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

Key facts

(REF, 2014)


UEA physiotherapy lecturer, Nicola Hancock is seeking to help stroke survivors by securing support from the design council to develop a device that could significantly enhance rehabilitation.

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Discover our NEAT suite, one of many of our facilities for health science students.

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Physiotherapists use skills of manual therapy, therapeutic exercise and electro-physical modalities, in order to help people manage a range of physical problems. On this well-respected programme you will develop a sound knowledge of the clinical sciences underpinning human function, helping to make lasting changes in your patients’ lives.

We have a strong reputation for Physiotherapy at UEA. We are ranked Number 1 in the Complete University Guide 2017, and have an excellent reputation for learning and research, small teaching groups, early patient contact and an innovative approach focused on interprofessional learning and enquiry-based interrogative education. You’ll also be part of a close-knit student body and a supportive learning culture who are passionate about delivering the best in health care.

This course is fully approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).


When you study Physiotherapy at UEA you are choosing an exciting and rewarding caring profession that focuses on developing extraordinary partnerships with people and helping to make lasting, positive changes in their lives.


When you study in the School of Health Sciences, you will receive both an academic and a practice based education which is second to none. We are very proud of our innovative teaching methods and the passion and dedication of our staff will inspire you to be the best you can be.

Students have told us our courses are professionally dynamic and personally transforming. That’s because our approach is creative, challenging and engaging. The course includes the following elements:

  • Interagency Learning - You will meet up with students from other health-related disciplines to exchange knowledge, practice and ideas. You will also have the unique opportunity of working with other community partners
  • Research - The teaching staff are continually involved in research (92% of our research in the school is world leading (REF 2014) which means you will benefit from their knowledge of the very latest practices and techniques
  • Supportive Culture - Teaching groups are small, which encourages a close-knit student body and a supportive learning culture. You will be assigned your own personal adviser who will be there every step of the way to guide you through the course, both academically and professionally.
  • Practice Development Placement - You will have the opportunity as part of your programme to develop theory-practice links outside of our normal placement provision; including possible placements outside the UK.
  • Excellent facilities - Including an Anatomy Lab and our cutting-edge assistive technology NEAT suite.
  • Top for Physiotherapy - UEA was recently voted the top Physiotherapy course in the UK (Complete University Guide 2017)
  • Fully Approved - This course has been developed in collaboration with Health Education East of England (HEEoE) and is supported by our local NHS Trusts. It prepares you for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).


Primarily using skills of manual therapy, therapeutic exercise and electro physical modalities, physiotherapists work with individuals in the management of a broad range of physical problems. Core areas of physiotherapy include, Neuromuscular, Musculoskeletal, and Cardiovascular and Respiratory therapy. They extend into acute, primary, private and public sector health and social care. Working in areas of physical, mental and public health. Settings include: hospitals, primary health care, social services, industry, prisons, individual homes, schools, armed forces and private practice.

As someone with an interest in becoming a Physiotherapist, you will have an interest in human movement and a strong ambition to help people of all ages to improve
their quality of life. You will be prepared to study a rigorous clinical programme and will need to be passionate about developing your practical skills in manual therapy, therapeutic exercise, movement analysis and electro-physical modalities in order to help clients manage a wide range of physical problems. 

Practice is focused on the individual needs of each client or client group, taking account of the influence of specific psychological, cultural and social factors in the context of care. This includes consideration of the needs and abilities of others involved with the client, including carers and other health and social care workers. Physiotherapists will also use their expertise to advise and teach groups, promoting health within the whole community.

The strength of this programme is enhanced through a shared learning ethos between physiotherapy and occupational therapy students, which reflects the importance of interdisciplinary working. Students have the opportunity to work with a member of faculty on their area of specialist interest, either on a research project involving empirical data collection and analysis, secondary analysis or on a structured literature review.


The whole programme adopts an Enquiry-Based Learning (EBL) ethos focused on student-centred independent learning, problem solving and decision making, which will be facilitated over the two years of the programme. There will be an evolving level of complexity; from engaging with straightforward case scenarios that develop baseline theoretical and therapeutic understandings, through to complex scenarios addressing service development needs.

Integral to the programme are the Practice placements where students will undertake: one level 1 (7 week) block in year 1, one level 2 (7 week) block in year 2, one level 3 (7 week) block in year 2 and one level 3 (8 week) block in year 2. 

The first year Physiotherapy Professional Practice module focus will be on the central theme of the restoration, maintenance and improvement of peoples function and movement. The module develops the physiotherapy skills and context of practice through two core areas of the profession: Neuro musculoskeletal and cardio vascular respiratory rehabilitation. The learning material and activities will contextualise areas of UK health and social care policy and practice. The first subject block will be followed by a 7 week practice placement. This will link creatively to the Neuro musculoskeletal teaching. The module exists to develop both an understanding of the scientific basis of human movement and function along with competence in a range of physiotherapeutic interventions aimed at assessing and restoring function. The subject blocks will be delivered in EBL format.

The Professional Development module will frontload academic writing skills, critical appraisal skills, journal club activities, team working, professional communication, and presentation skills. In Year 1, professional development learning will inform the EBL trigger material and in Year 2, once the foundation learning has been achieved, professional development will be fully incorporated into the professional practice modules.

The first year Research module aims to ensure that students are able to engage with the evidence base for their professional practice to become confident consumers of research evidence and incorporating the evidence base into their professional practice. They will have sufficient experience of research methods to carry out research or audit in clinical or academic environments.

The content of the Human Sciences module addresses the foundation anatomical, physiological, sociological and psychological sciences. The learning will be closely aligned to professional practice and so the learning will be applied through EBL activities.

The second year Physiotherapy Professional Practice module continues to build on the transferable skills developed in module 1 within the current health and social care contexts. It introduces the subject blocks of neurological rehabilitation and physical activity and health promotion. The module has 3 placement blocks. Each of which will be supported by prior learning ensuring strong theory practice links. The final placement will be an 8 week personal development placement, which the student will negotiate with their personal advisor to meet their requirements for transition to qualified practitioner. The module draws upon the student’s use of CPD tools, quality measures and service development tools, critical enquiry, research methodology 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 subject blocks will be delivered in EBL format.

On completion of the Research 2 module, students will be equipped to contribute to a culture of enquiry within their profession and more widely in health and social care. They will have direct experience of the design and delivery of research so that they can make a significant contribution to developing and potentially delivering the research agenda.


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Course Modules

Students must study the following modules for 90 credits:

Name Code Credits


CURRENT MODULE DESCRIPTOR This module explores the biopsychosocial processes governing human function and dysfunction. The module aims to explore both normal function as well as key disorders of function, through the integration of relevant material from physiology, anatomy, psychology, sociology and pathology.




This module is designed for occupational and physiotherapy students who are required to complete clinical practice hours as part of their degree. Mandatory training is a requirement of these programmes, stipulated by the commissioning body; Health Education East of England. It is important that students undertake a number of training sessions to ensure their own safety and that of service users, staff and anyone else they encounter.




This module introduces the concept of continuing professional development and explores the tools which can be employed in lifelong learning. It asks the students to examine their own experiences and learning needs and to identify appropriate strategies for effective learning. This module develops transferable skills, building on existing academic skills of critical enquiry, research practice, data and information synthesis alongside specific reflective skills. The construction and maintenance of an appropriate portfolio demonstrates the evidence of professional development. This module will introduce the concept of professionalism using the UEA Professionalism Charter as a vehicle for students to identify their processional responsibilities and to map their developing professionalism. The module will introduce students to the concept of continuous improvement, a theme which will be continued with a practical task on practice placement early in year two. Students will also be encouraged to reflect upon how their developing transferrable skills can be used to further enhance their employability. For this purpose students will be introduced to the UEA Healthcare Employability Development Portfolio, a CDrom which encourages students to consider attributes and characteristics that will maximize their employability and encourages students to continually review their professional development in the light of the employment market place.



Physiotherapy Theory and Practice 1

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 theoretical and scientific 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 module is supported by the exploration of the evidence base in the research 1 module. The learning is further complemented by students developing an understanding of practicing in present and future contexts alongside their ongoing development of professionalism.




Students enter this programme with a wide range of knowledge and skills in research and critical appraisal and few will have applied previous knowledge to practice in occupational therapy and physiotherapy. This module will therefore introduce students to quantitative and qualitative research paradigms and audit applied to research in health and social care.



Students must study the following modules for 80 credits:

Name Code Credits


This module is designed for occupational and physiotherapy students who are required to complete clinical practice hours as part of their degree. Mandatory training is a requirement of these programmes, stipulated by the commissioning body; Health Education East of England. It is important that students undertake a number of training sessions to ensure their own safety and that of service users, staff and anyone else they encounter.



Physiotherapy Theory and Practice 2

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.



Professional Development 2

This module further develops the concept of professional development, building on the tools identified for lifelong learning during year one. It expects the students to continue to examine their own experiences and learning needs and to identify appropriate strategies for effective learning and ultimately to facilitate successful transition from student to qualified practitioner. The module builds on the transferrable skills developed in year one and encourages the student to progressively refine their skills of reflective practice. In preparation for the HCPC requirement for healthcare professionals to maintain a portfolio of evidence of continual professional development, students are expected to continue to collect portfolio based evidence to support their CPD. In order to develop healthcare professionals with a positive attitude towards change management and a continual improvement mentality, students will be expected to undertake and reflect upon a formative practical service improvement task whilst on practice placement 2. The learning from this task will feed forward into a second and similar practical task which is undertaken on the fourth and final practice placement. This second task will form the basis of the summative practice development presentation assignment in week 50. The themes of professionalism and employability will continue to be explored by the students throughout the year using the tools introduced to them during year 1 (the UEA Professionalism Charter and the UEA Healthcare Employability Development Portfolio). Students will be expected to meet with their academic advisor to review their ongoing progress with completion of these tools, along with their portfolio of CPD evidence. This will ensure that students recognise and can analyse their professional responsibilities in order to encourage and model positive knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours which are consistent with the values identified within the NHS Constitution (DoH, 2009) and the '6C's - Care, Compassion, Competence, Communication, Courage and Commitment (NHS England, 2012). This will also encourage consideration of wider issues surrounding health and social care which may impact on workplace choices and career pathways.




This module will build on the skills and knowledge of critical appraisal and research methods taught in the Research 1 module. The students will continue to be engaged in a live research project led by a member of faculty




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. Where this is the case, the University will endeavour to inform students.

Entry Requirements

  • Degree Subject Human Biology, Sports Science, or related subject
  • Degree Classification Minimum 2.1 or overseas equivalent
  • Special Entry Requirements You must have graduated within the last 10 years.

Entry Requirement

Applicants should have a good first degree (2.1 or higher) from a recognised higher education institution. The University will also take into account the employment experience of applicants where relevant. 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. 

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 wherever possible, although for international students, alternative arrangements such as online interviewing would be considered if required.

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): 68 overall with a minimum of 62 in all components.

All test scores must be less than two years old.


Interviews for candidates shortlisted for our February 2017 intake will take place in June/July 2016.

Telephone/Skype interviews are only possible for overseas students not funded by the NHS.

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.

Complete applications must be received by 1 June 2016. This 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.

Please be aware that literacy and numeracy tests form a part of the selection process, and it is expected that all candidates have GCSE Mathematics and English Language with a grade C or above.

Fees and Funding

Eligible students residing in the UK will not pay tuition fees; these will be covered by the NHS.  In addition eligible students will normally receive a small non-means tested NHS Grant, currently £1,000 per annum, and may apply for a means tested Bursary. Eligibility for bursaries is at the discretion of the NHS Business Services Authority.  

Further information is available from: 

The Department of Health
The NHS Student Grants Unit
200 – 220 Broadway
FY7 8SS 


Tuition fees for International Students for the academic year beginning 2017/18 are £30,600 for the full 2 years.


How to Apply

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

You can apply online.

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.

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