University College Dublin annually admits up to a dozen North American students to the full-time BSc and MSc Physiotherapy degree courses annually.
University College Dublin (UCD) traces its origins to the Catholic University of Ireland founded in 1854 by Cardinal John Henry Newman, author of the celebrated “The Idea of a University.” Since then, the University has played a central role in Ireland’s advancement as a dynamic and highly successful European state and has established a long and distinguished tradition of service to scholarship and the community.
The professional education of physiotherapists at UCD began in 1955 at the Mater Misericordiae Hospital in Dublin city center. The Mater Hospital is one of the university’s main teaching hospitals and the School of Physiotherapy was located there for half a century until it was moved to the new UCD Health Sciences Center on the main Belfield campus in 2005. Most of the academic program is delivered in the UCD Health Sciences Center which houses many large modern lecture theatres and seminar rooms as well as a number of state-of-the-art Clinical Skills and Human Performances laboratories.
Physiotherapy students attend lectures in the health sciences alongside students of Medicine, Diagnostic Imaging, Nursing and Performance Science but all core subjects and practical Physiotherapy skills are taught in small groups (up to 20 students) by expert physiotherapists. Clinical training is provided in UCD teaching hospitals and other affiliated clinical centers around Ireland and commences towards the end of the first year. Students will undergo a minimum of 1,000 hours of supervised Physiotherapy practice before graduation.
UCD Physiotherapy graduates are eligible for membership of the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists (ISCP) and CORU, Ireland’s multi-profession health regulator. The ISCP is a member of the World Confederation of Physical Therapists which is the only global organization representing Physical Therapists around the world. Today, over 2,000 UCD graduates are working throughout the world in all areas of Physiotherapy and have been successfully employed in the UK, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, as well as Africa and the Middle and Far East and throughout the EU. They have provided leadership and contributed to the development of Physiotherapy practice, education and research internationally.
The UCD Professional Master of Physiotherapy (MSc Physiotherapy) degree is a two year full-time course of study which qualifies graduates for membership of the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists (ISCP). The programme is aimed at candidates who will hold a bachelor’s degree in fields such as Kinesiology, Anatomy, Physiology, Biomedical Science or Sports and Exercise Science etc.
Applicants should have a good knowledge of clinical and applied human anatomy and physiology, applied physics, chemistry and biochemistry, human biomechanics and exercise and behavioural sciences as well as research methodology and statistics. The two year accelerated course concentrates on cardio-respiratory, musculoskeletal and neurological Physiotherapy together with clinical, professional and specialist practice and rehabilitation research. Taught modules are delivered at the UCD Health Sciences Centre and students undergo practical Physiotherapy training in the specially designed clinical skills laboratories.
On site clinical training commences towards the end of the first year when students attend Physiotherapy clinics in the UCD teaching hospitals and other affiliated specialist centres.
For more information visit: UCD MSc Physiotherapy
MSc Physiotherapy Curriculum
The two year course combines seven taught modules in Physiotherapy with over 1,000 hours of clinical practice.
The first year concentrates on Physiotherapy Professional Practice with emphasis on cardio-respiratory, musculoskeletal and neurological Physiotherapy together with primary clinical practice.
In the second year students undertake advanced musculoskeletal Physiotherapy while continuing with Physiotherapy professional practice. Students are trained in specialist Physiotherapy practice and continue their clinical training with the option of doing electives abroad. Students are also expected to complete a high quality research project.
The UCD undergraduate Physiotherapy degree is a four year course of study leading to BSc in Physiotherapy. The School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Population Science is part of the UCD College of Health Sciences.
The course combines health science lectures and tutorials with practical, laboratory and clinical training in the top class facilities of the UCD Health Sciences Center and in UCD’s teaching hospitals and affiliated clinical centres.
Physiotherapy students have full access to the large medical library and can utilise the two state-of-the-art research laboratories for the study of physiological and biomechanical analysis of human performance in health and sport. Senior students are required to undertake a research project and write a dissertation in their final year. UCD BSc Physiotherapy graduates are eligible for membership of the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists (ISCP).
BSc Physiotherapy Curriculum
The first year concentrates on the basic health sciences with introduction to human performance and exercise science as well as professional practice. Students will undertake modules in anatomy and physiology, chemistry and biochemistry, applied physics, kinesiology and biomechanics while learning the basic skills of Physiotherapy practice.
In the second year, students are introduced to the human musculoskeletal and cardio-respiratory systems while continuing to study applied physics and biomechanics. They also study neurology and neurological Physiotherapy along with physical strength and conditioning. They continue with more advanced Physiotherapy professional practice and clinical training and they also study the psychology of sport and health.
The third year advances most of the second year courses, particularly musculoskeletal, cardio-respiratory and neurological Physiotherapy. Students concentrate on clinical education and exercise and they learn research methodology and dissertation. There is also a sociology module on Health, Illness and Society.
The final year, students complete their clinical education and professional practice modules with the inclusion of sports Physiotherapy and pharmacology. They also complete a clinical speciality and research dissertation.
Medical Students Overseas Relief (MSOR) is a voluntary society run by UCD medical students to raise funds for hospitals and clinics in the developing world. Every summer since 1974, UCD medical students have traveled to third world countries to assist, voluntarily, in humanitarian medical work. Over the past 37 years, UCD students have gone to over 30 different developing countries in Africa, Asia, and South America. This charitable organization aims to bring aid to underfunded healthcare institutions in developing countries. This aid is in the form of vital drugs, essential surgical and life-saving equipment, monetary donation and the voluntary work of the medical students. One of the core principles of MSOR is its policy on fundraising – all students must pay for their own travel and accommodation expenses. Hence every penny raised by MSOR goes directly to the hospital and those who need it most. To find out more about MSOR, see here.
UCD has a distinct advantage of having two general teaching hospitals. Combined, The Mater Misericordiae University Hospital and St.Vincent’s University Hospital have 980 beds. Their specialist units include the National Centres for Cardiac Surgery and Spinal Injuries.
Other affiliated general hospitals include Tullamore General Hospital, Waterford General Hospital, St. Colmcille’s Hospital Loughlinstown and St. Michael’s Hospital Dun Laoghaire.
Applicants who hold (or expect to hold by September of the year of entry) an undergraduate degree in areas such as Kinesiology, Anatomy, Physiology, Biomedical Science, or Sports and Exercise Science may apply to the two year MSc Physiotherapy Program. Candidates are expected to provide a letter from a practicing physiotherapist to demonstrate they have practical experience.
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