Advancing Physiotherapy Practice MSc

Study level: Postgraduate
Physiotherapist assessing patients wrist

This clinically focused course is aimed at qualified physiotherapists who wish to develop their reasoning skills to a higher level for their practice.

Year of entry

Location

Coventry University (Coventry)

Study mode

Full-time

Duration

1 year full-time

Course code

HLST255

Start date

May 2025


Course overview

Develop your physiotherapy reasoning to a higher level, supported by an experienced and dedicated team of staff.

  • Opportunities to develop your assessment, clinical reasoning and treatment skills in the three core areas of practice: cardiorespiratory, musculoskeletal and neurological physiotherapy.
  • Aims to improve your employability by enhancing clinical reasoning, management and leadership skills.
  • Opportunities to develop and practise your clinical skills in an environment which closely resembles real-life clinical practice.
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Why you should study this course

  • This course offers physiotherapy graduates the opportunity to progress their professional development after successful completion of a relevant undergraduate programme.
  • You will have the opportunity to be taught in our multi-million-pound Alison Gingell Building, which has skills labs, simulation suites, therapy equipment and technological support4.
  • Our current teaching staff are both experienced in teaching and also clinical experts (staff are subject to change). Supporting your transition to master’s level learning is an integral part of our staff's teaching role. Past students have found this staff support to be an invaluable contribution to their academic development.
  • You will have the opportunity to develop interpersonal skills and cultural competence from learning alongside a diverse group of students in both the physiotherapy classes and the inter-professional classes.
  • You will have the opportunity to undertake the Global Professional Development module, which has been developed in partnership with the Chartered Management Institute1. You will have opportunities to develop skills in strategic leadership and entrepreneurship and on successful completion will gain additional qualifications from the CMI (see accreditation section for more information).

Accreditation and professional recognition

This course is accredited1 by the following bodies:

Chartered Management Institute

Chartered Management Institute (CMI)

As part of this course, you will undertake a professional development module which is currently accredited by the Chartered Management Institute for the 2024-25 intake. Upon successful completion of this module, you will gain the CMI Level 7 Certificate in Strategic Management and Leadership Practice at no additional cost.



What you'll study

Modules

  • This module aims to develop the breadth and depth of your theoretical and clinical knowledge of the wide range of approaches currently used within manual therapy in the holistic assessment and management of neuromusculoskeletal dysfunction. You will be encouraged to appraise and evaluate the underpinning theory, evidence base and practical application of each approach and to integrate this into your clinical practice through the use of clinical reasoning skills. This module also provides the opportunity for you to learn a wide range of current manual therapy techniques from specialists teaching in these clinical areas.

    Compulsory

  • This module aims to provide an overview of the key approaches to designing practice-based healthcare research. You will have the opportunity to consider the theoretical and philosophical underpinnings of research and appraise different design and methodological approaches utilised in health, social sciences and their related fields of practice. The module is designed to develop your ability to prepare a clinically relevant research question, critically evaluate which research paradigm is appropriate to use for that question and then prepare a detailed research proposal relevant to your field of academic study and area of professional practice. The importance of ethical, social, legal, political and economic aspects of research studies will be critically appraised.

    Compulsory

  • Evidence-based medicine, evidence-based practice and evidence-based management are all prominent issues on the contemporary healthcare agenda. This module is designed to examine the theoretical and philosophical basis of evidence-based practice and to explore the practical implications involved in achieving evidence-based practice in a health and social care setting. The aim of this module is twofold. Firstly, to build a critical understanding of how this complex concept is applied in the reality of practice. Secondly, to provide opportunities for you to develop a thorough understanding of the process of evidence-based practice (from the formulation of a problem or question to answer, through to the evaluation of activities intended to disseminate and implement the recommendations from the evidence) and to apply evidence-based principles to your specific (national or international) practice context.

    Compulsory

  • This module aims to give you an understanding of the nature of expertise as a multifaceted concept. The characteristics of expertise will be explored in the context of physiotherapy professional practice and the development of expertise in individual practitioners and their profession will be debated. You will have the opportunity to consider your personal journey to expertise and gain an understanding of your future needs in relation to your continuing development of professional practice. A synthesis of module learning aims to enable you to articulate your current state of expertise along the continuum between novice and expert. This module is designed to develop reflective skills and understanding of clinical reasoning theories, which aims to aid your development of practice skills. This module is designed to introduce a variety of theoretical perspectives relating to expertise which can then be applied to understanding the development of contemporary therapy practice in both practice and organisational contexts.

    Compulsory

  • This module aims to develop the breadth and depth of your theoretical and clinical knowledge of contemporary neurological physiotherapy practice. It aims to develop skills in assessment and clinical reasoning in the holistic management of people with neurological dysfunction. You will be encouraged to appraise and evaluate the underpinning theory and evidence.

    Compulsory

  • This module aims to develop the breadth and depth of your theoretical and clinical knowledge of the assessment and management of patients with cardio-respiratory dysfunction. You will be encouraged to critically appraise and evaluate the underpinning theory, evidence base and practical application of current cardio-respiratory physiotherapy practice. The module provides the opportunity for you to integrate your learning into your own clinical practice and develop your clinical reasoning skills.

    Compulsory

  • This module aims to provide you with a framework of knowledge and understanding of how to effectively lead and develop people in a strategic and entrepreneurial way whatever the master’s degree of specialisation you elect to follow. You will have the opportunity to explore, for example, the influence and impact of leadership theories, culture, wellbeing, the principles of entrepreneurial practice and understand the different contexts in which entrepreneurship can flourish as well as the characteristics of entrepreneurial leadership within different types of organisational scenarios. Ultimately, you will be given the opportunity to develop strategic priorities for entrepreneurial leadership. Finally, the module requires you to reflect critically on your personal learning and development needs and how you work with others, from an ethical and professional standpoint to encourage your continuing professional development.

    Compulsory

  • The dissertation aims to engage you in supervised but independently undertaken research at an advanced level. You will be encouraged to integrate and practice the skills acquired during the course and to investigate in depth at master’s level an area of specific interest to you. Additionally, you will be expected to demonstrate a critical and evaluative understanding of the research process including the ethical, theoretical and methodological issues associated with research in your area of interest.

    Compulsory

We regularly review our course content, to make it relevant and current for the benefit of our students. For these reasons, course modules may be updated.


How you'll learn

A wide range of teaching methods will be used during the course, such as:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • tutorials
  • practical workshops.

These are all supported by the university’s virtual learning environment which offers a broad selection of support materials.

The clinically focused modules will be taught by clinical specialists and will be based in clinical skills labs, with access to assessment tools and simulation models. The use of case studies, illness narratives and videos are used to help you apply your learning to practice.

You will learn alongside other qualified physiotherapists in the clinical skills modules, and during the theoretical modules you will learn alongside students from a range of professional and cultural backgrounds. Group discussions and presentations will allow you to develop your communication skills and cultural competence.


Teaching contact hours

You should expect to engage in a mixture of online and face-to-face activities, including face-to-face classes for approximately three to six hours each week during term time. In addition to this, there are mandatory support sessions which aim to enhance your study skills and employability. Content includes sessions on searching the literature, academic writing, planning assignments and careers advice. International students have access to an in-sessional academic English course.

Additionally, you will be expected to undertake significant self-directed study of approximately 15 hours each week, depending on the demands of individual modules.

The contact hours may be made up of a combination of face-to-face teaching, individual and group tutorials, and online classes and tutorials. As an innovative and enterprising institution, the university may seek to utilise emerging technologies within the student experience. For all courses (whether on-campus, blended, or distance learning), the university may deliver certain contact hours and assessments via online technologies and methods.

Since COVID-19, we have delivered our courses in a variety of forms, in line with public authority guidance, decisions, or orders and we will continue to adapt our delivery as appropriate. Whether on campus or online, our key priority is staff and student safety.


Assessment

This course will be assessed using a variety of methods which will vary depending upon the module. Formative assessment is used in all modules to provide you with useful feedback about your work which can be used to enhance subsequent summative assessments.

Assessment methods include:

  • Essays
  • Presentations
  • Reports
  • Vivas
  • Critical appraisals
  • Dissertation.

The Coventry University Group assessment strategy ensures that our courses are fairly assessed and allows us to monitor student progression towards achieving the intended learning outcomes.


Entry requirements

Typical offer for 2024/25 entry.

Applicants should be professionally qualified physiotherapists and hold a minimum BSc (or Diploma) in Physiotherapy from a recognised university with a minimum 2:1 grade or equivalent.

We recognise a breadth of qualifications; speak to one of our advisers today to find out how we can help you.

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Applicants should be professionally qualified physiotherapists and hold a minimum BSc (or Diploma) in Physiotherapy from a recognised university with a minimum 2:1 grade or equivalent to the UK. Students whose first language is not English should have achieved a minimum IELTS: 7.0 overall with no element less than 6.5.

Each application will be considered on its merits and the final decision will be made by the course director.

Select your region to find detailed information about entry requirements:

You can view our full list of country specific entry requirements on our Entry requirements page.

Alternatively, visit our International hub for further advice and guidance on finding in-country agents and representatives, joining our in-country events and how to apply.

English language requirements

  • IELTS: 7.0 overall, with no component lower than 6.5

If you don't meet the English language requirements, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

For more information on our approved English language tests visit our English language requirements page.

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Fees and funding

2024/25 tuition fees.

Student Full-time Part-time
UK, Ireland*, Channel Islands or Isle of Man £11,200 per year Not available
EU £11,200 per year with EU support bursary**
£18,600 per year without EU support bursary**
Not available
International £18,600 per year Not available

For advice and guidance on tuition fees3 and student loans visit our Postgraduate Finance page.

We offer a range of International scholarships to students all over the world. For more information, visit our International Scholarships page.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessments, facilities and support services. There may be additional costs not covered by this fee such as accommodation and living costs, recommended reading books, stationery, printing and re-assessments should you need them.

The following are additional costs not included in the tuition fees:

  • Any optional overseas field trips or visits: £400+ per trip.

*Irish student fees

The rights of Irish residents to study in the UK are preserved under the Common Travel Area arrangement. If you are an Irish student and meet the residency criteria, you can study in England, pay the same level of tuition fees as English students and utilise the Tuition Fee Loan.

**EU support bursary

Following the UK's exit from the European Union, we are offering financial support to all eligible EU students who wish to study an undergraduate or a postgraduate degree with us full-time. This bursary will be used to offset the cost of your tuition fees to bring them in line with that of UK students. Students studying a degree with a foundation year with us are not eligible for the bursary.

  • We carry out an initial fee status assessment based on the information you provide in your application. Your fee status determines your tuition fees, and what financial support and scholarships may be available to you. The rules about who pays UK (home) or international (overseas) fees for higher education courses in England are set by the government's Department for Education. The regulations identify all the different categories of student who can insist on paying the home rate. The regulations can be difficult to understand, so the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) has provided fee status guidance to help you identify whether you are eligible to pay the home or overseas rate.

    If you meet all the criteria required by any one category, including any residence requirements, your institution must charge you the home rate. You only need to find one category that you fit into.


Facilities

This course will take place at our Coventry University main campus with access to the Alison Gingell Building which features innovative classrooms and facilities4.

clinical skills lab

Clinical Skills Labs

You will have access to clinical skills labs, with the opportunity to use equipment including assessment tools and simulation models.

Mock Operating Theatre

Mock Operating Theatre

Our Alison Gingell Building includes a full-size mock operating theatre, containing scrub sinks and theatre lights. We also have a mock hospital ward so that we can study a complete patient pathway.

Hospital Wards

Hospital Wards

We have two fully equipped mock hospital wards, each containing four beds. The wards are built to NHS standards and contain moveable beds, first aid equipment and patient monitoring tools.


Careers and opportunities

Upon successful completion of the course, you will be able to:

  • Critically discuss the principles of assessment, treatment and holistic management of clients with a range of impairments and activity limitations
  • Justify clinical decision-making through effective clinical reasoning
  • Critically evaluate the theoretical basis of physiotherapy practice.
  • Critically appraise contemporary research to formulate evidence-informed approaches to physiotherapy management
  • Use critical self-reflection effectively as an integral part of life-long learning
  • Communicate decision-making effectively with others
  • Critically evaluate the principles for leading and developing people and entrepreneurial practice in strategic contexts
  • Justify choice of research design, methodology and methods to investigate (under supervision) a research question relating to physiotherapy practice and present it in a way that would stand up to critical review in academic and professional settings.

This course aims to improve your employability by enhancing clinical, management and leadership skills, so that successful graduates can influence practice and service delivery, working in line with government initiatives.

As well as providing opportunities to develop advanced clinical physiotherapy skills, the course aims to enhance your understanding of research- and evidence-based practice. In addition, you will have the opportunity to develop your communication and leadership skills to a higher level. This skills and knowledge development is designed to allow graduates to move into higher positions within the field of physiotherapy and wider health and social care, research or education.

Where our graduates work

Previous graduates have gained advanced clinical physiotherapy positions in the UK and in places as far afield as Japan, India, Pakistan, Thailand, the Middle East, Africa, Canada and the USA. Many graduates have progressed into teaching roles, while others have taken research positions or enrolled in doctoral studies.


How to apply

  • Coventry University together with Coventry University London, Coventry University Wrocław, CU Coventry, CU London, CU Scarborough, and Coventry University Online come together to form part of the Coventry University Group (the University) with all degrees awarded by Coventry University.

    1Accreditations

    The majority of our courses have been formally recognised by professional bodies, which means the courses have been reviewed and tested to ensure they reach a set standard. In some instances, studying on an accredited course can give you additional benefits such as exemptions from professional exams (subject to availability, fees may apply). Accreditations, partnerships, exemptions and memberships shall be renewed in accordance with the relevant bodies’ standard review process and subject to the university maintaining the same high standards of course delivery.

    2UK and international opportunities

    Please note that we are unable to guarantee any UK or international opportunities (whether required or optional) such as internships, work experience, field trips, conferences, placements or study abroad opportunities and that all such opportunities may be unpaid and/or subject to additional costs (which could include, but is not limited to, equipment, materials, bench fees, studio or facilities hire, travel, accommodation and visas), competitive application, availability and/or meeting any applicable travel, public authority guidance, decisions or orders and visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand any visa requirements, please contact the International Office.

    3Tuition fees

    The University will charge the tuition fees that are stated in the above table for the first Academic Year of study. The University will review tuition fees each year. For UK (home) students, if Parliament permit an increase in tuition fees, the University may increase fees for each subsequent year of study in line with any such changes. Note that any increase is expected to be in line with inflation.

    For international students, we may increase fees each year, but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation. If you defer your course start date or have to extend your studies beyond the normal duration of the course (e.g. to repeat a year or resit examinations) the University reserves the right to charge you fees at a higher rate and/or in accordance with any legislative changes during the additional period of study.

    4Facilities

    Facilities are subject to availability. Access to some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) may vary from those advertised and/or may have reduced availability or restrictions where the university is following public authority guidance, decisions or orders.

    Student Contract

    By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the university. A copy of the current 2023/2024 contract is available on the website for information purposes however the 2024/25 Contract is currently being updated so please revisit this page before submitting your application. The Contract details your rights and the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and contains the obligations that the university will owe to you. You should read the Contract before you accept an offer of a place and before you enrol at the university.

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