The BSO is the UK’s oldest and largest school of osteopathy, and has been championing osteopathic education, research and health care for the past 100 years.
Over 40% of practicing osteopaths in the UK are BSO graduates, and have benefitted from the high-quality of our academic programme, the breadth of experience and expertise of our teaching staff, and the wealth of clinical practice opportunities offered by the BSO clinic.
Our students come from all over the world, and range from school-leavers with a passion for osteopathy to those seeking a career change or to extend their existing skills at a later stage in life.
The clinic itself is the largest osteopathic teaching clinic in Europe, delivering about 40,000 appointments each year through our specialist facilities and at community venues. We are dedicated to osteopathic heath care for all, and a large proportion of our clinical treatment is delivered free-of-charge to disadvantaged and vulnerable members of the community.
We strongly-support an evidence-informed approach, and have an active research department who are regularly published in journals and invited to speak at conferences around the world.
The school was first founded in 1917 by John Martin Littlejohn (pictured). Littlejohn
had formerly studied with the founder of osteopathy, Andrew Taylor Still, in the US,
and wanted to form a school in the UK to ‘set up a standard of osteopathic science,
to show the public what the science is and clinically to demonstrate its efficiency’.
He served as Dean of the School for 40 years.
From its origins as a small school delivering basic professional training and
graduating its first handful of students in 1925, the school has undertaken an
incredible journey over the past 100 years.
It has relocated three times to accommodate growing numbers of students and
patients, most recently to its current location on bustling Borough High Street in
1998. The building was officially opened by HRH The Princess Royal, who has
been a patron of the school from 1984, and continues to attend every student graduation ceremony to this day. Ten years later, the BSO opened its new,
state-of-the-art clinic just a short walk away on Southwark Bridge Road.
Over the years the School has continually developed its academic provision, introducing degree courses and diplomas at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. These were initially validated by the CNAA then the Open University, and finally, from 2004 – 2016, by the University of Bedfordshire (formerly University of Luton).
Most recently, the BSO has been awarded Taught Degree Awarding Powers, and has become the first and only osteopathic school in the UK to be granted the power to award its own degrees.