A physiotherapist and patient working with a dumbbell weight
Mode of Study
2 years full-time
Start Date
January 2023


If you're eager to help people achieve a better quality of life through movement, exercise and manual therapy, this MSc Physiotherapy (Pre-Registration) course will give you the skills and qualifications you need.

You'll turn your Bachelor's in a sports science subject or clinical experience into a Master's degree and be able to register with the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) – a requirement to practise physiotherapy in the UK – when you complete the course successfully.

Through practical work, applied research and theoretical learning, you'll:

  • Explore how physiotherapy can transform the lives of people affected by injury, illness or disability
  • Understand how to prescribe rehabilitation exercise to improve patient mobility, manage pain and maintain health

The course covers a range of core physiotherapy applications including musculoskeletal, paediatric, community care and professional sport, so you'll be ready for whatever kind of physiotherapy career you have in mind.

You'll also gain extensive clinical experience on a series of work-based placements in local NHS and private physiotherapy settings on the south coast.

Once you graduate, you'll be able to practise as an HCPC-registered physiotherapist, positively influencing daily life and aiding recovery for patients from every corner of society. To give you an extra advantage as you embark on your new career, we'll also pay for your first year of professional accreditation with the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP).

NHS Learning Support Fund – at least £5,000 a year

Students on this course may be eligible for additional funding through the NHS Learning Support Fund bursary of at least £5,000 a year.

HCPC approved

This course is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

Entry requirements​

MSc Physiotherapy (Pre-Registration) entry requirements

Qualifications or experience
  • A lower second-class honour degree (2:2), or equivalent, in a relevant subject or a master's degree in an appropriate subject. Equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications will be considered. 
  • Applicants are advised to have relevant work experience through voluntary or paid employment or shadowing in a physiotherapy or health care environment.
  • All shortlisted applicants will need to attend an interview.
  • All successful applicants will be asked to complete confidential occupational health, immunisation, and disclosure and barring service checks.
English language requirements
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.5.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

What you'll experience

On this course, you'll:

  • Study applied anatomy and physiotherapy techniques across core areas including musculoskeletal, neurological, respiratory, paediatric, community care and professional sport
  • Learn how to work with other healthcare professionals and within busy multidisciplinary teams to get the best results for patients
  • Explore professional issues surrounding physiotherapy practice, such as leadership, communication and professional development
  • Interact with current physiotherapists working in settings from NHS clinical practice to professional football, gaining insight into the varying requirements of different types of physiotherapy
  • Have the opportunity to explore your own research question based on your placement experience or to contribute to existing research areas within the school
  • Become eligible to register with the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) as a qualified physiotherapist
  • Receive your first year of professional accreditation with the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) for free when you graduate

Facilities and equipment you'll use:

  • Our Centre for Simulation in Health and Care where you'll develop your practical skills in a realistic environment
  • Our strength and conditioning facility where you'll learn exercise and strength training methods for use in rehabilitation
  • Our Biomechanics Lab with its range of state of the art equipment commonly used by professional sports teams and physiotherapy clinics
  • Our Clinical Simulation Space, housing 14 beds, where you'll carry out mock cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, neurological and respiratory assessments with standard clinical instruments

As well as common clinical tools used within physiotherapy, you'll have access to the following specialist equipment:

  • Infrared motion analysis to understand how the body moves
  • A portable EMG system to measure how muscles activate and fatigue
  • Force plates to assess total force and rate of force development for patients, which helps you prescribe the right rehabilitation exercise programme for them
  • An isokinetic dynamometer to assess and monitor musculoskeletal injury and rehabilitation

Careers and opportunities

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) – the professional, educational and trade union body for the UK's chartered physiotherapists, physiotherapy students and support workers – predicts that the need for qualified physiotherapists is only set to increase.

Longer and more physically active lifestyles, post Covid rehab needs, and more people with long-term conditions or recovering from stroke, trauma and cancer will all contribute to this high demand for physiotherapy.

When you complete this Physiotherapy Master's degree, you'll have the skills and eligibility to register with the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC), which you need to practise physiotherapy within the UK.

As a qualified physiotherapist, you'll be able to practise in settings such as:

  • the NHS
  • private healthcare clinics
  • sports rehabilitation clinics
  • occupational health
  • professional sports environments

When you graduate, you'll receive a 50% reduction on your registration with the HCPC for your first 2 professional years.

To help prepare you for the workplace and stand out to employers, the University of Portsmouth will also pay for your first year of professional accreditation with the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.

Physiotherapy placements

On this course, you'll put your learning into practice and get clinical experience with patients on 5 x 6-week physiotherapy placements.

You'll work with placement providers located along the south coast – Portsmouth, Solent, Southampton, and Sussex hospitals trusts – with mentorship from academic members of staff.

Placements will relate to core and specialist areas of physiotherapy such as hospital and community-based NHS placements and placements in professional sport.

​What you'll study

Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

You'll study four modules worth 30 credits as well as undertaking a 60 credit research project in your second year, based on your interests and clinical experience gained in your first year. 

All modules are core, there are no optional modules on this course.


Year 1
Year 2

Core modules in this year include:

  • Core Skills Training Framework – 0 credits
  • Clinical Diagnosis – 30 credits
  • Professional Principles and Clinical Management – 30 credits
  • Multidisciplinary and Evolving Practice – 30 credits
  • Physiotherapy Placement 1 – 0 credits
  • Physiotherapy Placement 2 – 0 credits
  • Physiotherapy Placement 3 – 0 credits

There are no optional modules in this year.

Core modules in this year include:

  • Complex Cases in Physiotherapy – 30 credits
  • MSc Research Development and Practice – 60 credits
  • Physiotherapy Placement 4 – 0 credits
  • Physiotherapy Placement 5 – 0 credits

There are no optional modules in this year.

Changes to course content

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, course content is revised and regularly reviewed.  This may result in changes being made in order to reflect developments in research, learning from practice and changes in policy at both national and local levels.

Teaching on this course includes:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • workshops
  • lab-based activities

Our teaching staff have academic and clinical experience in physiotherapy and related areas, such as:

  • rehabilitation science
  • ACL reconstruction
  • cystic fibrosis (CF)
  • arthritis
  • joint hypermobility
  • postural stability
  • exercise referral related to chronic diseases
  • neurological rehabilitation

How you're assessed

You'll be assessed through:

  • practical assessments
  • client reports
  • video submissions
  • blogs
  • infographics
  • essays
  • portfolios
  • presentations

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

How you'll spend your time

On this course, as well as time in university, you'll spend lots of time on physiotherapy placements and independent study, with support from our staff when you need it.

A typical week

You’ll be in timetabled teaching activities such as lectures for about 20 hours a week. When you're on a placement, you'll spend about 35 hours a week with your placement educator.

The rest of the time you’ll do independent study such as project design, data collection and coursework, alone or in a group with others from your course.

Most timetabled teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends. 

Placements takes place in settings that work flexibly so you may need to attend during evenings or weekends during the two years of the course.

Term times

Each academic year is divided into 2 teaching blocks:

  • September/October to December/January – teaching block 1
  • January/February to May – teaching block 2

As this course starts in January, it will start at the beginning of teaching block 2.

Supporting your learning

You'll also get face-to-face support from teaching and support staff when you need it. These include the following people and services:

Your personal tutor gives you academic and personal support throughout your time at university.

As well as regular scheduled meetings with your personal tutor, they're also available at set times during the week if you want to chat with them about anything that can't wait until your next meeting.

You'll have help from a team of faculty learning support tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study.

They can help with:

  • Improving your academic writing (for example, essays, reports, dissertations)
  • Understanding and using assignment feedback
  • Managing your time and workload
  • Revision and exam techniques

As well as support from faculty staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • Academic writing
  • Note taking
  • Time management
  • Critical thinking
  • Presentation skills
  • Referencing
  • Working in groups
  • Revision, memory and exam techniques

If you have a disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.

Library staff are available in person or by email, phone or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from the faculty librarian for science.

The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.

If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.

​Course costs and funding

Tuition fees (January 2023 start)

  • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,400 a year (may be subject to annual increase)

This course isn't currently open to EU and international students.

Funding your studies

Find out how to fund your studies, including the scholarships and bursaries you could get. You can also find more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover.

Additional funding – at least £5,000 a year

Students on this course may be eligible for additional funding through the NHS Learning Support Fund of at least £5,000 a year. The bursary is non-repayable and is in addition to any other support you are eligible for, including Government student loans.

For more information, including eligibility criteria, please visit our scholarships and bursaries page.

Additional costs

Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks.

You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.

You will need to pay any travel/additional accommodation costs associated with your placements, though the NHS may reimburse these through the Learning Support Fund.

We strongly encourage you to join the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists (CSP) as a student member while studying on the course. The cost of this is currently £42 per year.

You’ll need to purchase clinical items (such as a stethoscope) over the course of your study. You should budget around £50 for this.


Start your application by following the link below:

Applications for January 2023 entry are open until 31/08/2022. Shortlisting for interviews will take place soon after the closing date.

This course isn't currently open to EU and international students.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.