Physiotherapy Studies: Musculoskeletal MSc

London, Bloomsbury

This postgraduate programme integrates the advanced clinical, academic, and research components of musculoskeletal physiotherapy practice. The emphasis is on the 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 (TMSPHHSPSC01)
Musculoskeletal (TMSPHHSPSM01)
Neurophysiotherapy (TMSPHHSPSN01)
Paediatrics (TMSPHHSPSP01)

Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
Pathways include:
Cardiorespiratory (TMSPHHSPSC01)
Musculoskeletal (TMSPHHSPSM01)
Neurophysiotherapy (TMSPHHSPSN01)
Paediatrics (TMSPHHSPSP01)

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.

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.

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 an understanding of evidence-based practice in their field of specialisation through the completion of taught modules led by university staff with teaching also provided by a variety of external clinical experts.

Who this course is for

This degree is suitable for World Physiotherapy recognised qualified physiotherapists with less than two years musculoskeletal experience, or for experienced practitioners who prefer not to undertake clinical placements for various reasons including restrictions on study leave. Although you do not need to have two years of clinical experience, stronger applicants will have at least 12 months post qualifying, beyond their internship, supervised work within the field of musculoskeletal. Applications without this will be considered much less favourably.

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.

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

This programme aims to transform the way you think about the theoretical foundation for musculoskeletal physiotherapy clinical practice and what defines expert patient care. The programme provides you with rigorous, evidence-based training in the best research and clinical practice, relevant to clinical, educational or research posts in physiotherapy.


The programme will enable you to pursue a career in academia or research or to pursue more senior clinical or management positions within your chosen career field. Recent physiotherapy graduates have pursued senior careers in healthcare policy, university lecturing, private practice, management or highly specialist clinical practice. Several past physiotherapy students have used the MSc successfully to gain funding for PhD studies.


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.  

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.

Assessment is through practical 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 four compulsory modules (90 credits) and two optional modules (30 credits). A Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits, part-time 12 months) is offered. The programme consists of 1 compulsory module (15 crdt) a choice of 1 core module (30 crdt) and 1 optional module (15 crdt).


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: Cardiorespiratory; Neurophysiotherapy; Paediatrics or Musculoskeletal. 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 for 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 Term 2, while you may still be completing your compulsory modules, you are probably also now doing your optional modules and developing the concepts you learnt in Term 1. You will be choosing your research during this time and beginning work on this project.

In Terms 2 and 3, you will work on your research project and 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.

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.

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


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 (TMSPHHSPSC01)
Musculoskeletal (TMSPHHSPSM01)
Neurophysiotherapy (TMSPHHSPSN01)
Paediatrics (TMSPHHSPSP01)

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 are no additional costs for this programme.

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 Physiotherapy Studies: Musculoskeletal at graduate level at UCL
  • why you want to study Physiotherapy Studies: Musculoskeletal at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your academic, clinical experience and professional background meet the demands of this programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree
  • what is your research experience and 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

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.