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New physiotherapy master’s degree to boost career options for graduates

Photograph of physiotherapy studentsA new Master’s in Physiotherapy is set to be launched in London next year. The two-year MSc programme will be aimed at graduates keen to develop the skills needed to play a key role at the heart of their chosen profession.

The development comes after NHS London named the Faculty’s School of Rehabilitation Sciences as one of an elite group of just three education providers selected to offer physiotherapy training in the capital.

Head of School Dr Iain Beith said the MSc would be aimed at graduates who had already completed a science-related degree. It will be based at St George’s in south west London – the United Kingdom’s only specialist medical and healthcare institution.

“The fact that NHS London has shown such confidence in the high quality of teaching, research and innovation that we offer at the School reinforces our reputation as a leading provider of physiotherapy education in the capital,” Dr Beith said.

“Physiotherapists are now expected to deliver care in a more challenging healthcare environment, with higher expectations, increasing numbers of people with long-term conditions and an ageing population. We are confident the MSc will produce physiotherapists with the advanced academic and critical evaluation skills to meet these needs and ensure patients are getting the most effective evidence-based treatment.”

The course is being developed in collaboration with staff working in clinical practice as well as patients. Students will spend a third of their time learning alongside those on other Master’s courses in rehabilitation and exercise for health, reflecting the Faculty’s strong emphasis on inter-professional education. They will also hone their knowledge and skills on work placements.

“Practitioners now have to be everything from consultants and leaders to educators, innovators and researchers,” Dr Beith said. “The MSc students will already have acquired many of these skills from their previous degrees and that, combined with the specialist training we will offer them, will equip them to fulfil vital roles in the healthcare sector.”

Photograph of a physiotherapy studentThe introduction of the course means the School of Rehabilitation Sciences will offer a full suite of physiotherapy education, ranging from undergraduate and postgraduate pre-registration programmes right through to postgraduate courses for existing practitioners and PhD studies

Its NHS London contract success will see the School’s overall student numbers rise by more than 30 per cent.

The Faculty is also poised to continue playing a major role in adult nursing training in the capital, after topping the table of education providers in that subject area during NHS London’s competitive tendering process

Professor Trish Morris-Thompson, chief nurse at NHS London, said being a nurse or a physiotherapist took dedication, hard work and most of all compassion.

“The preferred universities in London have all demonstrated the ability to meet rigorous criteria to improve the quality of training available,” she added. “This includes having a tougher selection process, to identify the right students with the right attitudes to become great carers. By raising our standards we can ensure these highly qualified professionals get the jobs they deserve and are a tremendous asset to the NHS.”