Please note: We are not longer accepting applications for this course.

Postgraduate Taught

Musculoskeletal Medicine - MSc

We regret that we are no longer accepting applications for this course.


Musculoskeletal Medicine (MSc): More information and what you will achieve

The course is ideal for physiotherapists stepping onto the advanced practitioner ladder and medical practitioners developing their ‘GP with Special Interest’ role. Those wishing to study for the MSc will already have embarked on their CPD journey with SOMM** and this MSc option at QMU will enable you to obtain a full master’s qualification.

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).

How will I be taught?

Structure and exit awards

To be admitted onto the MSc (180 credits) 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 this MSc Musculoskeletal Medicine at QMU where you will be required to complete two optional modules (provided by SOMM), Research Methods (by QMU) and Dissertation modules (provided by QMU).

If you only wish to complete a single module for CPD purposes, please Contact SOMM administrative staff directly. All students registered on a single optional module (provided 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 the optional modules you choose to study.

Class sizes

Normally 10-15 students 


Core modules:

  • Research Methods module (20 credits): The aim of the MSc Research Methods module is to provide the student with an understanding of research principles, a range of quantitative and qualitative research methodologies and appropriate analysis for these. This will enable the student to develop the research skills and knowledge necessary to undertake an independent research project.
  • Research Dissertation Module (60 credits): The aims of this module is to: 1) enable students to develop and apply the skills of research and enquiry to produce original work which contributes to a subject, field or profession and 2) engage students in study which demands a professional approach, academic rigour, independence and self-direction

Optional modules (choose two from the following):

  • Theory and Practice of Injection Therapy (20 credits): This module in injection skills is designed to develop cognitive and psychomotor skills essential to the advancement of the physiotherapist specialising in injection treatments for musculoskeletal lesions. The module aims to develop the knowledge of the physiotherapist in the theory, application and practice of injection treatments in musculoskeletal disorders. It further aims to enhance constant critical reasoning and evaluation in the application of injection skills.
  • Advancing Practice in Musculoskeletal Medicine (20 credits): This module develops advanced clinical reasoning, critical appraisal and presentation skills. It includes critically analysing the latest published evidence and developments on musculoskeletal medicine, for example cervical arterial dysfunction and appropriate referral for diagnostic imaging. In addition, students will advance and gain further mastery of musculoskeletal medicine manual therapy skills. This module provides a multidisciplinary environment for reflecting, sharing and discussing ideas, evidence and clinical experiences for advancing practice.
  • Developing Professional Practice Module (20 credits): The overall aim of this module is to enable the student to plan, implement and critically evaluate professional practice in order to advance practice in the workplace. The module provides students with the opportunity to carry out a project, situational analysis or literature review, which will be distinct from that conducted for the research proposal and dissertation. The student is asked to identify an area or issue within their workplace that they would like to investigate, be it a clinical technique or process. They will then research that area, draw conclusions and make recommendations for change. The module brings together reflection, critical analysis, the development of academic theory and managing change. The topic for the project work is agreed in advance with the Module Coordinator.
  • Preparation for Teaching Musculoskeletal Medicine (20 credits)*: This module aims to develop the teaching, learning and assessment skills of the musculoskeletal medicine practitioner undertaking this module. These skills will develop the musculoskeletal medicine practitioner’s competence and confidence in effectively imparting the principles and practice of musculoskeletal medicine to the postgraduate medical practitioner, physiotherapist or other healthcare professional, using appropriate teaching, learning and assessment strategies.

*Requires separate application for a Studentship with the Society of Musculoskeletal Medicine

NB The modules listed are correct at time of posting (October 2022) but are subject to change. In the event that modules change, QMU will seek to use reasonable endeavours to ensure that there is no detrimental impact on students.


Career opportunities

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

Musculoskeletal Medicine (MSc): Entry requirements and application information

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) (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; and
  • 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, for example, 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: 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.

Applying for the course

We are not longer accepting applications for this course.

Application deadline

We are not longer accepting applications for this course.

Terms and Conditions

The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2023/24 Entry - Terms and Conditions (Postgraduate).

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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 2023
Subject Area
SCQF Level

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