Bachelor of Physiotherapy
Course information for - 2024 entry
Offered at 3 locations
The Bachelor of Physiotherapy is for those who want to prevent injury and disability in others as well as rehabilitate those already injured. You will learn how to identify, assess and treat a range of conditions.
As a graduate, you will have developed skills to work with everyone from children to the elderly, as well as deal with gender-specific issues.
This physiotherapy course also offers students clinical placements during which they will be supervised by a clinical educator. During each placement students will develop and integrate knowledge, skills and professional behaviours in accordance with the requirements of the Australian Physiotherapy Council.
High achieving Bachelor of Physiotherapy students can undertake honours in the third and fourth years, provided they meet admission requirements.
Students will undertake clinical placements in which they will be supervised by a clinical educator. Clinical placements allow students to use their knowledge of practical skills and apply them to the everyday needs of individuals in hospitals, private practice, aged care facilities and rehabilitation units.
As part of your course, you will be placed in a range of organisations to integrate the theory you learn with practical workplace experiences (placements). As part of your enrolment, you must complete the Faculty of Health Sciences pre-placement requirements. To ensure you meet these requirements you need to start as soon as possible. Visit ACU’s Work Integrated Learning (WIL) website to view your Pre-Placement Requirements checklist.
You will undertake industry placements starting in your first year. Our Physiotherapy Practice units are designed to help you contextualise theoretical knowledge through clinical practice.
- Year 1: Observation days (approx 30 hrs) conducted over 2-3 days in Semester 2.
- Year 4: Students have 5 clinical placement blocks of 5 weeks duration (125 days) over the whole year.
ACU has strong industry ties with hospitals for placements and significant stakeholder engagement with many health partners. We endeavour to place students in a variety of locations to give you experience in different settings. You may indicate your preferences regarding where you want to do your placements, but this cannot be guaranteed.
Eligible graduates can apply for registration with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). To obtain further information relating to Registration Standards for Physiotherapy visit the AHPRA website.
Graduates will also be eligible for membership of the Australian Physiotherapy Association.
Our graduates have careers in:
- women’s health
- sports physiotherapy
- gerontology and ergonomics
- hospitals and rehabilitation units
- community health centres
- private practice
- educational, government and industrial institutions
A student who has successfully completed 230cp from units, and 10cp of Core Curriculum units may exit from the course with following qualification:
- Bachelor of Allied Health
Additional course information
Class sizes: You can expect between 75 – 120 students in your lectures, with around 25 in your practical and tutorial classes. For practical classes the staff: student ratio is approximately 1:12. In 2021 we welcomed 51 new students to our Ballarat campus, 105 to our Brisbane campus, and 103 to our North Sydney campus.
Year 1: Approximately 16 hours a week face-to-face.
Years 2/3: Approximately 20 hours a week face-to-face.
Year 4: Two weeks intensive study units (35 hours/week); 6 x 5-weeks full-time clinical placements off-site (35 hours/week)
We understand the need for flexibility when it comes to your studies. Lectures and tutorials are delivered face to face (COVID-permitting). Lectures will provide you with an opportunity to engage with the lecturer and the occasional guest lecturer who provide specialist insights into the course content. Tutorials are where critical exploration of key concepts and development of attributes takes place through activities including group work, debate, simulations and role play.
Lectures and many tutorials are recorded and are made available online for students who cannot attend in person. However, due to the lack of interactivity, recordings clearly do not provide the learning experience that face-to-face provides, however, post-COVID face-to-face lectures/tutorials may not always be possible.
Online quizzes, written reflective journals, oral presentations, posters, written examinations, and written assignments.
PHTY102 Foundations of Physiotherapy Practice 1:
• Assessment Task 1: Scope of physiotherapy practice (hurdle task)
Requires students to undertake and present information from an interview with a practising physiotherapist. Group task: 15 mins
• Assessment Task 2: Mid-semester practical examination (20 per cent)
Requires students to demonstrate competency in professional behaviour, communication skills and the safe and effective implementation of manual handling skills. 15 mins
• Assessment Task 3: End-semester practical examination (30 per cent)
Requires students to demonstrate competency in professional behaviour, communications skills, and safe and effective implementation of passive movements and massage techniques. 15 mins
• Assessment Task 4: End-semester written examination
Requires students to demonstrate their acquisition and understanding of content from across the semester and application to clinically relevant case scenarios. 2 hours
All students enrolled in an approved physiotherapy program must be registered with the Physiotherapy Board of Australia. The University will pass students details to the Physiotherapy Board of Australia. No fees are required for student registration. To obtain further information visit the Physiotherapy Board of Australia website.
Before you can begin placements for this course, you must meet mandatory State or Territory legal and industry policy requirements. Comprehensive information about these requirements and the submission process of relevant documentation can be found here www.wil.acu.edu.au
Overseas study available
Each year ACU’s Faculty of Health Sciences offers a number of destinations around the world where you can undertake a community engagement unit or clinical placement/professional practice abroad as part of your studies. These activities are facilitated through our ACU overseas partners. Most of these experiences are offered to students enrolled in their third or final year of study at ACU.
You can also choose to study health sciences units at ACU’s Rome Campus over the June – July or December – January breaks.
Some academic units, such as UNCC300: Justice and Change in a Global World, HLSC220: Health Care Ethics and PHTY400: Preparation for Physiotherapy Practice, will provide you with the opportunity to study overseas. In addition, the opportunity to undertake clinical placements overseas is possible. Currently the overseas clinical placements that are offered include: • Chile (Pontificia Universidad Catolica) • Denmark (VIA University) • Timor Leste (Dili General Hospital) • Vietnam (GGC Volunteers) •Vanuatu (Santo & Port Vila)
Note: overseas study opportunities are subject to program availability and to public health restrictions in place at the planned time of travel.
Applicants require the equivalent of an Australian Year 12 Certificate, including studies in science. Applicants must also comply with the Admission to Coursework Programs Policy and require an academic IELTS minimum overall score of 7.0 (with a minimum score of 7.0 in all bands), or an equivalent acceptable test score as outlined in the Admission to Coursework Programs Policy (see English Language Proficiency).
The Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours) program is embedded into years 3 and 4 of the Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Pass) program. To be eligible to apply for admission to the honours program, a student must have completed 160 cp from years 1 and 2 of the Bachelor of Physiotherapy pass degree, with a grade point average of at least 5.50.
English language requirements
Applicants require an academic IELTS minimum overall score of 7.0 (with a minimum score of 7.0 in all bands), or an equivalent acceptable test score as outlined in the Admission to Coursework Programs Policy (see English Language Proficiency).
If you’re currently completing Year 12 you may be eligible for adjustment factors that can boost your rank and help you get into your desired course.
Adjustment factors may be applied to your TAC application if you study particular subjects, attend schools geographically close to our campuses or in certain regional areas, apply as an elite athlete or performer or meet certain other criteria.
There are essential components of a course or unit that demonstrate the capabilities, knowledge and skills to achieve the core learning outcomes of that course or unit. You will need to be able to meet these inherent requirements to complete your course.
Pathways into course for international applicants
If you don’t currently meet the direct entry requirements for admission to your chosen program, don’t worry. Our range of pathway programs can help you build the language proficiency, academic skills and confidence you need to succeed.
The Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours) program is embedded into years 3 and 4 of the Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Pass) program. To be eligible to apply for admission to the honours program, a student must have completed 160 cp from years 1 and 2 of the Bachelor of Physiotherapy pass degree, with a grade point average of at least 5.50. Meritorious students may apply to undertake honours in the third and fourth years of the course, subject to meeting the admission requirements.
Determination of students who meet the requirements to enrol in the Honours program, and will be offered a place, will be the responsibility of the undergraduate course coordinator in collaboration with the Head of School.
Honours graduates may be eligible to undertake a Master of Philosophy or Doctor of Philosophy.
ACU offers a number of postgraduate courses suitable for Bachelor of Physiotherapy graduates including:
Postgraduate programs in Rehabilitation
Postgraduate programs in Mental Health
You can find out more on postgraduate programs in Health Sciences here – https://www.acu.edu.au/about-acu/faculties-directorates-and-staff/faculty-of-health-sciences/postgraduate-study-in-health-sciences
- Unit fee: $5184
- Average first year fee: $41472
- Estimate total cost: $165888
The tuition fees quoted above are for commencing students in the current year who undertake a normal full-time load. The Unit Fee is based on a 10cp unit. Fees are reviewed annually.
Tuition fees for continuing students may increase by up to 3 percent each year for the minimum duration of the course as provided on your electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCOE). Students who continue to study beyond the minimum duration will have the relevant annual commencing rate applied to their fees for subsequent study periods.
You should be able to concentrate on getting good marks instead of worrying about how you’ll pay your fees. We have a number of options that can help you ease the financial burden, including government assistance, scholarships and income support.
You could be eligible for one of the hundreds of scholarships we award each year to help students from across the university with the cost of studying, accommodation or overseas study opportunities. Some of our scholarships are awarded on the basis of merit, but these aren’t just for the academically gifted; ACU also recognises excellence in community engagement and leadership. We also offer a range of scholarships for those who may be struggling financially or who have faced other barriers to accessing education.
How to apply
Yes. See Defer your offer.
Students with a Student Visa will need to complete the program in minimum duration, study at least one subject on-campus each semester and must not undertake more than 33% of the program online.
Associate Professor Jane Butler
Head of Physiotherapy, School of Allied Health
Associate Professor Jane Butler is the Head of Discipline Physiotherapy in the School of Allied Health, and the National Post-graduate Course Coordinator and National Physiotherapy Undergraduate Course Coordinator, based in our North Sydney campus. She has over 30 years experience in the higher education sector and has been involved with the development and implementation of curriculum into undergraduate and graduate physiotherapy programs at the University of Sydney and ACU. Associate Professor Butler has collaborated in and led learning and teaching projects and successful grant acquisitions contributing to the scholarship of learning and teaching. Through team collaboration, she was awarded an ACU Vice Chancellors Excellence in Teaching Award (2018) and a Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA) in 2021.
Dr Judith Hough
Course Coordinator Physiotherapy, Deputy Head, School of Allied Health QLD
Dr Judith Hough is a physiotherapist researcher and academic. She works clinically as a physiotherapist consultant in the neonatal nursery at Mater Mothers Hospital and is an Honorary Senior Research Fellow, Child Health Research Centre - UQ. Clinically she provides advice on infant respiratory management to physiotherapists around the world. At ACU Dr Hough leads paediatrics and evidence-based physiotherapy practice and supervises students in the embedded honours program. Her research vision is to advance the supportive respiratory care of critically ill children and babies by using innovative bedside imaging and physiological tools such as electrical impedance tomography and lung ultrasound. Her research interests are in respiratory management of the infant and child and the use of technologies to measure lung function.