Podiatrists (also referred to as Chiropodists) specialise in medical care of the foot, ankle and lower leg. This can include infections and injuries, as well as foot and nail conditions related to major health disorders like diabetes. Podiatrists are also known as chiropodists, both are protected titles. If you want to practise under either title you need to complete a Podiatry BSc (Hons) degree and register with the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC).
What are the university entry requirements for Podiatry degrees?
To apply to universities for a Podiatry degree, you should have, or be working towards achieving, a relevant Access to HE Diploma in Health Science. Or, alternatively, 3 A Levels with at least one in a pure science area (Biology, Human Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Maths). Universities can advise on their particular entry requirements and they also publish these on the UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) website.
With the A Level route, you may also be expected to have a minimum of 5 GCSEs. With the Access to HE Diploma route, you are normally only required to have GCSEs in English and Maths at Grade C or above. Access to HE Diplomas are normally aimed towards adults 18+ returning to education or wishing to change to a new career. There are no upper age limits. The Diploma qualification is viewed as being equivalent to 3 A Levels. Access to HE can be studied online with Academy Online Learning.
There are many websites that track university performance in all subject areas. Students are encouraged to research carefully which university has a good track record in the particular degree course they are interested in. It is also worth looking into the department that you are applying to and see what facilities are available, what sort of placements are on offer and the student satisfaction rate for each degree course.
What do Podiatrists do?
A podiatrist is a health professional who can diagnose and treat a range of conditions of the foot and lower leg. This includes soft tissue pain like muscle, ligament or tendon injuries and joint or bone pain. Podiatrists study the mechanics of the body in order to preserve, restore, maintain and develop movement for people of all ages. They will engage in several roles in their daily work, from evaluation and treatment to advice on problem prevention. A qualified podiatrist working in general practice deals with various different foot care and ankle issues each day. This could include ingrowing toenails, diagnosing broken bones in feet, treating problematic verrucas and calluses and using specially designed shoe inserts to provide relief to people with fallen arches (flat feet). Podiatrists can work in hospitals and clinics, GP surgeries or in private practice.
What personal attributes are needed to become a Podiatrist?
- Caring and compassionate with a desire to help others
- Analytical with an ability to creatively solve individual cases
- Excellent communication skills
- Active learning to understand and implement the latest advances in this rapidly developing area of health
- Attention to detail and the ability to maintain relationships with care users
What are the pay and working conditions like?
- Starting salaries for qualified Podiatrists in the NHS are from around £22,000 to £28,500
- With experience, they can expect to earn between £26,250 and £35,250
- Highly experienced employees in this field can earn up to £41,250
- The Government has recently announced a 6.5% increase in salaries across health sector employees over the next 3 years.
Podiatrists in the NHS typically work 37.5 hours a week, which may include evenings and weekends. Cost of living payments are added for employees in some parts of the country. On-call allowances and overtime payments are paid in addition to the basic salary. Apart from working in the NHS, podiatrists are widely employed in other areas including sports clubs, nursing homes, complementary therapy clinics and occupational health centres.
Did you know?
- Feet have a total of 52 bones, that's 25% of all the bones in the body
- Toenails grow faster in hot weather
- The Romans were the first make different shoes for left and right feet, before that shoes could be worn on either foot, but were not very comfortable!
- 60% of people have one foot bigger than the other
- The average person walks 150,000 miles in a lifetime, which is equivalent to walking around the world five times!
How is the degree funded?
Studying for a Podiatry degree allows you to apply for the standard student support package in the form of a student loan. Scholarships, bursaries or grants may also be available for example, through the university or your place of work.
If you would like to complete an Access to Podiatry course and obtain the qualifications for degree entry at university, please choose your payment options below and complete the enrolment process or contact us for more information. Studying and achieving this qualification with AOLL provides a flexible way of achieving, as it is fully online and recognised and accepted by UK universities.