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Physical Therapy in Musculoskeletal Healthcare and Rehabilitation - MSc

Course Description

This unique programme is designed to provide an education in the underlying scientific principles of physical therapy - physiotherapy, osteopathy, sports therapy - and an opportunity to experience the clinical application of specialist rehabilitation techniques with expert clinicians at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (RNOH).

Degree information

Students can expect to acquire a broad and deep understanding of the science underpinning a physical therapy approach to the treatment of musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction. In addition, the MSc builds on cognitive skills, and students will become creative in their thinking and highly skilled in analysis and evaluation, and thus ideally placed to become innovative leaders within their field.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of eight core modules (120 credits), and a research project (60 credits).

Core modules
-Clinical Aspects of Musculoskeletal Medicine
-Movement Science and Pain
-Musculoskeletal Biomechanics and Application in Physical Therapy
-Musculoskeletal Tissue Biology - Disease and Dysfunction
-Musculoskeletal Tissue Biology - Form and Function
-Rehabilitation and Multi-Dimensional Patient Management
-Research Governance
-Research Methodology and Generic Skills

Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, case-based studies, workshops and practical classes. Assessment is through MCQ examinations; coursework, including narrative reviews, structured questions and case studies; and poster presentation. The research project is assessed by a written dissertation and viva examination.


On successful completion of this programme, students can expect to assume leadership positions in clinical practice in the NHS, or in private practice for those with a prior clinical qualification. Graduates will also be well placed to enter academic or clinical research or a biomedical/healthcare-related position in industry.

Graduates are likely to be highly attractive to prospective employers; not only will they have gained multidisciplinary knowledge of the musculoskeletal system and treatments for musculoskeletal disease and dysfunction, but importantly they will have developed their skills in analysis and evaluation of information and creation of new ideas. These higher-level cognitive skills are highly sought after by employers.

Why study this degree at UCL?

This programme is unique in that it covers the basic science informing a physical therapy approach to treatment. The programme encourages students to integrate knowledge across modules and to use a multi-dimensional approach to patient management.

The programme is delivered through a partnership between internationally renowned UCL academics and world-leading specialist clinicians at the RNOH, providing students with excellent networking opportunities with academics, clinical professionals and like-minded peers.

UCL was rated as the best university for research strength in the UK in the latest Research Excellence Framework (December 2014). The RNOH has a worldwide reputation for ground-breaking neuro-musculoskeletal healthcare and specialist rehabilitation.

Visit the Physical Therapy in Musculoskeletal Healthcare and Rehabilitation - MSc page on the University College London website for more details!

Entry Requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor's degree in a related medical, biological science or bioengineering discipline, a clinical qualification, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

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