Critics call them Noddy courses, but more and more students are opting for highly vocational study
For students wanting a hands-on job and good prospects all over the world, physiotherapy is increasingly attractive, writes Julia Hinde.
Offered at 28 universities across Britain and Ireland, physiotherapy degrees, which lead to automatic state and Chartered Society of Physiotherapists registration, have seen admissions rise by more than 50 per cent in the past decade. There are more than 1,500 students a year.
These numbers are controlled by the Department of Health, which funds courses. This means that after three years of study students are virtually guaranteed work in the NHS. This, says Ieun Ellis, head of the division of physiotherapy at the University of Northumbria at Newcastle, is one of the key reasons why such courses are so popular. With more than 40 applications for each place, selection is becoming quite a challenge.
The course remains largely dominated by women. According to national figures, 80 per cent of the intake on physiotherapy courses over the past three years was female.