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UCC Postgraduate courses


Course Fact File
Duration2 Years Full-time
Teaching ModeFull-time
NFQ LevelLevel 9
Closing Date15 January 2024
Non-EU Closing Date15 January 2024
Start Date9 September 2024

Course Outline

The MSc Physiotherapy (Pre-Registration) is an accelerated pre-registration programme for students with a relevant primary degree in a subject other than physiotherapy. The programme uses the learning and teaching methods that best supports students to develop the knowledge, skills and professional attributes commensurate with physiotherapy practice.

The aim of the MSc Physiotherapy (Pre-Registration) is to provide each student with an excellent educational experience both in the academic and clinical environments.

The constantly advancing and evolving nature of healthcare requires that our programme not only prepares students for current healthcare practice but that it produces graduates who will act as agents for future change and progress. We therefore aim to equip our graduates with the clinical and research skills, and professional attributes required to work and develop as competent practitioners, researchers, and agents for change within the evolving healthcare environment. The physiotherapy programme is to be situated in the School of Clinical Therapies, part of the College of Medicine and Health. The College is located in the western end of the UCC campus and enjoys state-of-the-art facilities where physiotherapy will be co-located with Nursing and Midwifery, Medicine, Public Health and Clinical Therapies and a five-minute walk from Anatomy and Physiology.

Course Content

The course content will be delivered in modules of between 5-30 credits. Students enroll in modules to the value of 60 ECTS credits per annum, over a period of two calendar years. There will be three semesters per calendar year. All modules will be compulsory.

The first-year curriculum will consist of a 60-credit curriculum distributed over three semesters. The academic curriculum will complement a clinical skills curriculum which will be delivered simultaneously.  In addition, students will experience clinical work placements which will be assessed as part of the clinical education for this MSc programme.

Year One (60 credits)

  • PP6001 Respiratory Physiotherapy (5 credits)
  • PP6003 Rehabilitation I - Principles and Prescription of Exercise (5 credits)
  • PP6004 Rehabilitation II - Analysis and Rehabilitation of Human Movement (5 credits)
  • PP6005 Principles of Research & Research Methods (10 credits)
  • PP6007 MSK I - Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation of the Lower Quadrant (10 credits)
  • PP6009 Critical Care (5 credits)
  • PP6012 Clinical Anatomy (10 credits)
  • PP6014 Clinical Practice & Professional Development I (10 credits)*

Year Two (60 credits)

  • PP6002 Research Dissertation (20 credits)
  • PP6006 Neurological Rehabilitation (10 credits)
  • PP6008 MSK IIMusculoskeletal Rehabilitation of the Upper Quadrant (5 credits)
  • PP6011 Clinical Practice and Professional Development III (15 credits)
  • PP6013 Cardiovascular Health and Health Promotion (5 credits)
  • PP6015 Clinical Practice and Professional Development II (5 credits)

* Clinical Module

Academic Programme Catalogue

See the Academic Programme Catalogue where you can search for the complete and up-to-date content for this course. Note that the modules for all courses are subject to change from year to year. For complete descriptions of individual modules, see the Book of Modules.

Course Practicalities

This programme is full-time over three semesters per year, over two years. Students will attend lectures daily with some time dedicated to independent learning, during semesters 1 & 2. During Semesters 3, students will be on clinical placement for blocks of 6 weeks. Two clinical placement blocks in semester 3 of year 1 and three clinical placement blocks in year 2, in semesters 2 & 3. Students need to engage in at least 1000 hours of supervised clinical practice to meet professional requirements. Students will need to complete a short research proposal and complete a research project of limited scope, relevant to the clinical profession of Physiotherapy.

Clinical Placements will take place in the hospitals and clinics of the HSE South /South West Hospital Group and other HSE Hospital locations nationally, as well as in Community Health Organisations and other clinical facilities nationally.  It may also be necessary to undertake clinical placement in the UK. Students may therefore need to travel and/or arrange short-term accommodation near the placement sites and will incur the costs of travel to clinical locations as well as the costs of accommodation.


Assessment will be wholly by continuous assessment. This will consist of tutorial performance, small presentations, class tests, essays, OSCE`s and work placement assessments.

Who teaches this course

Staff of the School of Clinical Therapies, HSE \ Clinical Specialist physiotherapy staff from Regional and National hospitals. Experts from UCC, within the College of Medicine & Health allowing the opportunity for Inter professional teaching as well as overseas guest Clinical Specialists.

Why Choose This Course

This dedicated Graduate Entry programme offers an accelerated route for graduates from any discipline (related to the discipline of physiotherapy) to gain a recognised qualification in physiotherapy practice. It is a highly regarded postgraduate course which prepares graduates for success in a competitive jobs market.

The MSc Physiotherapy programme is approved by CORU, the Health and Social Care Professions Council.

On completion of the MSc Physiotherapy programme you will also be eligible to register with CORU and to apply to become a member of The Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists.

Placement or Study Abroad Information

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. The course offers a balance of university and practice-based experiences with students completing over 1000 hours of placement in the hospitals and clinics of the HSE South /South West Hospital Group and other HSE Hospital locations nationally, as well as in Community Health Organisations and other clinical facilities nationally.  It may be necessary to undertake clinical placement in the UK.

Skills and Careers Information

What can I do after I graduate with an MSc in Physiotherapy

By studying this course you have the opportunity to become a highly-skilled, evidenced-based clinician, who can use a range of resources and evidence to improve the effectiveness of clinical interventions. During the course you build on a wide base of transferable clinical skills which may enable you to specialise in a specific area of Physiotherapy following successful graduation.

Occupations associated with an MSc in Physiotherapy

Physiotherapists are employed in a variety of locations, providing opportunities in areas such as HSE Hospitals & Clinics • Industry • Professional Sport • Private Practice • Education • Research • Working overseas. Opportunities to work in research in physiotherapy are expanding and students may use their masters as a stepping stone to doctoral study in Ireland, the UK, or overseas, or teaching in higher education.


To be shortlisted for interview applicants must satisfy the following criteria:

Educational Qualifications

Applicants will hold a minimum of a Second Class Honours Grade I in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) or a Master’s degree in a field directly related to the discipline of physiotherapy, such as but not exclusively, Anatomy, Physiology, Biomedical Science, Medicine, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Physical Education, Rehabilitation, Sports Science.

Please note:

  • The programme team reserves the right to shortlist only those applicants who hold undergraduate or postgraduate degrees most relevant to physiotherapy.
  • All applicants must be in receipt of their final results (whether undergraduate or postgraduate) before 31st  July.

Motivation Statement

Applicants will submit a motivation statement as part of the application process. 

 The applicant’s motivation statement will:

  • Explain their motivation for a career across the broad spectrum of the physiotherapy profession.
  • Indicate how their previous degree will contribute to their development as a physiotherapist and to their knowledge and understanding of the core areas of physiotherapy.
  • Provide detail on their contributions beyond academia.
  • Provide detail on their experience related to healthcare and to the physiotherapy profession (this can include, shadowing, observation, volunteering, etc.).


Applicants will be required to submit the name and email address of one referee from an academic institution. 

Applications will be considered incomplete without the submission of this reference and will not be considered.

The responsibility rests with the applicant to ensure that the required reference request is completed before the closing date. Please note that the applicant will receive an email alert confirming when a reference has been duly submitted. 


Shortlisted applicants will be invited for interview, which may consist of Multiple Mini Interviews (MMI). Each applicant will be scored by an interview panel on the basis of:

  • Motivation for a career across the broad spectrum of the physiotherapy profession
  • Relevant academic qualifications and interests
  • Knowledge and understanding of the physiotherapy profession
  • Problem solving skills
  • Communication skills and ability to express concepts and ideas

Please note: Unfortunately, due to the high volume of applications specific individualised feedback cannot be given after shortlisting or interview.

All applicants accepted onto the programme will be required to have evidence of appropriate vaccinations for working in hospital environments.

Garda Vetting
Students, or applicants in receipt of an offer, on this programme will be subject to Garda Vetting as relevant. Students will be prohibited from engaging in a relevant work placement unless the vetting process has been cleared. Click here to view UCC's Student Garda Vetting Policy.

Fitness to Practise
This programme is subject to the University's Fitness to Practise Policy - full details may be found here

The core competencies for Clinical Therapies found here.

For Applicants with Qualifications Completed Outside of Ireland

Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements. For more information see our Qualification Comparison page.

International/Non-EU Applicants

For full details of the non-EU application procedure visit our how to apply pages for international students.

  • In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments.
  • Note that not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above. For more information contact the International Office.
English Language Requirements

Applicants who are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university-approved English language requirements. Visit our PG English Language Requirements page for more information.

Fees and Costs

Postgraduate EU and International Fees 2024/2025

See our Postgraduate EU and Non-EU (International) Fee Schedule for the latest information.


If your course requires a deposit, that figure will be deducted from your second-semester fee payment in January.

Fee payment 

Fees are payable in two equal instalments. First payment is at registration and the balance usually by the end of January.

How can I pay? 

See different options on our How Do I Pay My Fees? page.

Any questions? See the 'Contact Us' section on the Fees Office page.

How To Apply

1. Check dates

Check the opening and closing dates for the application process in the fact file boxes at the top of the page.

2. Gather documents

Scanned copies of supporting documents have to be uploaded to the UCC online application portal and include:

  • Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC.
  • Any supplementary items requested for your course if required.

3. Apply online

Apply online via the UCC online application portal. Note the majority of our courses have a non-refundable €50 application fee.

Any questions? Use our web enquiry form to contact us.

Additional Requirements (All Applicants)

Please note you will be required to provide additional information as part of the online application process for this programme. This will include the following questions:

  • You may enter the details of professional or voluntary positions held. We strongly encourage you to complete this section with all relevant work experiences that will support your application.

  • In addition to your previously declared qualifications, please outline any additional academic courses, self-learning and professional training relevant to this programme.

  • Please describe your motivation and readiness for this programme.

  • Please upload certifications of achievements.


Please note that successful EU applicants will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit of €500 on acceptance of their place.


Deferrals are not permitted on this course.

The closing date for non-EU applications is 15 January 2024

Apply Now

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact