Physiotherapy education in Finland

Physiotherapy education has been given in Finland for more than a century. Already in 1882, physiotherapy was an elective subject studied at the University of Helsinki. In 1908, Czar Nicholas II handed down a Decree on provision of medical gymnasium education at the University of Helsinki.

Today the Finnish higher education system consists of two complementary sectors: universities of applied sciences and universities. Physiotherapists are educated at Universities of Applied Sciences (Bachelor degree, 210 ECTS), which means 3,5 - 4 years of full-time study. Education is arranged at degree programme. The entry requirement is a certificate from an upper secondary school or the matriculation certificate, a vocational qualification or corresponding foreign studies.

The requirement for Master's studies in Universities of Applied Sciences is a Bachelor of Health Care and at least three years of work experience. The Master of Health Care, which is 60-90 study points and takes 1.5-2 years, is equivalent  to a university Master of Science in Health Care in the labour market. A qualified physiotherapist can pursue postgraduate university studies, continuing to a doctorate´s degree in health sciences University of Jyväskylä.

The mission of universities is to conduct scientific research and provide instruction and postgraduate education based on it. The Universities of Applied Sciences train professionals in response to labour market needs and conduct research and development, which supports instruction and promotes regional development in particular. Universities of Applied Sciences are multi-field regional institutions focusing on contacts with working life and on regional development. More information>>

The Association follows the planning, content and implementation of the basic professional education in physiotherapy in order to ensure, among the things, that the education provided meets international criteria. FAP offers to the members various continuing education courses to maintain and to develope professional competence, as well as to support physiotherapists´ entrepreneurship and leadership skills.

In the future, more research of the effects of physiotherapy and development and recognition of physiotherapy as an independent scientific discipline is needed.