Advanced Physiotherapy: Musculoskeletal MSc

London, Bloomsbury

This postgraduate programme integrates the advanced clinical, academic and research components of musculoskeletal physiotherapy practice. The emphasis is on advanced clinical reasoning and evidence-informed assessment and management of patients with musculoskeletal disorders. Flexibility in the selection of modules allows for physiotherapists with particular interests to be accommodated.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
Pathways include:
Cardiorespiratory (TMSPHHSAPC01)
Musculoskeletal (TMSPHHSAPM01)
Neurophysiotherapy (TMSPHHSAPN01)
Paediatrics (TMSPHHSAPP01)

Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
Pathways include:
Cardiorespiratory (TMSPHHSAPC01)
Musculoskeletal (TMSPHHSAPM01)
Neurophysiotherapy (TMSPHHSAPN01)
Paediatrics (TMSPHHSAPP01)

Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.
1 calendar year
2 calendar years
5 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2024
Applications accepted
Applicants who require a visa: 16 Oct 2023 – 28 Jun 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

Applications open

Applicants who do not require a visa: 16 Oct 2023 – 30 Aug 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

Applications open

Entry requirements

Normally a minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor's degree or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard in Physiotherapy; or an approved Diploma in Physiotherapy together with evidence of appropriate clinical and/or teaching experience and a commitment to continuing professional development. We expect students to have had at least two years post-qualification clinical experience. UK state-registration (with The Health Care and Professions Council) and Chartered Society of Physiotherapy membership is needed to undertake the Clinical Education (clinical placements) Module.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 2

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level.

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

Equivalent qualifications

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

*Should you experience any issues with the drop-down below, try de-selecting the country and re-selecting it. If this doesn't work, then you may refer to this page which may help you find the same equivalencies - check the Entry requirements above beforehand. Please note the table is indicative only, revisiting when the dropdown is working to confirm is recommended.

About this degree

The programme offers students the opportunity to evaluate and challenge existing practice, develop and undertake clinical research and learn about new and emerging assessment and treatment options. Students will develop clinical skills and understanding of evidence-based practice in their field of specialisation through the completion of taught modules and a compulsory clinical placement module. At the university, the taught modules will include sessions led by university staff and a variety of external clinical experts. On clinical placement, students will benefit from the clinical mentorship of recognised experts in physiotherapy.

Who this course is for

This degree is only suitable for World Physiotherapy recognised qualified physiotherapists with at least two years musculoskeletal physiotherapy clinical experience which does not include internship.

What this course will give you

UCL is a world-leading university offering well-established and popular postgraduate physiotherapy programmes that are highly regarded both locally and internationally.

The Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy degree offers an extensive range of compulsory and optional modules in specialist areas. Lectures, tutorials and practical workshops are delivered by recognised experts in physiotherapy practice. We have close links to the UCLH University Trust as well as many other specialist Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy teams/departments both within London and outside.

Graduates of the MSc in Advanced Physiotherapy: Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy route are eligible for full membership of the Musculoskeletal Association of Physiotherapists (MACP), this clinical qualification is internationally recognised by the International Federation of Orthopaedic Manipulative Physical Therapists (IFOMPT).

Our students come from all over the world. This cross-fertilisation of international experience and ideas generates a powerful and inspirational platform for postgraduate physiotherapy learning which, combined with the central London location, makes UCL an attractive choice for physiotherapy students.

The foundation of your career

The programme aims to transform the way you think about the theoretical foundation for musculoskeletal physiotherapy clinical practice and what defines expert patient care.

You will receive rigorous, evidence-based training in best research and clinical practice, which provides you with the skills and knowledge to apply for clinical, educational or research posts.


Recent graduates have pursued careers in academia, research, management or furthered their clinical practice. Several students have used the MSc as a springboard for gaining funding to undertake PhDs at a range of high-ranking London universities. Graduates have also secured senior positions, such as team leads and clinical specialist posts within major London hospitals.


The Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health offers seven MSc programmes as well as an MRes in Child Health encompassing a wide range of topics. Our students come from diverse academic and professional backgrounds, from the UK and overseas providing great networking opportunities within and across programmes. We hold social events throughout the year for the whole student cohort to enable networking between students. Students on the master's programmes have the opportunity to join GOS ICH events such as the Otto Woolf lectures hosted by the research and teaching departments. These cover a variety of topics and provide an opportunity to hear from national and international experts and to network at the social event that usually accompanies these events.  


The Advanced MSc programme in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy has been accredited by the Musculoskeletal Association of Chartered Physiotherapists (MACP) as well as the International Federation of Orthopaedic Manipulative Physical Therapists (IFOMPT).

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of face-to-face, online teaching, and self-directed learning. The teaching sessions include lectures, seminars, and practical classes. The lectures and seminars focus on professional and scientific knowledge and research evidence relevant to musculoskeletal physiotherapy. The practical sessions focus on musculoskeletal physiotherapy assessment, rehabilitation, and manual skills.

The programme is delivered through a combination of face to face, online teaching and self-directed learning. Assessment is through practical assessments, clinical assessments, written assignments, oral presentations, multiple-choice tests, submission of the literature review and research proposal, assessed coursework, unseen and prior disclosure written examinations, and the dissertation with an oral presentation.

Each 15-credit module equates to 150 hours of student effort. Most modules are delivered as blocks of study, normally over six consecutive days. Face to face or online teaching for each of these days is normally from 9-5pm. Face to face / online teaching hours normally comprises about one-third of the study hours expected for the module.

A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits, full-time 12 months, flexible 2-5 years) is offered. The programme consists of five compulsory (105 credits) and one optional module (15 credits). A Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits, part-time 12 months) is offered. Students undertake modules to the value of 60 credits. The programme consists of two compulsory modules and one core module


This programme is offered as full-time (1 year) or as a part-time/modular flexible (2 years +) course. The content includes a set of five or six taught compulsory modules, plus the research project (dissertation) module. These compulsory modules are focused on the specialty (pathway) you choose. You must then choose two or three optional modules to complement your specialty and complete the degree requirements. We continually review the optional modules on this course to ensure they fit the remit of this programme and reflect current research in our field.

In Term 1, you are likely to register for and focus on your compulsory modules, as these modules set the foundation of your degree, preparing you for further topics by introducing the fundamental principles in your specialty. You will also acquire the research and statistics skills necessary for conducting research.

In Terms 2 and 3, you will work on your research project, as well as completing your compulsory and optional module and attending clinical placements. You will hand in your research project towards the end of the academic year.

Students have two years to complete their programme of 180 credits. In the first year, you will usually undertake 90 credits comprising both core and optional modules. In the second year, you will register on the remaining credits (usually 90 credits remaining) including the 60-credit research project module. The clinical placement is undertaken after you have successfully completed the relevant core theoretical modules. This may be in either the first or second year.

Students have up to 5 years to complete their programme of study which consists of 180 credits. The 60-credit research project is usually taken in the final year.

The clinical placement is undertaken after you have successfully completed the relevant core theoretical modules.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability are subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

Students on the MSc Advanced Physiotherapy: Musculoskeletal programme undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MSc in Advanced Physiotherapy: Musculoskeletal. Upon successful completion of 120 credits, you will be awarded a PG Dip in Advanced Physiotherapy: Musculoskeletal. Upon successful completion of 60 credits, you will be awarded a PG Cert in Advanced Physiotherapy: Musculoskeletal.


There is a compulsory 150 hours of clinical placement.

These placements may take place in a variety of healthcare settings over several weeks or months. They are part of the Clinical Education in Advanced Physiotherapy modules.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support and Wellbeing team.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2024/25) £15,100 £7,550
Tuition fees (2024/25) £34,400 £17,200

Pathways include:
Cardiorespiratory (TMSPHHSAPC01)
Musculoskeletal (TMSPHHSAPM01)
Neurophysiotherapy (TMSPHHSAPN01)
Paediatrics (TMSPHHSAPP01)

Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website:

Additional costs

There may be additional costs for students on the Advanced route during their compulsory clinical placement, which may include:

  • Travel to the placement site. The cost of travel will vary as some students may complete their placement in London, while others may undertake their placement elsewhere, depending on placement availability and student preference.  
  • Accommodation, if students need to live nearer to the site for the placement. The cost of accommodation will depend on where the student is completing their placement. 
  • Uniform costs: purchase simple white polo tops, navy trousers and navy /black shoes. These items can be purchased very reasonably from £5 - £20 per item. 
  • Occupational Health check. The cost of an occupational health check can range from £75.00 to £500.00 in the UK
  • Students will also need to register with the Health and Social Care Professions (HCPC). Registration with the HCPC is required for working professionally as a physiotherapist in the UK. Students on the Advanced Physiotherapy: Musculoskeletal programme are required to join the HCPC to permit them to work as a physiotherapist on clinical placements. The HCPC initial registration process may take several months and students are advised to start the process well in advance of starting the MSc programme. Initial registration with the HCPC and annual registration costs in the region of £700. Please see the HCPC website for further details on registration and fees.
  • Students will need to become members of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) for professional liability cover as students on the Advanced Physiotherapy: Musculoskeletal programme will be practising professionally on clinical placements. Annual membership of the CSP for a qualified physiotherapist costs in the region £400-£500. Please see the CSP website for further details on joining and associated fees.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

Visit the funding and studentship pages of the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute for Child Health (GOS ICH) website for details of funding available to students, including the GOS ICH bursary.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Next steps

Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at Application fees.

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Advanced Physiotherapy: Musculoskeletal at graduate level at UCL
  • why you want to study Advanced Physiotherapy: Musculoskeletal
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your academic and clinical experience of working as a qualified physiotherapist meet the requirements of this programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree
  • What is your research experience and your research interests.

    Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

    Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

    Choose your programme

    Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

    Year of entry: 2024-2025

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