Advancing Physiotherapy Practice, M.Sc.

  • N/A
    Application Deadline
  • 18 months
  • Tuition
    Tuition (Year)
    Tuition (Year)
  • English (take IELTS)


This course is for qualified physiotherapists and aims to improve your practice by developing your assessment skills and clinical reasoning. You explore ways to measure the effectiveness of your clinical practice as well as issues such as collaborative practice and engaging patients.

All modules focus on elements of clinical practice, and we encourage you to apply your learning to the setting in which you work or wish to specialise. Assessments are designed to replicate the challenges you may face within the workplace. This offers an authentic experience and the opportunity to develop skills that are directly transferable to practice.

The course helps to improve your employment prospects and can enable you to lead clinical teams or work in teaching or research.

You learn from enthusiastic tutors including academics who have physiotherapy research published in peer reviewed journals. This includes Dr Stephen May, who is an internationally renowned physiotherapist who has contributed to several well known textbooks including the key text on the McKenzie Approach 'Lumbar Spine: Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy'.

Distance learning study

A key feature of this course is that modules can be studied as distance learning or as university-based teaching. Distance learning allows you to study from any location in the world, and at times that are convenient for your work and life commitments.

To aid your professional and clinical development we use a range of online learning and teaching activities, such as interactive tutor and peer group discussions. Experienced tutors also provide regular personal guidance and feedback.


• presentations • practical assessments • vivas • written assessments

Programme Structure

Course structure
  • Full-time – 18 months
  • Part-time – typically three years
  • Distance learning – typically three years

Starts September

Typical modules may include

Course structure
  • The postgraduate certificate (PgCert) is achieved by successfully completing 60 credits.
  • The postgraduate diploma (PgDip) is achieved by successfully completing 120 credits.
  • The masters (MSc) award is achieved by successfully completing 180 credits.
Postgraduate certificate core modules

Advancing clinical reasoning (15 credits)

This module aims to develop your advanced clinical assessment, communication and reasoning skills to enable you to incorporate and address wider factors within your assessments. This enables you to devise appropriate and targeted treatment and management strategies for your patients.

Improving clinical effectiveness (15 credits)

This module aims to develop your ability to identify, evaluate and select the most appropriate management strategies for your patients ensuring greater evidence-based, safer and more effective clinical services.

Optimising therapeutic outcomes (15 credits)

This module encourages you to think about personal, political or cultural factors that may affect your treatment outcomes, enhancing effectiveness of interventions for individual service users.
Postgraduate certificate options

Choose one from

Pain management (15 credits)

This module gives you the opportunity to gain a broad understanding of the science and dimensions of pain and pain behaviours, a critical awareness of current pain management and an ability to apply pain management principles effectively in practice.

Pathology and patient management (15 credits)

This module explores a range of pathologies and develops both the physiotherapeutic approach and the wider psychosocial management for patients with these conditions.

Concepts of learning and teaching (15 credits)

This module provides you with the opportunity to explore the theories and practical aspects of adult learning and teaching. It is aims to give you the skills and knowledge to plan teaching to undergraduate students, patients, carers and other professionals. You learn how to plan and delivery effective, imaginative teaching which is a key aspect of health care delivery and working with 'students' of all types.

Personalised study module (15 credits)

This module aims to provide you with the opportunity to plan and carry out a personally chosen study into an area of personal or professional development. You discuss your priorities with your academic advisor and identify the content and assessment task for the module, there will be the opportunity to attend a range of study days within this module or focus your studies within your own working context.
Postgraduate diploma core modules

Improving therapy services (15 credits)

This module is relevant to all therapists regardless of role / level of responsibility and aims to increase your understanding the structures and frameworks governing how you work. You are encouraged to identify areas of your practice that may benefit from improvement. Methods of service evaluation are explored in addition to the theories, models and human factors related to service change and improvement science.

Researching for Practice (15 credits)

Postgraduate diploma optional modules

These are specialist modules that develop your knowledge and skills in the assessment, identification and purposive management within an area of practice. After completing the taught element, you are encouraged to apply your learning to your own practice and/or complete supervised clinical experience with Sheffield Hallam tutors to further develop your clinical skills.

Choose one from

Contemporary musculoskeletal rehabilitation (30 credits)

This module enables you to develop your clinical skills and apply critical evaluation of the literature in the management of musculoskeletal movement disorders. You enhance your understanding of the patient's role in their own recovery and apply relevant contemporary musculoskeletal approaches to your practice.

Advanced practice in neurological therapy (30 credits)

This module facilitates the development of advanced clinical skills that reflect the current evidence base underpinning neurological rehabilitation. Within this module you gain an understanding of how the central nervous system controls movement, how neurological conditions affect the function of the central nervious system and advance your practical and clinical reasoning skills to affect recovery.

Advanced practice in cardiorespiratory care (30 credits) (only available as distance learning)

This module aims to develop your holistic management of patients across a spectrum of respiratory conditions and clinical settings. You are supported to develop advanced clinical reasoning skills as well as critical reflection and evaluation of your role. You are be encouraged to synthesise and apply this learning to inform and develop your own practice, ensuring efficient and effective service provision. The patient journey and experience is at the heart of this module, exploring in detail aspects of disease progression, management strategies and supportive intervention, as well as wider service roles in relation to cardiorespiratory care.

Personalised study module (30 credits)

This module aims to provide you with the opportunity to plan and carry out a personally chosen study into an area of personal or professional development. You discuss your priorities with your academic advisor and identify the content and assessment task for the module, there will be the opportunity to attend a range of study days within this module or focus your studies within your own working context.

Dissertation (60 credits)

You conduct an investigation relevant to your practice. This can be either an evaluation of a clinical service, a piece of primary research or a literature based project. You are encouraged to conduct a project that informs your practice. You are supported by a supervisor and a module team through online collaboration and communication.

Further information about all modules is available on our Continuing Professional Development (CPD) website.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Deadline and start date Application deadline and start date were not specified by the programme.
  • Programme intensity

    You can choose to do this programme part-time or full-time.

    • Duration 18 months
    • Average duration 36 months
    • Intensity Flexible
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus, Blended
    • Time flexibility
      Fully structured
    • Teacher support
      Continuous support with feedback on request
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English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Take IELTS test

    StudyPortals Tip: The UK government has confirmed new English-language testing requirements for visa and immigration purposes. Learn more

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL – or Test OF English as a Foreign Language – offers a paper-based test (PBT). The final, overall PBT score ranges between 310 and 677, and is based on an average taken from the three test components (listening, structure, and reading). The writing part of this test is scored separately on a scale of 0-6. Read more about TOEFL (PBT).

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL – or Test Of English as a Foreign Language – offers an internet-based test (iBT). The final, overall iBT score ranges between 0 and 120, and includes a scaled average from the four components (reading, listening, speaking, and writing). Read more about TOEFL (iBT).

Academic Requirements

You typically need an approved degree in physiotherapy with work experience. If you don't have relevant work experience, you typically need a 2.1 or above or equivalent.

International students need one of the following

  • English IELTS score of 6.5
  • TOEFL paper score of 590
  • TOEFL computer score of 245
  • TOEFL iBT of 90

Tuition Fee Per Year

  • GBP 13250 International
  • GBP 6300 EU/EEA

Home / EU student

Course fees may be subject to annual inflationary increase.

2016/17 academic year

  • Full-time – typically £6,300 for the course
  • Part-time – typically £2,100 a stage for PgCert, PgDip and MSc stages

Postgraduate loans of up to £10,000 a year are available across the majority of subject areas.

International student

2016/17 academic year

  • Full-time – typically £12,800 for the course
Distance learning – typically £7,650 for the course

2017/18 academic year

  • Full-time – typically £13,250 for the course
Distance learning -typically £7,950 for the course


StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.