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What do Osteopaths do?

Osteopaths are health care professionals.  Osteopathy is the art and science of using their expertise in case history taking and their hands-on skills to make a diagnosis and then treat patients.   Treatment approaches are varied and are aimed at reducing pain and improving movement.  It is a profession regulated by the General Osteopathic Council.  It can give tremendous satisfaction to help people to feel better with treatment, and the contact with a wide range of members of the public makes osteopathy an interesting, challenging and rewarding job.

Where do Osteopaths work?

Osteopaths work in a variety of settings.  There are a few in post within the NHS but mostly osteopaths work in private settings.  This can be in private health clinics, large companies, sports clubs, doctors’ surgeries or in a clinic set up at home.  Osteopaths can be found working by themselves (sole practitioners) or as part of a practice.  The practice may be made up of just osteopaths or a variety of healthcare professionals.

How long does it take to become an osteopath?

The College of Osteopaths runs a unique fully part-time osteopathy degree programme which lasts 4 to 4.5 years to achieve the BOst (Hons).  The degree is validated by the University of Derby.

How part-time is a part-time degree programme?

There are 18 teaching weekends a year, some of these weekends will be delivered on-line so you are 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 a University campus.  These are the teaching weekend dates for September 2024 Entry.

We use weekend teaching facilities at Hendon Campus, Middlesex University for students based in the South and we use weekend teaching facilities at the University of Derby for students based in the North.  In addition to this there are staggered clinic hours which need to be completed at either of our two teaching clinics.   Many of our students join us with the aim of changing career and are in full-time employment through-out their training.  Some students decide that they need to drop a day or two of their ‘normal’ employment as they get into Year 3 and Year 4 of the programme.  Every student’s journey is individual.  Our course and our teaching clinic hours are structured in such a way as to allow someone in this position to achieve their dream of becoming an osteopath, but it is hard-work.  Our long history of part-time course provision means we understand the unique demands of combining work, family and studying commitments.

In addition to the teaching weekends, students have to complete 1000 clinical hours and see 50 New Patients over the course of the programme (4 to 4.5 years).  Clinical hours are obtained by attending the College Teaching Clinics (Borehamwood or Stoke-on-Trent).  The Clinics are open Monday to Friday and alternative Saturdays and students can opt to complete 8 or 12 hour shifts, depending on the opening times of the clinics and the capacity on the day.  Students are encouraged to attend the teaching clinic on different days so they can maximise their exposure to different Clinic Tutors and different patients.

Would I get to practise on real patients whilst I’m learning?

As well as the weekend lectures students will need to attain a total of 1000 supervised clinical hours by attending the College virtual clinic as well as the clinics based in Borehamwood and Stoke-on-Trent.  Details of the Virtual Clinic can be found here: Virtual Clinic

Here are some features of The College of Osteopaths’ programme that may be important to you when making your choice about whether you wish to start your osteopathic training journey with us.

  • The College offers a part-time degree programme that will provide students with the experience, skills and knowledge necessary to become an Osteopath.
  • The training at the College enables students to develop their practical skills from the start of the programme by providing face-to-face teaching in a safe environment.
  • Year 1 students will be able to gain valuable clinical experience from the start via the virtual clinic.
  • In addition to the virtual clinic, the College has two teaching clinics: one in Borehamwood and one in Stoke-on-Trent.
  • The training at the College enables students who successfully complete and pass all Level 4 modules to receive an interim qualification of a Soft Tissue Diploma.  Students are able to perform soft tissue techniques with appropriate insurance.
  • Our staff are friendly, supportive, accessible and professional.
  • The College prepares students to be professional, skilled individuals ready to join the osteopathic profession and contribute to the communities in which they live and work.

If you answer yes to most of these questions come to an open day and find out more.  Believe, Belong, Become.

The College of Osteopaths Bachelor of Osteopathy (BOst) programme

Making your mind up and preparing thoroughly:

  • Research all the options and make sure you fully understand the programme you have selected.  Two essential websites are the College of Osteopaths and the General Osteopathic Council.
  • Start to become familiar with basic anatomy and the main muscles of the body.  Some of our existing students recommend an anatomy colouring book as a good way of doing this.
  • Contact a local osteopath and book yourself in for an osteopathic assessment. 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.
  • Make a financial plan that shows how you will manage the course fees over the 4 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 via Student Finance England or career development loans with a range of banks.
  • 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.
  • Sign-up  for a Virtual Open Day and watch the video
  • Take a look at a couple of professional journals to acquaint yourself with current issues for osteopaths.   Review current research by visiting the NCOR website for a list of journals.
  • Research 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.

If you would like to discuss any of the points above or the programme, please contact us:

Email: admissions@Collegeofosteopaths.ac.uk

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