Podiatrists specialise in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of disease and conditions affecting the feet and lower limbs.

The work of a podiatrist

Podiatrists are trained to assess problems with a patient’s lower limbs. Following assessment, treatment is focused on relieving symptoms and maintaining function.

After starting your career in hospital and community clinics, you will work with patients of all ages and medical conditions. You could specialise in particular aspects of podiatry such as Biomechanics (assessing and treating musculo/skeletal abnormalities) or working with patients with more complex medical problems such as wound care.

Podiatrists are also becoming more involved in foot surgery.

Skills required

Being responsible for assessing and treating your own caseload of patients demands a high level of knowledge and expertise. Your training will make sure that you have the necessary clinical skills.

However, personal qualities such as good communication skills and a sympathetic manner are also essential.

Training programme

The Ulster University offers a BSc Hons Podiatry undergraduate full-time three-year programme.

All candidates are required to undergo a medical examination and an Access NI (POCVA) criminal records check.

You should contact the university directly its latest date entry requirements and applications should be made through Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

Career pathway

You may choose to specialise in a particular area of practice. Increasingly, podiatrists are involved in contributing to the care of patients who are considered ‘at risk’ because of their medical condition.

You could therefore choose to specialise in areas such as:

  • diabetes
  • rheumatology
  • renal
  • sports medicine
  • working with children (podopaediatrics)

You could also take additional qualifications to be a podiatric surgeon. Teaching or research are also options.

You may have the opportunity to move into management either within podiatry services or general management. As head of a podiatry service, you would be responsible both for a team of staff and managing a budget.

Professional recognition

Students who successfully complete the course will be eligible for registration with the professional regulator for the Allied Health Professions - the Health Professions Council (HPC) and membership of the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists.

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