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What A-levels do you need to study physiotherapy?

Got your sights set on becoming a physiotherapist? If you're thinking of studying a physiotherapy degree at university, make sure your A-level line-up ticks admissions tutors' boxes…

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A-level requirements do vary from course-to-course, but the majority of physiotherapy courses will expect at least one science subject, ideally biology. 

A-levels and AS-levels: everything you need to know

A-level subjects for physiotherapy

What A-levels are essential for studying physiotherapy?

  • biology for most courses
  • some courses ask for physical education – either as well as biology, or as an alternative


What A-levels are useful for studying physiotherapy?

  • other scientific subjects eg chemistry, physics
  • maths
  • physical education. If this isn’t an essential requirement  for your course, it might still be a good idea, as understanding how the body works can only be a boost to your course prospects

Look at individual physiotherapy courses on Which? University to find out the most popular subjects that students studied before attending.

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    What are the entry requirements for physiotherapy courses?

    Below is a range of physiotherapy courses offered by different universities and the A-level requirements needed for their September 2018 intake (as of 24 January 2018). You should always check the entry requirements yourself before you apply, but this will give you a good indication of what to expect.

    University of Birmingham - Physiotherapy BSc (Hons): ‘A-levels: AAB. Biology or PE at Grade A. They do not accept Applied Science, Citizenship Studies, Communication and Culture, Critical Studies, Critical Thinking, General Studies, Global Perspectives, Moving Image Arts, Science in Society, Use of Maths and World Development.’

    University of Brighton - Physiotherapy BSc (Hons): ‘A-levels: ABB, to include Biology, Human Biology or PE.’

    Sheffield Hallam University - Physiotherapy BSc (Hons): ‘A-levels: 128 UCAS points from three A levels (including at least 40 points in either Biology, Human Biology or Physical Education) or BTEC National Diploma in Sport and Exercise Science. They do not accept AS levels, or General Studies.’

    Other degree subjects with similar A-level requirements...

    Not sure if physiotherapy is quite right for you, but know you’re on the right lines? Here are some other ideas. 
    • sports therapy – patient rehab and prevention of injury
    • occupational therapy – support to people whose health prevents them from doing the activities that matter to them
    • nursing – there are different types you might want to look into. Adult, geriatric, paediatric, district and mental health are some of the main ones

    Bear in mind that these similar subjects may have slightly different A-level requirements to physiotherapy, so if you want to keep your degree options open, be sure to check the entry requirements of specific courses before making your choices.


    What about veterinary physiotherapy?

    Veterinary physiotherapy is similar to human physiotherapy – although instead of humans you might be working with pets, working animals, farm or zoo animals. 

    You can choose to do this as a post-grad from your human physiotherapy degree. It’s likely that you will need the same A-levels as you do for human physiotherapy: biology and another science-based subject.


    Do you have to go to university to become a physiotherapist?

    In a word, yes. To practise as a physiotherapist, you must be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). To register with the HCPC, you need a physiotherapy degree.

    Where could your A-levels take you?

    Enter your A-level choices below to find out

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