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Postgraduate study
Sports Physiotherapy Studies

Sports Physiotherapy Studies MSc

This course develops your knowledge, skills and research capacity to become a physiotherapist who works with athletes and sports teams. You will be challenged to develop strategies to optimise athletes’ health and wellbeing, minimising time lost to injury and maximising performance in training and competition.


Course overview

You develop your critical thinking and enquiry skills, enabling you to make innovative injury management plans in the context of a sporting environment.

The curriculum has been developed using the International Federation of Sports Physical Therapy competencies and with engagement from clinicians working within professional sporting environments. You will be taught by academic staff with clinical experience of working with athletic populations and external clinicians with experience of working with professional athletes from multi sports will form a key element of the teaching team. The course has been designed to be based upon evidence-based principles which will be used within a robust clinical reasoning framework to allow graduates to develop their skills to apply appropriate injury management and performance enhancement to the sporting individual. The course is modular in delivery and will run over two years full time. Within the first year you will be typically expected to attend University for two days per week. In the second year you will be offered an internship of up to 12 weeks within a sports physiotherapy host site, and will complete a dissertation.

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Course details

Within the first year your studies will be split across two semesters, each with three academic modules. In the first semester you will develop your knowledge and skills in exercise physiology and sports biomechanics. This will be studied alongside an Evidence Based Practice module aimed at exploring the principles of clinical decision making that support the provision of optimal sports physiotherapy. The third module within semester one will be Sports Injury Prevention, which will take a contemporary and evidence based perspective on current research and practice related to this evolving area of practice.

Semester two modules in the first year will include Rehabilitation of the Injured Athlete, which will explore in depth the use of effective exercise prescription to optimise rehabilitation and plan a successful return to athletic activity. The principles of health promotion and behavioural change will also be explored within semester two and you will develop a perspective of the global health challenges in this area. You will also at this stage begin to develop your research skills with taught sessions in the Designing Research Projects module and will submit your research proposal.

In the second year your work-based internship enables you to practice within a sports physiotherapy environment using the skills developed from the first year of study. Face-to-face sessions prior to this internship will explore topics such as professionalism, ethical decision making and effective reflective practice. You will start your research project at the start of the second year which will be submitted at the end of semester two.

Course structure

Year 1 core modules

Developing Research Projects

Develop the knowledge and skills you need to design and manage primary or secondary research, audit or evaluation project relevant to your practice, preparing you for dissertation. You also cover research governance and ethics, to prepare you to apply for ethical approval or release.

You are assessed through a written 4,000-word proposal for a research, audit or evaluation study, which is worth 100% of the module marks and should be submitted in week 13.

Evidence Based Practice

This multi-professional module sets the scene for the level of criticality to which all future modules will be subject to. It is common within sports physiotherapy for interventions to be guided by athlete preference or the sports physiotherapist’s personal experience without alignment to the evidence base. The level of enquiry and criticality developed within this module should assist you with the transition to master’s level study.

Exercise Physiology and Sports Clinical Biomechanics

You develop exercise physiological knowledge establishing the dynamic relationships of neuromuscular, musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, and respiratory systems. Explore sporting biomechanical principles in the context of injury prevention and performance enhancement.

Health Promotion and Behavioural Change

You take a global perspective of health and identify the global challenges to healthy populations focussing primarily on physical activity and the role of the sports physiotherapist in addressing these issues with evidence-based behavioural change approaches.

Rehabilitation of the Injured Athlete

This highly practical module draws upon existing expertise, and challenges you to integrate strategies of exercise therapy suitable for multi-sport injuries. Elements of data collection and program design will be experienced to prepare you for later data collection associated with your major project.

Sports Injury Prevention

You focus on the wider issues a sports physiotherapist may face related to the primary prevention of injury. The theoretical basis of this module will be supplemented with demonstration and practice of the physical strategies used to prevent injury in athletic individuals.


Year 2 core modules


Year two will see the students embark on a 60 credit ‘Dissertation’ module which will span across two semesters. The taught elements of this will be delivered in semester one and it is expected that students will be progressing with data collection and write up within semester two with support from their project supervisor.


An internship has been included in the programme in order to build upon the practical skills developed in year one. Depending on the needs of the internship provider the number of hours per week and duration of the internship will vary but will not exceed 12 weeks. This module aims to develop students’ employability attributes by providing an experiential learning opportunity to further develop and apply their sports physiotherapy knowledge within a workplace environment.


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

Learning will be a collaboration between UK and international students which will enhance the experience for both cohorts. Taught lectures will be delivered by experienced senior lecturers from both physiotherapy and sports science disciplines with considerable input from clinicians working with athletes in elite sport from a variety of sporting contexts.

You will be required to perform a large proportion of independent study which will be guided by your module tutors. Seminar sessions will challenge you to solve real case scenarios faced in practice often with appropriate group collaboration. Practical workshops within the well-equipped laboratories will enable you to develop the practical skills necessary for practice in elite sports medicine environments.

All content will be supported by online material through the Virtual Learning Environment which will facilitate effective self-study. You will also have access to the University library and support services available both on campus and remotely.

How you are assessed

You will be assessed with a range of methods which reflect both module material and the relevance to practice in a sporting environment. Assessment methods will include written assignments, poster presentations, oral assessments and lab reports. Modules will not be typically assessed with more than one component to reduce the burden of assessment for students.

Formative feedback will be offered throughout your modules to help prepare you for the final assessment which may be in the form of tutor feedback, peer feedback and self-reflection on performance. Assessment marks with feedback will be returned within 20 working days as per the academic regulations.

The internship will be assessed with the submission of a portfolio reflecting your experience and learning from practice in addition to a Viva when you will have to present a critical appraisal of your development.


Entry requirements

Applicants would normally require a 2:1 degree or above in physiotherapy.

A successful DBS check will need to be completed for all students to allow them to work in clinical practice as part of the internship. This will be carried out within the UK following acceptance onto the course.

International applicants will require a minimum overall IELTS score of 6.5 (with a minimum score of 6.5 in all sections) or equivalent.

For general information please see our overview of entry requirements

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country



Career opportunities

As a graduate you will have the knowledge and skills to be able to further your career in a professional sports environment. For those working in non-professional sporting environments it is anticipated that you would become a subject matter expert in the management of sports injuries and could transfer this knowledge to practice in either public funded healthcare settings or to private practice.

Work placement

You will embark on an 8-12 week internship at the start of the second year. You are supported by the University to look for this. You are assigned a mentor at the host organisation who works with you to develop your sports physiotherapy skills. You must work flexibly during the internship and your working week could span across evenings and weekends.


Information for international applicants


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2024/25 entry

Fee for UK applicants
£4,325 a year

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£10,000 a year

£20,000 in total

More details about our fees for international applicants

  • Length: 2 years
  • Attendance: Two days a week
  • Start date: September
  • Semester dates

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