Brunel has a long and successful history of teaching Physiotherapy. Indeed the Physiotherapy programmes currently at Brunel have evolved over the last five decades.
Our programmes have been adapted over-time to ensure that they are always contemporary, cutting edge and reflective of current clinical practice, in order to best prepare our the graduates for their role in a changing work place.
We have consistently produced high calibre graduates with high levels of employment.
94% of London Clinical educators supervising our final year students rated them as excellent or very good. (2009-2011)
Our Physiotherapy Masters course is an exciting and innovative modular programme, delivered full-time over two-years. Applicants should be aware that the programme is delivered over a period 46 weeks per year. In addition the course is intense, the volume of learning is high reflected in the high number of contact hours. Students should expect campus-based studies from 9:00 am 6:00 pm five days a week. All students must be ready to assume responsibility for their own learning.
Clinical placements will start in the summer period at the end of Year 1. Students should broadly expect to adopt the working patterns of the supervising clinician (clinical educator). Generally, students are expected to complete five blocks of clinical experience, each of six weeks duration. You should expect to be working roughly a 34 hour week whilst on placement. Further details of clinical education are given below.
The schema of the programme shows how the course is arranged term by term and year by year. The schema also indicates where exam periods and breaks from university are situated.
Schemes of Study (subject to validation)
Download the schema (pdf file)
Please note that all modules without exception are considered core to the curriculum, and are therefore compulsory.
Below you will find a brief description of each of the modules. An outline of the modules exam format will be included following validation. Practical modules are likely to be assessed practically while the more theoretical modules may be assessed by unseen exam papers, a viva or a written assignment etc.
Note all students will normally have a maximum of two attempts to pass any module and to progress through the programme. Re-sitting any failed component for the second time is dependent upon attendance. Students failing to meet attendance requirements will not automatically receive the right to re-sit examinations.
By-pass the module outlines to find out more about clinical education.
Physiotherapy MSc Module Outlines
In this module you will study the normal structure and functional anatomy of the lumbar spine, pelvis and lower limb. You will also start to consider aspects of disorder and dysfunction.
In this module you will study the theoretical basis of human movement and exercise prescription. The module includes the study of muscle physiology, aspects of exercise physiology and movement analysis.
This module allows you to study the key pathological processes that affect bone, muscles and joints either through trauma or disease.
The professional development modules run throughout all terms of each of the two years of the programme. They are designed to raise students awareness of the appropriate codes of professional standards of conduct and ethics pertinent to the physiotherapist and the physiotherapy student both on campus and out in clinical practice. We expect our students to behave with appropriate professionalism towards their studies, their peers, the staff, and their patients at all times. In addition this module will help you to develop the skills you need for effective lifelong learning and to promote professional development. Professional development will also include the study of specialist areas of physiotherapy eg:
This specialist study block provides you with the opportunity to develop your knowledge of early motor development and common paediatric conditions. Through exploring theoretical and practical aspects of paediatric physiotherapy, you will be able to understand the basis of assessments and interventions used within the paediatric services. Assessment: this study block is not formally assessed at the end of the module. You will however be expected to demonstrate understanding of the issues investigated in your clinical placement modules.
The aim of this specialist study block is to enable you to effectively plan and deliver interventions that meet the needs of older people. You will gain an understanding of aging from the cellular level, through individual human aging to social policy. You will consider how health promotion can enable people to age happily, healthily and without disability, and you will also consider the specific health care needs of ill elderly people. Assessment: this study block is not formally assessed at the end of the module. You will however be expected to demonstrate understanding of the issues investigated in your clinical placement modules.
3.Women's Health and Men's Health
In this specialist study block you will explore the role of the physiotherapist in womens health. Assessment: this study block is not formally assessed at the end of the module. You will however be expected to demonstrate understanding of the issues investigated in your clinical placement modules.
4.Oncology and Palliative Care
This specialist study block will promote your understanding of the medical and holistic care of oncology patients and of patients requiring palliative and end-of-life care. Assessment: this study block is not formally assessed at the end of the module. You will however be expected to demonstrate understanding of the issues investigated in your clinical placement modules.
This study block will enable you to effectively plan and deliver interventions within an interprofessional falls service. You will develop your understanding of the risk factors associated with falls and the assessment of individuals who fall. Current clinical guidelines and literature will be used to explore the key issues in the provision of falls services. Assessment: this study block is not formally assessed at the end of the module. You will however be expected to demonstrate understanding of the issues investigated in your clinical placement modules.
The aim of this specialist study block is to enable you to effectively plan and deliver physiotherapy interventions that meet the needs of individual service users with mental health problems. You will also develop an understanding of common mental health problems and the key issues encountered during the provision of healthcare services for this population. You will also consider how the health promotion role of the physiotherapist can contribute to a sense of well-being in people with mental health problems. Assessment: this study block is not formally assessed at the end of the module. You will however be expected to demonstrate understanding of the issues investigated in your clinical placement modules.
In this module you will study the normal structure and functional anatomy of the cervical spine, thorax and upper limb. You will also consider aspects of disorder and dysfunction.
This module provides the opportunity for you to develop your knowledge of the theoretical basis of motor control, motor learning and skill acquisition. You will be able to build on knowledge and skills attained in Rehabilitation 1 to further develop movement analysis skills; learning for example to analysis normal and abnormal posture and gait..
Musculoskeletal 1 - The Lower Quadrant
This module is the first of two practical orientated modules related to examination and treatment of musculoskeletal dysfunction. Specifically in this module, you will study common pathologies/conditions affecting the lumbar spine, pelvis and lower limb and how to assess and manage patients with these conditions.
In this module you will develop a theoretical understanding of normal respiratory physiology and the pathophysiology that underpins common respiratory disease. In addition you will learn to develop analytical assessment skills, and a physiotherapeutic knowledge base and skills repertoire which will enable you to treat and manage patients with a wide variety of symptoms associated with chronic and acute respiratory disease.
Musculoskeletal 2 The Upper Quadrant
This module is the second of two practical modules related to examination and treatment of musculoskeletal dysfunction. Specifically in this module you will study common pathologies/conditions affecting the cervical and thoracic spine, shoulder girdle and upper limb and how to assess and manage patients with such conditions.
In this module you will study key concepts in neurophysiology, neuroanatomy and the pathological processes underlying a range of neurological conditions. You will develop neurological physiotherapeutic assessment and treatment skills including the ability to clinical reason and justify the decisions you make.
This study block falls just prior to your first clinical placement. At this point you will have much knowledge and many new skills to draw on and to make your clinical placement a great experiential learning experience. This module is designed to provide an opportunity to investigate issues that affect therapy practice within the NHS for example professional accountability, legislation, multidisciplinary team work, effective communication and documentation, cultural, environmental and the role of differing health beliefs and models of health care delivery. In addition on a practical level you will learn safe and effective manual handling and basic life support.
Clinical Placement 1
This module is the first of the five clinical placements which occur during the second and third year of the physiotherapy programme. Each placement lasts for six weeks. On this placement you will have the opportunity to apply and develop your basic skills of assessment and treatment to a variety of relevant health disorders. With appropriate guidance you will be able to identify patients problems and make informed decisions regarding the interventions you select.
Further details of the clinical placement modules are given at the end of the section on Module Outlines in order to save repetition.
Assessment: performed by the supervising clinical educator on your placement using a standardised proforma that documents your performance on placement.
In this module you will study cardiovascular physiology and pathology including vascular pathology of the coronary circulation and vessels to the lower limbs. In addition to developing an understanding of assessing and managing patients with cardiac pathology and lower limb amputation you will also develop health promotion knowledge and skills.
This module facilitates the development of the theoretical knowledge resulting in critically illness, and how these patients are managed on the intensive care unit. Students will also develop the analytical assessment skills and physiotherapeutic skills necessary to effectively manage this patient group.
Clinical Placement 2
This module is the second of five clinical placements which occur during the second and third year of the physiotherapy programme. The placement is of six weeks duration. On this placement you will have the opportunity to apply and develop your basic skills of assessment and treatment to a variety of relevant health disorders. With appropriate guidance you will be able to identify patients problems and make informed decisions regarding the interventions you select.
Further details of the clinical placement modules are given at the end of the section on Module Outlines in order to save repetition.
Assessment: Performed by the supervising clinical educator on your placement using a standardised proforma that documents your performance on placement.
Clinical placement 3
This module is the first of three clinical placement modules which occur towards the end of Year 2. As before, all placements are of six weeks duration and all students are assessed by the supervising clinicians.
This module will develop your knowledge of the principles and concepts which underpin quality research. It will also extend your understanding of evidence-based practice and the role of ongoing research in clinical practice.
The Research Methodology module aims to provide you with the means to develop your own research dissertation on a subject relevant to physiotherapy but otherwise of your own choice, in which you demonstrate your sound understanding of the research process.
This is an interdisciplinary module designed to develop your ability to analyse and integrate the parameters of contemporary practice as influenced by current policy and multi-agency working. You will further develop and consolidate your Continuing Professional Development (CPD) portfolio through evidence of reflective practice and critical analysis of contemporary work place practices and policies. Curricula content will prepare you for the transition from student to practitioner by advancing your knowledge of health and social care. It builds on the communication and evaluation skills of previous inter-professional modules and will enable you to critically evaluate your future role as a practitioner in changing and complex environments.
Clinical Placement 4
This is your penultimate clinical placement of the programme. As before, this placement is of six weeks duration and you will be assessed by the supervising clinicians. You are now very close to completion of the programme and we would now expect you to be competently managing patients of increasing levels of complexity. Signs of clinical leadership should also be apparent at this stage, and your communication and clinical reasoning skills should be well honed by the end of this placement.
Clinical Placement 5
This is your final clinical placement of the programme. As before, this placement is of six weeks duration and you will be assessed by the supervising clinicians. You are now extremely close to completion of the programme and we would definitely expect you to be demonstrating an increasing level of autonomy along with an understanding of your professional limitations, accountability and role within the inter-disciplinary team. In short we would expect you to be managing your case-load much like a newly qualified physiotherapist.
After completion of your final clinical placement module its now just a case of waiting for the results and of course for the graduation ceremony.
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.
Continuing modernisation of the NHS has seen a move away from a focus on non-acute health interventions being delivered in hospitals to the delivery of care in the community. Experience gained on all clinical education modules throughout your undergraduate training aims to reflect these developments by providing you with a broad range of experience across a variety of settings including acute NHS hospitals, private healthcare providers, community hospitals, health centres, GP surgeries, schools, nursing homes and sports centres etc.
Regardless of location or specialty students are expected to adopt a holistic approach towards their patient/client, taking into account individual psychological, social, cultural and economic factors, whilst embracing the principles of health promotion and health education.
All clinical placement modules are organised on the student's behalf by the clinical co-ordination team. This allows us to provide you with a balanced clinical experience both in terms of the specialties/patient groups you have worked with and the range of health care setting you have worked in. It is important that you are exposed to a variety of health settings, which are reflective of current clinical practice.
In total students will complete in excess of 1,000 hours of clinical experience in order to complete the programme. As you can see from the schema; clinical education occurs in six-week blocks which gives you time to "find your feet" and have a highly valuable learning experience at the same time as providing you with plenty of opportunity to demonstrate your learning and develop as a clinician.
It is anticipated that whilst on clinical placement you will be working a 34-hour week minimum, (compared to full-time workers this effectively means you have one half-day off per week). However, the number of hours you work and the time at which you start and finish work is subject to negotiation with both college and the supervising clinical educator.
Whilst on placements you will be supervised by physiotherapists registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Students will be assessed on placement by their supervising clinician(s), using a standardized assessment tool the Clinical Assessment Record (CAR form). The assessment score from clinical placement modules will contribute to your final degree classification
Most clinical placements are located within the Greater London area, ie within the M25, but a few could be further away necessitating "staying over on placement" during the week. You should anticipate the need to "stay over" on at least one or two occasions.
We are sympathetic to your needs when we assign clinical placements. However, we are unable to guarantee that any student will be located close to their home or term-time address and you may have to commute or live away from home for the duration of a placement or two. We do try to give special consideration to students whose personal circumstances fall within specified criteria, ie they have young children, are a main carer, or have a declared disability etc.
If the NHS is paying your university fees, your travel costs (in excess of the expense you normally incur between home and college) and if necessary the costs of alternative accommodation can be reclaimed from the NHS. However you should note that they is always a delay between paying out money and being reimbursed which can create temporary cash-flow issues.