Physiotherapy (pre-registration) MSc

Start date
2 years full-time
Course Type
Postgraduate, Continuing professional development, Taught

£9,250 FT (UK self-funding students)
£26,280 FT (International students)
Full details


One of our students, Romy Cronnelly, talks about why she chose to study MSc Physiotherapy (pre-registration) at Birmingham, and what she loves most about it.

Our MSc Physiotherapy (pre-registration) is a qualifying programme for graduates with a suitable and relevant first degree. Successful completion of the course gives you eligibility to apply for registration with both the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and the Health and Care Professions Council.

Why study this course?

Choose physiotherapy at Birmingham and take the opportunity to develop into a qualified competent practitioner of physiotherapy. The programme offers a challenging and stimulating learning experience for graduates wishing to contribute to evolving healthcare needs through the practice of physiotherapy. You will become autonomous, competent and capable graduates that will make a significant contribution to future healthcare services. The programme is based on a philosophy of patient-centred care and respond appropriately to the needs of all different groups and individuals in a non-discriminatory and inclusive manner. 

Scholarships for 2024 entry

The University of Birmingham is proud to offer a range of scholarships for our postgraduate programmes. With a scholarship pot worth over £2 million, we are committed to alleviating financial barriers to support you in taking your next steps.

Each scholarship has its own specific deadlines and eligibility criteria. Please familiarise yourself with the information on individual scholarship webpages prior to submitting an application.

Explore our scholarships

The MSc in Physiotherapy (pre-registration) programme spans two years full-time, starting in September and finishing in August. The aim of the programme is to provide a rewarding educational experience that enables students to develop as competent, evidence-based and patient-centred physiotherapy practitioners, capable of making a valuable contribution to the workplace. We are looking for applicants who can meet our academic requirements and demonstrate personal qualities that are compatible with the values stated in the NHS Constitution. Find out more on the NHS Constitution webpages.     

 Logo for the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy for Accredited Pre-Registration courses

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

This programme is designed to train graduates to become practising physiotherapists and is not suitable for qualified Physiotherapists.

Students will develop their clinical reasoning and decision-making skills informed by evidence-based practice and critical evaluation of these sources. They will understand the value of a reflective practice which will enable them to develop greater self-awareness and independence in learning. The programme will continue to be responsive to changes in the socio-political environment and promote communication, teamwork, innovation and flexibility as key skills underpinning effective personal and professional development.

This two-year Physiotherapy master’s programme is modular and is equally divided between university and clinically based care settings.

Year One

Year One modules aim to develop physiotherapy practice and clinical reasoning in key areas of practice. An important aspect throughout the programme is the critical analysis and evaluation of physiotherapeutic concepts, skills and treatment approaches. Professional and practice aspects of physiotherapy will also be considered.

Year Two

Year Two of the programme allows students to develop capability in managing more complex presentations and includes a greater proportion of practice-based modules. At the beginning of year two, the research project is introduced, which will become the main focus as the year progresses.

Practice Education Placements

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

Practice education placements comprise 34 weeks of the programme and are organised into six modules, two of which take place in year 1 and four in year 2, to complete a minimum of 1,065 hours of supervised practice. This practice reflects the four pillars of advanced and consultant practice including clinical, leadership, education and research.

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 placement settings across the West Midlands. 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. Community placements may be undertaken in contemporary locations working with a wide variety of healthcare professionals. Advanced practitioners will support you to develop effective leadership skills, engage and participate in clinical research and contribute to a lifelong education culture.

So far, the course has broadened my perspective and educated me on the multi-disciplinary aspects of the NHS and its services. I have really enjoyed the study resources, I feel like they have really contributed to my experience, making intimidating topics feel much easier to learn.

Meshach Shadare, MSc Physiotherapy (pre-registration)

Why study this course?

Simulation and Interprofessional Learning: The programme offers a unique blend of simulation and interprofessional activities. Students benefit from learning alongside peers from the College of Medical and Dental Sciences and Life and Environmental Sciences. This collaborative approach prepares students to work in multidisciplinary teams, enhancing their understanding of holistic patient care.

Diverse Practice Placements: The Practice Education Placements, grounded in the four pillars of advanced and consultant practice: clinical, leadership, education, and research, span 34 weeks. These placements offer a variety of experiences across the West Midlands, from treating patients and working in diverse clinical environments to participating in awarded research projects and case conferences and leadership projects with external organisations.

Extracurricular Activities: University of Birmingham offers a plethora of activities both on campus and in the wider community. Examples include pitch management for sports events and initiatives promoting exercise in local communities, allowing students to apply their knowledge in real-world settings and make a tangible difference.

Research Opportunities: The University of Birmingham is renowned for its research-driven ethos. Students have the privilege of engaging in high-quality research placements and projects, both on campus and in affiliated hospitals. They learn from experts in the field, gaining invaluable insights before embarking on their research projects

Emphasis on Core Values: The MSc Physiotherapy programme at Birmingham is deeply rooted in a philosophy of patient-centred care, inclusivity, non-discrimination, and a strong commitment to Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion. Aligned with the values stated in the NHS Constitution, the programme ensures students are not only skilled but also compassionate, ethical, and advocates for equity in healthcare.


All modules are compulsory

Year 1

  • Transition to Physiotherapy
  • Research Methodology in Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Skills
  • Contemporary Musculoskeletal Practice
  • Acute Care and Rehabilitation
  • Long-term Conditions and Rehabilitation
  • Practice Placements 1 and 2

Year 2

  • Practice Placements 3-6
  • Advancing Physiotherapy Practice
  • Synoptic Core Module
  • Dissertation

Please note: The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to compulsory modules; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.


Fees 2024/25

UK self-funding students: £9,250 FT
International students: £26,280 FT

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

Are you an international applicant?

All international applicants to this course will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit of £2,000 on receipt of an offer, to secure their place.

Find out more about the deposit >>.

Birmingham Masters Scholarship

We are offering over 200 awards of £2,000 to support the brightest and best applicants wishing to undertake Masters study at the University during 2024-2025.

Find out more and apply now  

Postgraduate Progression Award

Our Postgraduate Progression Awards offer final year undergraduates at the University of Birmingham a fee discount of £1,500 for postgraduate taught study.

Find out more and apply now  

How To Apply

Applications for 2024 are now open.

How to apply

To apply for a postgraduate taught programme, you will need to submit your application and supporting documents online. We have put together some helpful information on the taught programme application process and supporting documents on our how to apply page. Please read this information carefully before completing your application.

Apply now

Our Standard Requirements

Outlined below are the admissions procedures:

You should present evidence of study in a relevant discipline, ordinarily holding an honours degree in a relevant discipline at 1st or 2.1 classifications. It is expected that you will have previous knowledge in human anatomy or physiology. Ideally, we would consider life science degrees that contain modules focused around that area, e.g. Human Biology, Biosciences, Sport and Exercise Science, Sports Therapy, etc, where human anatomy or physiology modules will have formed part of the previous degree programme of study Alternatively, we would consider applications from graduates of other disciplines who have worked in a healthcare field and gained significant practical experience (e.g. healthcare assistant, physiotherapy assistant or those holding existing professional healthcare qualifications). 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 personal statement along with the University application form. The purpose of the personal statement is to support your application to the programme. The personal statement 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. We are looking for knowledge and some experience of a broad range of physiotherapy practice, or experience that you can show relates to the broad range of physiotherapy practice. Other experience such as membership and involvement in organisations, voluntary work and other work experience and qualifications may be relevant to your application to help show how your personal qualities are compatible with the values identified within the NHS Constitution.  

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 and will explore personal values and attitudes to ensure suitability for admission to a registered healthcare profession.

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) or evidence of experience that you can show relates to the practice of physiotherapy
  • A personal statement expressing your interest in the MSc Physiotherapy (pre-registration) programme and the profession  including reflection on any physiotherapy experience and evidence supporting relevant personal qualities (three A4 pages maximium)
  • 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).

Non-academic conditions of entry:

  • A satisfactory health declaration, including evidence of appropriate immunisations, and other regulatory checks (such as DBS - see below) are required from accepted candidates before registration for the programme. 
  • Students will be required to complete a successful Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check before admission to the programme. For healthcare profession courses no convictions, cautions, reprimands or warnings are considered “spent”, this includes those that may have been received when a minor (i.e. under the age of 18). Declaring any matter likely to be recorded on your enhanced DBS disclosure does not automatically rule you out from becoming a physiotherapist. However, you will have to provide information about this to enable us to make a decision about any offer made. 
  • All students will be required to sign the subject-specific Fitness to Practise Code of Conduct on entry, details of which will be forwarded with an offer letter.
  • We do not accept students who already have a degree in Physiotherapy.
  • Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) is not considered for the MSc Physiotherapy (pre-registration) programme.

Applicants with disabilities

We take a positive view of what candidates with disabilities can achieve as future healthcare professionals and take seriously our obligation to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that all students with disabilities can successfully complete their studies. All applicants will be assessed up to and including the interview on the basis of the criteria outlined here regardless of any disability. If you declare a disability we will invite you to work with us together with the disability team, clinical colleagues and specialist services (RNIB, for example) to explore how best we can support your studies

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 Requirements

International Students

We welcome applications from international applicants for the places available on a self-funded basis. A growing community of international students is here to help you settle in and support you during your studies.  

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).

  • IELTS 7.0 with no less than 6.5 in any band
  • TOEFL: 95 overall with no less than 22 in any band
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) including online: PTE Academic 76 with no less than 67 in all four skills
  • Cambridge English (exams taken from 2015): Advanced or Proficiency – minimum overall score of 185, with no less than 176 in any component

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.

Academic blocks normally require attendance of three-four days per week. You will participate in a range of teaching styles such as lectures, small group tutorials, presentations, peer group learning, self-study etc. Following adjustments to programme delivery we are currently using a number of blended approaches to teaching that include on-line and face to face activity.

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.

In the video an MSc Physiotherapy (pre-reg) student gives his perspective

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. They also have a dedicated careers website for international students where you can find useful resources and information.

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. 


"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."

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

For more information visit the Careers Network website.