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Postgraduate programmes by coursework offer the opportunity to undertake further education within specific areas of physiotherapy study.

Our programmes enable you to update your qualifications wherever you live in New Zealand and beyond. Postgraduate study offers opportunities for flexible learning through a number of distance learning (extramural) and on-campus options. Due to the technical skills required for physiotherapy practice, some of the post-graduate papers also include residential placements.

The University of Otago is a research intensive university. This means that the academic and clinical skills taught at postgraduate level are intertwined/informed not only by international best evidence but also by University of Otago led research.

School of Physiotherapy postgraduate students are supported and expected to be self-directed and life-long learners. Each paper predominantly involves searching and critically engaging with the literature before applying evidence to clinical practice.

Our papers are all worth 30 points and this equates to 300 hours of study for each paper taken per semester. This is approximately 20 to 25 hours of work each week for each paper. Most domestic students study part-time and work part-time.

All papers have Audioconferences. The number varies for each paper but ranges between 4 and 8. These may be held in the evenings or during the day. You are expected to attend these as part of the direct learning component of the paper.

The following papers have residential blocks:
Semester 1:
PHTY501: 2 x 3 days held in early March and mid-April
PHTY543: 3 x 3 days held in early March, mid-April and late-May

PHTY535: 21 to 23 August (2024)
PHTY542: 5 days held in early September
PHTY561: 100 hours of supported clinical practice in an approved location

Check your eligibility for School of Physiotherapy PG coursework study at

Postgraduate study can be undertaken as:

  • Postgraduate Certificate (two x 30 point papers)
  • Postgraduate Diploma (four x 30 point papers)
  • Master's (six x 30 point papers)


physio_thumbnail children in wheelchairs in gym with ball 2017This programme is designed to enhance the understanding of clinical and academic issues within the broad neurorehabilitation arena. The focus is on:

  • Investigating and analysing contemporary developments in neurorehabilitation practice and research
  • Understanding the mechanisms that control human movement
  • Evaluating complex clinical problems
  • Assessing the outcome of interventions

Find out more about Neurorehabilitation study here

Orthopaedic Manipulative Therapy

physio_thumbnail woman physio and patient leg work 2017This programme is designed to advance practical and clinical reasoning skills in managing patients with disorders of the musculoskeletal system, such as chronic spinal problems.

The programme emphasises an integrated clinical approach using concepts and techniques from a variety of approaches to manual therapy, manipulation, and exercise; underpinned by an understanding of clinical anatomy, medical specialities, and other relevant disciplines.

Find out more about Orthopaedic Manipulative Therapy study here

Sports Physiotherapy

physio_thumbnail young women group hug 2017 Sports 648944056This programme includes skill-based residential components and provides clinicians with the opportunity to advance their knowledge and competence in a sports and exercise-specific physiotherapy speciality.

There is a strong focus on clinical reasoning of patho-anatomical, neurophysiological, and biomechanical factors associated with the assessment and management of patients with sports-related neuromusculoskeletal problems.

Specific modules facilitate discussion and debate on the latest injury prevention strategies, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation principles that affect people engaged in leisure, sports, and recreation activities.

Find out more about Sports Physiotherapy study here

Occupational Health Physiotherapy

physio_thumbnail roofer at work with solar panels 2017This programme provides practicing physiotherapists with specific knowledge and skills to apply in occupational health practice.

It includes the assessment, management, and prevention of work-related musculoskeletal disorders, and the role of government regulatory bodies and statutory authorities in occupational health practice.

The Occupational Health paper PHTY 539 meets ACC's vocational rehabilitation competencies.

Find out more about Occupational Health study here

Contact us

To find out more about our postgraduate programmes by coursework please contact: or
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