Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

EU Physiotherapy Mature Entry

Key Facts

Course Title: Bachelor of Science in Physiotherapy
Award: BSc Physiotherapy
NFQ Level: Level 8
No of places:1 EU place
Start date: Each September
Course Length: 4 years
Mode of Attendance: Full-Time
Academic School: School of Physiotherapy
Accredited by: RCSI is a recognised College of the National University of Ireland (NUI), awarding the BSc Physiotherapy to its physiotherapy graduates. Graduates of this programme are automatically eligible for membership of the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists.

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How to Apply


Application process

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  • Applications must be made online directly to RCSI through the College website from 1st November 2017 to 01st March 2018. Although late applications are accepted until 01st July, places for the programme are competitive and early application is advised.
  • There is a 75 euro application fee payable by credit card.
  • The following documents are required for selection and should be uploaded as part of the online application process:
    1. Certified copies of academic transcripts including English language transcripts (IELTS) if applicable
    2. Non-academic references
    3. Copy of passport showing name, nationality and date of birth
    4. A passport style photograph
  • Applicants are required to nominate an Academic Referee as part of the application process. The Admission Office will then contact the referee and request that they provide a ‘Confidential Academic Reference’. The full name, title, position and contact details of the referee is required as part of the online application. It is advisable therefore to inform the referee and seek his/her permission to nominate them as a referee. Please note that the contact details of the referee are required as part of the application and it is advisable to have these details available prior to commencing the application process


Selection process
Applications are reviewed by members of the Admissions Committee and applicants will be selected for admission on the basis of open competition using the following criteria:

  • Academic Eligibility
  • English language eligibility, if applicable
  • Confidential references, a personal statement and life experience (work life balance, extracurricular activities, relevant work/ voluntary experience).

Competitive applicants are then selected from within the overall application pool and the most competitive cohort are offered the opportunity to undertake an interview. The interviews will take place in RCSI Dublin in April 2018.

Please see Related Links for guidance on Preparing your Personal Statement and Preparing for an Admissions Interview.



Course Overview

The BSc. Physiotherapy degree is a qualification for people who want to practice physiotherapy in Irish and international healthcare systems or in private practice. Graduates from this degree course are automatically eligible for membership of the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists.

The aim of the RCSI School of Physiotherapy is to educate professionally safe, competent, reflective and analytical physiotherapists who possess a sound scientific knowledge base, an understanding of the value of research and analysis, are responsive to the needs of clients and carers and are aware of the dynamic diversity of healthcare environments in which they practice. In addition, the RCSI Physiotherapy programme has a strong clinical emphasis with almost one third of the programme undertaken in a variety of clinical placement sites supported by dedicated clinical tutors.

RCSI provides the opportunity to study physiotherapy in a multidisciplinary healthcare environment and amongst an international student body. The RCSI Physiotherapy programme is an internationally recognised qualification and we are very proud of our graduates who are currently employed in a variety of clinical locations both in Ireland and internationally, including the UK, USA, Canada, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.

A career in physiotherapy offers you the possibility to work in:

  • Hospitals – in orthopaedics, paediatrics, cardiorespiratory, care of the elderly, neurology, musculoskeletal and sports medicine;
  • Primary, Community and Continuing Health Centres – visiting people in their homes, giving treatment, advice and appliances to help improve independence;
  • School environments – helping children with physical and intellectual disability achieve their full potential;
  • The Workplace – providing ergonomic assessments, pre-employment screening, risk management and educating workers in correct lifting and handing techniques;
  • Private Practice – assessing and treating a wide variety of muscle, joint and ligament problems;
  • Research


Location & Facilities

The School is located in central Dublin. Apart from having spacious and well-equipped teaching facilities, the school also has a modern movement laboratory containing state of the art measurement systems for use in teaching and in undergraduate and post-graduate research.
Measurement systems include:

  • Five camera Vicon motion analysis
  • Kistler force plate
  • 16 Channel EMG
  • Biodex isokinetic muscle testing equipment
  • Cardiorespiratory testing equipment




What You Will Study

Mature applicants undertake a 4-year programme. The Bachelor of Science (Physiotherapy) programme is delivered over two semesters in each academic year. Each module is dynamic and interactive, with a focus on Evidence-Based Learning. Teaching methods include lectures, practicals and tutorials and course material is distributed via an online virtual learning environment (MOODLE) to the student’s own laptop. Practical classes are halved to ensure an optimal tutor: student ratio.


Foundation Year
Students entering the four-year programme will complete Foundation Year. This year provides a solid foundation in the basic sciences (Human Biology, General & Medicinal Chemistry and Medical Physics) and introduces the student to the use of information technology in the health sciences through a Medical Informatics module. This involves a series of lectures and structured practical and tutorial classes.

Physiotherapy Foundation Year Modules
Medical Physics
Medicinal & Pharmaceutical Chemistry
Human Biology
Human Systems
Biomedical Laboratory Sciences
Introduction to Diseases, Diagnostics and Therapeutics
Introduction to Physiotherapy Practice


First Physiotherapy Year
During this year, the basic and social sciences fundamental to the study of physiotherapy are developed. In addition, the theory and practice of basic core physiotherapy skills – movement, therapeutic exercise, manual mobilisation and the use of electrophysical modalities- are introduced, utilising a problem-solving approach. Physiotherapy skills are studied in parallel to the core sciences facilitating integrated learning. A three-week clinical placement is undertaken at the end of this year.

Physiotherapy First Year Modules
Manual and Physical Therapies
Movement Studies
Methods of Enquiry
Health, Behaviour and Patient Safety
Professional Development
Clinical Attachment


Second Physiotherapy Year
In this year the knowledge and skills of physiotherapeutic practice are further consolidated. The focus is on the application and analysis of problems and their effects in key pathological areas e.g. cardiovascular/respiratory, neurology and musculoskeletal disorders and modules include Anatomy, Neurology I & II, Respiratory / Cardiovascular I & II, Advanced Musculoskeletal, Professional Development II, Behavioural Science and Research Methods I. Students gain an understanding of the research process and build on their ability to appraise and evaluate research literature. Clinical education modules alternate with 4-6 week blocks of academic teaching and focus on the core areas of clinical practice –cardiorespiratory, musculoskeletal and neurological conditions.

Physiotherapy Second Year Modules
Neuroscience Anatomy
Neuroscience Psychology
Research Methods
Professional Development
Advanced Musculoskeletal
Clinical Attachment


Final Physiotherapy Year
This year focuses on the integration of knowledge and understanding into reflective clinical practice. Modules cover more specialised areas of physiotherapy practice e.g. Paediatrics, Sports Physiotherapy, Care of the Elderly, Women’s Health, HIV / Oncology, Dermatology, Vascular pathology and Occupational Health. In addition, an understanding of health management and professional issues is promoted in a Management of Practice module. Clinical education modules again alternate with blocks of academic teaching and in the clinical setting, students encounter a more diverse and complex range of client groups. Clinical placement modules include paediatrics, women’s health, care of the elderly and advanced neurology.

Physiotherapy Final Year Modules
Research Methods
Advanced Physiotherapy Practice
Care of the Elderly
Clinical Attachments



Why Study Physiotherapy at RCSI


  1. The BSc. Physiotherapy degree is a qualification for people who want to practice physiotherapy in Irish and international healthcare systems or in private practice.
  2. The Programme is accredited by the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists (ISCP), a member organisation of the World Confederation of Physical Therapy (WCPT).
  3. Graduates from this degree course are automatically eligible for membership of the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists.
  4. First Irish School of Physiotherapy to have a programme successfully reviewed by the Australian Physiotherapy Council, allowing graduates to apply to the Physiotherapy Registration Board of Australia for General Registration.
  5. The Programme is included on the List of Quotable Qualifications approved by the Physiotherapists Board of Hong Kong.
  6. Early clinical exposure: Strong clinical focus of programme with over 1000 hours in a variety of clinical settings, where supervised clinical training is undertaken.
  7. Single focus on health sciences: RCSI is focused exclusively on educating healthcare professionals and every student benefits from being immersed in the RCSI multidisciplinary healthcare environment. The College’s teaching staff are experts in healthcare education and the RCSI Health Professions Education Centre ensures that students experience the highest international standards of teaching, learning and assessment using innovative methods and the latest technologies.
  8. Small class sizes and dedicated facilities.
  9. Research opportunities: Students are also provided with opportunities to participate in research through the RCSI Research Summer School.
  10. At least 65% of the undergraduate student body is from outside of the European Union, making RCSI a unique College in which to study.
  11. Access to a network of over 16,000 Alumni practicing throughout the World.
  12. Location: The College is located at the heart of Dublin city centre, within walking distance from a number of cafés, restaurants, shops and a large public transport network.




Student Testimonials


Having worked in Marketing for a number of years, I decided to pursue a career in Physiotherapy as a mature student. I began to research my options and in RCSI I found the perfect course for me. It was a difficult decision to return to study, but I was delighted when I received my acceptance into the course. It eased my mind knowing that RCSI take on a lot of graduates and mature students from a variety of backgrounds, aiding with the transition from working life back to student.

I can say without doubt that in choosing RCSI I made the right choice. While it is a challenging course requiring hard work and dedication, it pushes you to thrive and face each challenge head on, with staff and fellow students always there to lend a hand. It is a culturally diverse and lively college, with never a dull moment. Offering fantastic variety to its students whether in the form of societies, sports, social or study, there is something to suit everyone’s tastes.

Susanne English Student Testimonial

Susanne English
(Class of 2017)




Entry Requirements


In order to satisfy basic eligibility requirements, mature applicants must:

  • Be 23 years of age or older on or before the 1st of January of year of admission to the programme.
  • Meet the minimum entry requirements as outlined below in the Irish Leaving Certificate Exam or equivalent, including RCSI pre-approved Access to Science Programmes.


Irish Leaving Certificate

Candidates must present a minimum of 6 subjects [2 x H5 and 4 x O6] in the Irish Leaving Certificate to include Irish (unless exempt), English, Mathematics, a laboratory science, a third language plus another recognised subject.

The Pre-2017 Leaving Certificate Grading Scale can be converted into the New Leaving Certificate Grading Scale by using the table below:

Pre-2017 Leaving Certificate
Grading Scale
New Leaving Certificate
Grading Scale
New Points at
Higher Level
New Points at Ordinary Level
A1 H1/O1 100 56
A2/B1 H2/O2 88 46
B2/B3 H3/O3 77 37
C1/C2 H4/O4 66 28
C3/D1 H5/O5 56 20
D2/D3 H6/O6 46 12
E H7/O7 33 0


GCE A/AS Levels

Candidates must present a minimum of 6 subjects [2 x A2 level subjects (Grade C) and 4 passes (Grade C or above at GCSE level or Grade E or above at A2 level)] to include a minimum Grade C in GCSE English, Mathematics, a laboratory science and a second language.
A level applicants must satisfy minimum entry requirements (as outlined above) within three consecutive years, i.e. GCSE (2012), AS Levels (2013), A-levels (2014).


Other European Examinations

For specific information on points conversion of European Examinations other than those listed above, please check out the Guideline Entry Requirements for EU/EFTA applicants other than the Leaving Certificate.


English Language Requirements

Teaching in RCSI is through the medium of English; therefore, all applicants are required to demonstrate a high level of competence in the English language.

Applicants (whose first language is not English) must either meet the minimum English language matriculation requirement in their secondary school qualifications as outlined above or separately in the IELTS examination (academic stream) with an overall average score of 6.5 and no individual section lower than 6.0.

Note: All IELTS test results must be less than two years old at the time of admission.



Course Fees


Free Fees Scheme

  • RCSI is part of the Free Fees Initiative funded by the HEA. The tuition Fees for EU school leavers who have not previously attended University are therefore normally covered under the Free Fees Scheme.
  • Students are required to pay a student contribution fee for non-tuition costs. For the academic year 2017/18, the EU Student Contribution fee for Undergraduate Physiotherapy €3,860 per annum (comprising a student contribution charge of €3000, an IT fee of €475 and two one-off fees, a health screening charge of €250 and a National University of Ireland fee of €135).


EU Fees

  • Free Fees can only be drawn down once and candidates who have previously attended third level education under the Free Fees Scheme are liable for EU fees.
  • Students who are not covered under the Free Fees Scheme are required to pay the Student Contribution fee in addition to the EU Tuition Fees.
  • EU Fees are set by the Higher Education Authority (HEA).
  • In 2017/18, the overall EU fee for Mature Entry Route (including the EU Tuition Fee, student contribution charge etc.) is € 9,895 per annum.
  • The EU fee for the academic year 2018/19 is not available at this moment.






To review any of the following policy documents and statements, please visit the Policies page:

  • Am I an EU or Non EU Student (for application and fees assessment)
  • Applicants with Disabilities Policy
  • Complaints and Appeals Procedure
  • Data Protection Policy
  • Fees Policy
  • Fitness to Practice Information
  • Policy and Procedure for Admitting Students under 18 years of age
  • Statement on Confidentiality and Declaration of Interest pertaining to admission
  • Statement on Feedback pertaining to admission
  • Statement on Fraud pertaining to admission
  • Statement on Garda (Police) Vetting
  • Statement on Infectious Diseases and General Health
  • Undergraduate Admissions Policy
  • Undergraduate Schools Transfer Policy



Visit RCSI - Open Days and Education Fairs


Open Days
  • RCSI hosts a number of dedicated Open Days throughout the year.
  • The Graduate Entry Physiotherapy Open Evening provides potential applicants with an opportunity to learn more about the Graduate and Mature Entry Routes to Physiotherapy in RCSI and to meet with current students and staff.
  • For more details on the event, please visit the Open Days Page.
Education Fairs
Book a Campus Visit or School Tour
  • To book a guided tour of the RCSI campus, please email the Admissions Office at least one week in advance. 
  • Guided tours normally take place every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11am-12pm (outside of bank holidays etc.).





  1. What do I do if I am experiencing difficulties with my RCSI online application?

    Please ensure that you are not applying before or after the application period (1st November - 1st March). If you are experiencing difficulties please email the Admissions Office and indicate what the difficulty is.
  2. Can I have the application form sent to me by post??

    No, all applicants applying directly to RCSI (Non EU applicants and EU Graduate and Mature applicants for Physiotherapy and Pharmacy) must complete the RCSI online application.




Contact Us

Admissions Office Contact details:

The Admissions Office is responsible for the admission of students to all of the College's undergraduate programmes.

Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
Admissions Office
123 St Stephen's Green
Dublin 2
Tel: 00 353 1 402 2228



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