and gain further practical experience through clinical placements within a variety of metropolitan, rural, regional or overseas health settings.  

You will also benefit from the expertise of our above world-class researchers in Clinical Sciences1, as well as that of practicing physiotherapists and award-winning academics. We’ve been teaching in this field for more than 40 years and are proud of the rich knowledge base we have created.

12018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA).

Real-world connections

You will benefit from our strong industry links when you complete clinical placements in a variety of metropolitan, rural, regional or overseas health settings. This offers you the opportunity to build important industry networks as you work alongside expert physiotherapists in hospitals, rehabilitation centres and community clinic and aged care organisations. 

This affiliation not only provides exceptional learning opportunities, but is also an important network opportunity.

We also host regular University-wide employee master classes and employment expos, and alumni events in Australia and overseas.

Career outcomes

Your career

In Australia, growth in the physiotherapy industry has been on the rise in the past 5 years with career prospects continuing to look very strong, with an expected 13,000 job openings over the next 5 years.1

As a registered physiotherapist you can work with people with a diverse range of injuries or conditions related to sport, musculoskeletal, cardiorespiratory, and neurological in a variety of settings including:

  • private practice
  • sport and exercise services 
  • rehabilitation centres
  • hospitals
  • home and community services 
  • disability services
  • aged care facilities 
  • women's health and paediatric services 
  • occupational and health promotion units
  • research 

Physiotherapists also work in management, administration, education, research, policy development, advisory contexts, and regulatory contexts

Use your qualification as a pathway to further learning, including Masters by Research and doctoral studies.

1Australian Government Department of Jobs and Small Business, 2023 Small Business Projections.

Professional accreditation and recognition

The program is accredited by the Australian Physiotherapy Council and satisfies the academic requirements for registration as a physiotherapist with the Physiotherapy Board of Australia.

Successful completion of the program is accepted for membership of the Australian Physiotherapy Association

Industry facts

column-chart-growth

Employment for physiotherapists in Australia is projected to increase by 6,200 (24.9 per cent) by May 2023.1

1Australian Government Department of Employment, Occupational Employment Projections 2018

job-listings

To May 2023, healthcare and social assistance is projected to make the largest contribution to employment growth in Australia – an increase of 250,300 jobs.1

1Australian Government Department of Employment, Occupational Employment Projections 2018

chart-people

Healthcare and social assistance has been the primary provider of new jobs in the Australian labour market since the 1990s.1

1Australian Government Department of Employment, Occupational Employment Projections 2018

How to apply

Applying to study with us:

  • go to the top of this page and make note of the SATAC code, then click Apply
  • you will be redirected through to the SATAC website to continue your application

Alternative Pathways

Australian

There are other pathways you can follow to study this degree, including:  

International

There are other pathways you can follow to study this degree, including:  

 

Deferment

This degree is available for deferment. This option is made available by responding to your offer during the application process via the SATAC website. Applicants who receive an offer into a midyear degree are eligible to defer for six months.

Scholarships

Every year, over 2,500 UniSA students are supported in their studies through scholarships and grants worth millions of dollars. Check out the scholarships below. One of them may be perfect for you. Visit our scholarships page for more.

More scholarships

Your study experience and support

Our campuses have fantastic facilities including modern lecture theatres, libraries, workshops, laboratories, and areas that simulate real work environments. But you’ll also discover that your journey at UniSA is about social experiences, healthy living and getting involved. You’ll find student sports and fitness facilities, community clinics, tech zones and chill-out spaces. There are campus sport activities to keep you active, and if you are keen to explore the social side of university life, there are movies, cooking demonstrations, parties and loads more.

Adelaide has a variety of accommodation options to suit different requirements and budgets. Options include dedicated student accommodation or private rentals. See our long-term accommodation pages for plenty of options. If you need somewhere to live, our new student accommodation by urbanest is on Bank Street in Adelaide’s lively cultural precinct, an ideal perfect location for students. It is within easy reach of UniSA’s city and metropolitan campuses, Rundle Mall shopping, the Central Market, Chinatown, and the West End’s vibrant nightlife. It is also across the road from the Adelaide train station, and on bus and tram routes.

Student services

Student services

Our student support services will make your life at university easier. We want you to be successful, and if you need help, we're here to assist. We provide a full range of support services, including:

  • academic counselling
  • personal counselling
  • social support services, including family support and nearby childcare
  • common rooms
  • prayer rooms
  • security officers
  • Wirringka Student Services, offering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students a supportive place to study
  • services offered through our student association, USASA

When you become a UniSA student you can contact Campus Central for help with anything related to your degree. They will help you with your enrolment, ID cards, fees, timetables and any other questions you might have.

24/7 digital environment

Our learnonline facilities include a personal learning environment with virtual classrooms, lecture recordings, emails, learning support, administration, library access and results. The environment is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so you can tailor your learning to your life. We are continually investing in innovative digital technologies for a high-quality student learning experience.

Student services

Your campus

We have six campuses in metropolitan and regional areas, each with advanced facilities including modern lecture theatres, libraries, laboratories, and areas that simulate real work environments.

Location This degree is delivered at the following campus.

Your study spaces

Physiotherapy patient

As a physiotherapy student you will have access to:

  • Physiotherapy Clinics
  • Physiotherapy laboratories
  • Simulation clinic
  • Anatomy laboratories
  • Physiology laboratories

Your program director

I have the privilege of directing a degree delivered by world-class researchers and educators who enable students to graduate ready to work autonomously to meet the needs of the community. I strive to create innovative and supportive learning environments that enable students to flourish and fulfil their potential.

Dr Gisela Van Kessel

Program Director

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Portrait image for Dr Gisela Van Kessel
Portrait image for Dr Gisela Van Kessel

Dr Gisela Van Kessel

Program Director

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What others are saying

I always knew I wanted to be on my toes and work outside an office, which is why physiotherapy was a good fit for me. I also like the idea of working in the health industry and helping other people. Physiotherapy is a broad profession, with many different areas like sport injuries, rehabilitation, acute care and paediatrics.

Liam McAuliffe

Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours)

Liam McAuliffe

Liam McAuliffe

Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours)

UniSA provides students with the opportunity to work onsite in the real world, through practical placements. This was the highlight of my degree, particularly working with Port Adelaide Football Club where I got to analyse injury data and assess the relationship with injuries.

Leigh Schneebichler

Bachelor of Physiotherapy

Leigh Schneebichler

Leigh Schneebichler

Bachelor of Physiotherapy

Every student faces their own unique struggles. I battled with an eating disorder before I could embark on my journey to becoming a physiotherapist. My goal is to help other people overcome their health challenges and improve their quality of life. Drawing on my personal experience, my ultimate wish is to start a foundation that supports teenagers struggling with eating disorders and related illnesses, empowering them to change their lives for the better.

Leticia Mcwhinnie

Bachelor of Physiotherapy

Leticia Mcwhinnie, Physiotherapy

Leticia Mcwhinnie

Bachelor of Physiotherapy

I have been fortunate enough during my studies to fly with the Royal Flying Doctor Service to treat children in remote areas, travel to the USA for a placement, and attend international conferences. UniSA allowed me to learn through so many rewarding experiences, giving me a range of skills that have equipped me to work alongside other practitioners in multidisciplinary patient care. The problem-solving skills we learn as physiotherapists don’t just stay in the clinic but are applicable to a wealth of other personal experiences and professional industries. 

Ellen O'Callaghan

Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours)

Physio-9 copy.jpg

Ellen O'Callaghan

Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours)