Postgraduate Taught

MSc Physiotherapy (Pre-Registration)

This MSc Physiotherapy (Pre-Registration) course offers an accelerated route to gain a recognised qualification in physiotherapy practice. It will develops the theoretical, practical, analytical and evaluative skills necessary to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as a physiotherapist

The course includes a number of practice placements and is delivered full-time over two years.


Why QMU?

  • Employability: Our graduates are self-aware, skilled, critical, analytical, reflective and evaluative, independent learners who actually contribute to shaping the future health and wellbeing of the individual and society. The employability of graduates from this course is proven both in the United Kingdom and abroad.
  • MSc project: When writing your dissertation you will have the opportunity to work with staff with international influence, leading in development of exercise and health and wellbeing on a wide range of cutting edge research opportunities.
  • Placements: We have an extensive portfolio of exciting placement opportunities that will enable you to put your learning into practice alongside keen clinical educators to support and encourage students professional development.
  • Smaller class sizes: The year group is split into small groups for practical classes and some tutorials. This ensures that individuals receive excellent support and benefit from sharing their experiences with their classmates. There is a strong emphasis on student-directed learning.
  • Staff expertise: Staff have a broad range of clinical and research expertise covering all areas of physiotherapy, physiology and public health.
  • Variety of teaching and learning methods: The course is well grounded in practice by integrating and applying practical examples throughout the course, for example, case scenarios linked to assignments, vivas and problem-based learning tasks, and visiting lecturers. This integrates placement and coursework and therefore makes learning relevant to practice. We use a variety of innovative teaching methods to make learning engaging and interesting.

Who is this course for?

This course is for graduates from any discipline.

More about MSc Physiotherapy (Pre-Registration) and what you will achieve

Physiotherapists deal with human function and movement and help people to achieve their full physical potential. They use physical approaches to promote, maintain and restore wellbeing.

As a student on this course, you will complete a range of modules and periods of practice placement. You will learn how to synthesise evidence from current practice and research to develop an in-depth critical knowledge and understanding of the physiotherapy profession. Furthermore, you will be able to demonstrate a critical awareness of current issues within the provision of health and social care, and will be capable of demonstrating leadership in both personal and professional development.

Exit awards

MSc: 120 M-level credits plus a further 240 credits at SCQF levels 9 and 10.


You must complete the full MSc to be eligible to register with the HCPC and to work as a physiotherapist. Single module study is not available.

Teaching, learning and assessment

We use various innovative and creative methods of teaching throughout the modules to suit different learning styles and preferences some of these include bodypainting to consolidate anatomical knowledge and use of the simulation suite to practice ‘real-life’ scenarios before attending placement. A variety of assessment methods are used including written assignments, practical viva exams, presentations and reflective portfolios. Practice-based learning is a major component of the course, comprising more than 1,000 hours.

Teaching hours and attendance

This is a full-time course and students are expected to be available 9am-5pm Monday to Friday. Students should expect to study for an average of 40 hours per week. Timetabled classes are approximately 12-15 hours per week.

Industry links, accreditation and professional registration

On completion, you will be eligible to apply for registration with the HCPC as a physiotherapist. You will also be eligible to apply for membership with the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.


Modules are a combination of M-level and UG-level.

Year One will include:

  • Foundations for Physiotherapy (40 credits): This module aims to apply students’ knowledge of anatomy and physiology as a foundation to physiotherapy practice and Introduce basic physiotherapy observation and assessment skills. Students will develop problem solving and transferable skills to inform and to evaluate physiotherapy practice
  • Preparing for Practice as an AHP (20 credits): This module aims to explore factors that shape and influence the provision of health and social care by the allied health professions.
  • Introduction to Physiotherapy Practice (20 credits): This module aims to develop understanding of the theoretical and practical knowledge and skills required for physiotherapy in a rehabilitation context. 
  • Neurological Physiotherapy (20 credits): This module aims to develop knowledge, clinical skills, practical skills and the ability to apply evidence for the safe, effective and evidence based assessment and management of people living with neurological conditions in acute, rehabilitation and long-term management settings.  It also aims to explore the role and skills of the physiotherapist within the multidisciplinary team and selected environments outwith the hospital setting, in the management and rehabilitation of people with neurological disease.
  • Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy 1 (20 credits): This module aims to: develop students’ knowledge base and clinical skills necessary for effective assessment and management of people with: neuro musculoskeletal health conditions of the upper and lower limbs; neuro musculoskeletal spinal conditions; and develop students ability to assess and manage individuals with these health conditions, utilising an approach which is critically reasoned, reflective, person-centred and evidence-based.
  • Cardiorespiratory Physiotherapy (20 credits): The aims of this module are to develop the student’s knowledge base and clinical skills for the safe, effective and evidence based assessment and management of the an individual with a cardiorespiratory condition/s in both the acute and rehabilitation setting. To develop a critical understanding of some of the psychosocial issues that influences the multi disciplinary management of individuals with cardiorespiratory condition/s.  

Year Two will include:

  • Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy 2 (20 credits): The aim of this module is to develop and enhance the student's ability to assess, clinically reason and plan management approaches for people with complex presentations of musculoskeletal conditions.
  • Understanding and Appraising the Evidence for Practice (20 credits): The aim of the module is to support  the learner to develop an in-depth understanding of approaches to research, to apply knowledge in order to critically appraise evidence and to form reasoned conclusions and to develop the research skills and knowledge necessary to undertake an independent research project., 
  • Advancement of Clinical Management (20 credits): This module aims to provide learners with the opportunity to advance their knowledge, skills and practices in the multi-system assessment and management of different clinical populations within a biopsychosocial context.
  • Public Health Practice for Physiotherapists (20 credits): The aim of the module is to develop a critical understanding of public health principles and theory and to integrate those principles into physiotherapy practice OR Leadership and Enterprise (20 credits): This module aims to critically evaluate the concepts of leadership and leading change, intra/entrepreneurship and innovation within the health and social care sector and explore opportunities for leading and developing enterprising ideas for health and well-being.
  • Masters' Research Project (40 credits)

Across the two years, you will complete 31 weeks of practice-based learning placements comprising over 1050 hours.

The modules listed are correct at time of posting (October 2021) 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.

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In your first semester you will complete a two-week introductory placement. At the end of Year One you will undertake a further two six-week placements. A third six-week placement will take place in semester 2 of Year Two. In the final semester, you will undertake a six-week placement and a five-week elective placement. Any additional travel and accommodation costs associated with placements will be borne by the student.

Placements will take place at practice sites across Scotland and will be allocated by QMU with the exception of the five-week elective placement, which is arranged by the student.


The majority of graduates work as physiotherapists within the National Health Service, either in major hospitals or in the community. With further post-registration experience, graduates can choose to specialise in a particular area, which may include: sports, neurology, paediatrics, respiratory, orthopaedics or private practice. Some graduates choose to follow a research career path. A percentage of students on graduation will apply for overseas accreditation in countries such as Canada, Ireland and Australia.

Single modules for CPD

Not available

Class sizes

Normally there are around 50-75 students enrolling on the course each year.

Entry requirements

A second class honours degree in any discipline. However, where the undergraduate degree is not science or engineering based, applicants should be able to be able to demonstrate research skills. This may have been achieved through completion of a research project as part of the undergraduate degree.

This course is not suitable for those already holding a physiotherapy qualification. Applicants from North America will normally be expected to have achieved a minimum GPA equivalent to 60% in their undergraduate degree.

Demonstration of understanding of the scope of the physiotherapy profession is essential.

International: You will be required to take an IELTS test receiving an overall score of 7.0 and no individual component score below 6.5.

Criminal Records Check: A criminal records check is required.

Application deadline

31 January 2023

Please Note: This deadline applies to both the September 2023 and January 2024 start dates.


More information and contacts

Contact Admissions 

Course presentation 2022

Funded places

The following information applied to this course for 2022 entry. The application deadline for this has now passed, but opportunities may be available for 2023 entry. This page will be updated as appropriate.

"An opportunity has arisen for Scottish Domiciled students starting first year on the 2-year MSc (Pre-registration) Physiotherapy Course in Sept 2022/Jan 2023 at Queen Margaret University to apply to the NHS Scotland Physiotherapy Funded Places Scheme supported by Scottish Government. The scheme is open to those offered or in the process of  applying for an MSc place.

The Funded Places Scheme is aimed at applicants who fully intend to develop their future career within NHS Scotland and will be hosted by NHS Boards throughout the country. The NHS Boards participating in this scheme are shown below. Individuals with an association to a specific NHS Board or area are encouraged to apply and should explain their choice on application.


  • NHS Ayrshire and Arran
  • NHS Borders
  • NHS Dumfries and Galloway
  • NHS Fife
  • NHS Forth Valley
  • NHS Grampian
  • NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
  • NHS Highland
  • NHS Lanarkshire
  • NHS Lothian
  • NHS Orkney
  • NHS Shetland
  • NHS Tayside
  • NHS Western Isles


The package offers

  • payment of course fees for 2 years*
  • 50% of practice-based learning placements will be located within the host health board (no additional finance related to this)

Some Boards may additionally offer the opportunity for

  • a Heath Care Support Worker bank employment contract
  • an in-Board buddy

 * NB Students who have applied to the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) for a loan to cover tuition fees will no longer be entitled to this funding but will continue to receive the living cost loan element of their funding package. Learn more about postgraduate funding on the SAAS website

To apply please complete the initial online application using the link below, providing name, university, first and second choice NHS Board, brief biography (max 150 words) and statement supporting application (300 words): application form

Information from NHS Boards which may support your application is available here

Please direct any queries to

For selected applicants interview via Microsoft Teams will also be required. Interviews are likely to be held in late May/June 2022. The closing date for applications is 5pm Monday 16th May 2022

Also visit NHS Scotland Physiotherapy Funded Places Scheme for more information.

Please Note:

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

Teaching staff is subject to change.

Course Overview

At QMU and on placement
2 years full time
Start Date
September 2023
Start Date
January 2024
Study Abroad
School of Health Sciences
Subject Area
Fees & Funding

Engage with the Team

A Student Story

Stuart Maytham - MSc Physiotherapy (Pre-Reg) “After studying Sports Science for four years, I was interested more in how exercise science can help the general population and how to get the nation moving more, rather than working primarily with athletes. I hoped the course would give me a greater insight into the more clinical application of exercise and movement. It didn't fail to deliver." Read my student story