Bachelor's degree, full-time studies

Degree Programme in Physiotherapy
Bachelor of Health Care, 210 ECTS

fysioterapeutti (AMK), Bachelor of Health Care

  • Programme
  • Curricula
  • Implementations


The aim of physiotherapy is to promote movement, occupational and functional abilities by supporting the clients’ participation together with people close to them. The work of a physiotherapist includes, in particular, assessing and strengthening clients’ own resources for movement and reducing environmental restrictions.

Degree programme description

During the first year of studies you learn the basics of a physiotherapist’s work. The studies focus on the growth, development and learning of healthy persons at different ages. You also study anatomy, physiology and biomechanics. You develop your skills in functional ability assessment and basic physiotherapy methods. Language skills and communication skills also improve during the first year.
The second year of studies provide you with versatile knowledge of the disabilities caused by various diseases and injuries and the importance of lifestyles for human wellbeing. You study the related methods of health promotion and mobility as well as the methods of supporting occupational and functional ability as part of rehabilitation services. You also learn more about using and working with physiotherapy methods in cases of different target groups.
During the third year you apply physiotherapy methods in more demanding situations. You strengthen your professional skills in entrepreneurship, assessment of physiotherapy services, and in the research and development of physiotherapy. You also start your bachelor’s thesis.
The last term of the studies strengthen your expertise with your last clinical practice training. Also alternative professional studies and the bachelor’s thesis support your career planning.
Each term includes guided practical training, which is initially implemented on Savonlinna Campus (simulation environments, functional ability laboratory, learning projects), and later, as your studies progress, in different working environments of physiotherapy.
Alternative professional studies provide opportunities to complement your skills according to your career plan and interests. These studies cover courses of professional studies, multidisciplinary studies and entrepreneurship studies.
Optional studies enhance your professional skills based on your own choices. You can also choose courses from other degree programmes and universities of applied sciences.
The core competences of physiotherapy (180 ECTS credits) consist of the following modules of 15 to 30 ECTS credits:
• Human being as a whole
• Human functions and movement
• Physiotherapy in rehabilitation
• Occupational and functional ability promotion in physiotherapy
• Research and development in physiotherapy
• Working life skills in physiotherapy
• Developing expertise in physiotherapy
Complementary competence studies (30 ECTS credits) can be chosen from the advanced physiotherapy studies available, or from Xamk’s multidisciplinary studies or other universities of applied sciences.

Implementation of studies and flexible learning tracks

You can complete your physiotherapy studies as either full-time or blended studies on Savonlinna Campus. Full-time studies begin in the spring and blended studies in the autumn of 2020. Both studies take about 3.5 years to complete.
Full-time and blended studies differ so that full-time studies take mainly place as contact learning five days a week whereas the contact teaching of blended studies is carried out on Mondays and Tuesdays. Both studies involve different learning methods and environments varying from independent learning assignments and exams to group work, online learning, working life projects and practical training. There is more online learning in blended studies than in full-time studies.
The studies include 75 ECTS credits of practical training, of which 30 ECTS credits are carried out on campus and in projects in a variety of practical situations. The remaining 45 ECTS credits take place between the 4th and 7th terms of the studies as clinical practice training outside campus. You can also complete these training periods for example in your home region.
The beginning of the studies involves making a personal study and career plan based on which you receive advice to support, for example, your studies, clinical practice training, bachelor’s thesis and international choices. The personal study plan helps you design your studies according to your life situation as well as possible. Previously acquired skills can be recognised and accepted as part of your studies.
If you choose the so-called Scheduled track for your studies, they take place through group meetings and independent learning assignments following your group’s timetable. In this case, your studies proceed according to your group’s curriculum and its timing, and the standard time for completing the studies is 3.5 years.
You can speed up your studies through the Independent track, for example, by selecting online or summer courses or taking studies from the curriculum of an earlier student group. In this case, you become independently familiar with the study materials and complete the necessary learning tasks. Studies through this track involve more independent work and learning compared to the scheduled track. You can also speed up your studies by completing clinical practice training in the summer.
It’s also possible to complete a course or a module – partly or in total, through the blended track in your workplace or in projects, if you work in a physiotherapy organization or in a company close to physiotherapy or in a university project. In this case you need to demonstrate your competence according to the learning outcomes of the course or module.

Career opportunities

Physiotherapists work as self-employed entrepreneurs or employed by others, for example, hospitals, health centers, rehabilitation centers, research and nursing homes. Also occupational health care, sports and disability organizations, expert, educational and project tasks, social welfare services, day care centers and school and sports activities employ physiotherapists.
At work, physiotherapists assess the movement, functional capacity and disability of clients or rehabilitation patients in their own operating environments. The most common assessment methods are observation, interview, manual examination, questionnaires and various tests and measurements.
Physiotherapy implementation plans and impact assessment plans, which base on clinical decision-making and physiotherapeutic diagnosis, are drawn up together with clients. Physiotherapy methods are evidence-based and include guidance and counseling for health and functional ability, therapeutic exercise, manual and physical therapy, assistive devices as well as the design and ergonomics of clients’ operating environments.
Physiotherapists collaborate with many health professionals. Work is usually a day job. Competences needed in the work include skills in:
• physiotherapeutic research and assessment
• physiotherapeutic guidance and counseling
• physiotherapeutic therapy
• entrepreneurship
• physiotherapeutic development and technology
In order to develop professionally, physiotherapists follow the latest research and acquire further education. Would your dream job be, for example, in one of the following:
• Hospital
• Health center
• Rehabilitation center
• Your own physiotherapy company
• Occupational health care
• Research or medical facility
• Specialist position
• Sports or other organization
Only qualified professionals can work in the profession of a physiotherapist. Upon graduation, you apply for professional rights at Valvira, National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health.

RDI and cooperation with world of work

Students of physiotherapy are involved in research, development and innovation (RDI) projects. You can participate in RDI projects in different ways in connection with your courses and/or bachelor’s thesis. You learn to understand the meaning of RDI activities and its possibilities in the continuous development of working life. You learn to plan and implement innovative practices to develop working life in your field.
Xamk is involved in several research, development and innovation projects which develop services and products to promote wellbeing of the population. Bachelor’s theses can be integrated to the regional RDI projects or they can offer information or products to serve working life needs.

Learning environments

Physiotherapy studies are carried out in various learning environments. Learning is supported by the problem-based learning (PBL) approach where students work in small groups to complete learning assignments related to the practice of physiotherapy. You learn interaction, teamwork, self-management skills and responsibility which are requirements for working as a physiotherapist.
Studies on Savonlinna Campus involve learning in hospital and home simulation environments, function labs and in work-related projects as well as in Xamk’s Active Life Lab in Mikkeli. Online learning and remote connections offer you flexibility for studies, which are not bound by time or place.
A significant part of studying happens outside the classroom in working life during your clinical practice training in the field of rehabilitation (in hospitals, health centers, rehabilitation centers and in private clinics). You can choose your practical training environments and complete a part of the practical studies abroad. In addition to the traditional work placement, you can participate in different kinds of working life projects.