BlogGriffith UniversityPros and Cons of a Bachelor of Physiotherapy at Griffith University

Pros and Cons of a Bachelor of Physiotherapy at Griffith University

Tossing up between your undergraduate choices in healthcare? Or, perhaps, physiotherapy is your specific interest? Reading about the pros and cons of studying a Bachelor of Physiotherapy at Griffith University can shed light onto your uni pathway! 

In this article, we’ve asked Vidal, a third year Physiotherapy student at Griffith, to share his study experience and give some valuable advice to anyone interested in the course.

Without further ado, let’s dive in!

Why should you study a Physiotherapy degree at Griffith Uni?
Top 3 Pros of a Physiotherapy Degree
Top 3 Cons of a Physiotherapy Degree
Mistakes You Shouldn’t Make
Things to Know Before Starting Griffith Physiotherapy
What Makes this Degree Different
Motivations for Studying Griffith Physiotherapy
Potential Career Paths

Why should you study a Physiotherapy degree at Griffith Uni?

Vidal first tells us that this course incorporates practical-focused learning: “A Bachelor of Physiotherapy at Griffith University offers a hands-on approach to study and gives you the opportunity to see and apply the theoretical content from lectures and textbooks right from week one — this is great for high-school students who are kinaesthetic learners.”

Griffith Physiotherapy - Quote

As the clinical work of physiotherapists revolve around helping future clients with their physical and potential impairments by using physical techniques, this approach “allows you to become more comfortable in a practical environment early on and get accustomed to what is a hands-on profession”. 

Top 3 Pros of a Physiotherapy degree

#1: Small cohort size

With the most recent intake less than 60 students, the BPhys program at Griffith is very small relative to other programs,” Vidal says. “As a result, you will get to know the staff and students well and have increased opportunities to receive more personalised feedback and assistance as required.”

The small cohort size is particularly beneficial as laboratory tutors can easily track and remember each student’s progress, and offer constructive feedback rather than general cohort feedback. Vidal adds, “This is especially important in the first year of your degree and are still adjusting to the transition from high school to university.”

#2: Great staff 

All staff are very friendly and willing to offer time outside of class to assist with any challenges you are facing with the degree,” Vidal says.

In addition to the great student-teacher synergies at Griffith, Physiotherapy lecturers and tutors all have strong experience as practicing physiotherapists; lecturers often work in their own clinics alongside teaching and research responsibilities. 

“With decades of combined experience teaching previous physiotherapy programs across Brisbane, the staff are very aware of the difficulties adjusting from high school to university and will do what they can to make that transition process as easy as possible,” Vidal explains. 

#3: State-of-the-art facilities 

Being only a recent degree, facilities at both campuses were both constructed to coincide with the program’s introduction in 2018,” Vidal says. “The Nathan campus has a specific building for the Physiotherapy department, and offers learning spaces specifically for students in the program.”

The Physiotherapy building also includes a Physiotherapy and Sports Medicine clinic and a fitness centre with a functional training area. 

Physiotherapy is one of the ten most employable degrees according to our employability ranking!!

Top 3 Cons of a Physiotherapy degree

#1: Large commitment 

“There is a lot of preparatory work, pre-recorded classes and additional study required for each topic,” Vidal says. “Generally speaking this is consistent with all degrees with competitive entry.”

Since future physiotherapists will be directly working to aid people’s physical impairments and health, high stakes and preparation is necessary. Classes are required 5 days a week with a minimum of 4 hours a day of in-person classes — the contact hours are a minimum of 20 hours per week and that doesn’t include the pre-recorded lectures! 

However, the assessment structure of most units is usually forgiving since there is often an almost equal weighting of all assessments and no assessments over 50%. This gives students space to fully learn from feedback and incorporate it into future practice.  

#2: Lots of in-person classes 

Relating to the first con, Vidal explains, “The practical nature of the profession means that you need to be present in order to participate in hands-on sessions and maximise your learning.”

As a result, it can “often [be] a challenge managing work… but it comes with being part of a degree that is practical by nature“.

Time management and sticking to study plans, as Vidal tells us later, is a crucial skill Physiotherapy students develop in order to stay on top of their work. 

#3: Exam preparation 

“Exam preparation is especially challenging when considering exams are both theoretical and practical,” Vidal says. 

Since theoretical units are mixed with physiotherapy-specific units in this course, the clinical skills can first feel harder to revise for first-year students. It requires a deeper engagement of the unit content and exam nerves can have an especially adverse effect for practical exams. 

“High school exams are predominantly theory-based where you could revise by reading notes and doing practice exams. While this can be applied to theory exams at university, the added practical components mean you have to find time to come into university and practice your techniques in conjunction with consolidating the theory behind it,” Vidal tells us. 

Any regrets? 

In short, Vidal says, “Not really.” 

The faculty and general support at Griffith University makes student experience fulfilling. “The staff are constantly offering opportunities to extend your learning by assisting lecturers with research projects, volunteer programs with local sporting teams and multiple networking opportunities,” he states. 

Taking full advantage of all these opportunities broadens your understanding of the profession and gives you valuable clinical experience while you are studying,” he adds. 

What do you wish you had known before starting Griffith Physiotherapy? 

Physiotherapy is a challenging degree and for those who are dedicated to being great physiotherapists — it is easy to unconsciously make the degree your whole life. 

What Vidal wishes he knew is that “planning is everything. The earlier you plan your semesters and the earlier you start assignments, the better”

The first year of university takes time to get used to; it’s not easy and you need to adjust to the new workload and learning environment,” he reflects.

A good uni-life balance is very important for mental health and overall success in the degree. If the program becomes overwhelming, staff, student mentors, and the university has many strategies to help.”

Especially as university and transitioning to becoming an adult means a larger set of responsibilities, he recommends “being able to time manage and [making] sure you have time to relax is super important in general and a really important habit to make early on”.

What makes this degree different from the ones offered at other universities? 

The small cohort (therefore, more personalised teaching support) and the optional integration of an Honours program is what makes the Bachelor of Physiotherapy at Griffith University different from other physiotherapy courses. 

In comparison to having 100 to 150 students in the cohort, the Griffith Physiotherapy cohort has approximately 60 students, which provides much more one-to-one assistance on request — this means more professional advice is given, especially for proactive students. 

Relating to the optional Honours program, Vidal says, “If research doesn’t interest you, students at Griffith have the option to not participate in the Honours program and focus on their clinical development from a non-research perspective.”

For Honours Physiotherapy students, it also provides a valuable experience to specialise and understand leading perspectives in one study area; all the while, they will still be eligible to register to practice as a Physiotherapist within Australia following accreditation. 

Other universities you might want to check out for a Physiotherapy degree include:

What inspired you to choose Griffith Physiotherapy?

Quite simply, I wanted to help people,” Vidal says.

“Physiotherapy gives me a hands-on opportunity to better the lives of others and provides experiences that few other professions can offer. You have the chance to reduce pain, help move, and build strength in individuals and help those who are at some of the most challenging points in their lives both physically and psychologically.”

He also adds, “Physiotherapy has career opportunities in a variety of different healthcare settings and you’re in a position where you can branch into multiple different specialised fields throughout the course of your professional career if you wish to.”

What are the possible career paths?

Griffith Physiotherapy - Careers

At the end of their course, graduates of a Bachelor of Physiotherapy at Griffith Uni are eligible to register to practice as a Physiotherapist within Australia following accreditation. Registered physiotherapists can work in a range of settings — some of these options include: 

  • Hospitals
  • Private practices
  • Community health centres
  • Schools
  • Sporting teams 
  • University or government-body research

Learn more about a career in Physiotherapy here!

Not sure about this degree, still? Check out our guide on all of the different tertiary education pathways available to you after graduating High School here!

Lynn Chen is a Content Writer at Art of Smart Education and is a Communication student at UTS with a major in Creative Writing. Lynn’s articles have been published in Vertigo, The Comma, and Shut Up and Go. In her spare time, she also writes poetry.

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