AUT - Physiotherapy: Bachelor of Health Science


Physiotherapy: Bachelor of Health Science

Physiotherapists help people improve their quality of life by working with them to overcome physical problems affecting their movement and function. This includes providing services when movement and function are threatened by ageing, injury, diseases, disorders, conditions or environmental factors. Physiotherapists assist individuals and communities through promotion, prevention, treatment/intervention, habilitation and rehabilitation. Physiotherapy practice is not limited to direct patient care, but also includes public health strategies, advocating for patients and health, supervising, leading and managing, teaching and research, and developing and implementing health policy.

The AUT physiotherapy degree develops physiotherapists who are recognised throughout the world for their knowledge, skills, innovation, and leadership in health care. AUT physiotherapy graduates are at the forefront of a profession that maintains and improves people’s health and wellbeing.

AUT offers one of the largest physiotherapy programmes in the Southern Hemisphere, and it is the only provider in the North Island.

Want to enrol in a programme: Apply online

Quick facts

Programme code: AK3313
Level: 7
Points: 480
Duration: 4 years full-time
Venue: North Shore Campus (some papers may be available at the South Campus)
Starting date:

  • 3 March 2014 (International students only. Domestic applications are now closed)

There are limited places available for this qualification.

Admission and entry requirements

  • University Entrance
  • English Language Requirements
  • Must be capable of meeting Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act requirements
  • Police clearance
  • Applicants over 20 without previous tertiary qualifications must supply a CV / references
  • An IELTS score is a requirement for any applicant whose first language is not English or Māori

Selection criteria

  • Preference will be given to applicants with:
    • NCEA: 56 level 3 credits over three approved subjects
    • CIE: 180 points on the UCAS Tariff. Full A levels preferred
  • Preference will be given to applicants with the highest level of academic achievement and/or evidence of accomplishments in the relevant field
  • An interview may be required


Below is a summary only. For a comprehensive overview of this qualification, please refer to the Academic Calendar

Year 1

You will begin by studying basic human sciences, communication skills and the political and social aspects of the New Zealand health system. In the second semester of your physiotherapy degree your focus turns directly to physiotherapy and you explore fundamental approaches to assessment and therapeutic touch. You will also develop an understanding of some of the core theoretical dimensions of practice and physiotherapy's emerging role in primary health care.

Papers (core or compulsory)
546112 Therapeutic Touch
546113 Fundamentals of Movement
546114 Exploring Health Priorities
546115 Passport to Practise I
555201 Human Anatomy and Physiology I
555101 Lifespan Development and Communication
555301 Knowledge, Enquiry and Communication
555401 Health and Environment OR 555339 Māori Health, Development and Environment

Year 2

You will be introduced to the management of abnormal function and physiotherapy assessment, including clinical reasoning principles, evidence-based practice and advanced physiotherapeutic theories that will provide you with clinical decision-making skills. The focus of Year 2 is on developing an understanding of the rehabilitation of disorders of movement and function, exercise-based rehabilitation and clinical science.

546221 Embodiment Health and Movement
546222 Principles of Movement and Function I
546223 Fundamentals of Movement II
546229 Exercise-Based Rehabilitation I
546230 Principles of Movement and Function II
546231 Analysing Health Needs

Year 3

You will be introduced to a wider range of acute and complex health issues in Year 3 of your AUT physiotherapy degree. This requires more detailed assessment, clearer clinical decision-making skills and more advanced treatment strategies, together with an understanding of reflective, professional and ethical practice. You will also be provided with a two-week student assistantship.

547331 Exercise-Based Rehabilitation II
547339 Managing Neuromuscular Disorders
547335 Acute Care
547336 Musculoskeletal Disorders: Diagnosis & Rehabilitation
547333 Managing Complexity in the Acute Care Environment
547337 Managing Complexity in the Community Environment
547338 Passport to Practice II
537334 Rehabilitation and Participation OR 527872 Māori Health Promotion OR 567431 Applied Primary Māori Mental Health

Year 4

The majority of the year is spent in a clinical centre, completing the 1,000 hours of supervised physiotherapy practice experience required for registration, as well as a Research Project paper that is normally completed in pairs.

547436 Research Project
547482 Physiotherapy Practice

Te Ara Hauora Māori papers

Students who wish to seek careers with a Māori development perspective should select 2 papers as electives.
555339 Māori Health, Development and Environment (instead of 555401 Health and Environment)
527872 Māori Health Promotion Or
567431 Applied Primary Māori Mental Health (instead of 537334 Rehabilitation and Participation)

We will support Te Ara Hauora Māori students to form relationships with Māori health providers, industry stakeholders and communities, and AUT Māori staff and students.

Video: A globally recognised physiotherapy degree

Career opportunities

Graduates work as physiotherapists in hospitals, health centres, clinics, schools, community centres and private practice in areas such as:

  • Acute trauma
  • Cardiopulmonary rehabilitation
  • Child health
  • Community health
  • Mental health
  • Musculoskeletal therapy / orthopaedics
  • Neurological rehabilitation
  • Older adults' health
  • Sports medicine
  • Teaching and research
  • Women’s health

Graduates and students of health science

Your other Bachelor of Health Science study options

You can choose to study the degree without a health major:

Or you can choose to major in one of the following specialised areas:

Or you can choose one of our clinical degree areas:

Other courses you may be interested in:

Last updated: 31 Jan 2014 1:45pm

AUT University, New Zealand | Copyright © | Privacy | Site map | IT support | Website feedback | Student feedback