Prosthetists and orthotists deal with the assessment, diagnosis and management of the whole of the body. Prosthetists provide artificial limbs (prostheses) to people who have all or part of a natural limb missing. Orthotists provide supportive braces and splints (orthoses) to people with various conditions of the limbs or spine. Prosthetists and orthotists work with people of all ages and with different requirements.
On the course you will learn how to assess, diagnose and treat people requiring prosthetic and orthotic care. The strong practical emphasis, using our well-equipped clinical assessment areas, is taught in conjunction with relevant theory and background information.
This course offers the opportunity to learn through placements in prosthetic and orthotic clinics across the country. As you move through the course, you will gradually require a greater depth of learning and increased competency in dealing with people, meeting their needs and deciding on the most effective treatment to offer.
The NHS Constitution is at the heart of our recruitment and selection process for students applying to become health care professionals.
Read about how some of our students are helping a victim of domestic abuse in Uganda rebuild her life by supplying and fitting her with artificial hands.
Find out more about our PhD student who has won an international prize for her artificial limb research.
“It’s not like a normal university course where you sit in large lecture theatres with loads of students – it’s relaxed, classes are small, and your lecturers are friends. Each year gets more in-depth, but we basically spend a few days a week learning anatomy, pathologies and biomechanics that we apply to ‘clinic and workshop’ days where we go from casting a real patient to making a full leg across a few weeks. It is very hands on right from day one.
In second and third year we go on placements for each discipline, and I’ve enjoyed that the most. I got the opportunity to help a service user who had lost a lot of weight because their current leg socket was too big – by hand-casting a more modern design. I later heard that the user said it was the most comfortable leg they had ever worn. It was amazing to know how something I had done had affected someone else’s life for the better!”
Lydia Bowers, BSc (Hons) Prosthetics and Orthotics student
This course takes three years to complete and includes a wide variety of clinical, practical and theoretical learning. You will spend most of your time at the University but you will also spend time in clinical placements where you will get the chance to see real patients wearing their prostheses and orthoses. You will also get the chance to see patients at the University, within our purpose built facilities, and work with the latest technologies and equipment that are used for today's prosthetic and orthotic devices.
In this module you will learn about the basic structure of the human body, with particular reference to the foot, ankle and lower leg. You will also learn about the workings of the human body, with a focus on those functions that are particularly important to prosthetists and orthotists.
This module introduces you to clinical and workshop practice. You will be able to see professional patients and make and fit prosthetic and orthotic components for them, under careful supervision. This module focuses on the common lower limb prosthetic and orthotic conditions, introducing you to concepts that will be important not only here but later on in the course. You will spend two weeks within a prosthetic or orthotic clinical facility within this module, to help you relate the work you have undertaken at University with actual clinical practice.
Prosthetists and orthotists provide a valuable service in health care, both nationally and internationally. This module builds on what you will have learned in the introduction to prosthetics and orthotics but focuses more on the importance of the service and your role as a prosthetist or orthotists. You will also see patients, but with different prosthetic and orthotic requirements and levels of limb absence, building on your experiences within earlier modules.
You will study this module alongside students from other health care courses, engage in discussions on professionalism, codes of conduct, ethical issues, personal and social influences contributing to inequalities in health care. You will learn effective communication skills, ethical issues, professionalism and codes of conduct and relate these to health care practice within this module.
The Motion Analysis modules will foster your skills in the calculation of forces applied during prosthetic and orthotic management and the effect if they are altered. This module introduces and then develops your knowledge and skills in human movement analysis through the use of the human movement laboratory and classroom sessions.
This module will introduce you to new levels of prosthetic management for lower limb prostheses and enable you to build upon the common threads that run through the prosthetic clinical practice introduced in year 1. You will gain a greater appreciation of key skills associated with patient assessment and develop your clinical skills including casting, cast modification and prosthetic fitting.
This module will introduce you to new areas of orthotic clinical practice as well as consolidating and expanding your orthotic knowledge from previous modules. You will also gain a greater appreciation of the effect of functional loss to the orthotic user.
As a prosthetist or orthotist you will require a good understanding of human anatomy and how the body functions and related diseases. This module will provide you with a basic understanding of the anatomy of the thigh, hip and spine and its relevance to prosthetic and orthotic practice. It will also provide you with a basic understanding of the endocrine and immune systems of human body, and their relevance to prosthetic and orthotic practice.
As a clinician you will naturally wish to examine the validity of how current treatment plans are progressed or perhaps you may wish to explore new and different orthotic and prosthetic solutions. This module is designed to acquaint you with research methods and analysis which may be applied to professional practice and the planning of their own research. It will help develop your critical awareness of research design, particularly when reading other research reports. This module will also enable you to apply the theory from the previous 'Introduction to Motion Analysis' module to pathological gait. It will provide you with hands on experience of techniques used in biomechanical assessment. You will be introduced to methods of assessing gait in both clinical and research settings.
The placement period is shared equally between prosthetics and orthotics and is designed to introduce students to the more common clinical presentations requiring prosthetic and orthotic intervention. You will be exposed to clinical situations relevant to your prior learning and will actively engage in patient care. The placement will enable you to further develop their patient assessment and communication skills. The placement is located at end of the second semester in year two and extends into the summer period.
This placement is located at the start of year 3. It encompasses the whole of the first semester and extends over the Christmas period. Once again the placement period is split equally between prosthetics and orthotics. During the final placement you are expected to be able to consolidate your learning from the previous placements, particularly the recent intermediate placement. You will be exposed to an ever expanding variety of case studies where you will continue to further develop your clinical skills. You will develop a greater understanding of the rehabilitation process and in particular develop your skills in presenting viable management plans including problem solving and prescription ideas. You will also be able to demonstrate your ability to competently execute the key clinical skills (casting, measurement, cast modification, prosthetic/orthotic fitting) necessary to fulfil the agreed prescription.
You will be introduced to rare sites of amputation surgery and unusual orthotic clinical case studies. You will also be exposed to new developments within prosthetics and orthotics and encouraged to extend your knowledge in these emerging technologies.
Initially this module will enable you to reflect on the broader issues affecting health and social care, with a particular focus on prosthetics and orthotics. The content of the module will continue to develop your appreciation of the importance of evidence based practice within the clinical environment. The module will then focus more exclusively on your chosen profession. You will receive assistance and advice in regard to preparing for and engaging in interviews. You will examine and analyze the role of professional organisations and client organisations. You will learn how to deal with difficult clinical situations and how to interface most effectively with a wide spectrum of clients. You will also be introduced to different service models pertaining to prosthetic and orthotic clinical practice.
For this module you will conduct an in-depth evidence-based study on a topic of your choice. This will give you the opportunity to plan and execute your own work and explore the links between research and practice. In so doing you will be better equipped to enter into a clinical setting and investigate areas of interest in a clear and objective manner.
Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.
Unistats data for Prosthetics And Orthotics
Access to HE
60 credits, 45 at level 3, 30 at Distinction, the remaining 15 credits will be at level 2 and will not be graded
Five GCSE subjects at grade C or above including English Language and Mathematics. If you are in England and are taking GCSEs that are awarded from 2017 onwards, grade 4 will be required.
UCAS tariff points
GCE A level
ABB - Maths or Physics or Engineering essential at grade B or above, plus one other science subject at grade B or above.
GCE A level double award
128 (ABB) to include Health and Social Care plus A2 maths or physics
BTEC National Diploma
128 points, maths or physics essential at grade B or above plus one other science at grade B or above
Irish Leaving Certificate
128 points maths or physics essential at grade B or above plus one other science at grade B or above
32 points to include maths or physics and one other science subject
Access to HE
60 credits overall with 45 at level 3 with 33 at distinction, 3 at merit and 9 at pass
Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)
We welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we have received your application we will assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.
The University offers two routes for entry under the scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. As this course is part of the School of Health Sciences you will only be considered under Entry Route 1.
As part of the application process, you may be invited to an interview. Have a look at our top ten tips for preparing for your interview. If you are offered an interview following your application, you will be sent further information about what to expect and what you need to bring with you on the day.
English Language Requirements
International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.5 (with no element below 6.0) is proof of this. If you need to improve your written and spoken English, you might be interested in our English language courses.
We are looking for bright, communicative, practical people who enjoy the prospect of clinical practical work and also the chance to help improve the lives of others within a rewarding and exciting career.
Students will be expected to pay approximately £30 for health clearance from their GP. Please note, the charge for health clearance is at the discretion of your GP and can range from £0 to £120. In addition, students may incur other expenses during placements. Costs are approximated based on the current academic year.
You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.
Please note: For applications for entry in September 2017 or later, there have been changes to the funding of fees and a bursary will no longer be available. Please see more information on the changes here.
“I think the benefits for the students of working with me are that they are able to touch a residual limb on a real person and not a dummy. It gives them the confidence when they go out into the field. Also, I can react to them and tell them what they’re doing wrong, which a dummy can’t. I give them a human reaction, to work with a live patient, and I think that’s valuable."
Gabriel Olaffson, professional prosthetics patient
Self directed study
Practical work 17%
Written and Viva exams 35%
Clinical assessments and portfolios 22%
“I chose Salford because of its reputation in the field of prosthetics and orthotics and also its close proximity to Manchester. I loved the course, the best thing I've ever done. I would definitely recommend the course to anyone looking to study this field.”
George Coles, BSc (Hons) Prosthetics and Orthotics graduate, 2015
As a graduate, you can expect to be employed within a hospital or clinical facility within a junior position to begin, but with opportunities to become senior clinicians or perhaps enter into clinical management or specialism.
You will be able to work within the NHS either for commercial orthotics and prosthetics companies contracted to the NHS or directly for the NHS. Other graduates have gone onto work abroad, in research or in private practice. Jobs are predominantly advertised through the British Association of Prosthetists and Orthotists (BAPO).
Students who have studied this course with us have gone on to a variety of roles within the field of health including Medical and Dental Technicians and Health Professionals.
Links with Industry
Most of our placements will involve working with both private companies and the NHS. Some companies offer the chance of specialist trips, accompanying other students and health care professionals to parts of Europe and gaining excellent experience and work skills in varying environments.
As a student you can become an associate member of the British Association of Prosthetists and Orthotists (BAPO). On successful completion of the course, you will be eligible to apply for registration with the Health Professions Council. You may also become a student member of the International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics (ISPO) and become involved in professional issues on a global scale.
Prosthetics and orthotics workshops and labs
As this is a highly specialised profession, we aim to provide you with the latest tools and facilities that will enhance your personal development.
Students of prosthetics and orthotics are taught hands-on clinical practice while dealing with patients in our custom-designed clinic rooms.
Further practice is undertaken in our workshops which boast a well-equipped machine room with CAD/CAM facilities and the plaster room where impressions of patients' anatomy can be modified for the subsequent manufacture of custom-made prostheses or orthoses.
Undergraduate students have the opportunity to conduct motion analysis in one of three movement laboratories. Postgraduate students also carry out work on research towards their Master or Doctorate degrees.
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