UCL Graduate degrees


Advanced Physiotherapy: Musculoskeletal MSc

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

Key information

Programme starts

September 2021

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year
Part time: 2 years
Flexible: 2-5 years

Modules run over six to ten consecutive working days, depending on the credit value of the module. Full-time students generally take four modules per term. Part-time and modular/flexible students take one to three modules per term.

Application dates

Visa nationals
Open: 9 November 2020
Close: 31 May 2021
Non-visa nationals
Open: 9 November 2020
Close: 30 July 2021
Applications may close earlier if all places on the programme are filled.

Tuition fees (2021/22)

£12,500 (FT)
£6,250 (PT)
£28,500 (FT)
£14,250 (PT)

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

Optional qualifications: This degree is also available as a PG Diploma and a PG Certificate with fees set accordingly.

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).

Location: London, Bloomsbury

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 and UK state-registration is preferred.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English

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. International Preparation Courses

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

International students

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.

Select your country:

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 treatment options. Students will develop clinical skills and understanding of evidence-based practice in their field of specialisation through completion of taught modules and at least one compulsory clinical placement. Students will benefit from the clinical mentorship of recognised experts in physiotherapy when on placement.

Students on the MSc Advanced Physiotherapy: Musculoskeletal programme undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of six compulsory modules including the research project (165 credits) and one optional module (15 credits).

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

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 is subject to change.

Compulsory modules

  • Physiotherapy Research and Dissemination (CHLD0013) 15 credits
  • Applied Statistics for Health Research I (CHLD0064) 15 credits
  • Research Project (CHLD0026) 60 credits
  • Lower Quadrant: Advanced Musculoskeletal Management (CHLD0098) 30 credits
  • Upper Quadrant: Advanced Musculoskeletal Management (CHLD0097) 30 credits
  • Clinical Education in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy (CHLD0096) 15 credits

Optional modules

A unique aspect of this programme is that you will benefit from some shared teaching with postgraduate cardiorespiratory, neurological and paediatric physiotherapy students and may select an optional module from these routes or from other departments/programmes within UCL such as health informatics and health psychology. Options may include the following:

  • Clinical Education in Physiotherapy Part II (CHLD0012) 15 credits
  • Clinical Exercise and Physical Activity (CHLD0019) 15 credits
  • Work based Learning in Health (CHLD0087) 15 credits
  • Young Athlete: Injury Prevention and Management (CHLD0022) 15 credits
  • Paediatric Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy (CHLD0020) 15 credits
  • Paediatric Neurophysiotherapy (CHLD0017) 15 credits
  • Paediatric Cardiorespiratory physiotherapy (CHLD0018) 15 credits
  • Motor Control, Through Health Life and Disease (CHLD0025) 15 credits
  • Neurophysiotherapy: Evidence for rehabilitation and practice (CHLD0024) 15 credits
  • Rehabilitation and Management for Long-term Neurological Conditions (CHLD0086) 15 credits
  • Cardiorespiratory Physiotherapy Skills (CHLD0014) 15 credits
  • Respiration Through Life Health and Disease (CHLD0021) 15 credits
  • The Heart Through Life, Health and Disease (CHLD0023) 15 credits
  • Health Management & Clinical Exercise for Pulmonary Disease (CHLD0015) 15 credits
  • Physical Activity & Clinical Exercise in Cardiovascular Disease (CHLD0016) 15 credits
  • Leadership & Professional Development (CHLD0065) 15 credits
  • Strategies for the Self-Management of Pain (15 credits)
  • Peripheral Nerve, Muscle and Senses (CLENG019) 15 credits


All MSc students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a substantial dissertation report of 10,000 words and an oral examination.


There is a compulsory three-week placement (150 hours of contact time) and an optional second placement. These placements are part of the Clinical Education in Advanced Physiotherapy modules.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of teaching and self-directed learning, and includes up to six weeks of clinical placements. Assessment is through 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.

Most modules are delivered as blocks of study, normally over six to ten consecutive days. Face to face contact for each of these days is normally from 9-5pm. Face to face contact hours normally comprise about one third of the study hours expected for the module.

Additional costs

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

  • Travel to the placement site
  • Accommodation, if students need to live nearer to the site for the three weeks placement
  • Uniform costs: purchase simple white polo tops, blue trousers and blue/black shoes 
  • Occupational Health check

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


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble accessable.co.uk. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.


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.


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

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL is a world-class university and this well-established and popular postgraduate physiotherapy programme is very highly regarded both locally and internationally.

As a student on this programme, you will receive expert tuition, with lectures, tutorials and workshops delivered by recognised experts in physiotherapy practice.

Students on our physiotherapy programmes come to UCL from all over the world. This cross-pollination of international clinical experiences and ideas generates a powerful and inspirational platform for postgraduate physiotherapy learning.


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).

Department: Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health

Application and 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.

This programme requires two references. Further information regarding references can be found in our How to apply section.

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: ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.

Who can apply?

This MSc is suitable for students with a first degree in physiotherapy and at least two years' post-qualification relevant clinical experience, along with a wide knowledge of biomedical sciences allied to clinical skills but who wish to extend their understanding of key areas.

Application deadlines

Visa nationals
31 May 2021
Non-visa nationals
30 July 2021

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Advanced Physiotherapy: Musculoskeletal at graduate level
  • why you want to study Advanced Physiotherapy: Musculoskeletal
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree

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.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.

Page last modified on 28 August 2021