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Programme structure

The entire ESP programme consists of 240 credits, distributed over several semesters, subjects and courses. In each course, the knowledge, skills and/or attitude goals are connected to the patient cases in order for you to integrate all aspects into your professional behaviour.

About the programme


ESP curriculum fundamentals

  • International Orientation
  • Evidence Based Practice
  • Multi Professional Healthcare
  • Communication

In the first 4 semesters, several patient categories will be used as theme for that specific semester: Musculoskeletal, Cardiopulmonary, Neurological and Complex patients. All mandatory courses are categorised in 4 different lines: Basics, Skills, Clinical Reasoning and Professional.


The aim of the basics line is to provide you with fundamental knowledge and understanding of the human body in various subjects. Anatomy, physiology, biomechanics and neurology are subjects that are needed as a foundation for making appropriate choices as a physiotherapist.


The aim of the skills line is to provide you with the fundamental skills needed to become a highly educated physiotherapist. The essential subjects in this line are Applied Anatomy and Massage, Assessment, Interventions, Clinimetrics. The skills courses are connected to the semester’s patient categories and will use various teaching methods, such as lectures, working in pairs, group work and self-study.

Clinical Reasoning

The aim of the clinical reasoning line is to connect the basics, skills and professional lines with each other. Most important is the integration of knowledge, attitude and skills (competencies) and the translation of these competencies into the clinical setting. In this line there will be time for patient encounters during clinical sessions, discussion of patient cases through methods of theoretical examples and application of clinical reasoning systems, making use of (among others) The International Classification of Functioning (ICF) and the Multi-Dimensional Load and Carriability Model (MDLC).


The aim of the professional line is to help you develop into a professional. After completing the degree programme, you must be able to work independently as a professional practitioner and with a critical attitude. The foundation of the curriculum is based on the professional profile (KNGF) and set against an international context. You will develop their professional competencies through a step-by-step development of knowledge, attitude and skills and make these an integral part of your professional conduct.

Year 1

The first year contains 80 credits in all lines of courses. You must be able to complete all courses within 1 year including the summer period. The main aim of the first year is to give you a good impression of the programme and the profession, which is finalised in a clinical internship in the summer.

In each semester, we offer courses at school to provide the basic knowledge, skills and attitude for an international physiotherapist. A short list of courses and objectives of our first year:

  1. Anatomy – to know about all muscles and bones that are needed for movement
  2. Assessment – to test and assess musculoskeletal injuries of several joints
  3. Clinical Sessions – to get real clinical experience with a patient in our to integrate previously learned knowledge and skills
  4. Study and Career Planning – to understand the professional attitude towards study and future international career

4 internships

In these 10-week placements, you will be supported by a clinical instructor on site. This physiotherapist will guide you locally, while the clinical supervisor (ESP faculty) will be coaching you from a distance and monitoring your performance. Throughout the 4 internships, you should build up to your final level, by integrating all attitude, knowledge, skills of all previous subjects taught at ESP. Ultimately, you will leave the final internship as an independent and critical professional with an international view.

Internship in the Netherlands

Of course it is also possible to do a clinical internship in the Netherlands, which means you should be able to communicate with the patients and staff of the associated clinics in Dutch. To do so you will need to follow a Dutch language course.

Year 2 and 3
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Download leaflet ESP (PDF)