Alternative Pathways to Physiotherapy

Without question, places in physiotherapy courses are some of the most highly sought-after places for Irish students.

This means that there is a lot of competition for a limited number of third level places in these courses in Ireland and as a result, physiotherapy courses demand high CAO points.

The only dedicated Level 8 courses in Physiotherapy, available through the CAO, are found in University College Dublin, the University of Limerick, Trinity College Dublin and the Royal College of Surgeons, Ireland.

The CAO points required for these programmes range from 532 – 565 which further serves to highlight the challenge in gaining one of these coveted places.  There are currently no PLC or Pre-University courses that provide direct entry to Physiotherapy through QQI links in Ireland.

However, it is important to note that missing out on a course in a university is not the end of the road for anyone looking to pursue a career in physiotherapy and there are a vast number of related courses and pathways throughout Ireland and abroad which can allow you to follow a career in this field.

Through the CAO there is a wide range of courses available which feed in to this career sector such as Sports Rehabilitation, Sports Massage and Physiotherapy Assistant which can lead to occupations working in rehabilitation centres, sports injury clinics and sporting organisations.

You can browse these courses and learn more through our CAO CourseFinder search here.

Many course options outside the CAO also exist.  There are lots of course possibilities to be found through Post-Leaving Certificate courses (PLC) and through Further Education and Training (FET) courses. PLC and FET programmes are available nationwide and can provide a more practical and hands-on approach to learning.

These courses provide a strong grounding in the chosen subject and can also create a pathway into related Higher Education programmes both here and abroad so that students can continue their studies in this field.  Take a look at the progression pathways from the Level 6 Pre-University Physiotherapy course in Coláiste Íde into universitiy degress in both the UK and in Europe.

Use the CourseFinder for PLC/FET courses related to Physiotherapy by clicking here.

Prospective students may also consider their options in the UK through a UCAS application. Click here to discover the range of Physiotherapy options throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Europe also holds a wide range of programmes in this field. European universities are becoming increasingly popular as many courses have lower fees and more achievable entry requirements. You can discover the available options through UNICAS by clicking here.

Visit our dedicated Studying Abroad section here, to learn more about the possibilities available to you.

Learn more about a career in Physiotherapy by visiting our dedicated career profile here and reading how Barry McEntee began his career and started his own business in this area by clicking here.