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Physiotherapy (Pre-Registration)


Department of Sport, Health Sciences and Social Work

Approved by the HCPC and CSP

The MSc in Physiotherapy (Pre-Registration) is a qualifying course for graduates with a relevant first degree, providing the opportunity to undertake a physiotherapy course leading to registration at master’s level.

You will need to have the academic ability to work as an autonomous practitioner and be able to reason through individualised healthcare needs. You will also need to show personal qualities and values which underpin your overall care. Strong communication and team-working skills are essential together with a compassionate and caring nature.
You will benefit from an interprofessional approach to learning with some modules shared with other health and social care students. 

The course welcomes applications from home, EU and international students.

Students interested in this course are encouraged to attend an Open Day.

Available start dates

September 2020

Teaching location

Headington Campus, Marston Road site

Course length

  • Full time: 2 years

For full application details, please see the 'How to apply / Entry requirements' section.

  • This course combines robust academic development with evidence-based clinical practice. This will equip you with the skills required to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council as a Physiotherapist and membership of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.
  • You will benefit from our large and dedicated building in Oxford (Marston Road) equipped with state-of-the-art classroom and clinical skills simulation suites and resources.
  • Our lecturers are experienced in their specialist practice areas and maintain excellent practice links with those areas locally or across the region. They are able to provide a global perspective on Physiotherapy.
  • We have a strong research profile, with experienced researchers working in established areas of cancer care, children and families, drug and alcohol, physical rehabilitation and enablement, and interprofessional education and collaborative practice.
  • Oxford Brookes is a student-centred institution that is fully committed to each individual achieving their potential. To support this, we offer a broad range of student support schemes to facilitate learning and development.

Professional accreditation

This course is currently approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)  and the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP). Please note that HCPC and CSP approval is subject to review and can be withdrawn at any time.

The course is taught full-time over two years alongside the well-established and highly-regarded BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy three year course offered by Oxford Brookes University.

Working at master’s level, you will focus on developing a knowledge base in physiotherapy, which is evidence-based and strongly underpinned by research.

The course aims to provide you with the knowledge and skills to be:


  • research minded in your attitude to knowledge and the evidence base to physiotherapy
  • self motivated, proactive and equipped to make informed judgements in clinical practice
  • experienced in multi and interdisciplinary working.

In Year 2 the physiotherapy modules broaden to evaluate current health drivers for example, the public health agenda and the increased focus on pre-habilitation and integrated community working. Collaborative practice education is essentially one of the pervasive themes in the practice modules, and this is further explored in the shared leadership module. Blocks of practice placements continue in year 2 and the students complete their dissertation.


Please note: as course content is reviewed regularly, the modules you choose may differ from those shown below.


 Year 1


Applied Research Methods


This module aims to advance your knowledge of research methodology and research methods, and their application to research related activity in professional practice. It focuses on research as part of a body of evidence used for professional practice and provides an overview of methodologies and methods commonly used in research in health and social care working environments. 


Human Movement and Dysfunction


This module aims to enable you to critically evaluate knowledge and utilize the skills required for the effective evidenced based physiotherapy management of musculoskeletal dysfunction.  You will develop your patient-centred clinical reasoning and multi-disciplinary care planning approaches. You will apply critical appraisal skills in order to effectively influence and instigate change to enhance health and wellbeing in individuals and populations. 


Cardio-Respiratory Physiotherapy

You will critically evaluate the knowledge and apply skills required for the effective, evidence based physiotherapy assessment and management of cardiovascular and respiratory dysfunction. You will develop comprehensive critical understanding of the pathophysiology of the dysfunctional cardiovascular and respiratory systems.  Utilising effective systems based assessment skills, you will be required to apply and evaluate techniques to improve and optimise cardiovascular and respiratory function in a variety of acute and community settings. 


Neurological Movement Control and Dysfunction


You will critically evaluate the knowledge and apply skills required for the effective management of common acute neurological conditions. Specifically, you will acquire critical understanding of the neuroanatomical and neurophysiological basis of normal human motor control and apply it to the assessment and treatment of neurological dysfunction. You will develop skills in formulating physiotherapeutic and multidisciplinary collaborative approaches aimed at achieving person-centred goals and improving quality of life for people with neurological conditions.


Developing Values Based Professionalism


You will develop professional identity, enabling you to develop a way of being and relating in the health and social care context. Through evaluative and reflective opportunities, you will critically examine the concepts of professionalism, the professional domains of concerns, codes of practice of professional bodies and regulatory bodies and explore the clinical reasoning process required to practice sound judgment throughout your professional career.


Practice Placement I


This practice experience is the first opportunity for you to undertake a period of practice learning which enables you to begin to develop and apply your professional values, skills and knowledge in the practice context.


Practice Placement  II and III




Year 2


Leadership and Collaborative Practice


In this single module you will work alongside Occupational Therapy MSc Pre-registration students to develop the skills, knowledge and strategies required to be an effective leader and to work in partnership with diverse teams/agencies across professional and organisational boundaries. This module will develop the skills of critical insight and evaluation of individual professional development needs required for your ongoing professional development after graduation in preparation for your future national and international employment opportunities.


Health, Wellbeing and Exercise


You will gain a systematic understanding of the impact of a physically active lifestyle on the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities. During the module, you will have the opportunity to critically evaluate the evidence for achieving appropriate physically active lifestyles across a range of populations and conditions. You will develop a comprehensive understanding of the underlying physiology of exercise.


Physiotherapy Management of Long Term Conditions

This module aims to develop your ability to work collaboratively with people with a range of long term conditions to effectively manage their symptoms, maintain and maximise participation and function and avoid secondary complications. The module will further develop your ability to apply and justify patient-centred clinical reasoning and multi-disciplinary care planning approaches, including the effect of mental health on physical health.


Practice Placement IV


In this module, you will be expected to demonstrate higher levels of knowledge and clinical reasoning to enable you to manage a clinical caseload. You are also required to complete and submit a written reflective assignment as part of the assessment for this module.


Mastering Physiotherapy Practice


This module will offer you a number of masterclasses which you can select to construct your own bespoke specialist practice module portfolio. This module provides you with an option to work towards developing your profile requirement for registration in your home country or desired place of practice. The module aims to enable you to develop comprehensive and critical understanding of the knowledge base of selected contemporary specialities pertinent to global health care and relevant to your own particular interests.




This module aims to enhance your ability to utilise the knowledge, understanding and skills developed previously in a piece of investigative or literature-based research. You will be expected to demonstrate the ability to define a clearly focused research issue, as well as a wide appreciation of the context of the chosen topic.


Practice Placement V


This final module provides you with the opportunity to consolidate your practice.  You will be expected to manage a clinical caseload consistent with the expectations of a newly qualified physiotherapist, with minimum support.


Work Placements


Your studies will take place within the University and in diverse clinical practice settings ranging for hospitals to community based environments. Clinical education is an important part of the Physiotherapy course, taking place within years 1 and 2. During this period you will undertake the required 1,000 hours of clinical practice. You will focus on developing clinical reasoning and diagnostic skills, taking a critically evaluative approach to practice while also developing a body of sound theoretical knowledge.

We have a dedicated Practice Education Unit that provides administrative and academic support for placement learning/practice education for all its pre-qualification courses.



Teaching and learning

In Health and Social Care no professional group works in isolation. Oxford Brookes teaches a wide range of pre-qualification and foundation courses including health and social care, nursing, midwifery, occupational therapy, operating department practice, paramedic emergency care, and social work. You will share some of your learning with students on other health care courses. This is essential in developing your teamwork skills, and your understanding of other roles you will encounter in practice.

We offer a friendly and supportive environment in which to learn; we consistently receive very high satisfaction ratings for our student support and learning resources in student surveys. We have excellent teaching facilities, dedicated clinical skills suites and simulation resources, which include a very well-equipped movement laboratory, a family of computerised simulation manikins (including a simman, simbaby and birthing mother), an extensive range of anatomy models and fully networked computer rooms.

We have excellent library resources, accessible both through the web and through a range of locally-based facilities on university and NHS sites.

Information technology plays an important role in health care courses and an extensive range of learning resources can be accessed through ‘Brookes Virtual’, an online repository of lectures, handouts, information and learning exercises.

There is an enquiry based approach to learning and various teaching and learning methods are used such as practicals, peer-group presentations, group workshops, lectures and seminars. 

Additional costs

Placement costs

In addition to  the tuition fees, there are costs that need to be paid for by students in travelling to and from practice placement and potential accommodation costs. 

These could  be as much as £2,000 per placement depending on the location and type of placement.  However currently the average accommodation cost per month is £550 and average travel cost is £250 per month. Students will spend up to 30 weeks on placement.  

Other costs

  • books and electronic resources - approx £100
  • diagnostic tools such as stethoscope - approx £35
  • deposit for anatomy resources - £10
  • shoes for practice to be worn with uniform - approx £50
  • suitable clothing for the Labs - approx £30.

Attendance pattern

Attendance is required all day Monday - Friday.

Programme changes

On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website. For more information, please visit our Changes to programmes page.

Tuition fees

Home/EU - full time fee: 2019/20: £9,950 (year 1 of study) £13,160 (year 2 of study) 2020/21: £10,000

International - full time: 2019/20: £15,400 2020/21: £15,400

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course, if any, are detailed in the 'This course in detail' window above.

Questions about fees?
Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088

Funding and scholarships

From 1 August 2018, new students from England starting this course will have access to the standard government undergraduate student finance support package which consists of a means-tested loan for living costs and a tuition fee loan of up to £9,250. Please note fees above this level will need to be paid directly by the student.

Find out more from the Student Loans Company about accessing loans for new postgraduate pre-registration nursing, midwifery and allied health professional students.

For general sources of financial support, see funding for Postgraduate students from outside the EU

Entry requirements

The course welcomes UK, EU and International applicants and will appeal to individuals who already possess a BSc honours degree at 2:1 or above (or equivalent) in a science-based subject in:
  • Anatomy
  • Biological sciences
  • Biology
  • Kinesiology
  • Physiology
  • Sport and Exercise Science
  • Sports Therapy (depending on biology content)
Applicants must:
  • Have a minimum of 5 GCSE passes at grade C or above and must include English Language and Maths.
  • Produce two recent references - one from an academic institution, the other a personal reference, preferably from a place of work.
  • Have experience of paid or voluntary work within a physiotherapy context which enables the applicant to demonstrate an understanding of the depth and breadth of Physiotherapy and an understanding of the knowledge, skills and values required. You should include a reflection of this on your application form. This experience needs to be completed before submitting an application.
Applicants will also be assessed on their demonstration of the following qualities:
  • communication and interpersonal skills
  • working with others (teamwork)
  • a caring and respectful attitude to others
  • reliability, honesty and trustworthiness
  • problem solving skills and the ability to use initiative
  • All applicants will be screened for fitness to practise.
  • A satisfactory enhanced DBS (police check) is required. Securing a place is subject to both a satisfactory DBS and an Occupational Health clearance. If neither clearance has been completed prior to enrolment or a DBS issue has been declared on application, then enrolment may not be possible. If enrolment has been agreed, then continuation on the programme will be contingent on satisfactory clearances.


All applicants will be screened for fitness for practice and a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check will be made.

English language requirements

An IELTS score of  7 (a minimum of 6.5 in each component) where English is not your main language.

Please also see the university's standard English language requirements

International applications

We are pleased to offer a number of places to international applicants. For more details, please contact us.

Preparation courses for International and EU students

We offer a range of courses to help you to meet the entry requirements for this course and also familiarise you with university life. You may also be able to apply for one student visa to cover both courses.

  • Take our Pre-Master's course to help you to meet both the English language and academic entry requirements for your master's course.
  • If you need to improve your English language, we have pre-sessional English language courses available to help you to meet the English language requirements of your chosen master’s.

If you are studying outside the UK, for more details about your specific country entry requirements, translated information, local contacts and programmes within your country, please have a look at our country pages.

How to apply

International applicants will:

  • need to apply early to allow enough time for obtaining visas if offered a place
  • be asked to pay a deposit of £1,000 to secure a place on the course.

Applications are dealt with on a first come, first served basis, so please act early to avoid disappointment.

Selection process

All Oxford Brookes University Health and Social Care Programmes conduct Value Based Recruitment (VBR). We recognise that values and attitudes have the greatest impact on the quality of people's care and their experiences.

VBR is a way of helping our Programme recruitment teams to assess the values, motives and attitudes of those who wish to work with people in health and social care settings. When we refer to values we mean, for example, the values included in the NHS constitution.

VBR focuses on 'how' and 'why' an applicant makes choices in how they act and seeks to explore reasons for their behaviour. Further details about the VBR framework can be found here.

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.


On completion of the course, physiotherapists may work in units with expertise in:
  • Neurology
  • Respiratory care
  • Orthopaedics
  • Musculoskeletal conditions
  • Care of the elderly
  • Paediatrics.
There are also employment opportunities in professional sport, industry and private practice.

Physiotherapists are employed in an increasing range of settings in acute hospitals and in primary care settings in the community. They have the opportunity to care for a wide range of individuals, from newborn babies to elderly members of the population.

How Brookes supports postgraduate students

All our courses adopt a student-centred approach to teaching and learning and are strongly focused on encouraging you to attain your full potential as lifelong learners.

There is a range of support mechanisms for students, such as academic advisers, who will facilitate your academic development, and student support co-ordinators, who provide a drop-in service for queries about any aspect of student life, covering both academic and personal welfare.

The university’s support services include Upgrade, which provides advice on study skills such as planning and writing essays, assignments and dissertations, research, or preparing for an exam. They also give advice on statistics and maths. There is a dedicated Student Disability and Dyslexia Service, which provides support for students with disabilities including sensory and mobility impairments, dyslexia and other specific learning difficulties, mental health problems and medical conditions. Here, staff offer advice and support on a range of issues, including physical access, funding, alternative assessment arrangements and liaison with teaching staff to ensure that they are aware of your requirements.

Supporting your learning

From academic advisers and support co-ordinators to specialist subject librarians and other learning support staff, we want to ensure that you get the best out of your studies.

Research highlights

The Centre for Movement Occupational and Rehabilitation Sciences (MOReS) within the Department of Sport and Health Sciences has strong leadership in the director, Professor Helen Dawes. The Centre brings together research, education and care. It is underpinned by a strong, well-published research group, the Movement Science Group, along with clinical expertise, rehabilitation, knowledge and care of adults and children with neurological conditions. Within the Centre, staff, students and alumni across the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences are engaged in a number of research projects.

Further details can be found at the Centre for Movement, Occupational and Rehabilitation Sciences (MOReS)