Postgraduate Taught

MSc Musculoskeletal Medicine

Please note that application for this course should made made through the Society of Musculoskeletal Medicine (SOMM) and not through QMU's online application form.

This is a flexible, part-time pathway that leads you to a clinically orientated MSc covering the assessment, diagnosis and non-surgical treatment of disorders of the musculoskeletal (MSK) system.

This MSc is a qualification for physiotherapists and medical practitioners who wish to improve treatment outcomes in the management of musculoskeletal disorders, and to develop their personal and professional skills.

Why QMU?

  • This is a flexible, clinically orientated route to master’s study.
  • This course offers practice-relevant training delivered by expert clinicians.
  • The MSc is ideal for physiotherapists stepping onto the Advanced Practitioner ladder and GPs developing as a GP with Special Interest.

Course overview

The overall pathway of the MSc is flexible, therefore, it supports continuing professional development (CPD) in musculoskeletal practice at all stages. It is ideal for physiotherapists who are developing their career towards advanced or first contact musculoskeletal practice, and medical practitioners developing their ‘GP with Special Interest’ role.

The core modules will give you a grounding in research methods and help you apply the skills of research and enquiry to produce original work to contribute to your profession. You can choose two optional modules and tailor them to your professional development plan and your own particular needs (eg the theory and practice of injection therapy).

Exit awards

MSc (180 credits)/ PgDip (120 credits)


To be admitted onto the MSc you must complete a number of credit-bearing modules offered by the Society of Musculoskeletal Medicine (SOMM). On completion of these modules you may then progress your studies to the MSc Musculoskeletal Medicine where you will be required to complete two optional modules (by SOMM), Research Methods (by QMU) and dissertation (by QMU). If you only wish to complete a single module for CPD purposes, please contact SOMM directly. All students registered on an optional module (by SOMM) are automatically registered as a QMU associate student.

Teaching, learning and assessment

Teaching methods include interactive lectures, demonstrations, supervised practical groups, individual and group tutorials, seminars and workshops. Students’ learning will also be supported by technology, with the expectation of online investigation and discussion with their peers, tutors and supervisors. Learners will be actively involved in a range of learning, teaching and assessment approaches as part of their MSc.

Formative assessment within the course comprises self, peer, group and tutor assessment of practical skills with feedback. Self-evaluation is encouraged through the development of each student’s professional development portfolio. Summative assessment comprises essays, literature reviews, practical examinations and development and presentation of portfolio.

Teaching hours and attendance

Some optional modules require attendance (usually split over two units of two or three days), or a practice-based optional module can be selected, which does not require any attendance. The Research Methods and Dissertation modules can be studied via distance/blended learning. Your specific calendar and timetable will depend on the optional modules you choose to study.


Core modules:

  • Research Methods (20 credits)
  • Dissertation (60 credits)

Optional modules (choose two from the following):

  • Theory and Practice of Injection Therapy (20 credits)
  • Advancing Practice in Musculoskeletal Medicine (20 credits)
  • Developing Professional Practice (20 credits)
  • Preparation for Teaching Musculoskeletal Medicine (20 credits)*

*Requires separate application for a Studentship with the Society of Musculoskeletal Medicine

The modules listed are correct at time of posting (October 2021) but are subject to change. In the event that modules change, QMU will seek to use reasonable endeavours to ensure that there is no detrimental impact on students.

Further module information

Research Methods module (20 credits): The aim of the MSc Research Methods module is to provide the student with an understanding of research principles, a range of quantitative and qualitative research methodologies and appropriate analysis for these. This will enable the student to develop the research skills and knowledge necessary to undertake an independent research project.

Theory and Practice of Injection Therapy (20 credits): This module in injection skills is designed to develop cognitive and psychomotor skills essential to the advancement of the physiotherapist specialising in injection treatments for musculoskeletal lesions. The module aims to develop the knowledge of the physiotherapist in the theory, application and practice of injection treatments in musculoskeletal disorders. It further aims to enhance constant critical reasoning and evaluation in the application of injection skills.

Advancing Practice in Musculoskeletal Medicine (20 credits): This module develops advanced clinical reasoning, critical appraisal and presentation skills. It includes critically analysing the latest published evidence and developments on musculoskeletal medicine, for example cervical arterial dysfunction and appropriate referral for diagnostic imaging. In addition, students will advance and gain further mastery of musculoskeletal medicine manual therapy skills. This module provides a bidisciplinary environment for reflecting, sharing and discussing ideas, evidence and clinical experiences for advancing practice.

Developing Professional Practice Module (20 credits): The overall aim of this module is to enable the student to plan, implement and critically evaluate professional practice in order to advance practice in the workplace.
The module provides students with the opportunity to carry out a project, situational analysis or literature review, which will be distinct from that conducted for the research proposal and dissertation. The student is asked to identify an area or issue within their workplace that they would like to investigate, be it a clinical technique or process. They will then research that area, draw conclusions and make recommendations for change. The module brings together reflection, critical analysis, the development of academic theory and managing change. The topic for the project work is agreed in advance with the Module Coordinator.

Preparation for teaching Musculoskeletal Medicine (20 credits): This module aims to develop the teaching, learning and assessment skills of the musculoskeletal medicine practitioner undertaking this module. These skills will develop the musculoskeletal medicine practitioner’s competence and confidence in effectively imparting the principles and practice of musculoskeletal medicine to the postgraduate medical practitioner, physiotherapist or other healthcare professional, using appropriate teaching, learning and assessment strategies.

Research Dissertation Module (60 credits):
The aims of this module is to:
1) enable students to develop and apply the skills of research and enquiry to produce original work which contributes to a subject, field or profession
2) engage students in study which demands a professional approach, academic rigour, independence and self-direction


Single module study

Available. Register as an associate student to study single modules in areas of interest. Contact SOMM administrative staff for further information.

Industry links and accreditation

The course is accredited by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.


This MSc will help physiotherapists who are professionals building towards advanced or first contact musculoskeletal practice in the NHS or in the private sector, and medical practitioners developing their ‘GP with Special Interest’ in musculoskeletal medicine role.

Class sizes

Normally 10-15 students 

Entry requirements

Students should normally have:

  • A relevant professional physiotherapy (eg BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy) or medical qualification
  • Registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) or General Medical Council (GMC). International students will need to provide evidence of registration with their home organisation, as appropriate to their professional qualification.
  • Evidence of opportunities to practise musculoskeletal medicine.
    Successful completion of all of the assessment components of the core Foundation in Musculoskeletal Medicine module (60 SCQF Level 11 credits).

Successful completion of courses provided by other orthopaedic/musculoskeletal medicine organisations, for example, Orthopaedic Medicine Seminars, Orthopaedic Medicine International (Global) and European Teaching Group of Orthopaedic Medicine, with acceptance of a portfolio of evidence, which includes support for the student’s achievement of the learning outcomes of the core Foundation in Musculoskeletal Medicine module, through submission of a summative reflective essay and personal development plan.

International: You will be required to provide evidence of English language competence at no less than IELTS 6.5 with no individual component score less than 6.0.

Application deadline

More information and contacts

Please Note:

The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2022/23 Entry - Terms and Conditions (Postgraduate).

Start Your Application

Course Overview

Core modules are via online and distance learning. Various off campus locations for the optional modules.
18-60 months part-time
Start Date
September 2022
Study Abroad
Subject Area
Fees & Funding