Postgraduate Taught

PgDip/MSc Physiotherapy (Pre-Registration)

This course offers an accelerated route for graduates from any discipline to gain a recognised qualification in physiotherapy practice. It includes a number of practice placements and is delivered full-time.

This course develops the theoretical, practical, analytical and evaluative skills necessary to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as a physiotherapist. Our graduates are self aware, skilled, critical, analytical, reflective and evaluative, independent learners who actually contribute to shaping the future health and wellbeing of the individual and society.


Why QMU?

  • The employability of graduates from this course is proven both in the United Kingdom and abroad.
  • In relation to dissertation, there is a wide range of research designs available.
  • Some students have arranged their four-week elective placement in a foreign country such as Canada or Australia.

Course overview

Physiotherapists deal with human function and movement and help people to achieve their full physical potential. They use physical approaches to promote, maintain and restore wellbeing.

As a student on this course, you will complete a range of modules and periods of practice placement. You will learn how to synthesise evidence from current practice and research to develop an in-depth critical knowledge and understanding of the physiotherapy profession. Furthermore, you will be able to demonstrate a critical awareness of current issues within the provision of health and social care, and will be capable of demonstrating leadership in both personal and professional development.

Exit awards

MSc (180 credits, plus 60 credit Dissertation, plus 105 credits at SCQF Level 10)/ PgDip (120 credits plus 105 credits at SCQF level 10)


To obtain a specific postgraduate award at QMU you must complete a number of credit-bearing modules. You can opt to study for the full MSc or a PgDip.

Teaching, learning and assessment

The year group is split into small groups for practical classes and some tutorials. This ensures that individuals receive excellent support and benefit from sharing their experiences with their classmates. There is a strong emphasis on student-directed learning. A variety of assessment methods are used including written assignments, practical viva exams, presentations and reflective portfolios. Practice-based learning is a major component of the course, comprising more than 1,000 hours.

Teaching hours and attendance

This is a full-time course and students are expected to be available 9am-5pm Monday to Friday. Students should expect to study for an average of 40 hours per week. Timetabled classes are approximately 12-15 hours per week.

Industry links, accreditation and professional registration

On completion, you will be eligible to apply for registration with the HCPC as a physiotherapist. You will also be eligible to apply for membership with the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.


  • Introduction to Practice-based Learning H-level (10 credits)
  • Preparing for Practice as an AHP (15 credits)
  • Research Methods for Health Professionals (15 credits)
  • Developing Innovative Physiotherapy Practice (15 credits)
  • Supporting Health and Wellbeing (15 credits)
  • Clinical Studies 1 CRP (20 credits)
  • Clinical Studies 2 NMSK (20 credits)
  • Clinical Studies 3 Neuro (20 credits)
  • Advancement of Physiotherapy Practice (20 credits)
  • Foundations of Health Science (40 credits).
  • You will also complete a dissertation (60 credits), plus 30 weeks of practice-based learning placements (105 level 10 credits).

The modules listed are correct at time of posting (Nov 2020) but are subject to change. In the event that modules change, QMU will seek to use reasonable endeavours to ensure that there is no detrimental impact on students.

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In Year One you will complete a two-week foundation placement in Semester One and two six-week placements over the summer. In Year Two you will undertake one six-week placement in Semester Two and one six-week and one four-week elective placement over the summer. Any additional travel and accommodation costs associated with placements will be borne by the student. Placements will take place at clinical sites across Scotland and will be allocated by QMU with the exception of the four-week elective placement, which is arranged by the student.


The majority of graduates work as physiotherapists within the National Health Service, either in major hospitals or in the community. With further post-registration experience, graduates can choose to specialise in a particular area, which may include: sports, neurology, paediatrics, respiratory, orthopaedics or private practice. Some graduates choose to follow a research career path. A percentage of students on graduation will apply for overseas accreditation in countries such as Canada, Ireland and Australia.

Single modules for CPD

Not available

Class sizes

Normally there are around 50-75 students enrolling on the course each year.

Entry requirements

A second class degree in any subject. Ideally if your degree is not science or engineering based, we would ask you to demonstrate an understanding of research enquiry skills and this may have been achieved through completion of research project as part of the undergraduate degree. So as long as you’ve done something similar you would not need to have a specific science based qualification.

This course is not suitable for those already holding a physiotherapy qualification. Applicants from North America will normally be expected to have achieved a minimum GPA equivalent to 60% in their undergraduate degree. Relevant experience is desirable such as shadowing, volunteering or visiting a clinic. However, we understand that this may be difficult for applicants to arrange for. If it is not possible for you arrange shadowing/volunteering/visits, we would recommend that you do some research to develop your understanding of the range of different areas that physiotherapists work in.

International: Where your honours degree has not been studied in English, you will be required to take an IELTS test receiving an overall score of 7.0 and no individual component score below 6.5.

Criminal Records Check: A criminal records check is required.

Application deadline

We are now closed for applications for 2021/22 entry (September 2021 and January 2022).

Applications will reopen in November 2021 for 2022/23 entry.

More information and contacts

Contact Admissions on tel: +44 (0)131 474 0000

Please Note:

The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our  2021/22 Entry - Terms and Conditions (Postgraduate).

Course Overview

At QMU and on placement
2 years full-time
Start Date
September 2021
January 2022
Study Abroad
School of Health Sciences
Subject Area
Fees & Funding

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A Student Story

Stuart Maytham - MSc Physiotherapy (Pre-Reg) “After studying Sports Science for four years, I was interested more in how exercise science can help the general population and how to get the nation moving more, rather than working primarily with athletes. I hoped the course would give me a greater insight into the more clinical application of exercise and movement. It didn't fail to deliver." Read my student story