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Advanced Manipulative Physiotherapy – My name’s Dr Nicola Heneghan. I’m the Programme Lead for the MSc in Advanced Manipulative Physiotherapy. This programme’s unique because it is set in a research-led University.
MSc Advanced Manipulative Physiotherapy
Video By University of Birmingham
The programme is validated externally within the UK by the Musculoskeletal Association of Chartered Physiotherapists which is the UK member organisation for a global organisation called IFOMPT – the International Federation of Orthopaedic Manipulative Physical Therapists, and what that does is it gives you a framework of standards that we are striving for students to achieve through the curriculum that we have developed for our programme.
What’s fantastic from a practice perspective is that it combines theory, research and then also practice. So within the programme there is teaching of research methods, there’s also the specialist manipulative physiotherapy modules where people get a chance to develop and critique their practical skills, and then it all comes together towards the end of the programme when they go on a period of mentor practice, and this is then they are allocated to a mentor and they spend time with that mentor critiquing their practice, challenging convention, challenging their ideas with really advancing their practice using this framework of clinical reasoning which is sort of underpins – which underpins really the whole approach.
The programme’s aimed at physiotherapist who have already sought to develop some expertise in musculoskeletal physiotherapy and they’re now coming to advance their practice through a critical exploration of the theory and practice towards moving towards sort of expertise in their respective roles.
The programme is offered either part-time or full-time. There are opportunities for students to do some components as distance learning, so for example, research methods and other modules where there is a sort of generic structure that can be taken at a distance.
The programme is put together to allow a balance of self-directed time but also the importance of time within the University, perhaps in practical rooms or in the prosectorium where they can look at challenging their practice, challenging ideas, and working in a sort of problem solving environment. The module assessment is broad and varied and we feel this meets the requirements of practice, so students may be asked to do seminars which are assessed.
They’ll obviously be assessed on their clinical placements. They may be assessed by doing research proposals. So a really varied approach to assessment of students, but the programme has been put together through collaboration and discussion with key stakeholders. We provide an environment for a lot of people coming in from a military setting because we have a lot of flexibility, recognising obviously military commitments, but we have a lot of people coming in perhaps from the NHS or the private sector, and obviously a sports setting that then they can sort of tailor their programme to their own personal professional needs.
The aims of the programme – it allows individuals to tailor the objectives or their outcomes looking at a critical exploration of themselves as a learner, where they fit in their professional practice, and perhaps where they want to move onto within their musculoskeletal physiotherapy roles. So for some people this may be going into roles of becoming an extended scope practitioner, clinical specialist roles, potentially also into consultant physiotherapy roles.
For some people it sparks a sort of hunger for them wanting to look into doing research, and a number of our students then go on to take PhDs or research pathways, and in fact a good number of our current students are offering to come back to get involved in teaching, and some of them have secured quite a large workload in terms of teaching and supporting students on our undergraduate programmes and our pre-registration programmes.
The course has been running for a number of years. It’s very established. We have a good level of external lecturers coming in, so we bring in leaders in their field, so perhaps researchers or clinicians, to support the education. The programme team again is well established, and we’re constantly looking to ensure that student’s expectations are met through a very good collaborative working relationship.
So this programme being set within a Russell Group University and then in particular the School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences, enables us to offer students world-class facilities for their practice and for research. The staff who contribute to the programme are also research focused, and particularly in terms of where our expertise is, is within sort of spinal musculoskeletal rehabilitation areas of practice.
So being able to bring together the balance of practice and research within the facilities that the school offers gives a really good sort of setting for our students coming into advance their skills.
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