Physiotherapy (Pre-Registration)


Start dates: September 2024 / September 2025

Full time: 24 months

Location: Headington (Marston Road site)

Department(s): Department of Sport, Health Sciences and Social Work

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Keen to improve people’s quality of life? Prepare to make a difference as a qualified physiotherapist by studying at Oxford Brookes, ranked 5th in the UK for physiotherapy by The Guardian in 2023.

Clinical, communication, teamwork, and leadership skills are at the heart of our curriculum. Your days will be full of enquiry-based learning in lectures, seminars, practicals, simulations and placements. You might see your knowledge in action working with athletes at Oxford Quins Rugby Football Club. Or maybe you’ll treat children within the NHS and local community. Or how about working alongside PhD students on research projects?

You’ll learn real-world skills that prepare you for a range of scenarios. Our clinical skills suites and simulation resources will expose you to challenging environments working with stroke, dementia and intensive care patients.

Whether you’re interested in musculoskeletal conditions, cardiorespiratory, neurology, or another area of physiotherapy, you can follow your interests by choosing modules covering a range of clinical specialities.

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Why Oxford Brookes University?

  • Unbeatable partnerships 
    Benefit from our partnership with Oxford Quins RFC where you could manage sportspeople. Or support our local NHS Trust to rehabilitate patients within homes and communities.
  • Immersed in industry 
    Put your learning into action early in your first year with hospital and community placements. Gain confidence handling different scenarios, from premature babies to dementia.
  • Top specialist equipment
    Learn in our specialist movement laboratory. Our clinical and simulation facilities create authentic experiences for learning.
  • Diverse classrooms 
    Study alongside those seeking a career change and recent graduates from around the world, and learn from their experiences and ideas.
  • Research focus
    Develop your skills as you learn how to complete in-depth research ready to compete in a global market.
  • Accreditation(s)

    The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP), Regulatory Body: The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

    • Health and Care Professions Council
    • Chartered Society of Physiotherapy

Course details

Course structure

This 2-year pre-registration is underpinned by research, evidence and interdisciplinary working.

In Year 1, we’ll introduce you to management of patients with neurological, musculoskeletal and cardiorespiratory dysfunctions. You’ll consider some of the controversial and sensitive work of physiotherapists. This might include working with populations who have experienced racism, who identify as non-binary or transgender, and who are in conflict situations. 

In Year 2, you’ll complete modules in leadership. You’ll choose specialised topics including psychological interventions, women’s health, or sports and trauma physiotherapy.

Clinical practice includes a 3-week observational placement in January after your first semester. Two 6-week placements in Year 1 and three 6-week placements in Year 2. You could experience NHS acute, NHS community, and the private, voluntary, and independent sectors.

Everything you learn will prepare you for your final dissertation, with opportunities to take part in research projects with local clinical or research partners such as MORes.

Students practicing with medical equipment

Learning and teaching

We use an enquiry-based approach to learning and various teaching and learning methods are used such as:

  • practicals
  • peer-group presentations
  • group workshops
  • lectures
  • seminars.

You will:

  • learn in a friendly and stimulating environment
  • share your learning with other healthcare students
  • develop your teamwork skills
  • improve your understanding of the other roles which you will encounter in practice.

Our excellent teaching facilities include:

  • dedicated clinical skills suites and simulation resources
  • a well-equipped movement laboratory
  • a family of computerised simulation manikins (including a simman, simbaby and birthing mother)
  • a broad range of anatomy models.

You can access an extensive range of learning resources through 'Brookes virtual'. This is an online repository of lectures, handouts, information and learning exercises.


We use a range of assessment methods across the academic modules to enable you to demonstrate how you have achieved the learning outcomes. These include:

  • practical examinations
  • vivas
  • written assignments
  • presentations
  • online examinations
  • your dissertation project.

Clinical placements are assessed as pass/fail. Formative feedback is provided by your clinical educator to help your development as you progress through the programme.

Study modules

Taught modules

Compulsory modules

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.


Compulsory modules

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

Final project

Compulsory modules

  • Dissertation

    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.

Please note: As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you can choose from may vary from those shown here. The structure of the course may also mean some modules are not available to you.


The Centre for Movement Occupational and Rehabilitation Sciences (MOReS) brings together research, education and care.

It is underpinned by a strong, well-published research group, the movement science group

Within the Centre, staff, students and alumni across the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences are engaged in a number of research projects.

Researcher using laptop in a quiet space


The profession of physiotherapy is constantly developing and the opportunities are developing with it. Our MSc Physiotherapy (Pre-registration) graduates work in a range of public and private units across the world, in areas such as:

  • neurology
  • respiratory care
  • orthopaedics
  • musculoskeletal conditions
  • care of the elderly
  • paediatrics.

You could follow in their footsteps by making an impact within acute and community NHS Trusts, or within private and sports focused healthcare. Or how about aiming for a research position as a PhD student? Past graduates are working in roles like the Head of Medical at Oxford United Football Club, and the Head of Application Management for NHS Digital.

Entry requirements

International qualifications and equivalences

How to apply

Application process

You should show at application and interview an understanding of a career in physiotherapy and the wider health care environment. Ways of developing your insight and NHS values could be:

  • Involvement with a group offering care or support in your local community, face to face or virtually.
  • Showing an interest around key health issues in the media and reflecting on what this means for physiotherapists. The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy here is a good source of information.

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

Tuition fees

Please see the fees note
Home (UK) full time

International full time

Home (UK) full time

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

2024 / 25
Home (UK) full time

International full time

2025 / 26
Home (UK) full time

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

+44 (0)1865 534400

Fees quoted are for the first year only. If you are studying a course that lasts longer than one year, your fees will increase each year.

The following factors will be taken into account by the University when it is setting the annual fees: inflationary measures such as the retail price indices, projected increases in University costs, changes in the level of funding received from Government sources, admissions statistics and access considerations including the availability of student support.

How and when to pay

Tuition fee instalments for the semester are due by the Monday of week 1 of each semester. Students are not liable for full fees for that semester if they leave before week 4. If the leaving date is after week 4, full fees for the semester are payable.

  • For information on payment methods please see our Make a Payment page.
  • For information about refunds please visit our Refund policy page

Financial support and scholarships

All eligible Physiotherapy students on courses from September 2020 (new and continuing) will receive a payment of at least £5,000 a year which they will not need to pay back. For more information please visit NHS Learning Support Fund (LSF).

For general sources of financial support, see our Fees and funding pages.

Additional costs

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course are detailed below.

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.

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.