Bachelor of Physiotherapy

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  • Objectives
    CSU’s Bachelor of Physiotherapy / Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours) primarily prepares graduates eligible for registration and employment as physiotherapists.
  • Academic title
    Bachelor of Physiotherapy
  • Course description
    Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours)

    About the course

    Physiotherapy is an important part of the total health care scene. As the demand for physiotherapists grows across Australia, rural people increasingly find themselves lacking a service sufficient for their needs.

    The Charles Sturt University Physiotherapy program is the first to be offered outside a metropolitan area. Fully accredited, this course is designed to expand the professional opportunities for students from regional and remote backgrounds, as well as address the shortages of health professionals in non-metropolitan areas. Graduates from the Bachelor of Physiotherapy degree will not only have specific skills for practice in rural and remote Australia, but will also be equipped to practice in metropolitan areas and internationally.

    You will graduate with the knowledge to formulate physiotherapeutic diagnoses and provide appropriate programs of therapeutic exercise and treatments to those primarily with physical disabilities. Studies in behavioural and biomedical science and clinical experience will prepare you for employment as entry-level physiotherapists in a variety of health care settings.

    Where it will take you

    Graduates work professionally as physiotherapists throughout the health care system, in hospitals, within the community, private practices, and organisations such as the Spastic Centre.

    You can also work in:

        * education
        * management
        * research
        * rehabilitation centres
        * public or private health care sectors as a consultant

    Your course is recognised by industry

    The Bachelor of Physiotherapy has been awarded full accreditation with the Australian Physiotherapy Council (APC). Graduates of the course are eligible for registration in all states and territories of Australia, and may also work internationally.

    The latest facilities

    To make sure you are experienced using the equipment and techniques found in the workplace, our facilities include:

        * excellent laboratory facilities
        * state-of-the-art computer centres
        * small group sizes
        * challenging learning environment

    Clinical experience

    Students are required to complete approximately 1,000 hours of clinical experience during the course. This will be undertaken in conjunction with a number of subjects throughout the course, beginning in the first year.

    Transfer into the Honours stream

    To be eligible for transfer into the Honours stream at the beginning of year three, students will be required to achieve grades of Credit or above in at least 50% of first and second level subjects. Selection into the Honours stream will depend upon high academic merit and the availability of supervisors and research topics.

    Other considerations

    The Bachelor of Physiotherapy course involves physical demands on students, particularly in clinical placements. Students will be undertaking practical classes where they will be expected to practise skills on other students as well as act as models for their colleagues. Any students who believe that they may have difficulty with these requirements are advised to contact the Course Coordinator or the Student Equity Officer via info.csu on 1800 334 733 before enrolling.

    Graduation requirements

    To graduate, students must satisfactorily complete 256 points (30 subjects). For students in the Honours stream, determination of the grade of Honours will depend on coursework performance in years three and four of the course as well as performance in the dissertation subject. Students will graduate from the Bachelor of Physiotherapy with the award BPhysio or BPhysio(Hons).

    Clinical requirements

    Refer to the Clinical requirements section following for information on fieldwork placement requirements:

        * Senior First Aid Certificate
        * Criminal Record Clearance
        * Immunisation

    Further study

    Postgraduate courses include:
    Doctor of Philosophy
    Doctor of Health Science
    Master of Health Science (Honours)
    Master of Health Services Management
    Graduate Diploma of Health Services Management
    Graduate Certificate in Health Services Management
    Graduate Certificate in Clinical Education
    Frequently asked questions - General

    What is the ENTER/UAI for the CSU Physiotherapy program?

    Places in CSU physiotherapy are very popular. Competition from year to year dictates the entry score. Over the past five years the published score has been over 92.00.

    NB: These published scores include regional bonus points. Students who complete their schooling in NSW (other than the metropolitan centres of Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong) get a bonus of five points added to their original UAI.

        * Students who complete their schooling in northern Victoria (a line drawn across the state:
        * Lakes Entrance – Seymour – Bendigo – Horsham) receive an additional five points.

    How many places are there available each year?

    The new intake each year is around 50 students. The mix of non-school leavers and school leavers is usually around one to two thirds.

    How many contact hours are involved?

    Most weeks involve around 23 hours of classes, and you should expect to spend around 25 hours per week in private study. In addition, some clinical placements are scheduled during non-teaching times (‘holidays’). For more information regarding the curriculum, please visit our website.

    How much clinical time is involved and where is it conducted?

    Over the four years of the course, you will complete 1,000 hours of clinical placement experience in a variety of locations, largely involving larger regional hospitals and metropolitan hospitals throughout NSW and Victoria. Students do have some input into the location of their clinical placements but the course will ensure that you have a good variety of experiences over the four years. Clinical education means travelling and living away for periods of time and this needs to be taken into account.

    In first year, clinical placement constitutes a few half-day placements in the greater Albury-Wodonga area.

    In second year, students complete a three-week block placement at the end of the year.

    In third year, students complete two four-week block placements.

    In fourth year, students complete a three-week, a five-week and three four-week block placements.

    Applicants should note that these schedules are subject to change.

    Can the course be studied part-time?

    Physiotherapy is a full-time course. The course runs more smoothly for students in terms of curriculum integration and in terms of clinical continuity if undertaken on a full-time basis over four years. Variations to this policy can be made in exceptional circumstances.

    Will work experience improve my chances of admission?

    Work experience is encouraged to ensure applicants have made an appropriate career choice.

    School leaver applicants are admitted solely on the basis of their UAI/ENTER scores. For applicants who have studied at tertiary level, previous Grade Point Average (GPA) is the primary means of ranking with their UAI/ENTER also considered.

    If I am offered a place in CSU’s Bachelor of Physiotherapy, can I defer?

    School leavers offered a place may defer for one year. If admission is through the PREP scheme a school leaver can only defer if their UAI/ENTER is equal to or higher than the published score. Non-school leavers cannot defer.

    Can I sit the STAT or UMAT tests and have these scores considered?

    These scores are not considered for entry to the Bachelor of Physiotherapy at CSU. For school leavers, the UAI/ENTER is all that is considered. For applicants who have studied at tertiary level, previous Grade Point Average (GPA) is the primary indicator with their UAI/ENTER also considered.

    Are there any other means of applying to the CSU Physiotherapy course, other than VTAC and UAC?

    CSU does take direct applications. These applications are not considered until the normal UAC and VTAC mechanisms have been exhausted in January/February. It should be noted that in previous years no places remained after the 2nd round of offers, and so direct applications are not usually available.

    If I am not accepted into this course the first time, what can I do?

    Firstly, you should make sure that physiotherapy is the profession you really want to pursue and seek career-planning advice. Make sure you understand what the physiotherapy profession is all about and get some good work experience.

    If you have no Year 12 qualification, or if your first UAI/ENTER was not high enough, then you may consider re-sitting Year 12. Alternatively, you could enrol in another course with the view to reapplying for the CSU Physiotherapy course in the future.

    If I am not accepted into the Bachelor of Physiotherapy first time, can you recommend another suitable university course?

    You should choose a course that you think you will enjoy and do well in. It should also be a course that you would be happy to stay in, should your future applications to CSU’s Physiotherapy course be unsuccessful.

    Remember that there will be stiff competition for places each year. Non-school leavers are assessed by a combination of their UAI/ENTER and their grades at Bachelor level (or higher) from a university. All Bachelor degrees are considered equal and no preference is given to particular fields of study.

    If I am not accepted into CSU’s Bachelor of Physiotherapy first time, can I enrol in another CSU course and then apply for an internal transfer?

    Applicants can do this, but your application will be assessed on its merits at the same time as applications from other universities. CSU students do not get preference in this competitive process.

    Is the CSU’s Bachelor of Physiotherapy course fully accredited?

    Yes. The Physiotherapy program at CSU has gained full accreditation. Students with a physiotherapy degree from CSU are able to apply for registration to practice overseas.

    Can I apply for study on a full fee paying basis?

    Only international students may apply for full fee paying places.
    Frequently asked questions - school leavers

    I am a secondary school student. Are there any prerequisite subjects?

    There are no prerequisites for the Bachelor of Physiotherapy course at CSU. For further information, please refer to the special selection criteria in the Admission Requirements section.

    You should bear in mind that physiotherapy is a health science course and the majority of students will have completed some science subjects at Year 12 level. The curriculum is taught with this background in mind.

    Many students are concerned about their abilities in the areas of biology and physics. The physiotherapy curriculum starts at such a level that students who have not studied biology are not significantly disadvantaged. The integration of physics into the curriculum occurs on a subject-by-subject basis. Most students manage to pick up the principles they need along the way.

    Good skills in English are also very helpful. A physiotherapist needs good verbal and written communication skills.

    I am a secondary school student. What UAI/ENTER score do I need to get in?

    Places in CSU Physiotherapy are very popular and competition from year to year dictates the entry score. Over the past five years, the published score has been between 91 and 93.

    NB: These scores include regional bonus points as students who complete their schooling in NSW (other than the metropolitan centres of Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong) receive a bonus five points added to their original UAI.

    Please call info.csu on 1800 334 733 (free call) to assess your eligibility for the regional bonus.

    Should I apply through VTAC or UAC?

    CSU takes applications from both admissions centres.

    If you reside in NSW then apply through UAC. If you reside in Victoria then apply through VTAC. There is no advantage in applying through both admission centres.

    Do I need to have work experience if I am a secondary school student?

    This is recommended but not essential. Work experience may help you to decide whether physiotherapy is the course you really want to study. A variety of settings indicate the breadth and scope of the physiotherapy profession and are recommended for work experience, such as acute hospital work, rehabilitation, geriatric care, private practice or sports therapies.

    It is not necessary to do work experience to get a head-start towards gaining physiotherapy skills. There is adequate time allocated in the course for students to gain the necessary skills.

    Does CSU’s Bachelor of Physiotherapy accept applicants through the Principal Recommended Entry Program (PREP)?

    Yes. A small number of PREP applicants receive offers each year. This is a very competitive process. Completed forms must be signed by the school principal and bear the school stamp. Applicants should ensure that they have included evidence of their academic ability through school reports.

    NB: As with the regional bonus scheme, the PREP scheme is only offered to schools in regional NSW and northern Victoria.
    Frequently asked questions - non-recent school leavers

    What is the definition of a non-recent school leaver or mature student?

    A non-recent school leaver is an applicant who finished Year 12 at least one year prior to their application. Therefore, a non school leaver may be an individual who has taken a year off following Year 12 (but not deferred) to work or travel, or who has been in a course at another tertiary institution. They may also be a person who has been in the workforce for some time.

    Does CSU’s Bachelor of Physiotherapy accept non-school leavers or mature-aged applications?

    Each year, depending on the quality of applications, around 10 to 15 students are admitted who are not directly from Year 12. Some may have completed as little as one year of university study in another degree, and others may have completed degrees and have significant life experience.

    How are non-school leaver applications judged?

    Non school leavers are judged on a combination of their UAI/ENTER and their grades at a Bachelor level (or higher) from a tertiary institution. The primary method of ranking non-school leaver applicants is according to the Grade Point Average (GPA) of previous tertiary study plus their UAI/ENTER. The length of prior study is also taken into account, as well as the level of study, e.g. Bachelor degree versus postgraduate degree.

    All Bachelor degrees are considered equal – no preference is given to particular fields of study.

    Does life experience and prior work experience improve my chances of being accepted into the course?

    No. The primary method of selecting candidates is by prior academic success. Applicants without an academic background have two options:

        * enrol in another university course and establish a strong academic record, then reapply the following year with strong grades to substantiate the application. Applicants should choose a university course at least at Bachelor level. A Certificate, Associate Diploma or Diploma will not be suitable for direct application.
        * consider doing or re-doing Year 12

    Non-school leavers only require basic work experience so that the applicant can be confident that they are applying to the right course.

    Does participation as an elite sportsperson improve my chances of being accepted into the Bachelor of Physiotherapy course at CSU?

    No. As per the work and other life experience claims, what is required is a strong academic record.

    Many sporting organisations are beginning to offer educational assistance and advice to their athletes. Applicants are advised to discuss issues with these people.

    I achieved the Year 12 score to get into physiotherapy first time but chose to study another university course. I have not enjoyed it and my grades have suffered. Does this affect my ability to transfer to CSU Physiotherapy?

    Yes. A mediocre academic record will jeopardise any application as your tertiary Grade Point Average will be combined with your UAI/ENTER score. Students in this situation are advised to reconsider their enrolment pattern and improve their GPA.

    I achieved the Year 12 score to get into physiotherapy first time but decided to take time off from study (I did not defer an offer from CSU Physiotherapy). Does my Year 12 score still count?

    In cases where an applicant is not coming directly from Year 12, but has not undertaken other study either, their application is ranked amongst the current Year 12 applicants.

    We would expect that such an applicant will have sought some basic work experience to inform their choice.

    What Grade Point Average do I need in order to have a competitive application as a non-school leaver?

    This detail fluctuates from year to year, depending on competition for places. Over the past five years, the average has been around 6.0. This constitutes a distinction, or B or H2 average.

    Depth of record (i.e. success over a number of years) is taken into account. Many applicants have completed Bachelor degrees.

    Level of award is also considered, e.g. Bachelor or Master degree.

    If I am accepted into CSU’s Bachelor of Physiotherapy as a non-school leaver, can I get credit for prior work?

    Successful applicants can apply for credit after they have enrolled in the course. You are required to submit sufficient documentation to the University for consideration. Common areas of credit are physiology and psychology.

    Due to the presence of prerequisites and timing of subject offering, students with credit may have some sessions with a reduced load. It is uncommon for credit to result in a reduced course duration.

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