Clinical exercise and rehabilitation - Physiotherapy

Use your exercise science knowledge to work as a physiotherapist. They diagnose and treat acute injury as well as disease and disability.

What do Physiotherapists do?

Physiotherapists assess, diagnose and treat people with movement challenges often related to joint, muscle or nerve disorders. The main role of a physiotherapist is to assist and treat people with physical problems caused by injury, illness, surgery or ageing. They use a range of methods to treat individuals including manual therapies, eg joint manipulation and mobilisation, massage, manual resistance training and stretching. They may use exercise programs such as strengthening or posture retraining and finally they may use electrotherapy, laser therapy and ultrasound.  Jobs vary from day to day, one day you might diagnose an injury or implement a treatment place, other days you might be helping people use gait aids such as walking frames or wheelchairs.

Where are the jobs?

The most common areas of physiotherapy practice in descending order are musculoskeletal, aged care, cardiorespiratory, neurological, paediatrics, sports and women’s health.  There are over 23000 registered physiotherapists and there is continued demand for jobs, especially in regional areas. Physiotherapists work in a variety of environments but mainly in hospitals, community health centres, private practices, aged care and sports clubs.

Job titles to search


Research assistant

Rehabilitation consultant

Skills required for the job

Physiotherapists have skills in prescribing utilising manual therapies and exercise to treat patients. They need to

- have skills in communication, patience, sensitivity and tact.

-have an ability to work in a team.

-perform functional evaluation assessments

How to develop your skills

To give yourself the best opportunity to be job ready at the end of your degree, it is recommend that you:

Volunteer your time in opportunities that allow you to prescribe exercise or be exposed to manual therapies. This can be with healthy clientele, athletes or individuals with injury or disease

Attend Professional organisation events or seminars and set yourself a goal to meet two new people every time you attend

Seek paid work as an allied health assistant

What units or courses to study at Deakin

Physiotherapy is not offered at Deakin. The closest options include Master of Clinical Exercise Physiology  or Occupational Therapy. Other universities offer undergraduate physiotherapy (4 year option) or graduate entry (2 years) with most post graduate offerings being full fee. Each university wil have their own entry requirements for Physiotherapy.


To become a Physiotherapist you will require a relevant undergraduate or postgraduate qualification. You then need to register as a Physiotherapist with the Physiotherapy Board of Australia

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