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Articles categorized as ‘Australian Physiotherapy Schools’

Friday, October 6th, 2017

University of Melbourne physiotherapy students use augmented reality

From Pokémon GO to the classroom—how a collaboration between the University of Melbourne and Microsoft in AR is taking students under the skin of their patients.

Story by Andrew Trounson, University of Melbourne

Pokémon GO pushed augmented reality, or AR, into the mainstream, sending 500 million people around the world chasing cartoon characters on their phones. But now, in a unique multi-disciplinary collaboration, it’s making the leap from entertainment to education.

A new fusion of augmented reality, gaming technology, and anatomy is giving physiotherapy students at the University of Melbourne access to cutting-edge technology to take a look inside the human body by projecting different layers of muscles and bones over the top of a volunteer “patient.” It provides an inside view of how the body works as it moves in real time.

Melbourne physiotherapy students use augmented reality

Learn more about the Melbourne physiotherapy program

The technology, called the Augmented Studio, is designed to radically enhance the teaching of physiotherapy where students currently use their knowledge of anatomy to understand how muscles work beneath the skin of a patient because they can’t see through them. But the Augmented Studio, developed by researchers at the University of Melbourne, bridges the gap between that theory and practice.

By using tracking sensors mounted on a scaffold it projects images of our muscles and skeleton directly onto a volunteer. The images automatically follow the shape and movement of the body, giving students in the studio space an interactive all-round view of how our bodies work. It can even allow them and their teachers to “draw” on the projected image to make information and action more explicit.

“What we are doing is overlaying virtual models of what we look like underneath our skin and synchronising that with real human action,” says Dr Thuong Hoang, who is a Research Fellow at the Microsoft Research Centre for Social Natural Users Interfaces at the University of Melbourne.

The Augmented Studio was built by Dr Hoang, computer engineer Zaher Joukhadar and Phd student Martin Reinoso, who adapted Microsoft’s Kinect body sensing and tracking device as well as “RoomAlive” projection technology, both of which were originally designed for computer gaming. Once a person steps into the projection space and forms a T-shape with their arms outstretched, the trackers lock on to them and the projected image conforms to their shape and movement.

At the moment the projected overlay doesn’t show how our muscles actually move when we contract and relax our muscles. Instead, it tracks the body and movement at the joints. But eventually Dr Hoang wants to add in animation that can show the actual movement of muscles as the model moves.

University of Melbourne Physiotherapy lecturer Dr David Kelly says the students quickly embraced the technology during pilot sessions in 2016, which are continuing in 2017. He says the combination of live movement and interaction, in which students could actually move and feel the model’s limbs, helps them to grasp the relationship between their learned anatomy and how it works dynamically.

“For first-year students it can be really hard to bring together anatomical knowledge with how the body actually works because it can be difficult to visualise. But when they see a real person who they can interact with, while also seeing the muscles and skeleton projected over the top, combined with the ability to draw and write on the body, it all becomes much easier for the students to learn about how the body moves,” says Dr Kelly, from the Melbourne School of Health Sciences.

The Augmented Studio also provides a more visual and intuitive way of learning that Dr Kelly says will benefit those students who naturally learn more easily by direct visualisation, rather than through reading and listening. “There has always been a group of students that struggle because the limited ways in which we have to teach may not conform to how they learn best,” he says.

Developments in AR, which seeks to use technology to enhance what we can already see, hear and feel in the real world, are far ahead of chasing GPS tracked Pokémon. There are viewing devices such as glasses that can overlay what we see with three-dimensional graphics, video and holograms, and we can generate projections like games that people manipulate by moving our hands.

The big advantage of the Augmented Studio over advances like 3D holograms is that the students can actually touch and move the body, making it a much more interactive experience. They also don’t have to wear headgear, which means it could potentially be used in bigger settings with larger numbers of students.

“It has always been hard to capture the dynamic side of how our anatomy works, so the difference here is the high level of interaction you can achieve. The student can, for example, ask the model to kick and they can then look at variations from different angles at what is happening as someone kicks,” Dr Kelly says.

The Augmented Studio is still in early-stage development and Dr Kelly would love to see it migrate to using muscle animations. Dr Hoang is also working to develop a system for the student interaction with the model to be automatically recorded onto their tablets so they can have a permanent record of what they were learning.

Another challenge is to find a way to make the studio more transportable and quicker to set up. At the moment the studio can work very effectively in a dedicated tutorial space where it could be permanently set up, but Dr Kelly says a more portable set up would increase its flexibility for teaching.

The Augmented Studio is an extension of Dr Hoang’s earlier work exploring how virtual reality and body tracking could be used to help guide body movement for dance and marital arts students. Arising from a collaboration between the physiotherapy department’s Teaching and Learning director, Associate Professor Louisa Remedios and Professor Frank Vetere, Director of Microsoft Social NUI, Dr Hoang started working with the physiotherapy department on developing a teaching aid. He then realised that virtual reality, in which you are immersed in an entirely created world, wasn’t suited to teaching physiotherapy that is very hands on.

“When we got into the class rooms we had to change our thinking. VR just wouldn’t work in the tactile environment in which they learn and practice,” Dr Hoang says. It was when he noticed that students kept referring back to anatomy charts when they were practicing on each other that he started thinking of using augmented reality to put the virtual muscles on the body

Dr Hoang is now working on extending the tracked projection technology to various health and fitness areas, and even in performance art. He says that using tracking sensors with projections it is possible to create guides that show people how to position their bodies for practicing fitness, sport and dance.

Using virtual reality headsets he and PhD student Martin Reinoso have already developed a prototype that allows a martial arts teacher to remotely instruct students on the right position to hold. By using body tracking and linked headsets student can match their movement to align with those of their teacher. There is also scope to project information on our own body’s performance, such as heart rate and breathing, so it is visible either on our projected selves or on a nearby surface.

“The innovation we have created isn’t just limited to the fixed information that we have been projecting so far. If can be used to project dynamic information onto yourself or any surface around you,” Dr Hoang says. “All of what I’m dreaming of is very possible.”

About the Melbourne Doctor of Physiotherapy

Eligible University of Melbourne Physiotherapy candidates for admission will have completed undergraduate studies in human anatomy and human physiology at the university level. Other subjects which may be helpful for physiotherapy applicants include psychology, physics, biomechanics, research methods, evidence-based practice, statistics, biochemistry, and additional units of anatomy.

Program: Doctor of Physiotherapy (DPT)
Location: Melbourne, Victoria
Next available intake: February 2019
Duration: 3 years
Application deadline: TBA. For the 2018 intake, the application rounds closed June 1 and July 27, 2017.

Apply to the Melbourne Doctor of Physiotherapy Program!

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Would you like to learn more about the University of Melbourne Physiotherapy program ? Please contact OzTREKK’s Australian Physiotherapy Schools Admissions Officer Krista McVeigh at krista@oztrekk.com.

Thursday, September 7th, 2017

What is the difference between occupational therapy and physiotherapy?

There is often confusion between physiotherapy and occupational therapy. There are significant differences between the two professions, but also many areas where they overlap.

What is the difference between occupational therapy and physiotherapy?

OT can help kids with various needs improve their cognitive, physical, sensory, and motor skills

  • Physiotherapy (or physical therapy) is a health care profession with a focus on assessing, improving and restoring physical function.
  • Occupational therapy also looks at physical function, but extends this to consider how this affects your ability to engage in occupation such as daily activities, leisure and work.

Occupational therapy also addresses the range of requirements for the patient including their mental and emotional well-being. Occupational therapists also have the knowledge and training to work with people with a mental illness or emotional problems such as depression and/or stress. Occupational therapists are also trained in adapting the environment or prescribing special equipment to help people reach their full potential.

OTs often work alongside physiotherapists, as part of a team of health professionals. While some areas may seem to overlap, (for example hand therapy), occupational therapists use and adapt occupations to treat or prevent occupational dysfunction due to physical, mental or environmental factors.

You will find occupational therapists working with patients across the human lifespan from infants to aged care and end of life. OTs work across the spectrum of services from mental health to acute medical and surgical services in various areas:

  • Aged care
  • Child health services
  • Community health services
  • Disability services
  • Independent living centres
  • Mental health services
  • Non-government organisations
  • Private practice
  • Public and private hospitals
  • Rehabilitation facilities
  • Research and development
  • Schools and tertiary education
  • Workplace health

Bond University Master of Occupational Therapy

Bond University’s Master of Occupational Therapy degree will take just two years full time to complete because of Bond’s unique accelerated three-semesters-a-year structure.

The program is the first occupational therapy master’s degree in Australia to provide the opportunity to complete a clinical research project or undertake business electives in preparation for an occupational therapy career in health management or private practice.

Program: Master of Occupational Therapy
Location: Gold Coast, Queensland
Intakes: May and September each year
Duration: 2 calendar years (6 semesters)
Application deadline: No set deadline. Candidates are encouraged to apply as early as possible.

Apply to the Bond Master of Occupational Therapy program!

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Do you have questions about studying at Bond Occupational Therapy School? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Occupational Therapy Schools Admissions Officer Heather Brown at heather@oztrekk.com or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355.

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

Griffith University to offer health sciences degrees in Brisbane in 2018

Growing demand for allied health services has translated to growing opportunities for students seeking healthcare careers outside the traditional medicine and dentistry degrees.

The sector is surging, with an ageing population and onset of chronic disease driving patient volumes, and a focus on prevention and new technologies improving outcomes.

Griffith to offer health sciences degrees in Brisbane in 2018

Find out how you can study health sciences at Griffith University

Griffith University has responded by bringing three of its most-respected allied health programs—physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech pathology—to Brisbane for the first time.

Professor Andrea Bialocerkowski, Griffith’s School of Allied Health Services Head, says the new degrees are great news for Brisbane students.

“Griffith has offered these programs on the Gold Coast for many years—we’re certainly not new to the game. From 2018 Brisbane students will benefit directly from our faculty’s experience and industry connectivity,” says Andrea.

Just as allied health professionals collaborate to deliver care, Griffith allied health sciences students undertake interprofessional learning alongside one another.

“Students in these degrees learn with those studying other health degrees such as nutrition and dietetics, exercise physiology, medicine, nursing or pharmacy,” she says.

“Their collaboration provides a practical understanding of how their profession interacts and functions within the sort of multidisciplinary team that deliver healthcare today.”

While all three degrees have the power to change lives, Andrea says each has defining features that may help students choose which is best for them.

Demand for the Bachelor of Occupational Therapy degree is expected to grow with the National Disability Insurance Scheme coming online and the discipline’s emergence in schools and aged care facilities.

“This is a very future-focused degree and includes a focus on entrepreneurship and work-integrated learning that commences in the first trimester of study,” says Andrea.

Andrea says the new Bachelor of Physiotherapy is a streamlined replacement for Griffith University’s highly regarded Master of Physiotherapy, which was offered for almost 20 years.

“The new degree caters for high school leavers and offers an extremely wide clinical placement network, extending from far north Queensland to Tasmania, as well as Griffith’s nationally renowned expertise in simulated learning.”

Master of Speech Pathology students, says Andrea, receive industry placement from their first trimester of study and tackle a curriculum focused on clinical immersion.

“Clinical immersion is a key aspect of the intensive two-year curriculum and students gain exposure to a variety of settings to work with adults and children,” Andrea says.

Are you interested in studying health sciences at Griffith University? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Health Sciences Admissions Officer Heather Brown at heather@oztrekk.com.

Thursday, July 27th, 2017

UQ physiotherapy student tackles global health issues

University students from across the globe are exploring the connections between society, economics, environment and health at the U21 Health Sciences Summer School in Johannesburg.

UQ physiotherapy student Leah Davis and nursing and midwifery students Elizabeth Bartetzko, Anne Tin and Sophie Bonser are representing the University of Queensland at the event.

UQ health sciences students tackle global health issues

UQ physio student Leah Davis (Photo: UQ)

Ms Davis said her passion for the sociological study of human health had been fired by the class, gender and ethnicity disadvantage she had observed.

“I’m from a rural Queensland town where I attended public schools, worked at the local pharmacy and stood in lines at the financial aid offices,” she said.

“It was within these environments, surrounded by members of every class and nationality, that I first started to foster the idea that people’s health can’t be solely determined by a purely biomedical model.

“Attending this summer school is a dream come true that will allow me to gain knowledge and develop tools to help those who weren’t lucky enough to be born within the bubble of privilege.

“I’m most excited to be given the opportunity to grow as a person and as a health student.

“I believe in the importance of expanding my world beyond the life I know and am used to, and so it is going to be life-changing to witness first-hand the health struggles those in developing countries experience.”

Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences Associate Dean (Academic) Professor Sarah Roberts-Thomson said the students were ideal candidates to represent UQ.

“They have such an exciting opportunity to collaborate and share knowledge, expertise and experiences with other health students from across the world,” Professor Roberts-Thomson said.

“The interdisciplinary discussions and interaction will be invaluable to their personal and career journeys ahead.”

The theme of the summer school at the University of Johannesburg is Global Health and the Social Determinants of Health.

Students will visit private and public health care facilities and cultural and historical sites, meet with communities, and participate in interdisciplinary activities.

The summer school will bring together students from dentistry, pharmacy, nursing, midwifery, nutrition, medicine, public health, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech pathology, audiology and optometry, all from U21 Health Sciences Group member universities.

About the University of Queensland Physiotherapy program

The University of Queensland offers a learning environment and has assessment requirements designed to facilitate the advanced and intensive learning appropriate for a master’s-level program. The Master of Physiotherapy Studies introduces graduates to the profession of physiotherapy and its key concepts in intensive mode during an initial summer semester. UQ physiotherapy students develop an understanding of the principles of scientific method, critical analysis and research design and apply them to professional practice. Students learn to appreciate the physiotherapist’s role in health promotion, injury prevention and effective treatment planning, implementation and evaluation.

Did you know there are approximately 40 spots available in the program? For the 2017 intake, 17 OzTREKK students accepted their international student offers!

Program: Master of Physiotherapy Studies
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Next available intake: November 2018
Duration: 2 years
Application deadline: UQ has a general application deadline of May 30 each year; however, candidates are encouraged to apply as early as possible.

Apply now to the UQ Physiotherapy School!

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Would you like more information about studying at UQ Physiotherapy School? Please contact OzTREKK’s Australian Physiotherapy School Admissions Officer Krista McVeigh at krista@oztrekk.com.

Tuesday, July 4th, 2017

Get into a physiotherapy program straight from high school

Physiotherapy, or physical therapy as it is also known, is a profession concerned with the prevention, assessment and treatment of human movement disorders and the promotion of movement and health. Physiotherapists—also known as physical therapists—require an extensive understanding of physical, structural and physiological aspects of human form and movement, as well as factors relating to human functioning and the acquisition of skills.

There is a high demand for physiotherapists, both in Australia and in Canada.

Get into a physiotherapy program straight from high school

Study physiotherapy in Australia (Photo credit: Monash University)

In Australia, professional degrees are normally undertaken straight from high school at the undergraduate level. Bachelor of Physiotherapy degrees in Australia are four years in duration, and suitable to those students who wish to gain entry into a physiotherapy program directly from high school, or who have completed an undergraduate degree in an area other than science/health science area.

Bachelor of Physiotherapy Programs at Australian Universities

James Cook University

Program: Bachelor of Physiotherapy
Location: Townsville, Queensland
Next intake: February 2018
Duration: 4 years

Monash University

Program: Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours)
Location: Peninsula Campus, approx. 40 km south of Melbourne, Victoria
Next intake: February 2018
Duration: 4 years

University of Newcastle

Program: Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours)
Location: Newcastle, New South Wales
Next intake: February 2018
Duration: 4 years

University of Queensland

Program: Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours)
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Next intake: February 2018
Duration: 4 years

University of Sydney

Program: Bachelor of Applied Science (Physiotherapy)
Location: Sydney, New South Wales
Next intake: March 2018
Duration: 4 years

Returning to Canada to Practice

Graduates who wish to become certified as a physiotherapist here in Canada will need to apply for certification through Canada’s provincial certification boards. In many cases these provincial certification boards will require applicants to also complete the certification process through Canada’s national physiotherapy regulatory board, the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators (Alliance).

As an international graduate, you would first have your Australian university qualifications assessed by the Alliance to ensure these meet their requirements. If they meet the requirements, you would then complete the Physiotherapy Competency Examination (PCE), just like any other applicant.

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Do you have questions about Bachelor of Physiotherapy programs in Australia? Contact OzTREKK Admissions Officer Krista McVeigh at krista@oztrekk.com, or call toll free at 1-866-698-7355.

Friday, June 16th, 2017

Fighting fires with Bond physiotherapy students

The Doctor of Physiotherapy at Bond University is an innovative, problem-based learning curriculum based on small-group facilitated tutorials, resource sessions and learning in a clinical environment.

Fighting fires with Bond physiotherapy students

Learn more about Bond physiotherapy school

Students undertake studies in Bond University’s $20-million, state-of-the-art building. Features include clinical skills laboratories designed to simulate real medical environments, and modern teaching and research laboratories with the latest scientific equipment. The purpose-built tutorial rooms cater to small-group learning and lecture theatres are equipped with video streaming, wireless, and an audience-response system, and also features a dedicated computer laboratory for students.

Sounds great, but let’s not forget their amazing clinical internships!

Bond Physiotherapy students have the unique opportunity to be placed in tactical environments for rehabilitation training during their degree. Here, Bond DPT student Adam Walker takes part in measuring rehydration levels in firefighters as they fight fire!

About Bond Physiotherapy Work Experience and Internships

Bond Physiotherapy students complete a clinical internship with an embedded research project in their final semester. This placement is designed to ensure graduates are ideally placed for entering the workforce. The first 30 weeks of clinical experiences will be gained in both hospital and community settings and will include working in the clinical areas of

  • orthopaedics;
  • cardiorespiratory;
  • out-patient musculoskeletal practice (hospital or private practice settings);
  • neurological and orthogeriatric rehabilitation (hospital and community settings); and
  • an elective in paediatrics, women’s/men’s health or sports practice.

Program: Doctor of Physiotherapy (DPT)
Location: Gold Coast, Queensland
Next intake: May 2018
Duration: 2 years
Application deadline: August 3, 2017

Apply now to Bond Physiotherapy School!

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Do you have questions about studying at Bond Physiotherapy School? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Physiotherapy Schools Admissions Officer Krista McVeigh at krista@oztrekk.com or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355.

Wednesday, June 7th, 2017

University of Sydney Master of Physiotherapy student talks about her placement in Vietnam

In November 2016, Master of Physiotherapy student Rachel Haines travelled to Vietnam for a four-week student placement with the Học Mãi foundation, along with 20 other medicine and allied health students from the University of Sydney.

On her return, Rachel wrote about her adventures in and around the Bach Mai Hospital. Here’s what she has to say about her student placement.

My heart is pounding as I make my way from Hanoi Airport to my hotel in the front passenger seat of a car that is speeding along a highway and darting haphazardly through traffic, at times centimetres away from a collision. Looking into the distance through the hazy air I can see the bright lights of Hanoi city looming closer and the reality of living and working in a foreign country for a month slowly begins to dawn on me….

University of Sydney Master of Physiotherapy student talks about her placement in Vietnam

Rachel Haines working at Bach Mai Hospital (Photo: University of Sydney)

Rachel’s #USydonTour experience

Xin chao! My name is Rachel Haines and I am a second-year Master of Physiotherapy student at the University of Sydney. I recently completed a four-week physiotherapy placement at the Bach Mai Hospital in Hanoi, Vietnam, with the Học Mãi foundation.

Học Mãi is a non-for-profit foundation of the University of Sydney dedicated to improving healthcare in Vietnam through education and research. The foundation provides a range of opportunities for healthcare leadership and education. I was fortunate enough to be part of the important work they do through Học Mãi’s student exchange program.

I found out about Học Mãi soon after I started the Master of Physiotherapy at the University of Sydney, a degree that ignites my passion for making a profound impact on the lives of others through physiotherapy. The idea of an overseas placement was exciting and would provide me with a unique experience that would help me grow both professionally and personally.

While on student placement in Vietnam I was required to work at the Bach Mai Hospital from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday. I was based mostly in the Rehabilitation Department where the majority of patients were recovering from recent traumatic brain injuries, strokes or spinal cord injuries. I also got to spend some time in the Respiratory Department and at the National Hospital of Paediatrics where I worked with patients suffering from conditions such as bronchiectasis and cerebral palsy.

The highlight of my practical experience was spending two weeks working with a woman who was born with deformed feet and had recently suffered a spinal cord injury. She was initially only able to stand for one minute and 43 seconds, but by her final session she was able to stand for three minutes and 30 seconds. I got to train her balance, coordination and strength and it was personally very rewarding to see a patient improve so much and be satisfied with my work.

During my free time, I travelled around Vietnam and immersed myself in a culture so different to my own. I visited the spectacular cities of Hoi An, Sa Pa and went on a cruise through Ha Long Bay, which is one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World. I also had time to sight see the city of Hanoi and found historic temples, explored Hoa La Prison, visited the oldest university in Vietnam, watched a traditional water puppet show, played some street games with the locals and so much more.

The Vietnamese healthcare system is very different to Australia’s, and Vietnamese patients have a different understanding of health literacy and expectations of health professionals compared to patients in Australia. A core concept that I’ve learnt through the Master of Physiotherapy is that patients have the best outcomes when an active treatment approach that accommodates individual patient preferences is taken. However, the majority of the physiotherapy interventions I observed in Vietnam and took part in were passive with little patient input.

Patients in Vietnam undertake a lot of whole task practice such as walking and moving from sitting to standing, whereas in Australia there is more of an emphasis on partial practice. I do not think that one approach is necessarily better than the other, but it is interesting to note the differences in treatment choices.

My experiences in Vietnam challenged some of my beliefs about service delivery of physiotherapy to patients. At times the language barrier and cultural differences were challenging, but I was always surrounded by the friendliest and most accommodating local people and felt constantly supported by the Hoc Mai and University of Sydney team back home, which made the whole experience so much more enjoyable.

Last year, my first year of the degree, was a massive learning curve for me as physiotherapy consists of a unique combination of theoretical concepts in addition to practical skills to become proficient. To get this far has taken a lot of hard work and many hours in the library.

This year will mark my second and final year of the Master of Physiotherapy. I am looking forward to practical placements where I can further adapt the skills and knowledge I’ve learnt. At the end of my degree I hope to use my skills in a rural location and make a difference to people who don’t have regular access to physiotherapy services.

My placement in Vietnam was very fulfilling both personally and professionally as I worked with patients, many of whom turned out to be from rural areas and who benefited from the skills that I had learned in Australia. I gained an understanding and appreciation of a culture and healthcare system very different to the one I have experienced in Australia, and have subsequently become a more rounded and globally conscious physiotherapy student.

Travelling abroad as part of a university degree is one of the most enriching and worthwhile opportunities on offer to students. It is a gateway to all sorts of experiences, friendships and memories that will last a lifetime.

By Rachel Haines GEM2 Physio

University of Sydney’s Master of Physiotherapy

The University of Sydney offers a two year, graduate-entry 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: September 29, 2017. Applications are usually assessed on a rolling basis (as they are received). The sooner you apply the better.

Entry Requirements

To be eligible to apply, you must have the following:

1. Completed an undergraduate degree from a recognized university.

2. Have achieved a minimum cumulative GPA of 4.5, which is approximately equivalent to a credit average or better. A credit average at the University of Sydney is between a 65–74%. Your grades assessed for admission are based on your highest-ranked university degree.

3. Have completed undergraduate studies in the following prerequisite areas:

  • Human Anatomy
  • Human Physiology
  • Exercise Physiology
  • Neuroscience
  • Psychology

Apply to the University of Sydney Physiotherapy School!

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Would you like more information about the Master of Physiotherapy program at Sydney Uni? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Physiotherapy Schools Admissions Officer Krista McVeigh at krista@oztrekk.com.

Friday, June 2nd, 2017

Will my Australian physiotherapy degree be recognised in Canada?

One of the most common questions we receive at OzTREKK is “Will my degree be recognised in Canada?”

The short answer is yes, it will. For the most part, we only feature degrees that are transferable to Canada. In most cases, graduates will have to take exams upon their return to home in order to be licensed to practice in Canada. Competency exams are a regular part of all professional degrees, even those awarded here in Canada.

Australian physiotherapy degrees are highly sought after by Canadian university graduates with academic backgrounds in kinesiology, health sciences and human kinetics. So when students inquire about studying physiotherapy in Australia, we are proud to tell you that the Australian universities we represent are some of the best! Australia is world-renowned for its leading-edge physiotherapy research and practice, and Canadians enjoy learning from Australian academics who are world leaders in the physiotherapy field.

Study physiotherapy in Australia, practice in Canada

Discover how you can study physiotherapy in Australia (Photo credit: University of Melbourne)

Now, let us tell you a little bit about the “coming back to Canada to practice” part!

Purpose of Credentialling

Graduates who wish to become certified as a physiotherapist here in Canada will need to apply for certification through Canada’s provincial certification boards. In many cases these provincial certification boards will require applicants to also complete the certification process through Canada’s national physiotherapy regulatory board, the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators (Alliance).

The credentialling process involves comparing an internationally educated physiotherapist’s education and credentials to that of a Canadian-educated physiotherapist to determine if there are substantial differences in the qualifications that would prevent the internationally educated physiotherapist from being eligible for the Physiotherapy Competency Examination (PCE).

To determine if an internationally educated physiotherapist’s training is not substantially different from that of a Canadian-educated physiotherapist, the following five criteria must be met:

  1. Verification of identity through authentic and valid documentation
  2. Completion of a university level, entry-to-practice degree in physiotherapy
  3. Successful completion of a minimum of 1025 hours of supervised clinical education
  4. Fluency in English or French
  5. Knowledge of the practice of physiotherapy within the Canadian healthcare system

How do Canadians Fare on the Physiotherapy Competency Exam?

Since Australian physiotherapy programs are considered among the world’s best, Canadian students who have graduated from an Australian physiotherapy school have the best pass rates on both the written and clinical exams! Here is an example of the pass rates for 2011–2016:

  • Written Exam – 80% of Australian-educated test takers passed on the first attempt
  • Clinical Exam – 81% of Australian educated test takers passed on the first attempt

Australian physiotherapy school application deadlines

Five of OzTREKK’s Australian universities offer a graduate-entry physiotherapy program. These degrees are labelled as Master of Physiotherapy (Studies) or Doctor of Physiotherapy degrees, but both are professional qualification programs:

Bond University
Program: Doctor of Physiotherapy
Location: Gold Coast, Queensland
Next available intake: May 2018
Duration: 2 years
Application deadline: August 3, 2017

Macquarie University
Program: Doctor of Physiotherapy
Location: Sydney, New South Wales
Duration: 3 years
Next available intake: July 2018
Application deadline: February 2018

University of Melbourne
Program: Doctor of Physiotherapy
Location: Melbourne, Victoria
Duration: 3 years
Next available intake: February 2018
Application deadline: First round – June 1, 2017; second round – July 27, 2017

University of Queensland
Program: Master of Physiotherapy Studies
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Duration: 2 years
Next available intake: November 2017
Application deadline: UQ has a general application deadline of May 30 each year; however, candidates are encouraged to apply as early as possible.

University of Sydney
Program: Master of Physiotherapy
Location: Lidcombe, (suburb of Sydney), New South Wales
Duration: 2 years
Next available intake: March 2018
Application deadline: Applications are usually assessed on as they are received. The sooner you apply the better. Applications close September 29, 2017

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Find out more about Australian physiotherapy degrees! Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Physiotherapy Schools Admissions Officer Krista McVeigh at krista@oztrekk.com for more information. We’re here to help!

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

UQ physiotherapy application deadline is coming up!

Don’t forget! Just a reminder to all those interested in the UQ physiotherapy program for the November 2017 intake that the application deadline is coming up next week, May 30, 2017.

UQ physiotherapy application deadline is coming up!

Find out how you can study physiotherapy at UQ

The Master of Physiotherapy Studies at the University of Queensland is one of the most popular program for Canadian students! It introduces graduates to the profession of physiotherapy and its key concepts in intensive mode during an initial summer semester. This program focuses on developing core knowledge and skills in the areas of musculoskeletal, neurological, cardiorespiratory and physiotherapy across the lifespan, and integrates this knowledge and skill and application of clinical reasoning in supervised clinical practice.

Program: Master of Physiotherapy Studies
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Semester intake: November
Program duration: 2 years
Application deadline: May 30, 2017

OzTREKK Student reviews about the UQ physio program

“The program itself is amazing, what I want to learn about, tough, but necessary in order to be a physio. The location and bus service is great. It is a big beautiful campus, with excellent profs and will learn tons!”

“I love the program and all the lecturers are among the top in their fields and they all will help you in any way they can. The university itself is so beautiful and everyone at the university is so friendly, its an amazing place to learn! The UQ physio program is really diverse with 10 internationals, Kiwis and Australians so its a crazy fun mixture of people! There are tons of other Canadians at the uni so for things like the Olympics you can always find people to celebrate Canada with if you want or are homesick :)”

“UQ is a welcoming, beautiful campus, with all kinds of different people and things to do on campus everyday. You have everything you want, from good food to a good sport atmosphere. Physiotherapy is a really close knit program, and from day one you get right into practical experiences as well as lecture format. the combination of both will give you the most out of your learning experience, for sure!”

Apply to UQ Physiotherapy School!

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Curious about UQ physiotherapy other rehabilitation sciences programs? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Physiotherapy Schools Admissions Officer Krista McVeigh at krista@oztrekk.com, or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355.

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017

Study physiotherapy in Australia, then practice in Canada

Are you interested in studying physiotherapy in Australia? May is National Physiotherapy Month and a great time to get started on learning how you can enter the physiotherapy profession!

Australian university graduate-entry physio degrees are highly sought after by Canadian university graduates with academic backgrounds in kinesiology, health sciences, and human kinetics. Since Australia is world-renowned for its leading-edge physiotherapy research and practice, Canadians enjoy learning from Australian academics who are world leaders in the physiotherapy field.

Study physiotherapy in Australia, then practice in Canada

Find out how you can study physiotherapy in Australia (Photo: University of Melbourne)

Five of OzTREKK’s Australian universities offer a graduate-entry physiotherapy program. These degrees are labelled as Master of Physiotherapy Studies or Doctor of Physiotherapy degrees, but both are professional qualification programs. In order to help you make the best decision, here are just some of the most common questions (with answers!) we receive.

What is the difference between a Master of Physiotherapy and a Doctor of Physiotherapy degree?

Both the Master of Physiotherapy (MPT) and Doctor of Physiotherapy (DPT) programs are designed to provide the same professional qualifications, so graduates of each program will be returning to Canada and applying for the same type of certification.

The DPT programs are usually three years and provide students with more practicum and coursework components, which some students like. Additionally, by having this extra time, students are usually able to delve a bit deeper into the profession of physiotherapy and explore some topics the shorter programs may not, such as emergency medicine or sports physiotherapy.

When returning to Canada, which organizations are responsible for evaluating the degree?

Graduates who wish to become certified as a physiotherapist here in Canada will need to apply for certification through Canada’s provincial certification boards. In many cases these provincial certification boards will require applicants to also complete the certification process through Canada’s national physiotherapy regulatory board, the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators (Alliance).

As an international graduate, you would first have your Australian university qualifications assessed by the Alliance to ensure these meet their requirements. If they meet the requirements, you would then complete the Physiotherapy Competency Examination (PCE), just like any other applicant.

The Alliance and provincial certification boards only assess applicants on a case-by-case basis and do not pre-approve any international physiotherapy programs. Based on this assessment process and the fact that applicants have to pass the PCE, it is not guaranteed that all applicants will have a successful application; however, at OzTREKK, we keep track of how our Australian university programs compare to Canadian requirements, and do not promote physiotherapy degrees in Australia if we don’t feel they would work for our Canadian students.

What is the Physiotherapy Competency Examination (PCE)?

The Physiotherapy Competency Examination tests whether qualified exam candidates have demonstrated a minimum standard of practice. The PCE ensures that members of the public will be safe when they interact with physiotherapists. It fairly and accurately evaluates the competencies you need to have to practice physiotherapy. Most physiotherapy regulators in Canada include passing the PCE as part of their entry-to-practice process.

What does the PCE involve?

There are two components to the examination—a written and a clinical component. The written component tests your ability to use and integrate clinical knowledge and to solve clinical problems using clinical scenarios. You must achieve a minimum overall score to pass the written component.

The clinical component tests safe, effective use of the principles and processes of physiotherapy practice. The knowledge, skills and abilities assessed by the Clinical Component include communication skills and professional behaviour.

Australian physiotherapy school application deadlines

Bond University
Program: Doctor of Physiotherapy
Location: Gold Coast, Queensland
Next available intake: May 2018
Duration: 2 years
Application deadline: TBA. For the May 2017 intake, applications closed Aug. 11, 2016.

Macquarie University
Program: Doctor of Physiotherapy
Location: Sydney, New South Wales
Duration: 3 years
Next available intake: July 2018
Application deadline: February 2018

University of Melbourne
Program: Doctor of Physiotherapy
Location: Melbourne, Victoria
Duration: 3 years
Next available intake: February 2018
Application deadline: First round – June 1, 2017; second round – July 27, 2017

University of Queensland
Program: Master of Physiotherapy Studies
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Duration: 2 years
Next available intake: November 2017
Application deadline: UQ has a general application deadline of May 30 each year; however, candidates are encouraged to apply as early as possible.

University of Sydney
Program: Master of Physiotherapy
Location: Lidcombe, (suburb of Sydney), New South Wales
Duration: 2 years
Next available intake: March 2018
Application deadline: Applications are usually assessed on as they are received. The sooner you apply the better.

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Would you like learn more about physiotherapy schools in Australia? Contact OzTREKK Admissions Officer Krista McVeigh at krista@oztrekk.com, or call toll free at 1-866-698-7355.