Entry requirements and training (podiatrist)
This page has information on the entry requirements and training needed to practice as a podiatrist.
To practice as a podiatrist, you must be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). In order to register with the HCPC, you first need to successfully complete an approved degree (BSc) or Masters programme (MSc) in podiatry.
Degree courses take three or four years on a full time basis or four and a half years part time. Courses differ but all involve a lot of practical work with patients. To get onto a podiatry degree course you usually need:
- three A levels, including a biological science, along with five GCSEs (grades A-C), including English language, maths and science
- or alternative qualifications, including
- BTEC, HND or HNC which includes biological science
- relevant NVQ
- science-based access course
- equivalent Scottish or Irish qualifications
- a previous degree or a full practising qualification in a related area.
Masters programmes (MSc) usually take 2 years and like the degree programmes, involve clinical practice and academic study. You'll usually need a relevant degree to be able to get onto the masters programme.
However, each institution sets its own entry requirements, so it’s important to check carefully. Wherever you study, you will need to show that you have an understanding of podiatry and how it benefits patients. It is a good idea to spend some time with a registered podiatrist to see what the work is like.
A degree apprenticeship standard in podiatry has been approved by the HCPC. To get onto a degree apprenticeship, you will need to apply for an apprentice position with a health care provider. You can search for vacancies on the NHS Jobs website and Find an Apprenticeship website.
Once you’ve successfully completed a programme approved by the HCPC, you are then eligible to apply for registration with the HCPC. Once registered as a practitioner, you’ll be required to retain your name on the register by keeping your knowledge and skills up to date and paying an annual retention fee.
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Podiatrists need to be
- happy to handle other peoples’ feet
- good listeners
- caring and dedicated
- willing to work alone or in a team
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Skills needed to be a podiatrist include
- good manual (hand) skills
- organisation skills
- good communication skills
- ability to explain treatment to patients
- business skills for private practice