Explore UCD

UCD Home >

Practice Education Placements

Practice Education Placements at University College Dublin  

Practice education placements on the UCD Physiotherapy programmes ensure that students are prepared to enter the Physiotherapy profession by meeting the physiotherapy registration board (PTRB) (opens in a new window)standards of proficiency for physiotherapists (CORU 2019). 

Practice education placements are integral components embedded throughout the academic programmes, facilitating the translation of theory into practice and the achievement of the standards of proficiency.

Practice education placements provide the opportunity for students to observe and practice in a variety of clinical settings. The aim of practice education is to facilitate the development of the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary for professional practice. Practice education placements provide the graded experiences needed to develop from student to entry level autonomous practitioner.

During placement students practice under the supervision of CORU registered physiotherapists. Students are assessed on professional standards and behaviours, ethical practice and interprofessional partnership. For overseas placements, supervising physiotherapists must be registered with the appropriate registration board.

Practice Education Placement Hours and Experience 

Students must complete over 1000 hours of practice placement. Practice education placements occur in a variety of public and private clinical settings nationwide including acute hospitals, primary care, rehabilitation & disability services. Students complete practice placements in each of the following core areas: Neurorehabilitation, Respiratory and Musculoskeletal across the lifespan from paediatrics to care of the older person. The number, duration and range of practice placements, and their position within the programme reflect current practice and demands of the profession. 

Innovative models of practice placements in UCD physiotherapy include: the opportunity to complete practice placement in Africa and India with UCD volunteers Overseas and in UCD Hub at UCD Sport. 


Practice education placements are assessed using a nationally agreed physiotherapy assessment form called the Clinical Placement Assessment Form. The grades awarded contribute to the student’s final GPA. Students must successfully complete each practice placement module. Practice education placements are integrated throughout the programme and are assessed using different levels of Clinical Placement Assessment forms.

Student Preparation for Practice Education Placements

Preparation for practice placements commences on admission to the UCD Physiotherapy Programmes. 

On admission, students are required to  

In order to commence and progress through practice education placements, physiotherapy students must 

  • be compliant with UCD health screening and garda vetting policies 
  • have completed mandatory training and certification in CPR & manual handling 
  • complete online (opens in a new window)HSeLanD modules.

Policies and procedures for practice education placements are updated regularly and available in the Practice Education Handbook 


On successful completion of UCD Physiotherapy programmes, graduates are eligible for statutory registration with CORU. Graduates are also eligible to apply for membership of Physiotherapy professional bodies worldwide who are affiliated with World Confederation of Physical Therapists (WCPT), including the Irish Society of Physiotherapists (ISCP).

Practice Educator Resources

To view the list of Practice Educator Resources click here

Practice Education Team 

The UCD practice education team collaborates with clinical partners, both nationally and internationally to plan, develop and implement quality practice placement experiences for physiotherapy students. In partnership with service managers, practice tutors, practice educators, the UCD practice education team fosters a culture of continuous improvement in practice education & training to ensure practice placement supports the student’s attainment of CORU standards of proficiency.

Further information for current students, service managers, practice tutors and practice educators are available from the UCD practice education team. 

Useful Links

Click here for some more useful links.

UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science

University College Dublin Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
T: +353 1 716 7777 | E: public.health@ucd.ie