Studying and training to be an allied health professional

This page provides an overview of what to consider if you're thinking about a career as an allied health professional (AHP), what you can expect during training and your next steps, once qualified. There is also information on the financial support available for certain AHPs while studying at university. 

The allied health professions cover a range of roles:

*Art therapists first take a degree or have appropriate professional experience in a relevant subject, such as music or art, followed by an HCPC-approved postgraduate qualification.

Applying to become an AHP

The first step to becoming an AHP is to take an approved degree or postgraduate course. Osteopaths need to successfully complete a course approved by the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC). All other AHPs need to complete a course approved by the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC). You can search for approved courses for the AHPs using our course finder.

Additionally, some professional bodies also have their own accreditation system for membership.

Applications for first degrees are made through UCAS.

You can also train for some AHP roles through a degree apprenticeship. This involves working and studying at degree level at the same time. Details of the entry and training routes available are listed on the role pages for each career (follow the links above). If you secure an apprenticeship, you'll be paid while you are working and training. 

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for approved AHP degree courses and degree apprenticeships vary because each university sets its own entry criteria, but you are likely to need at least two (usually three) A-levels or equivalent qualifications at level 3, plus supporting GCSEs. Contact universities and employers directly to find out whether qualifications equivalent to A-levels or GCSEs are acceptable.

Entry is competitive, so aim for as high grades as possible. Courses often specify preferred or essential subjects, such as at least one science subject, but this varies from one allied health profession to another and even between courses for the same subject. Universities and employers offering apprenticeships will usually expect you to attend an interview.

Financial support while studying at university

Depending on the profession you are studying, you'll be entitled to receive at least £5,000 a year towards your studies while at university. Your personal circumstances may mean you could receive more. 

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