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Postgraduate Diploma in Physiotherapy (PGDipPhty)

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The Postgraduate Diploma in Physiotherapy (PGDipPhty) is designed to provide individuals currently working in a specific area of physiotherapy with a programme of study designed to enhance their knowledge, competence and skill. It can be endorsed in either Neurorehabilitation, Orthopaedic Manipulative Therapy or Sports Physiotherapy, and as such, has a strong clinical emphasis to service the stated needs of the profession. Each programme develops a student's ability to critically review and evaluate current practice and apply this information appropriately to the evaluation and management of client needs. It further aims to provide students with an ability to contribute to the ongoing development of effective physiotherapy management.

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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.

Distance based students must be practising physiotherapy whilst undertaking the clinical paper and should note that some papers involved in this qualification involve attending residential blocks in Dunedin and phoning in on audioconferences. Applicants enrolling for distance learning should ensure that they nominate the distance learning option. On-campus students will be based at the School of Physiotherapy in Dunedin.

On completion of the Diploma, with a minimum grade average of B, students can progress to the Master of Physiotherapy (MPhty) endorsed in the same area.

Applications normally close on 31 October, however late applications may be considered.

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Contact details



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Schedule of Endorsed Options

The Postgraduate Diploma in Physiotherapy (PGDipPhty) is available with endorsed options in:

These endorsements for the Postgraduate Diploma in Physiotherapy (PGDipPhty) are also available through Distance Learning.

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Programme requirements

Postgraduate Diploma in Physiotherapy (PGDipPhty) in Neurorehabilitation

  • PHTY 501  Biomedical Science in Physiotherapy
  • PHTY 530  Theoretical Constructs in Clinical Practice  or  PHTY 545  Advanced Studies in Physiotherapy
  • PHTY 535  Neurorehabilitation
  • plus one further paper worth 30 points from:
    PHTY 539  Occupational Health Physiotherapy
    PHTY 542
      Sports Physiotherapy
    PHTY 545
      Special Topic
    PHTY 548
      Introduction to Musculoskeletal Acupuncture
    or MSME, OCCH, PAIN, PUBH, REHB or SPME papers.
  • Note: Enrolment in any paper requires approval from an authorised Course Approver.

Postgraduate Diploma in Physiotherapy (PGDipPhty) 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.

Postgraduate Diploma in Physiotherapy (PGDipPhty) in Sports Physiotherapy


Regulations for the Postgraduate Diploma in Physiotherapy (PGDipPhty)

  1. Admission to the Programme

    1. Admission to the programme shall be subject to the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences).
    2. Every applicant shall
      1. have been admitted to the degree of Bachelor of Physiotherapy or hold an equivalent Physiotherapy qualification acceptable to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences);
      2. be registered with the Physiotherapy Board of New Zealand and possess an Annual Practising Certificate where appropriate or be a registered (or equivalent) physiotherapist in their country of practice or residence; and
      3. have post-qualification clinical experience in physiotherapy.

  2. Structure of the Programme

    1. The programme shall consist of approved papers to the value of 120 points, which must be those specified in the Schedule for the chosen endorsement if the diploma is to be endorsed.
    2. With permission of the Dean of Physiotherapy, a candidate may substitute up to 30 points in a relevant or related subject for one or more of the required PHTY papers prescribed for an endorsement in the Schedule.
    3. A candidate who has completed the requirements for the Postgraduate Certificate in Physiotherapy shall be credited with those papers in the programme for the diploma which have been previously passed for the certificate.

  3. Duration of the Programme

    1. A candidate for the diploma shall normally follow a programme of study for not less than one year of full-time study or the equivalent in part-time study.
    2. A candidate will normally be expected to satisfy the requirements for the diploma within three years of admission to the programme.

  4. Terms Requirements

    1. No candidate shall be eligible to sit a final examination for a paper without having gained terms in that paper.
    2. 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 practical and clinical work and other work as the School of Physiotherapy may require; and on overall performance in all components of each paper.
    3. A candidate who fails to gain terms in any paper will, if other requirements of the regulations have been met, be required to repeat the whole of that paper.
    4. Terms granted in any paper shall normally be for that year only.

  5. Examinations

    1. A candidate shall be required to gain terms in a paper before being permitted to sit the examination for that paper.
    2. 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 will not normally be admitted to a special examination in that paper but may be offered an opportunity to repeat the paper.

  6. Withdrawal from the Programme

    Where a candidate withdraws from the programme after completing approved papers to the value of 60 points required by regulation 2(a), the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences) may recommend the award of the Postgraduate Certificate in Physiotherapy or determine which papers shall be credited towards the Certificate.

  7. Exclusion from the Programme

    Any student who, during the course of their studies, is:

    1. subject to criminal charges; or
    2. subject to disciplinary proceedings of the University or of a professional body; or
    3. found to have an issue in connection with their mental or physical health that could adversely affect their fitness to practise; or
    4. found to have failed to declare a matter covered by (a)-(c),

    may be excluded from further study towards the diploma by the Academic Board of the Division of Health Sciences on the recommendation of the Board of Studies for Physiotherapy.

  8. Level of Award of the Diploma

    The diploma may be awarded with distinction or with credit.

  9. Variations

    The Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences) may in exceptional circumstances approve a course of study which does not comply with these regulations.

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