Entry Requirements

The ESO seeks to attract applicants from a diverse range of backgrounds who are committed to studying for osteopathy qualifications having thoroughly researched the subject

Our normal requirements for entry are skills in, and knowledge of, the basic sciences. However, each application is assessed on a case by case basis, which includes the personal statement and referee’s report as well as past and predicted academic performance. The applicant’s performance at interview is also a very important part of the selection process.  Please refer to the How to Apply section for further information.

The qualifications we commonly accept are shown below. The list is not exhaustive and candidates are encouraged to contact the ESO Admissions Team for advice about the suitability of qualifications not listed here. Please be aware that the deadline for ‘On-Time’ applications at UCAS is 15 January and, in line with UCAS guidelines, all applications received by this date will be given equal consideration. Candidates are welcome to apply after 15 January, however, the ESO may adjust its standard offer conditions for applications received after this date. Late applicants should contact the Admissions Team to discuss the availability of places before submitting a ‘Post 15 January’ UCAS application.

UK Entry Requirements

The following are intended to provide a guide to offer levels:


5 x GCSEs including a minimum grade C in English, Maths and Science or a minimum Grade 4 (standard pass) in these subjects. PLUS

GCE A-Levels

Grades BBC (112 UCAS points) to normally include a science subject, usually biology but will consider chemistry, physical education, sports science as science, psychology, mathematics. General studies is not accepted.

BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma

Grades: DDM – Must be Health, Science or Sports related and include relevant science modules.

Scottish Highers

112 UCAS points overall to include one science subject, grades BB at Higher Level.

Welsh Baccalaureate

112 UCAS points overall to include 2 A-levels grades BB in science subjects (as above).

Irish Leaving Certificate

H33334 (post-2017) at Higher Level, to include a science usually biology (but can include chemistry, physical education, sports science as science, psychology, mathematics) plus Ordinary Level Grade C Maths and English.

International Baccalaureate

Acceptable with a minimum overall score of 32 points to include 5 points in 2 science subjects.

Students who lack recent or relevant science subject knowledge may be asked to undertake an additional online course as a condition of entry. Please contact Admissions who will advise what might be suitable for you.

Mature students

Mature students are defined as any student aged 21 or over at the start of their studies. A significant number of our students are Mature and do not have current or standard qualifications. We treat each application on its own merits and relevant professional qualifications and life experience will be taken into consideration. For example, many Mature students at the ESO come from a massage or other health related background. We accept a number of associated qualifications, provided that they are at an appropriate level. There are a range of routes you can take to qualify for entry, some of these are listed below.

Access Diploma

Access courses are specifically designed for those who do not have suitable qualifications to study at university level.

The ESO welcomes Access Diplomas that are health/science related. Applicants will need to achieve a minimum of 18 Level 3 credits at merit or above. Applicants who do not have Level 2 English and Maths above grade C will additionally need 12 credits at Level 2 in these subjects.

Access courses run nationwide. To find courses near you, visit the Access To HE website.

Open University

Open University recommendations: Human Biology (SK299) or Cell Biology (S294) – 30 Credits


International Entry Requirements

We welcome students from all over the world, with a wide variety of qualifications and experience – approximately 50% of our students are not from the UK creating a truly cosmopolitan atmosphere. Each application is considered on its individual merit. Broadly speaking we look for high grades in science subjects at secondary level.

If you do not have a UK qualification or an International Baccalaureate you can use the UK National Academic Recognition Information Centre (NARIC) to find out how the qualifications that you already have compare to UK qualifications. UK NARIC is the national agency that provides information and advice about how qualifications and skills from overseas compare to the UK’s qualifications.

Below are examples of some of the qualifications that overseas applicants have applied with and typical offers we have made:-

  • Australian High School Certificate: Relevant state (Year12) High School Certificate with ATAR score of 85%
  • Canadian High School Graduation Diploma: Pass with good grades in science based subjects.  Specific requirements vary between provinces; contact the Admissions Team for guidance
  • Certificat d’Enseignment Secondaire Superieur:  6 out of 10 / 14 out of 20
  • European Baccalaureate: Pass with overall result 70%
  • French Baccalauréat (le bac) or the Option Internationale du Baccalauréat (International Option of the French Baccalaureate or OIB) minimum of 13 points (Students should choose either Biology or Physics-Chemistry as their main subject)
  • German Abitur: Overall result of 2.2
  • Italian Diploma di Marturita or di Esame di Stato: Pass Diploma with 75%
  • Latvian Atestats par visparejo videjo izglitibu (Attestation of General Secondary Education): grade C or 7
  • Polish Swiadectwo Dojrzałości / Matura: pass Matura with 65%
  • Portugal – Certificado de fin de Estudos Secundarios 16 out of 20
  • Spanish Título de Bachillerato or COU: grade 7.5
  • Swiss Maturity Certificate – Certificat de Maturité / Maturitätszeugnis/ Attestato di Maturità  – Pass with a minimum score  of 4.25 overall

The British Council provides information for overseas students to help them make an informed choice about studying in the UK. For further information on the benefits and opportunities of higher education in the UK please click here.

International Student Visas

The ESO holds a Student sponsor licence, which enables us to issue International students with a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) – a unique reference number needed in order to obtain a UK entry visa. To find out if you need a visa and how to apply visit the UK Visa & Immigration website. All prospective applicants are welcome to contact the ESO Admissions Team to discuss their potential application.

English Language Requirement

All applicants must be fluent in both spoken and written English. If English is not your first language you will normally be expected to provide formal evidence of your ability to speak and write in English. We will assess your level of English at interview. If English is not the first language an applicant must usually have the equivalent of an academic IELTS of 6.5 (with 5.5. in all four components listening, reading, writing and speaking).

International students

International students, from a country where English is not the main language spoken, will need to provide a recognised Secure English Language tests (SELTs) from a UKVI approved English language test centre, as part of their VISA application. If you do not have a recognised English Language qualification at the time of application, we will ask for this as part of your offer. The UKVI does not accept qualifications that are more than 2 years old.

If English is not the first language and the applicant is or will be applying for a UK Student Visa, they must have an acceptable Secure English Language Test (SELT) score of 6.5 total with a minimum of 5.5 in all four components: reading, writing, speaking, and listening.

If the applicant is in the UK they can only take a SELT test with one of the following providers:

  • Trinity College London
  • IELTS SELT Consortium
  • LanguageCert
  • Pearson

If the applicant is outside the UK they can only take a SELT test with one of the following providers:

  • PSI Services (UK) Ltd
  • IELTS SELT Consortium
  • LanguageCert
  • Pearson

If English is not the applicant’s first language and the applicant does not need a Student Visa an applicant must usually have an equivalent of a minimum 6.5 Academic IELTS with 5.5 minimum in all components: reading, writing, speaking, and listening.


You will not need to provide an English Language qualification if you have previously obtained an academic qualification (not a professional or vocational qualification) from an educational establishment in the UK, which is a Bachelor’s degree or above or if  you have a UK degree which was taught in what we call a ‘majority English speaking’ country. Visit: https://www.gov.uk/student- visa/knowledge-of-english for a full list of ‘majority English speaking’ countries.

You may also not need to provide an English Language qualification if you have GCSE, A level, Scottish National Qualification at level 4 or 5 or Scottish Higher or Advanced Higher, in English (language or literature), that was awarded by an Ofqual (or SQA, Qualifications Wales or CCEA) regulated awarding body; and following education in a UK school undertaken while you were aged under 18 .

In all cases the ESO Admissions Team is happy to provide guidance.

Fitness to practise

All applicants should consider that to train to be an osteopath is physically demanding. Where an applicant has specific needs, which may influence their ability to study on the programme, these will be considered separately from the main selection process. Please refer to the ESO Admissions Policy for further information. The ESO works in line with the General Osteopathic Council’s guidance for applicants and students with a disability or health condition, available to view on the GOsC website.

Extended Offer requirements

At the start of the course UK students will need to complete a satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. International/EU students will need to provide a Statement of Good Conduct on arrival.

Details of the above will be provided following completion of the selection process.