Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn


The Bachelors of Science (Physiotherapy) programme is delivered over two semesters in each academic year.

Each module is dynamic and interactive, with a focus on Evidence-Based Learning.
Teaching methods include lectures, practicals and tutorials, and course material is distributed via an online virtual learning environment (MOODLE) to the student's own laptop. Practical classes are halved to ensure an optimal tutor:student ratio.  

Foundation Year

Students entering the four-year course will complete Foundation Year. This year provides a solid foundation in the basic sciences (Human Biology; General & Medicinal Chemistry; and Medical Physics) and introduces the student to the use of information technology in the health sciences through a Medical Informatics module. This involves a series of lectures and structured practical and tutorial classes.

First Physiotherapy Year

During this year the basic and social sciences fundamental to the study of physiotherapy are developed. In addition, the theory and practice of basic core physiotherapy skills - movement, therapeutic exercise, manual mobilisation and the use of electrophysical modalities- are introduced, utilising a problem-solving approach. Physiotherapy skills are studied in parallel to the core sciences facilitating integrated learning. Subjects studied in this year include: Anatomy, Physiology, Physics, Manual & Physical Therapies I & II (incorporating Electrophysical agents), Movement Studies, Musculoskeletal I & II, Patient Safety & Quality in Healthcare, Professional Development I and Methods of Enquiry. A three-week clinical placement is undertaken at the end of this year.

Second Physiotherapy

In this year the knowledge and skills of physiotherapeutic practice are further consolidated. The focus is on the application and analysis of problems and their effects in key pathological areas e.g. cardiovascular/respiratory, neurology and musculoskeletal disorders and modules include Anatomy, Neurology I & II, Respiratory / Cardiovascular I & II, Advanced Musculoskeletal, Professional Development II, Behavioural Science and Research Methods I. Students gain an understanding of the research process and build on their ability to appraise and evaluate research literature. Clinical education modules alternate with 4-6 week blocks of academic teaching and focus on the core areas of clinical practice -cardiorespiratory, musculoskeletal and neurological conditions.

Final Physiotherapy 

This year focuses on the integration of knowledge and understanding into reflective clinical practice. Modules cover more specialised areas of physiotherapy practice e.g. Paediatrics, Sports Physiotherapy, Care of the Elderly, Women's Health, HIV / Oncology, Dermatology, Vascular pathology and Occupational Health. In addition, an understanding of health management and professional issues is promoted in a Management of Practice module. Clinical education modules again alternate with block of academic teaching and in the clinical setting, students encounter a more diverse and complex range of client groups. Clinical placement modules include paediatrics, women's health, care of the elderly and advanced neurology.


Assessment takes place on a modular basis throughout the year, by written examination, practical examination, seminar presentation and coursework assignments. All modules must be successfully completed before a student may progress to the following year. Each clinical module must also be passed.

Details of all examinations may be obtained from the Examinations Office.