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Why study osteopathy at a medical college?

Osteopathy is the study of the musculoskeletal system, using physical manipulation and stretching to treat an array of different ailments. Osteopathy is a complementary and alternative medicine and its practitioners believe that wellbeing of the nervous, circulatory and gastro-intestinal systems can be improved through improving blood flow to joints, posture and exercise.

Focusing on a career in osteopathy will allow you to work on improving the health and quality of life of your patients. This is an industry in which many qualified osteopaths set up their own practices, making it perfect for those wanting to be their own boss.  

What will I study on an osteopathy program?

Medical colleges offering osteopathy programs tend to focus study on the structure and function of the human body. As such, you should expect to study modules on topics such as anatomy, osteopathic skills, pain management and biomechanics.

Most medical colleges will split study between lectures and seminars and practical work. Initially, the practical work will focus on the simulation and rehearsal of clinical procedures in skills laboratories, before moving onto practicing on patients on placements.

Length and structure

Osteopathy programs can take up to six years to complete, depending on the country and medical college you choose to study at. Most courses are offered either full time or part time, with both undergraduate and graduate programs in osteopathy available.

Most osteopathy courses are split between a period of intense classroom based study, and placements in osteopathic practices where you work on putting your knowledge into practice.

How can an osteopathy program help my career?

Osteopathy has no obvious career path or ladder, but most graduates start out by working as an associate in an osteopathic practice. With experience, many then go on to set up their own private practices or move into a group osteopathic practice.

Further experience and extra study will allow you to specialise in a particular osteopathic field. This could be working within the sports industry, on a particular area of the body or a particular type of patient or injury.

Entry requirements

Different countries will have different entry requirements for students wanting to become osteopaths. However, most medical colleges will ask for related qualifications in medical or science-based subjects. You may have to demonstrate the following:

  • Minimum level of school education
  • High level of numeracy and literacy
  • Successful interview

What to do next

If you would like more information on studying an osteopathic program at a medical college, sign up for our Free Application Service. You’ll get advice, tailored programs and application advice on medical colleges around the world.