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Nowadays, within the binomial teaching-learning, and more in the university context after Bologna plan, the learning aspect, and consequently the student, is the key point. In terms of this aspect, one of the central questions concerns the way the students learn. For that, one of the aspects to be accessed could be the learning approaches of our students, in other words, the motivation and the learning strategies employed by them to perform an academic task.

To analyse what are the learning approaches employed by second year physiotherapy students at University of Vigo.

Cross-sectional descriptive study. The Biggs’ questionnaire on learning approaches was used (Biggs et al., 2001 – original version; Muñoz San Roque and Martínez Felipe, 2012 – Spanish version). The study was carried out in the academic course 2014-2015 and second year physiotherapy students participated in it. The sample was composed of 47 students (74.6% of the enrolled). The average age was 20.28 ± 2.26 years.

53.2% of the participants were women and 46.8% were men. To the total sample, there were higher scores in “Deep approach” (mean 30.94 ± 5.48) than in “Superficial approach” (mean 19.21 ± 5.39). Likewise, there were higher scores in the sub-scales of “Deep motive” and “Deep strategies” (15.98 ±2.91 and 14.94 ± 3.16, respectively) than in the sub-scales of “Superficial motive” and “Superficial strategies” (8.06 ± 2.17 and 11.15 ± 3.72, respectively). There was a significant difference by gender in only one item of the questionnaire (Item nº 7, higher for men). Additionally, there were higher scores for men in “Superficial motive” (p<0.05). For the other 3 sub-scales (Superficial strategies, Deep motive and Deep strategies), as well for the “Superficial approach” and “Deep approach”, there were no significant differences by gender.

The second year physiotherapy students at the University of Vigo seem to have a deep learning approach. To know if there is any relationship between this conduct and their academic performance would be the next part of the study. In future researches, it would be interesting to analyse the other courses of the Degree, as well as other Health Sciences Degrees in order to stablish correlations.