Physiotherapy (pre-registration) MSc

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Choose physiotherapy at Birmingham and take the opportunity to develop into a qualified competent practitioner of physiotherapy, which will not only give you the ability to play a significant part in most healthcare teams but also be involved in the maintenance and/or restoration of movement and function in a range of client groups.

Lora Turnham PosterLora Turnham - Our Physiotherapy graduate and British track cycling star. 2011 Para-Cycling World Silver medal winner.

Course fact file

Type of Course: Continuing professional development, taught

Study Options: Full time

Duration: 2 years full-time

Start date: The closing date for applications to start in January 2015 is 17th January 2014. Only completed applications will be considered. Interviews will take place during April 2014. Closing date for overseas applications is 25th July 2014. Late applications will not be considered.


The MSc in Physiotherapy (pre-registration) is a qualifying programme for graduates with a suitable and relevant first degree. It spans two years full-time, starting in January and finishing in December. The aim of the programme is to develop students with the knowledge, attitudes and skills required to design, specify and implement wide-ranging, evidence-based physiotherapy programmes for a variety of patients. You will be able to evaluate progress, respond flexibly and promptly to advances in practice and implement research and audit programmes.  

Successful completion of this programme awards you with a Masters degree and gives you eligibility to apply for registration with both the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and the Health Professions Council.

This course is designed to train graduates to become practising physiotherapists and is not suitable for qualified Physiotherapists. The University of Birmingham offers two MSc programmes that provide qualified Physiotherapists the opportunity to enhance their knowledge and skills:

Closing dates for Jan 2015 start

Home applications - 17 Jan 2014
Overseas applications - 25 Jul 2014

Late applications will not be considered

This two year programme Physiotherapy masters programme is modular and is equally divided between university and clinically based settings. It has been designed around three core areas; the management of neurological, cardio-pulmonary and neuromusculoskeletal dysfunctions, with knowledge from the biomedical and psycho-social sciences recruited as required. Clinical education is spread across both years in equal proportions.

Year One
Year One modules aim to develop physiotherapy practice and clinical reasoning in the core areas of practice. An important aspect throughout the programme is the critical analysis and evaluation of physiotherapeutic concepts, skills and treatment approaches. The Contexts of Physiotherapy Practice module introduces the professional and practice aspects of physiotherapy. Towards the end of the year you will start a research project which is an important aspect of Masters study.

Year Two
Year Two of the programme sees the completion of the clinical-based modules and the project. The Advancing Physiotherapy module introduces aspects of lifelong learning and the second Neuromusculoskeletal Practice module covers different approaches to physiotherapy management.

Clinical Placements
The Clinical Education modules are an important aspect of the education of a physiotherapist and are continued throughout the two years of the programme.

Clinical education comprises 36 weeks of the programme and is organised into six clinical practice modules spanning both years equally to complete a total 1,080 hours of supervised clinical practice.

You will be seconded to a range of diverse and exciting placements, where you will gain a variety of experiences with a wide range of client groups, under the guidance of skilled clinicians. Each student will gain experience of physiotherapy within various clinical settings. With the support of clinical educators, students will treat patients, observe experienced clinicians and participate in all aspects of care including case conferences, ward rounds and home visits.  

Why study this course

Successful completion of this programme awards you with a Masters degree and gives you eligibility to apply for registration with both the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and the Health Professions Council.


Fees and funding

Fees 2014-15

  Home/EU International
  Full time only Full time only
(MSc) Physiotherapy (pre-reg) Exempt from tuition fees, may be eligible to apply for NHS bursary £15,525

All successful applicants classified by the University against national criteria as home students are exempt from tuition fees for this programme and may be eligible to apply for an NHS bursary. 

The criteria defining Home status can be found here and the NHS Bursary eligibility criteria can be found at

All places on this programme are offered on a full-time basis. 

Entry requirements

Outlined below are the admissions procedures:

You should present evidence of study in a relevant discipline and you should normally hold an honours degree in a relevant discipline at 1st or 2.1 classification. If you are unsure of whether your degree is relevant, you are very welcome to send us your degree transcript so that our Admissions Tutor can take a closer look at what you have studied before you submit an application for the programme.

You will be interviewed prior to admission to the programme and you will be required to present a full University transcript of your studies to ascertain suitability of your degree. In some cases a further period of study may be advised.

In addition, you will be asked to submit a résumé along with the University application form. The purpose of the résumé is to support your application to the programme. The résumé should contain information about your previous experience in Higher Education with particular focus on areas of study and experience relevant to the MSc Physiotherapy (pre-registration) programme, as well as research activity. You should consider experience of Physiotherapy, membership and involvement in organisations and other experience and qualifications they consider relevant to your application. A three-page (A4) summary should be sufficient.

Those candidates who demonstrate via their application that they meet the programme admission criteria will be invited to interview prior to a decision regarding admission to the programme. The admissions process will identify and examine the potential of the student to cope with the multiple demands of the programme.

Before your application can be processed you must submit the following items:

  • Completed application form 
  • Copy of degree certificate (if you have already completed your degree) 
  • Transcript - official University document detailing modules covered & marks awarded 
  • Two references (at least one academic) 
  • Clear evidence of Physiotherapy experience (e.g. signed letters from clinical managers confirming dates and types of experience) 
  • Résumé of physiotherapy experience including a personal statement expressing your interest in the MSc Physiotherapy (pre-registration) programme and the profession (three A4 pages maximum) 
  • Summary of research training (e.g. in your own words please describe any research experience you have and research modules taken. Do not send module descriptors or a copy of your dissertation)
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • If English is not your first language you must provide evidence of proficiency in English to IELTS 7.0 (with no less than 6.5 in any band).

Please note that admission to the programme will be contingent on an enhanced CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) clearance and satisfactory Occupational Health Report.

The contracting process for student physiotherapy training within Universities currently takes place on an annual basis and formal decisions confirming the funding for student places are often taken at times close to the start date of programmes. This means that final confirmation of any place offered to applicants may not occur at an early stage of the admission process. This situation is not ideal and is the same for all Universities. Negotiations at a national level are underway to improve things through the introduction of, what are hoped to be, standard five year contracts. In the meantime we will endeavour to keep you informed at all stages of the admission process.

Learn more about entry requirements

Standard English language requirements apply. Candidates whose first language is not English will need to meet the English language requirements stipulated for Medicine and Dentistry. IELTS – 7.0 with no less than 6.5 in each component.

International students:

Academic requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.

English language requirements

You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:

English to IELTS 7.0 ( with a minimum of 6.5 in each component).

How to apply

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

Apply now

Learning and teaching

As a Birmingham student, you will be joining the academic elite and will have the privilege of learning from world-leading experts, as well as your peers. From the outset you will be encouraged to become an independent and self-motivated learner. We want you to be challenged and will encourage you to think for yourself.

This programme is delivered via block sessions of 3 or 5 days. You will participate in a range of teaching styles such as lectures, small group tutorials, presentations, peer group learning, self-study etc.

You will have access to a comprehensive support system that will assist and encourage you, including personal tutors and welfare tutors who can help with both academic and welfare issues.

Assessment methods

You will be assessed in a variety of ways, and these may be different with each module that you take. See individual modules for further details.


Physiotherapy graduates have entered careers both in the NHS and private sector. They work in hospitals, in the community as well as sports clubs and the military. An increasing number of Physiotherapy graduates are working on a freelance basis alongside their work in the NHS. Some choose to pursue further studies in education, research or undertake further training.

Find out more about Physiotherapy career opportunities

Careers Support for Postgraduate Students

Careers Network – We can help you get ahead in the job market and develop your career

We recognise that as a postgraduate student you are likely to have specific requirements when it comes to planning for your next career step. Employers expect postgraduates to have a range of skills that exceed their subject knowledge. Careers Network offers a range of events and support services that are designed for all students, including postgraduates looking to find their niche in the job market.

Here are just a few ways in which we can help postgraduates to get ahead:

  • Careers Networking opportunities
  • Effective careers strategy toolkit
  • Year planner for all postgraduate students
  • Masters Career Coaching Workshops
  • One to one careers guidance

The Careers Network also have subject specific careers consultants and advisers for each College so you can be assured the information you receive will be relevant to your subject area. They also have a dedicated careers website for international students where you can find useful resources and information.


“We have hired some fantastic Birmingham graduates and postgraduates in the past, and believe that they have the experience and intelligence to understand the challenges of working with Procter and Gamble.”

In an independent survey, over 75% of employers regarded a postgraduate Masters-level qualification as ‘essential’ or ‘preferred’ when recruiting. ‘Talent Fishing: What Businesses want from Postgraduates’ A CIHE Report for Department of Business Innovation and Skills, March 2011.

For more information visit the Careers Network website.