Key Info

Bachelor of Science in Physiotherapy

NFQ Level 8 major Award Honours Bachelor Degree NFQ Level 8
CAO points history
Course code
4 Years
* Not all applicants who scored these points were offered places.
† Students admitted to the programme are required to undergo a Garda Vetting process.
Subject area
Health Sciences
Course Director
Dr Cliona O'Riordan
+353 (0)61 233755

If you are the type of person who enjoys working with people and has good communication skills; if you have an interest in working with people who are ill or disabled and would like a practical, hands-on, challenging career, then this programme might suit you.

Why study Physiotherapy at UL?

This programme is designed to prepare graduates who will contribute to the development of Physiotherapy worldwide through their ability to act as competent, reflective and innovative practitioners, and through their expertise in evidence-based practice. During the 4 years, there will be opportunities for you to engage in shared learning with other students at the University of Limerick, undertake a wide variety of supervised clinical placements. The School culture is identified by students as inclusive and supportive in Athena Swan Self-Assessment and in May 2019 the School received a bronze Athena Swan award.

The BSc Physiotherapy programme is approved by CORU, the state registration board for Physiotherapy in Ireland

Learn more about our courses and upcoming events

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What you will study

The Bachelor of Science in Physiotherapy is a four-year degree programme which includes a total of 31 weeks of clinical practice in the last two years of the programme. The first year provides a foundation in Anatomy and Physiology, communication and behaviour, and an Introduction to Physiotherapy Practice. Over the remaining three years you will undertake studies in the various disciplines of physiotherapy including cardiorespiratory care, clinical neurology and musculoskeletal disorders for people across the lifespan. Research and evidence-based practice are core elements underpinning the programme.

To find out more, go to

Year 1

Basic biomedical sciences form the major component of the first year of the programme and provide a basis upon which knowledge from other modules and later years are built. The modules studied are: Human Anatomy and Physiology; Health Informatics; Exercise and Health Fitness and Introduction to Physiotherapy Skills.


Semester 1  

Semester 2


Anatomy 1


Anatomy 2

PR4001 Introduction to Physiotherapy Practice 1


Introduction to Physiotherapy Practice 2

Introduction to Major Physiological Systems


Exercise and Health Fitness for Physiotherapists




Elective - choose one

      Broadening Module

Year 2

The assessment, evaluation and management of disability provide the focus for this year of the programme. Physiotherapy modules, therefore, predominate, as the student is introduced to the management of respiratory musculoskeletal and neurological problems. The student will begin their study of research and evidence-based practice in the Enquiry in Healthcare module. In addition, students are introduced to the sociological perspectives of health and illness and health promotion in order to reflect and prepare them for contemporary practice.

Year Two  


Semester Three (Summer Semester)

Semester One

Semester 2


Foundations of Physiotherapy



Neuromusculoskeletal Cases


PR4005         Practice Education 1                18.00



Cardiovascular Physiotherapy



Physiotherapy in Respiratory Care






Neurological Physiotherapy






Preparation for Practice Education






Year 3

This year contains physiotherapy modules that encourage students to develop their practical, evaluative and interpersonal skills at a higher level and consider the needs of clients with complex problems, reflecting on their clinical practice experience. Research Methodology is studied in preparation for the final year research project.

Year Three

Semester One

Semester Two



Participation in the Community



Enquiry in Health Care 2




Chronic Inflammatory States



Exercise and Participation in the Community



Practice Education 2



Innovation in Management for Health and Social Care



Year 4

Year four introduces two case-based modules that provide students with the opportunities to engage in discipline-specific and inter-professional learning through multi-complex cases scenarios. Independent learning is promoted through the work on a final year project. Students will also undertake their final two Practice Education modules.

  Semester 7   Semester 8


Research project 1


Engaging Through Complexity (PPP2)


Multisystem Cases in Physiotherapy


Research Project 2


Physiotherapy Practice Education 3


Physiotherapy Practice Education 4

Entry requirements

CAO points history
Minimum grades

Applicants are required to hold at the time of enrolment the established Leaving Certificate (or an approved equivalent) with a minimum of six subjects which must include: Two H5 (Higher level) grades and Four O6 (Ordinary level) grades or four H7 (Higher Level) grades. Subjects must include Mathematics, Irish or another language, and English.

Note: Grade F6 in Foundation Mathematics also satisfies the minimum entry requirements. Foundation Maths is not reckonable for scoring purposes.

As the entry is on a competitive basis for 30 places the actual entry-level will generally be substantially higher than the minimum requirements.

Subject requirements

In addition, applicants will be required to hold at least an Ordinary Level O3/Higher H7 in the Leaving Certificate in any one of: Physics, Chemistry, Physics with Chemistry, Biology, Physical Education, Agricultural Science.

Additional considerations

Mature students

Approximately 15% of places each year are awarded to mature students. These are highly sought after and are awarded competitively. 

Application information for mature student applicants

'Going back as a 'mature' student was tough - there was an age gap with most of my class, which made it tough to start, but after a few months I think any difficulties I felt were only a memory. I was surprised how quickly I settled into the study routine. It’s easy when you’re doing a course you're interested in and I think that's the big thing - you need to be interested in what you do in college. ........ I'm delighted I took the decision to go back to physiotherapy at UL. I feel I've gained the practical skills, life skills and motivation on which to build a fulfilling career. It was hard work but there were enough enjoyable experiences along the way to make it seem easy, and I'd have to say I thoroughly enjoyed my time here. I've made lifelong friends and memories in my time in UL, and believe me you'll wonder when you finish (with some regret no doubt!) how the years went so quickly!' - A. Kehoe mature student graduate

Garda Clearance

Please note that Garda Clearance will be required as placements may involve working with children or vulnerable adults. Applicants will be asked to complete a Garda Vetting form that will be forwarded by the Office of the President to the Garda Central Vetting Unit for clearance. The Garda Vetting process can take approximately 6 to 8 weeks to complete. In cases where any issues arise around clearance, they will be referred in confidence to the UL Authorised Signatory in the Office of the President, who will contact the applicant.


From the academic year 2012/2013 all incoming students onto the Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy and Speech and Language Therapy Programs will be required to attend the Occupational Health Facility contracted by the University Of Limerick Department Of Clinical Therapies for an immunisation consult. The cost of this service will range from €65 and up depending on the amount and type of immunisation each individual requires. The average price is €260 and if additional vaccinations are needed it could be up to €500. The Department of Clinical Therapies does not cover the cost of this. As you will be considered a Category A Health Care Worker on clinical placement this is a statutory requirement and you cannot attend placement until this process has been initiated. The Department of Clinical Therapies will arrange an appointment for you with the Occupational Health Facility.

Non-EU Entry Requirements

How to apply

Where are you applying from? How to Apply
Ireland Irish students must apply to UL via the CAO. More information can be found here. 
The UK  Students who have completed their A-Levels can apply to UL via the CAO. More information can be found on the Academic Registry website. 
The EU EU students can apply to UL via the CAO. More information can be found on the Academic Registry website.
Non-EU country If you are outside of the EU, you can apply for this degree here.

Fees and funding

Student course fees are broken into three components - Student contribution, Student Levy and Tuition Fees.

A number of illustrative examples of fees for this course based on the current fee levels have been set out in the tables below.

An explanation of the components, how to determine status and the criteria involved is provided below the examples as is a list of possible scholarships and funding available.

EU Students with Free fees status in receipt of a SUSI grant

HEA pays Tuition Fees €5,366
SUSI pays Student contribution €3,000
Student pays Student Levy €100

EU Students with Free fees status not in receipt of a grant

HEA pays Tuition Fees €5,366
Student pays Student contribution €3,000
Student pays Student Levy €100

Students with EU fee status not in receipt of a grant

Student pays Tuition Fees €5,366
Student pays Student contribution €3,000
Student pays Student Levy €100

Non-EU Students

Student pays Tuition Fees €24,316
Student pays Student Levy €100

Student course fees are comprised of the following components:

Student Contribution

Annual charge set by the government for all full-time third level students. All students are liable unless they have been approved for a grant by Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI). Please refer to to determine your eligibility for a grant and for instructions on how to apply. The current student contribution is set at €3000.

Student Levy

All students are liable to pay the Student Levy of €100. Please note the Student Levy is not covered by the SUSI Grant.

Tuition Fees

These are based on Residency, Citizenship, Course requirements.

Review the three groups of criteria to determine your fee status as follows

  1. Residency
    • You must have been living in an EU/EEA member state or Switzerland for at least 3 of the 5 years before starting your course
  2. Citizenship
    • You must be a citizen of an EU/EEA member state or Switzerland or have official refugee status
  3. Course Requirements (all must be met)
    • You must be a first time full-time undergraduate (Exceptions are provided for students who hold a Level 6 or Level 7 qualification and are progressing to a Level 8 course in the same general area of study).
    • You must be undertaking a full-time undergraduate course of at least 2 year’s duration
    • You cannot be undertaking a repeat year of study at the same level unless evidence of exceptional circumstances eg serious illness is provided (in which case this condition may be waived)

Depending on how you meet these criteria your status will be one of the following -

  • Free Fee Status: You satisfy all three categories (1, 2 and 3) and therefore are eligible for the Higher Education Authority’s Free Fees scheme.
  • EU Fee Status: You satisfy both the citizenship and residency criteria but fail to satisfy the course requirements and are liable to EU fees.
  • Non EU Fee Status: You do not meet either the citizenship or residency criteria and are therefore liable to Non EU fees.

More information about fees can be found on the Finance website

These scholarships are available for this course

Title Award Scholarships Available
Johnson and Johnson WiSTEM2D Programme

These scholarships are available for all courses

Your future career

Employability skills from this degree

  • Clinical and professional judgement
  • Responsible decision-making
  • Awareness of accountability issues, laws, regulations, professional codes of ethics and standards of practice
  • Critical thinking
  • Self-reflection
  • Independent lifelong learning
  • Teamwork
  • Communication

Further Study Options

Job titles for graduates with this degree

Graduates progressing directly into employment take up a wide variety of roles. The following provides a sample of initial roles listed on the Graduate Outcomes Survey by graduates approximately one year after graduation:

  • Chartered Physiotherapist
  • Research Assistant


Student Profiles


Joe Curtin

As a child, I was always fascinated by how the body moved, and seamlessly worked together. I was interested to learn about how people return to their normal function after an injury or infection. After spending 2 weeks on work experience with my local physiotherapist in Transition Year, I knew this was the career I wanted to follow.

I fell in love with the UL campus as an eight-year old, while watching the Irish rugby team train in the UL Sport Arena. Limerick is so accessible, and even more so now with a great connection along the west coast. UL is known as “Ireland’s Sporting Campus”, and as a hurler, I thought this would be the ideal place for me to study.

As part of the course I have represented the University on the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists’ Student Council. The course also facilitates working with other studying health professionals through shared learning, which is a great help with understanding your role within the team setting of the hospital. I had two clinical placements in Limerick, and three in Galway. All of the placements were varied, and each presented their own unique challenges. Placement is the best insight into the role of the Physio - nothing that will beat that feeling of progressing a patient from being acutely unwell back to their usual self.


Laura Comber

I was always interested in working with people. Physiotherapy appealed to me as it allowed me to make a difference to peoples lives.

During transition year I spent a week on work experience with the Munster rugby team’s physiotherapist in the UL Sports Arena. I instantly fell in love with the campus. From then on, I knew UL had to be my number one choice. Everything you need is on the university grounds or surrounding area.

Right from the beginning, there was a friendly atmosphere. Lecturers were approachable and the small class size helped us form good friendships. Everyone looked out for each other.

Over the four years I have had six clinical placements. This is my favourite aspect of the course. These placements give you the opportunity to put into practice the knowledge and skills you learn in college. Every placement is in a different setting and each one posed different challenges, making each experience as rewarding as the last.