10 Best Universities for Masters in Physiotherapy in the UK [2023]

At the intersection of the fields of medicine and health lies physiotherapy. As a physiotherapist, you will be looking at the body in its entirety and primarily help in the better functioning of the neurological, neuromusculoskeletal, cardiovascular and the respiratory system of the body.

Should you choose to pursue Master’s in Physiotherapy in the UK, you will get to experience an immersive, interdisciplinary course that includes Therapeutic Practice, Electrotherapy, Basic Motor Skills of Children with Disabilities, Pain Therapy, Medical Recovery, Reflexology, Psychology of recovery and the mechanics of movement. You can then be an integral member of the healthcare industry, helping people with physical impairments.

Difference between physiotherapists and physical therapists

It is quite common for many people to use these two terms interchangeably. Many have argued that this is merely a vocabulary difference with ‘physical therapist’ used more in the U.S. and ‘physiotherapist’ used in other parts of the world.

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy defines it as “a range of interventions, services, and advice to maintain, restore, and improve people’s function and movement and maximise the quality of their lives”. On the other hand, the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) defines a physical therapist as “a trained and licensed medical professional with experience diagnosing physical abnormalities, restoring physical function and mobility, maintaining physical function, and promoting physical activity and proper function.”

Looking at the two definitions, it is clear that both are professionals who work primarily on the muscle and the skeletal system. However, there are minor differences. An advanced physiotherapy practice includes other treatment and management options including electrical stimulation, acupuncture, etc. Physical therapy, in contrast, takes a more exercise-centric approach to health and well-being.

That said, let us get back to a Master’s in Physiotherapy in the United Kingdom.

Why study Masters in Physiotherapy in the UK?

This degree goes beyond the realm of a hospital. You will be an integral member of the wellness and health industry, learning manual therapy, occupational therapy, therapeutic exercise, kinesiology, and so on to improve the physical well-being or the quality of life of your patients. So, why do this degree and why do it in the UK? Let’s take a look.

1. Job satisfaction

As a qualified physiotherapist, you play a hands-on role in the pain relief of your patients. For those drawn towards a career of helping people, but who cannot afford the kind of investment an MBBS or a nursing degree would take, in terms of time or the tuition fee, it is a great in-between that allows you to be fully immersed in health and social care. Moreover, a master’s degree will also teach you the psychological and financial aspects of managing the physio wing of a hospital, a private professional practice, or a sports-based centre.

2. World-class universities

It goes without saying that the UK is one of the hubs of global education, providing world-class education. So, it is safe to say that there is no compromise on quality. Keep reading to get university-specific information on ranking and employment rates.

3. Governmental support

The UK has one of the finest national healthcare systems called the NHS. So all the work of its workers is, at some level, regulated by the policies of the government which puts patients right at the front. It also provides grants and scholarships.

5. Numerous opportunities to network

At the Master’s level, you are interacting with fellow professionals, giving you immense opportunities to interact with practitioners from across the globe. You can learn/ teach new skills and share information for the benefit of your patients.

6. Life in the UK

You get to experience a cosmopolitan life in the UK. Moreover, you get to see how healthcare organisations function, bringing that managerial knowledge back to your home country.

What are the career opportunities after studying MSc in Physiotherapy in the UK?

There are a number of job opportunities after a master’s in this field. You can

  • Work as a physical therapist in a hospital or a nursing home
  • Set up a private practice
  • Get into sports-related physical therapy
  • Become a chiropractor
  • Work in the intersection of performing arts and health
  • Become a personal trainer
  • Become a health service manager
  • Take on managerial roles in hospitals or health-related organisations
  • Or get into research or teaching
  • Or even specialise in animal physiotherapy

However, to be a physiotherapist in the UK, you must be registered with the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) and the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Senior therapists can earn between £33,706 and £67,064, according to the NHS salary bands. These numbers are bound to vary in the private sector.

What are the scholarship options for universities in the UK for Masters in Physiotherapy?

As international students looking to study in the UK, a number of scholarship options exist. Many of them are offered by the universities themselves, which is listed in the next section. However, there are some common governmental or external scholarships that you can also consider applying to. These include:

  • Chevening Scholarships
  • Rhodes Scholarships
  • Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowships
  • Inlaks Shivadasani Foundation Scholarships
  • Erasmus Mundus.

For more information, read: Scholarships for Indian Students: 15 Best Scholarships to Study Abroad and Scholarships in UK For Indian Students: In-Depth Guide for 2023

What are the best universities for Masters in Physiotherapy in the UK?

This is important. When you are looking at master’s courses in this domain, keep an eye out for “Pre-Registration”. A pre-reg course is for beginners. You have an undergraduate degree in a related anatomy-based subject and you are choosing to enter physiotherapy at this level. That is when you choose a pre-reg course. If you are already a qualified therapist, then advanced postgraduate courses are what you are looking for. Most universities offer both options, so be careful what you are applying for.

S.No University QS Ranking
(World Ranking in Sports-Related Subjects)
Average Fees
1 Loughborough University 1 £29,950
2 University of Birmingham 7 £23,850
3 University of Bath 8 £7,425
4 UCL 21 £32,100
5 Brunel University 51-100 £21,470
6 Leeds Beckett University 51-100 £16,000
7 Manchester Metropolitan University 51-100 £19,000
8 University of Brighton 51-100 £16,700
9 Cardiff University 51-100 £25,450
10 University of Nottingham 51-100 £21,500

1. Loughborough University

Beginning in 1909 as Loughborough Technical Institute, Loughborough University is renowned for its courses in sports-related subjects. It is also the world’s largest university-based sports technology research group.

Source: Loughborough University


Loughborough, Leicestershire, England

Why is it good to study here?

Ranked number 1 in the world by QS World University Rankings for Sports-related subjects, Loughborough University has carved a name for itself in sports and its allied areas. As a practising therapist, if sports and exercise-related health is what grabs your fancy, then this is the university you must consider in the UK.

The university works with the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine – East Midlands (NCSEM-EM), an Olympic legacy-funded project aimed at improving health and well-being. Core modules include orthopaedic sports biomechanics; neuromuscular function; physiology of endurance performance; risk and recovery of sports injury; research methods for sport and exercise; basic science and regenerative therapy; emerging technologies for health and wellbeing; motion analysis of human movement; developing computer models for sports biomechanics; sports injury, and a research project.

The University also gives you a chance to add practical experience to your CV by volunteering alongside elite athletes with our Coach and Volunteer Academy alongside your studies.

Fees and scholarship options

The course fee for overseas students is £29,950.

There is the sports alumni bursary that you can be eligible for if you have already been a student of Loughborough. There is also the Dean’s Award for Enterprise Scholarship, Hardship Support Funds, London Scholarships, and a number of no-interest loans that you can consider applying to, to ease the burden of tuition. You can access the entire list here.

Eligibility and duration

  • An Upper Second Class honours degree in the UK in a relevant subject (The Indian equivalent would be a bachelor’s degree in physiotherapy with a minimum score of 65%)
  • Professional experience
  • IELTS English language requirement is 6.5 overall with 6.0 in each individual element, taken within 2 years of application
  • TOEFL iBT with a minimum score of 92

Duration: 1 academic year

Courses offered

1. MSc Musculoskeletal Sport Science and Health
2. MSc Physiology and Nutrition of Sport and Exercise
3. MSc Sport Biomechanics
4. MSc Strength and Conditioning
5. Sport, Exercise, and Health Sciences PhD

Admission process

The first thing to do is to research the options and choose the course that will help you with the specialisation that you are looking for. Then you apply via the university’s online portal. Keep ready your academic transcripts, personal statement, letters of recommendation, and your plan to finance your master’s degree. You will typically receive a response in 4 weeks.

2. University of Birmingham

A founding member of the Russell Group of universities and Universitas 21 (the international network of research universities), the University of Birmingham has a long history of being a pioneer in medicine and health-related fields. The university has close links with the NHS and works closely with 15 teaching hospitals and 50 primary care training practices in the West Midlands.
Source: University of Birmingham


Birmingham, England

Why is it good to study here?

The MSc Physiotherapy (Pre-Registration) course at the University of Birmingham is an intensive course that will shape you as a competent, evidence-based, and patient-centered practitioner, capable of making a valuable contribution to the workplace. Successful completion of this course at Birmingham will qualify you to register at the CSP and the HCPC. Besides, the university ranks number 7 worldwide in the domain, making it one of the more renowned places to pursue a degree in physiotherapy.

Fees and scholarship options

The course fee is £23,850  for a full-time international student. There are no part-time modules for this course in this university.

The University of Birmingham has the Commonwealth Games Scholarship and the Global Master’s Scholarship where 30 scholarships of £10,000 are offered every year. In addition, the university is also supported by a number of trust bursaries and endowments that also provide financial aid. You can access the entire list here to check your eligibility.

Eligibility and duration

  • An undergraduate degree in a relevant field such as human anatomy or biology
  • The university does not accept students with a pre-existing degree in the field.
  • English IELTS 7.0  with a minimum of 6.5 in each component

Duration: 2 years

Courses offered

  • Physiotherapy (pre-registration) MSc
  • Advanced Manipulative Physiotherapy MSc/Postgraduate Diploma
  • Exercise and Sport Sciences MRes
  • Exercise and Sports Medicine (Football) MSc/Postgraduate Diploma
  • Sports Coaching MSc
  • Sport, Exercise, and Rehabilitation Sciences Ph.D./MSc by Research

Admission Process

Once you have selected your course, you get your academic transcripts ready along with your language requirement and your statement of purpose. The university does conduct an interview before confirming admission. The admissions process will identify and examine the potential of the student to cope with the multiple demands of the programme and will explore personal values and attitudes to ensure suitability for admission to a registered healthcare profession.

3. University of Bath

Known for its world-leading research in terms of originality, significance and rigour, the University of Bath is a public research university located in Somerset.

Source: University of Bath


Bath, Somerset

Why is it good to study here?

For a qualified therapist looking to nuance his/ her career, Bath’s Master’s in Sports Physiotherapy is a world renowned course. The university stands at world number 8 when it comes to sports related fields. Besides its stellar reputation and its cutting edge course, the most significant advantage of the Msc course at Bath is that it is a specially designed completely online course for students who are already physiotherapists. This gives you a chance at a super specialisation, with all the advantages of an online program. The modules are also flexible enough for you to defer them between 3 – 5 years. It is a part-time distance learning program.

Fees and Scholarship Options

The course fee is £7,425 plus an additional fee of about 3,000 pounds, should you choose to continue research.

The University of Bath has over £4 million disbursed as scholarships every year. There is the Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence, Global Leaders Scholarship, Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme and Sports Scholarships and Bursaries that you can consider applying to. Read more about Bath Scholarships here.

Eligibility and Duration

  • Undergraduate degree to in physical or occupational therapy
  • Licence to practise
  • Minimum 2 years of post-licensure work experience
  • Language requirements
    • IELTS: 6.5 overall with no less than 6.0 in all components
    • The Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic): 62 with no less than 59 in any element
    • TOEFL IBT: 90 overall with a minimum 21 in all 4 components

Courses Offered and Admission Process

Other part-time distance learning programs

  • Msc in Sports Physiotherapy
  • MSc in Sports and Exercise Medicine
  • MSc in Football Medicine (offered in association with FIFA)

The application deadline is typically 30 June for overseas students. The university does reserve the right to close applications early, if the course is full.

4. University College London (UCL)

With a history spanning nearly 200 years, UCL is one of the top public research institutes in England. In 2022, UCL stood 8th in the world and 3rd best university in the United Kingdom. As a world leader in global education, UCL builds a brand name that opens up numerous opportunities.

Source: UCL


London, England

Why is it good to study here?

Looking at the specific rankings of sports-related subjects, UCL takes the 21st spot worldwide. (Source: QS World University Rankings). The goal of UCL’s Master’s programs is to challenge existing practices and push students to undertake more clinical research and expand the horizons of the field. The course looks for qualified therapists with at least 2 years of experience. That means, your period of study at UCL will also bring you a wealth of shared experiences with other professionals in the field, from across countries.

UCL’s multiple modules are designed in such a way that you can chart the future of your career, either in specialised practice, take on more senior management roles or delve into the world of research and academia. You can consider senior careers in care policy, university lecturing, private practice, the management or highly specialist clinical practice.

Fees and Scholarship Options

The tuition fee for any of the following specialisations is about £32,100. Should you choose to do the course part-time, then the course extends to about 2 years and the fee is £16,050 per year.

UCL has a Global Masters Scholarship program that is valued at £15,000 for one year. Students are selected based on financial need. This program is meant especially for international students and about 75 scholarships are awarded every year. Five of them are aimed specifically at students from India.

There is also the Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health Bursary, which is open to students specialising in paediatrics-related fields.

Eligibility and duration

  • A minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor’s degree or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard in physiotherapy is an important entry requirement
  • Minimum two years of clinical or teaching experience
  • English Language Requirements:
    • IELTS overall score of 7.0 and a minimum of 6.5 in each component or
    • TOEFL Overall score of 96 with 24/30 in reading and writing and 22/30 in speaking and listening or
    • C2 Proficiency (CPE) Overall score of 180 with 172 in all subtests or
    • PTE Overall score of 76 with a minimum of 75 in each Communicative Skill

Duration: An MSc course is one year while MRes can take longer, depending on your research

Courses offered

UCL has 17 different postgraduate courses related to the field.

  • Physiotherapy Studies: Paediatrics MSc
  • Advanced Physiotherapy: Paediatrics MSc
  • Physiotherapy Studies: Musculoskeletal MSc
  • Advanced Physiotherapy: Musculoskeletal MSc
  • Physiotherapy Studies: Cardiorespiratory MSc
  • Advanced Physiotherapy: Cardiorespiratory MSc
  • Physiotherapy Studies: Neuro-physiotherapy MSc
  • Advanced Physiotherapy: Neuro-physiotherapy MSc
  • Performing Arts Medicine MSc
  • Performing Arts Medicine: PGCert
  • Clinical Neuroscience MSc
  • Stroke Medicine MRes
  • Clinical Neuroscience: Stroke MSc
  • Clinical Neuroscience: Neuromuscular Disease MSc
  • Neuromuscular Disease MRes
  • Physical Therapy in Musculoskeletal Healthcare and Rehabilitation MSc
  • Sports Medicine, Exercise, and Health MSc

Admission process

Due to fierce competition and the reputation of UCL, it is better if you submit your application at the earliest. For a program that begins in September, the applications are typically open from  October to June. There is a £90 processing fee for an online application.

Your personal statement/ statement of purpose is one of the biggest components of your application, besides your academic transcripts. It is the document in which you describe your professional career track, why this university, why this course, and so on. It is an essay through which you tell the university why you would be an eligible candidate.

5. Brunel University

One of the top 400 universities in the world, Brunel University is a public research university. It was founded in 1966 and named after the Victorian engineer and pioneer of the Industrial Revolution, Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

Source: Brunel University


Uxbridge, London

Why is it good to study here?

The Mary Seacole Building at Brunel is a dedicated building for physiotherapy and occupational therapy. The university offers a practical, hands-on approach, giving you the opportunity to practise on patients visiting the university and fellow students. Study modules include managing and improving health services, self-management and team working so you’ll be fully equipped with a strong scientific foundation and the practical and professional skills to progress your career. Brule also has a 100% employability rate, where its graduate students have been employed within 6 months of course completion. Successful completion of this course will also see you registered as a member of HCPC and CSP.

Fees and scholarship options

The course fee for pre-registration in MSc is £21,470. The university awards the Dean’s International Scholarship, which is a £2,000 waiver for full-time students.

Eligibility and duration

  • An undergraduate degree in a relevant field such as human anatomy or biology with a minimum score of 60%.
  • The university does not accept students with a pre-existing degree in the field.
  • English language requirements:
    • IELTS: 7 (min 6.5 in all areas)
    • Pearson: 64 (59 in all subscores)
    • BrunELT: 68% (63% in all areas)
    • TOEFL: 98 (min 23 in all areas)

Courses offered and admission process

MSc Physiotherapy

A completed application form with the required academic transcripts and an original statement of purpose is required to apply to this course.

6. Leeds Beckett University

Formerly known as the Leeds Metropolitan University, the Leeds Beckett University is also a public research university. It offers a professionally accredited course to pursue your postgraduate degree.

Source: Leeds Beckett University


Leeds, West Yorkshire, England

Why is it good to study here?

One of the top 100 universities in the world, the program at Leeds Beckett is approved and accredited by the CSP and HCPC. This gives you the liberty to begin your practice in the UK without any further delay. The university also provides fantastic placement opportunities. The graduate employment rate of the MSc Physiotherapy course at Leeds Beckett is 100%, within 15 months of graduation.

Fees and scholarship options

The annual tuition fee is £16,000 for international students. The India Scholarships at Leeds Beckett are also awarded to eligible students. The university has country-wise scholarships for students. Read more, here.

Eligibility and duration

  • A minimum of 65% or above in a relevant undergraduate degree such as Biology, Sports Science or any health-related profession
  • Your degree must have a research training component
  • IELTS 7.0 with no skill below 6.5 or an equivalent award.

Duration: 2 years, full-time

Courses offered and admission process

MSc Physiotherapy (Pre-Registration)

Your application and your personal essay is the first step. Your essay should show that your values align with that of the NHS Constitution, your skills, research experience, and your aptitude for healthcare. If shortlisted, you will be called for an interview.

7. Manchester Metropolitan University

Home to over 40,000 students, Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) is located in the heart of Manchester, England. The university provides a CSP-accredited course in this field.

Source: MMU


Manchester, England

Why is it good to study here?

MMU is one of the top 100 universities in the world to for this area of study according to QS World University Rankings. The university has a dedicated physiotherapy facility on campus, a movement laboratory, and simulation technology. The course is designed to get you registered with the society of physiotherapists in the UK. The university emphasises on a case-based, practical, problem-solving mode of teaching and learning to facilitate the learning of essential skills such as clinical reasoning, manual skills, massage, and exercise therapy. The course also includes five clinical practice placements.

Fees and scholarship options

Full-time fee: £19,000 per year for international students. The university offers four different types of scholarships:

  • General and Chancellor’s international awards
  • Postgraduate scholarships for specific courses
  • Research grants
  • Sports scholarships

Eligibility and duration

  • A minimum of 65% or above in a relevant undergraduate degree for the pre-registration course
  • Relevant subject areas include biological sciences, sports science, sports therapy or rehabilitation, chemistry, nursing, and psychology.
  •  Evidence of interest and work experience in the relevant field.
  • Satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) enhanced criminal records check upon registration to the course.
  • An occupational health screening prior to joining the course.
  • IELTS with an overall score of 7.0 with no less than 6.5 in any category,

Duration: 2 years, full-time

Courses offered and admission process

  • MSc (Pre-Registration) Physiotherapy
  • MSc Advanced Physiotherapy (for qualified professionals)

The application deadline for the course that begins in September is January of the same year. It must be submitted through UCAS. Note that despite being a postgraduate course, pre-registration programs use the undergraduate UCAS service. You can apply through the university website directly for the advanced program.

8. University of Brighton

Having received its university status in 1992, the University of Brighton focuses on professional education. The university takes on an innovative, problem-based approach to this facet of the healthcare industry.

Source: University of Brighton


Brighton, Eastbourne, England

Why is it good to study here?

Another one of the top 100 universities in the world for this field, the University of Brighton has two postgraduate programs. A pre-registration postgraduate diploma for those just beginning their careers and an advanced physiotherapy PG diploma for qualified therapists. The course is built around the values of the NHS – respect, dignity, compassion, and working together for patients. Their course is also accredited by the HCPC and CSP.

Fees and scholarship options

The course fee is £16,700. International scholarships will be awarded at £3,500, £2,500 and £1,000 levels and those applications we assess as best meeting the criteria will be awarded the higher amount. These scholarships are awarded as a reduction in tuition fees for the first year of study.

Eligibility and duration

  • A minimum of 65% or above in a relevant undergraduate degree for the pre-registration course
  • Relevant subject areas include biological sciences, sports science, sports therapy or rehabilitation, chemistry, nursing, and psychology.
  •  Evidence of interest and work experience in the relevant field will be an added advantage but not mandatory.
  • IELTS 7.0 overall, with no element below 6.5; or equivalent qualification.

Duration: 2 years

Courses offered and admission process

  • PGDip in Physiotherapy (Pre-Registration)
  • Advanced Physiotherapy PGDip

We are in January and the slots are already full for the beginner course starting in September. Applications for September 2024 open in October 2023 and you have to apply at the earliest. Your academic transcripts and personal statement are what will give them a comprehensive idea about you as a candidate. Shortlisted students will be called for an interview.

9. Cardiff University

Established in 1883, Cardiff University is a public research university in Wales. It is the only Welsh member of the Russell Group of research-intensive British universities.

Source: Cardiff University


Cardiff, Wales

Why is it good to study here?

One of the top universities in the UK for health-related education, Cardiff provides a learning environment that is comprehensive and immersive. Accredited by the council and the chartered society, the program has an in-depth set of modules that will allow you to pursue your career in practice, management or research.

Fees and scholarship options

£25,450 per year for international students. The university also has a number of scholarships awarded based on academic excellence and financial need. Of them, the following two are the best suited for students from all over the world.

  • Master’s Excellence Scholarships
  • Vice Chancellors’ International Scholarship.

Read more, here.

Eligibility and Duration

  • An undergraduate degree (UK diploma or equivalent). Only qualified therapists are eligible to apply.
  • 12 months (full-time equivalent) of clinical experience is required, to be evidenced by an employer or colleague reference.
  • IELTS with an overall score of 6.5 and 5.5 in all subskills.

Courses offered and admission process

Note: The pre-registration course is not open to international students. However, you can apply for the advanced program, provided you are a practising physiotherapist.

Your application is considered primarily based on the personal essay that you submit. Each case is evaluated independently. The application deadline is typically in June.

10. University of Nottingham

Founded in 1881, the University of Nottingham is a public research university. The main campus also includes a teaching hospital (Queen’s Medical Centre), making it a great place to pursue your master’s course.

Source: University of Nottingham


Nottingham, England

Why is it good to study here?

An internationally recognised qualification, the University of Nottingham is one of the top 100 universities in the world to study this subject. The MSc Physiotherapy course is open to all therapists and related healthcare professionals who want to enhance their clinical skills, professional knowledge, and critical appraisal abilities as part of their ongoing career development. It is ideal if you want to conduct hands-on clinically focused research without the commitment of undertaking a research-only degree.

Fees and scholarship options

The course fee is £21,500 per year.

The university also has a number of scholarships specially dedicated to overseas students

  • GREAT Scholarships – India, Indonesia, and Malaysia
  • Developing Solutions Masters Scholarships
  • South Asia Postgraduate Excellence Award and many more.

Eligibility and Duration

  • A first degree in physiotherapy or a related health care subject of at least a 2:2 classification or international equivalent.
  • IELTS score 6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any element)
  • Minimum one year of work experience

Courses offered and admission process

MSc Physiotherapy

There is an application fee of £50 pounds. You can apply online and track your application status through the student profile. Your personal essay is important as it gives them a subjective view of who you are as a candidate.

How to apply to study Physiotherapy in the UK

What specialisation? Should you go for a pre-reg course or an advanced course? Will you get funding? Is it online or on campus? The questions and decisions are endless.

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