Robert Gordon University (RGU) has launched an innovative Doctorate of Physiotherapy (DPT) course that's the first of its kind in the UK.


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rgu doctorate of physiotherapy
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Robert Gordon University (RGU) has launched an innovative Doctorate of Physiotherapy (DPT) course which meets professional development needs and is the first of its kind in the UK.

Devised by RGU’s Physiotherapy team, the new three-and-a-half year course will produce physiotherapists with clinically applied doctoral research skills and workplace experience.

The university’s MSc physiotherapy course has a well established reputation for employable, experienced graduates both in the UK and internationally. DPT graduates will have all of these attributes in addition to highly sought-after doctoral level research skills.

The DPT course is based on the university’s existing pre-registration Physiotherapy MSc which has a long association with the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) in the US.

Delivered at RGU’s School of Health Sciences, the programme builds on prior learning and experience and is the only physical therapy programme outside North America which the organisation has accredited.

The first two years of the DPT, which includes six placements, are run in parallel with the MSc course with integrated research degree training that leads to working on a Doctoral Thesis in the final 18 months of the course.

After two years successful candidates will be awarded the PgDip and are then eligible to apply for Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) registration which gives eligibility to practice in the UK.

From a UK perspective the DPT course is an innovative and unique pathway to increase research capacity and capability within the physiotherapy profession to help improve the quality of care and productivity of health services.

Internationally, CAPTE have from 2016 onwards changed the minimum level of qualifying programmes to doctoral level which means the qualification will be in high demand by those wishing to pursue a career in the US and beyond.

Donna Wynne, RGU’s course leader for the new Doctorate of Physiotherapy course, said: “Doctorate level physiotherapy is becoming increasingly common internationally and has proved popular in both North America and Australia where we have strong market links.

“The doctorate course follows a model similar to an integrated PhD where students undertake the majority of the modules on the MSc physiotherapy course to become qualified Physiotherapists with a Postgraduate Diploma Physiotherapy (pre-registration) at the end of their second year.

“They are then eligible to register with the Health and Care Professions Council and can continue with completion of the research degree in their third year as HCPC registered physiotherapists.”

The ability for students to practice as registered physiotherapists during their final 18 months on the course will help students gain as much experience as possible in the field to be attractive to future employers as they look to build their careers.

About Robert Gordon University in Scotland, the UK

We are delighted to introduce you to Robert Gordon University, situated in Aberdeen, on the North East coast of Scotland. Robert Gordon University has a heritage going back 250 years, and it was granted university status in 1992. Since then the university has gone from strength to strength, proactively engaging with businesses in the development of many of its degree courses and meeting regional and national needs at a time of constant change and development. As a result we have a reputation for producing graduates that are highly sought after by employers.

Today Robert Gordon University delivers more than 300 courses to over 15,000 full and part-time students from 120 countries. Over the last decade we have consistently had one of the best records of any UK university for graduate-level employment and we were quoted in The Times Good University Guide 2013 as the best modern university in the UK – for the fifth year running.

RGU Physiotherapy School

Robert Gordon University offers a Master of Science (Physiotherapy). This Physiotherapy program will provide you with the knowledge and skills necessary to practice physiotherapy via an accelerated programme which builds on prior learning and experience. It is a two year Masters course with an exciting and varied mix of academic and clinical learning.

Robert Gordon University places a firm emphasis on the development of clinical reasoning and practical skills throughout the Physiotherapy course. Academic modules have been developed to allow students to develop strong core assessment and treatments skills and a deeper knowledge of core areas such as exercise prescription and health improvement theory. Integrating the core practice areas of cardiovascular respiratory, neurology and musculoskeletal encourages students to think holistically about their patients to embed this in their practice.

Entry Requirements

Canadian students wishing to apply to the Robert Gordon’s School of Physiotherapy should have:

  • A relevant bachelor degree or equivalent
  • Completion of units in musculoskeletal anatomy, human biology or physiology and psychology at tertiary level
  • Desirable units include physics, research methods or evidence based practice and statistics
  • Minimum GPA 75%, however, because of the competitive nature acceptance GPA will run higher

Graduate Entry Physiotherapy at Robert Gordon University

Award Title: Master of Science, Physiotherapy
Length of Program: 2 years full time
Intake: January
Number of Seats Available: 30 places
Country: Scotland, UK

Undergraduate Entry Physiotherapy at Robert Gordon University

Award Title: Bachelor of Science Hons (Physiotherapy)
Length of Program: 4 years full time
Intake: September
Number of Seats Available: 24-26 places
Country: Scotland, UK

Apply to Robert Gordon University in the UK