If you want to help other people, non-medical therapy also offers various career goals. Examples include occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech therapy and music or art therapy.

The field of study at a glance

What is characteristic of this area of study is that all degree programs are concerned with helping people maintain or restore their health. In addition to specific therapeutic and medical knowledge, students are often also introduced to psychology as well as legal and social principles.

Course offered

  • Interdisciplinary therapy science deals with prevention, curation and rehabilitation. Students also learn basic knowledge in management as well as subject-specific business administration and IT.
  • Speech therapy (speech therapy), clinical linguistics and patholinguistics are concerned with the treatment of hearing, voice, speech and swallowing disorders, e.g. during language acquisition in childhood or after strokes.
  • In occupational therapy, a wide range of occupational therapy methods are used to support people of all ages whose ability to act is limited to carry out meaningful activities and thus ensure the ability to act and participate in everyday life.
  • Physiotherapy is primarily concerned with prevention, advice and therapy with regard to functional and developmental disorders of the musculoskeletal system.
  • Music therapy treats sick people and people with disabilities by listening to music selected according to the diagnosis (passive music therapy) and by actively using means of musical expression (active music therapy), such as using percussion or Orff instruments. In this way, for example, it paves the way for people with autistic disorders to have their first communication channels. Note: This area of work partially overlaps with rhythm and general music education (AME), see “Music”.
  • Art therapy performs similar tasks, helping its patients with a wide variety of articulation options in the visual arts, e.g. to work out problems or processes visually and to make them “pictorial” and thus create a “visible” basis to really deal with them.

There are dual study options for therapy professions. The federal states also have the option of setting up primary university courses in physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy on a trial basis. Graduates of these courses can then use the professional title - e.g. physiotherapist or occupational therapist - and have acquired a bachelor's degree at the same time. These courses complement the diverse spectrum of vocational school training in some therapy subjects.

Contents of the course

Up to three internships are mandatory as part of the course. They last between six weeks and three months (practical semester) and are usually linked to a therapeutic practice.

In all undergraduate therapy courses, basic biomedical, diagnostic and therapeutic training takes place in the basic course (Bachelor).

  • This includes, for example, module offerings in various psychological and medical disciplines as well as in basic musical and visual arts subjects and their therapeutic application in music and art therapy courses.
  • Psychological, neurological, linguistic and audiological-phoniatric studies fill the first semesters of the speech therapy courses.
  • In music therapy, for example, self-awareness for music therapists as well as supervision is added, and in art therapy there is art theory.

The master's program usually continues, deepens and expands subject areas and imparts practical knowledge at an advanced level. There are also modules for quality assurance and the social and health system.

Admission criteria & application for study

In speech therapy, occupational therapy and physiotherapy, there are, among other things, dual study programs in which vocational school training in a corresponding profession and an undergraduate university degree take place in parallel and are related to each other; In some cases, completed initial training in a relevant profession is also required at the time of starting your studies.

In addition to a school leaving certificate, you need proof of suitability for the artistic therapy courses, e.g. a passed entrance exam.

Career opportunities after graduation

Non-medical therapists usually independently treat sick people and people with disabilities using the methods of their respective specialist area upon medical prescription. You work in clinics, rehabilitation facilities, healthcare training facilities and freelance/self-employed or in your own practice.