MSc Physiotherapy (Pre-registration)

If you're an ambitious graduate, the University of Bolton's pre-registration Master's in Physiotherapy offers you the skills and knowledge you'll need for a successful career leading and delivering interventions to help people affected by injury, ageing, illness or disability. Combining University learning, practice-based learning and ongoing professional skills development, our expert team will support you in learning to promote the mobility, function and quality of life of individuals.

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) degree supports you in developing the core expertise, knowledge and skills demanded of physiotherapy professionals in a number of different clinical settings and environments. The global demand for qualified physiotherapists means that career opportunities are excellent in the UK and further afield.

You'll spend a total of 1000 hours of your time in physiotherapy practice-based learning across various environments, including acute, intermediate and community care, primary care, and the private and voluntary sectors, helping to prepare you for the changing environments you'll encounter during your career. The rest of your studies will be based at the University, increasing your theoretical understanding and practical knowledge in a way that complements and enhances your learning in the workplace.

We'll support you as you learn about the structure and function of the human body in the context of health, disease, disorder and dysfunction across the lifespan. With our expert guidance, you'll explore the theories and physiotherapy approaches that can be applied to enhance movement and minimise loss of function, focusing on the musculoskeletal, neurological, cardiovascular and respiratory systems. We'll also consider developing areas of physiotherapy such as the principles of management for women's health, amputees and palliative care. We'll help you build your knowledge of the biomedical, physical, clinical and behavioural science that underpins physiotherapy practice and gain skills in physical assessment, treatment and evaluation. We'll support you in developing interpersonal and communication skills, such as respecting and prioritising the needs and choices of individual service users, their carers and families. We'll also focus on helping you understand the political, social and economic factors influencing the current and future delivery of physiotherapy, health and social care services.

Together with our partners, we'll work to prepare you to become a confident, professional physiotherapist, able to use a range of physical and psychological treatment approaches to help individuals develop, maintain and regain mobility within an ever-changing health and social care environment. When you successfully complete the MSc Physiotherapy qualification, you'll possess the knowledge and skills you need to practise as an autonomous, independent practitioner who can be trusted to maintain professional standards while working to improve the health and wellbeing of service users through your individual and team-working actions.

This programme is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and accredited by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP).

  • The University of Bolton's MSc Physiotherapy (Pre-registration) is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and accredited by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP). When you successfully complete the course, you'll be eligible to apply to the HCPC for registration as a physiotherapist in the UK and for full membership of the CSP.
  • The University hosts world-class facilities in Bolton One for clinical and laboratory teaching. As part of the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing, the MSc Physiotherapy (Pre-registration) benefits from strong links with the NHS and private healthcare providers. Our experienced staff team offers expertise and knowledge across all subject disciplines.
  • You'll have access to our state-of-the-art Clinical and Simulation Suites and Sport and Physical Activity Rehabilitation Centre (SPARC). These provide outstanding learning environments where you can practice skills and develop knowledge under the supervision of our team of experienced researchers and practitioners. You'll also have access to a range of learning and exercise-specific resources such as online learning software, Vicon motion capture, Delsys/Trigno wireless electromyography, Alter-G treadmill, isokinetic dynamometer and hydrotherapy pool.
  • Our professional expert academic tutors come from a wide range of professional and academic backgrounds, including physiotherapy, the allied health professions, sports rehabilitation and exercise science. They weave essential knowledge of inter-professional and multi-agency working into their delivery of the theory elements of the course, helping prepare you to work effectively with colleagues from a variety of other professions and agencies.
  • You'll gain first-hand work experience and have the opportunity to develop an invaluable network of professional contacts during your work placements. You'll undertake a total of 1000 practice-based learning hours during your studies and have the opportunity to negotiate an elective practice-based learning experience of your choosing.
  • Key skills such as leadership, teamwork and professional communication are essential elements of the course. We'll foster your commitment to lifelong learning, helping you ensure your knowledge and skills remain current as you progress through your career.
Key Features
  • The teaching and learning on the programme will emphasise women's health, neurological, cardio-respiratory, rheumatological and pelvic health physiotherapy, exercise prescription and leadership, preparing graduates with the skills, knowledge and behaviours necessary to work in this rewarding and highly sought-after workforce.
  • Throughout the course, specialists in the field of physiotherapy, the health professions and rehabilitation therapists will be invited to join us as guest speakers. You can also expect to meet service users with direct experience of using physiotherapy services and benefit from their unique and valuable perspectives on the role of physiotherapists in practice.
  • Our dedicated team will guide you as you develop critical thinking and research evaluation skills and apply these during your master's-level project, giving you a choice between a scientific or a work-based enquiry. This experience will support your ongoing professional development in future and help you evaluate evidence to inform your practice and decision-making in the field.
  • Physiotherapy can be very demanding and carries a lot of responsibility, so we'll support you in learning strategies and techniques that can help build your professional and emotional resilience to successfully manage the situations you face.
  • In preparation for a career in this dynamic, evolving profession, we aim to expose you to many of the different clinical settings, sectors and industries in which physiotherapists are currently finding employment. These may include emerging areas such as the third and voluntary sectors, first-contact practitioners and the Ministry of Defence.
  • When you successfully complete this programme, you'll be awarded the MSc Physiotherapy (Pre-registration) from the University of Bolton.
  • By choosing to study with us, you'll have the chance to enjoy Bolton's many shops, bars, restaurants and leisure facilities. Nearby Manchester is one of the UK's most multicultural and lively cities, and the Northwest of England is renowned for its beautiful countryside, coastline, and heritage.
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 practise as a physiotherapist in the UK.

The programme is also accredited by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP).

  • Please note that this course is only available to Home students.
  • 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). We may consider applicants with a lower second class honours degree (2.2) in certain circumstances.
  • For guidance regarding acceptable alternative qualifications, please contact 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, who have excellent communication skills and who are caring and compassionate.
  • 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.
  • You’ll need to demonstrate that you’re of good health and good character and satisfactorily pass occupational health screening. You’ll be required to complete a confidential self-declaration form outlining any medical or health conditions that may affect your ability to undertake academic or physiotherapy practice tasks.
  • 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.
  • 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 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 the treatment and prevention of injury, disease and disorders through physical and psychological methods (such as exercise, massage, manipulation and other treatments) over medication and surgery. As a Physiotherapist, you'll provide treatment for people of all ages suffering from physical problems that restrict their mobility and independence or cause pain. These may arise from injury, disease, illness or ageing, and include functional problems resulting from back and neck injuries; sprains, strains, and fractures; arthritis; amputations; and neurological disorders, such as stroke or cerebral palsy. This master's programme has a particular emphasis on the treatment and management of women's health and paediatric conditions, 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. Interventions and programmes can include exercise; training in functional movement and equipment such as using canes, crutches, wheelchairs, and walkers; and special movements of joints, muscles, and other soft tissue to improve movement and decrease pain. As well as treating people, you'll promote good health and advise people on how to avoid injury.

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 team working and decision-making, as well as enhance your ability to communicate well and clearly with a diverse group of individuals, 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.

What can I do with this qualification?

When you successfully complete the MSc (Pre-registration) Physiotherapy 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. Typically, once you have qualified and registered as a Physiotherapist, you'll be able to seek employment in the NHS and private clinics. You may work in hospitals where physiotherapists are needed in nearly every department, in the community, health centres, nursing homes, day centres 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 as a researcher for national health-related charities.

Physiotherapy offers opportunities to specialise in a number of areas, such as sports medicine, women's health and children's health (paediatrics). You'll also be able to explore different areas of practice, including musculoskeletal, neurological and respiratory, and further study leading to advanced practitioner roles. Alternatively, you'll be able to progress to qualifications in related fields such as sport rehabilitation or strength and conditioning.

Alternative career options

Graduates can also use this qualification as a stepping-stone into a range of 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 2020-2021 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 and 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. You'll also be expected to develop your E-portfolio, where you'll catalogue evidence of your learning through a variety of media. 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 necessary skills, knowledge and behaviours required to practise as a physiotherapist. While assessment serves to evaluate your achievement, it also helps you organise and develop 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 scenarios 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.

  • Transition to Professional Practice in Physiotherapy
  • Function of the Human Body in Health and Illness
  • Clinical Reasoning and Management in Physiotherapy
  • Person Centred Practice
  • Effective and Autonomous Physiotherapy Practice
  • Physiotherapy Practice Placement 1
  • Physiotherapy Practice Placement 2
  • Physiotherapy Practice Placement 3
  • Work Based Masters Project
  • Physiotherapy Dissertation
  • Physiotherapy Practice Placement 4
  • Physiotherapy Elective Placement
Assessment methods
LevelAssesment method
Level oneCoursework 65%, Practical exams 35%, Written exams 10%
Learning activities
LevelLearning activity
Level oneGuided independent study 54%, Placement/study abroad 36%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 10%


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
Senior Lecturer

Enquiry Team
University of Bolton

+44 (0)1204 903903

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School of Clinical and Biomedical Sciences


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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

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QQA Scheme Participant