Physiotherapy placements

Physiotherapist showing a client how to perform an exercise

In order to qualify as physiotherapist, you’ll spend a minimum of 1,065 hours in the practice environment. Professional practice placements are a rich learning experience, and they’ll help to cement your classroom and simulated learning.

Placement blocks

We work in partnership with a wide range of community and hospital placement providers across our region. As a university, we have carefully selected placement providers in order to ensure that you have optimal opportunities to develop as both a practitioner and a professional.

You’ll attend five full-time block placements commencing at the start of the last trimester of Year 1. Your placement rotation will comprise five different placement blocks: one five-week block and four six-week blocks. Placements are generally structured on 37.5 hours per week, however, working patterns may be variable and include shifts, virtual, overnight and weekends.

Placement rotations will always include a Musculoskeletal, Neurological and Cardiorespiratory Rehabilitation block. Two blocks will be organised around clinical (ie orthopaedics, community) and non-traditional placements (ie research, leadership). Formal teaching is nearly always organised around placements; therefore, you won't have classes while on placement.

Placement areas

Placement areas include the following.

Cambridge

  • Addenbrooke's
  • Cambridge Community Services
  • Cambridge and Peterborough Foundation Trust
  • Private practice

Chelmsford

  • Mid and South Essex Hospital
  • Princess Alexandra Hospital
  • Colchester Hospital
  • Provide
  • Private practice

You'll be responsible for funding your travel to all of your placements; however your placement team will endeavour to arrange placements near to your term time address. There may be occasions when you have to travel further distances. It’ll be up to you to choose the most suitable transport to punctually attend your placements.

What types of activity will you be involved in?

You’ll be overseen and directed by a Clinical Supervisor and your clinical activity will encompass a wide variety of activities with service users. These will include engagement in a range of procedural skills, and the development of diagnostic and clinical problem-solving and management skills, under supervision. This will be underpinned by the concurrent development of clinical communication skills, which are a central aspect of your role as a healthcare professional.

For each rotation, it is expected that you’ll have an initial joint discussion with your supervisor to formulate personal objective setting and action plans. Pre-placement briefings and classroom learning will help to prepare you for these conversations, through the discussion of potential learning opportunities, in each of the specialities.

Practice Educators and Mentors will support and supervise you while on placement. They will help you organise your case load and answer your doubts. You’ll also always be supported by the University. The course team and link tutors will make arrangements to visit you while you are in placement and also contact you to check in and make sure that all is going okay.

The placement blocks have been designed in such a way as to give you regular chances to return to university, where you’ll have formal and informal placement debriefs.