MSc Physiotherapy

Full Time
Degree of Master of Science

“UEA and more specifically the School of Health Sciences can offer so much outside of its brilliant academic reputation; all of which will undoubtedly make your time at UEA unforgettable.”

In their words

Patricia Costello, MSc Physiotherapy graduate



UEA research focused on the importance of group walking for helping us cut our risk of life threatening conditions.

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UEA is at the forefront of research that improves the lives of people with disabilities.

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Key facts

(REF, 2014)

Gain a Master’s in Physiotherapy and you could have an incredibly positive impact on people’s lives, helping them overcome physical setbacks and get back on their feet – often literally. It’s a career ideally suited to great listeners – able to piece together the physical with the emotional to build a complete picture – and to those who like to go beyond the theory and actually make things happen.

Our innovative approach is based on the very latest research. Through our rigorous programme you’ll develop sound knowledge of the clinical sciences underpinning human movement and function. You’ll have access to our superb, dedicated learning facilities, including our anatomy room and assistive technology suite. And you’ll have early patient contact and benefit from small group taught sessions. UEA is ranked seventh in the UK for physiotherapy (Complete University Guide 2020), and we are renowned for our excellent teaching and research in the field.


Our MSc Physiotherapy course is fully approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and accredited by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. Enroll with us and you’ll be based at our School of Health Sciences,where you’ll receive an academic and a practice-based education that’s second to none.

During taught sessions you’ll spend your time using case studies, focusing on the needs of individual clients or client groups. Through a combination of self-directed learning, workshop activities and Enquiry-Based Learning (EBL), you’ll build up the knowledge you need to identify issues and make decisions on how to address them.

You’ll become expert in understanding specific psychological, cultural and social factors in the context of care. You’ll also learn about due consideration of the needs and abilities of others involved with the client, including carers and other health and social care workers. You will also consider how, as a physiotherapist, you can use your expertise to advise and teach groups, and promote health across whole communities.

In addition to your campus-based learning, you’ll undertake four placements across your two years. These will be between seven and eight weeks in length. Working under close supervision, this is your opportunity to put your knowledge and skills into hands-on practice.

Our interdisciplinary ethos means that you’ll spend some of your time studying alongside Occupational Therapy students – professionals you’ll work with as a qualified physiotherapist. Inter-professional teamwork will be a central element of your career, and UEA remains one of the only UK universities to offer this approach.

During the course you’ll have the opportunity to work on your Master’s project, working with a member of our faculty on a subject that interests you. You could choose to look at empirical data collection and analysis, secondary analysis, or a structured literature review.

We are very proud of our innovative teaching methods and the passion and dedication of our staff. Our approach is creative, challenging and engaging. And our students tell us that they find our programmes professionally dynamic and personally transforming.

Course Structure

Practice placements are integrated throughout the programme, enabling you to undertake supervised clinical work with a range of different healthcare partners across the East Anglia Region. You’ll complete one seven-week placement in your first year, and three placements in your second year: two seven-weeks in length, plus a final eight-week placement.

Our two-year (45-week) programme adopts an Enquiry-Based Learning (EBL) ethos. This means there’s a focus on student-centred independent learning, problem solving and decision-making across the entire course. Your learning will be broken down into four key areas:

Human Sciences

This year one module covers the foundation anatomical, physiological, sociological and psychological sciences. However you’ll also be expected to be well-versed in anatomy and physiology from your prior learning, so that you can apply your knowledge to professional practice inEnquiry-Based Learning (EBL)workshop activities.

Physiotherapy Professional Practice

Our Professional Practice modules will focus on the theme of restoration, maintenance and improvement of human movement and function. You’ll develop an understanding of the scientific basis of this theme, as well as competence in a range of physiotherapeutic interventions aimed at assessing and restoring function.

You’ll use case studies to explore the core areas of neuro-musculoskeletal, cardiovascular-respiratory and neurological rehabilitation, along with physical activity and health promotion. Some elements within these modules will be shared with our Occupational Therapy Professional Practice module, to encourage an interdisciplinary focus on health and well-being issues.

Professional Development

Our Professional Development modules will include shared workshops with occupational therapy students and will cover areas such as service improvement, change management and leadership. They’ll arm you with academic writing, critical appraisal and presentation skills, as well as honing your abilities in team work and professional communication.


In our Research modules you will engage with the available evidence base for professional practice. Our aim is to ensure that you’ll become a confident consumer of research evidence, and that you’re then able to incorporate the evidence into your professional practice. Learning activities in these modules will include journal clubs, which will help you link research directly with the clinical areas being discussed.

You’ll also take part in interprofessional workshops, which will help inform your research dissertation, which you’ll complete towards the end of year two. Here you’ll be given the opportunity to work with a member of our faculty to define and address a dissertation topic in an area that interests you.

Teaching and Learning


This is a full-time degree. The taught elements of our full-time programme will make up around 2.5 to 3 days a week, with the rest of your working week dedicated to essential self-directed study.

In your EBL learning activities you will work in a small group to examine a case-study. You’ll clarify what needs to be learned to resolve the issue, and you’ll develop a series of learning objectives for each group member. These objectives will then be presented back to the group at the end of each fortnight.

Our approach is based on principles of adult learning theory and problem-solving that are proven to lead to deeper and more meaningful learning. As such, there are very few lectures, with most activities involving preparatory reading, followed by workshop activities, which aim to help you apply your knowledge to professional practice. Academic sessions will be supported by regular practical sessions, in which you’ll learn and practice the core physiotherapy assessment and treatment skills

Master’s-level learning demands an active drive to research and embed theory effectively into your own practice, so that you’re able to provide strong evidence-based justifications for your proposed interventions and actions.

Independent study

Self-directed study is a large and integral part of our programme. All your core activities will be facilitated by resources, provided by your lecturers, via our Blackboard Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). We’ll also actively encourage you to acquire and integrate knowledge from a wide range of additional sources.


You’ll be assessed on this course through a combination of practical skill assessments, written essays, reflective accounts, posters and case-management presentations. We’ll look at your communication skills, as well as your ability to synthesise and articulate knowledge at Master’s level. The accelerated nature of this programme means that you’ll also need to demonstrate effective time-management.

Your academic assignments will be marked against the Senate Scale for Master’s work – the official national marking guidance for higher education. However your placement performances will be assessed at undergraduate level, as we don’t expect you to acquire and master your practical skills as quickly as your theoretical knowledge.

Placements are marked pass or fail, and we’ll provide feedback on your performance to help you learn and improve.

Study abroad or Placement Year

You may have the opportunity to arrange your final eight-week practice placement elsewhere in the UK or overseas. You will need to discuss your idea with your course director, who will decide whether it is appropriate or not.

You will be responsible for covering any additional travel and accommodation costs you incur.

After the course

Complete this course successfully and you’ll be eligible to register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). You’ll then be able to practice as a qualified physiotherapist in a vast range of settings.

Once registered, there will be numerous roles available to you within the NHS, private sector, voluntary sectors, industry, research and education: the opportunities are endless.

Career destinations

  • NHS
  • Private/independent practice
  • The Armed Forces
  • Industry/occupational health
  • Sport and leisure
  • Charity and voluntary organisations

You can find out more about the career here

Course related costs

Practice placements will be based in a variety of locations around East Anglia. You will be responsible for covering any additional travel and accommodation costs. You will also need to pay for a DBS check and a health screening – plus any necessary vaccinations – prior to commencing the course.

UK students may be able to claim back placement costs for travel and accommodation from a Department of Health bursary fund, but this will not be available to International students.

Course Modules 2020/1

Students must study the following modules for 100 credits:

Name Code Credits


Human Sciences (HS) is a year-long module that is taken by occupational therapy and physiotherapy students together. The aim is to develop your knowledge and understanding of how the biological, psychological and social aspects of human sciences interact to affect us as humans, particularly in relation to human movement and occupation; this is the biopsychosocial model. Teaching and learning is focused on developing your understanding of human function, including exploration of dysfunction and recovery processes through the biopsychosocial model. This is facilitated through engagement with the four key strands of anatomy, physiology, psychology and sociology. Teaching is predominantly built around facilitated self-directed study using a range of relevant resources, followed by workshop activities to encourage application of core knowledge. There are some uni-professional sessions where one group requires additional preparation related to the nature of their specific programme. Anatomy and Physiology: The entry requirements for physiotherapy students dictate that they will already have sound anatomy and physiology knowledge from previous studies, therefore the emphasis for learning will be on applying this to physiotherapy theory and practice via case studies encountered during Enquiry Based Learning fortnights. As entrance requirements for occupational therapists do not expect this level of prior knowledge there will be timetabled uni-professional taught sessions with additional supportive resources available to help with this learning. For both professional groups there will be compulsory human dissection sessions to explore and apply anatomical knowledge using pre-dissected specimens. Health Psychology: A selection of core psychological areas will be explored over your first year, with each different topics woven into each Enquiry Based Learning trigger. These will take the form of self-directed preparation followed by workshops to explore the relevance of the topic and thus apply the principles to practice. Health Sociology: A selection of core sociological areas will be explored over your first year, with topics woven into the Enquiry Based Learning triggers in the same way as described above.




Mandatory training is a requirement of for all Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy programmes, stipulated by the governing professional bodies and our clinical practice partners. As an Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy student, you will be required to complete clinical practice hours as part of your degree. In order to prepare you for this, you will complete a mandatory set of core training sessions to prepare you for safe working within a healthcare environment. You will explore areas such as: basic life support, moving and handling of people, methods to prevent and control the spread of infection, supporting vulnerable adults and children, protecting confidential information, managing challenging situations and fire safety. This core set of skills is required by all healthcare professionals and this module will help to ensure your own safety and that of service users, staff and anyone else you encounter.




The module exists to develop competence in a range of physiotherapeutic interventions aimed at assessing and restoring human movement and function. The module is centred on evidence based clinical reasoning and problem solving, which is developed through critical engagement with scientific and theoretical evaluation of human movement and functioning. Integrating applied human sciences subject matter into the module ensures that the student's ability to synthesise information relevant to clinical reasoning is maximised. This is complemented by developing an understanding of practicing in present and future contexts alongside the development of professionalism.




This module introduces the concept of continuing professional development and explores the tools which can be employed in lifelong learning. It develops transferable skills, building on existing academic skills of critical enquiry and research practice.




We will introduce you to various health databases and you will be able to engage with the evidence base relevant to your own professional practice. In class, you will learn methods to appraise research quality and relate it back to your clinical practice. You will learn how to scrutinise research evidence. You will have the opportunity to choose a topic of interest for your final dissertation from a wide variety available. You will be allocated a dissertation supervisor and have meetings one-to-one periodically throughout the course duration. You will also participate in journal clubs and have many opportunities to read and share research evidence with your peers



Students must study the following modules for 80 credits:

Name Code Credits


As an occupational therapy or physiotherapy student, you are required to complete clinical practice hours as part of your degree. Mandatory training is a requirement of these programmes, stipulated by the governing professional bodies and our clinical practice partners. It is important that you undertake a number of training sessions to ensure your own safety and that of service users, staff and anyone else you encounter.




The module draws upon the student's use of CPD tools, quality measures and service development tools, critical enquiry, research methodology and evidence based practice to promote advanced clinical reasoning and creative management strategies for clients in a variety of clinical settings. It will encourage the students to develop avenues of emerging scope of practice through a subject block entitled physical activity and health promotion. The practice placement settings will provide, through negotiation with local Trusts, opportunities to experience a wide range of settings developing transferable clinical, reflective and managerial skills to prepare them for the current health and social care settings.




This module further develops the concept and ownership of your personal continuing professional development. You'll be expected to continue to examine your own experiences and learning needs to facilitate your transition from student to autonomous practitioner. You'll be encouraged to progressively refine your skills of reflective practice and to continue to collect portfolio based evidence to support your continuing professional development through engagement in real life service improvement tasks, for example. Professionalism and employability will be further developed and facilitated by your personal advisers to monitor development in these areas. This will be done by using MyEvolution and related portfolio resources.




You will undertake a research dissertation on a topic of your choosing. We will support you throughout the duration of the module and help you submit your final dissertation. Through the experience of working alongside a key member of the academic team, you will develop significant expertise in your chosen research area. When you complete the module, you will be able to interpret and evaluate research in your area of professional practice. You will experience how to design and deliver research, and learn about essential components of good clinical practice and research ethics. This module will follow on from the research module in the first year.




Whilst the University will make every effort to offer the modules listed, changes may sometimes be made arising from the annual monitoring, review and update of modules and regular (five-yearly) review of course programmes. Where this activity leads to significant (but not minor) changes to programmes and their constituent modules, there will normally be prior consultation of students and others. It is also possible that the University may not be able to offer a module for reasons outside of its control, such as the illness of a member of staff or sabbatical leave. In some cases optional modules can have limited places available and so you may be asked to make additional module choices in the event you do not gain a place on your first choice. Where this is the case, the University will endeavour to inform students.

Further Reading

Entry Requirements

  • Degree Subject Human Biology, Sports Science, or related subject
  • Degree Classification Bachelors (Hons) degree - 2.1 or equivalent
  • Special Entry Requirements You must have graduated within 5 years of the start date of the course which is in February each year.

Entry Requirement

Applicants should have a good first degree (2.1 or higher) from a recognised higher education institution. We will look for evidence that students have studied a significant amount of human anatomy/physiology at degree level. Applicants should also have a strong profile of secondary qualifications in arts and/or sciences (we will look for good A-level grades, or equivalent). Our admissions criteria also include: a clear understanding of physiotherapy and the role of physiotherapists within various clinical settings; a broad range of relevant work shadowing; an interest in people and a strong academic attainment. The University will also take into account the employment experience of applicants where relevant. Please note that experience only in sports settings is not considered relevant. If you already are a qualified Physiotherapist this course is not suitable and you may wish to consider our other professional health courses delivered at Degree and Master’s level.

It is normal for undergraduate students to apply for entry to postgraduate programmes in their final year of study. Applicants who have not yet been awarded a degree may be offered a place conditional on their attaining a particular class of degree.  

International students

We have a number of places available to applications from students outside the UK/EU for Physiotherapy. The School of Health Sciences offers a high quality educational experience for international postgraduates. Potential international candidates need to be able to demonstrate the high academic credentials required for the course, as well as good English Language qualifications; IELTS level 7.0 with no element below 6.5 and an understanding of the NHS and of healthcare in the UK. All candidates are required to attend UEA for interview, although for international students alternative arrangements such as a skype interview would be considered.

The pre-registration courses offered in the School of Health Sciences are approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and after successfully completing an accredited pre-registration programme such as ours you must apply to register with the HCPC in order to work as a registered healthcare professional in the UK. This course equips you with the skills necessary to practise as a physiotherapist both internationally and in the UK. International students who complete the course will be eligible to apply to the HCPC.

Students for whom English is a Foreign language

We welcome applications from students whose first language is not English or those whose degree was not taught in English.

To ensure such students benefit fully from postgraduate study, we require evidence of proficiency in English.

Our minimum entry requirements are as follows:

  • IELTS: 7.0 overall with a minimum of 6.5 in all components
  • Pearson (PTE): 65 overall with a minimum of 58 in all components.

All test scores must be less than two years old.


Interviews for candidates shortlisted for our February 2021 intake will take place in June/July 2020. 

We interview using a ‘multiple mini interview’ format. You will spend approximately 7 minutes at each of four different ‘interview stations’ as part of this process. The interviews will explore a range of issues, including your suitability for the profession and the NHS values (as reflected in the NHS constitution).

Please note that we do not disclose interview questions.

Special Entry Requirements

Places on this course are subject to police (DBS) and occupational health checks.


The start date for this course is in February each year. There is no September intake.

The closing date for receipt of complete applications has been extended from 1 June 2020 to 12 June 2020. Applications must include the relevant supporting documents and references. 


Alternative Qualifications

Our admissions criteria also include: a clear understanding of the chosen profession; a broad range of relevant work shadowing; an interest in people; a strong academic attainment and a broad academic base in arts and sciences at A level or equivalent.

Fees and Funding

Fees for the course for the academic year 2019/20 are:

  • UK/EU Students: £9,250 per year
  • International Students: £16,100 per year

Fees for the course for the academic year 2020/21 are:

  • UK/EU Students: £9,250 per year
  • International Students: £16,400 per year

International applicants from outside the EU may need to pay a deposit

From August 2018 new postgraduate pre-registration nursing and allied health professional students are able to access loans from the Student Loan Company. Please note there will be eligibility criteria which must be met to receive this financial support. 

How to Apply

Applications for Postgraduate Taught programmes at the University of East Anglia should be made directly to the University.

Please note the closing date for applications to February 2021 has now passed. The application cycle for February 2022 entry will open in October. 

To apply please use our online application form.

Further Information

To request further information & to be kept up to date with news & events please use our online enquiry form.

If you would like to discuss your individual circumstances prior to applying please do contact us:

Postgraduate Admissions Office
Tel: +44 (0)1603 591515

International candidates are also encouraged to access the International Students section of our website.

    Next Steps

    We can’t wait to hear from you. Just pop any questions about this course into the form below and our enquiries team will answer as soon as they can.

    Admissions enquiries: or
    telephone +44 (0)1603 591515