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Physiotherapy (MSc) Part-time

Please note that this course is currently under review. Therefore the details shown are subject to change and indicative only. The review is expected to be completed by July 2019. This page will be updated after that date and will then represent the basis on which the University intends to deliver the course.

As a qualified physiotherapist, this MSc will enable you to develop valuable skills that will help you advance in your profession whether you are looking for promotion within clinical practice or a move into academia or research.

This MSc is for qualified physiotherapists who want to further their skills and expertise in order to progress within the profession at a university ranked in the top 10 in the UK.

Developments within the allied health professions, like the emergence of clinical specialists, extended scope practitioners and consultant therapists, have created a need for the acquisition of advanced knowledge and skills.  This course has a flexible portfolio of modules that can be tailored to meet your individual needs and develop your knowledge and skills in areas such as research, education, leadership and management, and clinical practice, which are necessary to become an expert practitioner.

The programme aims to develop your evaluative, critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and to increase your practical and theoretical knowledge of physiotherapy, so that you can apply these skills in the further advancement of your profession, service provision and patient care.

The course is suited to UK-based and international physiotherapists at any stage of their career (including newly qualified physiotherapists).

Full-time students complete their taught modules in one academic year, with a further six months for the dissertation.


Distinctive features

  • The opportunity to learn in a School consistently ranked in the top ten in the UK for physiotherapy by both the Complete University Guide and the Times Good University Guide

  • The flexibility to align with various career pathways, so that the route of study can be tailored to individual needs.

  • Free bespoke In-sessional English Language Course to support Healthcare International students

  • The opportunity to work with internationally renowned researchers, including Professor Robert van Deursen, Professor Nicola Phillips, and Dr Val Sparkes, as well as clinicians who are Advanced Physiotherapy Practitioners in their speciality

  • Acquisition of high quality clinical reasoning skills and the development of innovative ideas.

  • A compulsory ‘Study Skills at M Level’ module to assist students in developing academic skills and promote confidence in their Masters study.

Key facts

Next intakeSeptember 2019
Duration4 years
Other ways to study this course
Academic Tutor contact(s)

Admissions criteria

  • A first degree in Physiotherapy (UK diploma or equivalent in Physiotherapy). Only qualified physiotherapists are eligible to apply.
  • Clinical experience is not a requirement of the course. However applicants with 0-2 year’s clinical experience will have a limited choice of modules.
  • Students whose first language is not English will be required to pass an IELTS test. Please see our English Language Requirements guidance for more details. Please note that applicants with an IELTS scores overall of 6 may be eligible for an offer based upon attendance on pre-sessional English language course. Please be advised that places on these courses are limited so please apply early.

Note: International students pursuing part-time programmes of study are not eligible for Tier 4 (General Student) visas and must have alternative leave to remain in the UK if they intend to study at the University in person.

The personal statement on your application form will be considered when a judgement is made on your suitability for the programme for which you have applied.

You must address the following points in your personal statement, this list is not exhaustive:

  • Why have you selected this programme?
  • What interests you about the programme?
  • Any relevant experience related to the programme or module content.
  • How you plan to use the qualification in your career.
  • How you and your profession will benefit from your studies.
  • Why you feel you should be given a place on the programme.

Please submit your application via the Cardiff University Online Application Service.

Application deadline: End of July of each academic year.  Your application will be considered after this date but it may be for a later intake.

Find out more about English language requirements.

Applicants who require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK must present an acceptable English language qualification in order to meet UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) requirements

The MSc Physiotherapy programme is modular and students must complete four modules (30 credits each) in the taught component of the course; one of the modules is a compulsory research module and there is a choice of 2 from the pathway specific modules and 1 from the optional modules. Further details can be obtained in discussion with the programme manager (

The pathway specific modules are HCT021 Science of Performance and Injury in Sport, HCT023 Sport and Exercise Participation, Inter-disciplinary Management and Injury Prevention, HCT139 Musculoskeletal Diagnosis and Treatment, HCT200 Neurorehabilitation: A Theoretical Basis, HCT145 Cardio-respiratory Physiology and Pathophysiology, HCT226 Clinical Kineasiology and Tissue Pathology, NRT082 Non-medical Prescribing 1, NRT083 Non-medical Prescribing 2.

The optional modules are NRT 150 Transforming Care, Systems and Services through Leadership, NRT120 Facilitating Learning and Teaching, HCT203 Public Health, Health Economics & Policy, NRT073 Patient Safety and Clinical Risk, HCT199 Evidencing Learning in Specialist Professional Practice, HCT132 Ethics in Health and Social Care. Students undertaking the part-time route will complete 4 modules and the dissertation module over a maximum of 4 years.

Physiotherapists can apply for the programme at any stage of their career (this includes newly qualified Physiotherapists).  The programme has a flexible portfolio of modules that can be tailored to meet individual needs and develop the knowledge and skills in the areas such as research, education, leadership and management and clinical practice which are necessary to become an expert practitioner.

There are a range of optional and programme specific modules available. Your programme team will guide you in identifying and selecting the appropriate and available modules.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2019/20 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2019.

Year one

Year two

Year three

Year four

The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

How will I be taught?

Teaching is mainly through workshops, tutorials and seminars. There are also lectures, and these are followed up by appropriate opportunity to discuss and evaluate the ideas presented. Content is supported by online resources.

Self-directed study forms an important part of the course, and you will be directed in study skills and guided in the areas for study.

How will I be supported?

The University offers a wide range of services and activities designed to support students. These include a student counselling service, a student advisory service, crèche and day facilities, sport and exercise facilities, as well as campus information, library and IT services.

This programme gives you the opportunity to share ideas with health professionals. As well as developing your own intellectual abilities, this sharing of ideas enables you to learn and benefit from the experiences of others. Opportunity is given for this sort of discussion and exchange of ideas through seminars and tutorials.

All students are given a named personal tutor following registration onto the programme, who is able to assist them with any pastoral care as well as advice on writing style, grammar and academic mentoring.

All modules within the programme make extensive use of Cardiff University’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) Learning Central, on which students will find course materials, links to related materials and assessment exemplars. All lectures are recorded via Panopto and are available to students throughout their programme.

For students whose first language is not English there are open access English Language courses available.

From September 2018 International students will be supported with a bespoke In-sessional English Language programme (10 weeks) in semester 1. This is only available to students in the School of Healthcare Sciences and attendance will be based on need (25 places available). To this end diagnostic testing will take place during the induction week

In addition, there are 5 week open access courses run by Cardiff University which are recruited to on a first come first served basis and cost an administration fee of £25.


We will provide you with feedback on your work in a variety of formats.  These will include oral feedback during lectures, written feedback provided through online module discussion forums, and electronic written feedback on assessed coursework through GradeMark.  You can discuss your overall performance with your personal tutor.  


How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed through a variety of assessment procedures, such as written assignments, oral presentations, poster presentations and small projects. This enables you to demonstrate your ability at analysing and evaluating a situation but also to use a variety of ways to present your ideas and abilities. The research project is a culmination of the development of all these skills.

What skills will I practise and develop?

 By fully engaging with the course, you should develop the skills and knowledge to:

  • Apply advanced theoretical principles critically, to analyse your professional experience, together with a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in physiotherapy.
  • Evaluate practice and critically appraise advances or changes in professional practice.
  • Demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems and act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a professional level based on reflective thinking and problem-solving.
  • Initiate change and lead in the management of change and the advancement of the profession through research.
  • Continue to lead and develop an holistic approach to the patient management and be able to communicate effectively with other health professionals.

Postgraduate level study is essential if you want to progress to advanced and specialist practice. An MSc will enable you to have greater autonomy within your profession, to further your career and take advantage of a greater range of opportunities.

Our modules are designed to complement progression in clinical practice, but also to facilitate a move into academia or research.

Our graduates have gone on to roles including:

  • Clinical specialist

  • Consultant physiotherapist

  • Physiotherapy management positions

  • Physiotherapy and clinical education positions.

  • Lecturer

 “Studying part time for an MSc whilst working in clinical practice within the NHS has given me the best of both worlds. The course has ignited my passion for learning once more and I have taken a huge step in my personal and professional development. I am enjoying studying with a wide range of other therapy and healthcare students, and am looking forward to the opportunity to undertake my own research project in my area of specialism. The modules I am studying are providing me with an in-depth of knowledge which is enhancing my clinical reasoning, leadership and patient management within my practice. I have recently completed a secondment setting up a new local service and look forward to new challenges using skills gained as part of my learning experience.”

MSc Physiotherapy (part time) student (UK)

I am very proud to have studied my MSc in Physiotherapy at Cardiff University. The mode of learning at MSc level in Cardiff is primarily self-directed and I found this to be helpful. Most of the classes are interactive sessions and the lecturers are always available to help students. They are also friendly and easy to approach. Resources such as textbooks and journals are readily available to students and there are various other educational and research facilities and equipment available to aid learning. I found the study environment to be conducive to my learning and this helped me develop my academic writing. Cardiff was a peaceful, friendly and fun place to study.”

Since moving back home I have made significant changes to physiotherapy services in my work area.”

MSc Physiotherapy graduate (Nigeria)

“My decision to come to Cardiff University was definitely the right choice to make, studying the MSc Course has provided me with a myriad of new knowledge and experience which has permitted me to apply for promotion in my home country. Being a paediatric physiotherapist, this course allowed me to gain an in depth insight into different rehab interventions offered to children with various underlying neurological pathologies. The different methods of assessments ensured the course was comprehensive, challenging, purposeful and stimulating in a way that encouraged continuous reflection and improvement in my university performance. Beside that all, Cardiff is the growing and exciting city that every international student is looking for.”

MSc Physiotherapy graduate (Oman)

As this programme is three years or over in duration and has a one year full time equivalent you will not be eligible for a postgraduate loan. The UK Government has more information about eligibility for postgraduate loans.

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2019/20)

Part time - Fees will be invoiced by module. Normally, invoices will be released shortly after enrolment for all of the modules you will be undertaking at the start of each year of study. For more information please refer to our tuition fees pages.

Students from outside the EU (2019/20)

This course does not currently accept students from outside the UK/EU.

Will I need any specific equipment to study this course/programme?

 You do not need to provide any specific equipment.