Not sure where you want to work after graduation? A rural placement with us lets you try out the wide variety of different options that exist within the field of physiotherapy. You’ll also have opportunities to engage in community activities, such as teddy bear hospitals for primary-school students and rural outreach clinics, alongside students from other health disciplines.

Going rural with us gives you a competitive edge on your CV. You can undertake multi-week rural placements within our NSW geographical footprint or apply to go rural for your entire final year in Tamworth, Taree, Coffs Harbour or Port Macquarie.

Studying rurally gives you access to a diverse mix of patients, placement opportunities and health presentations. The Department of Rural Health staff are incredibly supportive and provided many educational opportunities.”

Alasdair (middle), Physiotherapy

Top reasons physiotherapy students choose rural:

*Students can access free accommodation in Moree or apply for subsidised accommodation at one of other five main locations. Read more about student accommodation in our Student Orientation Manuel.

Year-long Rural Immersion Program

Year-long Rural Immersion Program

Our year-long program lets University of Newcastle students undertake all their placements while based in and around Tamworth, Taree, Coffs Harbour or Port Macquarie. When you’re not on placement, you’ll continue to complete your normal course work from your rural location with close academic support at every step.

Our students will have access to close academic support, interprofessional and community engagement activities, and more.

Valuable community connections

Valuable community connections

Your rural physiotherapy placement will give you community, clinical and interprofessional learning opportunities to help your resume stand out from the crowd. From attending talks with local healthcare professionals, to teaching primary-school students about health and physical activity, there are plenty of chances to put your learning into practice.

Some of our physiotherapy placement options include:

  • Rehabilitation
  • Acute care
  • Musculoskeletal ​
  • Emergency Department
  • Paediatrics ​
  • Transitional aged care
  • Private practice​
  • Women’s health​
Funding support

Funding support

You may be entitled to a scholarship or grant to assist your studies, such as Health Education and Training scholarships or the University of Newcastle’s Betty Josephine Fyffe Rural Health Scholarships. To find out more, talk with your university on application.

How to apply

How to apply

Year-long Rural Immersion Program: Please email to express your interest.

Short-term rural placements: University of Newcastle students should nominate “rural placement” in SONIA to show your interest in pursuing this option with us. However, please keep in mind that your placement option will be determined by multiple factors, including availability. Each university has its own placement portal. If you are studying at another university, please consult your university for more information.

Once you have your rural placement, you must register with us via our placement portal to access community and accommodation support.

More information

Tamworth & Taree

Dr Luke Wakely
Phone: + 61 2 6755 3500


Ms Lani Carter
Phone: + 61 2 6755 3500

Port Macquarie

Ms Kate Currie
Phone: + 61 2 5524 1551

Cian McMahon
Phone:  +61 2 4055 3459

Coffs Harbour

Ms Tash Olley
Phone: + 61 2 4055 1961

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.