What are University of Sydney physiotherapy placements like?

3 May 2020

University of Sydney Physiotherapy Placements

The physiotherapy placement program allows Sydney physiotherapy students the opportunity to apply and develop their skills with “real life” clients. The placements can be undertaken in a hospital, private or community setting in Sydney or regional/rural NSW.

Placements are in a variety of areas. Some of these areas may include rehabilitation, acute care, ambulatory/outpatients, aged care, community health, paediatrics, orthopaedics and hand therapy. Students will be required to demonstrate competence in the specific clinical skills for each area as well as the generic skills and attributes of physiotherapy professionals. These skills are assessed using the Assessment of Physiotherapy Practice (APP) form. During placements there will be opportunities for interprofessional learning. All students are required to undertake at least one placement outside of Sydney or in a rural location.

What are University of Sydney physiotherapy placements like?
Learn more about the Sydney physiotherapy program (Image: University of Sydney)

How are placements arranged?

Placements are arranged by negotiation between staff of the respective academic unit, acting as Clinical Educator Coordinators, and the staff of the individual placement setting. The academic unit negotiates the standard, type of experience, and number of student places to be offered. In most cases, formal agreements are signed between the university  and the placement facility.

What are the conditions of placements?

There are a number of rules and conditions applying to students regarding the amount of workplace based education, its timing, the selection of sites, and types of experiences required. These rules have implications for progression in the course and acceptance into the relevant profession after graduation.

How are students assessed?

Sydney physiotherapy are expected to take an active responsibility for their own education by identifying their own learning needs, assisting the placement supervisor in planning and implementing the learning experiences, being familiar with and adhering to procedures and rules laid down by the university and the affiliating centre, and in evaluating their own performance.

The placement supervisor performs the role of teacher, facilitator, coordinator and professional role model. Supervision may be conducted by staff of the respective academic unit for the on campus clinics, or by external practitioners at external sites, who are expert in their professional area.

The nature of the assessment varies across academic units but generally includes a student evaluation by both the supervisor and the student, the satisfactory completion of the learning objectives, as well as a variety of assignments that may include case studies, essays, verbal presentations and practical examinations. The clinical education unit may be assessed on a graded scale or on a pass/fail basis.

Moving to main Sydney Campus in 2021

The Sydney Faculty of Health is moving Camperdown campus in 2021, and they have already begun the transition. In some semesters, students will have classes at both the Cumberland and Camperdown campuses. Classes will be timetabled to allow students with a standard enrollment pattern to come to a single campus each day, where possible.

University of Sydney’s Master of Physiotherapy

The University of Sydney offers a two year, graduate-entry Master of Physiotherapy program, which is intended for students coming from an undergraduate degree in a related field and who wish to gain the requirements to become a physiotherapist. Coursework throughout this program builds on the major areas of the profession, such as musculoskeletal, cardiopulmonary and neurological physiotherapy, as well as looking at the profession in its societal context.

Program: Master of Physiotherapy
Location: Lidcombe, (suburb of Sydney), New South Wales
Duration: 2 years
Semester intake: March each year
Application deadline: Applications are usually assessed on a rolling basis (as they are received). The sooner you apply the better.

Apply to the University of Sydney Physiotherapy School!


Do you have questions about how you can study physiotherapy in Australia? Contact OzTREKK’s Physiotherapy Admissions Officer at physio@oztrekk.com for more information.