University College Cork


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 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.

Subjects taught

Course Content
The course content will be delivered in modules of between 5-30 credits. Students enrol in modules to the value of 60 ECTS credits per annum, over a period of two calendar years. There will be 3 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 programme.

Year One Modules

Students take 60 credits as follows:

PP6012 Clinical Anatomy (10 credits)
PP6003 Rehabilitation I - Principles and Pescription of Exercise (5 credits)
PP6004 Rehabilitation II - Analysis and Rehabilitation of Human Movement (5 credits)
PP6007 MSK I - Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation of the Lower Quadrant (10 credits)
PP6001 Respiratory Physiotherapy (5 credits)
PP6010 Clinical Practice and Professional Development (15 credits)
PP6005 Principles of Research & Research Methods (10 credits)
Year Two modules

Students take 60 credits as follows:

PP6008 MSK II - Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation of the Upper Quadrant (5 credits)
PP6006 Neurological Rehabilitation (10 credits)
PP6013 Cardiovascular Health and Health Promotion (5 credits)
PP6009 Critical Care (5 credits)
PP6011 Clinical Practice and Professional Development III (15 credits)
PP6002 Research Dissertation (20 credits)

Further details on the modules listed above can be found in our Book of Modules. Any modules listed above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course but are subject to change from year to year.

University Calendar

You can find the full academic content for the current year of any given course in our University Calendar.

Entry requirements

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 motivation statement should be no longer than 600 words.

Applications that exceed this word limit will not be shortlisted.

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 that are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university-approved English language requirements. Please visit our PG English Language Requirements page for more information.

Application dates

The closing date for non-EU applications is 16 January 2023

How Do I 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.

For Irish and EU applicants we operate a rounds system and you can check the rounds closing dates here.
Note that not all our programmes are subject to the rounds system so check the opening and closing dates for your specific programme in the fact file boxes above.

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.

Assessment Info

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


2 years full-time.

Enrolment dates

Start Date: 7 September 2020

Post Course Info

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 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 doctorial study in the UK or overseas, or teaching in higher education.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Daytime

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    Course provider