BlogUniversityPros and Cons of a Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours) at UQ

Pros and Cons of a Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours) at UQ

Are you interested in the physiological functions of the body and helping others in reducing pain, improving movement and restoring muscle control for better mobility? If this is beginning to sound like you, then the Physiotherapy at UQ may just be the ideal choice. 

Lucky for you, we’ve narrowed down the pros and cons of studying this exciting degree to help you envision yourself working in a rewarding and autonomous field! We got to chat with Tom, a Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours) graduate who gave us his unique insight into the degree.

Let’s get started!

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

Why should you study a Physiotherapy degree at UQ?

Studying a physiotherapy degree at the University of Queensland allows you access to well known researchers like Paul Hodges and high-level facilities such as the Gross Anatomy Facility,” Tom said. 

If you are unfamiliar with the name Paul Hodges, let us let you in on his achievements in spinal pain, injury and health research. Hodges is a National Health and Medical Research Council Senior Principal Research Fellow and a Professor and Director of the NHMRC Centre for Clinical Research Excellence in Spinal Pain, Injury and Health at UQ. 

The Gross Anatomy Facility is a modern and spacious laboratory that provides anatomical resources for students of Physiotherapy in an environment that is conducive to mastering their field. So if you choose to study Physiotherapy at UQ, you’ll be using truly incredible facilities, especially when it comes to learning about anatomy.

Top 3 Pros of a Physiotherapy degree

Before discussing Tom’s top 3 pros of this degree, Tom told us that his favourite part about the degree was “the level of education and dedication from the lecturers”. Given that you have key researchers in their field at the head of the department, there’s no surprise that the professors would instil inspiration for students! 

Now let’s get to business! Tom’s top 3 pros of studying a Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours) at UQ:

#1: Job stability

A degree in Physiotherapy will prepare students to become accredited health professionals and will set them up for a rewarding career within the healthcare industry. When discussing the benefits of studying this degree, Tom said that it is comforting to know that you will always have job stability. 

In health care you will always have a job as physiotherapists are integrated well into both private and public health,” Tom told us.

Tom’s insight aligns with the job opportunities, which include working in hospitals, school programs or private practice. Some of the specialties you could pursue as a graduate are musculoskeletal, paediatrics, neurology, cardiorespiratory, orthopaedics, occupational therapy, research and teaching.

You can even choose to work in specific fields such as rehabilitation therapy, community therapy, sports therapy, or even consultancy roles in educational, industrial or government institutions. 

#2: Improving physical wellbeing 

As a physiotherapist student, in learning how to help others you are also learning how to help yourself. With all the knowledge you attain about the human body and the best ways to maintain mobility and function, you will know exactly what to do to optimise your own physical wellbeing.

Learning about injuries and the pain many people suffer from will help you to be passionate about looking after your body. 

You learn how to look after your body, enabling yourself to live a healthier and perhaps even longer life,” Tom said.

#3: Fulfilment 

When studying a Bachelor of Physiotherapy at UQ, you’re learning about all the ways and techniques to help people affected by pain, injury, illness or disability.

You’ll learn about the ways in which movement and exercise, manual therapy, education and advice can fix and shape another person’s life. For this reason, Tom said that his third pro is that you will be working towards a fulfilling career helping others.

It is a fulfilling role to be able to help people who are in pain,” Tom shared.

You may sometimes wonder why it is exactly that people love careers that involve helping others. Well, for starters, helping others is a mutually beneficial experience.

Even though you may feel like you are the teacher, giving advice to the patient, you can also learn from the individuals you work with and be challenged to grow and develop on a daily basis. Helping others is a compassionate and rewarding act, as you have the power to make a difference in someone else’s world.

Top 3 Cons of a Physiotherapy degree

Following Tom’s top 3 pros, we asked him what his least favourite part of the degree was, to which he responded, “My least favourite thing was the high level of competition required to both enter the degree, and to establish yourself afterward in the sports industry.”

A Physiotherapy degree is not one to be taken lightly. It’s a very competitive degree to get into with a high ATAR requirement. Once the degree is completed, you will become a qualified healthcare professional with a high employability rate, in excess of 90%. No wonder there’s competition!

That was just Tom’s least favourite part of the degree. Let’s now get into his top three cons:

#1: You need to be empathic

According to Tom, “You must have a high level of empathy to be a physiotherapist.” This is not to say that Tom finds it difficult to have empathy for patients!

He is noting that it’s a requirement of the job that not everyone has the capacity for. To be a successful physiotherapist, you not only need to have the knowledge and chops to physically help people, but you also need to show compassion and offer advice that will help patients’ mental wellbeing throughout their journey to recovery or management. 

#2: It’s competitive

It is competitive, requiring a high OP entry or GPA,” Tom exclaimed.

Why is this the case? Physiotherapists are in high demand in Australia. To list a few reasons, Australia has a strong sporting and fitness culture, there is an ageing population with a desire and awareness to live life to the fullest and the need for employers to comply with Workplace Health and Safety regulations.

At the end of your degree, you have various career opportunities, an employability rate of 90% and the title of a healthcare professional. 

#3: Trying to break into the sports industry 

Earlier, Tom noted that his least favourite part of the degree was that it was difficult to establish yourself afterwards in the sports industry.

The typical attraction to elite sports is only an exceedingly small percentage of what a typical physiotherapist looks like when they graduate,” Tom stated.

What does a sports physiotherapist do exactly? The essential role of the sports physiotherapist in international and elite sports (and in all other levels of sport, for that matter) remains to provide treatment and rehabilitation of injuries and to provide performance support through injury prevention, maintenance and recovery interventions.

Physiotherapy has become an integral part of the sports medicine team. At the London 2012 Olympic Games, physiotherapists formed the largest professional group working at the Olympic Games. Given this, you can imagine there is a bit of competition in the field of elite sports.

Any regrets? 

We asked Tom if he had any regrets about choosing to study a Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours) at UQ. His response reflected on his third con and was more so a piece of advice to prospective students.

Physiotherapy UQ - Quote

What do you wish you had known before starting the degree? 

In answering the question of what he wished he had known before starting this degree, Tom wished that he had known that prac placements only took place in the final year. However, he notes that the structure has now changed from when he was studying. 

I wish I had known this better before engaging with this degree. This degree is slightly differently structured at UQ when I was studying, where we only did our prac placements in our last year of university,” Tom said.

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

Leading on from his previous answer, Tom focused on practical placements when distinguishing UQ from other universities.

Other universities at the time were offering prac placements throughout the degree. This means some people knew if they were “made of the right material” to be a physiotherapist earlier on,” Tom shared.

However, do not fret as this course now includes built-in placements throughout your degree that will give you real-world experience working in a clinic environment. 

Considering Griffith as an option for Physiotherapy? Check out our article here!

What inspired you to choose this degree?

When it comes to choosing a degree and a potential career, it’s important to know what inspired others in that field to see if you experience the same interests and desires. 

We asked Tom not only what inspired him to choose a Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours) but also why he chose the University of Queensland. 

“My inspiration for choosing physiotherapy was a keen interest in musculoskeletal health, with my background in martial arts, weightlifting and dance. I chose UQ because it has a reputation for producing high quality graduates and high quality research,” Tom told us.

What are the possible career paths?

Physiotherapy UQ - Careers

Some of the careers that you could pursue as a graduate are:

  • Physiotherapist in hospitals, school programs and private practice
  • Occupational therapist
  • Rehabilitation therapist
  • Community physiotherapist
  • Sports physiotherapist
  • Research and teaching
  • Industry consultant 

As the Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours) at UQ is accredited by the Australian Physiotherapy Council, graduates will have the opportunity to register with a number of organisations that will keep them connected with fellow professionals and help them to excel in their career.

Once you graduate, you may be eligible to become a member of the Australian Physiotherapy Association. You may also be eligible for registration with the Physiotherapy Board of Australia. 

If working as a physiotherapist within the Allied Health industry is starting to peak your interest, you can find out even more information here!

Thomasin McCuaig is a Content Writer at Art of Smart and an Arts graduate with majors in English and Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Sydney. Thomasin is a passionate writer, singer and drama teacher, who has had her work published in Holidays with Kids, Signature Luxury Travel and Style and Offspring Magazine. Thomasin also writes junior plays for her students and aims to publish a novel someday. During the COVID isolation period, Thomasin put her passion into practise and launched her own writing and editing business, ‘Re:Write Editing.’ In her spare time you will find her either napping, talking to her cats or looking up real estate for absolutely no reason at all. Fun fact: Thomasin appeared on Japanese morning breakfast show ‘ZIP!’ as a travel reporter, where she presented a six day exposé of Sydney!


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