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Study physiotherapy abroad

An in-depth guide to studying physiotherapy as an international student.

Physiotherapy degrees abroad

Studying physiotherapy means learning about the rehabilitation of people through therapeutic exercise and movement. The subject covers all ages and ranges from sports injuries to people recovering from illnesses.

A physiotherapist creates individual treatment plans specific to a patient, requiring a lot of practical experience and scientific knowledge.

Physiotherapy’s subject matter doesn’t vary much between countries, but the benefit of studying it abroad may be access to a higher standard of teaching and research. Some countries do not class it as a profession in its own right, which would affect how you study it.

Physiotherapy is available to study as a bachelor’s, master’s or PhD. In all cases, you may have the opportunity to work with other healthcare or medical students in interdisciplinary study.

Physiotherapy program structure

Physiotherapy programs at bachelor’s level will require a mixture of theoretical and practical learning over three to four years of study. You may also be required to run research studies to learn from and be assessed on. There will be written exams and presentations to form part of your grades too.

At master’s level a program can take a similar structure to a bachelor’s just over a shorter period of time and more focused on specialist knowledge and research.

A physiotherapy doctorate or PhD will be tailored for your own interests or specialization. It may require extensive research and practical experience, or a large thesis to produced at the end of your three or four years.

The structure of a physiotherapy bachelor’s will be divided into modules or electives with an amount of credits linked to them. You will have to complete a certain amount of credits before moving on to the next year of a program. Common modules surround the following topics:

  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Cardiorespiratory studies
  • Physical activity and exercise
  • Research skills
  • Professional development
  • Dissertation / project

Why study physiotherapy abroad

Studying physiotherapy in a country that is renowned for their healthcare standards means you are likely to have a high standard of teaching in physiotherapy.

Where to study physiotherapy abroad

There’s plenty to think about when you’re deciding where you should study physiotherapy abroad. Here’s some of the things that are worth considering to help you make your decision:

  • Where you want to work

    If you want to work as a physiotherapist in a specific country after graduation, then you need to ensure that a physiotherapy program aligns to that country’s system.

  • Where you want to live

    Whether you would like to be in a large city or small campus should be taken into consideration when deciding on a location. If you’d like to pick up a new language during your time studying abroad then this will also narrow down where to live.

Here’s how you can choose where to study abroad.

Best countries to study physiotherapy

The best countries for physiotherapy are the USA, the UK, Australia, New Zealand and parts of western Europe. Due to the quality of healthcare in these countries, physiotherapy is taught to a high standard using the latest research methods.

Best universities to study physiotherapy

In order to find the best university to study physiotherapy, you should consider the which university would be right for you. As well as rankings think about things like:

  • Practical experience included in the program including placements or work experience
  • What the university offers outside the classroom for you, e.g. does it have student organization for you interests
  • The members of staff in the department

    their backgrounds, specializations, professional experience

See all universities offering physiotherapy programs

How to study physiotherapy abroad

  1. Universities & programs

    Find the right program for you and your career aspirations

  2. Application assistance

    Be guided through your application process

  3. Visa & embassy guidance

    Maximise your chances of being granted a visa

  4. Enrollment & travel advice

    Get support all the way to your first day at university

Speak to a personal advisor (free service)

Physiotherapy study abroad programs

Although degrees focusing on physiotherapy are available worldwide there are some key differences between the most popular countries for studying abroad:

  • USA and Canada

    Physiotherapy studies often come under the title physical therapy. Degrees in physical therapy specifically are not available until master’s level, and it is recommended to have a bachelor’s degree linked to physiotherapy.

  • UK

    Physiotherapy is available as a three to four year undergraduate bachelor’s as well as at master’s and doctorate / PhD level.

  • Australia and New Zealand

    To become a physiotherapist in NZ, you need to complete a four year bachelor’s program from one of three universities, including a health science year foundation program. In Australia you will also require a four year degree. If you want to specialize in a certain branch of physiotherapy you can then take a postgraduate course in that area.

Physiotherapy undergraduate programs

Bachelor's in physiotherapy

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    Physiotherapy - BSc (Hons) MAHSA University, Malaysia

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    6,600 USD
    Start date
    January, April
    Show program overview about
  • false

    Physiotherapy - BPhty University of Otago, New Zealand

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    3 years
    Tuition fees per year
    27,205 NZD
    Start date
    February, July
    Show program overview about
  • false

    Physiotherapy - BPhty University of Newcastle, Australia

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    34,870 AUD
    Start date
    February, July, September
    Show program overview about
  • false

    Physiotherapy - BSc University of Limerick, Ireland

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    15,986 EUR
    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about
  • false

    Physiotherapy - BSc (Hons) Ulster University, UK

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    3 years
    Tuition fees per year
    14,480 GBP
    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about
See all bachelor's degrees in physiotherapy

Physiotherapy graduate programs

Master's in physiotherapy

  • false

    Physiotherapy - MSc MAHSA University, Malaysia

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    12,400 USD
    Start date
    January, April
    Show program overview about
  • false

    Physiotherapy - MPhil University of Newcastle, Australia

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    35,000 AUD
    Start date
    February, July, September
    Show program overview about
  • false

    Physiotherapy (Pre-registration) - MSc Keele University, UK

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    20,000 GBP
    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about
  • false

    Physiotherapy (Pre-registration) - MSc Glasgow Caledonian University, UK

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    15,120 GBP
    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about
  • false

    Physiotherapy - MSc London South Bank University, UK

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    17,155 GBP
    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about
See all master's degrees in physiotherapy

Doctorate in physiotherapy

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    Physiotherapy (Pre-registration) - PhD Glasgow Caledonian University, UK

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    42 months
    Tuition fees per year
    15,120 GBP
    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about
  • false

    Physiotherapy - PhD University of Nicosia, Cyprus

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    3 years
    Tuition fees per year
    4,500 EUR
    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about
See all doctorates in physiotherapy

Entry requirements to study physiotherapy abroad

To be accepted onto an international physiotherapy program, you’ll need to meet the university’s entry requirements. A university may ask for the following information depending on which level you are studying at:

  • The results of your secondary education (GPA / A-Levels / IB) and any subjects you focused on in particular
  • A personal statement outlining why you want to study physiotherapy
  • English language proficiency score (TOEFL / IELTS)
  • Relevant academic references
  • CV
  • University transcripts if relevant
  • Financial information to show you can support yourself abroad

As some universities charge for submitting an application, always check the entry requirements carefully. Find out more on how to study abroad.

Future physiotherapy careers

Physiotherapy is often used as a vocational course, leading to a job as a physiotherapist in one of the following areas:

  • Women’s health
  • Elderly care
  • Pediatrics
  • Sports and exercise
  • Occupational health
  • Stroke services

Knowing which type of physiotherapy role is of interest to you will help you pick the right program to study abroad.