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Postgraduate Course

Advanced Musculoskeletal Practice MSc, PG Dip, PG Cert

Further your professional development and refine your practice in the field of musculoskeletal health and social care.

If you are an established professional working in a health and social care setting, and looking to develop and refine your professional practice, this course could be for you. Here you will be assessed in advanced settings, accurate to the actual scenarios found in your chosen field. The focus of this course is Advanced Musculoskeletal Practice and you can undertake your study at MSc, PG Diploma or PG Certificate level.

York campus

  • Duration – MSc 3 years part time, PG Dip 2 years part time, PG Cert 1 year part time
  • Start date – October 2024, October 2025
  • School – School of Science, Technology and Health

Minimum entry requirements

    2:2 honours degree in a related subject

    5 years postgraduate experience with 3 years in an appropriate Musculoskeletal setting.

Tuition fees

    UK 2023-24 £2,333 per year part time

    International 2023-24 N/A per year part time

Course overview

This is a unique model of continued professional development for allied health professionals. You will learn from industry experts in intimate learning groups. You will gain a master’s level award, be it PG Certificate, PG Diploma or full MSc, in your chosen area of Advanced Musculoskeletal Practise. The award you decide upon will affect the duration of the course, as well as how many modules you undertake

You will be a qualified professional, working in UK health and/or social care, such as a physiotherapist or occupational therapist. You will be seeking to develop advanced practice in your own specific clinical area.  The year 1 PG Cert can be taken as a standalone module which fulfils the requirements of the FCP Roadmap for stage 1 and stage 2 FCP training.

The award pathways have different expected learning outcomes. Each one advances the previous award. To complete your chosen award, you will be able to:

PG Cert

  • Demonstrate advanced levels of clinical decision making
  • Critically evaluate and apply current evidence related to assessment and outcome measures appropriate to their area of practice
  • Demonstrate comprehensive leadership skills to support and encourage development of others.

PG Dip

  • Critically evaluate and apply relevant evidence on health coaching, health literacy, leadership and change management
  • Develop high levels of effective communication appropriate to patients in health coaching and health literacy, and to key stakeholders in leadership and change management
  • Demonstrate comprehensive leadership skills to support and encourage service development.

Full MSc

  • Select, justify and implement a methodology appropriate to the research question or aim
  • Follow research ethics principles to conduct the research ethically
  • Present research findings in a recognised journal format for manuscript submission.

Course structure

How you will study

You can study this postgraduate course part time. This allows you to fit your studies around other commitments.

If you choose to study for the PG Cert the course will take 1 year to complete. You will study:

  • 1 compulsory module across semesters 1 and 2

If you choose to study for the PG Dip the course will take 2 years to complete. You will study:

  • 1 compulsory module across semesters 1 and 2 of your first year
  • 1 compulsory module across semesters 1 and 2 of your second year

If you choose to study for the MSc the course will take 3 years to complete. You will study:

  • 1 compulsory module across semesters 1 and 2 of your first year
  • 1 compulsory module across semesters 1 and 2 of your second year
  • 1 compulsory module across semesters 1, 2 and 3 of your third year


Credits: 60

Compulsory module

On this module you will develop and refine your skills towards becoming an advanced practitioner. Roles in musculoskeletal (MSK) practice are well established, but these roles are seeing rapid expansion, with recognition in recent health policy that they play a vital role in clinical care (NHS Long Term Plan 2019). Advanced practitioners have a unique skill set to enable them to manage patients across a whole care pathway.

Health Education England (HEE 2017) recognise the vital role you will play as a practitioner. The HEE framework has characterised the main components of multi-professional advanced practice with 4 key pillars:

  • Clinical practice
  • Leadership and management
  • Education
  • Research

You will be assessed on both a presentation and reflective portfolio. The presentation makes up 30% of the module and will be 20 minutes in length. The Portfolio is worth 70% of the module. In this, you will utilise evidence to critically reflect on 5 case studies encountered within the clinical setting. This should include both complex clinical case studies and evidence of the application of leadership skills.

You will also be assessed on the application of documented skills in a practical setting, by a mentor. This is not weighted, instead being a PASS/FAIL.

Credits: 60

Compulsory module

On this module you will develop your own specific areas of expertise and advanced practice. These may be considered and developed within the PG Cert that precedes this module, such as Advanced Musculoskeletal or Respiratory Practice.

You will consider the service and practice within which you work. You could transform:

  • Your own service and its interaction with other services in patient pathways through innovation inside and across different services
  • Your relationship with patients by adopting a health coaching approach
  • The effectiveness of your interventions, by understanding how health literacy influences patient compliance.

As a clinician, you will reflect on and develop your practice through engagement with theories, models and tools of change management, health coaching and health literacy. This will be underpinned by your critical appraisal of the relevant evidence.

Credits: 60

Compulsory module

On this module you will develop your ability to select and interpret assessment methods and outcomes measures that are suitable for the individuals, groups and populations you work with. You will learn how to make complex clinical decisions based on robust evidence-based assessment. This will allow you to measure the outcomes of interventions to ensure they are safe, effective and good value for money. As you develop into a more advanced practitioner role, you will extend your responsibility to:

  • Appraise the assessment and outcome measurement methods and tools that are adopted for specific client groups and care pathways
  • Supervise and support peers to select and interpret assessment and outcome measurement methods
  • Lead service evaluations and improvements in this area to support sound clinical decision making.


This is a 7 day course that will be structured as listed below:

On day 1 You will consider Advanced Practitioner (AP) roles, clinical reasoning at an AP level, patient communication and decision making. This content has a clinical practice focus, but considers role models and values, co-produced care and patient education.


Days 2 and 3 You will consider and discuss multiple clinical case, receiving peer and tutor feedback from the points you make. This is an opportunities for you to demonstrate advanced levels of patient assessment, supported by clinical reasoning and decision making. You will consider appropriate investigations, management options and care planning which would include specialist referral if required. 


Day 4 This day is focused on leadership and management skills. This includes completion of a PRINT report on individual leadership characteristics to underpin discussions and personal reflection and development. You will consider factors influencing service design and planning and how in their own role they can influence change and optimise impact of their practice on care pathways. 


Day 5 Today you will complete your leadership content, then focus on health coaching and behaviour change. It is important for participants to consider wider determinants of health beyond MSK and consider health promotion, lifestyle and preventative strategies and social prescribing. 


Day 6 You will look at diagnostic investigations accessible by APs and how to clinically reason the selection and use of these tests with patients. You will be able to communicate decisions and results effectively and take these into account when discussing and considering future patient management.  Day 6 also covers the role of injection therapy and associated pharmacology which is grounded in clinical practice skill but requires evidence and research to underpin its application. 


Day 7 On the final day of assessment, all the course content and pillars are drawn together through discussion of complex cases and a formative OSCE assessment. 


Teaching and assessment

Teaching and learning

Each module requires 36 hours of assessment, spread over 6 non-consecutive days. The learning time for each module is 600 hours, which includes any external independent research and tutor and peer review sessions.

We use a variety of learning methods, including:

  • Discussions on critiques and theories
  • Consideration of case studies to explore authentic scenarios
  • Critical appraisal of evidence
  • Self-reflection

You will engage with an approach to learning that mirrors and enhances the practice in which you work. You will refine your practice, focusing on autonomous activity and complex decision making. This will give you the abilities to develop innovative methods that will enhance your clients' experiences and improve outcomes.

Our teaching draws on both our research and professional experience. This means your learning is informed by the most current thinking in the subject area. You can find out more about our research and backgrounds by visiting our staff pages.


The course is made up of formative and summative assessments, designed to support and inspire your development. Assessments are carried out in environments that are as authentic as possible to the scenarios you will find in the health and social care industry.

Your formative assessments include:

  • Critiquing a research paper with your peers and tutors
  • A plan for transformational service change
  • Self-reflection on your experience of implementing a health coaching approach with a service user
  • A critique of a standardised assessment tool
  • Producing a manuscript suitable for possible publication

Entry requirements


Minimum entry requirements

    2:2 honours degree in a related subject

    5 years postgraduate experience with 3 years in an appropriate Musculoskeletal setting.

If your degree is in an unrelated subject, but you can provide evidence of relevant professional experience, your application may still be considered.

In addition, you must have:

  • 5 years current postgraduate experience with 3 years in an appropriate musculoskeletal clinical setting
  • A letter of support from your line manager
  • Proof of appropriate and up to date professional registration (for example HCPC or GMC)

If you do not have traditional qualifications, you may be eligible for entry on the basis of Recognition of prior learning (RPL). Check your eligibility by visiting the RPL page below. We also consider applications for entry with advanced standing.

Recognition of prior learning

International students

Unfortunately, this course is not open to international students. Discover the other courses we offer.

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Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. You can read them on our Admissions page.

Fees and funding

UK 2023 - 2024 entry

The tuition fee for 2023 entry to this postgraduate course is:

  • £2,333 per year for part time study

If you choose to study for a PG Diploma, the tuition fee is:

  • £2,500 per year for 2 years of part time study

These prices apply to all UK, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

Funding your studies

UK 2023-2024

The tuition fee for 2023 entry to this postgraduate course is:

  • £2,333 for part time study

This price applies to all UK, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

Workforce transformation funding is no longer available but you may be able to seek alternative CPD funding (best discussed with your manager and/or workforce development lead) or self-fund. Please note all courses are subject to meeting minimum cohort numbers to enable a full student experience. To receive the CPD e-newsletter please email

Tuition fees

    UK 2023-24 £2,333 per year part time

    International 2023-24 N/A per year part time

Alumni Scholarships

If you are alumni of York St John University we have scholarships available to help you continue your studies.

Scholarships for alumni

International 2023 - 2024 entry

Unfortunately this course is not available for international students.

Additional costs and financial support

Course-related costs

While studying for your degree, there may be additional costs related to your course. This may include purchasing personal equipment and stationery, books and optional field trips.

Accommodation and living costs

View our accommodation pages for detailed information on accommodation and living costs.

Career outcomes

Where could Advanced Musculoskeletal Practice take you?

You will already be a qualified professional working in UK health and/or social care.

This course will help you further develop the advanced level of your practice in your own clinical area and enhance your career options.

Stand out from the crowd with postgraduate study.

Far fewer people have postgraduate degrees than undergraduate qualifications. This gives you something extra to set yourself apart in a competitive graduate job market. Those with a postgraduate qualification will earn an average of £7,000 a year more than those with only an undergraduate degree. (Department For Education Graduate Labour Market Report 2020)

Our careers service, LaunchPad, provides career support tailored to your ambitions. Through this service you can access:

  • Employer events
  • LinkedIn, CV and cover letter sessions
  • Workshops on application writing and interview skills
  • Work experience and volunteering opportunities
  • Personalised career advice

This support does not end when you graduate. You can access our expert career advice for the rest of your life. We will help you gain the experience and confidence you need to succeed.

Apply for this course

Applications are not yet open for this course. Please check back here closer to the time for application links.

If you have any questions, please fill in an enquiry form below.

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