45 Top Physical Therapy Courses[Types & Duration]

Physical Therapy courses are professional training courses that are designed to teach the techniques and treatments to restore a patient’s mobility.

Physical Therapists/physiotherapists are key members of collaborative inter-professional teams due to their broad scope of practice.

The specific roles of physical therapists vary according to the needs of the specific population in question.

In this article, we will be looking at some of the physical Therapy Courses you can consider, as well as some basic things you should know about physical therapy.

Please note that in this article, we will be using physical therapists and physiotherapists interchangeably as they mean the same thing.

What is Physical Therapy?

Physical Therapy, also known as Physiotherapy is a discipline of paramedical science that is concerned with the proper function of the body’s neuromuscular, skeletal, as well as other systems.

In cases of movement dysfunction, bodily malfunction, physical problem, handicap, healing, and recovery from any neurological condition, physical therapy courses involve evaluation, diagnosis, treatment, advice, and training.

Wikipedia defined it as one of the medical professions that promote, maintain, or restore health through physical examination, diagnosis, prognosis, patient education, physical intervention, rehabilitation, disease prevention, and health promotion.

Physical therapists are known as physiotherapists in many countries.

For science students who have plans of working in the health field, physiotherapy courses are a lucrative career option.

Once students complete their master’s degree or research in the subject, students may choose to open their physiotherapy clinics.

An undergraduate degree in physical therapy is required if you want to work as a physical therapist.

You can pursue an undergraduate degree in physical therapy from any recognized institution.

Physical Therapy vs Physiotherapy

You might be wondering what the differences are between physiotherapy and physical therapy. There is no difference between the two terms and each term can be used interchangeably. They are in fact synonyms.

However, if you are pushed to make a distinction, the one small difference between them is primarily regionally based.

In many parts of the world including Australia, Canada, and Europe, the profession is known as Physiotherapy, meanwhile, here in the United States, we call the profession Physical Therapy.

Some practitioners suggest that physiotherapy is more concerned with manual therapy.

Through manual therapy, the therapist helps improve the patient’s injury with a hands-on approach and that may include stretching, soft tissue release, joint mobilizations, fascial release, etc. That is in contrast to what some suggest is a more exercise-based approach; instructing patients on exercises to strengthen muscles, improve balance, and sharpen coordination.

As already noted, while the reality is that these terms can be used interchangeably, most clinics here in the United States may go by physical therapy.

Both terms carry a medical background and focus on the prevention of injury, the improvement of flexibility, and the management of acute pain among others.

It is important to note that both physiotherapists and physical therapists treat patients that have suffered an injury. The most common reasons for patients require a therapist are for.

back and neck pain, injuries from accidents, sports injuries, joint immobility, and tendon/ligament issues like carpal tunnel syndrome.

Lastly, regardless of the name, physical therapists are focused on improving the lifestyle of those with chronic conditions.

Why Pursue Physical Therapy Courses?

As aforementioned, physical therapy courses aid in bringing about positive changes in people’s health and lifestyle.

Physical Therapy courses are appropriate for people of all ages, and aid in the treatment and rehabilitation of people suffering from a variety of health problems ranging from mental health issues to sports injuries.

High Demand: The beautiful thing about this profession is that Physical Therapists are needed in every hospital and health care facility in order to assist patients in fully recovering from surgical operations as well as helping them return to their everyday lives.

They are also crucial in sports since they assist athletes in recovering from injuries.

Job Growth: A career as a physical therapist provides prospects for rapid salary growth in a short period of time.

Possibilities are plentiful: Candidates can find work in a variety of industries after completing their courses and these places they can work include defense medical establishments, fitness centers, orthopedic departments, and handicapped rehabilitation centers.

Skills Required to Pursue Physical Therapy Courses

Apart from curating therapy and recovery sessions for the different patients, physical therapists must have several other skills that are known to improve their competencies and most importantly allow them to improve their career growth options.

A physiotherapist must have the following soft and technical skills irrespective of the experience or job profile:

  • Convincing power

  • Clarity of speech

  • Ability to operate equipment easily

  • The scientific rationale behind procedures

  • Empathy

  • Influential and persuasive

  • Excellent presentation skills

Convincing Power

Physical therapists handle a lot of patients who are coming off from serious injuries or who are having serious physical deformities.

They should be able to instruct them in such a way that they feel comfortable with the treatment procedure. A convincing tone would help the patient to adhere to the required therapy session and hasten a quick recovery.

Clarity of speech

Continuing from having a convincing power, clarity of speech is very important.

They must be able to provide clear-cut instructions to their patients.

Ability to operate equipment easily

A physiotherapist uses a wide range of equipment that requires proper handling to provide the right treatment to their patients.

They must be very well versed in the different types of software and health apps that can be useful for the treatment of patients.

The scientific rationale behind procedures

Apart from the proper usage of the equipment, physiotherapists must be able to participate in the rationale behind every treatment procedure.

A good physiotherapist is aware of the fact that sometimes the patients may suffer from treatment fatigue.

Thus, it is important that they devise the recovery session so that it takes the minimum time possible.


Physiotherapists have to deal with patients who may be in difficult physical shape and may have to deal with situations like obesity, deformity, etc.

A physiotherapist who is skilled uses empathy to understand the problems which the patient is facing and then create a therapy that the patients are comfortable with.

Influential and persuasive

Experienced physiotherapists are skilled with persuasive communication skills that allow them to influence the patients into following the treatment procedure.

Most physiotherapists are hands-on practitioners and they participate in the therapy with the patients in order to have more influence on them.

Excellent presentation skills

The physiotherapist must also have great presentation skills that will allow them to fully present the whole timeline of the recovery process to the patients.

Recruiting Areas For Physical Therapists

Having decided to take physical therapy courses, knowing the areas in which you can work as a physiotherapist is also very important.

Physical therapy jobs are highly sought after these days because it allows the graduates to start their businesses.

Apart from that physical therapist jobs are common in different sectors such as sports, Fitness centers, gyms, pharma companies, and many more. 

Physical therapists can work in any of the following areas:

  • Defence Medical Establishments

  • Fitness Centers

  • Hospitals and Nursing Homes

  • Physiotherapy Equipment Manufacturers

  • Schools for Mentally Challenged and Physically Disabled Children

  • High-Performance Sports centers

  • Educational Institutions

  • Health Institutions

  • Orthopedic Departments

  • Rehabilitation Centers for the handicapped

  • Sports Training Facilities

  • Personal Fitness Consultants 

Jobs After Physical Therapy Courses

  • Physiotherapist

  • Osteopath

  • Lecturer

  • Sports Physiotherapist

  • Sports Physio Rehabilitator

  • Self-Employed Private Physiotherapist

  • Researcher

  • Defence Medical Establishments

Physiotherapists: Also called physical therapists; they plan the treatment and the therapy of the patients who are suffering from physical issues due to illness, aging, and injuries.

They are also into educating patients regarding how to evade injuries in the future.

: Osteopaths provide treatment, especially in the treatment of muscles and skeletal systems due to illness, aging, and injuries.

They have a treatment method that includes stimulating different areas of the body using a wide range of physical techniques such as massaging, stretching, and touching.

: The job roles of a lecturer include providing lessons regarding the various subjects that are related to physiotherapy.

Sports Physiotherapist
: A sports physiotherapist prevents injuries of different sports personnel and provides performance support to the athletes.

Sports Physio Rehabilitator
: They are responsible for the rehabilitation of the injured athletes and preventing further injuries while recovering. They further educate the athletes regarding future injury prevention.

Self-Employed Private Physiotherapist
: This type of physical therapist provide individual consultation to the various patients regarding their disorders.

: They are mainly Ph.D. graduates who work on identifying newer therapy and procedure in recovery.

Defence Medical Establishments
: They work with the rehabilitation of the soldier and defense personnel.

Physical Therapy Courses Syllabus

The general syllabus of physical Therapy courses at different levels includes:

  • Anatomy

  • Microbiology

  • General Medicine

  • Clinical Biochemistry

  • Physiology

  • Pharmacology

  • General Surgery

  • Basic Nursing

  • Pathology

  • Orthopedics

  • Neurology

  • Ethics in Physiotherapy

Popular Physiotherapy Courses

  • Master of Physiotherapy (MPT)-Master’s degree

  • MSc Physiotherapy-Master’s degree

  • MD Physiotherapy-Master’s degree

  • MPT Sports Physiotherapy-Master’s degree

Types of Physical Therapy Courses

Name the Course Type of Course & Duration
BPTUndergraduate Course
4 years 
BSc in Physiotherapy Undergraduate Course
3 years 
BOTUndergraduate Course
3-5 years 
Diploma in PhysiotherapyUndergraduate Course
2-3 years 
BVScUndergraduate Course
5 years
MPT Post Graduate Course
2 years
MSc in Physiotherapy,Post Graduate Course
2 years
Master of Physiotherapy
Post Graduate Course
2 years
MD in Physiotherapy Post Graduate Course
3 years
Master of Physiotherapy in
Sports Physiotherapy
Post Graduate Course
2 years
PG Diploma in 
Sports Physiotherapy
Post Graduate Course
1 year
Ph.D. in PhysiotherapyDoctorate Course
2 years

Physical Therapy Certificate Courses

Certificate Physical Therapy Courses bring about positive changes in people’s health and lifestyle.

The certificate course in physical therapy is available in both inline and offline modes.

The short duration of the course makes it extremely popular among the students.

Below is a list of certificate physical therapy courses and their estimated duration.

  • Certificate in Physical Therapy-6 months

  • Certificate course in Physiotherapy Assistants -3 Months

  • Certificate course in Physiotherapy and Yoga Therapy-1 Year

  • Managing Your Health: The Role of Physical Therapy and Exercise-6 weeks

  • Certificate in Back Pain – Physiotherapy, Yoga, and a Full Understanding-3 Hours

  • The Science of Training Young Athletes-13 Hours

  • Certificate in Neuromuscular Disease-3 Months

  • Certificate in Spinal Pain Management -3 Months

Diploma in Physiotherapy Courses

Diploma and PG Diploma level physiotherapy courses are different in terms of eligibility criteria for admission.

Diploma and PG Diploma level physiotherapy courses deal with specialized knowledge and the courses are fast-tracked.

Diploma courses are 2 years long while the PG diploma level physiotherapy courses are usually 1 year long. Some of them are:

  • Diploma in Physiotherapy-2 Years

  • Diploma in Physiotherapy Technician-2 Years

  • PG Diploma in Physiotherapy Education-1 Year

  • PG Diploma in Sports Physiotherapy-1 Year

UG in Physiotherapy Courses

Undergraduate-level physical therapy courses offer greater opportunities for growth to the candidates.

The candidates after completion of the course can land job opportunities in different government and private hospitals.

  • Bachelors in Physiotherapy-4 Years

  • Bachelor of Science in Physiotherapy-3 Years

  • Bachelor of Science in Physician Assistant-3 Years

  • Bachelor in Rehabilitation Therapy-4 Years

  • Bachelor of Occupational Therapy- 3-5 Years

PG in Physiotherapy Courses

The Postgraduate level physiotherapy courses are pursued to widen the career prospects or get a salary raise. Here are the top PG-level physiotherapy courses that last for two years that candidates can pursue:

  • Masters in Physiotherapy

  • MPT Cardiorespiratory Courses

  • Master of Physiotherapy [MPT] (Neurology) 

  • MPT Sports Physiotherapy 

  • Master of Physiotherapy in Urology and Obstetrics

  • Master of Physiotherapy in Pediatrics

  • Master of Physiotherapy in Neurology

  • Master of Physiotherapy in Neuro-Physiotherapy

  • Master of Physiotherapy in Musculoskeletal

  • Master of Physiotherapy in Hand Conditions

  • Master of Physiotherapy in Community Physiotherapy

Doctorate in Physiotherapy Courses

Doctorate physiotherapy courses are pursued by candidates with a master’s in Physical Therapy courses.

The duration of the doctorate physical Therapy course is from 3-to 5 years. An example is the Ph.D. in Physiotherapy.

Udemy Online Physical Therapy Courses & Their Duration

  • Physiotherapy- A Home Course-1.5 Hours

  • Physical Therapy (Theory)-2.5 Hours

  • How To Be an Equine Therapy Assistant-1 Hour

  • Rehabilitation of Ankle Sprains- Beyond the Obvious-1 Hour

  • Physical Therapy – Muscle Strength Examination, Stretching-3.5 Hours

  • Frozen Shoulder: Assessment and Treatment-2 Hours

  • Physiotherapy Management for Temporomandibular Disorder-1 Hour

  • Rehabilitation of the Shoulder and Upper Extremity-1 Hour

Coursera Online Physical Therapy Courses

The Coursera courses can be availed for free but if the student wishes to get a certificate then they have to register and fee the required fees.

1) Managing Your Health: The Role of Physical Therapy and Exercise by University of Toronto-13 Hours

  • Level: Beginner
  • Duration: 13 Hours

2) Medical Neuroscience by Duke University 

  • Level: Beginner
  • Duration: 71 Hours

3) Preventing Chronic Pain: A Human Systems Approach by University of Minnesota

  • Level: Beginner
  • Duration: 44 Hours

4) Engineering Health: Introduction to Yoga and Physiology by NYU

  • Level: Beginner
  • Duration: 51 Hours

5) The Science of Training Young Athletes by University Of Florida

  • Level: Beginner
  • Duration: 13 Hours

6) Anatomy: Musculoskeletal and Integumentary Systems by University of Michigan 

  • Level: Beginner
  • Duration: 26 Hours

7) Science of Training Young Athletes Part 2 by University Of Florida 

  • Level: Intermediate 
  • Duration: 25 Hours

8) Anatomy Specialization by University of Michigan 

  • Level: Beginner
  • Duration: 5 Months

9) Teaching and Assessing Clinical Skills

  • Level: Mixed
  • Duration: 16 Hours


A Physical Therapist can study various types of specialization in different fields such as neurology, orthopedics, geriatrics, cardiorespiratory, and many more. 

Also, physical therapy jobs are highly sought after these days because it allows the graduates to start their businesses. Deciding to take any of the Physical Therapy Courses is a great move toward this great career path.

Was This Article Helpful? Tell Us What You Think.