NB Application for September 2023 and January 2024 entry is now closed. Application for September 2024 and January 2025 entry will open at the start of October 2023. 

Postgraduate Taught

Physiotherapy (Pre-Registration) - MSc

If you are a graduate and looking for a fast-track to a new rewarding career, why not consider this MSc in Physiotherapy (Pre-Registration)? Working as a physiotherapist you would deal with human function and movement and help people to achieve their full physical potential.

With innovative and creative approaches to learning and teaching, this course will develop the theoretical, practical, analytical and evaluative skills necessary to work as a physiotherapist.

The course includes a number of practice placements and is delivered full-time over two years. On completion you can apply for registration with the Health & Care Professions Council  (HCPC) as a physiotherapist.

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 long established 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 than elsewhere: 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.
  • Professional accreditation/registration and more: On completion, you will be eligible to apply for registration with the  as a physiotherapist. You will also be eligible to apply for membership with the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.

Studying MSc Physiotherapy (Pre-Registration)

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

Physiotherapists 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.

How will I be taught?

Structure and exit awards

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

You must complete the full MSc (360 credits*) to be eligible to register with the Health & Care Professions Council.

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.


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.

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.

Specialist facilities

QMU offers a variety of modern spaces for use by both our Master of Physiotherapy (MPhys) and MSc Physiotherapy (Pre-Registration) courses. Two large practical rooms are utilized for teaching and development of clinical skills. Students have access to numerous anatomy models which are incorporated into their learning during practical sessions and can be used during self-directed study sessions.  Our physiotherapy students also utilize QMU's clinical simulation suite which is equipped to practice both hands on skills and communication in a simulated real-life environment. The courses also have access to a motion analysis lab and human performance lab.

Class sizes

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

Teaching staff

You can read more about the teaching staff on this course at the bottom of this page. Please note that teaching staff is subject to change.


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.

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

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.

Physiotherapy (Pre-Registration) - MSc: Entry requirements and application information

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.

Other requirements

A satisfactory criminal records check from the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme, an occupational health check and personal indemnity insurance (normally through membership of the professional body) are required.

Other information

  • The cost of the PVG check (£18 or £59 depending on the level of clearance required*) and the professional indemnity insurance are the responsibility of the student. Currently the cost of the health check is funded by the Scottish Government for Scottish students only and other students are responsible for this cost. This is however subject to change should the Scottish Government change their funding policy.
  • The additional costs associated with placement travel and accommodation are the responsibility of the student. 

*Please note that cost is subject to change.

Applying for this course

For more information on applying, or to apply for this course, please follow the links in the 'Start your application' box at the top right of this page.

Application deadline

Please Note: Applications have now closed for both September 2023 and January 2024 start dates and no further applications can be made at this time.

Applications for September 2024 and January 2025 will open in October 2023.

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).

More information and QMU contacts

Funded places

Scottish Domiciled students applying for September 2023 or January 2024 entry are eligible to apply to the NHS Scotland Physiotherapy Funded Places Scheme, supported by the Scottish Government. If successful, students will receive payment of course fees for two years, and 50% practice-based learning placements located within the host health board.

Please see the NHS website for more information on, or to apply to, the Scheme. If you have any queries, you should contact the NHS directly. .

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Course Overview

At QMU and on placement
2 years full time
Start Date
January 2024
School of Health Sciences
Subject Area
Fees & Funding
SCQF Level

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

Join us at one of our Postgraduate Open Events 2023

16 or 23 November 2023

We offer a number of online and in-person opportunities to meet with us to find out more about our postgraduate courses and study at QMU. 

Postgraduate Open Events - Book Now