Postgraduate Taught

MSc Musculoskeletal Medicine

This is a flexible, part-time pathway that leads you to a clinically orientated MSc covering the assessment, diagnosis and non-surgical treatment of disorders of the musculoskeletal (MSK) system.

This MSc is a ‘must-have’ qualification for physiotherapists and medical practitioners who wish to improve treatment outcomes in the management of musculoskeletal disorders, and to develop their personal and professional skills.

Why QMU?

  • This is a flexible, clinically orientated route to master’s study.
  • This course offers practice-relevant training delivered by expert clinicians.
  • The MSc is ideal for physiotherapists stepping onto the Advanced Practitioner ladder and GPs developing as a GP with Special Interest.

Course overview

The overall pathway of the MSc is flexible, and so it supports continuing professional development in musculoskeletal practice at all stages. It is ideal for physiotherapists who are developing their career towards advanced or first contact musculoskeletal practice, and medical practitioners developing their ‘GP with Special Interest’ role.

The core modules will give you a grounding in research methods and help you apply the skills of research and enquiry to produce original work to contribute to your profession. You can choose two optional modules and tailor them to your professional development plan and your own particular needs (eg the theory and practice of injection therapy). 

Exit awards

MSc (180 credits)/ PgDip (120 credits)


To be admitted onto the MSc you must complete a number of credit-bearing modules offered by the Society of Musculoskeletal Medicine (SOMM). On completion of these modules you may then progress your studies to the MSc Musculoskeletal Medicine where you will be required to complete two optional modules (by SOMM), Research Methods (by QMU) and dissertation (by QMU). If you only wish to complete a single module for CPD purposes, please contact SOMM directly. All students registered on an optional module (by SOMM) are automatically registered as a QMU associate student.

Teaching, learning and assessment

Teaching methods include interactive lectures, demonstrations, supervised practical groups, individual and group tutorials, seminars and workshops. Students’ learning will also be supported by technology, with the expectation of online investigation and discussion with their peers, tutors and supervisors. Learners will be actively involved in a range of learning, teaching and assessment approaches as part of their MSc.

Formative assessment within the course comprises self, peer, group and tutor assessment of practical skills with feedback. Self-evaluation is encouraged through the development of each student’s professional development portfolio. Summative assessment comprises essays, literature reviews, practical examinations and development and presentation of portfolio.

Teaching hours and attendance

Some optional modules require attendance (usually split over two units of two or three days), or a practice-based optional module can be selected, which does not require any attendance. The Research Methods and Dissertation modules can be studied via distance/blended learning. Your specific calendar and timetable will depend on which optional modules you choose to study.


Core modules:

  • Research Methods (20/30 credits)
  • Dissertation (60 credits)

Optional modules (choose two from the following):

  • Theory and Practice of Injection Therapy (20 credits)
  • Advancing Practice in Musculoskeletal Medicine (20 credits)
  • Developing Professional Practice (20 credits)
  • Special Tests in Musculoskeletal Examination (20 credits)
  • Preparation for Teaching Musculoskeletal Medicine (20 credits)- This requires separate application for a Studentship with the Society of Musculoskeletal Medicine.

The modules listed are correct at time of posting (September 2019) but are subject to change. In the event that modules are changed, QMU will seek to use reasonable endeavours to ensure that there is no detrimental impact on students. 


Single module study

Available. Register as an associate student to study single modules in areas of interest. Contact SOMM administrative staff for further information.


There are no placements on this course.

Links with industry/ professional bodies

The course is accredited by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.


This MSc will help physiotherapists who are profession building towards advanced or first contact musculoskeletal practice in the NHS or in the private sector, and medical practitioners developing their ‘GP with Special Interest’ in musculoskeletal medicine role.

Class sizes

Normally there are 10-15 students enrolling on the MSc each year.

Entry requirements

Students should normally have:

  • A relevant professional physiotherapy (eg BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy) or medical qualification
  • Registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) or General Medical Council (GMC). Students based within the European Economic Area (EEA) and international students will need to provide evidence of registration with their home organisation, as appropriate to their professional qualification.
  • Evidence of opportunities to practise musculoskeletal medicine.
  • Successful completion of all of the assessment components of the core Foundation in Musculoskeletal Medicine module (60 SCQF Level 11 credits).
  • Successful completion of courses provided by other orthopaedic/musculoskeletal medicine organisations, eg Orthopaedic Medicine Seminars, Orthopaedic Medicine International (Global) and European Teaching Group of Orthopaedic Medicine, with acceptance of a portfolio of evidence, which includes support for the student’s achievement of the learning outcomes of the core Foundation in Musculoskeletal Medicine module, through submission of a summative reflective essay and personal development plan.

International: Where your honours degree has not been studied in English, you will be required to provide evidence of English language competence at no less than IELTS 6.5 with no individual component score less than 6.0.

Application deadline

Please Note:

The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2020/21 Entry - Terms and Conditions (Postgraduate).

Start Your Application

Apply for this Course

Course Overview

Core modules are via online and distance learning. Various off campus locations for the optional modules.
18-60 months part-time
Start Date
September 2020
Study Abroad
Subject Area
Fees & Funding