Entry requirements and training (osteopath)

This page has information about the entry requirements and training needed to become an osteopath.

All osteopaths must be registered with the General Osteopathic Council to be able to practise in the UK. 

Osteopaths are trained to degree level attaining either a Bachelor’s (BSc) or Masters of Science (MSc).

Courses typically last four to five years and are a combination of academic, research and over 1,000 hours of hands-on patient-facing clinical training. This intensive medical training equips osteopaths with an in-depth knowledge of anatomy, physiology, psychology and pathology combined with robust clinical examination techniques.

Both full-time and part-time pathways to training are available.

Want to learn more?

Find a list of institutions running approved degree courses in osteopathy on our course finder

Find out more below about working as an osteopath.

  • To work in osteopathy, you will need:

    • a patient-centred approach, with an interest in people and how the body works
    • an ability to work by themselves and think independently
    • an ability to work with others, and follow rules
    • a scientific, enquiring mind
    • curiosity and creativity
    • independence and individuality
    • integrity, and the ability to take responsibility
  • Once qualified, you can join the Institute of Osteopathy.

    In order to stay on the register of the General Osteopathic Council, you’ll have to maintain your skills and knowledge with continuous professional development (CPD). Requirements for osteopaths include at least 30 hours of CPD every year, of which 15 hours must involve learning with others. CPD can include lectures, seminars, courses, practical sessions, individual study. The Institute offers a range of CPD opportunities. 

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