The BSc Physiotherapy degree course is delivered in modules. Each module is interactive with an emphasis on problem based learning. Students attend lectures, tutorials and practicals, and much of the course material is also delivered via MOODLE, the college’s online virtual learning system. Teaching is provided by highly trained professional educators in spacious well equipped facilities.
The Foundation Year enhances the student’s knowledge and understanding of the basic sciences (Human Biology; General & Medicinal Chemistry; and Medical Physics) in preparation for the difficult years ahead. Students are also introduced to Medical Informatics which combines information technology with the provision of health care. The first semester involves a series of lectures and structured practical and tutorial classes. The second semester covers the chemical processes involved in biological systems, in metabolism and in the behaviour of drugs. There are also ‘systems-based’ modules, delivered in a fully integrated manner, providing students with a better understanding of the underlying biochemical and biophysical processes in the human body. Compulsory courses in Basic Life Skills and Study Skills are also held during this year.
First Physiotherapy Year
The First Physiotherapy Year provides the student with a sound scientific knowledge base to underpin the practice of physiotherapy. Students will gain an understanding of the structure, function and inter-relationship of systems in the human body through studies in anatomy,
physics and physiology. Physiotherapy skills and movement studies will be studied in
parallel to the core sciences facilitating the integration of learning. Movement studies will introduce the student to the analysis of the normal musculoskeletal system and its movements. This will form the basis for development of the analytical skills required in the assessment of musculoskeletal problems. The study of musculoskeletal and orthopaedic problems and their management will be introduced utilising a problem-solving approach. Following the end-of-year examinations a three-week clinical placement is undertaken. During this placement, students will gain an understanding of the role of the physiotherapist and the environment of practice.
Second Physiotherapy Year
The Second Physiotherapy Year focuses on the application and analysis of problems and their effects in key pathological areas e.g. cardiovascular/respiratory, neurology and musculoskeletal disorders. Students will gain an understanding of the research process and develop an ability to appraise and evaluate research and literature. Clinical education modules are undertaken in the core clinical areas of orthopaedics/ rheumatology, outpatients, medical/surgical cardiorespiratory and neurology.
Final Physiotherapy Year
The Final Physiotherapy Year focuses on the integration of knowledge and understanding
into clinical practice. Optional clinical placement modules include paediatrics, women’s health, care of the elderly and advanced neurology. In addition, a significant proportion of time is spent on the completion of a research project. Throughout the programme, clinical education is a central element with more than one thousand hours being undertaken by the student on a fulltime block basis. Students gain this essential clinical experience under the supervision of physiotherapy clinical tutors and senior physiotherapy clinicians.
Clinical education is a central element of the physiotherapy course and consists of more than 1000 hours over the duration of the course.
Clinical modules are undertaken in the core clinical areas of orthopaedics / rheumatology, musculoskeletal, medical / surgical cardiorespiratory and neurology. Placements are provided in a variety of physiotherapy settings and in a number of geographical locations. Dedicated RCSI Clinical Tutors are located at each placement site. Living accommodation is provided and paid for if the placement is distant from the School of Physiotherapy. Clinical education is divided into eight placements. Placements are on a full-time block basis.
Placement sites include:
- Beaumont Hospital, Dublin
- Waterford Regional Hospital
- Cork University Hospital
- Tralee General Hospital, Kerry
- University College Hospital, Galway
- Merlin Park Hospital, Galway
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.
As well as having spacious and well-equipped teaching facilities, the school also has a modern movement laboratory containing state of the art measurement systems for use in teaching and in undergraduate and post-graduate research.
Measurement systems include:
- Five camera Vicon motion analysis
- Kistler force plate
- 16 Channel EMG
- Biodex isokinetic muscle testing equipment
- Cardiorespiratory testing equipment
Undergraduate students gain an understanding of the research process by completion of a research project in the Final Year. In addition, RCSI offers a number of bursaries to students wishing to undertake research during the summer vacation period. Opportunities for postgraduate research are also available by means of registration for MSc/PhD degree programmes by research.
US & Canadian Applicant RCSI Prospectus 2021
Non-EU RCSI Prospectus (All Non-EU Countries) 2021