Bachelor in Physiotherapy

Course typeBachelor
Course sectorHealth Care
Course duration4 years
Starting dateSeptember 2019
DegreeBachelor of Science
Tuition fee (EU/EEA students) € 2,083
Tuition fee (NON-EU students)(specification) € 7,800

Physiotherapy at SaxionOur International Physiotherapy School, fully taught in English, is accessible to foreign students from any country. The programme has a duration of four years. Graduates obtain the Dutch diploma and are presented with a Bachelor degree in physiotherapy

Why would you like to become a physiotherapist?

Physiotherapy is a varied and interesting profession where you will work with your hands, your mind and your heart. You are expected to bring theory into practice with the right motivation to help people.

As a physiotherapist you will meet many types of patients and just as many different diseases, all needing their own type of therapy. Most physiotherapists are enterprising, sportive and energetic persons. They have wide interests and strong social skills. They like working with people and are not afraid of making contact with them. They are disciplined, systematic, and medical subjects appeal to them.

What do you think, does this profession appeal to you and are you motivated to become a good and dedicated physiotherapist?

Why you should study Physiotherapy at Saxion!

Physiotherapy and Physiotherapy Education in The Netherlands are well known over the world. The choice to study physiotherapy in The Netherlands is a good one and will offer you excellent background and a diploma that is recognized internationally. 

The specialty of our International Physiotherapy School is the personal approach and our investment in personal contact with and guidance of our students. We have a special international team of teachers to guide you through your study and stay in Enschede. Besides their profession as a physiotherapist and an expert in their own field, they take time to teach and counsel you in everything you need to successfully finish your study and become an excellent physiotherapist. During the studies, you have a great deal of personal contact with teachers and fellow students. 

Additionally, there is an optimal digital learning and working environment. This enables you to get into contact with others online and can find a great deal of information about the course.

Study Career Counselling

Study career counselling is counselling at individual level and in groups. You learn to fill in your studies in your own way and in accordance with your ability. You do not only gain insight into designing your studies and your competencies, but you are also prepared for life-long learning. Physiotherapy is a changeable professional field and the professional practitioner has to be able to move along in this.

Truly international

Our International Physiotherapy School has a high standard for internationalization for over 20 years. This shows amongst others in the presence of many foreign students, foreign projects, in which both Dutch as well as foreign students participate, but also through the way Saxion designed her education of physiotherapy according to international measures. A striking example of our international presence is the fact that there are students from 17 different countries in one class. Besides that, there are large foreign networks and agreements with international partners where we see the exchange of both students and teachers. Internationalization is also an important issue in research projects and clinical training. All of this contributes to an international development of the profession.


Physiotherapy at SaxionThe objectives of the study are to gain the knowledge and skills of Physiotherapy, and to reach a certain level of personal development. This allows you to practice as an independent professional, with a general versatility, after graduation. The course contains a mix of theory and practical education. You will learn the basics of the functioning of the human body (anatomy – neurology - internal medicine), disorders caused by psychological problems which influence the daily activities of the patient and practical skills in order to treat the patient.

In order to develop your professional competences, the curriculum focuses on:

  1. The Physiotherapist as a care provider:
    o screening, diagnosing, planning
    o therapeutic interventions
    o preventive intervention
  2. The Physiotherapist as a manager:
    o organizing
    o enterprising
  3. The Physiotherapist as a developer of the profession:
    o research
    o innovation



  • Basis of research and treatment and communication with clients.
  • Everything about moving the body - the development from child to older mobility - muscle function and strength development
    coördination and movement.
  • Measure the condition of a patient and provide group therapy.
  • Designing an innovative service or product knowledge of anatomical structures such as muscles and bones.

You work on your assignments in small groups and under the guidance of a teacher, who will also provide personal assistance to you. As the year progresses, the guidance of teachers decreases and your own independence will increase.

Study Career Counceling
During the year you will be coached by a permanent student career counselor and you will work on your skills and attitude to develop as a professional. The study career counseling takes place in specific lessons and group assignments as well as in individual assignments and appointments.

3 weeks of practical experience in Quarter 3. The internship is an orientation to the profession of a physiotherapist where you will observe the practical field of physiotherapy.


You choose two out of the three modules below.

A. Neurology and Internal disorders

  • Neurology: the science of disorders to it.
  • The central nervous system.
  • Internal disorders: systemic diseases and disorders to internal organs (heart-lung).

B. Orthopedics

  • Investigate and treat bones, muscles, tendons and joints.
  • Anamnesis and research: patients are coming today not only through a reference, but also on its own opportunity at the physiotherapist. You will learn how to determine whether you are going to treat a patient

C. Health promotion

  • Prevention is an essential part of the vision on physiotherapy. The physiotherapist does not primarily focus on illness and care during treatment. He stimulates exercise behavior that positively influences health and supports the client in carrying out activities. The aim of this approach is to increase or retain the client's participation or to limit the decline in participation as much as possible.

You will have 2 internships of each 3 weeks and you will compete both internships in your homecountry.


Two blocks of 6 months each. In the first one you follow a minor, the second one you follow regular education. You will combine practical experience with your own knowledge.

  • Process: research up to and including drawing up a treatment plan.
  • (Learning) Teaching about pain.
  • Working groups: Eg. Skill education - EPD – Organization.
  • Healthcare – Ethics.
  • Introduction to specific themes such as oncology and hand therapy.

In this year you will have three internships of 12 weeks. In addition, you will work on a project throughout the year. You plan your own internship and make appointments with institutes involved. At least one internship should be completed in an intramural setting (hospital, rehabilitation centre, nursing home).

Clinical education
The clinical education, which covers approximately one of the four years, can be done in one of several countries. The school has developed an extensive network of affiliated clinical sites in the Netherlands, Norway and Germany. We also offer the possibility to participate in very interesting projects in other continents like South Africa, Indonesia and India. Students are expected to go abroad for their clinical education, including their home country. To enable an adequate placement, students are expected to bring in at least one clinical education address.

Next to the generic Physiotherapy curriculum, Saxion has a specific focus on “Musculo Skeletal Physiotherapy” (manual and sports physiotherapy), “Rehabilitation for Patients with Chronic Diseases” and “Labour & Health”. Interesting projects and intensive collaboration with the professional field are based on these specialisms.

The Professional Roles and Competencies of Physiotherapy
The School of Physiotherapy of the Saxion University of Applied Sciences has been competency-oriented since 2016. This means that we work on the basis of the national competence profile of the physiotherapist. This profile is based on the professional profile of the professional association (the KNGF), published in 2014.

As a physiotherapist, you have to be familiar with a number of professional roles and accompanying competencies. The competence profile below contains an extensive description of what these roles and competencies are. All of these aspects are discussed during the course of Physiotherapy to prepare you for the practice of the professional field. At the end of the first phase (the first academic year), you have achieved all of the competencies at Level 1. After achieving this competency level, you are admitted to the main phase of the training, academic years 2-4.


This role relates to competencies related to your physiotherapy profession. It involves providing care with regard to health and movement to clients in a methodical way.

Health Advocate:

You will develop skills enabling you analysing and stimulating health and healthy behaviour of clients.


Exchanging verbal and non-verbal information with clients, (informal) care providers and other parties involved.


Carrying out activities with a focus on achieving common results, together with clients, professionals and other parties involved.


Using systematically gathered information for the motivation of physiotherapeutic choices regarding health and movement.


Directing activities, of your own and of others, within practices, organisations and networks.


Demonstrating and directing professional conduct, both in person and work-related as well as in relation to others.

The International Physiotherapy School uses a system of integrated examinations, which means that every examination (and combination of examinations) tests more than one competence.

Four forms of testing are linked to the international physiotherapy school: professional product assessment, a theoretical knowledge test and a skills test. An explanation per testing form of is given below.  

Knowledge based exams

The aim of knowledge-based exams in the Physiotherapy Programme is to assess whether the student has mastered the background knowledge pertaining to the subject matter. This knowledge is organised in the form of the ‘body of knowledge’ (BoK) for the programme in question.

  • Knowledge-based exams are held during exam periods.
  • Knowledge-based exams are individual examinations.
  • A knowledge-based exam consists of between 60 and 120 questions. The questions consist of a combination of multiple-choice questions (with two, three or four alternative answers) and short open questions.

Product based exams

The aim of product-based exams is to assess whether students are capable of taking an integrated approach, or devising an integrated solution, to an authentic professional problem, by delivering a concrete product such as a report, presentation, poster, etc.

  • Most product-based exams are held during school weeks (and occasionally during exam periods).
  • Product-based exams may be either individual or group exams.
  • Students receive information explaining how product-based exams are taken (including procedures, task descriptions and assessment forms) through the Blackboard learning platform.

Performance assessment

The aim of performance assessments is to assess knowledge, skills and attitude in an integrated manner and in a simulated real-life setting (at college) or in an actual professional setting (during an internship). Performance assessments are designed to test whether students have acquired certain competences, in an integrated fashion, in an authentic professional setting that is as complex as possible, in the light of the students’ level.

  • Most performance assessments are held during exam periods (and also during school weeks if the student in question is on an internship). Resits may also be held during school weeks.
  • Performance assessments are individual exams.

Development assessment

The aim of developmental assessments is to assess the student’s professional development.

  • Developmental assessments are designed to test whether students have acquired professional competence. This takes the form of a reflective interview that should be as complex as possible, taking account of the students’ level.
  • Developmental interviews are criterion-based interviews. Input for developmental interviews takes the form of a developmental report and the student’s portfolio.

The level of knowledge assessed is ‘showing and applying’

Study Team Meetings (STM)

Study Team meetings are meetings with a group of students who will be working together during the syllabus. In the end, you study for yourself, but especially by working together, you get further along and achieve more. For example, think of dividing activities for a certain assignment of which you share the results together. You discuss in the meetings which activities and studies are done prior to the next meeting. This is done individually or in groups.   

The study team meetings are partly planned with the teacher (study team leaders) and for a part without the teacher. The study team leader often guides you through the learning cycle and at the conclusion of an assignment assists with evaluation and reflecting on the result. You can ask him/her questions about the contents and about the work methods. You also learn to work together with your fellow-students in an effective way.  

Study Career Counselling   

During your training, you increasingly get responsibility regarding the filling in and organisation of your training. Within the Saxion Hogeschool, this is called 'the student's personal learning route'.

There is more to the organisation of your studies, making choices during your studies and putting your personal development into words, this is also something that you need to learn. Study career counselling is an instrument for supporting you with this and is an environment in which you can familiarise yourself with the necessary competencies.  

Practical Training    

The necessity of mastering skills becomes apparent from the learning tasks, which you process in the study team group meetings. Discussion skills, for example, are skills that make the meetings in your studies more effective. The profession-oriented skills that you have to learn during this quarter, among other things, are certain social skills and the observation of posture and movement. In this syllabus, the practical training is aimed at acquiring the basic skills necessary to work on competencies.  

The practical training classes are organised by your team of teachers. At the start of the period (Q1), the teachers make arrangements with you in practical training groups regarding the organisations, so that you can plan your time well.


In general, the teacher offers an overview of a certain theme or subject during the lectures. The lectures in this first quarter mainly focus on acquiring basic knowledge with regard to subjects relevant to the profession. Exclusively attending a lecture is not sufficient for this purpose, but it helps you to learn to see connections and structures in pathology, psychology, anatomy, physiology, health care, etc. Subsequently, you acquire knowledge by studying. 


A minor can be described as a coherent package of courses in addition to your course’s main subject. At the School of Health you can chose the following minor.

This minor’s first module is Research Part 1, during which the basic elements of scientific research will
be discussed. You learn to formulate a research question, find and assess literature, set up a study and analyse and interpret quantitative and qualitative aspects. Based on lectures and a pilot study, you will be going through all of the steps forming part of a sound study.

The following module is Specialist and concerns the practical provision of care to the client and the background knowledge necessary for this. In this module, you acquire the competencies for manual therapeutic interventions, among other things. Furthermore, you learn to treat sportsmen and which disorders can be influenced by sports

Application for the year 2019-2020 will open on 1 October 2018. You can apply if you meet the general entry requirements and the additional requirements set for this programme. 

Additional requirements

Senior secondary school (biology and/or physics are recommended). In addition, you need a good understanding of English in reading, writing and speaking. For Irish students a Leaving Certificate containing at least 6 exam subjects of which 2 have been completed on a higher level with the grade A, B or C, or H1-H4 is necessary.  

Application procedure

The application procedure for 2019-2020 consists of the following steps:

Step 1: Registration in Studielink and provide Saxion with necessary information

Step 2: Assessment - Motivation letter - Interview

Step 3: Confirmation of your selection

Note: valid registration and taking part in the selection procedure is only possible if both steps 1 and 2 have been completed successfully before 1 April 2019! Please read the complete procedure carefully.

Physiotherapy at Saxion

You have a great variety of career possibilities with the Physiotherapy course. Saxion students learn how they can add economic and social value to professional practice as practitioners starting out in the profession of physiotherapy. They are able to continue to learn and develop in the future.

Our school of Health is placed in Deventer and Enschede. The School of Health offers a wide range of health care programs at the highest level: Bachelor Nursing – Bachelor Physiotherapy and related Master education: Master Advanced Nursing Practice and Master Musculoskeletal.  

Research at the School of Health

The School of Health has two research groups: Nursing and Health & Motion. Both research groups focus on the improvement of professional practice in care and wellbeing and on the further professionalising of the professionals in care and wellbeing with higher vocational training. The research groups do so by means of:

  • Applied research;
  • Carrying out projects in cooperation with care institutions and organisations;
  • Offering master programmes;
  • Organising a variety of additional and extra training.

The lecturers Frits Oosterveld (Health & Motion) and Jan Jukema (Nursing) are very closely involved in the design and organisation together with the researchers of the research group and the School of Health.

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Video: 4 students talk about Saxion Physiotherapy!