Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences Apprenticeships

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Our mission is to empower physiotherapy students to transform lives. We do this by facilitating experiences which allow learners to thrive by recognising, developing and leading through an enhanced understanding of themselves and others. 

Please watch our Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences Webinar for further information:

Our Higher and Degree Apprenticeships:

Physiotherapy Degree Apprenticeship 

About the course and qualification

Our Physiotherapy Degree Apprenticeship supports apprentices to make the most of their unique opportunities and develop enquiring minds through the combination of practice and research lead learning. 

Our apprenticeship programme is suitable for existing staff such as therapy assistants and support workers and people new to the health and social care sector. 

It usually takes 39 months to complete the programme (41 including the EPA period) which has been designed to be progressively demanding, professionally and academically, so that by the end apprentices can demonstrate mastery of the knowledge and skills specified in the level 6 national apprenticeship standard and those required to apply for Health and Care Professions Council registration and full membership of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.

How to Apply

Employer nominations for October 2023 can be made via The deadline for nominations is 10 April 2023.

Course content and delivery

Apprentices will spend approximately 60% of their time in their work-place completing tasks set out in their job descriptions by their employer, and 40% either attending university teaching, developing practice skills, completing personal study tasks or attending placements.

Spread across years 2,3 and 4 apprentices complete four practice placements in health and social care services outside of their employing team. These learning opportunities are identified collaboratively to meet the specific development needs of the apprentice. They are essential experiences that enable apprentices to apply their evolving expertise, develop their scope of practice and appreciate the diverse carer options Physiotherapy has to offer.

Course modules

The modules have been designed around 4 themes: development of self and others, professional craft skills, propositional skills and preparation for qualified practice. 

First Year
Applied Anatomy and Pathophysiology  This module will allow apprentices to develop their knowledge and understanding of the pathophysiology and anatomy of the human body. This will allow apprentices to consider the impact of pathophysiology on structure, function and wellbeing of the individual. 
Practice Based Decision Making  This module will give apprentices knowledge and understanding of the academic skills required for life-long learning. This will include critical thinking and academic skills such as searching, retrieving, appraising and reporting evidence to allow to apprentices to begin to engage with evidence-based practice. 
Understanding Self and Others
Apprentices will consider their own lived experiences, along with those of others through the contexts in which they live. Apprentices will discuss and develop their understanding of being a Physiotherapist, focusing on what this means in contemporary and evolving UK practice. They will also, and consider their own development as a student healthcare professional. 
Physiotherapy Led Assessment  This module will allow apprentices to develop holistic assessment skills for a range of patient presentations. The module will focus on the common approaches to physiotherapy led assessment, whilst highlighting and exploring the variations required when assessing different patient groups.
Second Year 
Developing Self and Others  This module will draw upon learning and understanding from the module Understanding Self and Others, to enable apprentices to apply, evaluate and analyse various approaches to developing themselves as professionals, and others such as service users and peers in a variety of contexts. This module will consider the opportunities and challenges of upcoming placement experiences, with a view to the ongoing development of the self, and others. 
Physiotherapy Led Interventions  Apprentices will develop holistic intervention skills for a range of patient presentations across different medical specialities. The module will focus on the common approaches to physiotherapy led intervention, whilst highlighting and discussing the any variations required when managing different patient groups, thus preparing apprentices for some of the multi-faceted clinical presentations seen in practice. 
Promoting Health and Activity  This module sets out to allow apprentices to explore the expanding role of physiotherapy in the wider context, by promoting healthy choices and activity throughout the lifespan (infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, old age, end of life). Apprentices will explore the links between lifestyle choices and the effects on well-being, and will learn skills in promoting the use of activity and healthy behaviours. This knowledge and skills will be discussed in relation to physical, mental and social health of individuals, families, communities and societies. 
Research Methods Apprentices on this module will develop an understanding and appreciation of research and evidence informed practice, building on the Level 4 module (Practice based decision making) where the paradigms and basic literature search skills have been introduced. This is a more advanced module where the apprentices will provide clear rationale for the evidence they have chosen based on the critique of the literature. Apprentices are expected to select a topic relevant to their own profession and inter-professional specific interest. 
Placement 1
Third Year
Leadership of Self and Others  Apprentices will consider their own development as future leaders, recognising how the contexts in which they will practice, are constantly evolving. Apprentices will learn about the concepts and theories of leadership, and will begin to develop skills to enable them to lead their own develop and that of others, in preparation for qualified practice. 
Research Project  Apprentices will be provided with experiences relating to how social researchers go about applying their skills and knowledge in an empirical investigation. Apprentices will be supported to identify a topic they find interesting, and wish to learn more about. Apprentices will then be facilitated to plan the organisation and timing of their work with a high degree of independence and self-motivation.
Placement 2
 Placement 3
Fourth Year
Preparation for Professional Practice  Apprentices on this module will be facilitated to be proactive in identifying their current scope of practice. Reflecting upon this, apprentices will then identify and develop strategies to expand knowledge and skills in their own chosen areas. Based upon these areas, apprentices will be able to select sessions to attend in order to proactively develop their current scope of practice. 
Placement 4

Course structure

As part of the assessment plan you will complete a variety of assessment methods, including:

  • Essays
  • Presentations
  • Short answer written papers
  • Viva
  • Research Project/Dissertation
  • Portfolio Development
  • Video analysis
  • Blog writing

Entry requirements

To be eligible to be an Apprentice you must be employed within a suitable setting, normally for a minimum of 30 hours a week.

Our usual entry requirements for this course are:

  • English and Maths at Level 2. For example: GCSE grade A-C/4-9, or a Level 2 Functional Skill in English and Maths, or Level 2 Adult Literacy and Adult Numeracy. If you have any other English and Maths qualifications at Level 2 please contact the Apprenticeship Hub at and we can confirm if these are acceptable.
  • Level 3 qualification with a natural science focus. For example A Levels/BTEC (115 UCAS Points)

There are no tuition fees to pay as your employer pays these for you. That means you will earn while you learn.

For our Full Time Option (non-apprenticeship route) please see: Physiotherapy | Subject area | University of Essex


Level 3 science module

Foundations of Human Anatomy and Physiology


The details
Foundation/Year Zero: Level 3
Tuesday 20 February 2024
Tuesday 23 April 2024
School of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences

About the course

This module has been designed to help people develop the science background knowledge to meet the entry criteria for the physiotherapy degree apprenticeship programme.

This module will provide students with basic knowledge and understanding of the structure and function of a 'normal' human body. By delivering the module virtually students will also experience and learn how to engage in university learning technology systems, further preparing them for future study at Essex.

The aims of this module are:

  • To provide students with a broad understanding of the normal structure and function of key human body systems that interact to produce human movement and contribute to wellbeing. Specifically, but not limited to the: skeletal; muscular; nervous; cardiovascular, respiratory, and immune systems.
  • To enhance students' knowledge of and interest in human anatomy and physiology by preparing them for the Physiotherapy degree apprenticeship programme.

How to Apply

The application form is available here:

Course content and delivery

This module will be delivered via:

  • 6 hours study time per week facilitated virtually. Composed of a combination of synchronous and asynchronous learning activities. e.g., 3 hours asynchronous / 2-3 hours seminar +/-1-hour of academic support.
  • Two days on campus:
  1. One at the module launch: Introductions, familiarisation and orientation to university, library, and teaching staff.
  2. One mid-way through for science practical session (spirometry) and opportunity to for academic and pastoral support if required.

A blended approach to delivery including a range of synchronous and asynchronous learning activities will assist learners balance their work, study, and personal commitments, and minimise impact upon local employers by not having to commit to staff day release. Asynchronous activities will have deadlines to assist student workload management and monitor progress. Moodle course set up and learning resources will be appropriately accessibility checked.

Module information

  • Gross anatomy and physiology of body systems: Resp, Cardiovascular, Neuro, Muscular (including muscle fibre types, tendons, ligaments), Skeletal (including ligaments, joint classification), immune and endocrine, renal.
  • Common cell structure and function (basic cell constituents/organelles) and Cell life cycle including pathogen cell types e.g., bacteria, virus, fungus.
  • Common tissue structure and function e.g., connective, contractile and cardiac tissue. Including voluntary skeletal muscle contraction - sliding filament theory and role of calcium.
  • Cell lifecycle: reproduction and necrosis, including gene expression/DNA/RNA and pathogen cell types – bacteria, viral and fungus.
  • ATP and energy systems and cellular respiration.
  • Enzymes, their role, and function in the body.
  • Acidity and PH - role of buffers, CO2 transportation.
  • Passive and active transportation of molecules and messages.
  • Gas exchange and oxygen and carbon dioxide transportation.
  • Action potential generation, transmission, and synaptic transmission.
  • Stress response.
  • Homeostasis and positive feedback loops. Regulation and monitoring of cardiac output, blood sugar, blood water, heart rate, CO2 levels.
  • Introduction to biomechanics: planes/axis, levers and forces, and centre of gravity.
  • Introduction to the relationship between human biology, psychology and sociology.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will be expected to be able to:

  1. Demonstrate understanding and knowledge of gross anatomy of relevant human body systems and their constituting parts e.g., common cells, tissues, and organs.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of normal physiological processes and their contribution to human movement and wellbeing e.g., energy production, nerve conduction and immune response.
  3. Gather information about key concepts from a range of appropriate sources and express subsequent understanding using accurate and academic terminology.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment = 100% Coursework

Reassessment = 100% Coursework

Module supervisor and teaching staff

Supervisor: Mrs Joanne Etherton (

Teaching staff: Jodie Teale

A student completes some work on campus
Want to know exactly what being an apprentice involves?

Head over to our blog to hear our apprentices sharing their own unique experiences.

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Get in touch
Daniel King Business Engagement Manager
Telephone: 01206 872137
Samantha Williams and Jordan Cohen Apprenticeships Officers
Telephone: 01206 872137

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