Master of Rehabilitation Science

Course MC-REHABSC (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Year and Campus: 2016 - Parkville
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Duration & Credit Points: 150 credit points taken over 18 months full time. This course is available as full or part time.


Associate Professor Louisa Remedios
Associate Professor Jenny McGinley


Physiotherapy enquiry

Melbourne School of Health Sciences (Physiotherapy)

Currently Enrolled Students:

Future Student Enquiries:

Course Overview:

The Master of Rehabilitation Science is a fully online postgraduate program that is designed to support students at different stages in their careers, including career starters and those with clinical experience seeking to improve their practice and gain further qualification. The online delivery model allows this course to be structured to suit student study preferences and individual needs. This Masters program supports independent and collaborative learning and offers a strong cohort experience with both asynchronous and synchronous learning experiences.

The emphasis in this course is on promoting contemporary best practice rehabilitation in multiple clinical and community contexts in both national and global settings. This course builds on students’ knowledge and skills to identify and analyse the multiple determinants of health that influence wellbeing, and to design and implement rehabilitation strategies in a holistic, person-centered manner at both an individual and group level.

Students will learn about the principles of rehabilitation and habilitation, the physiology of fitness and conditioning and the pathophysiology of selected conditions and specific needs in different chronic disease populations. The use of evidence informed clinical decision-making, emerging technologies and rehabilitation approaches, and strategies for the effective and safe implementation of rehabilitation in a range of practice contexts will be examined. Specifically, students will learn techniques including exercise prescription, goal setting and health behaviour modification, measurement of physical activity and sedentary behaviours, fitness evaluation and the selection of appropriate outcome measurements and indicators. At a group level, students will learn to complete a health needs analysis for rehabilitation programs, write grant applications for funding of rehabilitation programs and measure group outcomes.

Students have the option of enrolling in a Masters degree (150 points of study) or one of the nested awards; Specialist Certificate of Rehabilitation Science (25 points), Graduate Certificate of Rehabilitation Science (50 points), or the Graduate Diploma of Rehabilitation Science (100 points).

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

Rehabilitation theory and practice

  • Fluently and accurately discuss and debate key theoretical concepts in contemporaryrehabilitation practices using the language of rehabilitation science
  • Incorporate knowledge of muscle and exercise physiology and pathophysiology of commonconditions in designing, implementing and evaluating effective rehabilitation programs
  • Recognise the influence of the social and culture determinants of health and how these influenceindividual’s choices and health behaviours and act consistently to promote a shared decision making model of rehabilitation practice.
  • Work in a culturally competent manner with students and educators from diverse linguistic andcultural backgrounds to build understanding of factors that influence rehabilitation practices in diverse contexts

Evidence and innovation

  • Analyse, synthesise and critically evaluate research and evidence relevant to rehabilitationpractices
  • Design evidence informed rehabilitation programs for complex clinical cases in local, national andglobal contexts
  • Effectively measure both the health status of individuals and groups as well as monitor andmeasure the outcomes of rehabilitation strategies.

Clinical Practice in Context

  • Safely and effectively apply evidence informed rehabilitation practices in selected practicecontexts, responding to physical, social and cultural factors that influence the individual and likelyoutcomes
  • Justify clinical decision making for a range of clinical cases in diverse rehabilitation contexts basedon literature and practice priorities
  • Implement all elements of best practice in rehabilitation, including respectful communication withclients and shared decision making to achieve therapeutic goals
  • Advocate for the health and wellbeing of all individuals, promoting equitable access torehabilitation services
  • Design and execute a substantial professional project or research-based project as part of acapstone experience
  • Australian students will further demonstrate a deep respect for Indigenous knowledge, culture andvalues and recognise the need to design rehabilitation to meet the needs of Indigenouscommunities in a culturally sensitive and safe manner.
Course Structure & Available Subjects:

Students are required to complete seven compulsory subjects and four elective subjects.

Subject Options:

Compulsory Subjects

Emerging Therapies & Technologies in Rehabilitation - to be introduced in 2017

Research & Evidence - to be introduced in 2017

Capstone: Research Practice or Professional Practice - to be introduced in 2017

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Not offered in 2016

Elective Subjects

Rehabilitation in Neurology - to be introduced in 2017

Leadership and Health Advocacy - to be introduced in 2017

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Term 2, Term 3, Term 4
Entry Requirements:

1. In order to be considered for entry, applicants must have completed:
• an undergraduate degree in the discipline of Physiotherapy, Medicine, Exercise Science, Occupational Therapy, Podiatry, Nursing, or another relevant discipline; and
• at least two years of documented relevant professional work experience.
Meeting these requirements does not guarantee selection.

2. In ranking applicants, the Selection Committee will consider:
• prior academic performance; and
• professional work experience.

3. The Selection Committee may seek further information to clarify any aspect of an application in accordance with the Academic Board rules on the use of selection instruments.

4. Applicants are required to satisfy the university’s English language requirements for graduate courses. For those applicants seeking to meet these requirements by one of the standard tests approved by the Academic Board, performance band 7.0 is required.

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:

Further Study:

The Master of Rehabilitation Science can form a pathway to a research higher degree at the Doctoral level through 1) completion of the ‘Research and Evidence’ elective subject (12.5 credit points) or equivalent subject and 2) completion of the research option for their capstone project (25 credit points).

Graduate Attributes:

The Master of Rehabilitation Science will promote the further development of The University of Melbourne’s Graduate attributes.

Academic excellence across disciplines
Specifically this Master program will promote academic excellence in the area of rehabilitation science, providing graduates with in-depth knowledge of contemporary theories and the skills required to examine issues from multiple disciplinary perspectives. Graduates from the Masters of Rehabilitation Science will be given opportunities to be critical, creative thinkers with strong reasoning skills. Assessment tasks will facilitate the application of knowledge, information and research skills to complex problems that are part of the diverse rehabilitation contexts. The learning and assessment approaches will further promote effective oral and written communicating skills for both a lay and professional audience.

The Melbourne educational experience will prepare graduates to be entrepreneurial and innovative thought-leaders. They will be encouraged to further develop and apply research and inquiry skills to challenges in rehabilitation settings. Attitudes and skills needed to be lifelong learners who generate bold and novel ideas by critically evaluating alternative possibilities and viewpoints will be scaffolded during the program.

Active citizenship
Graduates from the Master of Rehabilitation Science program will have engaged with the academic discourse related to the ongoing challenges of acute and chronic disease and disabilities, the socioeconomic relationship to ill health, ‘the ageing crisis’ and the health ‘chronic disease tsunami’ that are predicted to create further cost burdens at the local, national and global levels. A high regard for human rights, social inclusion, cultural competence, ethics and the environment will be actively promoted during this program and graduates will work collaboratively with people from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds. In particular, graduates will develop an understanding of, and deep respect for Indigenous knowledge, culture and values.

The Melbourne experience will support a commitment to civic service in graduates' lives and careers, equipping them to be active, well-informed citizens who will make substantial contributions to society. Through local and international networks in this program, graduates will be encouraged to view themselves as leaders, change-agents and advocates in health promotion both within their professions and communities. Graduates will demonstrate the capacity to work effectively across disciplines and cultures. They will have the opportunity to design innovate rehabilitation programs that promote health for individuals and communities and therefore promote a sustainable future.

Integrity and self-awareness
The Master of Rehabilitation Science will encourage graduates to be motivated, self-directed and well-organised, with the ability to set goals and manage time and priorities. Completion of the program will require both individual learning and collaboration with other graduates to construct new knowledge and contribute to the clinical and academic discourse on rehabilitation practice. Graduates will compile reflective professional portfolios that demonstrate self-awareness and reflective skills, the ability to engage with self-assessment, and will highlight their personal and professional integrity.

The opportunities offered by the Melbourne experience will help prepare graduates who are enthusiastic, self-assured and confident of their knowledge of rehabilitation science, yet flexible, adaptable and aware of their limitations in practice.

Generic Skills:

At the completion of this course students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate academic writing, oral and creative skills to present information to both specialists andnon-specialists in academic forums clinical contexts.
  • Demonstrate inter-professional learning and collaboration to effectively produce resources that canbe used in a range of rehabilitation settings
  • Produce assessment outcomes with a high level of personal autonomy and accountability
  • Reflect on their personal skills, values, biases and limitations and identify learning opportunities tobuild on their knowledge and skills to promote best practice.
  • Demonstrate effective team work through participation in group projects, active contributions toonline discussions and the provision of feedback to their peers

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