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What are the rankings for universities offering podiatry in Australia?

Discussion in 'Australia' started by lynnc30, Oct 8, 2009.

  1. lynnc30

    lynnc30 Member

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    Hey everyone. I'm planning on doing a podiatry course in Australia next year but I'm not sure which university I should go to. There's La Trobe, QUT, UWA, UniSA and some others but mainly these are the ones I'm taking into consideration. Would anyone know the best university for this course? Or at least their rankings or feedback if any of you have studied at these unis. I have to make a decision by November so I'm getting more stressed out each day. Thanks so much. :)
  2. Dean Hartley

    Dean Hartley Active Member

    Hello lynnc30

    I studied and completed my podiatry degree at CSU at the Albury/Wodonga campus. It was an extremely well run course with small class sizes which you wont see if you study in the metro universities. I had great supervisors and lecturers who were easily approachable, which made the daunting task of completing an undergraduate degree quite easy.

    The greatest benefit of the CSU podiatry course was the exposure to a large number of patients in their own Allied Health clinic. This gives you great confidence and accelerates your skill base through the studying years. The course made me feel highly competent once completed and ready to go straight into a full time podiatry job.

    Lets not forget the social aspect of the course also!!!!!

    Could not recommend the Podiatry course at CSU highly enough.

  3. lynnc30

    lynnc30 Member

    Thanks Dean :) I've checked it out and it seems pretty good. What's the area like though? I've never been to NSW which is why I was a little more set on either La Trobe or QUT as I'm quite familiar with Melb and Brisbane. Would you happen to know if either of those two unis are good?

    Also, does podiatry involve all three sciences, bio, chem and physics, or does it focus on one particular science? I read that surgery and radiology would be involved. Personally, I'm extremely interested in the biology side of things. Did you take up a major and specialised at something after completing your podiaty course?
  4. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

  5. ja99

    ja99 Active Member

    Hi lynnc30,

    I studied at Curtin in West.Australia (a very good educational experience) and now they have the UWA degree under Prof. Bryant.

    If I had to make a choice I'd carefully consider UWA, here's why:

    1. Alan Bryant is a top notch practitioner and educator.

    2. UWA is the only Podiatric Department within a School of Medicine (Faculty of Surgery) so you would be studying units that budding medico's and dentists are also studying - no other Uni in Australia offers this 'plum'.

    3. UWA is 'the' brown stone' Uni in WA and one of the top ranked in the world (http://www.australian-universities.com/rankings/) as compared to the others.

    4. Perth is a charming City (however being isolated can be a little 'clicky') with good restaurants/work for students etc.

    5. WA Pods are a generally fraternal bunch and will help out new grads with work opportunities.

    6. In addition to its own clinic (as most Uni Pod degrees have), in my final year at Curtin (now morphed into UWA) we all did clinical rotations at teaching Hospitals (Royal Perth, QE2 Medical Centre, Fremantle Hospital etc) as well as with General and Specialists Pods. So we did 'meaningful' work in tertiary Hospital/Clinical environments which is excellent preparation.

    That's my 2 cents, and I didn't even go to UWA, but I am sure the good aspects of Curtin have been melded into the UWA degree plus the benefit of a 'Medical' education is a real draw card to employers/further research. I notice that there is also a number of higher degrees (Master/PhD) to pursue after your Bachelors - always a great option.

    BTW: Yes to Biochemistry, Pharmacology, Biology, Anatomy and some physics in my day - most of the sciences were of the applied/'medical' genre. I hope this does not put you off, but we did around 30 hours contact throughout much of the degree - some Business degrees only have 10 hours contact per week!

    Alan Bryant is a very approachable chap...just fire off an email to inquire for more specifics.

    Anything else just ask!
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2009
  6. lynnc30

    lynnc30 Member

    Thanks Julian. I saw the rankings for top 200 universities in 2008 and UWA was one of them but that was in general and not just based on podiatry. Well, I'm more in a spot than ever since there are so many unis to choose from. It's tough. Haha, those were the days when we were children and our parents decided everything for us. :)
  7. lynnc30

    lynnc30 Member

    Hey Craig, I'm sorry, I thought I replied but apparently my post isn't up. Anyway, I noted you were from La Trobe. Mind sharing a little on what life at La Trobe is like? Thanks.
  8. Dean Hartley

    Dean Hartley Active Member

    Biology has a strong focus, mainly physiology, pathophysiology etc. Physics is an essential part of biomechanical study. Chemistry is not focused on much. But having a good background in the three sciences will give you a good head start.

  9. Teash13

    Teash13 Member

    Unisa was good for me, although I have not experienced any other Pod schools.
    1. about 30 people in each grade, so plenty of one on one with lecturers.
    2. lots of group excursions to regional cities in the state
    3. opportunity to do placements in aboriginal communities in far north SA
    4. Campus right in the heart of the university district of adelaide close to colleges and uni housing
    5. onsite podiatry clinic run by students
    6. mentoring of new students by students available.
    7. lecturers have their own clinics and lots of clinical experience.
    8. massive joint pub crawls with physio, ot, human movement students
    9. Unibar 100m down the block with cold beers and a great view of the surrounding parklands
    10. final year 3 day practice management seminar usually in a desirable location

    What more could you want?
  10. carolethecatlover

    carolethecatlover Active Member

    I am currently a student at the University of Newcastle's new course. The big plus is that it is only 3 years long!
    As a mature student, I KNOW I will learn more out there doing the job than in a classroom. The other big plus, is you can get into this course with very low marks. Show you are keen......
    The course is new, the lecturers are still keen on teaching us. The facilities are lovely, it's in Ourimbah, the Central Coast. The downside is you need a car and the patients are in Wyong hospital.
    Class numbers are wildly variable. We are all in tutorial groups, and aged from 18 to 61, someone in the first cohort worked out that the average age was 41! I think it is a bit less for us. I really don't think we are getting enough hands on practice compared to those studying in the UK, but what is it in other AUS unis I don't know. Good Luck.
  11. lynnc30

    lynnc30 Member

    I was actually keen on Newcastle but sadly they don't offer the course for international students. :(
  12. lynnc30

    lynnc30 Member

    I've actually got a conditional offer from UniSA so I guess I'm just waiting for my final results to see if I make the grade. Still have at least a month to decide on which uni so wish me luck! :) And thanks for your help.
  13. Sarah B

    Sarah B Active Member

    Actually, the clinical hours required (as set by the appropriate registration body) are similar in the UK & Australia. Unless you know something I don't?
  14. carolethecatlover

    carolethecatlover Active Member

    Well, both on this forum, and in the prospectuses for the UK unis, it states that students will be in clinic from the first semester and doing routine procedures from the 2nd term. We didn't get to see a real patient until second semester, 2nd year. Yes, I have read this about '1000 hours of clinical practice' in all handbooks, that is about 26 weeks of full time work. So far I have seen about 20 patients, and spent 11 days in clinic. I have made myself about 40 days of extra 'observation' placements, but hands on NO! There are some really good lectures and theory classes at this uni, because it is a new course, and the teachers are not yet ground down by our stupidity, but it is a hands-on job.
  15. LuckyLisfranc

    LuckyLisfranc Well-Known Member

    I am sorry Carole, but these appear to be rather concerning statements.

    Basically what you are saying is that your length of study is 3/4 of the rest of the country (when everywhere else is 4 years), and anyone with a brain slightly larger than a furry rodent can get in.

    IMHO this is not something the profession would be happy to hear about, since it would appear to suggest perhaps the lowest standards in the country.

    It might seem like a'plus' to a prospective student, but as an employer it makes me mightily concerned.


  16. markjohconley

    markjohconley Well-Known Member

    Lucky, that might be but i've just helped supervise my second student from Newcastle. The first, over a 3 week period, was maybe the "student who had it altogether the best" of all the students I've been associated with. Mind you I could never marry the bloke! And the second Newc student seems 'switched on also'. Obviously I need a larger sample to justify my opinion but I wouldn't 'knock' the course so far, all the best, mark
  17. carolethecatlover

    carolethecatlover Active Member

    Lucky LisFrank and Markjohconley,
    We got in because we are very, very keen, not because of the marks. There are orthotists, nurses, ex-professional sportsmen and women, and other related professions in the cohort. NO furry rodents, (except on campus, this is so country as to be almost 'outback'.) We all bring different skills to our placements. One pod I 'placed' with, was utterly astonished that I could make shoes. Don't knock us until we graduate, and in the UK, all the courses are 3 years, and in most of Europe much less than that...... AND, I would repeat, we have keen teachers.
  18. Kareem

    Kareem Member

    As a 2nd year student may I remind everyone of how marks are related to entry. Essentially being a new course it is logical that the entry marks would be low. We do not yet have a reputation, history etc.
    Add to that we are one of 2 courses (of my knowledge, the other being CSU) that is NOT in a capital city. (Personally I love the coast, but many people don't like travelling out of cities for uni).
    So basically in terms of supply & demand...it makes sense IMHO. I think entry was something like 74ish UAI, but not many got in that way (a lot via being a mature age student).

    As for the length of the course, all I will personally say is that we aren't getting taught any less IMO. We are under a lot of stress, doing large workloads (thankfully Year 2, semester 2 is the supposed to be the hardest). Due to the intensity there are a number of students that have dropped to part time due to the intensity.

    And Markhohconley has had positive experiences. Tbh like he said it means little in the sense of being such a small sample but it shows that the students are being provided with a positive environment in which to learn (or those 2 are freaks :p ).
    And don't forget every year this program is improving. I have already noticed improvements in my year (2nd cohort for this course) compared to some negatives experienced by the cohort.

    PS. before commencing this program I harrassed the co-ordinator over such concerns ie. the course content. I guess it was only natural to feel concern in regards to the crammed 3 year course.
    Needless to say something must have been right for me to choose this course over another uni!
  19. ja99

    ja99 Active Member

    Seems to be a matter of both semantics and perspective, like LL, I'd be mightily concerned at the joyful news that a University degree in Podiatry was accessible with "...very low marks", and is "...only 3 years" in duration. Neither of these speak to the 'quality' or academic rigor applied to the teaching and learning, nor IMHO, appeal to the broader Health Practitioner or general society as external signs of excellence.

    Conversely, I can see that a motivated student without a stellar/standard academic background would rejoice at these circumstances.

    Personally, I take the middle ground and 'sit on the fence', Carol is simply saying she is thrilled to be given an opportunity without having to be a Rhodes Scholar, or independently wealthy to sustain themselves for 4 years rather than 3. Perhaps, on reflection Carol's comments could have been worded differently, as I also cringed when I read about the very low marks and shorter duration.

    Cameron is a good one to weigh in on the classroom vs work learning environments. Initially I lent towards the Carol view and thought that 'real-world' is better than classroom. As I have moved on and up, I now see Cameron's perspective that there is a fundamental shift between education and training. A degree has become so common-place that we all fail to recognize that the difference between synthesizing knowledge and learning a skill is a major distinction.

    Taking the discussion to a 10,000 foot altitude perspective, many of our daily tasks could be easily taught to others (and are!), as a profession we need to refocus on critical, systems and research thinking - these are the differentiating factors that give us a competitive advantage as thinking and reflective practitioners!
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2009
  20. I am doing podiatry. I am a 92.5 UAI young student. I have excelled academically throughout high school.
    The low marks didn't help me in any way (except that maybe I tried too hard in HSC- which is a bad thing since I have now slacked off quite a bit) what so ever, but the thing is the amount of effort I have seen applied by the mature age students is remarkable and commendable. Their dedication is second to none, they put someone like me to shame, someone who is just coasting through the course waiting to pass their degree. Admittedly I will change my counterproductive ways as I realise the need to apply myself in a proper manner! But my point is, is that some of these low markers may struggle for concepts but they put in the extra hours. Trust me, I have a friend who was probably a low marker who bombed out straightaway first year, he just couldn't cope. He was possibly neither highly academic nor fuly determined.
    My solace in this course has been my intelligence and ability to graps concepts. If it was not for this than I probably would have failed a long time ago.
    It is only that I just realised that between the people like me (academic young ones) and the hardworking less academic mature age, who is more likely to finish this degree- it's them! Being bright isn't enough.
    But something that has come along with my self realisation is the idea that I have recognised that this course isn't that easy to pass!
    So if you ask me, I will honestly say my concern doesn't lie with these mature age students going out into the real world, it would be that there is a possibility of someone continuing with a carefree attitude such as the one I possessed not too long ago!
    Trust me, if you don't put the effort in, in this course generally speaking you pay the price. I luckily haven't yet, and if I refocus myself in time, I hopefully won't!
  21. Richard Chasen

    Richard Chasen Active Member

    In light of the often admirable cases made for the other universities Lynn, I feel dutibound to represent mine as frankly I believe that both are well suited to growing baby podiatrists.

    Both the La Trobe and Uni of South Australia courses are known for having a firm grounding in the relevant preclinical and preclinical sciences and both offer fully functioning student clinics and external placements, over a four year period with options for further study afterwards.

    In truth, I would be surprised if this were not the case in all of the podiatry courses in Australia, but unlike some of the newer ones, LTU and UniSA have substantial numbers of graduating classes under their belts and are therefore a known quantity.

    Living in Adelaide or Melbourne is a personal choice and I can't point you in such a direction just because I enjoy the place, but the standard of practice aspired to in each of these cities, in terms of prescribing rights for podiatrists, post-graduate training opportunities, surgery etc is quite high and the universities are geared towards this. My undergraduate training at La Trobe was quite thorough, to reach the end point of entry level podiatrist. You can't expect to be an expert on first finishing, but LTU will give you the tools necessary to find your weaknesses and cater for them. South Australia, although I was only there at a postgraduate level, has also produced excellent grads and the knowledge levels across both institutions is well regarded. I would really recommend that you contact either of these if you are interested and if you have a provisional offer at UniSA, I would suggest you strongly consider taking it. It's a very good course and will prepare you for the profession well. Plus it's a decent place to be, since you do have to spend 4 years there.

    Hope this helps a little.
  22. and like Kareem said. There are very logical reasons for low marks!
    Do any of you actually understand how it works?
    I remember a bit from back in year 12.
    Did you know Newcastle generally has lower entry marks?
    So does CSU if I remember correctly.
    It's just a fact.
    Eg. Med for Newcaslte is 'only' 93.8 (just too high for me).
    I happen to know in 2007 entry to Pod at UniSA was 92 UAI I think. But that's a city (and an established course).
  23. Paul Bowles

    Paul Bowles Well-Known Member

    UAI entry scores for any program are based on DEMAND.

    Plain and simple.

    The issue is if you have a "low" UAI the quality of the student generally and theoretically may drop. Hence standards and academic outputs may suffer. That is one reason why programs aim for a higher UAI entry.

    Universities all want their students to be regarded as magnificent podiatric clinicians, however they secretly also want University medals and first class honours projects translating to PhD's as well.

    In my experience you RARELY can have both attributes in one student. Some students are exceptions to the rule and do well in both arena's, and even fewer go on to greatness.

    If I was head of any Podiatry program I would be putting a gag order on any students posting here pertaining to this subject - no good can really come of it.

    There is an old saying: "You never air your dirty laundry." Well in my experience, you also have to be careful who is watching your clean laundry flap about in the wind as well.
  24. 1) Dirty laundry? In reference to Carol? Or to all 3 of us?
    2) Gag order. Surely this would be criticized even more so than the actual course. I mean it would state that a course has something to hide.
  25. Paul Bowles

    Paul Bowles Well-Known Member

    1) If you read my comments above you can clearly see I state DIRTY and CLEAN "laundry". It was a reference to the fact that no matter what YOU think it is, others will make their own opinion of it.

    2) No it would not. It would merely mean the course/its students are not commenting. There is a massive difference. Remembering that comments you personally make reflect on your program - regardless of whether your program sanctions them. Probably good to keep in mind that comments on public forums such as these may be construed as academic misconduct in some circles.

    I'm just trying throw my 2 cents in the ring, as I don't think the comments made thus far (from half way down of course) in this thread benefit or reflect positively on anyone or any program...
  26. Kareem

    Kareem Member

    I haven't said anything negative about my uni.
    At worst I have my post was only overprotective and slightly delusional :p :D

    What are the usually numbers for 1st year at uni's?
    Ours were 100+ (little over I believe)
    I know for a fact we had 174-176 students last year across 1st and 2nd year (only years in program at the time).
    This is my idea...I am not sure how logical it is ie. whether it would actually increase the entry marks significantly(it certainly has ethical issues :p).
    But if you reduced the number of students that make a course eg. from 100 down to 50 (less if you want). This would decrease supply, which affects supply & demand.
    Should the uni do this instead?
    It;s just a fact that a Uni like ours will generally always have lower entry scores...what can you do?

    Tbh, I feel relatively confident in my chances of good employment in NSW considering our only competition is CSU which obviously has an established reputation but their UAI is similarly low like ours.
    Compared to interstate with the prestigous reputation of QUT and UniSA (with higher UAI's) I might be a bit concerned going head to head with these guys, especially after some of the views expressed on here. But hopefully I can impress the employer enough to forego any slight concerns they may have.
    I guess a lot of graduates experience this when going head to head with graduates from the bigger uni's!
    If these 2 fine students are anything to go by, views can be changed by the individual.
    Hopefully at worst, there will be slight caution by certain employers which I suppose is fair...
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2009
  27. Paul Bowles

    Paul Bowles Well-Known Member

    And mis-informed to a large degree. But how could you understand all the particulars if you are not directly involved at an academic level? No one could blame you for not knowing.

    Again this is a much more complicated process than you understand. Regardless of UAI and prestige, there are a whole host of other things to take into account (for example Band Category Weighting, Cluster Funding etc..) which you are not even considering and I doubt have had any exposure to.

    "Reputation" has nothing to do with it. See above comments.

    I am sure you will get a great job in Podiatry once you graduate. However, you are forgetting UWS - a new program in your state, in a major capital city which is a 5 year post graduate Masters of Podiatric Medicine. Starting 2010. Your competition may be a little stiffer than you think!
  28. Kareem

    Kareem Member

    What's Cluster funding?
    What is band category weighting?
    Sorry I am a bit clueless :p

    Where am I misinformed btw?
  29. Paul Bowles

    Paul Bowles Well-Known Member

    Sorry Kareem, You are not 100% on the whole UAI issue is what I meant. Its not simply a reputation and or popularity contest. My advice if you are interested in the rigors of what a UAI entails, go and have a chat to your program co-ordinator.

    Its perfectly fine to be clueless on these matters, its an academics job, not a students or a Podiatrists.

    I take Tony's (LL's) earlier point (and agree to a large extent) and I re-iterate that there can be nothing positive to come from people posting on the internal workings of their programs on public forums.

    Thats my last 2 cents worth.
  30. Carol had the nicest intentions. She was trying to help out a fellow poster, the way she wrote didn't sound the best- but your bascially saying she shouldn't have helped a prospective poster.
    What a terrible person Carol is :bash:

    How do comments reflect the program? I don't care if you dont like my comments- I mean your pretty stupid if you hold one individual's personality to stereotype a program-even if you may think I'm a dropkick!
    Surely you and everyone on here has experienced fellow students who they thought were absolute idiots.
    Or is this another worrying sign that my uni is letting in people like me? lol

    And academic misconduct?
    Carol: I don't think she would get sanctioned (if were at all in danger, I am unaware of our uni's policy). She had good intentions, and what she said was slightly negative at worst.
    Kareem: He's the uni's lapdog, practically like a teacher's pet. He might babble a bit, but nothing 'negative'.
    Me: I have anonymity on my side regardless. Unless I break any laws, my privacy is kept. Got to love the internet!
  31. Kareem

    Kareem Member

    Thanks Paul!

    And hey, I'm no lapdog (I'm more of a Cat person :p )

    Oh and lol, I forgot about UWS.
    But wouldn't it be fair to assume that by the time someone finishes that course it will be 2014?
    I hoppefully finish 2010 (2011 if I drop to part-time).
    By then I should hopefully have 4 years experience. A question for you employers is apart from $$$ consideration, you would ;generally' prefer 4 years experience to a new graduate wouldn't you? Despite how good the course is?
  32. Internal workings...
    1) I suppose I agree, except us students never really said anything about 'internal'. More so external (or at least that was what the fuss was about) ie. entry.

    Hmmm. Following a nice little research I have found 2 interesting figures!
    CSU- 72.55 ATAR cutoff 2009
    Newcastle- 79.30

    Not the lowest in the country- and I'm not suprised. Afterall the Central Coast is a more easily accessible location than Albury is. Just like people prefer Sydney to Newcastle generally speaking.
  33. Rohan

    Rohan Welcome New Poster

    Going back 3 years, I was a UWS student looking to transfer into their podiatry course (which funnily enough had a UAI lower than the course I was studying), little did I know that the course was not to be offered the following year.

    I decided to apply for the other podiatry courses offered in the capital cities of Australia (this was before the inception of the Newcastle course and Albury just wasn't for me), of which I was accepted into QUT and La Trobe. I ended up choosing La Trobe, and have never regretted it (especially around state of origin time).
  34. Paul Bowles

    Paul Bowles Well-Known Member

    I think you will find their first grads come out in 2012.

    There are may factors to employing someone, I don't think it is as simple as saying "how long did you study for" or what qualifications do you have.

    Good luck with the end of year exams!
  35. Paul Bowles

    Paul Bowles Well-Known Member

    Any comments from students regarding your program could be considered as internal. I merely meant that you are giving out un-sanctioned information - nothing more, nothing less. Glad you finally agree.

    Google doesn't qualify as research.


    As I said earlier, the UAI in the terms you are using it is merely a representation of demand. Nothing more. The more courses in NSW the lower the UAI will fall - its common sense, and programs generally need that like a hole in the head.

    "Apparently" there is a 4th University now considering a Podiatry program (out of Sydney) in NSW. Who knows if this will come to fruition, but it spells certain disaster for the profession generally.

    It never ceases to amaze me that people fail to see the simpler ramifications of having too many Podiatry programs.

    We should be learning from mistakes made by other professions. Take Nursing as a lead example (puts flame suit on - sorry Nurses). Nearly any University has a nursing degree - the UAI sites subs 60 in most cases and in my opinion (and other academics in nursing circles who I associate with) the quality of the average nursing student has dramatically dropped. Lets face it, you can't build a sports car with pieces from a billy cart can you!

    The more programs we have, the more we run the risk of poor quality graduates due to falling UAI's and an inherent lack of Academic staff.

    This is why it surprises me that UWS suddenly found legs again. However I am sure they (like all other programs) they will/have been struggling to get top notch academic staff as the general "pool" numbers of these highly regarded specialists are extremely low and already diffusely spread out around the country. Not to say they won't in the end - but hey we are all waiting to see what happens when that program starts again.

    Sorry to drag this off topic a little.....just me ranting again......time for a morning coffee before the frst patient.
  36. Before you take a dig- get your facts right!
    I didn't google it.
    I went to the most reliable source, www.uac.edu.au
    Straight from the horse's mouth eh?
  37. lynnc30

    lynnc30 Member

    Thank you Richard. The decision making is tough as I have offers from more than one uni, La Trobe included. To be honest, I'm inclined towards LTU at the moment but I'm not making any firm decisions at least until I've had a proper think through. QUT has also been highly recommended to me. Would you happen to know anything about QUT?
  38. lynnc30

    lynnc30 Member

    Hi everyone. I really appreciate your help but don't you think we've all gone a bit off topic here? :)

    To Rohan: Do you mind telling me a bit about your course at La Trobe? Like, what you like about it, what the course is like, etc. Thank you.
  39. Lynn

    I would think that Maybe you should think about this. Where would you like to live 4 years is a long time and then consider that maybe this place will be where you practice. Trust me from someone who has moved alot in his life if your not a moving person consider that being settled having constant friends etc is important . The longest I have ever lived in 1 city is 6 years Ive lived in 4 different countries for more than 2.5 years moving sucks and starting again is not that much fun.

    Also consider that all courses will have their good and bad points, the course will only be as good as you make it. I beleive that teaching is about opening doors to allow the student to think and learn for themselves. With your leactures, Podiatry Arena and own reading you will only be as good as you want to be. So I would suggest think about where is best for you to live and then choose that Uni and work hard and you will be the best Podiatrist you can be even if another course has this or that It all comes back to the person looking back at you in the mirror.
  40. lynnc30

    lynnc30 Member


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