Physiotherapy – Pre-registration

PgCert | PgDip | MSc

At Robert Gordon University, the MSc Physiotherapy Pre-registration course is an accelerated programme which builds on prior learning and experience to provide you with the knowledge and skills necessary to practice physiotherapy and make a difference to patients’ lives. Over two years you will experience an exciting and varied mix of academic and clinical learning.

Providing a rewarding learning experience, the course will prepare you for work in demanding clinical settings where you will be working as part of a diverse team of people to promote health and well-being. You will be able to effectively assess and treat patients, continually analyse and evaluate your practice and meet the demands of the rapidly changing health sector.

This course has one study option

Mode of Attendance

  • On Campus

Mode of Study

  • Full Time

Start Date


Course Length

24 months

Academic modules allow you to develop strong core assessment and treatments skills and a deeper knowledge of key areas such as exercise prescription and health promotion practice. Integrating the core practice areas of cardiovascular respiratory, neurology and musculoskeletal encourages you to think holistically about your patients.

Clinical practice elements are interspersed between academic modules enabling you to put your learning into practice and consolidating and further developing your knowledge and skills.



Modules and delivery order may change for operational purposes. The University regularly reviews its courses. Course content and structure may change over time. See our course and module disclaimer for more information. 

Detailed module information

Learning Methods

Staff members use a variety of active learning methods. This means that you are rarely simply sitting listening in lectures.  In class you will be engaging with theory to discuss how it relates in practice, developing clinical reasoning skills through working on case studies or in practical classes. Simulated learning opportunities, where you work with volunteer patients, provide a stepped approach to you moving into the real clinical environment. Tutorial and workshop classes are small, typically around 27 students, for practical classes this reduces to 14.

Activity Summary

Year 1

  • Seminars - 49 students per group, 100 hours, 4 per week
  • Tutorial - 49 students per group, 95 hours, 4 per week
  • Project supervision - 4-8 students per group, 8 hours per week
  • Practical class or workshop - 25 students per group, 155 hours, 6 per week
  • Independent Study - 570 hours, 22 hours per week
  • Placement / Work Based Learning - 1 student per group, 384 hours, 32 hours per week over 12 weeks

How long is a Physiotherapy - Pre-registration course?

The Physiotherapy - Pre-registration MSc can be completed in 2 years, in which the opportunity to receive the necessary skills are obtained.

Staff Delivering on This Course

This course is delivered by experienced Physiotherapists who are all registered with the Health and Care Professions Council.  Staff members are committed to providing the best possible learning experience for you and ensure that teaching methods have a sound research underpinning.  Many staff members are engaged in research which relates either to professional practice or the methods used to teaching on the programme. They have presented innovations used in the course or School of Health Sciences since it began in 2014.


Typically students are assessed each year:

Year 1

  • 2 written assignments, including essays
  • 1 group oral presentation
  • 2 practical skills assessments

Year 2

  • 1 written assignment and infographic
  • 1 dissertation
  • 1 oral presentation


We aim to provide you with feedback within 20 working days of hand-in for all written exams, coursework and practical exams.

Independent Study

A significant portion of this course is underpinned by independent learning, and you will be expected to be responsible for managing your coursework, reading and other learning activities appropriately. You will be given some directed study to undertake independently but will be expected to investigate more widely on your own.


Academic Support

The Inclusion Centre advises and supports students who disclose a sensory or mobility impairment, chronic medical condition, mental health issue, dyslexia and other specific learning differences. Applicants are encouraged to arrange a pre-entry visit to discuss any concerns and to view the facilities.

Online Learning & Support

All undergraduate and postgraduate students, whether you are learning on campus or by online learning, benefit from using our collaborative virtual learning environment, CampusMoodle. You will be provided with 24/7 online access to your learning material and resources, along with the ability to interact with your class members and tutors for discussion and support.

Study Skills Support

The Study Support Team provides training and support to all students in:

  • Academic writing
  • Study skills (note taking, exam techniques, time management, presentation)
  • Maths and statistics
  • English language
  • Information technology support

Library Support

The Library offers support for your course, including the books, eBooks, and journals you will need. We also offer online reading lists for many modules, workshops and drop-ins on searching skills and referencing, and much more.



You will undertake six placements which are spread over the duration of the course. The first three placements are 6 weeks in length, the remaining 3 are 5 weeks duration.  The final placement is an elective which is arranged by you; this can be undertaken in any country if the required conditions are met. 

Please note if you are a student from the USA who is planning to apply for a Federal Loan, none of your placements can take place in the USA. This is in order to comply with the requirement of the FERPA.

Study Abroad

There is the opportunity to undertake the final placement abroad.

Job Prospects

Students who complete their MSc (Pre-registration) Physiotherapy degree at RGU and wish to pursue working within the United States can apply to upgrade their MSc to a Doctorate of Physiotherapy (DPT). 


What is needed to study MSc Physiotherapy - Pre-registration?

  • Applicants must normally possess a Bachelor's undergraduate degree in a science subject, such as biological, or sports science, and should contain human anatomy and physiology with a 2:1 or above classification, or a minimum GPA of 3.0 out of 4.0 Scale, or equivalent.
  • Experience of the research process is also an essential requirement for the course. Relevant work experience in the field of Physiotherapy and healthcare would be desirable.
  • Applicants who meet initial requirements will be invited to an interview as part of the admission process.


At present interviews are conducted online. Interviews are conducted on a monthly basis between February 2022 and August 2022. The dates are:

  • Monday 28 March
  • Monday 25 April
  • Monday 30 May
  • Monday 20 June
  • Monday 15 August
  • Tuesday 16 August

Dependant on when you apply and if successful at first review, you would be invited to one of these dates. Post-interview a final decision will be issued by the Student Admissions Service on the outcome of your application and interview.

English Language Requirements

Application and/or Interview Stage: Applicants whose first language is not English should have an IELTS of 6.5 overall, with no component lower than 6.5. We can also consider applicants who are currently enrolled on study full-time on campus in a UKVI recognised majority English speaking country for progression to interview stage.

Entry to the course: Applicants whose first language is not English should have an IELTS of 7.0 overall, with no component lower than 7.0, or an equivalent.

Please note, some courses may require a higher standard of English than stated in this page. Contact for further information.

International Students 

Applicants from countries other than the USA should hold an equivalent award in a relevant subject.

Applicants with a non-science or health related background are welcome to apply, and may be required to complete pre-requisite study in anatomy and physiology prior to commencing their studies on the MSc programme. These applications will be dealt with on an individual basis. All places upon the course are subject to interview.

This course is not appropriate for Qualified Physiotherapists who wish to undertake a postgraduate degree.

Applicants from the USA

A Doctorate of Physiotherapy (DPT) qualification is now the minimum requirement for licensure and practice in the USA. The DPT course at RGU has different entry requirements, please see the course page for details.  PLEASE NOTE: There is no transfer option onto the DPT course at RGU once enrolled for the MSc (Pre-registration) Physiotherapy Course.

Applicants from the USA will also be required to demonstrate that they have undertaken all the prerequisite subjects in accordance with recommendations adopted by the Educational Section of the American Physical therapy Association. 

Applicants from the USA must normally hold a Bachelor's degree in a science subject with a minimum Grade Point Average of 3 out of a scale of 4, plus the following prerequisites:

  • Knowledge of human behaviour from an individual and societal perspective: 2-3 courses (6-9 term hours)
  • Biology: 2 courses (8 term hours) or 1 course (not botany) (4 term hours)
  • Chemistry: 2 courses (8 term hours)
  • Physics: 2 courses (8 term hours)
  • Anatomy/Physiology: 2 courses (8 term hours)
  • Statistics: 1 course (3 term hours)

Total: 10-12 courses (37-44 term hours).

This is in accordance with recommendations adopted by the Education Section of the American Physical Therapy Association. 


Academic Year 2022-2023

Scottish Students

Full Time

On Campus
Over 2 years Year 1 £9,960
Year 2 £9,960

Rest of UK Students

Full Time

On Campus
Over 2 years Year 1 £9,960
Year 2 £9,960

EU Students

Full Time

On Campus
Over 2 years Year 1 £9,960
Year 2 £9,960

International Students

Full Time

On Campus
Over 2 years Year 1 £18,460
Year 2 £18,460

Academic Year 2021-2022

Scottish Students

Full Time

On Campus
Over 2 years Year 1 £9,670
Year 2 £9,670

Rest of UK Students

Full Time

On Campus
Over 2 years Year 1 £9,670
Year 2 £9,670

EU Students

Full Time

On Campus
Over 2 years Year 1 £9,670
Year 2 £9,670

International Students

Full Time

On Campus
Over 2 years Year 1 £17,920
Year 2 £17,920

Additional Costs

The following course-related costs are not included in the course fees:

  • The cost of books that you may wish to purchase.
  • Costs associated with your placement / study abroad
  • Accommodation and living costs
  • Printing
  • The cost of specialist equipment e.g stethoscope, goniometer, practical kit
  • The cost of health screening, immunisations and PVG checks

Student Funding

Postgraduate students will normally make their own arrangements for payment of fees. However, there are a limited number of SAAS funded places on certain postgraduate courses.

There are also sources of funding that are applicable to categories of student.

Scholarships and Financial Awards

NHS Scotland Physiotherapy Funded Places Scheme

Scottish Domiciled students applying for January 2023 entry are eligible to apply to the NHS Scotland Physiotherapy Funded Places Scheme, supported by the Scottish Government. If successful, students will receive payment of course fees for two years as well as 50% practice-based learning placements located within the host health board. For more information, or to apply to the Scheme:

Other Scholarships and Financial Awards

You may also qualify for a scholarship or financial award:

Alumni Discount

Robert Gordon University is delighted to offer a 20% loyalty discount on course fees for all alumni who have graduated from RGU.


For new intakes course fees are reviewed and published annually for each mode of delivery. Tuition fees are fixed for the duration of a course at the rate confirmed in the offer letter.  For further information see:


Have a question about the course? Get in touch with our Student Admissions Service and we'll do our best to help.

Get in touch

Taking this course, you will have access to some of the world's best facilities. 

We've invested more than £100 million in the development of our campus, new facilities and new resources.

University Wide Facilities

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