The Physiotherapist Degree Apprenticeship BSc(Hons) programme follows a traditional degree structure of two semesters per calendar year.
As part of the requirements for professional registration the apprentice will undertake a minimum of 1,000 hours of practice placement as an apprentice physiotherapist, returning to their normal employed role outside university time.
Alongside their scheduled practice placement and set academic work on the course, apprentices work with their work-based mentor to make full use of the opportunities to learn within their employed job role.
As a student on this course you’ll also get to participate in Schwartz Rounds - hour-long sessions where students come together to listen to stories and share reflections in a supportive and confidential environment. The sessions offer the opportunity to reflect on the emotional aspects of clinical practice and are designed to support students and recent graduates working in complex settings.
The Physiotherapist Degree Apprenticeship aims to:
- produce physiotherapists who are self-aware, autonomous, accountable and responsible, client-centered, capable and adaptable professional practitioners who will lead the profession into the future
- produce physiotherapists who are fit for practice, purpose and academic award
- promote an understanding of equality, diversity and inclusive culture to produce physiotherapists who provide equitable health and social care nationally and internationally
- foster the development of lifelong learning and continuing professional development
- develop reflective and self-critical practitioners
- give graduates skills and experiences of communication in a range of health and social care settings
- produce physiotherapists who can work collaboratively within an inter-professional team
- develop physiotherapists with knowledge of the current political, social, economic and institutional factors and changing population trends that impact on the health and wellbeing economy and inform the delivery of physiotherapy nationally and internationally
- develop practice within the legal and ethical boundaries of the profession
- produce physiotherapists who promote a culture of health, wellbeing and self-management
- foster a culture of sustainability amongst physiotherapists
- produce graduates that have met the Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours (KSBs) of the Physiotherapist Integrated Degree Standard.
Teaching and assessment
The aim of the Physiotherapist Degree Apprenticeship programme is to embed apprentice-centered learning and teaching approaches that develop sustainability and encourage critical thinking across the whole programme.
The programme promotes reflective practice and peer-assisted learning approaches to facilitate apprentices’ active engagement in the learning process.
Reflection, self-development, self-direction, critical thinking, clinical reasoning and problem-solving are encouraged to enable apprentices to evaluate their own practice and that of others. These skills are essential for achieving high quality person-centred care.
Apprentices have the opportunity to develop a broad appreciation of the environmental, social, political, legal, and economic dimensions of physiotherapy practice within the health and social care context.
The learning and teaching approaches aim to support the overall objectives of the course and the learning outcomes of modules. A variety of learning and teaching methods are used throughout the modules. They are designed to encourage active participation by the apprentices.
The teaching methods include:
- personal tutorials to give formative feedback and pastoral support
- meetings with Workplace Mentor
- tripartite meetings (apprentice, employer, training provider)
- small group tutorials and seminars
- action learning sets
- discussion and debate
- case studies
- practical skills sessions
- apprentice-led seminars
- ‘flipped-classroom’ approaches
- peer teaching / learning
- lectures and presentations both in person and through recordings in Panopto.
- workbook (Skill Scan) to guide independent study and record both ‘on the job’ and ‘off the job’ development.
- experiential learning in practice settings
- video analysis and discussion boards
- interaction with digital platforms (for example Nearpod, Kahoot, Pebble Pad) A range of assessment strategies and choices are employed with the aim of helping apprentices with different learning styles to succeed.
Individual assessment strategies across the levels include:
- practical assessment
- viva voce
- literature reviews
- peer assessment
- practice placement assessment (Common Placement Assessment Form).
Employer and apprentice commitments
In order to deliver the programme, employers agree to:
- conduct a workplace induction and set out a contract of employment
- provide an appropriately qualified workplace mentor to support the apprentice throughout the programme
- attend apprentice's progress reviews
- ensure that an Occupational Health Screening and an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check has been undertaken by the employer
- release apprentice for scheduled off-the-job training
- have an Apprenticeship Agreement in place from the start of the programme.
Throughout the programme, apprentices will:
- attend the workplace for the required work pattern as agreed with the employer
- participate in all and appropriately record all training sessions and appropriate work-based learning using university systems
- attend the university for all timetabled teaching sessions to ensure that the off-the-job learning requirements for this apprenticeship programme are achieved
- complete all independent study/research as guided by their tutors and complete all assessments as required by the university and End Point Assessment Organisation
- engage regularly and constructively with allocated Workplace Mentor throughout the apprenticeship and complete a professional development portfolio
- behave in a safe and responsible manner, in accordance with the requirements of health and safety legislation relating to individual responsibilities (both at university and at work) and to promote and act in the best interests of all concerned
- take responsibility for the organisation and accomplishment of tripartite progress reviews on the apprenticeship with the Employer and Training Provider
- register with the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists (CSP) as a ‘student physiotherapist’.
Fees and funding information for apprentices
As an apprentice the cost of your learning programme is covered by your employer through their Digital Apprenticeship Service (DAS) account.
Higher and degree level apprentices are not eligible for any element of student finance. This is because they receive a salary instead of the student loan package. However, if you are experiencing any financial difficulties, please contact the Student Advice Service on 01273 642 888.
Apprentices studying at Higher and degree level may be able to access funding in relation to additional support but this is available through the university and not Disabled Students Allowance. Apprentices may also be able to apply for Access to Work funding for work-based equipment and software. Please contact the Disability and Dyslexia team on 01273 643 799.
Living costs and benefits
Higher and degree level apprentices must fulfil the standard eligibility criteria in order to apply for means tested benefits such as Universal Credit, Child Tax Credit and Housing Benefit. If you have any questions about entitlement to benefits, please contact the Student Advice Service on 01273 642 888.
Higher and degree level apprentices who are undertaking a full-time mode of study can be treated as being exempt from paying Council Tax. Although some programmes require study on a day-release arrangement, this can still be classed as full-time study. You will need to obtain a letter from the Student Information Desk at any campus and send this to your Council Tax department when you enrol on the programme.
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