MSc Physiotherapy (Pre-registration)

If you're an ambitious graduate, our Master's in Physiotherapy prepares you for a career leading and delivering interventions to help people affected by injury, illness or disability. Throughout this university and practice-based degree, our expert teaching team will support you in developing professional knowledge, skills, and behaviours across four pillars of physiotherapy, research, and public health to promote mobility, function and quality of life of individuals and diverse populations.

Physiotherapy (Pre-registration)

Key information



Mode of Study:



24 months


University of Bolton

Start date:


Course Details

The University of Bolton's MSc Physiotherapy (Pre-registration) programme is meticulously designed to equip you with the essential expertise, knowledge, and skills demanded in the dynamic field of physiotherapy. Through a comprehensive curriculum and extensive practical experiences, we'll prepare you to excel as a physiotherapy professional in diverse clinical settings, locally and nationally.

You'll engage in 1000 hours of immersive physiotherapy practice-based learning, spanning various clinical environments, including acute, intermediate and community care, primary care, and the private and voluntary sectors. This hands-on experience ensures you're adept at navigating the complexities of real-world scenarios, enhancing your readiness for your future career.

This postgraduate degree integrates theoretical insights with practical knowledge to provide a holistic understanding of physiotherapy. With our expert guidance, you'll explore the structure and function of the human body in health and illness across the lifespan. We emphasise the musculoskeletal, neurological, cardiovascular, and respiratory systems and focus on emerging areas such as pelvic health, mental health, and global issues like health inequalities and sustainability of practice.

You'll delve into the biomedical, physical, clinical, and behavioural sciences underpinning physiotherapy practice. We'll guide you as you develop skills in physical assessment, treatment, and evaluating your practice, ensuring you're well-equipped to address diverse patient needs effectively. The programme fosters the development of interpersonal and communication skills crucial for effective patient care. You'll learn to respect and prioritise the needs and choices of individual service users, their families, and carers, enhancing your ability to provide patient-centred care.

The MSc Physiotherapy program at the University of Bolton is a transformative journey that equips you with the knowledge, skills, and ethical values necessary to thrive as a compassionate and competent physiotherapy professional in today's dynamic healthcare environment.

  • World-Class Facilities: Benefit from cutting-edge facilities at Bolton One for clinical and laboratory teaching. As part of the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing, we maintain strong links with the NHS and private healthcare providers, ensuring you receive top-quality education.
  • State-of-the-Art Learning Environments: Access our Clinical and Simulation Suites and Sport and Physical Activity Rehabilitation Centre (SPARC) for immersive learning experiences. Under the guidance of experienced researchers and practitioners, utilise resources such as the Cmill or AlterG treadmills, motion capture systems and hydrotherapy pool to enhance your skills and knowledge.
  • Diverse Expertise: Learn from a diverse team of professional academic tutors with backgrounds in physiotherapy, allied health professions, sports rehabilitation, and exercise science. We integrate essential knowledge of inter-professional and multi-agency working, preparing you for effective collaboration with colleagues from various disciplines.
  • Practical Experience: Gain 1000 practice-based learning hours through work placements, fostering invaluable professional contacts and firsthand experience. Additionally, negotiate an elective practice-based learning experience tailored to your interests.
  • Key Skills Development: Develop essential skills such as leadership, teamwork, and professional communication throughout the programme. We prioritise lifelong learning, ensuring your knowledge and skills remain current as you progress in your career.
Key Features
  • Specialised Curriculum: Our emphasis on core specialities like musculoskeletal, neurological, and cardiorespiratory and specialised areas like pelvic health, care of older people and ill-health prevention in diverse populations, and exercise prescription and leadership equips our graduates with sought-after skills for diverse clinical settings.
  • Guest Speakers and Service User Engagement: Throughout the course, specialists in physiotherapy and related fields, along with people with lived experience, provide valuable insights. Their perspectives enrich your understanding of physiotherapy practice and its impact on individuals and communities.
  • Research and Critical Thinking: Dedicated support enables you to develop critical thinking and research evaluation skills. The master's-level project offers a choice between scientific or work-based inquiry, fostering ongoing professional development and evidence-informed practice.
  • Resilience and Wellbeing: The curriculum integrates strategies for building professional and emotional resilience, preparing you to navigate the demands and responsibilities of physiotherapy practice effectively.
  • Exposure to Diverse Clinical Settings: Gain exposure to various clinical settings, sectors, and industries where physiotherapists are employed, including emerging areas like the third sector, first-contact practitioners, and Ministry of Defence roles.
  • Professional Credential: When you successfully complete the MSc, the University of Bolton will award you the MSc Physiotherapy (Pre-registration), positioning you for success in the field.
  • Location Benefits: Situated in Bolton, you'll enjoy access to a vibrant urban centre with diverse amenities. Nearby Manchester offers a multicultural environment, while the Northwest of England boasts beautiful countryside, coastline, and rich heritage, enhancing your overall experience.
Professional recognition

The University of Bolton's MSc Physiotherapy is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). When you successfully complete the course, you'll be eligible to apply to the HCPC for registration to practice as a physiotherapist in the UK.

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) also accredits the programme.

  • You should have at least an upper second class honours degree (2.1) in a relevant subject (or equivalent), as well as relevant work experience. Examples of relevant subject areas include social, medical, or sport sciences, health and social care, nursing or healthcare practice, education, psychology or counselling. Examples of relevant work experience include working or volunteering in a healthcare setting such as physiotherapy service, GP practice or with other allied health professionals (AHPs).
  • For guidance regarding acceptable alternative qualifications, please get in touch with Qualifications gained outside England and Wales will be assessed on an individual basis according to guidance by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) and the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).
  • If your application is successfully shortlisted, you'll be invited to a selection day where you'll be expected to complete a number of assessments, which may include an interview, written test and group activity. The interview panel will include academic staff, practice staff and service users. The written test will assess your comprehension and written communication skills. The group activity will assess your values, behaviours, communication and problem-solving skills.
  • We're seeking students who can demonstrate commitment to a physiotherapy career, have excellent communication skills, and are caring and compassionate.
  • You'll need to demonstrate that you're of good health and good character. If you're successful at the interview stage, you'll be asked to undergo occupational health screening and a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.
  • This course involves working unsupervised with children and/or vulnerable young people and adults and you must gain an Enhanced Disclosure certificate from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) before starting your studies. Charges are payable to cover the cost of the DBS Enhanced Disclosure application and annual registration with the online Update Service.
  • We'll consider applications where appropriate work experience can be demonstrated in lieu of, or in addition to, the published academic qualifications in line with the University’s Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning (RPEL) procedures.
  • We take a positive view of what candidates with disabilities can achieve as future healthcare professionals and take seriously our obligation to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that all students with disabilities can successfully complete their studies. All applicants will be assessed up to and including the interview on the basis of the criteria outlined here regardless of any disability. If you declare a disability, we’ll invite you to work with us, the University of Bolton’s Disability team, clinical colleagues and relevant specialist services (for example, RNIB) to explore how best we can support your studies.
  • If English isn’t your first language, you’ll also need IELTS 7.0 with normally no less than 6.5 in any band (or equivalent). We also accept a range of other English language qualifications – please visit our English Language Requirements web page for more details.
  • Please note that this course is subject to the University of Bolton's Fitness to Practise procedure.

Where changes are made to material information contained in this course description or a decision is taken to suspend a course between the offer of admissions and enrolment, we will inform applicants at the earliest possible opportunity and will outline the various options available to the applicant.

Physiotherapy is a degree-based healthcare profession that uses movement and exercise, manual therapy, education, and advice to help people who sustain an injury, experience illness, or live with a disability. Physiotherapy can also prevent injury or disease in the context of population and public health.

As a physiotherapist, you'll treat people of all ages suffering from physical problems that restrict their mobility and independence or cause pain and ultimately impact their quality of life. Common problems might involve musculoskeletal conditions like neck or back pain, osteoarthritis, carpal tuner syndrome, tendinopathies; cardiovascular conditions like myocardial infarction (heart attack), stroke, amputations; and neurological disorders, such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease or cerebral palsy. This master's programme emphasises the treatment across core and emerging areas such as women's health, pediatric conditions, and end-of-life care, preparing you to contribute to these essential but currently under-represented specialisms in physiotherapy.

As a graduate, you'll have the knowledge and skills to improve a person's quality of life by using a variety of treatments to alleviate pain and restore function or, in the case of permanent injury or disease, to lessen the effects of any dysfunction.

By the time you graduate, you'll possess a wide range of skills, knowledge and behaviours. Studying this course will support you in developing skills in teamwork and decision-making, enhance your ability to communicate well and clearly with diverse populations, and manage difficult and stressful situations. You'll also have good observational skills and emotional intelligence, be able to use your initiative, and manage your time effectively. Leadership skills will be developed, and you will learn about service improvement.

What can I do with this qualification?

When you successfully complete the MSc Physiotherapy (Pre-registration) programme, you'll possess the knowledge and skills you need to perform as an independent, highly competent physiotherapist eligible to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as a physiotherapist in the UK.

A UK physiotherapy qualification offers excellent career opportunities and progression. Once qualified and registered as a physiotherapist, you can seek employment in the NHS and private sector. You may work in hospitals where physiotherapists are needed in nearly every department and in the community, health centres, nursing homes, or schools. However, the scope of physiotherapy allows for employment in many other areas, such as the Ministry of Defence, professional sports clubs, gyms and fitness centres, higher education and research, and national health-related charities.

Alternative career options

Graduates can also use this qualification as a stepping-stone into various other careers. Some of these roles may require relevant experience and/or postgraduate study. The knowledge and skills you'll develop on this programme will underpin a number of alternative career opportunities, including:

  • Public health
  • Health promotion
  • Management/leadership
  • Teaching and education
  • Clinical research

Course fees

Home students starting this course in the first year will be required to pay a Home fee of £9,250 for the academic year 2024/25.

International applications are not possible for this course

As an international student you are not allowed to study this course because of the restrictions on your visa.

We offer a wide range of full-time courses in lots of different subjects, many of our courses start in September and January. If you would like to see what courses are available please visit our Course Search.

Useful information

Healthcare students starting and continuing their course from 1 September 2020 onwards can apply for additional funding support from the NHS Learning Support Fund. Please visit NHS Learning Support Fund web page for details.

Important note regarding tuition fees for the 2023-2024 academic year: EU nationals who meet residency requirements (have settled or pre-settled status) may be eligible for 'Home' fee status. If you do not meet these residency requirements, overseas fees will apply. Irish citizens living in the UK or Ireland will be eligible for 'Home' fee status under the Common Travel Area arrangement. Please read the student finance for EU students web page on for information.

The fees for a student's course of study will be set for the normal duration of that course subject only to inflationary increases – measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded in March each year to take effect for subsequent start dates.


Click here for more information on our Master's Bursaries.

For details of how to apply for this course, please choose your status from the options below:

You may apply directly to the University using the University's online application form. Please select your chosen start date from the list below:

You should have to hand:

  • Details of the educational establishments you attended and dates

  • Your certificates for the qualifications you are using to gain entry to the course – you will need to enter the completion date and upload copies

  • Details of any employment history including name, address, dates and role

  • Personal statement – this can be either input into the relevant field or uploaded separately

  • Details including e-mail addresses of two referees, at least one of which should be someone who can provide an academic reference

Please make sure any documents you wish to upload in support of your application are in pdf or jpeg format. Personal statements may be word documents.

Please ensure your data is correct at each stage of the application before you proceed to the next page. If you use the back button at any time during the application, you should check the validity of the data you have already input.

If you experience difficulties during the application process, contact the Admissions Team on 01204 903394 or

International applications are not possible for this course

As an international student you are not allowed to study this course because of the restrictions on your visa.

We offer a wide range of full-time courses in lots of different subjects, many of our courses start in September and January. If you would like to see what courses are available please visit our Course Search.

Modern healthcare professionals require a range of skills and values. Our practice-based learning partners and tutors will help you gain experience in a range of physiotherapy care scenarios designed to develop your skills in a safe and supportive environment. The course involves a wealth of workplace learning opportunities (please note this may incur travel and accommodation costs). Over the duration of the course, you'll complete four six-week placements across clinical environments, university-based simulated placement and elective placement. As you progress through the course, we'll guide and encourage you to draw on your practice-based learning experience while studying theory and apply the theory learned to your practice so that you can understand how the two complement each other.

We use a blended learning approach, combining face-to-face sessions with online and practical work. You can expect discussion-based lectures, presentations by guest speakers, simulations delivered by tutors, seminar discussions, small group workshops, small group and one-to-one tutorials and practical skill learning sessions. You'll also need to undertake a significant amount of personal study, including general background reading, preparing for seminar activities, working on assignments and revising for examinations.

To help support your learning, the University also offers additional study skills sessions, such as essay writing, library skills, electronic searching, and numeracy. You can also find support through our social learning community, which includes a peer-support programme and enhanced personal tutoring. Our virtual learning environment (VLE) is used to share study resources. To enhance your journey to becoming an effective practitioner, you'll be encouraged to develop reflective practice through personal development planning.

Assessment tasks are designed to ensure you achieve the learning outcomes for each module and develop the skills, knowledge and behaviours required to practise as a physiotherapist. While assessment evaluates your achievement, it also helps you organise and build your learning by revealing your strengths and weaknesses. A variety of assessment methods will be used, including written coursework, oral presentations, time-constrained written activities, practical case scenario-based exams, and portfolios. We'll provide feedback on your assessments to help you improve in the future.


The modules listed below may be a mixture of compulsory and optional. You may not have the opportunity to study all the modules shown as part of the course.

  • Clinical Placement 1
  • Clinical Placement 2
  • Clinical Placement 3
  • Clinical Placement 4
  • Elective Placement
  • Transition to Professional Practice in Physiotherapy
  • Function of the Human Body in Health and Illness 1
  • Clinical Reasoning and Management in Physiotherapy 1
  • Psychologically Informed Physiotherapy
  • Clinical Reasoning and Management in Physiotherapy 2
  • Innovation in Healthcare
  • Physiotherapy Dissertation or Work Based Project
  • Function of the Human Body in Health and Illness 2
Assessment methods
LevelAssesment method
Level oneCoursework 62%, Practical exams 38%
Learning activities
LevelLearning activity
Level oneGuided independent study 47%, Placement/study abroad 35%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 18%


The university will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver your course as described in its published material and the programme specification for the academic year in which you begin your course. The university considers changes to courses very carefully and the university will minimise any changes. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis and changes may be necessary due to legitimate staffing, financial, regulatory and academic reasons. The content of course modules and mode of associated assessments may be updated on an annual basis. This is to ensure that all modules are up-to-date and responsive to employment and sector needs. The published course material and the programme specification contain indicative ‘optional modules’ that may be subject to change due to circumstances outside of our control. For this reason, we cannot guarantee to run any specific optional module.

The academic staff detailed above teach across a range of courses in this subject area and may not teach on this course specifically.

Programme Contacts

Anna Ziemer
Dr, Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader for MSc Pre-reg Physiotherapy

Enquiry Team
University of Bolton

+44 (0)1204 903903

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We have the answers to your questions, find all the advice and support in one place.

Part of the University of Bolton Group

Bolton college
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Anderton centre2
QQA Scheme Participant