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Doctorate of Physiotherapy (DPT)

Course Description

This course is a unique opportunity to qualify as a Chartered Physiotherapist combined with a PhD leading to a Doctorate in Physiotherapy.

The course will provide you with the knowledge and skills necessary to practice physiotherapy through an accelerated programme which builds on prior learning and experience.

The initial two years are run largely in parallel with the MSc (Pre-registration) Physiotherapy course with an enhanced research element that leads to undertaking a Doctoral Thesis in the final 18 months of the course.

After 2 years successful candidates will be awarded the PgDip and will be eligible to apply for Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) registration which gives eligibility to practice. Successful completion of the final doctoral thesis will then lead to the award of Doctorate of Physiotherapy. The course is also recognised and validated by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP).

What you will study

There is a firm emphasis on the development of doctorate level research skills in conjunction with the clinical reasoning and practical skills required of a physiotherapist.
Academic modules have been developed to allow students to develop strong core assessment treatment and research skills and a deeper knowledge of core areas such as exercise prescription and health improvement theory. Integrating the core practice areas of cardiovascular respiratory, neurology and musculoskeletal encourages students to think holistically about their patients and to embed this in their practice. The thesis allows the transfer of practical and academic elements to the clinical application of research.

Stage 1
Foundations of Physiotherapy Practice
Exercise And Health
Clinical Education 1
Physiotherapy Practice 1 & 2
Clinical Education 2

Stage 2
Clinical Education 3
Physiotherapy Pathways
Physiotherapy Research Proposal
Clinical Education 4 & 5
Enhancing Service and Practice
Clinical Education 6

Stage 3

How you will learn

The problem orientated model of learning used throughout the course is particularly suited to those who have already experienced a University learning environment. You will be taught via a mixture of enquiry based learning, practical workshops, projects and simulation, working with volunteer patients and in our state of the art Clinical Skills Centre including METIman. During the course, we also frequently invite external speakers including expert clinicians.

Students are required to work in groups and learning occurs through practical and tutorial sessions with some group and individual project work. Experienced tutors with current clinical experienced will facilitate this.

The Doctoral thesis will allow in-depth study of a clinically or service relevant area to PhD level with the student working with a group of experienced clinicians and academics.

Additional entry requirements

Experience of the research process is an essential requirement for the course. Relevant work experience in the field of Physiotherapy and healthcare would be desirable. Applicants from the USA will also be required to demonstrate that they have undertaken all the prerequisite subjects in accordance with recommendations adopted by the Educational Section of the American Physical therapy Association.

Applicants from other countries should hold an equivalent award in a relevant subject.

All international students, for whom English is not their first language, are required to have an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) score of at least 7.0 in all aspects of the test or an appropriate equivalent, on application to the course.

All applicants who pass the application screening stage must attend for a mandatory interview. Interviews are held in North America in April and August each year and in the UK at RGU campus in May and September.

How to apply

All applications should be made via the University's application form for research students.

Completed application forms should be accompanied by:

-Two academic references
-A transcript or mark sheet for all graduate qualifications
-A draft research proposal, or at least a short summary to indicate the potential area of research (Refer to Section 8 of the Application Form)
-For applicants whose first language or language of university education is not English -Certificate of English language competency score of IELTS 7.0 in each of the four test components (Listening, Reading, Writing, Speaking). Students who can demonstrate successful completion of tertiary (university or college) studies in a country whose national language is English, may be exempted from this requirement


Students will be eligible for HCPC and CSP registration on completion of their DPT after transfer from their PGDip.

A DPT is a requirement for registration in the United States.

The addition of the PhD is likely to add to graduates prospects in clinical research and academic careers.

Visit the Doctorate of Physiotherapy (DPT) page on the Robert Gordon University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Applicants typically possess a Bachelors undergraduate degree in a science subject, such as biological, or sports science, and should contain human anatomy and physiology with a 1st Class honours classification, or a minimum GPA of 3.6 out of 4.0 Scale, or equivalent. Those with a 2.1 honours degree or a GPA of 3.3-3.5 will be considered on an individual basis.

Course Fees

UK/EU Students • £9,135 per academic year International Students • £15,570 per academic year

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