Studying 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.

The allied health professions cover a range of roles:

•    *art therapists (i.e. art therapists, dramatherapists and music therapists
•    chiropodists (also called podiatrists)
•    dietitians
•    occupational therapists
•    orthoptists
•    prosthetists and orthotists
•    paramedics
•    physiotherapists
•    diagnostic and therapeutic radiographers
•    speech and language therapists

*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 a degree or postgraduate course approved by the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC). You can search for HCPC-approved courses using our course finder.

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

Applications for first degrees are made through UCAS.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for approved AHP degree courses 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 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 will usually expect you to attend an interview.

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