Writtle University College and ARU have merged. Writtle’s full range of college, degree, postgraduate and short courses will still be delivered on the Writtle campus. See our guide to finding Writtle information on this site.

Physiotherapy placements

Physiotherapist showing a client how to perform an exercise

In order to qualify as physiotherapist, you’ll spend a minimum of 1,000 hours in practice or in a practice simulated environment. Professional practice placements and simulations are a rich learning experience, and they’ll help to cement your classroom learning.

Placement blocks

We work in partnership with a wide range of community and hospital placement providers across our region. As a university, we have carefully selected placement providers in order to ensure that you have optimal opportunities to develop as both a practitioner and a professional.

You’ll usually attend five full-time block placements commencing at the start of the last trimester of Year 1. Your placement rotation will typically comprise five different placement blocks.

Placements are generally structured on 37.5 hours per week, however, working patterns may be variable and include shifts, virtual, simulated, overnight and weekends.

Placement rotations/simulated placements will most likely include a Musculoskeletal, Neurological and Cardiorespiratory Rehabilitation block. Formal teaching is nearly always organised around placements.

Placement areas

Placement areas include the following.


  • Addenbrooke's Cambridge University Hospital
  • Peterborough City Hospital
  • Cambridge Community Services
  • Cambridge and Peterborough Foundation Trust
  • Private practice
  • Simulated/Virtual Placement


  • Mid and South Essex Hospital
  • Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust
  • Colchester Hospital
  • Provide
  • Private practice
  • Simulated/Virtual Placement

You'll be responsible for funding your travel to all of your placements; however, your placement team will endeavour to arrange placements near to your term time address. There may be occasions when you have to travel further distances. It’ll be up to you to choose the most suitable transport to punctually attend your placements.

What types of activity will you be involved in?

You’ll be overseen and directed by a Clinical Supervisor and your clinical activity will encompass a wide variety of activities with service users.

These will include engagement in a range of procedural skills, and the development of diagnostic and clinical problem-solving and management skills, under supervision. This will be underpinned by the concurrent development of clinical communication skills, which are a central aspect of your role as a healthcare professional.

For each rotation, it is expected that you’ll have an initial joint discussion with your supervisor to formulate personal objective setting and action plans. Pre-placement briefings and classroom learning will help to prepare you for these conversations, through the discussion of potential learning opportunities, in each of the specialities, this will be your responsibility.

Practice Educators and Mentors will support and supervise you while on placement. They will help you organise your case load and answer your doubts. You’ll also always be supported by the University. The course team and link tutors will make arrangements to meet with you while you are in placement and also contact you to check in and make sure that all is going okay.

The placement blocks have been designed in such a way as to give you regular chances to return to university, where you’ll have formal and informal placement debriefs.