man with prosthetic leg running

BScProsthetics & Orthotics

Why this course?

Prosthetics is concerned with the replacement of a patient’s limb following amputation. Orthotics creates devices that support a patient’s body to compensate for paralysed muscles, provide relief from pain, or prevent orthopaedic deformities from progressing.

The only way to join the profession of prosthetics and orthotics in the UK is by graduating with an Honours degree in prosthetics and orthotics, which is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council. Strathclyde's BSc (Hons) programme, within the Department of Biomedical Engineering, is the one of only two such approved degrees in the UK.

We offer the only four-year prosthetics and orthotics degree in the UK – the only course in the UK with Category 1 accreditation from the International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics.

What you’ll study

Prosthetics and orthotics science classes form a major element of the course. Practical sessions are based at the National Centre for Prosthetics & Orthotics and you undertake clinical placements in Year 3 & 4.

Year 1

In your first year you'll study:

  • Principles of Prosthetics and Orthotic Design 1
  • Introduction to Health Service Research
  • Human Biological Science 1
  • Foundations for Interprofessional Practice
  • Prosthetics & Orthotics Professional & Technical Skills
  • Prosthetic & Orthotic Science 1

Year 2

Second-year classes are:

  • Professional Skills for Healthcare 2
  • Human Biological Sciences 2
  • Principles of Prosthetic and Orthotic Design 2
  • Prosthetics and Orthotics Science 2

You'll also study an elective class of your choice during Year 2.

Year 3

In third year you'll study:

  • Human Biological Science 3
  • Principles of Prosthetic and Orthotic Design 3
  • Prosthetics and Orthotic Science 3 with Applied Health Service Research

Students in Years 3 & 4 undertake two clinical placements, one in prosthetics and one in orthotics. Each placement lasts a minimum of four months. You're placed in approved clinical facilities within hospitals or private companies under the direction of a designated supervisor.

Year 4

In addition to clinical placements you'll undertake a project intended to develop the skills of critical appraisal, analysis, review of the literature and presentation skills. Many projects are proposed by the NHS or private prosthetic/orthotic companies. There are also compulsory classes and a number of modules to choose from.

Facilities

The National Centre for Prosthetics & Orthotics houses state-of-the-art technology including a Siliconcoach® 2D video gait analysis system and CNC milling machine with robot arm.

Student competitions

  • Limbless Association awards a prize to the student in Year 1 and the student in Year 4 with the best academic performance
  • Ottobock Healthcare pls award a prize in Year 4 for the best clinical performance in prosthetics
  • Orthotic Education and Training Trust award a prize in Year 4 for the best clinical performance in orthotics

Accreditation

Approved by the http://Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)/ for the purpose of eligibility for entry to the HCPC register as a practitioner prosthetist/orthotist.

Course content

Year 1

Principles of Prosthetic & Orthotic Design 1

This class provides you with a basic grounding in the theory & application of the broad engineering sciences that underpin prosthetic & orthotic practice.

Introduction to Health Service Research

This class provides you with knowledge and skills so that you may adopt systematic approaches to gathering and interpreting information from a wide range of sources.

Human Biological Science 1

This class will give you a general understanding of key concepts in human anatomy and general pathophysiology to act as a basis for discussion in this and subsequent modules.

The physiology and pathophysiology of skin and cardiovascular system pathologies are examined in detail. The basic changes in metabolism that occur in diabetes are studied.

Foundations for Interprofessional Practice

The class will introduce you to current developments of policy and processes that direct the delivery of health and social care. It will enable you to identify key principles of partnership working through an awareness of the qualities and attributes of Health and Social care professionals.

Prosthetics & Orthotics Professional & Technical Skills

Professional aspects

The aim is for you to:

  • develop a patient-centred approach to the clinical practice of prosthetics and orthotics
  • develop the interpersonal and communication skills required to be able to effectively implement prosthetics and orthotics clinical and technical skills in a professional setting
  • develop the practice of self-awareness, self-appraisal, giving and receiving peer feedback, and the setting of personal and professional development objectives
  • develop the skills required to initiate and sustain lifelong learning

Technical aspects

The aim is to equip you with basic practical skills that will be required to enable you to complete the prosthetic and orthotic science modules within the Honours degree programme.

It will allow you to carry out the technical skills which are necessary within a clinical and technical prosthetic and orthotic service delivery setting.

Prosthetic & Orthotic Science 1

You'll develop knowledge, understanding and clinical skills (involving real patient experience) in the lower limb prosthetics and orthotics practice and patient management. This module will be in two sections:

  1. An introduction to the practical clinical skills which underpin prosthetic and orthotic practice
  2. Trans-tibial, ankle disarticulation and partial foot prosthetic science.

Year 2

Professional Skills for Healthcare 2

This class aims to help you:

  • develop a patient-centred approach to the clinical practice of prosthetics and orthotics
  • enhance your interpersonal and communication skills
  • encourage exploration and appreciation of ethical and moral issues in relation to the provision of prosthetic and orthotic services within the wider healthcare context
Human Biological Sciences 2

This class will provide knowledge of:

  • the aetiology and pathogenesis of congenital disorders
  • the physiology and pathophysiology of the nervous system
  • the detailed anatomy of the upper limb and spinal column and cord
Principles of Prosthetic and Orthotic Design 2
Builds on the basic grounding provided on Principles of Prosthetic and Orthotic Design 1. You'll learn to generalise the approaches & methodologies adopted in year 1 to a broader case set.
Prosthetics and Orthotics Science 2

This class will provide you with a knowledge and understanding of lower limb prosthetic and orthotic rehabilitation and management based on a patient centred approach. You'll gain knowledge of the basic and advanced clinical and technical requirements of becoming a competent and professional practitioner.

Cross-curricular, sequential links with other relevant and complementary modules will be established, e.g. human biological sciences, professional skills for healthcare, principles of prosthetic and orthotic design, and health services research.

Elective Class

You'll take an elective class of your own choice.

Year 3

Human Biological Science 3

This class will provide knowledge of the structure and functioning of skeletal muscle tissue. The effects of exercise on the respiratory, cardiovascular and skeletal muscle systems will be considered.

You'll develop an understanding of the pathophysiological changes underlying conditions affecting locomotion. Selected pathologies of particular relevance to prosthetic and orthotic practice will be covered in depth, including stroke, diabetes and contractures.

Principles of Prosthetic and Orthotic Design 3

The aim of this class is to develop your skills to recognise and respond to the trends that shape prosthetics & orthotics.

Prosthetics and Orthotic Science 3 with Applied Health Service Research

This class aims to give you the knowledge and practical application of:

  • Upper Limb Prosthetics and Orthotics (all levels)
  • Spinal Orthotics (all levels)
  • Case Studies (assessing complex multi-level patients)
  • Applied Health Services Research (statistics, research ethics and research methodology)
Prosthetics/Orthotics Clinical Placement

Students in years 3 & 4 are required to undertake two periods of clinical placement; one in prosthetics and one in orthotics.

Each placement is for a minimum of 4 months. You're placed in approved clinical facilities under the direction of a designated supervisor.

Year 4

Compulsory classes

Prosthetics/Orthotics Clinical Placement 2

Students in years 3 & 4 are required to undertake two periods of clinical placement; one in prosthetics and one in orthotics.

Each placement is for a minimum of 4 months. You're placed in approved clinical facilities under the direction of a designated supervisor.

Project

This project is intended to develop the skills of critical appraisal, analysis, review of the literature and presentation skills at level 4 of the BSc (Hons) Prosthetics and Orthotics degree programme.

Elective classes

Choose one from this list

Upper Limb Prosthetics

The class builds on the introduction to upper limb prosthetics studied in Prosthetics and Orthotics Science 3. You'll gain knowledge of advanced clinical and technical aspects required to become a competent and professional practitioner.

Hip, Knee & Ankle Disarticulation Prosthetics

The class builds on the introduction to ankle, knee and hip disarticulation prosthetics studied in Prosthetics and Orthotics Science 1, 2 and 3. You'll gain knowledge of advanced clinical and technical aspects required to become a competent and professional practitioner.

Lower Limb Prosthetic Design

The class builds on the introduction to prosthetics socket design, components and materials studied in Prosthetics and Orthotics Science 1, 2 and 3. You'll gain knowledge of advanced clinical and technical aspects required to become a competent and professional practitioner.

Orthotic Management of Spinal Deformity

This class helps you to acquire the knowledge and understanding of the sciences which underpin the orthotic management of common spinal deformities. In addition, you'll formulate and analyse treatment protocol for management of these patient groups.

Orthotic Management of Neurological Conditions

This class will:

  • present a multidisciplinary and patient-centred approach to the orthotic management of neurological disorders
  • enable students to synthesise and analyse their knowledge of the role of lower limb orthoses in the management of neurological disorders
  • review the available evidence base for orthotic intervention in neurological disorders, and use this to inform practice
Clinical Governance

The course will help you to gain knowledge of:

  • the core principles of clinical governance
  • practical and clinically relevant lessons on improving healthcare services from current national and international work
  • relevant references and reading
Clinical Gait Analysis

This class will give you an appreciation of the methods and levels of accuracy of those gait assessment techniques that are currently available. They range from the simple to the sophisticated, (or the inexpensive to the costly), and the advantages and limitations of each will be explored.

The module will help you to develop an awareness and practical understanding of the interpretation of the data and its relevance to clinically observed conditions.

Orthotic Management of the Diabetic Foot

You'll gain the knowledge and understanding of the sciences which underpin the orthotic management of the diabetic foot.

This class builds on the knowledge gained from an introduction to the orthotic management of the diabetic foot in Prosthetics & Orthotics Science 2. In addition, you'll formulate and analyse treatment protocol for management of this patient group.

Paediatric Prosthetics

The class builds on the introduction to prosthetics socket design, components and materials studied in Prosthetics & Orthotics Science 1, 2 and 3. You'll gain knowledge of advanced clinical and technical aspects required to become a competent and professional practitioner.

The class will build on the cross-curricular links with other relevant and complimentary modules, e.g. human biological sciences, professional skills for healthcare, principles of prosthetic and orthotic design, and health services research.

Assessment

Assessment is by exam and coursework. Clinical work-based learning is assessed in a clinical setting. Our range of assessments includes:

  • essays
  • written exams
  • practical exams
  • problem-solving
  • multiple choice questions
  • oral presentations
  • project work

The main exam sessions are held in January and May. The final clinical exams are oral exams, which are held after each clinical placement period, also in May and January. Final projects are presented as part of a graduate show each year.

Learning & teaching

Teaching is delivered by a variety of methods and varies between subjects.

Our lectures are supported by supervised tutorials and practical laboratory sessions. You'll work as part of small teams with patients to assess, manufacture and fit prosthetic/orthotic devices to.

The course includes two mandatory periods of clinical placement.

Guest lectures

There are regular lectures from Allied Health Profession colleagues including practice and service users.

Entry requirements

Minimum grades

Year 1 entry only. Year 2 entry not offered.

Required subjects are indicated following minimum accepted grades.

Highers

AAAB or AABBB (Maths A, Physics and Biology or Human Biology recommended A/B)   

Advanced Highers

Maths, Physics or Biology recommended

A Levels

Year 1 entry

BBB

Typical entry requirements: ABB

(Maths, one science subject)

International Baccalaureate

34 (Maths HL6, Physics and Biology or Human Biology recommended HL6) 

HND

HND Engineering including B in Maths for Engineering 2

Additional Information

  • Deferred entry is accepted
  • No offers will be made until candidates have been interviewed; confirmation of a place on the course is conditional on applicants having no criminal convictions or charges relevant to state registration
  • Due to the highly practical nature of the course, there is clinical contact with patients from the start; successful applicants will therefore be required to apply to join the Protecting Vulnerable Groups Scheme through Disclosure Scotland
  • For applicants who do not have a Maths or Physics qualification attendance at Strathclyde’s Summer School may be a condition of entry

Widening access

We want to increase opportunities for people from every background. Strathclyde selects our students based on merit, potential and the ability to benefit from the education we offer. We look for more than just your grades. We consider the circumstances of your education and will make lower offers to certain applicants as a result.

Find out if you can benefit from this type of offer.

International students

Find out entry requirements for your country.

Degree preparation course for international students

We offer international students (non EU/UK) who do not meet the entry requirements for an undergraduate degree at Strathclyde the option of completing an Undergraduate Foundation year programme at the International Study Centre. To find out more about these courses and opportunities on offer visit isc.strath.ac.uk or call today on +44 (0) 1273 339333 and discuss your education future.

You can also complete the online application form, or to ask a question please fill in the enquiry form and talk to one of our multi-lingual Student Enrolment Advisers today.

Fees & funding

How much will my course cost?

All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.

Scotland/EU

£1,820

Rest of UK

£9,000

International

£18,600

Tuition fees

If you're from Scotland, England, Northern Ireland, Wales or the EU studying an Allied Health Profession Course in Scotland you can apply to the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) to have your tuition fees paid.

Your entitlement to have your Tuition Fees paid may be affected if you have already undertaken degree level studies and you should contact SAAS for further information.

Living costs

If you're from Scotland, England, Northern Ireland or Wales you can also apply to SAAS for a non-repayable Young Students Bursary or Independent Students bursary.

If you’re ordinarily resident in Scotland can apply to SAAS for a living cost loan. Students who are ordinarily resident in England, Northern Ireland or Wales should apply to your home funding body (not SAAS) for your living cost loan.

Your entitlement to Living Cost support may be affected if you have already undertaken degree level studies and you should contact SAAS and your home funding body for further information.

Additional fees 

Course materials & costs 

  • Tool kit - £40
  • Safety shoes - £30 
  • Clinic white - £15 
*Students do not need to pay for HebB (if required), BCG (if required), or NHS tunic and trousers.

Please note: All fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.

How can I fund my studies?

Students from Scotland and the EU

If you're a Scottish or EU student, you may be able to apply to the Student Award Agency Scotland (SAAS) to have your tuition fees paid by the Scottish government. Scottish students may also be eligible for a bursary and loan to help cover living costs while at University.

For more information on funding your studies have a look at our University Funding page.

Students from England, Wales & Northern Ireland

If you’re from England, Wales or Northern Ireland you may be able to apply for help to pay your tuition fees and living costs from your local funding body.

We also have a few bursaries on offer for students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

For more information on funding your studies have a look at our University Funding page.

International Students (Non UK, EEA)

We have a number of scholarships available to international students. Take a look at our scholarship search to find out more.

Available scholarships

We have a wide range of scholarships available. Have a look at our scholarship search to find a scholarship.

Careers

Key sectors for graduate recruitment are the Health Service, in either NHS facilities or for commercial companies contracted to the NHS for prosthetic/orthotic services.

Graduates of the BSc (Honours) in Prosthetics & Orthotics at Strathclyde are eligible to apply for registration as a Prosthetist/Orthotist through the Health and Care Professions Council (www.hcpc-uk.org). Our graduates can also become members of the British Association of Prosthetists and Orthotists (www.bapo.com).

Graduates will also achieve Category 1 status certification from the International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics, which is the highest recognised accreditation in this field. Strathclyde is the only university in the UK with this accolade and one of only a few prosthetic and orthotic programmes across the world to have this international recognition.

Some of our graduates continue to postgraduate study or research.

Where are they now?

91% of our graduates are in work or further study.*

Recent job titles include:

  • Graduate Orthotist
  • Orthotist
  • Prosthetist
  • Prosthetist/Orthotist

Recent employers include:

  • AC Tonks Orthopaedics Ltd
  • Blathchfords
  • Buchanan Orthotics
  • NHS
  • Royal Adelaide Hospital

*Based on the results of the national Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education.

Contact us

Apply

How to apply – 10 things you need to know

  1. All undergraduate applications are made through UCAS
    Go to the UCAS website to apply – you can apply for up to five courses.
  2. It costs £12 to apply for a course
    The cost is £23 for two to five courses.
  3. The deadline is 15 January each year
    This is the application deadline for most courses. However, please check the details for your particular course. View a full list of UCAS key dates.
  4. You might be asked to attend an interview
    Most of our courses make offers based on the UCAS application. However some might ask you to attend an interview or for a portfolio of work. If this is the case, this will be stated in the prospectus entry requirements.
  5. It’s possible to apply directly to Year 2
    Depending on your qualifications, you might be able to apply directly to Year 2 - or even Year 3 - of a course. Speak to the named contact for your course if you want to discuss this.
  6. There’s three types of offer
    • unconditional – you’ve already met our entry requirements
    • conditional – we’ll offer you a place if you meet certain conditions, usually based on your exams
    • unsuccessful – we’ve decided not to offer you a place
  7. You need to contact UCAS to accept your offer
    Once you’ve decided which course you’d like to accept, you must let UCAS know. You don’t need to decide until you’ve received all offers. UCAS will give you a deadline you must respond by.

    You’ll choose one as your firm choice. If the offer is unconditional or if you meet the conditions, this is the course you’ll study.

    You’ll also have an insurance choice. This is a back-up option if you don’t meet the conditions of your first choice.
  8. You don’t need to send us your exam results (Scotland, England & Wales)
    If you’re studying in Scotland, England or Wales, we receive a copy of your Higher/Advanced Higher/A Level results directly from the awarding body. However, if you are studying a different qualification, then please contact us to arrange to send your results directly.
  9. We welcome applications from international students

    Find out further information about our entry and English language requirements.

    International students who don’t meet the entry requirements, can apply for our pre-undergraduate programmes.

    There’s also an online application form.

    For further information:
  10. Here’s a really useful video to help you apply

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