M.Sc. Advancing Physiotherapy Practice

Sheffield Hallam University

Tuition fee:
  • £ 6,200 / Year (EEA)
  • £ 12,400 / Year (Non-EEA)
Start date: September  2015
Duration full-time: 18 months
  • English
Delivery mode: On Campus
Educational variant: Part-time, Full-time

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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


Full-time 18 months
Part-time three to six years
Distance learning three to six years

Starts September


Postgraduate certificate core modules

Advancing clinical reasoning

This module develops your 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

This module furthers 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

This module helps you develop a detailed understanding of personal, cultural and professional factors that might influence the effectiveness of your management strategies.

Postgraduate certificate options

Choose one from

Pain management

This module explores the science and dimensions of pain and pain behaviours; it introduces emerging approaches for the management of pain and discusses how to effectively apply pain management principles to clinical practice.

Neurological pathology and management

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

Concepts of learning and teaching

This module explores the theory and practice of learning and teaching and can be applied to both the education of healthcare professionals and educational programmes designed for patients. You explore how adults learn and consider different ways of structuring and delivering learning and education.

Personalised study module

This module allows you to tailor your studies to your own learning / professional development needs. 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

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.

Project design and planning

Having the necessary skills to manage a project of any scale is essential for its successful outcome. This module supports the development of project planning as well as the identification of your own development needs to bring about successful project management. You learn to understand and apply appropriate processes and methodologies, in the design and preparation of a research project or service evaluation/improvement.

Postgraduate diploma options

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

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

This module facilitates advanced understanding of CNS function, damage and recovery. You develop advanced practical and clinical reasoning skills within neurological rehabilitation.

Advanced practice in cardiorespiratory therapy

This module facilitates your knowledge and skills as a therapist in the management of patients across a spectrum of respiratory conditions and clinical settings. You develop advanced clinical reasoning skills and critical reflection within cardiorespiratory rehabilitation.

Sports injury management

You learn about how to reduce the risk of injury in different sports, rehabilitate athletes following injury and manage their return to full competition. The module is practically focussed and the supervised clinical experience may be taken in professional sport, with a national level team and/or within a sports injury clinic.



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.


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

English Language Requirements

IELTS band: 6.5
TOEFL paper-based test score : 590
TOEFL iBT® test: 90

IMPORTANT NOTE: Per 6 April 2015 only the English language tests from IELTS and Trinity College London are accepted for Tier 4 Visa applications to the United Kingdom. Other tests (including TOEFL, TOEIC, Pearson, City & Guilds) are no longer accepted for Tier 4 visa applications to the United Kingdom. The university might still accept these tests to admit you to the university, but if you require a Tier 4 visa to enter the UK and begin your degree programme, these tests will not be sufficient to obtain your Visa. Since the Trinity College London language tests must be taken in one of their exam centres in the UK, IELTS is now the only language test accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK that can be taken worldwide.

The IELTS test is most widely accepted by universities and is also accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK- learn more.

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