SHE Level 3
SCQF Credit Points 40.00
ECTS Credit Points 20.00
Module Code M3B125962
Module Leader Elspeth Donaldson
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject Physiotherapy
  • B (January start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Normally includes completion of modules in Level 2 of the BSc Hons Physiotherapy programme

Summary of Content

The Practice Based Learning placement is an intrinsic part of the physiotherapy programme. It allows students to develop and apply theoretical knowledge, extend and transfer practical skills and refine their problem solving ability as part of their clinical reasoning. Students will develop an awareness of wider managerial, social, cultural, and political issues. Students will build on their ability to reflect on their strengths and weaknesses in relation to their practice. The purpose of the university based taught component of this module is to allow students to acquire a deeper, more critical understanding of the efficacy and application of physiotherapeutic management strategies used in clincial practice. Students will further develop their research skills through database searching, a range of critical appraisal tools and grading tools for study quality to support the implemention of evidence based practice within clinical settings. Students will also reflect on the use of their chosen physiotherapeutic management strategies and its efficacy and feasibility for use in clinical practice.


The timing and delivery of the placement experiences are varied and not undertaken in order, therefore the syllabus for each placement is determined by the clinical/healthcare context and environment of the practice based learning experience itself. Content related to the taught component of the module will cover theories relating to adult/experiential learning, theories and models of reflective practice, standards of contemporary practice for physiotherapists (in particular the use of clinical assessment frameworks) and the need for an awareness and commitment to Continued Professional Development (CPD). Syllabus for taught university based component: -360b7 Critical appraisal skills through the use of a range of appraisal tools such as CASP and PEDRO b7 Use of rating scales for study quality and recommendation strength eg GRADE b7 Search strategies and reporting of results in a systemtic and reproducable format eg PRISMA Source and critically appraise research to determine the efficacy and feasibility of physiotherapeutic management strategies to develop evidence-based practice

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module the student should be able to:1. Demonstrate professional behavior and an understanding and consideration of patient/client rights and consent.2. Communicate effectively and appropriately using clear and accurate means of documentation.3. Identify adverse events/near misses and minimise risk associated with assessment and interventions4. Conduct effective patient/client examination (including interviews and physical assessment) and select appropriate health indicators and outcomes5. Demonstrate effective clinical reasoning skills in identifying and prioritising patient/client problems through interpretation of assessment findings and selection of appropriate intervention6. Demonstrate effective skills in relation to appropriate monitoring and progression of intervention (including education) and discharge of patient/client.7. Consistently apply evidence-based practice in patient/client care8. Critically appraise the available evidence regarding physiotherapeutic management strategies undertaken during a practice education placement9. Synthesize the available evidence to justify the efficacy and feasibility of the chosen physiotherapeutic management strategies in clinical practice10. Critically reflect on the clinical application of the physiotherapeutic management strategies within practice education placement

Teaching / Learning Strategy

Situated learning in the practice environment allows students to test hypotheses and evaluate and implement appropriate physiotherapy management. Placements provide students with a unique opportunity to apply knowledge and skills as part of clinical problem solving and reasoning. A variety of learning and teaching strategies are used routinely by the practice educator, e.g. tutorials, student-led seminars, opportunities for observation and peer-assisted learning. Collaborative peer-learning opportunities will be utilised wherever possible. Within the module independent reflective activities, both verbal and written, are undertaken by students daily. These form the basis of a structured portfolio of professional development which contribute to the assessment of clinical competencies of professional self-awareness and critical appraisal. It is expected that students will require a decreasing level of support and guidance, within a structured supervised and supportive environment, as they progress through their placement. New technologies will also be used in the teaching and learning strategies within practice based learning. Over the four years of study, physiotherapy students undertake 5 different placements on the BSc (Hons) programme. In order for physiotherapy students to gain experience across a range of patents/clients with a variety of medical and healthcare conditions, students visit a range of health care/promotion sites, as part of their need to complete a minimum of 1000 practice hours (placements 1-5, plus accrued hours from level 1). A variety of teaching strategies will be used with the emphasis on encouraging students to take an active part in their learning and in developing a critical approach to the literature and evaluation and application of the evidence regarding the physiotherapeutic management strategies identified in a practice education placement. In addition to curricular teaching facilitated practice education placement preparation and de-briefing sessions will be facilitated by the module team. The strategies will include: interactive lectures to introduce new material; tutorials for which students will be expected to have undertaken independent study / directed work in preparation for group tasks and / or class debate; individual and group presentations.

Indicative Reading

Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) 2011, Code for members' professional values and behaviours. CSP, London. Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) 2012, Equality and diversity toolkit. A practical guide for stewards, managers and members, CSP, London. Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP), 2012, E?Portfolio [Online] Available at: (CSP registration required) Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) 2012 Quality Assurance Standards for physiotherapy service delivery. CSP, London. Clouder L. & Sellars J., 2004. Reflective practice and clinical supervision: an interprofessional perspective. Journal of Advanced Nursing, Vol. 46(3), 262-269 Donaghy, M.E. & Morss, K. 2000, "Guided Reflection: A framework to facilitate and assess reflective practice within the discipline of physiotherapy", Physiotherapy Theory and Practice, vol. no.16, pp.3?14. Healey, J. & Spencer, M. 2008, Surviving your Placement in Health & Social Care, McGraw Hill Open University Press, Maidenhead. Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC). 2016, Guidance on Conduct and ethics for Students, HCPC, London. Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC). 2016, Standards of conduct, performance and ethics, HCPC, London. Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC). 2013, Standards of proficiency (SOPs) Physiotherapists, HCPC, London. Higgs, J., Jones, M., Loftus, S. & Christensen, N., 2008, Clinical Reasoning In the Health Professions, 3rd edn, Butterworth Heinemann, Oxford. Jasper, M. 2013, Beginning Reflective Practice, 2nd edn, Nelson Thornes Ltd, Cheltenham. National Health Service Education for Scotland (NES), 2008, Quality Standards for Practice Placements, 2nd edn [online] Available from: < > [Accessed 7th May 2019]. Pearce, R. 2003, Profiles and Portfolios of Evidence, Nelson Thornes Ltd, Cheltenham. Ward A & Gracey J, 2006. Reflective practice in physiotherapy curricula: A survey of UK university based professional practice coordinators. Medical Teacher Vol 28(1):e32-9 Williams, R.M., Wessel, J. Gemus, M. & Foster?Seargeant, E. 2002, "Journal writing to promote reflection by physical therapy students during clinical placements". Physiotherapy in Theory and Practice, Vol. 18, pp. 5?15.

Transferrable Skills

Participation in this module will enable the student to develop the following transferable skills: Critical thinking (analytical and evaluative) and problem-solving skills in a range of contexts Critical reflection and reflective writing skills Literature searching, critical appraisal and synthesis Academic writing skills Digital capabilities: ICT skills; information literacy, data literacy, media literacy and digital research and scholarship to underpin effective learning. Peer feedback and appraisal -181b7 Professional skills b7 Information management, administrative and time management skills b7 Interpersonal skills, self-confidence, self-direction and learning b7 Analytical, evaluative and problem solving skills b7 Reflection and reflective writing skills.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Lectures (FT) 6.00
Tutorials (FT) 14.00
Independent Learning (FT) 130.00
Assessment (FT) 25.00
Placement 225.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Course Work 01 0.00 40.00 40% 2500 word essay. Learning Outcomes 8-10
Placement 01 0.00 60.00 40% Assessment of Physiotherapy Practice (APP). Learning Outcomes 1-7