Institute of Physiotherapy

«Our trained professionals at the Institute of Physiotherapy are in demand in the professional world: they are able to implement their broad, theoretical and scientific expertise in the fields of rehabilitation, prevention, health promotion and research.»

Astrid Schämann, Head of the Institute of Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy moves people

The Institute of Physiotherapy has a performance mandate in the four areas of academic teaching at bachelor and master level, research and development as well as continuing education and services. It follows the premise of a “Research and Teaching University”.

Studying for a degree

The Institute of Physiotherapy offers an internationally recognised, scientifically sound and practice-oriented bachelor degree programme as well as a postgraduate master degree programme.

Bachelor of Science ZFH in Physiotherapy

Physiotherapists are specialists in the musculoskeletal system of the human body, its disorders and pain management. The three-year study programme in physiotherapy provides the necessary theoretical background and practical skills.

Master of Science in Physiotherapy

The MSc in Physiotherapy is a science-oriented postgraduate degree programme (following completion of the BSc). During the course, students expand their clinical expertise during their studies, deepen their knowledge of evidence-based physiotherapy and are trained in the application of research methods. They work in research teams and with our practice partners during their clinical placements, which enables them to network during their studies and to learn new approaches and perspectives from renowned lecturers from home and abroad.

Continuing education

Switzerland has a high demand for recognised, academic continuing education programmes. Our continuing education programmes are designed as part-time courses, which allow participants to continue to work in their profession and to implement their newly acquired know-how directly into practice so that clinical work is combined with up-to-date knowledge and scientifically tested methods and techniques.

Modular course

Our continuing education courses are modular, which gives students more freedom to plan.

  • A Master of Advanced Studies (MAS) corresponds to a total of 1800 study hours. It requires students to complete three Certificate of Advanced Studies courses (CAS) and to write a master thesis.
  • A CAS is equivalent to 450 study hours and consists of three modules that can be attended individually and are later credited towards a CAS or MAS when enrolling in the programme.


The great advantage of this modular system is that it offers candidates maximum freedom of choice.

Research in Physiotherapy

We mainly focus on physiotherapeutic diagnostics and treatment as well as on physiotherapy in the context of healthcare. Our research priorities are physical activity, supply and implementation research, analysis in our movement laboratory, new technologies as well as research and educational research. The team consists of specialists in Physiotherapy, Movement Science and Sports Science, Psychology and Social Science, who have broad experience in practice and research at home and abroad to the benefit of our students in Physiotherapy and Movement Science, who are involved in projects while working on their master thesis or as student apprentices in a research team. Our clients and partners include, in addition to public institutions, hospitals and practices, companies such as Hocoma or Berliner Krankenkasse BIG. We maintain cooperation with various ZHAW institutes, other Swiss universities of applied sciences as well as universities in the Netherlands, Belgium and Finland.

Services

The Institute of Physiotherapy offers a wide range of services for companies, public institutions and individuals.

  • Statistical consulting service
    Support for researchers in research projects, from planning and implementation through evaluation and interpretation to the presentation of findings.
    Contact person: André Meichtry: andre.meichtry@zhaw.ch
  • Ergonomics at the workplace
    Analysis of the workplace, targeted ergonomic advice, optimisation of working behaviour and working conditions: tailored or standardised offers to meet your requirements.
    Contact person: Carolin Heitz: carolin.heitz@zhaw.ch
  • Expert advice for complex questions
    Support for physiotherapists in the treatment and care of patients with complex problems.
    Contact person: Professor Omega E. Huber: omega-e.huber@zhaw.ch
  • Management consulting for complex questions
    Support for companies/leading physiotherapists in the optimisation of their knowledge in physiotherapy within the organisation and externally.
    Contact person: Professor Omega E. Huber: omega-e.huber@zhaw.ch
  • Mobile movement laboratory
    We come to you!
    Professional service in the fields of assessment, measurement and counselling of healthy and sick people of all age groups, directly on-site.
    Contact person: Barbara Gubler: barbara.gubler-gut@zhaw.ch
  • Campaigns
    E.g. the campaign “Walk”
    We support companies in their efforts to promote employee health – specific and practical: we professionally assist and accompany your employees in preparing for a regional running event.

About us

Our Institute of Physiotherapy at ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Sciences is Switzerland's largest institution for teaching and research in physiotherapy.

Institute of Physiotherapy: At a glance

Number of employees: 76

Number of BSc students: 120 per year

Number of MSc students: 50 per year

Continuing education courses offered: 3 Master of Advanced Studies (MAS)/12 Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS)/various continuing education programmes

Research projects in progress: 16

Number of clinical placements per year: 110

Objectives and vision

Our Institute of Physiotherapy at ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Sciences is Switzerland's largest institution for teaching and research in physiotherapy. We are committed to sustainable professionalisation both in our bachelor and master degree programmes, as well as through research and development and academic continuing education.

The Institute of Physiotherapy has a performance mandate in the four areas of academic teaching at bachelor and master level, research and development as well as continuing education and services. It follows the premise of a “Research and Teaching University”. The “newly” acquired knowledge through research in physiotherapy prepares students optimally for a position in practice, research or teaching thanks to the ideal combination of teaching and research under one roof.

Our trained professionals at the Institute of Physiotherapy are in demand in the professional world: they are able to implement their broad, theoretical and scientific expertise in the fields of rehabilitation, prevention, health promotion and research. With their high professional competency, they assume responsibility as well as professional leadership, which directly benefits the patients as well as other stakeholders.

We strive for excellence in teaching and support national and European harmonisation, as well as interprofessionalism and internationality through a high degree of networking with national and international organisations, such as associations, research facilities, partners in industry, teaching and clinical placement providers, as well as health, education and professional policy bodies. All training and continuing education programmes meet the international standards of the Bologna reform. Staff and students are encouraged to collect intercultural and linguistic experiences and acquire appropriate skills.

Team members