The studies in physiotherapy are tied to year-based study plans and carried out in periods where each academic year consists of four periods. Many of the courses require specific advance knowledge, which means that courses should be taken in a specific order. Upon departure from the set course programme, individual study plans are made to facilitate the course of studies. The education builds on integrative pedagogy, which means that most courses consist of both theoretical education and practical exercises. Project work, individual studies and written assignments are included in all stages of the education. The individual’s own responsibility for their studies and learning is emphasized and supported by individual instruction and group tuition.

Study achievements are assessed according to the student’s active participation in the instruction, reports, written and oral performance, demonstrations, essays and examinations. Written assignments and reports handed in after set deadline are assessed with a lower grade. Courses or parts of courses based on active participation as well as active participation generally have compulsory attendance.

The studies include the following study units: general studies, basic studies, subject studies and extension studies.

General studies

The student is familiar with information- and communication technology as well as other study tools that facilitate purposeful and self-directed studies. The student develops the linguistic competence in Swedish, Finnish and English which by law is demanded of public sector employees. The student is familiar with the Nordic welfare model and aware of fundamental structures in society, legislation and possibilities for entrepreneurship within their own field. The student masters the basic principles of the functions and leadership of organisations.

Basic and subject studies

The basic studies (30 ects) are titled Health and movement and consist of the courses Anatomy, physiology and biomechanics (5 ects), The human in motion (10 ects), The anatomy of the musculoskeletal system (5 ects) and Health promotion, sports and exercise (10 ects).

The competence goals of this unit are:

  • Knowledge in anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, sports, psychomotor and social development, control and learning are combined with an ability to assess and analyse the health, mobility and functional ability of the individual. In the basic studies the student develops a knowledge of the importance of the functional ability for the individual’s perception of health and quality of life at different stages of life. The student gains a basic knowledge of skills in health promoting activities and learns to apply models and methods with the purpose of promoting health on an individual and group level. He or she can plan and instruct suitable exercise for various groups and support the individual’s decision-making regarding, commencement and maintenance of healthy lifestyle changes.

The subject studies have two areas of focus with corresponding competence goals:

Clinical physiotherapy (65 ects) consists of the courses:

  • Medical studies 1 & 2 (5 ects + 5 ects), Physiotherapeutic assessment and methods 1 & 2 (5 ects + 5 ects), Applied physiotherapeutic assessment (5 ects), Clinical physiotherapy with focus on psychophysical physiotherapy (5 ects), Clinical physiotherapy with focus on the respiratory and circulatory systems (5 ects), Clinical physiotherapy with focus on the musculoskeletal system (10 ects), Practical vocational training 1 – clinical physiotherapy (10 ects) and Practical vocational training 2 – health-promoting physiotherapy (10 ects).

The competence goal of clinical physiotherapy:

  • The physiotherapist can assess and analyse health, motor- and functional ability for individuals of different ages. Based on this the physiotherapist can identify individual health resources and obstacles as well as mapping of these. The physiotherapist is familiar with the diseases and injuries treated in outpatient care and those requiring hospital treatment, has a therapeutic knowledge and can work purposefully in multiprofessional teams. The physiotherapist can, based on the resources of the client or patient, meet, treat and instruct him or her in daily activities that promote the physical motor- and functional ability.

Rehabilitative physiotherapy (25 ects) containing the courses:

  • Rehabilitation (5 ects), Rehabilitation – neurological physiotherapy 1 & 2 (5 ects + 5 ects) and Practical vocational training 3 – rehabilitative physiotherapy (10 ects).

The competence goal of rehabilitative physiotherapy:

  • The physiotherapist is a specialist within rehabilitation of individuals with handicaps caused by injury or illness. In the rehabilitation team he or she contributes with this knowledge with the goal of supporting the individual in participation and quality of life in their own living environment. The physiotherapist can support the client in seeing and using their own resources and make use of the possibilities different physical aids offer.

Extension studies

Through extension studies the student can choose a specific professional profile within the field. The extension studies are commenced during the first period of the fourth year of study and consist of both theoretical studies, self-directed studies and practice. Courses offered at Arcada or another institution are accepted as achievements for these provided that corresponding courses are not included in the other courses of the study programme.

Practical training

The programme consists of practical vocational training within the university of applied sciences and on health- and healthcare facilities. The practical training periods require accepted study achievements in physiotherapy and are completed in a specific order. The vocational practice is supervised and evaluated by supervisors and teachers. Practical training periods are performed in different parts in Swedish-speaking Finland, mainly in the capital area. The number of training positions is limited and positions are therefore distributed in consultation with the supervising teacher. A planned practice period can be cancelled only in exceptional cases, and at the latest a month prior to commencement. The portfolio method is used for documentation of the student’s experiences, knowledge, learning and development.

What is accepted as practical training?

As practical training such work where the nature of the work and functions are defined as being performed by a physiotherapist is accepted. The vocational training periods 1-3 have clearly defined goals that must be met in order for the practice to be accepted as the corresponding practice period. Practical vocational training 4, the goals and entirety, are agreed on with the supervising teachers prior to performing the practice.

When does the practice take place?

The first practice period is placed in the fourth period of the second year of study. The second period occurs during the third period and the third during the fourth period of the third year of study. The last, extended practice is placed in the second period of the fourth year of study, but can also be carried out at another time according to agreement with supervising teacher.

Practical training supervisors

  • Practice 1 and 2: Hannele Sievers
  • Practice 3 (neurology): Anne Kokko
  • Practice 4 (extended): Joachim Ring

Practice procedures and documentation

Instructions for procedures and assignments during the different practice periods are found in the respective course descriptions on ASTA as well as in the corresponding course site on itslearning.

Methodology and degree thesis

The studies are finished with a final degree project in the form of an academic degree thesis. The thesis is concerned with an area with professional relevance, preferably in close cooperation with working life within a project.