UEL – Practical Experience

The University of East London’s School of Health, Sport and Bioscience gives its students a first class preparation for a rewarding career in physiotherapy and podiatry.

Here, Exceed talks to Charlotte Vannet, Programme Leader & Senior lecturer in Podiatry at UEL.

Q: Tell us about podiatry at UEL

Podiatry education started at UEL in 2003. One of the distinctive features of our BSc (Hons) Podiatry course is the vast amount of practical experience it gives our students. They have access to first-class facilities in our purpose built Centre for Clinical Education, opened by the Duchess of Cornwall, which is on-site at our Stratford campus.

This building was designed around the 24 chair Podiatry clinic, which provides an excellent teaching facility. We also have an orthotics laboratory, a 3D motion analysis laboratory, an exercise physiology laboratory, and an operating theatre for minor surgery.

Students start treating patients under supervision on site within 3 months of starting the programme.

Q: What are the benefits of being in London?

The Centre is London’s only provider of clinical and training facilities in podiatry, which gives our students the chance to undertake their clinical placements within National Health Service clinics across London and the east of England.

Students can also attend very specialist day rotations at some of London’s leading teaching hospitals and Centres for excellence including Kings diabetic foot clinic, Great Ormond Street Hospital and the Royal Free vascular clinic.

Q: Where do your students come from?

Podiatry is very popular with mature students who want to retrain in a new career. Our student population is incredibly diverse in terms of age and backgrounds which all adds to and enriches the learning experience. The course is very popular with students from the EU and offers great flexibility of working in other countries.

Q: Why do podiatry students choose UEL?

Students like our state-of-the-art training facilities and the high level of support we offer them. All our students are provided with an individual academic advisor and a student peer mentor. Our Stratford campus is very close to the London Olympic park site with its excellent facilities.

Q: What are job prospects like for your students?

Our close links with NHS partners across London helps our students achieve our outstanding employment rate of 95% graduate employment within six months of completion.

We’ve designed the course to reflect the employment opportunities open to qualified podiatrists and to make sure the degree gives them a head start in the job market.

Many of our students have landed jobs in the same organisations where they undertook clinical placements.

A significant proportion of graduates go straight into private practice either starting up their own business or working as an associate in a colleague’s practice. A few have even gone on to join us in academia, and careers in research have seen an increase over the last few years.

A number have travelled abroad and now practice in Australia, Canada, United Arab Emirates and Singapore.

Q: What are your plans for the future?

Later this year we will be offering a private Podiatry service from our clinical facility. With the recent trend towards only high risk patients being eligible for NHS treatment, our NHS partners are discharging high numbers of patients who require routine podiatric care who no longer meet the NHS eligibility criteria.

We hope our student delivered service will be good value and allow our students to gain experience and skills associated with working in private practice and managing a business.

More information about the UEL Podiatry course is here.