Brunel has a long and successful history of teaching Physiotherapy. Indeed the Physiotherapy programmes currently at Brunel have evolved over the last five decades.
Our programmes have been adapted over-time to ensure that they are always contemporary, cutting edge and reflective of current clinical practice, in order to best prepare our the graduates for their role in a changing work place.
We have consistently produced high calibre graduates with high levels of employment.
Our Physiotherapy Master's course is an exciting and innovative modular programme, delivered full-time over two-years. Applicants should be aware that the programme is delivered over a period 46 weeks per year. In addition the course is intense, the volume of learning is high reflected in the high number of contact hours. Students should expect campus-based studies from 9:00 am 6:00 pm five days a week. All students must be ready to assume responsibility for their own learning.
Clinical placements will start in the summer period at the end of Year 1. Students should broadly expect to adopt the working patterns of the supervising clinician (clinical educator). Generally, students are expected to complete five blocks of clinical experience, each of six weeks duration. You should expect to be working roughly a 34 hour week whilst on placement. Further details of clinical education are given below.
Please note that all modules without exception are considered core to the curriculum, and are therefore compulsory.
Below you will find a brief description of each of the modules. An outline of the modules’ exam format will be included following validation. Practical modules are likely to be assessed practically while the more theoretical modules may be assessed by unseen exam papers, a viva or a written assignment etc.
Note all students will normally have a maximum of two attempts to pass any module and to progress through the programme. Re-sitting any failed component for the second time is dependent upon attendance. Students failing to meet attendance requirements will not automatically receive the right to re-sit examinations.
By-pass the module outlines to find out more about clinical education.
In this module you will study the normal structure and functional anatomy of the lumbar spine, pelvis and lower limb. You will also start to consider aspects of disorder and dysfunction.
In this module you will study the theoretical basis of human movement and exercise prescription. The module includes the study of muscle physiology, aspects of exercise physiology and movement analysis.
In this module you will study the normal structure and functional anatomy of the cervical spine, thorax and upper limb. You will also consider aspects of disorder and dysfunction.
This module provides the opportunity for you to develop your knowledge of the theoretical basis of motor control, motor learning and skill acquisition. You will be able to build on knowledge and skills attained in Rehabilitation 1 to further develop movement analysis skills; learning for example to analysis normal and abnormal posture and gait..
- Musculoskeletal 1 - The Lower Quadrant
This module is the first of two practical orientated modules related to examination and treatment of musculoskeletal dysfunction. Specifically in this module, you will study common pathologies/conditions affecting the lumbar spine, pelvis and lower limb and how to assess and manage patients with these conditions.
In this module you will develop a theoretical understanding of normal respiratory physiology and the pathophysiology that underpins common respiratory disease. In addition you will learn to develop analytical assessment skills, and a physiotherapeutic knowledge base and skills repertoire which will enable you to treat and manage patients with a wide variety of symptoms associated with chronic and acute respiratory disease.
The aim of this module is to: develop students’ knowledge and critical awareness of a variety of research methods; enhance the skills of designing research studies and develop students’ knowledge of appropriate methods of data analysis.
The professional development modules run throughout all terms of each of the two years of the programme. They are designed to raise students’ awareness of the appropriate codes of professional standards of conduct and ethics pertinent to the physiotherapist and the physiotherapy student both on campus and out in clinical practice. We expect our students to behave with appropriate professionalism towards their studies, their peers, the staff, and their patients at all times. In addition this module will help you to develop the skills you need for effective lifelong learning and to promote professional development. Professional development will also include the study of specialist areas of physiotherapy eg:
This specialist study block provides you with the opportunity to develop your knowledge of early motor development and common paediatric conditions. Through exploring theoretical and practical aspects of paediatric physiotherapy, you will be able to understand the basis of assessments and interventions used within the paediatric services. Assessment: this study block is not formally assessed at the end of the module. You will however be expected to demonstrate understanding of the issues investigated in your clinical placement modules.
2. Ageing Studies
The aim of this specialist study block is to enable you to effectively plan and deliver interventions that meet the needs of older people. You will gain an understanding of ageing from the cellular level, through individual human ageing to social policy. You will consider how health promotion can enable people to age happily, healthily and without disability, and you will also consider the specific health care needs of ill elderly people. Assessment: this study block is not formally assessed at the end of the module. You will however be expected to demonstrate understanding of the issues investigated in your clinical placement modules.
3. Women's Health and Men's Health
In this specialist study block you will explore the role of the physiotherapist in women’s health. Assessment: this study block is not formally assessed at the end of the module. You will however be expected to demonstrate understanding of the issues investigated in your clinical placement modules.
4. Oncology and Palliative Care
This specialist study block will promote your understanding of the medical and holistic care of oncology patients and of patients requiring palliative and end-of-life care. Assessment: this study block is not formally assessed at the end of the module. You will however be expected to demonstrate understanding of the issues investigated in your clinical placement modules.
5. Falls Services
This study block will enable you to effectively plan and deliver interventions within an interprofessional falls service. You will develop your understanding of the risk factors associated with falls and the assessment of individuals who fall. Current clinical guidelines and literature will be used to explore the key issues in the provision of falls services. Assessment: this study block is not formally assessed at the end of the module. You will however be expected to demonstrate understanding of the issues investigated in your clinical placement modules.
6. Mental Health
The aim of this specialist study block is to enable you to effectively plan and deliver physiotherapy interventions that meet the needs of individual service users with mental health problems. You will also develop an understanding of common mental health problems and the key issues encountered during the provision of healthcare services for this population. You will also consider how the health promotion role of the physiotherapist can contribute to a sense of well-being in people with mental health problems. Assessment: this study block is not formally assessed at the end of the module. You will however be expected to demonstrate understanding of the issues investigated in your clinical placement modules.
This module is the first of the five clinical placements which occur during the second and third year of the physiotherapy programme. Each placement lasts for six weeks. On this placement you will have the opportunity to apply and develop your basic skills of assessment and treatment to a variety of relevant health disorders. With appropriate guidance you will be able to identify patient’s problems and make informed decisions regarding the interventions you select.
This module is the second of five clinical placements which occur during the second and third year of the physiotherapy programme. The placement is of six weeks duration. On this placement you will have the opportunity to apply and develop your basic skills of assessment and treatment to a variety of relevant health disorders. With appropriate guidance you will be able to identify patient’s problems and make informed decisions regarding the interventions you select.
Further details of the clinical placement modules are given at the end of the section on Module Outlines.
This study block falls just prior to your first clinical placement. At this point you will have much knowledge and many new skills to draw on and to make your clinical placement a great experiential learning experience. This module is designed to provide an opportunity to investigate issues that affect therapy practice within the NHS for example professional accountability, legislation, multidisciplinary team work, effective communication and documentation, cultural, environmental and the role of differing health beliefs and models of health care delivery. In addition on a practical level you will learn safe and effective manual handling and basic life support.
- Mandatory Clinical Training
This study block falls just prior to your first clinical placement. At this point you will have much knowledge and many new skills to draw on and to make your clinical placement a great experiential learning experience. This module is designed to provide an opportunity to investigate issues that affect therapy practice within the NHS, for example professional accountability, legislation, multidisciplinary team work, effective communication and documentation, cultural, environmental and the role of differing health beliefs and models of health care delivery. On a practical level, you will learn and be assessed on safe and effective manual handling, infection control techniques and basic life support.
Assessment: performed by the supervising clinical educator on your placement using a standardised proforma that documents your performance on placement.
- Musculoskeletal 2 – The Upper Quadrant
This module is the second of two practical modules related to examination and treatment of musculoskeletal dysfunction. Specifically in this module you will study common pathologies/conditions affecting the cervical and thoracic spine, shoulder girdle and upper limb and how to assess and manage patients with such conditions.
In this module you will study key concepts in neurophysiology, neuroanatomy and the pathological processes underlying a range of neurological conditions. You will develop neurological physiotherapeutic assessment and treatment skills including the ability to clinical reason and justify the decisions you make.
In this module you will study cardiovascular physiology and pathology including vascular pathology of the coronary circulation and vessels to the lower limbs. In addition to developing an understanding of assessing and managing patients with cardiac pathology and lower limb amputation you will also develop health promotion knowledge and skills.
This module facilitates the development of the theoretical knowledge resulting in critically illness, and how these patients are managed on the intensive care unit. Students will also develop the analytical assessment skills and physiotherapeutic skills necessary to effectively manage this patient group.
Assessment: Performed by the supervising clinical educator on your placement using a standardised proforma that documents your performance on placement.
- Principles And Practice Of Evidence Based Healthcare
The study block offers students the opportunity to examine recent literature and to consider its contribution to evidence-based practice. Students will explore the types of information that are collected about health and will critically evaluate research material from a range of study designs.
The Research Methodology module aims to provide you with the means to develop your own research dissertation on a subject relevant to physiotherapy but otherwise of your own choice, in which you demonstrate your sound understanding of the research process.
This module is the first of three clinical placement modules which occur towards the end of Year 2. As before, all placements are of six weeks duration and all students are assessed by the supervising clinicians.
This is your penultimate clinical placement of the programme. As before, this placement is of six weeks duration and you will be assessed by the supervising clinicians. You are now very close to completion of the programme and we would now expect you to be competently managing patients of increasing levels of complexity. Signs of clinical leadership should also be apparent at this stage, and your communication and clinical reasoning skills should be well honed by the end of this placement.
This is your final clinical placement of the programme. As before, this placement is of six weeks duration and you will be assessed by the supervising clinicians. You are now extremely close to completion of the programme and we would definitely expect you to be demonstrating an increasing level of autonomy along with an understanding of your professional limitations, accountability and role within the inter-disciplinary team. In short we would expect you to be managing your case-load much like a newly qualified physiotherapist.
Further details of the clinical placement modules are given at the end of the section on Module Outlines.
After completion of your final clinical placement module it’s now just a case of waiting for the results and of course for the graduation ceremony.
Clinical education is an integral and invaluable component of the programme. It is strongly embedded within the course structure. Preceding campus-based studies provide the skills and knowledge which students require in order to be prepared for their placements.
Continuing modernisation of the NHS has seen a move away from a focus on non-acute health interventions being delivered in hospitals to the delivery of care in the community. Experience gained on all clinical education modules throughout your undergraduate training aims to reflect these developments by providing you with a broad range of experience across a variety of settings including acute NHS hospitals, private healthcare providers, community hospitals, health centres, GP surgeries, schools, nursing homes and sports centres etc.
Regardless of location or specialty students are expected to adopt a holistic approach towards their patient/client, taking into account individual psychological, social, cultural and economic factors, whilst embracing the principles of health promotion and health education.
All clinical placement modules are organised on the student's behalf by the clinical co-ordination team. This allows us to provide you with a balanced clinical experience both in terms of the specialties/patient groups you have worked with and the range of health care setting you have worked in. It is important that you are exposed to a variety of health settings, which are reflective of current clinical practice.
In total students will complete in excess of 1,000 hours of clinical experience in order to complete the programme. Clinical education occurs in six-week blocks which gives you time to "find your feet" and have a highly valuable learning experience at the same time as providing you with plenty of opportunity to demonstrate your learning and develop as a clinician.
It is anticipated that whilst on clinical placement you will be working a 34-hour week minimum, (compared to full-time workers this effectively means you have one half-day off per week). However, the number of hours you work and the time at which you start and finish work is subject to negotiation with both college and the supervising clinical educator.
Whilst on placements you will be supervised by physiotherapists registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Students will be assessed on placement by their supervising clinician(s), using a standardized assessment tool – the Clinical Assessment Record (CAR form). The assessment score from clinical placement modules will contribute to your final degree classification
Most clinical placements are located within the Greater London area, ie within the M25, but a few could be further away necessitating "staying over on placement" during the week. You should anticipate the need to "stay over" on at least one or two occasions.
We are sympathetic to your needs when we assign clinical placements. However, we are unable to guarantee that any student will be located close to their home or term-time address and you may have to commute or live away from home for the duration of a placement or two. We do try to give special consideration to students whose personal circumstances fall within specified criteria, ie they have young children, are a main carer, or have a declared disability etc.
If the NHS is paying your university fees, your travel costs (in excess of the expense you normally incur between home and college) and if necessary the costs of alternative accommodation can be reclaimed from the NHS. However you should note that they is always a delay between paying out money and being reimbursed which can create temporary cash-flow issues.
Read more about the structure of postgraduate degrees at Brunel
and what you will learn on the course.
Brunel University London prides itself on consistently producing high calibre Physiotherapy graduates. It is recognised that our graduates leave us with the skills required to be safe, effective and flexible autonomous clinicians. We achieve this record through our focus on:
- Professionalism and professional development.
- The application of basic science and knowledge to the clinical situation.
- The needs of the patient for effective communication, compassion, dignity, confidentiality and respect.
- Practical skills underpinned by a sound understanding of science and scientific principles.
- Problem solving as evidenced by our teaching and learning situations and our assessment requirements.
- Developing the confident autonomous practitioner who through a process of learnt reflection is aware of their own strengths and weaknesses.
- Developing the self-reliant life-long learner with the skills and motivation to address weaknesses and to build on strengths.
- Developing the critical thinker able to evaluate scientific evidence and able to make valid judgments regarding evidence based practice and to contribute themselves to the profession and to the evidence base via their own research.
These are some of the skills which we seek to provide our students with whilst they are with us, during their campus based studies. These skills are further compounded when students spend time completing their 30 weeks of clinical practice.
At Brunel, the physiotherapy teaching team strongly recommends that graduates enter the NHS on qualification. We feel that the organisation of the NHS and the scope of patients who pass through the NHS offer newly graduated physiotherapists an invaluable learning opportunity as it provides a solid clinical foundation on which to base your future career choices.
However of course as a Physiotherapy Masters graduate you will have choices!
- Successful completion of the Masters programme means you will be eligible to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) Successful registration with the HCPC will allow you to practice as a physiotherapist in the UK. Successful completion of the programme will also enable you to become a member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (MCSP).
Immunisation requirements for the course
Please be aware that the University does not pay for any of the vaccinations or blood tests required to undertake this course, this is the responsibility of each applicant. The University does not offer a service to provide these and therefore we recommend you go to your GP or local travel clinic and start as early as possible. Until the University has evidence that you have these immunisations we will not be able to allow you to enter the clinical environment on practice placement so it is vital that you meet these requirements, ideally before you commence study. You must obtain immunisation against the following and further information can be found on the NHS website.
Please be aware that as physiotherapy students you will be working in hospitals and therefore in contact with patients who have infections so these immunisations are required for students as outlined in the Green Book by the Department of Health.
- Hepatitis B x 3 vaccinations over a 6 month period and a blood test is then taken 6-8 weeks after the third dose, to check that the vaccinations have worked. Please note that the Hep B vaccination programme from the initial first vaccination to blood test upon completion, takes 8 months.
- Also required is Polio & Tetanusè Rubella, Measles or MMR x 2 è BCG è Varicella Zoster, and evidence of chicken pox or vaccination x 2, or blood test to confirm immunity.
- Blood tests are required for Hepatitis B and also for Measles, Rubella and Chicken Pox if there is no evidence in the students medical records. Immunisations are compulsory and are required for clinical placements.
|HEPATITIS B (3 DOSES)
||This can take up to 8 months to complete
|HEPATITIS B BLOOD TEST
||Required at the end of the immunisation period to confirm immunity
||Available from NHS for no charge - must be effective for a minimum of 3 years otherwise a booster will be required
||This test is required before receiving the BCG if there is no evidence of immunity
||Immunisation for Tuberculosis
|MMR (2 DOSES)
||Available from NHS for no charge - must be effective for a minimum of 3 years otherwise a booster will be required. Must have received 2 doses
|CHICKEN POX (2 DOSES)
||Varicella Zoster. Must have received 2 doses
||Can be taken to confirm presence of antibodies for Measles/Chicken Pox instead of having vaccinations
|Total average cost
||This is the average however the cost from a travel clinic can normally range between £350 - £700.
At Brunel we provide many opportunities and experiences within your degree programme and beyond – work-based learning, professional support services, volunteering, mentoring, sports, arts, clubs, societies, and much, much more – and we encourage you to make the most of them, so that you can make the most of yourself.
» More about Employability
Fees for 2016/7 entry
Brunel’s Physiotherapy Masters course offers 28 UK students an NHS bursary, which will cover all course fees and which also includes a small means tested maintenance allowance for general living purposes.
Students who have not previously been awarded a student loan may apply for a student loan. They may do so even if NHS-London is paying their fees, although the size of the loan will be reduced.
Unfortunately if you have already had a student loan and are still in the process of paying it back you will not be eligible for a further student loan.
Please refer directly to the student loan authority for confirmation of this information: www.slc.co.uk
UK students not awarded an NHS fees paid place will be required to self-fund.
EU students resident in the UK for a minimum of a three year period immediately prior to the start of the programme may be considered for an NHS bursary award. Proof of residency may be required.
EU and Overseas Fees
Students designated as EU citizens not resident in the UK for at least three years immediately prior to the start of the course will be subject to tuition fees at a UK/EU rate.
Students from outside the EU will be required to self-fund at the international rate. Currently these fees are approximately £17,200 per year. There will be a fee of £2,000 for self-funding students (Home/EU and International students) to cover placement costs, spread over the duration of the course. Applicants should budget for the fact that the fees can increase annually.
The DoH Funding Reforms have proposed that from entry 2017/8, students on Allied Health Professional pre-registration Masters programmes in England will not receive the former bursaries and tuition fees. Instead they will be eligible to apply for the standard PGT £10,000 loan which is a one off loan to cover fees and living costs for the entire length of the programme. We recognise this is insufficient. Through the current consultation on the funding reforms, we are requesting that postgraduate students receive the same financial support opportunities as undergraduate students. The outcome is likely to be known by the Autumn of 2016. Please see here for the undergraduate student proposed finance arrangements:
Future changes to fees from 2017
Read about funding opportunities available to postgraduate students
UK/EU students can opt to pay in six equal monthly instalments: the first instalment is payable on enrolment and the remaining five by Direct Debit or credit/debit card.
Overseas students can opt to pay in two instalments: 60% on enrolment, and 40% in January for students who commence their course in September (or the remaining 40% in March for selected courses that start in January).
Fees quoted are per annum and are subject to an annual increase.