Key Facts

Course Title: Physiotherapy (Cardio-respiratory)
Course type: MSc, Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate
Mode of Study:Part Time
Contact email:Sarah Skinner
Website: Go to School homepage
Faculty: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Subject Area: Physiotherapy


Physiotherapy is a constantly evolving profession which requires practitioners to demonstrate current best practice and continued professional development at postgraduate level. The philosophy of this flexible modular course is to broaden and extend knowledge and skills in the field of physiotherapy and encourage personal and professional development. This programme is designed to provide opportunity for students to question and challenge current practice in aspects of physiotherapy and to enable students to explore in depth, areas of professional interest within physiotherapy. It also aims to enable students to evaluate evidence both for current practice and for new approaches in physiotherapy practice.

The structure of the core modules meets the needs of individuals to review and evaluate the background of the physiotherapy profession and to integrate this into their clinical practice where appropriate. The optional modules allow students to devise a programme to suit their own specific requirements in terms of professional and personal development. The research module and dissertation, together with core/optional modules such as Evidence-based Practice and Assessment and Measurement, develop the student’s research capabilities and critical evaluation skills.

The School of Health & Rehabilitation is based on Keele campus and has a well-established undergraduate physiotherapy programme. It has strong connections both with local clinical units and with other Schools within the University such as the Schools of Nursing & Midwifery, Medicine, and Pharmacy.


The part-time MSc programme can be completed in two years, but students may take up to five years if they wish (modular route). The structure of the course therefore allows flexible learning in accordance with individual student interests and needs.

Part Time route (2 year course)

Modules are taken over 3 semesters and then the dissertation is taken in the final semester (2 semesters per year).  

75 credits of option modules must be taken in total within the first 3 semesters, most modules are 15 credits, some may be 30 credits

For the part time route, payment can be made in 12 instalments over 2 years.

Semester 1

(Year 1)

Semester 2

(Year 1)

Semester 3

(Year 2)

Semester 4

(Year 2)


Modular route (up to 5 year course)

A minimum of one module is taken per semester (2 semesters per year) for four years and then the dissertation in the fifth year but if a student takes more modules per semester then they can complete earlier. This means a student can complete anywhere between 3 and 5 years so it is a more flexible approach.

For the Modular route, payment is made as each module is taken.

Semester 1

(Year 1)

  • Research Methods in Health (must be taken in the first semester as it underpins the rest of the course)
  • Can also take option modules or core modules in this semester depending on a student's wishes

Following semesters

(these modules can be taken in any order but please take in account the dates that they run and any option modules that may have pre-requisites)

Final Year  



Aims of the Course

Provide an environment where the student is supported and motivated to develop academically, professionally and personally. Promote reflective thinking, reflective practice, and self-evaluation. Develop the process of critical and evaluative thinking, writing, and communication. Transfer scientific knowledge from theory into practice. Develop research skills to provide students with a sound academic core to their clinical practice in physiotherapy. Develop a scientific approach to the evaluation of current practice in physiotherapy.

Promote interdisciplinary perspectives and an holistic approach to the management and rehabilitation of person.

Entry Requirements

The course is open to appropriately qualified physiotherapists who are interested in acquiring new knowledge and/or deepening existing knowledge in the field of physiotherapy. Applicants should normally have a first or second- class honours degree (2.1 or 2.2) (or overseas equivalent) in Physiotherapy. There is an expectation that applicants will possess level 6 (bachelors degree level) knowledge and skills in the areas of musculoskeletal, cardiovascular-respiratory and neurological physiotherapy.

Those who are not qualified physiotherapists are not eligible to apply (even if they have a Sports Science/ Sport and Exercise/ Kinesiology degree). If their intention is to become a qualified physiotherapist in the UK then they can consider the BSc Physiotherapy at Keele (3 years full time) or if they wish to qualify at a Masters level can do an internet search for 'Pre Registration MSc Physiotherapy'. Other Masters level degrees at Keele may be of interest such as MSc Health Sciences

For students whose first language is not English, evidence will normally* be required of successful completion of an English Language qualification such as IELTS (minimum 6.5 with at least 6 in each sub-test).

All applications are assessed on an individual basis. Applicants should ensure that their personal statements identify why they wish to study this course.


*In exceptional circumstances, if the school believes a student to be academically strong but has a borderline IELTS (or equivalent) score (e.g. a student with an UK equivalent high first class degree qualification and misses one component of the IELTS by 0.5 in a speaking or listening section), the applicant may be interviewed by the academic from both the School and the Language Learning Unit. If the student is successful in the interview they maybe considered for entry.

Course Content

The MSc programme comprises taught modules to the value of 120 M Level credits and a dissertation of 60 M Level credits, giving a total of 180 credits. Students may choose to finish their studies after completing 60 taught credits (Postgraduate Certificate) or 120 taught credits (Postgraduate Diploma), or they may study any module on a stand-alone basis and obtain the relevant credits. The part-time MSc programme can be completed in two years, but students may take up to five years if they wish. The structure of the course therefore allows flexible learning in accordance with individual student interests and needs.
Visit the School website to view module block sessional dates, and details of all modules.
The core modules meet the needs of individuals to review and evaluate the scientific background of their own specialism and to integrate this into their clinical practice. The option modules allow students to devise a programme to suit their own specific requirements in terms of professional and personal development. The Research module and Evidence-based Practice module together with the dissertation develop the student’s research capabilities and critical evaluation skills.

Course Modules

Core Modules (each 15 credits totalling 45 credits)

Research Methods in HealthAdvanced Therapeutic Management of Respiratory Problems, Behaviour Change for Health and Well-being

Assessment and Measurement OR Evidence Based Practice- this is delivered electronically entirely via distance-learning

(student chooses one of the two modules: Assessment and Measurement or Evidence Based Practice although can take the other as an optional module if wished)

Option Modules (credit value in brackets – 60 credits required for MSc and PgDip)

Availability of options may be subject to change in any year and other modules may also be available. Examples are given below or listed on the Faculty Module Listings.

Introducing Acupuncture (15), Essentials of Manual Therapy Assessment  (15), Motor Control Retraining of Movement Dysfunction (30) (in conjunction with Kinetic Control),  Concepts of Neurological Rehabilitation (15), Physiology and Pharmacology of Pain (15), Assessment and Measurement (15), Psychosocial Aspects of Pain (15), Applied Clinical Anatomy 1 (15), Applied Clinical Anatomy 2 (30), Dynamic Ultrasound Imaging (15), Independent Study (15), Assistive Technologies in Neurological Rehabiliation (15), Physiology of Neuromusculoskeletal Tissue (15)

Candidates can also apply for assessment of prior learning (APL) exemptions against option modules, or choose to take option modules from a range offered by other schools in the University provided they are consistent with the aims of the programme and are approved by the Course Team.

Dissertation (60 credits)

A dissertation of 15,000 words on a topic related to the course. Dissertation workshops provide support for students.

Teaching and Assessment

Lecture sessions are led by a variety of experienced authorities in their field. Therefore, the student receives a wide knowledge base from academics and practising experts.

The programme is assessed by a variety of techniques chosen to reflect the aims and objectives and teaching methods of individual modules, for example: essay, critical evaluation, paper review, seminar presentations, examination, the use of the Virtual Learning Environment, and dissertation. The pass mark for all modules is 50%.

Additional Costs

Apart from additional costs for text books, inter-library loans and potential overdue library fines we do not anticipate any additional costs for this post graduate programme.