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Advice on podiatry schools (UK)

Discussion in 'Teaching and Learning' started by Verdantlily, Nov 17, 2010.

  1. Verdantlily

    Verdantlily Member

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    Hi All,

    Have spent an enjoyable evening trawling through these threads - thanks everyone!

    I am looking to change careers into podiatry following the birth of my two lovely children. I spoke to a very nice lady at the Uni of East London today as this is my closest school. However, I wondered if anyone could share their experience of this course with me? As there are 12 other schools to look at (albeit I am constrained by geographical location to South East England) I wondered if there was any opinion/advice out there about the student experience/quality of this and other podiatry courses?

    I have seen the Guardian Education ranking of nursing and paramedical schools but this covers all disciplines in the area so I was hoping for a more podiatry focussed appraisal if possible.

    Thanks for your help ;)
  2. BestyPod

    BestyPod Active Member

    Hiya Ver

    I am at N'pton Uni and can't fault it. It is also 1 of only 2 schools in the UK which offers dissection classes over 10 weeks. This is a fantastic way of learning, as you can appreciate that everyone is slightly different to what all the text books say.

    Good luck with what ever school you decide on....
  3. Verdantlily

    Verdantlily Member

    Thanks AussieDreamer thats very useful - I was interested in finding out about dissection availability as I've been told by many that their dissection classes were when the 'penny dropped' about anatomy. Do you happen to know which is the other school that offers this?

    Other than UEL the others that may be options for me would be N'pton, Brighton and at a push S'hampton.

    At N'pton do you need to attend the school every day or are there days of self study? This might help as I'm not sure how realistic uprooting husband and 2 young kids already happy at school will be..

    Appreciate it
  4. BestyPod

    BestyPod Active Member

    Sorry I don't know which the other school is.

    I would agree that the dissection classes have helped me no end. There's nothing quite like seeing it on the real thing. It's very clinical too, not at all gross......

    At the moment I'm doing a 3 day week, so 2 study days, however I'm not sure how long that will last for. We start seeing patients in January, so I imagine it won't be too long until we are in more.

    Hope thats helped a little.


    JAYNES Active Member

    I trained at Brighton university in the south east of england it was very good you should check it out.

  6. French summer

    French summer Member

    Hi I thought I would add my thought as I am a third year doing podiatry. Well at UEL you can expect a vast amount of group work even your dissertationis is group work, sometimes you are in a group with physio students and there can be problems with who is in on which day.

    However at Northampton you do a lot of solo work and your dissertation is also a solo piece of work. that might be good or bad depends on how you look at it . Also you get the chance to build up your podiatry skills as your placement is spread out through the year, about evey fort night you spend a day at your local placement and you get to see follow up patients rather than going for block placement of 6 weeks and so on as some other uni do.

    Parking if that concerns you there is parking on campus at Northampton a huge library and a dedicated podiatry librarian who will try everything to get you that book or journal.

    bare in mind that some uni dont have a clinical campus ensure you check that out.
    You can look forward to being taught by lecturers who helped to write podiatry books at northampton like Mike Curran and Paul Beeson. Paul has also written lot of journals.

    well dont let me sell anything to you but look around and ask the questions that will impact on your situation.

    take care
  7. Verdantlily

    Verdantlily Member

    Thanks everyone.

    Had a look at Brighton Uni website today and one of the example student profiles mentions dissection so I guess they do it there. It does look impressive online.

    So will definately visit N'hampton and Brighton as well as my scheduled visit at UEL.

    Thanks for the specific info on differences between various courses - v. useful. Anyone out there trained at / training at UEL or Southampton? Would be grateful for the inside track on what things are really like.

    Also I've been reading some worrying info about lack of job availability particularly in the NHS in this forum. Obviously I'm not expecting everything to land in my lap, but given the hard work I'm about to commit to, I'd appreciate a realistic view of employment and progression prospects when qualified...but maybe this is another thread...?!
  8. peterjluce

    peterjluce Member

    I don't know the schools in the southeast but this is a general comment. You need to get a truthful clear answer from the tutors as to how much hands-on clinical experience you will get. By which I mean experience with real patients, not with each other using bits of wax to simulate callus. Find out how many patients you would personally be treating per week when you're in training clinic- you might be shocked at how few it is. Podiatry is a hands-on practical skill, and as such it can only be learned through constant practice. Classroom teaching provides essential background information, but its no substitute for practical experience.

    If you're interested in private practice, find out if they have a module on this and if so who teaches it- does that person have a private practice themselves?

    Also, find out about your NHS placements- how far away, would you be there on your own (colleague support is essential), and how are relationships between the school and the NHS placements? (Although I don't know how you'd get a truthful answer on the last one).

    Almost everyone graduates on a podiatry course and gets their bit of paper- the question is how confident will you be to actually do the job? THat depends on practical experience IMO.

    Finally, try and get a straight answer as to what percentage of their recent graduates are now working in podiatry? Bear in mind that "working in NHS" could mean bank work with hardly any hours, and same goes for private practice for the first few years.
  9. crisic

    crisic Member

    I am studying at UEL. We do not get to do any dissection, which is a shame. We learn anatomy with models.
    The good thing about UEL is that we get a lot of clinical experience. We have a clinic in campus and we see patients since year one, usually 1 whole day per week in clinic each year. We also get to go 3 weeks on placement on the 1st year, twice x 4 weeks on the 2nd and twice x5 weeks on the 3rd year. This is 9-5, 5 days a week. Teachers also try to offer placements near your place of residence.
    I have been on placement with Brighton students and they complained of not getting so much practice, plus they have to reflect every day after a day of clinic, so they are not solidly in clinic when they go on placement.
    In UEL I like the fact that the dissertation is a research group project. I like group work and everybody's contribution just makes it better.
    Facilities are very good. Teachers are very good and very approachable in general, only a couple of tough cookies :).
    Tuition days are: 3 full days on 1st year. 4 full days on the 2nd year. 3/4 full days on the 3rd year.
    The only thing I do not like about UEL is travelling to Stratford everyday, I wish it was more central. But hey, we got the olympic village just there now, so not as grim as it used to be.
  10. Sammo

    Sammo Active Member

    I trained at UEL and I can say it was very good and left me in a great place to start my career.

    I think you get the largest amount if clinical experience there and the very good thing about studying in London is the very high number of trusts in such a relatively small area.

    There is no substitute for hands on experience.

    If you are based in london, it seems like a logical choice to study there.

    Although you don't get to do cadaever studies you do get quite a few opportunities to observe surgery which gives you the same opportunity to see the foot uncovered.

    Hope this helps!

  11. Sammo

    Sammo Active Member

    I trained at UEL and I can say it was very good and left me in a great place to start my career.

    I think you get the largest amount if clinical experience there and the very good thing about studying in London is the very high number of trusts in such a relatively small area.

    There is no substitute for hands on experience.

    If you are based in london, it seems like a logical choice to study there.

    Although you don't get to do cadaever studies you do get quite a few opportunities to observe surgery which gives you the same opportunity to see the foot uncovered.

    Hope this helps!

  12. FTSE

    FTSE Member

    I am at Southampton which you’ve indicated is a bit far, but to add to the picture – the BIG drawback here is lack of clinical time. Their philosophy seems to be that we’ll soon catch up so we should concentrate on the theory. No doubt that’s true but it’s not what most of the students want – as someone else has said, this is a practical hands-on job and we want to get stuck in!

    All clinical experience comes from placement. I don’t know for sure what it is in each year but approximately : 3 weeks in 1st year, 2x6 weeks in 2nd year and 2x 4weeks in 3rd year. However this is misleading – these are all only 3-day weeks!

    We do get to inspect and handle cadavers, but not to do dissection ourselves. There was a placement in Singapore, but it’s suspended at the moment (cash presumably) so check before you commit if you fancy that!

    Don’t be deceived by publicity that suggests we do lots of co-learning with physios and OTs. We do attend some lectures together (cash again?!), but we don’t really interact.

    On the plus side, if you want to combine study and work, this is a great course cos the required attendance is only 2 or 3 days a week. And we do have some cracking pods lecturing here – Cathy Bowen, Ivan Bristow, Alan Borthwick. Probably a better place to do your MSc than your BSc?

    I should perhaps add that despite the frustrations, I'm still very keen to do the job (I hope cynics aren't going to tell me that's cos I've hardly been in a clinic yet!!!)

    Good luck
  13. Pod Shin

    Pod Shin Member

    Hi Ver,

    thought I would add more weight to the Brighton corner. Im a new graduate, graduated last summer and now in full time work after 4 months. I love this career aspect of Podiatry as I have given up my time to be present on opening days in all my three years as well as using one of my final year module to promote Podiatry to a secondary school.

    Having lived in London, my two choices were UEL and Brighton. I did not want to travel anywhere further. After visiting both opening days, I found that Brighton uni felt like home. So I would definitely recommend attending the open days.

    I found my experience in Brighton amazing. My cohort was mixed where we had school leavers, mothers, people wanting to change careers and mature students. Everyone is assigned to a personal tutor whom you can seek advice and help. I found my senior colleagues helpful and approachable when you wanted some advice. In the library, there is a section for Podiatry and other allied health courses books to choose from. Plus there always seems to be plenty of them too!

    It is true what you have heard, yes we do dissection here too. Even though I was a bit queasy with blood, I did enjoy it as it enhanced all the anatomy theory that we had to take in.

    We are in clinic throughout the year from year 1 to year 3. We have our own hospital for Podiatry students. You are expected to see more patients towards year 3. We also get sent out to external placements. In year 3, you are sent out to 4 week block placement where you work at the trust. I choose Southwark NHS, where I also met students from UEL, Northampton and Southampton. I felt that some of the students were less keen in treating unlike students from Brighton.

    I felt as a whole, with the great set of lecturers on board at Brighton and with the hands on experience, that you will feel ready and confident as a Pod when you are out in the big wide world.

    Good luck to whichever school you decide to study.

  14. podream

    podream Member

    Hi Everyone, I am in the exact same position as Verdantilly (including the Universities I am looking at) and was wondering if you could tell me the number of actual contact hours per week in each year (hours that you are actually expected to be on campus in front of a teacher) you need to do at each university. The more detailed you can be with the actual scheduling the better (but understand if you don't want to reveal to much) I will have a very long commute for all 3 schools and need to consider every minute.
  15. twirly

    twirly Well-Known Member

    Hi & :welcome: to Podiatry Arena,

    If you search on each Universities prospectus the information you are looking for may be readily available: Salford
    The very best of luck in your studies. :drinks

    Kind regards,

  16. BestyPod

    BestyPod Active Member

    I am in my 1st year at Northampton and start seeing patients this Thursday :dizzy:. I will see them weekly on our clinical campus 9.30 - 12.30. Then later in the year I will have my placement which I think lasts for 2 weeks. Then in my second year the clinical hours will increase and I will start doing rota's. Then finally, in the 3rd year it looks like a huge chunk of time will be spent treating patients at the clinic.
    I know the info isn't hugely detailed, however I think it gives a good idea. I think the hours spent treating patients is much higher at Northampton then some other uni's (not all uni's, just some ;)).
    I have nothing but praise for Northampton and highly recommend them.

    Good luck with your decision. :drinks
  17. BestyPod

    BestyPod Active Member

    Oooh, I forgot to say. I am currently in uni:

    Monday - 9.30 - 12.00
    Thursday - 9.00-16.00
    Friday - 09.30-12.00

    It's a tough life being a student!! :rolleyes: But on a serious note, you will need all your spare time to study. It's a tough course and I don't think everyone fully appreciates it until they start. Worth it though! :D
  18. podream

    podream Member

    Thanks AussieDreamer. That was very helpful. So will you be adding the clinicals to your current schedule or does it take the place of a current class? PS Good luck on Thursday.
    Twirly, I have trawled through the websites/prospectus' for the Univeristies that I am looking at and even spoken to a couple admissions advisors but haven't been able to find anything as concrete as Salford. In my perfect world someone would hand me their calender for the past 3 years (in podiatry school obviously) and I could see exactly where and when they had to be places. Just so I have a real idea of what its like.
  19. twirly

    twirly Well-Known Member

    Just a thought,

    In the olden days when I was at college we used hard copies of prospectuses. I feel fairly sure the university libraries will hold either hard copies of archived prospectuses or possibly even on microfiche. Huddersfield library contacts:

    Also, on the podiatry schools computer system they may even have copies of old timetables. Scholars rarely press delete. ;)

    If you have difficulty obtaining the information online it may be more fruitful contacting the libraries.

    Again, best of luck.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2011
  20. Griff

    Griff Moderator

    What the devil....???

    When I was at Northampton it was pretty much 9-5 every day of the week bar Wednesday afternoons (for inter-university sport). Then study had to be fitted in around that as well.
  21. blinda

    blinda MVP

    Tell kids today and they won`t believe you. They won`t. ;)
  22. lucycool

    lucycool Active Member

    Every year I would email the staff to ask for a rough timetable as I have a daughter and had to arrange childcare.. and every year I was told "it is a full time course, so get full time childcare" .. not very helpful to say the least.. Thank god my childminder was (is) very flexible!!

    You're not looking at my uni so it's ok.. to anyone thats reading this and considering QMU, I still have my timetables and happy to share if you want!!!

    Good Luck - wherever you go - I'd like to add that real dissection is brilliant and definitely a great way of learning all the anatomy...one thing QMU was good for!
  23. Griff

    Griff Moderator

    And we are only talking about 10 years ago. How have things changed so much? (and not for the better in my opinion). It's gone from a full week to the equivalent of 2 days a week, and don't even get me started on the fact that each student doesn't have to do an individual (and completed) research project...
  24. ajs604

    ajs604 Active Member

    I also did my training at Southampton Uni & felt that we had very little practical throughout the 3 years! I felt this was a big draw back. The focus on Southampton is much more academic & less practical. However, we did have some great lectures like Alan Borthwick, Michelle Spruce & Cathy Bowen, oh and also Ivan who could forget him! If I had my time again I would probably still apply to Southampton but ask for more practical! BTW heard northampton is very good!
  25. BestyPod

    BestyPod Active Member

    No, my time table will stay the same, so no extra time in :D

    I have been surprised at how little time we spend in lectures actually, but I've been pre-warned that next year is going to be tough!

    Anyway, I should be studying now so best get on. Time for a bit of wound healing :drinks
  26. BestyPod

    BestyPod Active Member

    Sounds like I was right to start a family first rather than go straight from college!!!! The scary thing is how quick the last 10 years have gone. God I'm starting to feel old now! Haha :wacko:
  27. For the record, all courses have (had) to offer a minimum of 1000 hours of clinical practice. It may have changed more recently, but that was certainly the case 6 years ago.

    BTW in my day, we also did a full week and had micro- biology on a Wednesday PM
  28. Griff

    Griff Moderator

    Wot... no rugger??
  29. When you ask students to stay a little later these days the reaction you get is almost akin to asking to use a, live small child for dissection purposes.

    In my day...... G.O.M.M Barefoot through the snow, over hill, Wadding through water me.

    Really in my day it was the Hangover that got me on a Friday morning 8 am with a genius of an orthopedic surgeon.
  30. twirly

    twirly Well-Known Member

  31. blinda

    blinda MVP

  32. podream

    podream Member

    Lucycool, would you mind sharing your timetable with me? If I can't get timetables for my specifc schools then a rough idea of what everyone else does will do. BTW I got exactly the same reply from the schools that I requested timetables from. I don't understand why its such a secret.
  33. khc10

    khc10 Welcome New Poster

    Hi Ver,

    I went to Brighton and had such a great experience that i didn't want to leave so i'm continuing by doing my masters there as well. the staff are great and having our own podiatric hospital with NHS patients is a brilliant tool for clinical skills.

    Definitely give Brighton a thought!
  34. carolethecatlover

    carolethecatlover Active Member

    I want to do my final year in the UK. I have done 16 units here in Australia, and was getting no practical, we would be in clinic 1 day a week and be lucky to see 2 patients. That is not 1,000 of clinical practice. It's 800 hours of sitting in the clinic. And don't get me started on the travelling.....impossible if you don't have a car. (And my house was eaten by termites, and they refused to regard this as a 'special circumstance')
    I have tried transferring to another university, but theirs is a 4 year course and they want me to start again at year 1!!!!!
    I like solo work, I am very bad at group work. I have no dependents. I am not at all squeamish. I am very, very hands-on. I am on the shady side of 40.
    I can afford to live anywhere in the UK, and have a UK passport despite having lived most of my life in other countries.
    I went to Cordwainer's technical college, and know a fair bit about shoes, am tempted by Northhampton. But am open to all.
    I am very tempted to go to the UK and do the FHP course, (but I rather think I don't even have to do that to practise) then get into any course and do it part-time.
    Please advise:
  35. davidh

    davidh Podiatry Arena Veteran

    Hi CTCL,

    People do the FHP course for a variety of reasons (eg some already have degrees and do not want to do another academic course).
    You do not have to do any training at all to set up in the UK as a foot health practitioner/foot health professional (not recommended)

    My suggestion is to do a three year full-time degree in a location that you like.
    I think, on consideration, that provided the degree can promise the required number of clinical hours (with real patients and plenty of them) the location is much more important than the college.
  36. jjgreen

    jjgreen Welcome New Poster

    Hello! Does anyone know the time table roughly for Brighton uni?
    Many thanks!
  37. carolethecatlover

    carolethecatlover Active Member

    Didn't get in ANYWHERE. Am going to continue working in the UK as a FHP.
    Besides, gives me time to continue studying Dyshidrosis. (20 treated, 18 cures.)
    However, if anyone can get me a place, I am interested.

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