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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2010 Undergraduate - Course

This course entry should be read in conjunction with information provided in the 'Faculty information' section of this Handbook by the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Managing facultyMedicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Abbreviated titleBPT
CRICOS code064803B
Total credit points required192
Standard duration of study (years)4 years FT
Study mode and locationOn-campus (Peninsula)
Contact details

Telephone: +61 3 9904 4466, email: or visit

Course coordinator

Dr Rebecca Scholes


  • Full-time study only
  • The clinical component of this course requires students to travel to a variety of health services and agencies, including a rural placement. Students are required to be flexible, as hours of work and attendance days may vary.


Monash physiotherapy education is built around five themes delivered within a fully integrated curriculum. Commencing first semester, the curriculum is structured around conditions for which people typically seek physiotherapy. In the later years of the course, the focus moves to learning in a clinical environment. This provides opportunities for students to apply knowledge and skills, and appreciate the relevance of ongoing learning in the context of supervised health service delivery.

Monash physiotherapy education facilitates development of skills through small group learning. Other features of this degree are opportunities to experience interdisciplinary rural health care delivery and inter-professional education (IPE). In IPE, students spend some time each semester learning and collaborating with students enrolled in other health science courses including occupational therapy, nursing, ambulance and paramedic studies and social work.

In the third and fourth years of study, the majority of time is spent in clinical education. Some flexibility may be required of students, both in terms of hours worked at clinics and scheduling of clinical education. Clinical practicum across all years of the course is compulsory.

All students can expect to have rural attachments during the course. All students will undertake rural clinical education during third or fourth year. Students should take these matters into consideration when considering casual employment.

Transfer to the Honours degree of the Bachelor of Physiotherapy may be possible for highly achieving students at the end of first year.

Course themes

Theme 1: Personal and professional development

This theme focuses on the development of personal attributes and skills that assist the student in the transition from student to physiotherapist. It includes verbal and written communication skills and developing an understanding of the importance of relevant ethical and legal issues and the physiotherapy profession.

Theme 2: Population, society and health

This theme provides the structure to learn about and deal with broader society and population issues and is underpinned by an internationally accepted socio-ecological model of health.

Theme 3: Fundamental knowledge of health science

This theme provides the knowledge and skills required for physiotherapy clinical practice. It includes biomedical and behavioural sciences as well as the theory of physiotherapy practice.

Theme 4: Applied practice

This theme develops clinical competencies for physiotherapy practice. It focuses on the incorporation of the best available research evidence with the clinical reasoning skills of assessment, management, evaluation and health care of patients across the lifespan and across a spectrum of patient environments and circumstances.

Theme 5: Research

This theme provides opportunities to learn the knowledge and skills to locate, interpret and critically evaluate research relevant to physiotherapy practice


On completion of this course, students will be expected to demonstrate the generic attributes of a Monash graduate. The objectives of the Bachelor of Physiotherapy have been classified according to the themes of the course.

On successful completion of the course the student will be expected to demonstrate the following specific attributes within these themes:

  • have a standard of knowledge, skills and technical competency appropriate for an entry level practitioner in physiotherapy
  • be prepared to maintain high standards in their professional life through a commitment to lifelong learning
  • be aware of the latest advances in physiotherapy and related fields, and be positioned to engage in the expanding knowledge base
  • appreciate the value of research and be skilled at accessing, critically appraising and applying the best available evidence to their everyday practice
  • be effective users of relevant technology
  • understand and show respect for the roles of other professionals and be able to work collaboratively within the discipline of physiotherapy and as part of a multidisciplinary team
  • have the knowledge and skills to practise in a safe and ethical manner in relation to themselves, their clients and the community
  • be client-centred in their approach, respecting the right of clients and their support networks to participate in decision-making
  • demonstrate awareness that people's health encompasses their activities and participation as well as their body structures and functions, personal and environmental factors
  • be able to supervise, manage and take responsibility, as appropriate, when working in collaboration with other professionals, students, clients and their support networks
  • achieve a breadth of education with a tolerance for ambiguity and differing views
  • be reflective and compassionate, with a concern for issues of equity, equality, humanity and social justice
  • have the ability to learn independently and be innovative in their approach to analysis, critical thinking, problem-solving and evaluation
  • be able to effectively and efficiently communicate with other professionals, clients and the public
  • possess appropriate oral, written and IT skills, including the ability to present coherent argument, negotiate effectively and manage conflict
  • demonstrate awareness of the social, ethical, economic, political and environmental context of illness, health and wellbeing
  • be committed to the health of populations as well as individuals and be proactive in prevention-oriented physiotherapy practice and health promotion
  • understand the social and ethical dimensions of physiotherapy professional activities
  • integrate knowledge of relevant public policy and health and social care systems into their practice
  • be able to work effectively with a diverse range of people and settings.

Credit for prior studies

Applicants applying for credit must clearly demonstrate to the selection committee that the content of their previous studies is at least equivalent to the Monash Bachelor of Physiotherapy course components for which they are seeking credit.

Due to the integrated nature of the curriculum, it is unlikely recognition of prior learning will be approved.

Special requirements

Police checks and Working with Children checks

Organisations that host clinical and community placements require students to have current Police and Working with Children checks regarding their suitability to undertake such placements. All enrolled and prospective students are advised that they will be required to obtain Police and Working with Children checks prior to undertaking their course. Working with Children checks are valid for five years and are available free. Police checks must be applied and paid for annually. However, in some community partnered programs there may be a requirement to have a police check renewed every six months.

Health requirements

Students will be required to comply with the faculty Immunisation and Infection Risk Policy, and current recommendations and procedures, to enable them to proceed through the course with an acceptably low level of risk.

Prospective and enrolling students will be provided with detailed written information and, as appropriate, counselling about the effects that HIV or hepatitis B infection may have on the ability of health care workers to practice their profession.


It is recommended that all students accept responsibility for having up-to-date immunisations before commencing the course. Recommended immunisations include diphtheria, tetanus, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, and hepatitis B.

First aid

In addition to the units outlined below, students will complete their 'Apply First Aid' certificate as part of their studies.


Clinical practice units

This course requires students to undertake off-campus clinical placements. In the clinical setting students will have an opportunity to apply theory to practice under supervision. Attendance is mandatory for the clinical component.

Clinical expenses

Students are responsible for all travel and accommodation expenses during clinical placement. Uniforms and accessories are required for clinical placements and students will be notified regarding purchase arrangements upon commencement.

Professional recognition

Successful completion of this course leads to registration with the Physiotherapists Registration Board of Victoria.


During the first and second years of the course, education in the biomedical and behavioural sciences (anatomy, biomechanics, kinesiology, pathology, pharmacology, physiology, psychology, radiology, sociology), foundations of physiotherapy practice and research, is provided on campus using a problem-based and patient-centred approach to learning.

All students will participate in an interdisciplinary rural attachment in year one to gain knowledge and insight into rural health services and issues.

On-campus learning continues in the early weeks of year three. The focus then changes to learning in the clinical setting. Clinical education aims to develop knowledge and practice in the delivery of physiotherapy services under the supervision of experienced physiotherapists. Clinical education will be undertaken in a diversity of settings, with challenges increasing across years three and four. Year four also includes paediatrics and the opportunity to undertake elective units in areas of interest. A mix of metropolitan and rural health services are utilised for clinical education.


First year

First semester

Second semester

Second year

First semester

Second semester

Third year

First semester

Second semester

Fourth year

First semester

Second semester

First or second Semester

  • PTY4070 Physiotherapy 7 - clinical
  • PTY4080 Physiotherapy 8 - clinical

Progression to further studies

Students who demonstrate exemplary performance in the first year of the Bachelor of Physiotherapy may be offered a place in the Honours degree of the Bachelor of Physiotherapy. Honours places are subject to supervisor availability.

Alternative exit(s)

The Bachelor of Human Sciences is an exit award for students enrolled in this course, who have successfully completed at least 144 points of study, but who cannot or do not wish to progress through their degree.


Bachelor of Physiotherapy