The duration of physiotherapy course is organized in 4 academic years, divided into 8 semesters. Each semester is 13 weeks’ long. During the course of the first 7 semesters, studies include theoretical education, laboratory/clinical practice (clinically-based modules), seminars and practical exercises (clinical practice) in hospitals, medical institutions, rehabilitation centers etc. During the 8th semester, the final-year thesis (dissertation) and a 6-month practical placement take place.
During the winter semester the modules of the 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th semester are taught, while during the spring semester the modules of the 2nd, 4th and 6th semester are taught.
The course is structured on the basis of the student’s workload (WL), which is approximately up to 60 hours per week (750 hours per semester). WL for each module is estimated to be three times the amount of time for the theoretical modules (i.e. 1 hour of teaching corresponds to 3 hours of WL), and equal amount of time for laboratory/clinical modules (i.e. 1 hour of clinical/practical module corresponds to 1 hour of WL). For every module on the course of study there is a number of Teaching Units (TU) of the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). The total number of Teaching Units of all modules within each semester is thirty (30) and is divided between the semester’s modules. During the 8th semester, 20 TU are allocated to the Thesis and 10 TU to the practical placement.
The modules are organized in the following 5 categories:
Modules of General Background (GBM)
Correspond to the basic science modules which are included in the curriculum; these are Anatomy of Musculoskeletal System, Anatomy of the Nervous System & Internal Organs, Physiology, Pathology, Neurophysiology, Orthopaedics, Neurology, Surgery and First Aids. (9 modules).
Modules of Specific Background (SBM)
Correspond to basic modules whose scientific field of knowledge lies within the basic context of Physical Therapy. These are Biomechanics, Physiology of Therapeutic Exercise, Diagnostic Imaging, Ergonomy-Preventive Physiotherapy, Principles of Biophysics-Electrophysiology, Kinesiology of the Trunk, Kinesiology of the limbs, Principles of Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy, Principles of Neurological Physiotherapy, Functional Management of Movement Dysfunctions, Research Methods in Health Sciences, Presentations of Special Physiotherapy Topics, Foreign language– Medical Terminology (13 modules altogether).
Specialty-based Modules (SM)
Correspond to the physiotherapy-specific modules. These are: Massaging Techniques, Kinesiotherapy, Physiotherapeutic Assessment, Physical Modalities - Applied Electrotherapy, Clinical Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy I & II, Clinical Neurological Physiotherapy I & II, Sports Physiotherapy, Physical Therapy for Special Populations, Principles of Cardiorespiratory Physiotherapy, Clinical Cardio-Respiratory Physiotherapy, and Special Techniques in Manual Therapy (13 modules).
Mandatory Elective modules (MEM)
Correspond to mandatory election between modules, either Intelligent Systems of Decision Making or Prosthetics-Orthotics.
Modules within Management, Economy-Administration, Legislation & Humanitarian Studies (MELH)
Include the modules of Management, Economy-Administration and Legislation which form the basis for the organization and administration of businesses, clinics, laboratories and services relevant to Physiotherapy as well as other Humanitarian Studies. Such subjects are: Computer Science in Health, Ethics in Physiotherapy and Biostatistics (3 modules).
The majority of the modules consist of a theoretical component and a practical component. The theoretical component usually involves lectures, presentations etc. by the tutor. The practical module component includes clinical work, practical/clinical exercises, laboratory practice, tutorials, clinical case studies, individual and team essays, analysis of special issues by guest speakers, bibliographical reviews, video presentations etc. The clinically/laboratory based modules require obligatory participation throughout the semester and usually take place in a properly fitted environment, where the theoretical knowledge already taught to the students can be applied into practice. For example, in module where core specialties in Physiotherapy are taught (i.e. musculoskeletal, neurological and cardiorespiratory physiotherapy), the practical modular component takes place in hospitals, rehabilitation centers or other institutions (i.e. special schools etc.). In addition, the undergraduate thesis involves the study and the examination of an up-to-date physiotherapy-related topic involving clinical and theoretical elaboration of the scientific topic, critical analysis of the literature and evidence-based approach written on the field of study. Finally, the final practical placement (or Practical Training or Traineeship), involves a 6-month supervised clinical placement, which takes place in hospitals, rehabilitation centers or other collaborating places and institutions ( where physiotherapy practice takes place).
In order to obtain their degree, students need to have successfully completed all modules of general background, specific background, and specialization as well as the 4 modules of cognitive contents of administration, economy, legislation and humanitarian studies. Students also need to have completed and passed their final-year Thesis and have finished their 6-month Practical Training. To sum up, for students to be awarded the Physiotherapy Degree they have to be successfully examined in all 40 modules, including the Thesis and the Practical Placement, thus to obtain 240 credits (ECTS).
Throughout all modules, special importance is given to the individual abilities of each student, including the development of initiatives, critical thinking, clinical reasoning and their ability to solve problems.