Osteopathy Programme

Bachelor of Osteopathy (BOst, Hons)

The BOst is a part-time degree course delivered in collaboration with the University of Derby. The programme is four years in duration with the option to take a further Semester should this be required to complete the clinical element of the programme.

The programme has been designed to meet the needs of an increasing number of students who wish to work whilst they learn and train on a fully part-time basis. The programme develops the educational and professional skills required for successful practice.   There are 18 teaching weekends a year, some of these weekends will be delivered on-line so you willl be able to study from the comfort of your own home and some of these weekends will be face-to-face and you will be required to travel to the University campus.  The clinic opening hours include evenings and Saturdays enabling students to continue with established work and home-life commitments throughout the duration of their course.

Our course is going through a re-validation: what does this mean?

We are continually looking at enhancing our course to ensure it is up to date and relevant. This means we may update existing modules and the way they are assessed.

This activity is carried out with the University of Derby, which is the University that validates the programme.  The programme is deemed as ‘subject to re-validation’ to make you aware that the course you are looking at is undergoing changes.

Any course listed as ‘subject to re-validation’ is in the final stages of approval.

In the event the course is significantly amended, we will get in touch to support you in finding a suitable alternative, at another provider.

Programme Structure

The course is a modular programme, comprised of three levels of study; Levels 4, 5, and 6, each level becoming successively more academically challenging. There are, broadly speaking, four strands of modules extending over the levels. These strands are ‘Hands-on’ modules, clinical modules, academic modules and professional modules.

Programme delivery is varied and includes on-line lectures, face-to-face lectures, workshops, self-directed home study and clinic-based learning.

The programme can be completed in 4 years, however there is an option to use the first semester (September to January) of year 5, to complete the final clinical module (CO(3)), making the programme approximately 4.5 years in length.

Download and view a simplified diagram outlining the modules, levels of study and exit awards here: Programme Map, BOst (Hons) Derby

Details of the way the programme is assessed can be found here: BOst (Hons) Assessments and should be viewed alongside the Programme Map above.

The Programme Specification B.Ost (Hons) is a detailed document about the programme.

Entry Requirements

The College of Osteopaths is committed to and experienced in, enabling adult learners to achieving a degree in osteopathy. The diverse skills, knowledge and experience of applicants with non-traditional backgrounds will therefore be considered. The minimum entry requirements below are therefore given as guidance only. Other skills and experience not detailed below, that may be appropriate, can be discussed at the interview stage:

5 GCSE subjects grades A-C including Maths and English and 2 Advanced level qualifications or vocational equivalents (preferably in science subjects) or,

A BTEC National Diploma in relevant subject or a degree awarded by a British University or,

An Access to H.E. Certificate or Diploma or relevant Open University modules

The College also recognises equivalent international qualifications such as the International Baccalaureate, and degrees from other disciplines.

The programme is delivered in English.  Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to produce evidence of proficiency in written and spoken English to Level 7 using the IELTS scale.  Please note that IELTS are only valid for 2 academic years.  If you have a different qualifications, from other countries, as evidence of English Language proficiency, please supply these with your application.

What to expect when you study Osteopathy

The programme is designed to ensure that you meet the learning outcomes to enable you to graduate as an Osteopath and apply for registration with the General Osteopathic Council.

The following outlines some of the ways we will deliver the ‘Learning Outcomes’ and Osteopathic Practice Standards and aims to help you understand what you can expect from the course.  We also outlines some of the expectations that the College has of you, as a learner, on a programme which leads to a professional qualification.


  • Flexibility and adaptability are important aspects of part-time study.
  • Study will be by a blended approach, consisting of onsite, in person sessions in addition to online virtual sessions.
  • Lecturers and college staff are ‘guides’ that will facilitate your learning journey. You must be prepared to be proactive in your learning and manage your own study schedule.

Home Study:

Lectures only account for a small proportion of your learning time. A 20-credit module will equate to approximately 200 hours of study. Some of these hours will be in-class learning or online virtual learning and the remainder home study.

It is expected that you will complete between 1-2 hours of home study per day.

Face to Face Lectures:

Please come prepared for your lectures. Bring with you any requested notes and make sure you have completed any pre-lecture reading. Electronic devices are allowed in class.

Punctuality, preparation and participation are key to success.

Zoom Lectures:

Try to ensure as far as possible that the session will not be overheard and that you have the privacy in place to engage with the lecture.

Please ensure you have a suitable work space set up at home, preferably in a quiet area where you are less likely to be disturbed.

Check you have a suitable internet connection. You may need to use an internet booster or ethernet cable.

Remember the same etiquette and mutual respect applies online as would in the classroom.   For more information on participating in Zoom lectures, please take a look at the Zoom Behaviour Policy.

Practical Sessions:

All practical work is carried out in a safe space and everyone’s dignity is upheld at all times.

  • Students will be expected to undress in the classroom. Although colleagues and lecturers will be respectful, please be aware that there will not be any specific changing areas or screens.
  • All students will be expected to participate as models unless there is a specific medical reason for having to sit out a particular session.
  • Practical sessions will involve locating relevant landmarks and tissues on all members of the class, including both genders. For all examinations and techniques, students need to be aware that they will be touched and touch other students. Close person to person contact is an essential element of Osteopathy.
  • As we are working on each other excellent hygiene is expected.
  • During a practical session, students are divided into pairs and the pairs are expected to alternate so students can work on different body types.
  • Please wear suitable underwear that covers intimate areas but that still enables your fellow students to carry out a thorough assessment. Shorts and crop tops are acceptable although not ideal. Comfy clothing that is easy to remove would be sensible to wear between the practical sessions.

For the majority of examinations and techniques, female students will need to undress to bra (can be a sports bra) and shorts mid-thigh. Males should not wear boxer shorts. Students have to fulfil both roles, observe and be observed, practice and be practiced on.

Application Forms

Once you have decided that The College of Osteopaths is where you would like to study please complete an application form and return it to us as soon as possible.  At our virtual open day there is often the opportunity to arrange an interview.

You can complete your application form online here




Osteopathic Practice Standards

Qualified osteopaths adhere to practice standards set out by the General Osteopathic Council. Our course will help you to build on skills you already have and develop new skills required to meet these standards. If you are interested in looking at the areas in which osteopathic practice standards are focused you can view them on the General Osteopathic Council website here


Student Finance Information

The fee for the first year of the programme (Year 1) for Academic Year 2021/22 will be £6935.  Fees are reviewed every year.  The tuition fee advertised to you by the College is the amount payable for the first year of your Programme.  If your Programme is more than one academic year in length, the Tuition Fees payable for the second and subsequent years may increase each year by the value of UK inflation (RPI) but in any event by not more than 5%.

Most undergraduate part-time students studying their first degree will be eligible to apply for Student Finance which is the student support package offered by the Government.  For information on how to apply and application deadlines please visit the relevant Student Finance website: https://www.gov.uk/apply-for-student-finance

Other additional expenses will include:

Clinic Coat: £30.00 approximately

DBS Enhanced Check: £49.00

Diagnostic testing kit: this kit can range from £30 to over £100

NB. Once students have enrolled the College arranges insurance with the Institute of Osteopathy (iO).  Should you decide to withdraw you will be required to pay the cost of this insurance as part of a cancellation fee of £100.  This cancellation fee includes a small administration cost of approximately £25.

Self-Funding Payment Options:

This is an example of how payment for fees can be made for those who are self-funding.

1. Payment in Full

2. Four equal installments.

If you wish to discuss finance issues as part of your research into whether this course is right for you please email us: admissions@collegeofosteopaths.ac.uk  Please also view the Credit Control Policy


Employment Prospects

This part-time osteopathy programme is designed primarily for mature learners wishing to re-train whilst they continue in an existing job or work around family commitments. The programme aims to lead directly to professional registration and in to the world of work as an employed or self-employed osteopath.


Osteopathy is a safe and effective form of prevention, diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of health problems. It uses manual therapy, exercise and advice, to promote the optimum environment for health, based on the individual needs of the patient.

Working life

Most osteopaths work as self-employed primary care practitioners in private practice, able to diagnosis and treat a wide range of health issues, although there are opportunities to work within the NHS and in secondary care.

They have expertise in the musculoskeletal system and its relationship to other systems of the body in the promotion of good health.

Osteopaths provide a package of care that includes a varied range of interventions specific to each patient, including:

  • manual therapy techniques
  • physical therapy (rehabilitation and exercise prescription)
  • health advice and
  • self-management guidance

Who would I work with?

Osteopaths are trained to work with patients of all ages. They are skilled at identifying a wide range of health conditions, and will refer to other healthcare professionals to achieve the best outcomes for the patient. A significant number of osteopaths work in private healthcare, working closely with other healthcare specialists.

Currently, the vast majority of osteopaths are self-employed although there are increasingly opportunities for osteopaths to work in the NHS in multidisciplinary musculoskeletal units, where they may work as part of a team including acupuncturists, physiotherapists, podiatrists and psychotherapists.

Attractions and challenges of the role

Osteopaths are able to spend substantially more time with patients than most professionals in primary care, and many osteopaths value this opportunity to provide more comprehensive treatment.

Most osteopaths work for themselves, which attracts many people to the profession and allows for flexibility in how the role is undertaken and less restrictive career progression, but does come with the challenges associated with self-employment.

‘Osteopath’ is a protected title by law. All osteopaths must be registered with the General Osteopathic Council to be able to practise in the UK.

The Institute of Osteopathy (iO) has some detailed information about why you should choose osteopathy as a career.


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