Start Date
February

Duration
4 year(s) full-time

Mode
On-campus

Program Code
IHPZ

SATAC Code
414481 (Internal)

Study as
Full-time or part-time

Prerequisites
None

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

Entry Scores
2023 Guaranteed Entry
Year 12 (Grades-based): NA
View Guaranteed Entry Info
2022 Cut-Offs
Year 12 (ATAR-based):
- Internal: 95.60
TAFE/RTO: Adv Dip
View full entry requirements

Degree overview

  • Become an expert in the structure and function of the human body.
  • Graduate with honours at a university with more than 50 years' experience in physiotherapy education and research.
  • Study the only fully accredited undergraduate four-year physiotherapy degree in South Australia.
  • Join the No.1 university in South Australia for graduate careers in physiotherapy.1
  • Complete 45 weeks of practical experience in UniSA's physiotherapy clinics and industry-based clinical placements in acute care, rehabilitation, paediatrics, musculoskeletal and sports physiotherapy.
  • Study a degree informed by above world-class research in physiotherapy.2
  • Learn from award-winning teaching staff including practising health professionals and researchers at the forefront of their fields.
  • Benefit from our strong links with industry to kick-start your career.
  • UniSA is an unstoppable university for unstoppable people.3 As one of the World’s Top Young Universities4, we’ll ensure you get the experience your future profession demands so it’ll feel like you’re studying one minute and in a career the next.

1ComparED (QILT) Graduate Outcomes Survey 2019-21, Rehabilitation – Full-time Employment Indicator (Undergraduate). SA public universities. 2Results in Clinical Sciences - 2018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA). 3UNSTOPPABLE® is a Kellogg Company trade mark used under licence. 4Ranked #46, 2022 THE Young University Rankings, Ranked #29, 2021 QS Top 50 Universities Aged Under 50.

Snapshot

Physiotherapy student.jpg

Physiotherapists change lives. Start your unstoppable career helping people to reach their full potential, and lead healthy, functional lives. This four-year degree will develop your expertise in the prevention, assessment and management of health conditions across the lifespan.

As a registered physiotherapist you’ll be at the forefront of care, being eligible to work as a first contact professional and sought-after member of allied health care teams in Australia and overseas.

Further study opportunities may include a Masters by Research, doctoral studies or the Master of Advanced Clinical Physiotherapy (Sports or Musculoskeletal).

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.

Physiotherapy is a physically and cognitively demanding profession. Please refer to the degree’s Rules and Notes for further information about what you’ll need to successfully complete this degree.

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

The Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours) will teach you to assess, treat and prevent health conditions across various areas of practice, including sport, musculoskeletal, cardiorespiratory and neurological disciplines.

You’ll start practical courses straight away and will learn foundational medical sciences in courses such as human anatomy and physiology. Social and psychological determinants of human health and function are covered in the inter-professional course Foundations of Health, where you’ll work with students studying podiatry, health sciences, occupational therapy and exercise physiology. You also begin your training in physiotherapy-specific skills from day one, starting with biomechanics and muscle assessment.

You’ll also study important aspects of pharmacology and movement analysis, courses that will challenge your understanding of the mechanisms and management of pain the biomedical model of health, and how to work collaboratively with patients to help them achieve their best outcomes. Experiential teaching is delivered through clinical placements that train you in the prevention and treatment of disease and disability. 

You’ll graduate with qualifications to 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 multidisciplinary healthcare team. This holistic view of a patient’s health recovery is critical, especially across the different types of care needed for people of all ages.

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)
Applied Musculoskeletal 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 and Families REHB 4057 4.5
Clinical Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy REHB 4056 9
Health Promotion in Physiotherapy B REHB 4035 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)
Applied Musculoskeletal 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 and Families REHB 4057 4.5
Work Health and Safety Practice REHB 4011 4.5
Health Science Honours Thesis REHB 4012 9
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)
Advanced Physiotherapy Practice B REHB 4050 9
Clinical Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy REHB 4056 9

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, as well as to 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  
  • essays
  • group assignments 
  • workbooks 
  • practical skills tests 
  • examinations 
  • placements 

Global opportunities

Enrich your studies and your life – make overseas study part of your qualification. You may have the option to undertake an exchange, short-term program or study tour overseas while you study. We have links with universities worldwide, as well as a range of travel grants available to make going overseas much more accessible.

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’ll graduate with industry experience and connections, and a higher-level qualification than a bachelor’s degree.

Research stream: This option is offered to high achieving students as part of their honour’s studies. Through undertaking dedicated research training, you’ll independently complete a real-world research project an area of your interest, guided by a UniSA supervisor. You’ll produce a proposal and thesis about your findings (and possibly a journal publication), 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’ll also complete a group project with an industry supervisor to address a real-world problem faced by their organisation. This pathway 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 research-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 fitness 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 At UniSA, you’ll gain in-depth theoretical knowledge and practical skills required to excel as a physiotherapist with patient-centred care at the heart of your practice. 

Graduating with an honour’s degree will set you apart from the crowd, ensuring you have a competitive edge and are well-placed for a career in industry, research or further postgraduate study.

You’ll be taught by registered practicing physiotherapists and award winning academics at the top of their fields, and have the opportunity to put this knowledge into practice throughout your degree.

At UniSA, you're encouraged to build industry relationships from day one of your degree. You’ll advance your knowledge and skills through supervised clinical placements across metro, rural and regional health settings, completing 45 weeks of practical experience across a variety of physiotherapy disciplines. Your learning is carefully designed to gradually reduce your need for support as you move toward graduation, to ensure you have the confidence and capacity to walk into a job as a new graduate physiotherapist.

You’ll benefit from the expertise of UniSA’s above world-class research in physiotherapy.1 We’ve been teaching in this field for more than 50 years and are proud of the rich knowledge base we’ve created.

You'll graduate with a degree that's accredited by the Australian Physiotherapy Council and satisfies the academic requirements for registration as a physiotherapist with the Physiotherapy Board of Australia. You will also be eligible for membership with the Australian Physiotherapy Association.

1Results in Clinical Sciences - 2018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA).

Real-world connections

You’ll experience UniSA’s enterprising spirit and strong industry links when you complete clinical placements across public and private health organisations, schools, rehabilitation centres, sporting organisations, aged care and more. Overall, you'll embark on 45 weeks of practical experience across UniSA's physiotherapy clinics and during clinical placements. You'll complete seven placements during your program of study, each in a different discipline of physiotherapy and with a different industry partner, ensuring you have broad exposure to the profession prior to joining it. 

These experiences not only provide exceptional learning opportunities but are important networking opportunities.

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

Physiotherapy careers snapshot

Find out where a career in physiotherapy could take you. Hear from UniSA graduate, Tristan Chai, about his role as Head Physiotherapist of professional men’s basketball team, Adelaide 36ers, as well as Owner of Good Physio.

UniSA Video

Career outcomes

Your career

The demand for physiotherapists continues to grow very strongly, with 9,400 new job openings projected to become available over the next five years.

Along with having an excellent understanding of the human body, a successful physiotherapist is someone who is a great listener, communicator and problem solver.

Physiotherapists can work across a diverse range of settings including:

  • private practice
  • clinics
  • 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 work across management, administration, education, research, policy development, advisory and regulatory contexts.

Use your qualification as a pathway to further learning, including a Masters by Research, doctoral studies or the Master of Advanced Clinical Physiotherapy (Sports or Musculoskeletal).

1Australian Government National Skills Commission Employment Projections 2021.

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 14% by November 2025.

Australian Government Department of Employment, Occupational Employment Projections 2020

job-listings

To November 2025, healthcare and social assistance is projected to make the largest contribution to employment growth in Australia – an increase of 249,500 jobs.

Australian Government Department of Employment, Occupational Employment Projections 2020

chart-people

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

Australian Government Department of Employment, Occupational Employment Projections 2019

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.

Preferred Pathways

Option 1:
Direct Entry
Option 2:
Undergraduate Pathway
Option 3:
Postgraduate Pathway
Apply for your preferred degree directly via SATAC
Choose one of the following degrees and complete at least 18 units of study (four courses) and then apply for your preferred degree via SATAC at the next available intake using your competitive Grade Point Average (GPA).
Complete one of the following bachelor degrees, then use your competitive Grade Point Average (GPA) to apply for the master’s program via SATAC.
Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours)
Bachelor of Human Movement OR
Bachelor of Health Science (Public Health) OR
Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science
Bachelor of Human Movement OR
Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science + Master of Physiotherapy (Graduate Entry)

Please note that all pathways are competitive and no guaranteed due to limited places. A competitive Grade Point Average (GPA) and other entry criteria (including prerequisites) apply. For more information, visit unisa.edu.au/study or contact our Future Student Enquiries Team at unisa.edu.au/enquire or on (08) 8302 2376.

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 are home to fantastic facilities including modern lecture theatres, libraries, workshops and laboratories, as well as spaces 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 also has a variety of accommodation options to suit different requirements and budgets. Options include dedicated student accommodation and private rentals. See our long-term accommodation pages, or explore our student accommodation by Scape on Bank Street in Adelaide’s lively cultural precinct, an ideal 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 services provide you with all the support you need at university. We want you to succeed, and if you need help, we're here to assist. You can access 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
  • career services and mentoring
  • Wirringka Student Services, offering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students a supportive place to study
  • as well as services offered through our student association, USASA.

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

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 modern facilities including lecture theatres, libraries and laboratories, as well as spaces that simulate real work environments.

Location This degree is delivered at the following campus.

Your study spaces

Physiotherapy patient

As a physiotherapy student you'll have access to:

You’ll also have access to a range of interesting on-campus spaces including collaborative teaching rooms and relaxed student lounges.

Your program director

I have the privilege of directing a degree delivered by world-class researchers and educators, who support students to graduate with the knowledge and skills they need to work independently and meet the needs of our community. I strive to create innovative and safe learning environments that enable students to pursue excellence and fulfil their highest potential.

Dr Julie Walters

Program Director

Enquire
Portrait image for Dr Julie Walters
Portrait image for Dr Julie Walters

Dr Julie Walters

Program Director

Enquire

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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)

I was drawn to study physiotherapy because I had an interest in sport, fitness and loved the idea of working with people. With UniSA’s strong reputation for ‘on-the-job’ learning, I was lucky enough to complete placements at several public hospitals and the Adelaide Football Club, which really sparked my passion for elite sports. 

Tristan Chai

UniSA Physiotherapy Graduate
Physiotherapist, Good Physio & Adelaide 36ers

P7010758.jpg

Tristan Chai

UniSA Physiotherapy Graduate
Physiotherapist, Good Physio & Adelaide 36ers