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Is a Bachelor in Physiotherapy Different from a Diploma in Physical Therapy?

Patients continue to have questions and concerns about the physiotherapy vs. physical therapy issue. It’s no wonder, given how similar these two forms of therapy are and how easily they might be confused. Particularly while investigating various websites, books, or journals.

Well, the difference between the two depends on what ground it is being asked. When we talk about terminology and definitions, both can have slight differences, which we have discussed below.

However, when it comes to academic comparison between a Bachelors in Physiotherapy course and a Diploma in Physical Therapy, both are more or less the same and more often, a Diploma in Physical Therapy is used for a Diploma in Physiotherapy only. The only difference between the two courses is in their curriculum and duration.

Before we start understanding the differences between the two, let us understand the definitions of both terms.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is a type of medical care that tries to alleviate pain and improve a person’s ability to function, move, and live. It is used by specialists to reduce pain, enhance mobility or ability, and prevent or recover from a sports injury, surgery, or accident, among other things.


Physiotherapy is defined by experts as the treatment of illness, injury, or deformity by physical treatments such as massage, joint manipulation, and other procedures rather than medicines or surgery (where possible). Physiotherapists provide mobility and exercise, manual treatment, education, and counsel to those who have been injured, sick, or disabled.

Difference Between the Bachelors in Physiotherapy and Diploma in Physical Therapy

Bachelor’s in Physiotherapy (BPT)

A Bachelor’s in Physiotherapy is a more lengthy and academically deep curriculum that normally lasts 4 to 5 years. This time frame provides for a thorough examination of the subject matter and clinical training.

Diploma in Physical Therapy (DPT)

In comparison, a Diploma in Physical Therapy is a shorter curriculum that normally lasts 1 to 2 years. The emphasis is on the practical skills and knowledge needed for entry-level careers in physical therapy.

Eligibility Criteria

The eligibility criteria to pursue a Bachelor in Physiotherapy or a Diploma in Physical Therapy course is that the student must be 10+2 or equivalent. Moreover, different universities may require students to have science as a mandatory stream or have secured at least 45% marks.

Career Opportunities

Bachelor in Physiotherapy

  • Osteopath
  • Lecturer
  • Physiotherapist
  • Physio Consultant
  • Assistant Physiotherapist
  • Customer Care Assistant in Physio Labs

Diploma in Physical Therapy

  • Assistant Physiotherapist
  • Customer Care Assistant
  • Lecturer
  • Research Assistant
  • Researcher
  • Ergonomic Care Advisor
  • Lecturer
  • Clinical Researcher

Now, we can conclude it by saying that a Bachelor in Physiotherapy course offers a more detailed study approach and teaches physical therapy, massages, physical motions, and exercise needed to treat injuries, discomfort, illnesses, deformities, or diseases.

While a Diploma in Physical Therapy or Physiotherapy does not include as depth study and hence has a shorter duration than the Bachelor in Physiotherapy course, it totally depends on the students about which course they want to pursue and the time they can invest in a course.


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