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A Part-time Degree in Osteopathy – Things to Consider

Embarking on a new course in life is really exciting.  If you are considering The College of Osteopaths Masters or Bachelors in Osteopathy Programme then here is are some things which you might want to consider.


Research all the options

The College of Osteopaths Research Conference 2016

Make sure you know all about the programme you have selected.  Our course is a fully part-time programme from start to finish.  From year 1 to year 5.  The whole way.  If you are looking to study part-time how does this compare with other courses?

Two essential websites are www.collegeofosteopaths.ac.uk and www.osteopathy.org.uk.

Book Treatment

Patients at our teaching clinics benefit from a subsidised rate and expert care. They also are a vital part of our part-time degree course as our senior students complete 1200 clinical hours caring for patients overseen and guided by senior registered osteopaths.

Patients play a vital role in our osteopathic degree course. During exam times free appointments are sometimes available.


Booking in to one of The College’s Teaching Clinics is a great way to find out where they are, and how learning takes place there.  The best way to get an insight is to book in as a patient and have a session of treatment: telephone 01782 660000 (Staffordshire) or 020 8905 1395 (Borehamwood) or 020 77236478 (Marylebone, London).  Let them know you are considering taking up the course.

You might like to try and make contact with other local osteopaths and consider booking yourself in for alternative treatments.  Reflect on the different approaches, and whether you feel the practitioner role is really the one for you – and why.   Bear in mind that some osteopaths may be willing to act as a mentor for student osteopaths.  Our find an osteopath page might help you to locate alumni near to where you live who could tell you more about what it was like being on the course.


Visit an Open Day

Visit the University campus at one of the Open Days, to get familiar with the environment and the facilities for students.  Test out the journey time from home to the campus so that you are clear about the length of your day for teaching weekends.



• Make a financial plan that shows how you will manage the course fees over the 5-6 years of the programme, taking account of the possible need to reduce your hours (and income) if you currently have a full-time job.  Remember that the requirement to build up clinic hours increases as the programme progresses.  Research tuition fee loans or career development loans with a range of banks.  More information about help with fees can be found in our guide:   Tuition fees and help with payments

• If you have family commitments, discuss your plans and assess whether your network of support is sufficiently extensive and robust to see you through the programme.  Make contingency arrangements for childcare or other responsibilities so that you have a number of options if plan ‘A’ goes awry.

• If you have been out of studies for some time, consider signing up at a local college for an ‘Access to Higher Education’ course, the College’s own  Foundation Course or even a Step-Up to HE programme.  Our foundation programme only allows you access onto our own degree programme.  More details can be found here: Foundation Course Overview



• Ask the Programme Administrators for a copy of the reading list and order a couple of the texts from your local library. Use an anatomy book or website to start to learn (or revise, if you have studied anatomy before) a muscle a day: what the muscle does and which bones it is attached to.  Don’t buy any books at this stage, so much is now available online and in local libraries that most students get by with a handful of books.  Many books are also available very cheaply second-hand.  Once you start the course you will be able to talk to other cohorts and find out which texts they found most helpful.

• Get organised with a PC at home, and establish a quiet area for you to study.  If you are a little rusty become confident with e-mail, browsing the internet, downloading documents, and basic word processing.

• If you have not already done so, start to think about ways in which you can take care of your own health.  Good levels of energy and concentration, general resilience and a positive outlook will all help to see you through the next few years of study and self-development.  Nutrition, exercise, stress management techniques, friends and sleep all have an important part to play.

• Take a look at a couple of professional journals such as ‘The Osteopath’ to acquaint yourself with current issues for osteopaths.

• Check out the job vacancies and start to think about business prospects in the area where you plan to settle once qualified.  There may be a large osteopathic clinic already established, and there could be an opening for an associate in a few years time.


Complete your Application

Our application process is quite straightforward.  Simply complete an application form which can be downloaded from our website here

If successful, you will be invited to interview.  You can also opt to have an interview at one of our open days.


If you would like to discuss any of the points above or the programme, please contact the Programme Team: Staffordshire programme (01782 294596 or osteopathy@staffs.ac.uk) for the London programme: (020 8905 1937 or admin@collegeofosteopaths.ac.uk), for a chat.

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