MSc Advanced Physiotherapy

Key information

Course Leader: Andrea MoulsonAndrea Moulson and Mindy Cairns

Level: 7

Start date: September 2021 and January 2022

School: Health & Social Work

Why you should choose this course?

  • Flexible programme of study which can be tailored to your own needs
  • Highly regarded with contributions from national and internationally recognised speakers 
  • Enhances career progression - many students have gone on to roles as clinical specialists, team leaders, clinical mentors, lecturers and researchers. Your choice of “optional modules” will be key in facilitating you to maximise your career potential. 

Course Overview

This well-established master’s degree is designed for physiotherapists who want to advance their professional practice and obtain an academic qualification. The programme is designed to enhance your current knowledge and understanding and give you opportunities to challenge and critically evaluate your professional practice. 

Who is it for?

  • The course is suitable for physiotherapists who are interested in advancing their existing skills and acquiring new ones. You should have a least one year’s post-qualification experience and evidence of relevant continuing professional development. You should have a clinical caseload during the course to enable you to apply theory to practice, integrate, consolidate and reflect on new skills and meet the demands of the assessment. 
  • You will need to be registered with the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC). If your first language is not English, you will have to provide evidence of IELTs of 7.0 (including 7.0 in the writing component) with no less than 6.5 in every band. 
  • If you have a particular interest in the management of patients with cardiorespiratory problems or long-term conditions, you may wish to explore the master’s degrees offered by our partner Education for Health

Professional Accreditation

  • On completion of the modules listed in the box below (Box1), you will be eligible for membership with the Musculoskeletal Association of Chartered Physiotherapists (MACP).  

  • The MACP is a member organisation of the International Federation of Orthopaedic Manipulative Physical Therapists (IFOMPT) who sets and monitors educational and clinical standards in this area of physical therapy. The IFOMPT educational standards have been mapped against the Multi-Professional Advanced Clinical Practice (ACP) framework and the Musculoskeletal (MSK) core capabilities framework. Work is currently being undertaken to develop an Accelerated Pathway for ACP recognition. Completion of this suite of modules will place you in a sound position to obtain ACP recognition. 
  • Work is also currently being undertaken by Health Education England (HEE) and the MSK Physiotherapy Partnership to develop a UK ACP Framework for MSK Practice in England. The results of this project are not yet available and may inform other potential routes to ACP recognition via HEE. 
  • If you do not have an MSK background and are interested in developing your career to achieve the capabilities of advanced practice as set out in the Multi-professional Framework for Advanced Practice, you may be interested in our MSc Advanced Clinical Practice course.

Course Structure

  • The course is flexible and modular allowing you to create a programme of study to meet your personal development and career aspirations. To attain a Master’s award you need to complete 180 credits. 
  • There are also interim awards available: 

Postgraduate Certificate (PgC) (60 credits) in Advanced Physiotherapy. Please note that this must include a minimum of 30 credits of “physiotherapy” modules (Box 2) or the award will be a PgC in Health Studies.

Postgraduate Diploma (PgD) (120 credits) in Advanced Physiotherapy. Please note that this must include a minimum of 30 credits of “physiotherapy” modules (Box 2 ) or the award will be a PgD in Health Studies.

Postgraduate Certificate in Leadership in Health and Social Care. This is available on completion of modules highlighted in Box 4 under “Management”. 

  • The rate and pace of study are up to you. You have up to 6 years to complete your master’s course; however, most students complete in 3-4 years and study 1-2 modules per year. 
  • The master’s degree consists of three elements: compulsory, research and optional modules. The combination of credits depends upon the ultimate goal for your career aspirations. As such it is worth considering this carefully before you start your studies. 

If you wish to obtain the MSc Advanced Physiotherapy without membership of the MACP, you will need to complete a minimum of 30 credits of core “physiotherapy” modules (Box 2), 60 credits of research modules (Box 3). The remaining 90 credits can come from other physiotherapy modules or optional modules (Box 4). 



If you wish to obtain the MSc Advanced Physiotherapy with membership of the MACP, you will need to complete the modules detailed in Box 1 plus 45 credits of optional modules (Box 4). 

  • Core Physiotherapy modules 

There are currently 4 taught modules; 1 work-based placement and 7 independent study modules. 

The Independent study modules allow you to gain an in depth understanding of a particular subject area in which you have a specific interest. They are particularly useful where there are no taught modules available. 

A First Contact Practitioner (30 credit) course is currently being developed. It is anticipated that this will run in Semester BC 2021


Box 2: Core physiotherapy modules

  • Research modules:

“Research methods” (7HSK0308 OR 7HSK0368) can be studied at any stage during your studies. 

Preparation for Research Project (7HSK0309) should be studied immediately before the Research Project module (7HSK0310).

Research project is normally the final module in your programme of study.

  • Optional modules:

A wide range of optional modules allows you to create your own bespoke programme of study. The optional modules can include additional modules from the physiotherapy modules, interprofessional modules; School modules, accredited short courses or credits transferred from other institutions. 

Modules may change year on year to reflect new developments or advances in practice. 

Optional modules can be taken in any order. 

It is advisable to consider your choice of optional modules carefully to reflect your personal strengths and potential career aspirations.


Plan of study

  • The majority of students study the course on a part-time basis. It is possible to complete it on a full-time basis in 1 year although the choice of modules is restricted. 
  • Modules can be studied in any order with the exceptions below:

Normally “Lower quadrant – MSK Physiotherapy” is studied before “Upper quadrant MSK Physiotherapy”. This is because the upper quadrant is a progression of the lower quadrant.

  • Research Methods (7HSK0308) or Research Methods – Distance Learning (7HSK0368) and Preparation for Research Project (7HSK0309) have to be successfully completed before Research project (7HSK0310). 

Where will you study?

Most of the taught sessions take place on the College lane Campus. However, there are some sessions on the De Haviland Campus. 

Teaching Methods

  • Modules are facilitated by a variety of experienced lecturers from the University as well as external expert lecturers.
  • The mode of delivery varies and in the light of the Covid pandemic, previously taught modules may be delivered by a digitally enabled learning method in reflective and innovative ways to enhance your learning experience. You may need to engage in the synchronous teaching sessions on the dates advertised for the module.
  • You will need to have access to a suitable personal computer and a good reliable Internet connection. 
  • Modules are assessed by a variety of methods for example essays, presentations, reports, written and practical examinations.

Examples of study routes

  • Some suggested study plans are outlined below. Routes to both FCP and ACP roles may change as a result of the current reviews. 
  • It is likely that potential study plans for non MSK clinicians working towards ACP roles will become clearer in the future.
  • It is recognised that your career plans may change during your studies and as such your initial module choices may alter. 
  • You are invited to discuss your plans with the programme lead. 


Application is either by the CPD site or you can complete an on-line application by apply below.

There are two modes of application:

Independent – you apply for a single module and are registered as an Independent student on the master’s programme. This is a useful approach if you are unsure about applying for a full programme. It will give you an idea of the level of input required and the amount of time involved. You can undertake up to 45 credits as an independent student. If you decide to undertake more credits, then you are transferred to the master’s programme. 

Postgraduate Diploma/ Masters – you apply for the master’s course at the beginning of your studies. You will normally need to provide a reference and a CV. 

On application you will need to indicate which module/s you intend to study in your first year. 

You select subsequent modules you plan to study on a yearly basis using the On-line application portal

What our students say about their experience of learning on the course

“The course has been flexible in allowing me to choose my particular areas of interest”

“ Staff are enthusiastic when teaching each topic, approachable and tailored sessions to the needs of the group”


  • The Master’s course is modular and the fees are payable per module. Some modules are subject to non-standard fees (e.g. MSK Injection Therapy).
  • You retain the fee package which you commenced on when you joined the part-time master’s course (as long as you do not have a break in study). If you first studied a module as an “independent” student (see section on application) this will mean your fees will increase from your first module.
  • For NHS employees, part, or all, of your fees may be covered through the commissioning process. It is therefore worth checking with the CPD lead for your Trust. 
  • If you completed your undergraduate degree at UH, you are entitled to a fee deduction of 20% on all modules.
  • A postgraduate loan is available for this course. If you receive a loan the course needs to be completed within three years. The programme of study must be agreed, in advance, by the programme lead. 


Fees and Funding


The price quoted above is per 15 credits and relates to self-funding students assessed as UK students for fee purposes - some modules within this programme are charged at a premium rate, please see premium fee section opposite. Prices may differ for students that are assessed as Overseas, or for returning students that are on a course leading to an award. Click here for Fees and Funding information or email us. To obtain a PG student loan, you must sign up for the whole programme and not just an individual module.


Home and EU applicants with pre-settled/settled status in the UK

Apply now for MSc Advanced Physiotherapy