Physiotherapy (Graduate Entry)

Course Information

BSc (Hons) (NFQ Level 8)

Full Time - Undergraduate Studies

CAO Code: DN420
CAO Points Range 2021: 545 * - 605
Length of Course: 4 Years
Average Intake: 56

Leaving Certificate:

*  Not all applicants with this score were offered a course place.

CAO Code: DN420 (Graduate Entry)1
Length of Course: 3/4 Years
Places: TBA

Leaving Certificate: Passes in six subjects including English, Irish, a third language, Mathematics, one laboratory science subject and one other subject of which two of the six must be minimum HC3.

1Graduate Entry: Applicants who will hold a level 8 honours degree in any discipline by June 2013 are welcome to apply for entry to Stage 1 (First Year) of the BSc Physiotherapy programme. Graduates with an Honours Bachelors degree in a Biomedical, Exercise or Health Science discipline may be considered for entry to Stage 2 (Second Year) of the BSc Physiotherapy programme if they can demonstrate equivalence with Stage 1 of the programme on the basis of UCD Policy on Recognition of Prior Learning.

Applicants will be ranked on the basis of:

  1. Academic Ability (Honours Bachelor’s degree [NFQ Level 8] at the minimum level of 2.2). Transcript of degree and final award should be submitted;
  2. Science Subject (a minimum C3 grade in Leaving Certificate Higher level or equivalent);
  3. Motivation and Interest (a personal statement outlining their motivation to studying physiotherapy which conforms to the UCD personal statement template available on
  4. Applicants must indicate clearly that they wish to apply for the graduate entry pathway;
  5. References (three letters of recommendation: academic, work experience, and one other).
  6. Shortlisted applicants may be required to attend for interview. Please note that tuition fees will apply for this course.

Healthcare Screening & Garda/Police Vetting: Candidates are required to undergo a mandatory healthcare screening process & Garda/Police vetting.

Click below for equivalent entry requirements information for:

Choosing Physiotherapy (Graduate Entry)

Why is this course for me?

This course leads to one of the most rewarding careers in healthcare: Chartered Physiotherapist. Physiotherapy is the study and application of the scientific knowledge and professional skills required for the promotion of optimal health and well-being of adults and children through physical means. In addition to UCD based learning you’ll spend over 1,000 hours on supervised clinical education in hospitals and clinical centres throughout Ireland and abroad (optional). UCD’s full-time BSc Physiotherapy degree is accredited by the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists, and will appeal to students who enjoy science and caring for people.

Career & Graduate Study Opportunities

Graduates in Physiotherapy have found employment in different roles across the world, in:

  • Hospitals and private practice
  • Primary care
  • Rehabilitation centres and nursing homes
  • Non-government agencies (e.g. Goal, Concern)
  • Education
  • Business, sport and leisure industries

Graduates can also apply for a range of disciplinary and general graduate taught (graduate certificate, diploma, MSc) and research (MSc and PhD) programmes in Ireland and abroad.

What Will I Study

This is an overview of the modules in the programme, progressing from the basic and applied sciences in first year, to clinical skills in second and third year, and preparation for professional practice in fourth year.

First Year

  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Physics
  • Biomechanics
  • Introduction to Professional Physiotherapy Practice
  • Exercise Science
  • Elective modules

Second Year

  • Basic Musculoskeletal, Cardio-respiratory and Neurological Physiotherapy
  • Psychology
  • Physiotherapy Clinical Education
  • Elective modules

Third Year

  • Intermediate Musculoskeletal, Cardio-respiratory and Neurological Physiotherapy
  • Clinical Exercise
  • Physiotherapy Clinical Education
  • Sociology

Fourth Year

  • Professional Physiotherapy Practice
  • Clinical Specialities
  • Sports Physiotherapy
  • Physiotherapy Clinical Education
  • Pharmacology
  • Elective modules
  • Dissertation

Physiotherapy students have, on average, a 35-hour week. In first and second year you’ll spend your time attending lectures and practical classes. In third and fourth year the focus is on clinical education and advanced physiotherapy skills.

A wide variety of assessment methods is used, including continuous assessment, reflective writing, practical examinations, oral examinations, presentations and end-of-semester written papers.

For detailed information on subject content click here.


Professional Work Experience

You’ll complete over 1,000 hours of supervised clinical placements in Ireland, at our partner teaching hospitals, primary care clinics and specialist centres. There are elective placements in fourth year (see International Study Opportunities below).

International Study Opportunities

These currently include Erasmus programme opportunities in third year with Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium, as well as elective placement opportunities in fourth year in Europe, Africa, the USA, Canada, South America, Australia and New Zealand.


“I chose to go to UCD because of its variety of subjects, both within my chosen course and in languages and music through UCD Horizons, and the range of clubs and sports available. The UCD Physiotherapy programme is being continuously improved and student feedback is actively encouraged, which resulted in a very positive academic experience that was student oriented. I had the opportunity to complete a clinical placement in Canada, and to work as a student physiotherapist at the Dublin City Marathon and with UCD sports teams.”

Aileen Murray

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