Master of Physiotherapy (Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy)

Course 534MP (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

Year and Campus: 2013 - Parkville
CRICOS Code: 051274G
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Duration & Credit Points: 100 credit points taken over 12 months full time. This course is available as full or part time.


Dr Guy Zito


Melbourne School of Health Sciences
The University of Melbourne
Level 1, 200 Berkeley St
Carlton Victoria 3010 AUSTRALIA
T: +61 3 8344 6434
F: +61 3 8344 4188

Course Overview:

The Master of Physiotherapy (Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy) course at the University of Melbourne enables qualified and experienced clinicians to broaden and deepen their theoretical and clinical skill in the area of musculoskeletal physiotherapy. The course recognises the need to adopt principles of adult learning and emphasises the importance of facilitating graduates to develop independent, self-directed and critical philosophies in the field of musculoskeletal physiotherapy. To achieve these outcomes, teaching and learning focuses on problem-based learning with exchange of knowledge by its participants. The student's clinical expertise becomes the starting point from which clinical reasoning and manual skills are enhanced.


This course promotes the development of skills, knowledge and attributes of a reflective, evidence-based practitioner who might seek to specialise in musculoskeletal physiotherapy.

Course Structure & Available Subjects:

Eight subjects (100 points) comprising:

  • two core subjects
  • five stream subjects
  • one elective

Subjects vary in their format - some involve regular weekly classes while others are taught in a block with assessment and assignments due throughout the semester. Some subjects include clinical practice ranging from observational clinics to supervised participatory clinical placements.

Subject Options:

Core Subjects

The core subjects explore the physiological bases of physiotherapy practice, provide a framework for the evaluation of evidence for physiotherapy and develop advanced communication skills and awareness of professional and ethical issues in physiotherapy and the broader healthcare community.

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Not offered in 2013

Musculoskeletal Stream Subjects

The stream subjects of the program are taught by senior academic staff with advanced knowledge in their respective fields and the excellent collaboration amongst the teaching staff ensures the presentation of a cohesive and well-integrated program. Clinical education is a major strength of the program and is conducted at the clinical schools affiliated with the University. Students undertake their clinical education with a maximum 1:4 staff:student ratio with supervisors who have extensive experience in clinical education and recognise the importance of maintaining high clinical standards. The clinical anatomy subject is an advanced study of the structure and function of the neuro-musculo-skeletal system in the body in healthy subjects.

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Not offered in 2013
Not offered in 2013
Not offered in 2013
Not offered in 2013
Semester 1
Entry Requirements:

Applicants must be qualified to practise as physiotherapists and should normally have at least two years clinical experiences (including, for Specialist Streams, one year in the area of specialisation). Both academic achievement and clinical experience will be considered by the Selection Committee.

Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:

Graduate Attributes:

On completion of this course, graduates will be expected to be able to demonstrate the following specific skills:

  • An advanced knowledge of anatomy and physiology applied to physiotherapy.
  • An advanced understanding of the recent knowledge base in areas of physiotherapy.
  • Advanced clinical skills and techniques applicable to relevant physiotherapy areas, including assessment techniques, clinical reasoning and decision-making skills in developing treatment plans and comprehensive patient management.
  • A capacity to undertake detailed searching, analysis and interpretation of computerised medical literature databases.
  • An ability to promote evidence-based practice in physiotherapy.
Generic Skills:

On completion of this course, graduates will be expected to be able to demonstrate the following generic skills:

  • A capacity for self-directed learning and the motivation for life-long independent learning.
  • Well-developed problem -solving abilities, with flexibility of approach.
  • An advanced level of oral and written communication.
  • An appreciation of the design, conduct and reporting of original research.
  • An ability to critically evaluate and synthesise research literature.
  • A capacity to manage competing demands on time.
  • An appreciation of the team approach to learning in complex areas.
  • An advanced understanding of professional responsibility and ethical principles in relation to individuals and community, both locally and internationally.
Links to further information:

Subjects with practical components: All students are required to participate in practical experience. Participation will require students to remove appropriate clothing to permit inspection and exposure of the body part for treatment. This allows visual assessment, palpation of the part for diagnosis and accuracy of apparatus positioning. Practical classes provide the opportunity to experience the roles of therapist, patient and observer. In the patient role, students experience the sensations and effects of the various forms of assessment and treatment in preparation for the giving of explanations and advice to patients. In order that no student is disadvantaged, the only exceptions from participation are when a student has specific medical contraindications. It is expected that students behave in a professional manner at all times when working with fellow students.

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