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Orthoptists treat problems affecting how the brain controls the eye, helping to improve people’s vision.
Podiatrists care for the feet, ankles and lower limbs. They relieve pain and keep people independent, active and healthy.
Prosthetists and orthotists design, fit, adjust and maintain mechanical devices that attach to patients’ bodies to help them move or to treat an issue.
Therapeutic radiographers care for patients with cancer, planning and delivering radiotherapy and providing support.
While studying to be an allied health professional, you’ll regularly put your learning to the test by helping to treat real patients in a working hospital.
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Allied health professions

Allied health professionals put their knowledge and skills to great use, helping patients live the fullest lives possible. Use this site to find out about four of the allied health professions: what they do, what it’s like to be one, and where to apply if you find one that’s a perfect fit.

What will studying be like?

You don’t need seven years of medical school to help patients live fuller lives. You can become an orthoptist, podiatrist, therapeutic radiographer, or prosthetist and orthotist with a three-year honours degree.

These courses combine academic study with practical, hands-on application. You’ll put what you’re learning to the test in regular clinical placements, where students help treat real patients in a working hospital.

You can use the Course Finder to see every relevant university course in England.

What’s it like to work in these roles?

Orthoptists, podiatrists, therapeutic radiographers, and prosthetists and orthotists are in demand all over the country. You’ll have a very good chance of finding employment straight after graduating.

All four of these professions offer great pay and good working conditions. Most work regular hours (though some do work on call and extended days when needed, to support patients and other services).

Any one of these roles offers plenty of opportunities to advance. As your career evolves, you could specialise, move into senior positions, or go into research or management.

What are universities looking for?

  • People who care. Wanting to help people, to relieve their pain and strain and help them live fuller lives, is the most important quality you need to study and work as an allied health professional.
  • Motivation and staying power. Courses in orthoptics, podiatry, therapeutic radiography, and prosthetics and orthotics are rewarding, but they’re also highly demanding.
  • People skills and a professional attitude. These courses all involve clinical placements in working hospitals, where you’ll be expected to look and behave in a professional manner.
  • Interest in science subjects. Not all the courses require A-levels in maths or sciences, but a good knowledge of these subjects will give you a head start.
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