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What A-levels do you need to study physiotherapy?

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

A-level subjects for physiotherapy

What A-levels are essential for studying physiotherapy?

Most courses will probably expect you to study biology at A-level and some might ask for physical education either in addition to biology or as an alternative.

What A-levels are useful for studying physiotherapy?

Biology is usually the prefence, but you could also study chemistry or physics – you'll need to take at least science subject.

It could be worth studying physical education even if it isn't an essential requirement for your course, as understanding how the body works could be a boost to your chances of getting a place.

Look at individual physiotherapy courses on The Uni Guide to find out the most popular subjects that students studied before attending.

What are the entry requirements for physiotherapy courses?

Below is a range of physiotherapy courses offered by different universities and the A-level requirements for 2024 entry (as of 5 December 2023).

Check the entry requirements yourself before you apply, but this will give you a good idea of what to expect.

University of Southampton - Physiotherapy BSc: AAB – including one pure science subject (biology, chemistry or physics) with a pass in the practical. General studies and critical thinking aren't accepted.

University of Brighton - Physiotherapy BSc (Hons): ABB – including biology, human biology or physical education.

Sheffield Hallam University - Physiotherapy BSc (Hons): 128 Ucas points (example grades: ABB) – including grade B in either biology, human biology or physical education. You can also apply with a Btec in sport and exercise science, but general studies or AS-levels aren't accepted.

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 check the entry requirements of specific courses if you want to keep your degree options open.

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?

A university degree is the most common route to becoming a physiotherapist.

To start practising as a physiotherapist, you must be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) – and you need a physiotherapy degree (or a degree apprenticeship) to do this.

If you already have a relevant degree, you could take a two-year accelerated masters course to become a physiotherapist.

Where could your A-levels take you?

Enter your A-level choices below to find out

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