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The Master of Physiotherapy (MPhty endorsed) programme endorsed in one of the specialist areas (Neurorehabilitation, Orthopaedic Manipulative Therapy or Sports Physiotherapy) aims to advance the student’s clinical reasoning and patient management skills beyond that of the entry level practitioner and provide one of the prerequisites necessary to achieve specialisation. The one-semester research components that may comprise the design and implementation of a small research project, a case series, a data-based clinical review, a systematic review, or a critical review under the supervision of a member of staff, will ensure that the student is research enabled and ready to embrace evidence based practice in the performance of their career.
Alternatively, students can undertake two papers from the approved schedule and a thesis to obtain a research master's (MPhty). The School of Physiotherapy has a strong postgraduate research programme currently supporting numerous master's research students working on topics that range from neurological disorders to anatomical studies. We aim to provide students with a high level of knowledge and experience in order to help them develop their own research skills whether using qualitative or quantitative methodologies for statistical analysis, lab-based studies or community work, prevalence studies or intervention trialling – our aim is to have students complete their master,s confident in their abilities to conduct research and assess relevant literature and practices, whether this leads to PhD study in the future or to more assured clinical practice.
Information for new applicants
This qualification is available to registered physiotherapists. Domestic students must have a current Annual Practising Certificate from the Physiotherapy Board of New Zealand. International students must obtain Special Purpose Scope of Practice from the Physiotherapy Board of New Zealand before arriving in New Zealand.
For the endorsed Master's, distance based students must be practising physiotherapy whilst undertaking the clinical paper in Year 2 of the programme and should note that some papers involved in this qualification involve attending residential blocks in Dunedin and phoning in on audioconferences. On-campus students will be based at the School of Physiotherapy in Dunedin.
Students enrolling for this programme should take care to enrol for the on-campus or Distance versions of the papers as appropriate.
For the research Master's, students must have a supervisor for the special topic paper and the thesis. For assistance with finding a supervisor please contact the Research Administrator. Before acceptance can be granted applicants must work with their potential supervisor to submit either a draft proposal or a project title with their application.
For the endorsed Master's, students must have a supervisor and submit a draft proposal for the research component 6 months prior to undertaking this paper.
Applications normally close on 31 October, however late applications may be considered.
Website School of Physiotherapy
Schedule of Endorsed Options
The Master of Physiotherapy (MPhty) degree is available with endorsed options in:
These endorsements for the Master of Physiotherapy (MPhty) are also available through Distance Learning.
Master of Physiotherapy (MPhty) endorsed in Neurorehabilitation
Master of Physiotherapy (MPhty) endorsed in Orthopaedic Manipulative Therapy
Note: A candidate who has completed the Diploma in Manipulative Therapy awarded by the New Zealand Manipulative Therapists' Association and who enrolled initially for that diploma in 1990 or later may be exempted from PHTY 543.
Master of Physiotherapy (MPhty) in Sports Physiotherapy
Regulations for the Degree of Master of Physiotherapy (MPhty)
Admission to the Programme
- Admission to the programme shall be subject to the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences) on the advice of the Board of Studies in Physiotherapy, which must be satisfied that the candidate has the ability and experience to proceed to the programme.
- Every applicant shall
- have been admitted to the degree of Bachelor of Physiotherapy or hold an equivalent qualification in physiotherapy acceptable to the Board of Studies in Physiotherapy;
- obtain registration with the Physiotherapy Board of New Zealand and possess an Annual Practising Certificate where appropriate; and
- have had relevant full-time post-qualification clinical experience in physiotherapy, where the application is for an area of specialisation.
Structure of the Programme
- The programme shall consist of either:
- PHTY 501 or an approved paper worth 30 points; PHTY 610; and a thesis embodying the results of one year of full-time or equivalent part-time supervised research (unendorsed option); or
- approved papers to the value of 180 points, as prescribed in the Schedule for the chosen endorsement (endorsed option).
- With the permission of the Dean of Physiotherapy a candidate may be permitted to substitute papers worth 30 points in a relevant subject for one of the PHTY papers prescribed for an endorsement in the Schedule.
- A candidate whose qualification for entry to the programme is a Postgraduate Diploma in Physiotherapy may be exempted from all or some of the required papers for an endorsed option.
- A candidate may not present a thesis or dissertation which has previously been accepted for another degree.
- The programme of study, the topic of the thesis, dissertation, or research project, and the supervisors of the research must be approved by the Board of Studies in Physiotherapy.
- For a thesis, the research should be of a kind that a diligent and competent student should complete within one year of full-time study.
- A candidate must achieve an average grade of at least B in the 500-level papers in order to proceed to the 600-level papers or thesis.
- The programme shall consist of either:
Duration of the Programme
A candidate achieving the degree by papers and a thesis shall normally follow a programme for the equivalent of not less than three semesters of full-time study and not more than five semesters of full-time study, and a candidate achieving the degree by thesis alone shall normally follow a programme of study for the equivalent of not less than one year of full-time study and not more than two years of full-time study. Exceptions shall be permitted only with the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences).
- No candidate shall be eligible to sit a final examination for a paper without having gained terms in that paper.
- A candidate gains terms in a paper by satisfactorily demonstrating the acquisition of sufficient knowledge, professional behaviours and skills; by attendance (in person and/or online); by performance in a professional manner of such practice/clinical and other work as the School of Physiotherapy may require; and on overall performance in all components of each paper.
- A candidate who fails to gain terms in any paper will, if other regulations have been met, be required to repeat the whole of that paper.
- Terms granted in any paper shall normally be for that year only.
Withdrawal from the Programme
Where a candidate withdraws from the programme after completing the equivalent of 120 points of approved papers required by regulation 2(a)(ii) the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences) may recommend the award of the Postgraduate Diploma in Physiotherapy (endorsed) or determine which papers shall be credited towards the diploma.
- A candidate shall be required to gain terms in a paper before being permitted to sit the examination for that paper.
- A candidate who obtains a D grade in a paper may be permitted to sit a special examination for that paper. Any candidate who has obtained an E grade in a paper shall not normally be admitted to a special examination in that paper but may be offered an opportunity to repeat the paper.
Examination of Thesis
- The Dean of Physiotherapy (or nominee) shall appoint a Convener of Examiners to oversee each thesis examination.
- The thesis shall be assessed by at least two examiners, at least one of whom shall be external to the University.
- The candidate’s supervisor shall not be an examiner but may make a report on the work of the candidate to the Convener of Examiners.
- Each examiner shall supply a written report on the thesis and recommend a mark and grade on the basis of the thesis as submitted, and an overall result selected from the options specified in clause (e) below.
- The examiners may recommend that a thesis:
- be accepted without amendments;
- be accepted subject to amendments made at the discretion, and to the satisfaction, of the Convener of Examiners;
- does not meet the criteria for the award of the degree, but may be revised and resubmitted for examination;
- does not meet the criteria for the award of the degree, and should be rejected without right of resubmission.
- Amendments (regulation 5(e)(ii)) and revisions (regulation 5(e)(iii)) shall be completed by a specified date to be determined by the Dean of Physiotherapy.
- A candidate shall be permitted to revise and resubmit a thesis for examination once only.
- If a revised and resubmitted thesis is finally accepted, the result shall be either ‘Pass’ or ‘Fail’ (i.e. ungraded) and without eligibility for the award of the degree with distinction or credit.
- Where examiners cannot agree on a result, the Convener of Examiners shall engage in established mediation procedures, and if unresolvable, so report to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences) who shall arrive at a decision after consulting a referee who should normally be external to the University.
- The relative weighting of the components of the programme for the dissertation option is papers 33% and thesis 67%. In the case of a thesis ‘Fail’ result, the degree will not be awarded.
Examination of Research Project
- The Dean of Physiotherapy (or nominee) shall oversee the assessment process for each research project.
- The research project shall be assessed by at least two examiners internal to the School of Physiotherapy.
- The candidate’s supervisor shall not be an examiner but may make a report on the work of the candidate to the Dean of Physiotherapy.
- Each examiner shall supply a brief written report on the research project and recommend a mark and grade on the basis of the research project as submitted, and an overall result selected from the options specified in clause (e) below.
- The examiners may recommend that a research project:
- be accepted without amendments;
- Where examiners cannot agree on a result, the Dean of Physiotherapy or nominee shall engage in established mediation procedures and arrive at a decision.
- The relative weighting of the components of the programme for the research project option is papers 83% and research project 17%.
- In the case of a research project ‘Fail’ result, a candidate may be eligible to be considered for the award of a Postgraduate Diploma in Physiotherapy, subject to fulfilling the requirements for such an award.
Exclusion from the Programme
Any student who, during the course of their studies, is
- subject to criminal charges; or
- subject to disciplinary proceedings of the University or of a professional body; or
- found to have an issue in connection with their mental or physical health that could adversely affect their fitness to practise; or
- found to have failed to declare a matter covered by (a)-(c), may be excluded from further study towards the degree by the Academic Board of the Division of Health Sciences on the recommendation of the Board of Studies for Physiotherapy.
Level of Award of the Degree
The degree may be awarded with distinction or with credit.
The Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences) may in exceptional circumstances approve a course of study which does not comply with these regulations.