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Health placements

Information about professional practice for students on Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy courses.

The professional practice element of learning is integral to your course and an essential component of professional development and pre-registration education.

About professional practice education

What your placement is for

The purpose of professional practice is to provide opportunities for you to apply and develop your knowledge and skills. It facilitates the transition from student to competent practitioner by providing scope for practice and reflection in the field, complementing and supplementing your academic studies.

Professional practice education is provided in a variety of facilities, such as hospitals, private practice, health centres, schools and community settings. These settings give you the opportunity to:

  • Apply theory of physiotherapy or occupational therapy in practice
  • Work in real work-based situations
  • Learn by doing while working with patients
  • Use supervision to reflect on strengths and areas for development and to experience feedback on performance
  • Have active involvement in multi-disciplinary teams
  • Be responsible and accountable, managing yourself and resources within a professional situation

Placement requirements

You are required to complete a minimum of 1000 hours of professional practice education.

This is to make sure you fulfil the statutory requirements of either the World Federation of Occupational Therapists or Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, depending on your course.

For each module, you must pass all the learning outcomes in addition to completing the hours required.

Placement allocation and expenses


Placements are normally allocated 6 weeks in advance. All placements are full time.

Placements are sought within North Yorkshire, Humberside, North Lincolnshire and Goole geographical areas. We organise an annual trawl for placements, communicating with placement coordinators or managers in trusts, social care, private and voluntary sectors. 

The placement coordinator strives to make sure that you have access to a wide range of placement experience, including:

  • People of all ages with recently acquired and long-standing needs
  • People of all ages with different aspects of physical and psychosocial functioning
  • A range of diverse organisational settings

Local placements cannot be guaranteed. You may have to stay away from home, and meet the costs associated with this. Wherever possible, journey times will be kept to less than 90 minutes, but this is subject to placement availability.

Reasonable adjustments for individual students with mitigating circumstances, including specific health needs, may include adjusted placement hours.


It is important to budget for placement expenses.  Whilst every effort is made to minimise extra expense, it is inevitable that some placements will incur either travelling expenses, accommodation expenses or both.

Eligible students can claim back travel and dual accommodation costs associated with placement from the NHS Learning Support Fund.

Professional practice placement educators

You are normally supervised by practice placement educators who are at least 12 months post registration and have completed a professional practice placement educator's course module or equivalent.

The University is committed to the provision of continuing professional development relevant and responsive to service needs. This benefits patient and client care and student education.

Support for Learning in Practice (SLIP) multidisciplinary study days are delivered regularly throughout the year. The following may be provided:

  • Refresher days
  • Bespoke off-site workshops for placement providers
  • Consultation and updates for placement providers
  • Manager and coordinator meetings
  • 1 to 1 support as required


Further information about placements is available on Moodle or from the Professional Practice team.

You can book a drop-in session using the link below to talk to a member of the team about any questions you may have.

Book drop-in session

You can also contact the team by emailing or get in touch with the academic lead for your course: