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Do you have a problem solving attitude? Do you want to work with people to help them improve their quality of life? If you have patience, strong interpersonal skills and have the ability to build trusting relationships with clients, it might be worth having a look at physiotherapy courses. 

What is physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy is a healthcare profession that helps people affected by injury, illness or disabilities through different movements, therapy, exercise and educating clients. 

What 3rd level courses are available?

Universities and colleges in Ireland are offering courses in the following subject areas:

  • Physiotherapy – UL, TCD, UCD, RCSI University of Medicine and Health Science
  • Health Science with Physiotherapy Studies – LYIT
  • Physiotherapy – PLC courses

Studying Physiotherapy in college

There are a number of physiotherapy courses in Ireland between undergraduate courses and PLC courses across the country. PLC courses will usually be one year in length while the undergraduate courses are mostly four years in length. 

In all undergraduate courses, your first year will act as your foundation year. You will cover the basics of your chosen area, in this case physiotherapy. You will become familiar with the key modules and subject areas and gain knowledge of what is to come throughout the remainder of your course and what it will entail. First year of your course will include areas such as Human Anatomy and Physiology, Health Informatics, Exercise and Health Fitness and Introduction to Physiotherapy Skills.

Your second and third year will go into more in-depth knowledge and tackle more complex areas and the main areas of focus will be assessing, evaluating and managing disability. You will be introduced to the musculoskeletal and neurological systems and problems that may arise in those systems. You will delve into your sociological imaginations while also preparing for your contemporary practice. 

Throughout third and fourth year you will do a total of 31 weeks of clinical practice between both years while also continuing to focus on theory. Such modules will include research methodology and practice education modules. The final two years will put focus on developing practical, evaluation and interpersonal skills and apply those to clinical practice. You will gain the opportunity to reflect and engage in discipline-specific and inter-professional learning through many different scenarios you’ll find yourself in throughout your clinical experience. 

This information is based on the University of Limerick’s course in Physiotherapy. Courses may differ in their exact content and layout but they won’t stray too far from the basic layout and they will all provide you with the opportunity to gain the relevant skills and knowledge to work in the field.  

Career options

As a physiotherapist you will aid and provide therapy and advice to clients to help them through injuries, illnesses and more. Most people in this area will work in settings from hospitals, medical clinics, your own private clinic and on the pitch with teams and athletes. 

Many will continue on their study at postgraduate level to specialise in a particular area of their interest. You may also go into the education and research side of physiotherapy once you build experience in the area and move into lecturing/teaching roles or working in universities and colleges. 

Skills and qualities that are important when working in this area include strong communication skills, customer service skills, patience, tolerance, trustworthy, the ability to build relationships with clients, the ability to work well with others, a business mind, interpersonal skills, good physical health, problem solving attitude and a critical thinker. 

Related Jobs

  • Physiotherapist
  • Athletic Therapist 
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Performance Therapist
  • Nurse

Further Study

Visit for more information. 


Different courses and different colleges will have different entry requirements. It’s always safest to check with the individual higher education institution which is available on their websites. As a general rule Leaving Cert students should have a minimum of six subjects which should

include: Two H5 (Higher Level) grades and Four O6 (Ordinary Level) grades or four H7 (Higher Level) grades. Subjects must include Mathematics, Irish or another language, and English. 

Certain QQI Awards in a relevant area may also be accepted. These change from course to course so be sure to research further. 

The highest points required to study Physiotherapy in 2020 were 589 points in UL. THe lowest points were 566 points to study Physiotherapy in RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences.  LYIT offers a course in Health Science with Physiotherapy Studies at 401 points. 

Where can I study?

You can explore your options here

Did you know?

  • The musculoskeletal system includes 840 muscles, 206-270 bones, 220 nerves and more 
  • Physiotherapy can help you to improve movement, reduce pain, improve balance, manage age related issues and even more
  • There are four types of physical therapy – Geriatric, Sports, Orthopedic, Pediatric


Student Grant Scheme 

Physiotherapist job description 

Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists

Aedín Dunne

Anthropology and Development Courses


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