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Course content

The Master of Physiotherapy (MPhty endorsed) programme endorsed in one of the specialist areas (Acupuncture, Neurorehabilitation, Orthopaedic Manipulative Therapy, Occupational Health Physiotherapy or Sports Physiotherapy) aims to advance the student’s clinical reasoning and patient management skills beyond that of the entry level practitioner and provide one of the prerequisites necessary to achieve specialisation. The one-semester research components that may comprise the design and implementation of a small research project, a case series, a data-based clinical review, a systematic review, or a critical review under the supervision of a member of staff, will ensure that the student is research enabled and ready to embrace evidence based practice in the performance of their career.

Alternatively, students can undertake two papers from the approved schedule and a thesis to obtain a research master's (MPhty). The School of Physiotherapy has a strong postgraduate research programme currently supporting numerous master's research students working on topics that range from neurological disorders to anatomical studies. We aim to provide students with a high level of knowledge and experience in order to help them develop their own research skills whether using qualitative or quantitative methodologies for statistical analysis, lab-based studies or community work, prevalence studies or intervention trialling – our aim is to have students complete their master,s confident in their abilities to conduct research and assess relevant literature and practices, whether this leads to PhD study in the future or to more assured clinical practice.

Information for new applicants

This qualification is available to registered physiotherapists. Domestic students must have a current Annual Practising Certificate from the Physiotherapy Board of New Zealand. International students must obtain Special Purpose Scope of Practice from the Physiotherapy Board of New Zealand before arriving in New Zealand.

For the endorsed Master's, distance based students must be practising physiotherapy whilst undertaking the clinical paper in Year 2 of the programme and should note that some papers involved in this qualification involve attending residential blocks in Dunedin and phoning in on audioconferences. On-campus students will be based at the School of Physiotherapy in Dunedin.

Students enrolling for this programme should take care to enrol for the on-campus or Distance versions of the papers as appropriate.

For the research Master's, students must have a supervisor for the special topic paper and the thesis. For assistance with finding a supervisor please contact the Research Administrator. Before acceptance can be granted applicants must work with their potential supervisor to submit either a draft proposal or a project title with their application.

For the endorsed Master's, students must have a supervisor and submit a draft proposal for the research component 6 months prior to undertaking this paper.

Applications normally close on 31 October, however late applications may be considered.

Subject to approval, the following qualification will replace the Master of Physiotherapy (Manipulative Physiotherapy) from 2013: Master of Physiotherapy (Orthopaedic Manipulative Therapy. For information on how to apply for this qualification please contact the Academic Administrator.

Structure of the Programme

The programme shall consist of either:
-PHTY 501 or PHTY 545; PHTY 610, and a thesis embodying the results of one year of full-time or equivalent part-time supervised research (unendorsed option).
-Approved papers, as prescribed in the Schedule for the area of specialisation concerned, to a total value of 180 points (endorsed option).

A candidate may be permitted to substitute approved papers for one or more of the PHTY papers prescibed for an endorsement in the Schedule, provided that at least 50% of the programme is specific to the subject of the endorsement. A candidate whose qualification for entry to the programme is a Postgraduate Diploma in Physiotherapy or equivalent may be exempted from all or some of the required papers.

A candidate may not present a thesis or dissertation which has previously been accepted for another degree. The programme of study, the topic of the thesis, dissertation, or research project, and the supervisors of the research must be approved by the Board of Studies in Physiotherapy.

For a thesis, the research should be of a kind that a diligent and competent student should complete within one year of full-time study.

Visit the Master of Physiotherapy (MPhty) page on the University of Otago website for more details!





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