Osteopaths are trained to degree standard, attaining either Batchelor of Science (BSc.) or integrated Masters (MOst.) level. Courses typically last four years full-time or five years part-time and combine academic studies with over 1,000 hours of clinical training.
If you want to become an osteopath, there are a number of personal attributes that are required:
- Interest in people and how the body works
- Ability to work by yourself and be independent
- Ability to work with others
- A scientific enquiring mind
- Curiosity and creativity
- Independence and individuality
Entry requirements and tuition fees
Entry requirements vary but typically you will need Level 3/higher level qualifications in health or science subjects. Some institutions will provide access or bridging courses to help school leavers and/or mature students apply for entry. If you have qualified as a doctor or physiotherapist, you may be able to take an accelerated course.
Tuition fees vary between institutions. If you are a UK applicant and do not already hold a degree-level qualification you can apply to Student Finance England for a loan to help with fees and living costs.
As you may work with children and/or vulnerable adults, you will also be required to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. You will further need to be ‘fit to practise’. This means showing appropriate professional behaviours and adhering to the values outlined in the General Osteopathic Council‘s (GOsC) Osteopathic Practice Standards.
Where to study
Below are the higher education institutions currently providing a recognised qualification in osteopathy. There are both full-time and part-time courses available. Please check with the individual institution on course options and entry requirements.
- The British College of Osteopathic Medicine, London
- The College of Osteopaths, London and Stoke on Trent
- The European School of Osteopathy, Kent
- The London College of Osteopathic Medicine, London
- The London School of Osteopathy, London
- Marjon University, Plymouth
- ICOM at Nescot College, Surrey
- Swansea University, Swansea
- The University College of Osteopathy, London
The standard of osteopathic education provided in the UK is highly respected internationally and UK-trained osteopaths are in demand around the world. Regulations for using the title ‘osteopath’ can differ from country to country – if you plan to work abroad you should investigate the requirements of that country before embarking on a course of study.