The profession of podiatry
has developed from its origins in chiropody
to become a medical speciality dealing with
assessment, diagnosis and treatment of the lower
limb. Podiatry has developed a broad scope of
practice focusing on the use of scientific principals
for the diagnosis, evaluation and treatment
of a wide range of lower limb disorders.
Podiatrists are autonomous professionals who
may also work as part of a multi-disciplinary
team within healthcare. They are enthusiastic,
independent professionals who are able to adapt
to working in a variety of clinical environments
both within the National Health Service and
the private sector. Podiatry continues to be
a developing progressive profession enhancing
patient mobility and quality of life.
In order to become a State Registered practitioner
you have to undertake and pass a full time honours
degree in Podiatry. This degree is offered at
only 13 schools of podiatry within the UK, so
each year the number of places is very limited.
The structure of the degree programme awarding
a BSc(Hons) in Podiatry is modular. This means
you are required to study each area of the course
in small sections (modules) which are all assessed
separately. Each year of the programme comprises
of both theoretical and clinical modules. Clinical
work begins in year one of most courses.
Though the content of the course is more or
less the same in all of the 13 schools of podiatry,
the actual delivery of the material can vary
considerably. Some sessions will be classroom
based others may be clinic or laboratory based.
Some sessions will be lecturer led others may
be student led. Some will be theoretical teaching
sessions, others will be practical. You may
well be spending some time away from college
on work or observational placements.
Fees for overseas students (those from non
EEU countries) vary between institutions. The
total cost including maintenance per year should
be ascertained from the individual institutions.
Applications to all of the schools of podiatry
in the UK may be made directly through each
individual university. Enquiries should be directed
to the admissions tutor for BSc(Hons) Podiatry
Contact details for the 13 schools can
be found on our web site www.feetforlife.org
Graduate employment rates vary but are generally
excellent. Currently of those who want a job
about 75% of students are employed within 4
months of graduation and 100% by 8 to 9 months.
This is excellent compared with many other graduate
The podiatry undergraduate programme is very
intensive and requires considerable dedication
on the part of the student. As an intrical part
of undergraduate study, podiatry students also
have to undertake 1,000 clinical hours before
they can graduate. This makes for long days
at college and many evenings studying like most
medically based degrees such as dentistry or
Working as a Podiatrst
Working as a podiatrist can be exiting and rewarding
because it involves working in a variety of
environments with a number of other health care
professionals and many different groups of patients
who have a wide range of podiatric problems.
The scope of practice of a podiatrist is often
much wider than many people realise. The work
falls in to five key categories: general clinics,
biomechanics, high risk patient management,
surgery, and private practice. As State Registered
practitioners many podiatrists work in the National
Health Service, in private practice or both.
There are though, many other places podiatrists
can work for example:
You may well end up working in more than one
of the above areas. The profession of podiatry
can offer the ultimate in flexible working.
Both your career path and the hours you work
can be flexible. This is particularly attractive
to those with family commitments, for example.
The degree of flexibility though does depend
on the areas you choose to work in.
Continuing Professional Development
As practitioners we never stop learning, it
is an important part of our professional development
and our commitment to providing patients with
the best care possible.
The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists
has a programme of continuing professional development
(CPD) which can be accessed through its Virtual
Learning Centre. The centre covers all areas
of professional development. It uses state of
the art Internet technology to allow practitioners
to continue their professional development wherever
in the world they are based. It also contains
a reading room, discussion forums and an events
It will soon be a requirement of State Registration
that practitioners will have to undertake a
number of CPD activities each year.
Some podiatrists go on to develop an interest
in surgery and train as podiatric surgeons.
Podiatric surgeons surgically manage bone and
joint disorders within the foot. The Society
also has a surgical training programme which
podiatrists can only do after graduation and
have to undergo rigorous training taking a number
The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists
1 Fellmongers Path
Tower Bridge Road