Physiotherapists work flexibly within health and social care settings and other areas such as industrial settings, schools, the leisure and sports industries, the private sector (including private practice), education (voluntary sector), and research units. In daily practice, physiotherapists apply a wide range of skills and scientific knowledge in order to make evidence-based decisions regarding assessment and treatments.


Our post-registration course is for qualified physiotherapists who wish to extend and apply their knowledge to master’s level. It is called the MSc Advancing Physiotherapy Practice and is offered either full-time (over 12-18 months) or part-time (over 3-7 years). It can also be studied by distance learning. Our MSc Physiotherapy (Pre-Registration) course (just over two years) is for non-physiotherapy graduates who wish to continue their education to master’s level in order to become physiotherapists. Physiotherapists possessing a master’s level qualification find that this may be an important factor when applying for posts in education, for furthering research aspirations, or when applying for specialist posts or positions outside the United Kingdom.

Why QMU?

QMU has extensive experience of providing successful master’s level courses at pre- and post-registration level in physiotherapy. We attract students from the United Kingdom, Europe and further afield to all our courses, which facilitates wide-ranging discussion of health-related issues. Our courses are reviewed regularly and staff ensure that our master’s level courses take cognisance of developments in practice and UK healthcare policies to ensure our courses are fit for purpose. Physiotherapy staff at QMU have extensive experience in physiotherapy, health and exercise science education at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Many physiotherapy staff are active in research in the physical therapy areas relating to musculoskeletal and neurological conditions, as well as cancer care. This activity helps develop professional practice and assists students and staff to make links between research and practice.

Industry links

Both courses have been developed and reviewed both internally within QMU, and also with input from external health care professionals, to ensure that the content is both current and relevant. The MSc Advancing Physiotherapy Practice was developed from the MSc Physiotherapy (Post-Reg) which was accredited by the UK’s Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP).

The MSc Advancing Physiotherapy Practice will be renewed for the same accreditation. It allows students to utilise past experience to inform their learning and to apply their learning directly to the workplace both within the UK and abroad. This enables students to develop innovative practice, drive service developments and contribute to the evidence base in physiotherapy and healthcare more globally.

The MSc Physiotherapy (Pre-Registration) is approved by both the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists (CSP) and the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Successful completion of the MSc Physiotherapy (Pre-Registration) confers eligibility to apply for registration with the HCPC as a physiotherapist and for membership of the CSP. The course requires both theoretical and practical study and we aim to provide this in an integrated way. We have good links with practice placement colleagues, and within the pre-registration course a number of practice-based placements are completed as an integrated part of the course.

Our approach to learning and teaching

Our learning and teaching approaches for the master’s physiotherapy courses are underpinned by the view that adult learners enter the course with a valuable array of knowledge, skills and experiences. We aim to provide student-centred education that:

  • enhances the student experience through the development of learner-centred educational provision, reflection, research and scholarship;
  • maximises the potential of our academic and professional communities of learners, working together locally, regionally, nationally and internationally, and
  • promotes student autonomy and facilitates a culture of independent lifelong learning.

Additionally, all courses make use of electronic media, such as The Hub - our virtual learning environment - to enhance the learning experience. Group and individual study, debate, critical discussion and reflection are all core strategies employed in our master’s courses. While there are some core lectures, staff make use of tutorials, seminars and workshops to facilitate learning. Our master’s students are expected to take responsibility for their own learning, with guidance and the use of learning contracts. All master’s physiotherapy students at pre- and post-registration levels have the opportunity to undertake an independent piece of research, with staff supervision, as the culmination of their programme of studies. Preregistration students typically select a laboratory-based or clinically-based study that fits the research programme of a member of staff. Post-registration students typically develop a study pertinent to their own clinical practice and work setting. A number of our master’s physiotherapy students have gone on to present their dissertation work at national and international conferences.


QMU has a purpose-built 21st century campus. Physiotherapy students have access to general lecture and practical rooms and specialist laboratory environments. The Learning Resource Centre on campus has an extensive collection of paper-based texts and journals as well as a broad array of electronic media and internet-based resources.

Career prospects

Postgraduate study of our master’s physiotherapy courses opens up a multitude of career opportunities as well as facilitating continuing professional development for those already employed within the healthcare industry and education sectors. For qualified physiotherapists, it is also possible to take stand-alone individual modules or a Postgraduate Certificate or Postgraduate Diploma as part of your ongoing career and personal development.

Previous students have gone on to careers in advanced practice, health, sport and leisure, education, management and PhD study and research.

We prepare our students for the challenges of the 21st century and actively encourage aspiration to higher levels of the profession.


Find out more information on how to apply for a course at QMU.