1st Cycle Degree/Bachelor in Physiotherapy

Degree programme

Programme type 1st Cycle Degree/Bachelor
Academic Year 2017/2018
General policies and regulations D.M. 270
Code 8476
Degree Programme Class L/SNT2 - Health Professions for Rehabilitation
Years in which the programme is being held I, II, III
Teaching mode Traditional lecture (classroom-taught)
Type of access Restricted access
Place of teaching Bologna
Degree Programme Director Paolo Pillastrini
Language Italian

Programme profile

The main objective of the Degree Programme in Physiotherapy is to train professional Physiotherapists with duties attributed by decree of the Ministry of Health no. 741 of 14 September 1994 and amendments. The specific learning outcomes are achieved through theoretical and practical studies in the international cultural areas of the Core Curriculum for Physiotherapists, version 2008 and amendments, which include:

- Human and Behavioural Sciences, Bio-molecular and Bio-technological Functions, integrated biological functions of the human body;

- Human anatomy and physiology;

- Physiopathology of motor functions and disability;

- Integrated systematic pathology, etiology and pathogenesis of disease;

- Diagnostic methods and techniques, medicine and public health;

- Clinical methodology;

- Locomotor diseases;

- Neurological diseases and of the sensory organs;

- Emergency medicine, first aid, surgery and primary care;

- Reproductive and mother-and-child medicine;

- State of health classification according to the International Classification of Diseases, Functioning, and Disability.

In these sectors, Physiotherapists will acquire the competences needed to identify preventive and rehabilitation needs of patients, assess motor, visceral, psycho-motor and cognitive clinical data according to the extent and significance of the symptoms, understand the elements underlying the pathological process on which the rehabilitation/treatment is focused in developmental, adult or geriatric ages, understand the scientific bases of functional alterations and general and specific rehabilitation methods in different specialist sectors (neurological, orthopaedic, rheumatological, cardio-vascular, pneumological, oncological, internal and integumentary medicine. In drafting the curriculum, priority was given to the theoretical and practical study of Physiotherapy Sciences, through lectures, practical workshops and laboratories, problem-solving exercises, case studies, small group work and internships in the key physiotherapy sectors. The curriculum is designed to allow students to learn basic skills in the context of their clinical application. Theoretical knowledge is assessed through oral exams, written papers, progress tests and e-learning tools. The specific objectives of professional practice and know-how are assessed through practical exams on both dummies and real patients, case studies and internships. Alongside a solid basic grounding in fundamental subject areas, the curriculum provides graduates with targeted knowledge of psychological, socio-cultural and humanist sciences. Interpersonal skills required by physiotherapists to establish effective relations with patients, caregivers and other professionals are developed in course units in human sciences and psycho-pedagogy, to learn listening skills and dialogue management with patients and relatives. Interpersonal and communication skills are developed during work in small groups, simulations, role playing, internships and during the final examination. Learning skills are assessed through written and oral exams and practical work, and are also assessed by clinical tutors during the internship. At the end of the study programme, physiotherapists will have acquired knowledge, competencies and relational skills in the following fields:


this field translates the professional physiotherapist's responsibilities into professional actions through the development of the following skills: in their professional conduct, they learn to act in line with the professional profile, code of conduct, laws and regulations governing the profession, and develop specific skills in relating to patients and family, learning to act in the interests of the patient and recognising motivations, autonomies, abilities, practising independently in full respect of the interests of the patient and other professional figures.


This field refers to the competencies the students will acquire in order to:

− Obtain objective and subjective information through the use of standardised tools, interviews and observations to identify the rehabilitation needs of the person and the community;

- Involve the patients asking for their active participation and informing them about the physiotherapy path;

- Describe physiotherapeutic problems and relative outcomes targeted by the treatment;

- Identify possible prevention, educational and palliative therapies;

- Select the resources to be used within the rehabilitation programme;

- Motivate planning choices according to theoretical knowledge, built on assessment data and based on the best possible evidence and choices/preferences of the patients;

- Draw up the physiotherapy plan and propose it to the team in order to define overall rehabilitation objectives using a patient-focused approach;

- Plan individual rehabilitation sessions according to priorities, in relation to the problems and needs of each patient;

- Participate in education and information planning, suggesting activities for patient management and self-help for patients and families;

- Monitor the progress of the physiotherapy programme in collaboration with other professionals;

- Assess the objectives achieved and measure physiotherapy results using validated methods and instruments;

- Assess the whole care path according to the effectiveness and efficiency of the obtained results.


In this field physiotherapists develop awareness and responsibility among patients and groups, helping them to adapt to and manage disease. The activities cover specific physiotherapy interventions, establishing a care relationship supporting patients and their families. Here, students develop skills to train patients and relatives to learn self-care skills and functional recovery, assessing the educational needs of the patient and their families and monitoring compliance with the rehabilitation project.


Physiotherapists must be able to run prevention activities for individuals and the community, whether healthy or with physical or mental problems and disabilities; they promote the actions required to maintain health, particularly focusing on ergonomic principles, lifestyle advice, motivating people to be responsible and actively cooperate in promoting their own physical and social well-being. In particular this area sees physiotherapists involved in activities focusing on the acknowledgement and overcoming of potentially hazardous situations for both individuals and the community, through the identification of health and disability prevention needs, promoting the actions needed to maintain health and overcome disability, or prevent the worsening of disabilities.


This area includes all the management tools (resources, information, economic aspects) that are indispensable for correctly implementing everyday physiotherapy activities, through the following actions: use of specific tools based on quality criteria, management of privacy and consent, clinical risk, decision-making following correct problem-solving processes. In this way, physiotherapists establish a suitable physical and psycho-social environment to ensure patient safety, identify, monitor and analyse clinical risk and the main events causing this. The physiotherapist also applies practices to protect staff from physical, chemical and biological risk in the work place.

These assumptions apply to both freelance practice and services provided in complex healthcare facilities. They require knowledge and skills in ethical conduct, legislation, management, social skills, interpersonal cooperation, networking, planning, organisation and definition of therapy programmes. The field focuses on all procedures and tools that allow future professional physiotherapists to organise their work as a whole.


Physiotherapists develop and consolidate their cultural skills by: being able to identify learning and training objectives, assess learning outcomes, be responsible for their own training and professional development, self-assess their own learning outcomes, reflect on and self-assess their own knowledge and abilities. They are able to transmit specific knowledge and competences of their profession.


the international scientific community and the Italian health system (e.g. National Health Plan), in suggesting Evidence Based Health Care and Clinical Governance, state the need for health professionals to base their practices also on proof of effectiveness, with a view to delivering a valid, useful and economically viable service.

EBP, defined internationally as the integration of the best, valid and relevant research available with the practitioner's clinical experience and the values and condition of individual patients, allowing the professional not only to offer the best possible practice but also to dialogue with the international professional community. For this reason physiotherapy graduates are also required to seek evidence of effectiveness, in order to satisfy the knowledge gaps emerging when dealing with patients, converting such needs in to clearly defined clinical and care enquiries, assessing the weight of such evidence in clinical decision-making, considering both the preferences and expectations of the patient and their social, organisational and economic context. EBP-based therapy offers physiotherapy graduates the possibility to seek the best evidence available in literature and critically interpret its internal and external validity.


For health professionals generally and thus also for physiotherapists, communication is the primary dimension of human relations, and is thus used to establish a relationship with patients from the start of their care path; communication also plays a fundamental role in relations with other health professionals and relatives. Communication and interpersonal skills are therefore considered to be an integral part of practitioners' professional baggage, and they shall therefore be able to:

- Use effective communication in the care relationship through the understanding of non-verbal communication, body language and use behaviour which is consistent with the features of the patient;

- Illustrate to patients how the physiotherapy programme can affect/modify functional activity.

- Discuss the physiotherapy programme with patients and families;

- Effectively manage interpersonal conflicts.


The set of knowledge acquired by graduates is worth 180 CFU (96 classroom learning, 60 clinical internship, 24 other learning elective activities, English language, final examination, etc.) and constitutes the cultural, scientific and interpersonal baggage required to acquire full professional skill and understand, tackle and manage the pathological events which require rehabilitation and/or treatment for all age groups, acquired through lectures, laboratory work, practical lessons in classrooms equipped with rehabilitation instruments, supported by teaching staff and tutors, as well as self-study (library, databases) of the subjects included in the curriculum, discussions with professors, case studies and work in small groups. In particular, the subjects covered by: FIS/07, M-PED/01, MED/01, SECS-S/02, BIO/09, BIO/10, BIO/13, BIO/16, BIO/17, MED/03, MED/04, MED/07, BIO/14, MED/41, offer a solid base of knowledge of the integrated biological functions of the human body, statistical methods for measuring social and personal phenomena, the concept of urgency and first aid, interacting closely with the core subjects of the degree programme. Professional skills will be developed in the core subject areas: MED/09, MED/10, MED/11, MED/16, MED/26, MED/33, MED/34, MED/48, MED/50, M-PSI/01, M-PSI/08, MED/02, MED/08, MED/18, MED/38, MED/36, MED/42, MED/43, MED/44, MED/24, MED/27, MED/39, MED/40,which offer insight into the fundamental concepts of human sciences and behaviour, ethics and professional conduct, physiopathology of physical activity and locomotor disease, physiotherapy methods and techniques, etiology and pathogenesis of disease, clinical and pathological activities, patient treatment, neurological and sensory organ diseases and reproductive and mother-child medicine, as well as, in subject area: IUS/09, where students will learn the management skills useful for professional development in working contexts.

Course units

The course units are listed according to the chosen curriculum


Students registered in the 1st cycle degree programme in Physiotherapy carry out an overall 1430 hours of Internship allocated as follow:

1st YEAR

Internship 1: 11 credits, 275 hours

2nd YEAR

Internship 2: 23 credits, 575 hours

3rd YEAR

Internship 3: 18 credits, 450 hours

Internship 4: 8 credits, 200 hours

International mobility


Ufficio Staff - Supporto Mobilità Internazionale Alma Mater Studiorum - Università di Bologna Polo didattico Murri, Via Massarenti 9 -40138 Bologna

Email: erasmus.medicine@unibo.it

Phone number: +39 (0) 512095543
Fax: +39 (0) 512086020

The contacts for student mobility in the teaching sites for the Degree Course in Physiotherapy are:

Bologna: Dr. Mirco Branchini - 051/6363636 - e_mail: cl.fisioterapista@aosp.bo.it

Cesena: Dr. Tombetta Silvia - 0547/21888 - e_mail: s.tombetti@alice.it

Imola: Dr. Teresa Naldi - 0542/604439 - e_mail: laurea.fisioterapia@ausl.imola.bo.it

Access to further study

It gives access to second cycle studies (laurea specialistica / magistrale) and master universitario di primo livello.

Career opportunities

This content is not currently available.

Contact details

Coordinator of the degree programme:

Prof. Francesco Violante Saverio

E-mail: francesco.violante@unibo.it

Contact of Degre:

Dott.ssa Sandra Zardi

e-mail: sandra.zardi@unibo.it

Dott.ssa Lucia Bertozzi

e-mail: lucia.bertozzi@unibo.it

Dott.re Mirco Branchini

e-mail: mirco.branchini@gmail.com