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The Physiotherapy (Pre-registration) MSc – previously called the Rehabilitation Science (Physiotherapy) MSc –allows you to apply for registration as a physiotherapist with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). This course is also approved by the professional body, The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.

It is ideal for graduates with related first degrees who wish to gain both a professional and academic qualification and start a career in this challenging and highly rewarding field.

This accelerated course follows innovative problem-based learning approach, with an emphasis on students' active learning, engagement, and practical application of skills and knowledge in the context of real life situations. Through this balance of theory and practice experience you will graduate a capable and confident physiotherapist. 

The values of the NHS constitution – respect, dignity, compassion and working together for patients – and the recognition that patients come first in everything the NHS does are embedded in our curriculum.

Our high quality teaching and research are renowned, and have an applied focus. We have established strong links with specialist practice educators to ensure the provision of support and guidance both within the university and in practice.  

Course structure

This intensive programme runs over 45 weeks per year, for two years. Your time on the course will be balanced between campus-based study and clinical practice.

The course begins in September and consists of five campus-based modules and five practice modules. Year 1 is mainly campus-based and year 2 predominantly involves practice placements alongside the campus-based Research Dissertation Studies.

The course is delivered in a variety of ways, typically via problem-based tutorials, subject specialist resource sessions, skills workshops, and simulation in our high-tech Human Movement Laboratory, and Clinical Skills and Simulation Rooms.

Completion of the Project Studies module and the submission of a dissertation lead to the masters award.

Making sure that what you learn with us is relevant, up to date and what employers are looking for is our priority, so courses are reviewed and enhanced on an ongoing basis. When you have applied to us, you’ll be told about any new developments through our applicant portal.


Your study will focus on real-life situations, integrating subjects such as anatomy, physiology, pathology, therapeutic skills, behavioural sciences and research methods.

Year 1 modules

  • Physiotherapy in Health 
  • Physiotherapy in Rehabilitation 
  • Practice Placement (six weeks)
  • Neurological Physiotherapy
  • NMS Physiotherapy
  • Cardiorespiratory Physiotherapy

Year 2 modules

  • Practice placements (five placements each lasting six weeks)
  • Research Dissertation


Human Movement Laboratory

The Human Movement Laboratory is used widely by our physiotherapy, occupational therapy and podiatry students, and is also used for commercial consultancy. 

In the lab you will use the latest technology to measure and assess all aspects of human movement, joints, muscles, soft tissue structure and nerves. The laboratory has equipment for conducting cardio-pulmonary investigations including Cosmed metabolic system and spirometry.

Clinical Skills and Simulation Suite

Our Clinical Skills and Simulation Suite is among the best equipped in the country, and is an invaluable tool for assessment and monitoring students' progress throughout the course.

You will benefit from practising nursing skills in an environment that simulates real-life professional experiences. Provided by the NHS’ South East Coast Ambulance Service, you may have access to our Simbulance, enabling you to work alongside paramedic students in an interprofessional learning environment. On board is a high fidelity mannikin with multiple uses, and a child-size mannikin for paediatric scenarios. 

Learning by simulation means you will be confident in your ability to apply your knowledge and skills in your professional life.

Problem-based learning

Our educational philosophy mirrors the philosophy of occupational therapy. We believe that an individual's positive engagement in learning activity leads to advanced productivity, increased perception of self-worth, improved quality of life and enjoyment of the course.

Our occupational therapy courses use problem-based learning (PBL), a technique recommended by authorities around the world. All subjects covered are integrated around problem-solving within a real life situation. We find that learning in this way significantly increases our students’ engagement with the subjects.

Advantages of the problem-based learning approach are:

  • Students report that they feel more motivated to learn theoretical knowledge as they can see where they can apply it to real-world situations
  • Teamworking and improved communication skills are developed, as students share their expertise and rationale behind their potential solutions
  • Students find they are more confidently able to search for information from a wider range of sources, such as journals, textbooks and the internet, and take more responsibility for learning independently
  • It encourages deeper learning, as it focuses on activities and activating knowledge in practice contexts, rather than traditional rote memory recall in a predominantly classroom-based context.

Careers and employability

This professional course prepares you to work as a chartered physiotherapist in the UK, with professional and portfolio development running from course start to finish.

Graduates are equipped for careers in the NHS and the private health sector, both in the UK and abroad.

Many graduates secure employment in the local area by developing networks through their placements.

After a period of work experience, you will also be given the opportunity to progress to PhD research programmes and contribute to the evidence base of the profession.

Visit the Physiotherapy: Pre-registration (MSc/PGDip/PGCert) page on the University of Brighton website for more details!




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Recipient: University of Brighton

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