Postgraduate Taught

Podiatry (Pre-Registration) - MSc

This MSc in Podiatry (Pre-Registration) course provides a route for graduates of non-podiatry degrees to convert to a fulfilling career in podiatry in only two years. Working as a podiatrist, within the NHS or private practice, you will help people improve their health, wellbeing and quality of life.

Delivered full time, the course has a clinical and health promotion focus and includes multiple Scotland-wide practice placements. On completion you will be able to apply for full registration with the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) to work as a podiatrist.

Why QMU?

  • Our reputation: Podiatric education at Queen Margaret University is well established, extremely popular, and well respected throughout the profession
  • Employability: The course has great employability rates with our graduates going on to work in the NHS, private practice, or setting up their own business.
  • Staff expertise: The teaching team includes six registered podiatrists who have strong links with the podiatric profession within Scotland and across the UK. The University’s clinically relevant research along with the broad range of experience of the teaching team ensures that the course remains current.
  • Placements: Your practice placements are an invaluable way of consolidating the theoretical knowledge you learn from weekly teaching, experiential opportunities and small group tutorials. The QMU podiatry team have links with multiple NHS boards around Scotland, and so you will have the opportunity to undertake block placements Scotland wide at specific points within the course.
  • Professional accreditation/registration: This course is approved by the Royal College of Podiatry and the Health & Care Professions Council  Successful completion enables application for registration with the HCPC as a podiatrist.

Studying MSc Podiatry (Pre-Registration)

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

As a podiatrist you will be a healthcare professional who has been trained to diagnose and treat abnormal conditions of the feet and lower limbs. Podiatrists work with their patients to prevent and correct deformity, keeping people mobile and active, and helping to relieve pain. Podiatrists work with people of all ages, and your patients will count on you to support and help them with a broad range of mobility and medical conditions of the foot and lower limbs. These may include muscular and joint problems as well as broader health issues such as diabetes, blood disorders and disorders of the nervous system, which may involve complex wound management.

The Year One modules include introductions to anatomy and physiology. You will be prepared for clinical practice by developing your communication skills and exploring the professional requirements to allow you to become a podiatrist and to work as part of a team. This will involve you developing key skills to allow you to begin your professional development journey as a podiatrist. In addition, you will reconsolidate existing research skills including essay writing and how to access information to support your learning. An early introduction to podiatry in the form of learning about clinical practice on placement provides the opportunity to allow you to integrate into the clinical environment. You will undertake modules that explore human walking and musculoskeletal problems. You will continue to broaden your understanding of health and wellbeing and how to influence and facilitate behaviour change. You will learn about medicine and pharmacology and the impact they can have on the lower limb. You will continue to develop your practical skills through further supported clinical placement.

Year Two modules are designed to enhance your critical thinking, research skills and further develop your knowledge of foot and ankle imaging modalities. You will be broadening your healthcare awareness and challenging your understanding of health education and promotion, as well as developing your key skills in working as part of a multidisciplinary team. You will continue to link theory and practice during a range of clinical placement opportunities including advanced practice. Through a variety of placement opportunities you will enhance, consolidate and reflect on your theoretical learning to date. You will continue to develop your skills in research, professional development and current/advanced clinical skills enabling a smooth transition to working life. You will explore leadership skills and innovative practice to meet contemporary healthcare challenges in podiatry. You will complete your academic learning by undertaking appropriate and focused research activities.

We aim for all our graduates to be confident in their own professional identity and have the additional skills that will allow you to work as an effective multidisciplinary team member. This is the reason why we have implemented an interprofessional working focus within all of our healthcare courses, including this one.

How will I be taught?

Structure and exit awards

You must complete the full MSc (360 credits) to be eligible to register with the Health & Care Professions Council and to work as a podiatrist.

Teaching, learning and assessment

The course delivers theoretical and practical campus-based learning with multiple integrated periods of practice based learning throughout NHS Scotland. There will be learning opportunities in the form of lectures, seminars, practical tutorials, online material, and practice based learning (clinical placements). There is a strong emphasis on student-directed learning.

A variety of assessment methods are used including written assignments, practical viva exams, presentations and reflective writing assignments. Practice-based learning is a major component of the course, comprising of approximately 1,000 hours.


Placements are where your theoretical learning is consolidated and deepened by working directly with patients and qualified staff. You will attend a variety of placements within the NHS at various locations and settings across Scotland. The programme team will assist with the sourcing and allocation of placements for each student on the course.

Teaching hours and attendance

Teaching hours and attendance each module is equivalent to a notional 200 hours of work (or multiple thereof), which is made up of attendance in class, online learning and independent work. The structure of each module is different with different attendance requirements for each timetabled module. Over an average semester the expectation is that during 14 weeks of teaching students will undertake approximately 40 hours per week of student effort, including contact classes, online learning and independent study time. Students will normally complete the course via a full-time route.

All placements are completed on a full-time basis and in line with the requirements of the podiatry service, normally Monday to Friday, 9am–5pm.

Specialist facilities

QMU offers a variety of modern spaces for use by both our Master of Podiatry (MPod) and MSc Podiatry (Pre-Registration) courses. We have a large multipurpose clinical room, a large orthotics lab with a separate machine room, and a fully functioning surgical suite which are all used to facilitate student learning and our on-campus patient facing clinics. On-campus staff-supported clinics which we operate within the aforementioned spaces include: Nail surgery clinics, Nail surgery assessment and dressings clinics, and Musculoskeletal/Biomechanics clinics. We also provide simulated learning experiences within our clinical spaces to enable students to safely develop complex skills which can then be transferred into the practice education/clinical setting with patients. In addition, students will have access to additional laboratory based environments for specific teaching for Microbiology and Physiology, thus enabling us to contextualise complex theory into practice.

Class sizes

Normally there are 10 students enrolling on the course each year. Most of the classes are delivered with our undergraduate Master of Podiatry (MPod) students.

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.


Year One

  • Anatomy and Physiology (20 credits): Will introduce the student to the terminology used in the study of anatomy, and to provide a detailed overview of the structural anatomy of the lower limb with particular emphasis on the foot and ankle, but to also include the knee hip and pelvis. Will provide the student with a knowledge base of human body and its functions, focussing on neuromuscular, cardiovascular, respiratory, endocrine, renal and hepatic systems with some emphasis on microorganisms (bacterial, fungal and viral) and features relevant to interactions with the human body and health.
  • Medicine and Pathology (20 credits): Will explore medicine, pathology and pathophysiology in its own right, and how it applies to podiatric practice
  • Preparing for Practice as an Allied Health Professional (20 credits): Will explore factors that shape and influence the provision of health and social care by the allied health professions
  • Mechanics of Normal and Pathological Gait (20 credits): Will evaluate mechanical principles and use these to underpin the knowledge base and appraise normal (including normal variants) and pathological gait.
  • Understanding and Appraising the Evidence for Practice (20 credits): Will 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.
  • MSK/Orthopedics (20 credits): Will develop the critical and practical skills required to carry out appropriate assessment/tests to underpin diagnosis and management of musculoskeletal/orthopaedics conditions affecting the lower limbs.
  • Pharmacology for Podiatrists (20 credits): Will introduce the student to modes of drug administration and to develop an understanding of the principles of drug action (including pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics) and to develop an understanding of the underlying principles of pharmacological therapy and the rationale for treatment
  • Podiatric Clinical Practice A (40 credits): Will enable the student to develop level 1 podiatric clinical practice skills and progress to demonstrating interpretation and implementation of evidence surrounding lower limb MSK/orthopaedic pathologies; whilst considering appropriate therapeutic regimes including the use of functional foot orthoses. To develop the theoretical knowledge and practical skills required to administer local analgesia.

Year Two

  • Applying Skills of Critical Enquiry (40 credits):Will enable learners to develop and apply the skills of research and enquiry to produce a small-scale study, which demands a professional approach, academic rigour, independence and self-direction.
  • Leadership and Enterprise in Health Practice (20 credits): Will 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.
  • Advancing Clinical Practice (20 credits): Will provide the student with an opportunity to work in a specialist area of podiatric practice.
  • Diagnostic Investigations for Podiatric Practice (20 credits): Will explore diagnostic investigations and how they relate to podiatric practice (not inclusive of medical imaging).
  • Medical Imaging of the Foot and Ankle (20 credits): Will provide learners with an understanding of different diagnostic modalities (including x-ray, diagnostic ultrasound, fluoroscopy, MRI, CT, nuclear and other advanced imaging techniques). The module will focus on the foot and ankle and enable learners to develop evaluation and interpretative skills of musculoskeletal and orthopaedic pathologies to facilitate practice.
  • Podiatric Clinical Practice B (40 credits): The aims of the module are to fulfil the requirements for eligibility for HCPC registration, by developing skills in the examination, diagnosis, treatment and evaluation of complex cases.
  • Tissue Viability (20 credits): Will facilitate critical investigative skills/study of the evidence base for factors contributing to cutaneous ulceration, viable assessment techniques and the effectiveness of current management practices.

NB The modules listed are correct at time of posting (October 2023) 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.

View film on specialist facilities at QMU

Career opportunities

It is up to you which path to take. There are excellent clinical opportunities in the NHS and in private practice. You may wish to start up your own business, or move on to do some postgraduate research. Our alumni are currently enjoying careers in the NHS and private practice, and in the areas of sports medicine, community clinics, foot surgery and paediatrics. The course will also enable to you work in Australia, New Zealand, Europe and some regions of Canada. Some graduates may apply for the opportunity to study for a higher degree (ProfDoc or PhD).

Read Podiatry lecturer, Joe McIntyre's blog 'Things you might not know about a career in Podiatry'

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

Entry requirements

A second class honours degree in any discipline other than podiatry. 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 podiatry degree qualification.

Applicants will also be expected to demonstrate evidence of understanding of the scope of podiatric practice and understanding of the personal attributes of a podiatrist in their application personal statement. We appreciate that it can be difficult to get shadowing experience, so relevant experience that demonstrates transferable skills to those required by Podiatrists would be beneficial.

International: You will be required to provide evidence of English language competence at no less than IELTS 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 costs

  • The cost of professional indemnity insurance is the responsibility of the student. For more information on this, visit the PG 2024 fees page on our website.
  • The additional costs associated with placement travel and accommodation are the responsibility of the student. Students who receive SAAS funding may be able to claim for some of these expenses to be reimbursed.
  • Uniform, PVG and badge costs – please see PG 2024 fees page on our website.

Disability/health conditions

If you have a disability, long-term physical or mental health condition, or learning disability, it should not stand in the way of your studying at QMU. However, if you are not sure whether your disability might be a barrier in your studies or in relation to the professional standards, please contact the disability service who will be able to have a conversation with you about reasonable adjustments and supports available to you.

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

Home students: End of August 2024.

International: 26th July for September 2024 start.

Terms and Conditions

The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2024/25 Entry - Terms and Conditions (Postgraduate).

More information and QMU contacts

Taster sessions: Come see our current students in action in our on-campus clinic

If you are interested in our Master of Podiatry (MPod)/BSc (Hons) Podiatry course, or would like to learn more about Podiatry at QMU, we offer opportunities for you to shadow our on-campus student clinic. This experience will give you the chance to speak to staff and current students and gain a greater insight into the profession, as well as a feel for student life at QMU. If you are interested in taking part, please contact Neil Pomfret (Admissions Tutor for the Podiatry Team).

What are the benefits of studying for a podiatry degree?

Become your best you: study at QMU

Course Overview

On campus at QMU and on practice placement
2 years full time
Start Date
September 2024
School of Health Sciences
Subject Area
Fees & Funding
SCQF Level

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