About the course
Physiotherapy is a health care profession concerned with maximising the potential of human function and movement. It uses physical approaches to promote, maintain, and restore physical, psychological and social wellbeing, taking account of the variations in health status. At Essex this is a science-based subject in which we are committed to applying, evaluating and reviewing the evidence that underpins and informs practice.
At the core of physiotherapy practice is the making of clinical judgement and informed interpretation of clinical information. Physiotherapists are autonomous professionals, able to act as first-contact practitioners, as well as accepting referrals from other health care professionals. Through partnership and negotiation, physiotherapists work with people to optimise their functional ability and potential.
This pre-registration course is a two-year accelerated programme which enables you to take advantage of inter-professional learning (IPL), encouraging professionals to learn with and from each other – an understanding that helps ensure you have the expertise to respond adequately and effectively to the complexity of your clients’ needs, and that care is safe, seamless and of a high standard.
From 2017/18, this course will move into our new School of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences. This will not change the content of the course but provides an exciting opportunity to join a community specifically focused on sports and exercise science, sports therapy and physiotherapy. This will allow us to bring together our internationally recognised research, share knowledge, and enhance placement and vocational opportunities for our students and graduates.
NHS funding note
This course will be funded by the NHS for 2017 entry.
You will be introduced to physiotherapy through observing and working with physiotherapists practising in a variety of settings (primary and secondary care, public and private sectors, adult and the elderly, acute care setting and specialist mental health/learning disability services), and adopt a critical stand in the discussion of contemporary physiotherapy practice in the context of the environment of practice.
You are also introduced to key concepts in physiotherapy for the assessment and evaluation of patients, and given opportunities to explore scientific measures as indicators for health and illness.
We organise these practice placements for you to work in role with multi-professional health care teams in a wide range of settings.
Whilst on placement you will have an educator allocated to you and contact with a member of the academic team who will visit you and support you whilst on placement. Placements encompass a variety of multi-disciplinary health and social settings based within the NHS, the Private Sector, the Voluntary Sector and other Primary Health Care Services.
Over a thousand hours will be spent in the practice environment where students apply the theory and practice of physiotherapy. You develop your abilities to critically analyse clinical data and evidence, to make judgements and to respond to patients who require physiotherapy.
Placements are primarily based throughout Essex but you may also have the opportunity to experience services in Hertfordshire, Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire.
Completing our course leads to eligibility to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) as a physiotherapist.
HCPC registration is required to work as a physiotherapist in the UK, and once individuals are registered they are able to practice in a wide variety of clinical settings.
We are committed to embedding the NHS Constitution Values (which are strongly reflected in our University values) into everything we do. They define the behaviours and expectations of all our staff and students, underpinning the work we do in the university, clinical arena and other workplaces.
We understand that not all of our students and staff are employed within the NHS but these values uphold the underlying principles of excellent care as a standard and as such we expect that anyone who has any aspect of their work which ultimately cares for others will aspire to upholding these values.
For us involving not only our students, but service users, experts by experience, carers and NHS/non NHS professionals in the creation and delivery of all programmes is vital.
Our expert staff
A unique feature of our School is that most of our staff work or have worked within clinical practice. This enhances our grasp of the contemporary links between academic research, the major issues of the day and real-life practice.
Physiotherapy is taught by a small and friendly team of registered experienced staff with a variety of different backgrounds and research interests. The subject lead for physiotherapy is Izzie Easton.
We have expertise in the areas of prehabilitation, rehabilitation following sports injuries, first contact trauma management, education in pain management, and computer-based ‘virtual patient’ simulators.. Full details of our staff can be found on the HHS Staff Profiles.
Within our School of Health and Human Sciences, we have a range of specialist clinical laboratories and IT facilities to assist you with the effective learning and acquisition of new skills; for students of Physiotherapy, we have two specialist labs on our Colchester Campus which provide you with all the facilities you need to train as a physiotherapist.
We also offer excellent physical and online resources in terms of libraries, computer labs, datasets, archives and other research materials. You can take advantage of our links with the Institute of Social and Economic Research, which conducts large-scale survey projects, many for government, EU and other public agencies, and has its own library.
The UK Data Archive is also based at our Colchester Campus and stores national research data.
We have an exceptionally high (often 100%) employability rate for our Physiotherapy students. What does this mean? It means that all our successful graduates got jobs and are on their chosen pathway working in the careers they worked so hard towards.
Please note that our MSc Physiotherapy (pre-registration) programme, is an intensive two year course based at our Colchester campus.
Postgraduate study is the chance to take your education to the next level. These carefully selected modules will give you the chance to explore, question, and create powerful ideas. Picked to give you an extensive and in-depth education, they’ll equip you with the specialist knowledge, vital transferrable skills, and the confidence to make a genuine difference to the world around you.
There are 44 weeks’ teaching per year. The structure of the programme adopts a developmental approach to the mastering of physiotherapy skills. You will be introduced to physiotherapy through observing and working with physiotherapists practising in a variety of settings (primary and secondary care, public and private sectors, adult and the elderly, acute care setting and specialist mental health/learning disability services), and adopt a critical stand in the discussion of contemporary physiotherapy practice in the context of the environment of practice.
We’re reactive, we’re pioneering, we never stand still, so modules might change from year to year in response to new developments and innovation. Those listed below show how a typical course might look, but more detail on course structure, including details of all optional modules, is available on our Programme Specification.
Cardiorespiratory physiotherapy is a branch of physiotherapy that specialises in helping patients with cardiovascular and respiratory problems. This module will introduce you to core concepts in cardiorespiratory physiotherapy with the aim of developing your knowledge and skills in this field.
Complex medical issues can be best addressed when interprofessional teams work together. The aim of this module is to develop your understanding of collaborative working practices by exploring current policy drivers, barriers and opportunities for team working, with the aim of improving patient care.
Musculoskeletal conditions include problems with muscles, joints, tendons, discs, nerves and bones. The aim of this module is to introduce you to core physiotherapy knowledge and skills. You will look at the concepts of professional practice and patient centred care and critically explore the core skills in musculoskeletal physiotherapy.
Neurological physiotherapy is a branch of physiotherapy that specialises in the treatment and management of people who have disorders of the nervous system. You will be introduced to core concepts in neurological physiotherapy with the aim of developing your knowledge and skills in this field.
Building on concepts studied in earlier modules, you will be introduced to further developments in patient care. You will look at the changing needs of the patient and how physiotherapy can effectively and efficiently influence patient health and wellbeing.
You will have the opportunity to build on your existing knowledge of research by exploring a variety of methodologies. This will prepare you for your second year of study when you will conduct your own original research project in an area of interest that is relevant to health care practice.
This module allows you to reflect on your personal and professional development over the course of the programme, and to consider your future continuing professional development needs. It also seeks to review your core physiotherapy skills, to facilitate critical discussion of the principles and scope of the profession, and to prepare you for current and future physiotherapy practice.
Patient views about the treatment they receive can be very powerful in the healthcare market. The aim of this module is to introduce you to the range of settings which deliver health care and the current and potential role of physiotherapy in improving the patient experience and satisfaction.
Building on concepts studied in earlier modules, this module will introduce you to more complex patient care. You will look at the changing needs of more complex patients and how physiotherapy can effectively and efficiently influence individual patient's and the public's health and wellbeing.
The aim of this module is to further advance your research and problem solving skills enabling you to carry out your own research in your future practice. This will involve the critical appraisal of research from a variety of sources to inform your own practice.
- Teaching staff include clinically qualified lecturers in physiotherapy, nursing, occupational therapy and speech and language therapy, alongside many clinical partners.
- The multidisciplinary nature of our School and its rapid growth has fostered a dynamic and innovative learning environment
- You are assessed through coursework, presentations, essays, case studies/portfolios, reflective accounts, vivas, examinations and direct observation of practice by the mentor in clinical settings
- You also conduct a research proposal
UK entry requirements
Please be aware that we are not able to accept applications for deferred entry for this course.
Our applicants should have:
- a relevant honours degree, minimum classification of lower second (e.g. in a life science - psychology, sociology, biological science or equivalent or sports science degree)
- IELTS score of 7.0, with no element below 6.5 (if required)
- successful performance at interview
- Evidence of recent academic study (By this we mean a course or module with an assessable component )
You must also have: two satisfactory references (including an academic reference and a work based one), a satisfactory Work Health Assessment/Occupational health Check and enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check (DBS formerly known as CRB) – both of these are organised by the University.
Eligibility, Fees and Funding
Access is supported by Health Education East of England consequently the course is only available to applicants classified as ‘home’ or ‘EU’ students for tuition fee purposes. In addition, applicants must also be able to meet the NHS funding criteria that you can find in the Frequently Asked Questions on the NHS bursary website.
NHS Constitution and Values
As part of the selection process, students will be expected to demonstrate good knowledge and a clear understanding of the scope of work that a physiotherapist is required to undertake as well as the significance of the NHS Constitution and its core values (you can find further information on these on the Health Education East of England website and the Gov.UK webpages.
Interviews will take place from April to May 2017 for the September 2017 intake. If you are selected for interview, then you will also be required to sit a Literacy & Numeracy test.
Continuing Professional Development
If you are already a registered physiotherapist, please see Continuing Professional Development on our Health and Human Sciences web pages.
International and EU entry requirements
We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries.
for further details about the qualifications we accept. Include information in your email about the
undergraduate qualification you have already completed or are currently taking.
You can apply for our postgraduate courses online. You’ll need to provide us with your academic qualifications, as well as supporting documents such as transcripts, English language qualifications and certificates.
Applications for MSc Physiotherapy 2017 entry will be closing on 31 March 2017. We will need to have received all of your supporting documents by that date for your application to be considered.
For UK and EU students registered in 2017, fees will be funded by the NHS.
Official transcript(s), in English or a certified translation of your academic results to date, showing marks or grades, must be provided at the time you make your application. (Transcripts are not required from current or previous University of Essex students, or from students who have previously completed a degree at Colchester Institute awarded by the University of Essex).
A personal statement with a 500 word limit to support your application saying why you wish to undertake the course and what you hope to achieve from it. If you require a Tier 4 visa to study with us, your personal statement should refer specifically to your reasons for wishing to study in the UK, and why you have chosen your area of study.
An up to date CV must also be provided with your application.
We will also require two references during the application process; one verifiable academic reference, dated, signed and on official institution paper. The second reference must be work-based and this will be dependent on which course you are applying for, it could be for example, from a registered nurse or equivalent outlining the care duties that you perform and to what standard.
For information about funding, references and supporting documents, it is essential that you read our 2 year accelerated programme application notes.
Don’t worry if you cannot provide references when you make your application, as if we make you an offer you will be able to provide these at a later stage.
We hold postgraduate events in February/March and November, and open days for all our applicants throughout the year. Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex, and give you the chance to:
- tour our campus and accommodation
- find out answers to your questions about our courses, student finance, graduate employability, student support and more
- meet our students and staff
If the dates of our organised events aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.
If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tour allows you to explore the Colchester Campus from the comfort of your home. Check out our accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.
Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.