Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy MSc

 

Course Code

HLST246 (MACP pathway) / HLST247

Location

Coventry University (Coventry)

 

Study mode

Full-time
Part-time

Duration

1 year full-time
2 years part-time

Start date

September 2022


Course overview

Study level: Postgraduate

The Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy MSc is aimed at fully qualified, experienced practitioners who want to make a difference to clinical practice and work in senior clinical roles.

It is a clinically focused course designed to equip you with high level critical, evaluative and clinical skills across the four pillars of advanced practice (research, education, clinical and leadership).

  • The course provides you with a coherent programme of study relevant to current advanced musculoskeletal (MSK) physiotherapy practice.
  • It also offers a wide range of educationally transformative learning opportunities that will enable you to explore and extend the skills, knowledge and professional expertise required to be able to lead and influence musculoskeletal service delivery in a wide range of practice settings.
  • The MACP pathway offers 150 hours mentored clinical practice placement (sourced by the university) where skills and knowledge gained on the course are applied to the practice setting.
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Global ready

An international outlook, with global opportunities

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Teaching excellence

Taught by lecturers who are experts in their field

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Employability

Career ready graduates, with the skills to succeed

Why you should study this course

Physiotherapists in advanced practitioner roles are expected to be clinical experts in their fields who provide leadership and strategic vision and contribute to teaching and research. Postgraduate education is essential for physiotherapists taking up these roles to allow them to work at the optimum level of their skill set and to support development of the key qualities required for advanced practice. These include the ability to draw on the evolving evidence base, the capacity for leadership, the ability to be innovative and to initiate change, to facilitate learning in others and the capacity for effective collaboration and (CSP 2018; HEE 2018).

The clinically focused programme has been re-designed to support the development of specialist physiotherapists within the changing social and healthcare landscape. It is aimed at fully qualified, experienced and highly motivated practitioners who want to make a difference to clinical practice and work in senior clinical roles. It aims to equip practitioners with advanced level knowledge and skills capable of promoting MSK health, providing safe, effective, high-quality care in the diagnosis and management of individuals with MSK disorders.

Alongside this the course aims to develop physiotherapists who will excel as clinical leaders with the capacity to influence local service delivery; foster evidence-informed practice; lead clinical teams and contribute to the education of the local healthcare workforce. The overall course aim is to produce graduates who will operate at the highest level of practice ready to move into senior clinical roles such as first contact practitioners, advanced physiotherapy practitioners, clinical specialists and consultants.

The course offers two pathways. One pathway has been established for students who wish to complete a period of mentored clinical practice with a Musculoskeletal Association of Physiotherapists (MACP) qualified mentor. The placement can be sourced for you by the university and there are no additional fees for period of mentored clinical practice (additional costs may apply such as travel and accommodation with respect to the placement). The MACP pathway leads to an additional qualification of membership to the MACP (additional fees to join the MACP apply after successfully completing the course). The placement module facilitates the consolidation and application of university-based learning to the clinical setting and allows for fully authentic development of advanced level clinical practice in MSK Physiotherapy in the workplace.

You will learn from our experienced teaching team in the state-of-the-art Alison Gingell Building which provide a stimulating learning environment for healthcare professionals.

Three awards are offered on the programme: MSc Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy (180 credits); PgDip Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy (120 credits); PgCert Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy (60 credits), and you can apply for any one of these awards. To achieve the necessary number of credits for each award, you must achieve 40% pass mark for all modules contributing to the award.

To qualify for the PGCert award you must complete the following modules:

  • Musculoskeletal Management for Advanced Practice
  • Specialist Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Practice
  • Advanced Physiotherapy Practice

To qualify for the PGDip award you must complete the above modules as well as:

  • A Clinical Approach to Pain for Health Professionals
  • Developing Expertise for Professional Practice
  • Leading Diverse Workforces (CMI module)
  • Research Methods, Methodology and Design

To qualify for the MSc award you must complete the above modules as well as:

  • Applied Research for Advanced MSK Practice
  • Research Methods, Methodology and Design

And one of the following:

  • Clinical Practice in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy (MACP pathway only)

OR

  • Evidence Based Practice (Non-MACP pathway only)

Two pathways are offered on the MSc course: the MACP pathway (HLST246) and non-MACP pathway (HLST247). You are required to choose which pathway they will undertake at the outset of the course. Each pathway consists of one additional mandatory module: Evidenced Based Practice or Clinical Practice in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy

Accreditation and 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 (CMI) for the 2022-23 intake. Upon successful completion of the module, you will gain the CMI  Level 7 Certificate in Strategic Management and Leadership Practice  at no additional cost. Further details can be found under the modules tab and on the Professional Development module homepage.


Musculoskeletal Association of Chartered Physiotherapists (MACP)

This course (MACP pathway only) is accredited by the Musculoskeletal Association of Chartered Physiotherapists (MACP) for the 2022/2023 intake. We have long-standing, strong links with the MACP, the professional body that sets and regulates postgraduate educational and clinical standards for MSK physiotherapy in the UK. MACP accreditation is an additional statement of course quality. It also maps directly to Health Education England's (HEE) Advanced Clinical Practice (ACP) Framework (2018) and their Musculoskeletal Core Capabilities Framework for First Contact Practitioners (2019) both of which reflect the current changes in healthcare delivery.

You will be eligible to become a member of Musculoskeletal Association of (MACP) on completion of the Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy MSc (MACP pathway only) (application and fees may apply).



What you'll study

Modules

  • This clinically focused module is designed to build on and further develop your existing knowledge, skills and clinical experience ready for advanced practice roles where the focus is on the provision of high-quality care in the diagnosis and management of individuals with MSK disorders and on MSK health promotion. You will specifically focus on developing the breadth and depth of assessment skills necessary to confidently and competently screen and assess individuals presenting with MSK disorders and to place them on an appropriate care pathway. The module aims to enable you to become a practitioner who is an evidence-informed critical thinker, complex problem solver and effective decision maker in all areas of your clinical practice. Service users and specialist guest lecturers are involved in the module delivery providing the opportunities for you to apply new theoretical knowledge to practice and further assisting the development of advanced practical skills.

    Compulsory

  • This clinically focused module is designed to build on and further develop your existing knowledge, skills and clinical experience ready for specialist and advanced practice roles where the focus is on the provision of high-quality care in the management of individuals with MSK disorders and on MSK health promotion.

    The university-based module will specifically focus on developing the specialist musculoskeletal physiotherapy skills you will need to safely, effectively and expertly manage individuals presenting with MSK conditions. Patient-centred management will be explored using a critical, clinically reasoned approach underpinned by evidence informed practice. This approach will encourage you to develop sound, effective and reasoned clinical practice.

    Compulsory

  • This module provides the education, knowledge, skills and competencies you will need to enable you to develop the level of practice required as an Advanced Physiotherapy Practitioner (APP) to work safely, effectively and legally within your scope of practice. In the module you will explore the clinical, educational and leadership pillars of advanced clinical practice. Diagnostics (x-rays, MRI scans and blood tests), systems screening, pharmacology, outcome measures, role governance, clinical audit and change management will all be explored through university-based lectures, case scenarios, presentations, case reports and interactive seminars allowing you to develop the principles and practice and to apply these to your own specialist clinical setting. 

    Compulsory

  • The module challenges and extends your knowledge, skills and capabilities to an advanced level in the effective management of individuals with MSK conditions presenting with acute, persistent or complex pain. Throughout the module you will explore the current evidence base and theories of pain physiology and neuroscience and how this can be applied to clinical practice. 

    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 be able to consider your personal journey to expertise along the novice - expert continuum and gain an understanding of your future needs in relation to your continuing development of professional practice. The development of reflective skills and understanding of clinical reasoning theories is designed to aid your development of practice skills. A variety of theoretical perspectives relating to expertise will be used which can then be applied to understanding the development of contemporary therapy practice in both practice and organizational context. 

    Compulsory

  • This module aims to provide you with a framework of knowledge and understanding of how to effectively lead and develop people in a strategically diverse and inclusive way whatever your master’s degree. You will explore for example, the influence and impact of leadership theories, culture, wellbeing, and approaches to developing better equality, diversity and inclusion strategies and practices that can be used creatively within a leadership role in different types of organisational scenarios.

    Ultimately, you will be given the opportunity to develop strategic priorities for leadership, equality, diversity and inclusion. 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

  • This module provides the education, knowledge, skills and competencies you will need to enable you to develop the level of practice required as an Advanced Physiotherapy Practitioner (APP) to work safely, effectively and legally within your scope of practice. In the module you will explore the clinical, educational and leadership pillars of advanced clinical practice. Diagnostics (x-rays, MRI scans and blood tests), systems screening, pharmacology, outcome measures, role governance, clinical audit and change management will all be explored through university-based lectures, case scenarios, presentations, case reports and interactive seminars allowing you to develop the principles and practice and to apply these to your own specialist clinical setting. 

    Compulsory

  • This module aims to provide an overview of the key approaches to designing practice-based healthcare research. It will consider the theoretical and philosophical underpinnings of research and critically appraise different design and methodological approaches utilised in health, social sciences and their related fields of practice. The module will develop your ability to prepare a detailed research proposal relevant to your field of academic study, area of professional practice, or service improvement area. The importance of ethical, social, legal, political and economic aspects of research studies will be considered. 

    One of the following: 

    Evidence Based Practice (Non-MACP pathway only) - 20 credits

    This module is designed to examine the theoretical and philosophical basis of evidence-based practice (EBP) and to explore the practical implications involved in achieving evidence-based practice in a health and social care setting. The module aims to build your understanding of how the complex concept of EBP is applied in the reality of practice and to provide opportunities for you to develop a thorough understanding of the process of EBP and to apply EBP principles to your specific (national or international) practice context. 

    OR

    Clinical Practice in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy (MACP pathway only) - 20 credits

    This module consists of a clinical placement in a workplace environment under the supervision of a clinical mentor who is a member of the Musculoskeletal Association of Chartered Physiotherapists (MACP). This placement can be sourced for you by the university or, if suitable, it may be possible to use your existing workplace (subject to the Course Director’s approval). Such placement may also be subject to additional costs such as transport or accommodation depending on location of placement. The minimum requirement is of 150 hours of supervised clinical practice in order to fulfil the standards set out by the International Federation of Orthopaedic Manipulative Physical Therapists (IFOMPT) and the MACP.

    The module will facilitate the consolidation and application of your university-based learning to the clinical setting and allows for fully authentic development of advanced level clinical practice in MSK Physiotherapy in the workplace. You will have the ability to work in a variety of clinical settings and will consider a variety of clinical problems that will enable you to attain breadth and depth of knowledge and a high level of skills in clinical reasoning and patient management. The module will assist in development of your expertise as an individual advanced practitioner and within your role in your own working environment.

     

    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

You will be taught using a mixture of strategies including practical seminars, debates, group work, presentations, lectures, workshops, peer learning, pre-session activities, involvement of service users and problem-based learning using case reports, case scenarios and case studies. These activities are supported through the use of learning enhanced technology.

The course has been designed to be progressive. Module content in semester 1 of the full-time course is used to inform teaching and learning in semester 2 and 3 to build on and progressively develop the knowledge and skills required for advanced MSK clinical practice. This approach facilitates a meaningful, clinically relevant student experience with the aim of modelling high standards of patient care in a variety of ways.

This course can be offered on a part-time basis. Whilst we would like to give you all the information about our part-time offering here, it is tailored for each course each year depending on the number of part-time applicants. Therefore, the part-time teaching arrangements vary. Request further information about part-time study. 


Teaching contact hours

Full-time students are usually in university two days a week with 3-8 hours of teaching scheduled per day.  
Part-time students are usually in university for one day per week with 8 hours teaching per week in year 1 and 3-6 hours teaching per week in year 2.

In both cases teaching is comprised of a combination of seminar sessions, workshops, practical sessions and lectures. 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.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are prepared for courses due to start in or after the 2022/2023 academic year to be delivered in a variety of forms.  The form of delivery will be determined in accordance with Government and Public Health guidance.  Whether on campus or online, our key priority is staff and student safety. 


Assessment

You will be assessed through a varied schedule of assessments across the course to ensure you are thinking critically, are clinically competent and have developed the key knowledge, attitude, values and skills required for advanced clinical practice and postgraduate study.

The course assessments have been designed collectively to complement each other and to be learning tools in themselves. Examples of different assessment methods used include:

  • Presentations
  • Practical vivas
  • Clinical vivas
  • Case reports
  • Critical literature reviews
  • Essays
  • Reflective assignments
  • Research proposals
  • Articles for publication
  • Poster presentations
  • Educational vlogs
  • Case studies.

These different assessment approaches are fully relevant to clinical practice and cover written, presentation and visual modes to acknowledge and support different student approaches to learning and different skills required in the workplace.

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

  • Be a registered and fully qualified physiotherapist normally with a minimum of two years’ experience in the musculoskeletal speciality.
  • Normally hold an honours degree in Physiotherapy (2:1 or 60% and above) or equivalent and evidence of continuing professional development that shows an ability to study at master’s level.
  • Students whose first language is not English are normally required to have IELTS >6.5 or equivalent for the non-MACP pathway) or IELTS > 7.0 for the MACP Pathway 

OR

  • BSc Honours Physiotherapy 2:1 (2:2 considered)
  • 1- 2 years post-graduation clinical experience in the field of musculoskeletal physiotherapy
  • Membership of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy Non-MCAP Pathway
  • Registration with the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC) (HLST246) MACP Pathway 

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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  • Be a registered and fully qualified physiotherapist normally with a minimum of two years’ experience in the musculoskeletal speciality.
  • Normally hold an honours degree in Physiotherapy (2:1 or 60% and above) or equivalent and evidence of continuing professional development that shows an ability to study at master’s level.
  • Students whose first language is not English are normally required to have IELTS >6.5 or equivalent for the non-MACP pathway) or IELTS > 7.0 for the MACP Pathway

OR

  • BSc Honours Physiotherapy 2:1 (2:2 considered)
  • 1- 2 years post-graduation clinical experience in the field of musculoskeletal physiotherapy
  • Membership of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy or Society of Sports Therapy Non-MCAP Pathway
  • Registration with the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC) (HLST246) MCAP Pathway 

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: 6.5 overall, with no component lower than 6.0. 

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

2022/23 Tuition fees

Student Full time Part time
UK £11,350 (clinical pathway) | £10,600 (non-clinical pathway) per year Not available
International £16,950 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.


Facilities

Our aim is to offer you sector-leading facilities4.

  • You will have access to clinical skills labs, with the opportunity to use state-of-the-art equipment including gait assessment lab and assessment tools. 

Careers and opportunities

Successful completion of this course will enable you to demonstrate your competence as a practitioner who is a specialist in the MSK field of physiotherapy ready to move into a wide range of senior clinical roles such as first contact practitioners, advanced physiotherapy practitioners, clinical specialists, consultants, lecturers, researchers, private practitioners and healthcare managers with the ability to deliver and influence current and future clinical practice.

The course also offers the opportunity to gain additional qualifications relevant to advanced clinical practice

  • Students who successfully complete the MACP pathway will gain membership of the MACP (additional fees and application may apply).
  • Upon successful completion of the module, you will gain the CMI Level 7 Certificate in Strategic Management and Leadership Practice at no additional cost. Further details can be found under the module section and on the Professional Development module homepage.

This course supports the ‘upskilling’ and development for FCP, ACP and specialist MSK practitioner roles. It fully explores the 4 pillars of advanced clinical practice and maps to the Advanced Clinical Practice Framework (2018 Health Education England); the First Contact Practitioner Framework for Musculoskeletal Physiotherapists (2019, Health Education England) and the International Federation of Manipulative Physical Therapists Education Standards (IFOMPT, 2016).

It aims to prepare graduates capable of operating at the highest level of clinical practice who will excel as clinical leaders and are ready to move into senior clinical roles with the capacity to influence local service delivery; foster evidence informed practice; lead clinical teams and contribute to the education of the local healthcare workforce. 

Where our graduates work

Previous research carried out at Coventry University has shown that our postgraduate physiotherapy graduates work in a range of specialist and advanced clinical roles such as consultant, clinical specialist, first contact practitioner, advanced physiotherapy practitioner, lecturer, researcher, private practitioner and healthcare manager.


How to apply

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  • 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 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 COVID and visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand the 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 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. Due to the ongoing restrictions relating to COVID-19, some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) may vary from those advertised and may have reduced availability or restrictions on their use.

    Student Contract

    By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the university. The 2022/23 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.