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Practice Education

Practice Education integrates academic knowledge with practical knowledge, as students focus on the application of their knowledge, skills and attitudes in ‘real-life’ situations.

Students on the BSc Physiotherapy course must complete 1000 hours of supervised clinical practice, before graduating, in order to be awarded the title of Chartered Physiotherapist. Physiotherapy graduates from Trinity College Dublin are also eligible for statutory registration under CORU, which is Ireland’s multi-profession health regulator.

Trinity College Dublin provides placements in various acute, chronic and rehabilitation clinical settings throughout the country.

This is to ensure that all students achieve learning outcomes with a wide range of patients, clinical locations and treatment approaches.

High standards of clinical placement can only be achieved through the continued support and co-operation of the physiotherapists working in these hospitals and clinics.

Clinical placements are spread throughout the undergraduate course as follows:

Placement Number (Pn)





6 weeks

Semester 2

2nd year


5 weeks

Semester 1

3rd year


6 weeks

Semester 2

3rd year


7 weeks

Semester 1

4th year


6 weeks

Semester 1

4th year

There are three ‘core’ areas of placement for physiotherapy students:

  • Musculoskeletal
  • Cardiorespiratory
  • Neurological/Elderly care

All clinical placements are assessed using the Common Assessment Form and contribute to the students final degree award.

Practice Education Placements

While on placement, each student is supported by a Practice Educator (PDF 237 kB). Practice Educator is the title given to individual physiotherapists who have agreed to assess and mentor students while they are on placement.

Further resources for Practice Educators can be accessed in the Practice Educators/Tutors Resources.

The Dublin Teaching Hospitals associated with Trinity College Dublin also employ  Practice Tutors. Practice Tutors are Senior Physiotherapists who are based primarily in practice education placement provider sites although they are also based intermittently in the relevant university as determined by educational and service needs.

The role of the student on placement is outlined in the Practice Education Handbook (Local Access - PDF 1.6 MB). Each student has a responsibility to adequately prepare for placement, and to adhere to the Rules of Professional Conduct and the European Core Standards of Physiotherapy Practice.

In P4, there is an opportunity for students to complete their clinical placement abroad. Previous students have completed this placement in the UK, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Africa as well as in their local clinics and hospitals.

The Discipline of Physiotherapy in Trinity College Dublin also operates an ERASMUS exchange programme with Karolinska University in Stockholm, Sweden and Bergen University in Oslo, Norway in the fourth year of the degree course.

Placement for me was the defining experience of the Physiotherapy degree.