Monash University

Undergraduate - Course

Students who commenced study in 2014 should refer to this course entry for direction on the requirements; to check which units are currently available for enrolment, refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course.

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This course entry applies to students commencing this course in 2014 and 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)
Admission, fee and application details
Contact details

Tel: 1800 MONASH (1800 666 274) or visit

Course coordinator

Ms Prue Morgan


  • Unit codes that are not linked to their entry in the Handbook are not available for study in the current year.
  • Full-time study only. This course must be completed in a minimum of 4 years and a maximum of 10 years. The course duration is inclusive of any periods of intermission.
  • The clinical component of this course requires students to travel to a variety of health services and agencies, and may include 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 service delivery and inter-professional education, in which 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, medical imaging, nutrition and dietetics, and social work.

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.

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 may be utilised for clinical education.

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.

Students may undertake rural clinical education during third or fourth year. Students should take these matters into consideration when considering casual employment.

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 across the lifespan and across a spectrum of patient environments and circumstances.

Theme 5: Research

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


These course outcomes are aligned with the Australian Qualifications Framework level 7, the Bologna Cycle 1 and Monash Graduate AttributesAustralian Qualifications Framework level 7, the Bologna Cycle 1 and Monash Graduate Attributes (

Upon successful completion of this course it is expected that graduates will be able to:

  • 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 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 complex integrated nature of this course, recognition of prior learning/credit is not usually granted. Applications for credit will only be considered once students are enrolled into the course.

Progression to honours

Transfer to 3891 Bachelor of Physiotherapy (with Honours) may be possible for high achieving students at the end of first year.

Special requirements

Students must refer to the information available on the special requirements outlined below. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure they have the correct documentation.

Police checks

Students must have a current Police check regarding their suitability to undertake placements. Refer to the faculty's police checkspolice checks ( webpage.

Working with Children checks

Students must have a current Working with Children check regarding their suitability to undertake placements. Refer to the faculty's Working with Children checksWorking with Children checks ( webpage.

Immunisation and infection procedures

The faculty recommends that all students accept responsibility for having up-to-date immunisations before commencing this course. Recommended immunisations include diphtheria, tetanus, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, tuberculosis and hepatitis B. Refer to the faculty's [ ( immunisation and infection risk]] webpage.

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.

First aid

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


Clinical practice units

This course requires students to undertake off-campus rural and metropolitan 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 of each unit.

Where a student's skill or knowledge is found to be inadequate, access to the clinical component of the unit will be denied. A student may be withdrawn from a clinical practicum if required skills and knowledge are deemed inadequate, or on other grounds deemed appropriate by the head of school.

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

Upon successful completion of this course, graduates are eligible to apply for registration with the Physiotherapy Board of Australia.


This course consists of 14 compulsory units.

Areas of study


First year

Semester one

Semester two

Second year

Semester one

Semester two

Third year

Semester one

Semester two

Fourth year

Semester one

  • PTY4171 Physiotherapy 7A: clinical
  • PTY4172 Physiotherapy 7B: clinical

Semester two

Progression to further studies

Students who demonstrate exemplary performance in the first year of this course may be offered a place in course 3891 Bachelor of Physiotherapy (with Honours), subject to supervisor availability.

Alternative exit(s)

Be enrolled in BPT (3868) and have successfully completed at least 144 credit points of the program, but have either failed to progress to year four or wish to discontinue. For 2012 onwards these students must have completed the following units: PTY1011, PTY1022, PTY2031, PTY2042, PTY 3051, PTY3162, PTY3262, PTY3362, PTY3462 (or equivalent Year 3 units - where they meet pre requisites offered within the FMNHS).


Bachelor of Physiotherapy