All graduate physiotherapists who have at least two years postgraduate clinical experience are eligible to apply for entry into this program. Entry is competitive and requires the submission of application forms, a concise Curriculum Vitae, and nomination of two clinical referees. Application forms can be down-loaded from the Centre's web pages. Candidates need to provide certified* copies of their qualifications and demonstrate that they have sufficient relevant clinical experience, which includes related continuing education. Temporary registration to practice is arranged for students while in Australia for the period of the Masters clinical residency only.
*Certified copy: = officially signed and dated by the University as authentic, or verified from original documents by a Justice of the Peace, Attorney in Law, Public Notary, Police, Accountant, etc.
All international postgraduate students must demonstrate English language proficiency. Only physiotherapists who have completed secondary schooling and university degrees in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland, South Africa, United Kingdom or the United States of America are exempt from this requirement.
All other applicants must provide evidence that they have successfully completed the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) examination (academic module) with a minimum score of 7 in each of the four test elements (listening, reading, writing and speaking).
Two on-campus clinical residency programs for the Masters program are available each year [February and August intakes].
The off-campus external study (distance) units comprise coursework which the student completes by submitting assignments to guiding questions. All material resources are sent to the student and the assignments are submitted to the Centre via our online assignment portal. The 'on-campus' residency units require full-time attendance in our clinical training facility here in Perth at The University of Western Australia.
When you enrol in an external unit, you must complete that unit within the semester of enrolment. Time management is therefore very important so that you schedule appropriate time for reading and assignment writing and your clinical practice.
The UWA course has a strong focus on development of physical examination and diagnostic skills as a basis for Manual Therapy treatment. Approaches taught include clinical examination and interpretation, in addition to planning and progression of physical treatment programs. The on-campus program covers a range of treatment methods including articular mobilisation and manipulation, management of neurogenic pain disorders and aspects of soft tissue treatment and neuromuscular rehabilitation. The Master of Manual Therapy translates many of the principles of rehabilitation to populations with pathologies seen in musculoskeletal physiotherapy clinical practice. The one semester duration of the clinical residency on-campus component of the Masters course allows students to acquire competence in the technical skills of manual therapy and to consolidate methods of physical examination and clinical reasoning. Exposure is given to various approaches to Manual Therapy from a range of highly skilled clinician-led teachers with an attempt to present a varied and inclusive approach based on clinical empiricism (best practice) and evidence.
Our program was developed in response to demand from graduate physiotherapists interested in a time and cost efficient clinically focussed training program. This program is unique in that it provides the opportunity for intensive Manual Therapy study combined with flexible delivery study units. While most Australian graduate schools have two semesters of around 14 weeks, with a four week mid-semester break; the Centre's Master degree has an intensive clinical skills training residency in Perth over one semester. This structure has proven very popular and economical with students who are unable to take one full academic year leave from employment. Students attend class every day of the week with sessions every morning and afternoon.
We advise you to undertake external units prior to the on-campus units. As the on-campus semester is very intense, we would advise that you may find it very difficult to allocate time to any external unit work during this semester.
The clinical programs are coordinated and taught by the academic teaching faculty and clinical associates of the Centre. All lecturers have extensive clinical experience and postgraduate qualifications in either sports or manipulative physiotherapy. Invited lectures involve Specialists in Pain Medicine, Radiology, Spinal surgery, Orthopaedic surgery, Neurology, Neuroradiology, Neurosurgery, Rheumatology and other medical or surgical disciplines also complement the Manual Therapy teaching faculty. In addition special invited lecturers contribute lectures in pharmacology, clinical psychology, podiatric surgery, and related issues that influence the management of clients with neuromusculoskeletal dysfunction.
The emphasis of these courses is on the development of clinical reasoning skills and specific manual therapy competencies. Our courses incorporate a shorter 'on campus' component compared to many postgraduate physiotherapy programs in Australia. For instance, on-campus units for the Master of Manual Therapy course comprise 360 hours of classroom based instruction. This includes 58 hours of supervised clinical practice in teaching hospitals over a three month, one semester period and 300+ hours of lectures and in class clinical reasoning and clinical skills training. This model provides intensive clinical education in manual therapy. Included in these units are related aspects of clinical anatomy, pathology, radiology and neurophysiology. The structure of the clinical units is designed to help integrate new theoretical knowledge into clinical practice. Much of this related theory, which in other courses is taught through lectures and assignments, is included in the external study units. Through this structure, the external units provide resource information which complements the residential clinical units. This model offers considerable time efficiency over full year courses, given the flexible nature of the external units and their self-paced nature allowing clinicians to work full time while completing the external units and then attend the 3 month on-campus intensive semester.
The MMT program received national course accreditation (2004) through the Australian Physiotherapy Association [APA] and its subsidiary Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Australia [MPA]. This means that the course is also recognised by The International Federation of Orthopaedic Manipulative Physiotherapists [IFOMT]. The Master of Manual Therapy degree allows graduates to apply for titled membership of MPA if they are also members of the APA. Each country has their own system and porcess for recognition of qualifications obtianed internationaly. You must check with the relevant organisation or authority in your country.
Students are not required to complete a dedicated research project. Instead, the distance study and residency units provide a focus on evidence-based practice and to incorporate contemporary research findings into the curriculum. One of the primary objectives of the clinical course is to integrate clinical theory and practice. The Centre's staff are highly qualified physiotherapy researchers who have published widely. In addition most of the visiting teaching faculty are active clinicians. Students may also have the opportunity to meet research students undertaking higher degrees in the Centre and may be invited to participate as subjects in their studies.
Clinical Anatomy laboratory sessions are conducted each week in the School of Anatomy, Physiology and Human Biology; which will involve review of anatomical prosections. Each laboratory session is linked to the focus of the . An Anatomy licence will be arranged prior to the course. An anatomy atlas is recommended to assist your revision during this program. Students undertake a full joint dissection project working in pairs.
Undergraduate and early career clinical experiences vary greatly around the world and students in our programs represent many different backgrounds. The CMS lecturers are all experienced in postgraduate teaching and interacting with students to ensure each has an opportunity to develop their skills. Diversity of backgrounds assists in clinical discussions and allows more experienced clinicians to further refine their current methods of practice, while providing less experienced physiotherapists with a framework on which to develop a logical approach to the practice of musculoskeletal physiotherapy.
Students enrolled in the Master of Manual Therapy course will be required to attend clinical placements in teaching and community hospitals in the Perth metropolitan area. Students will attend the clinics in groups under the direct supervision of experienced postgraduate trained musculoskeletal Physiotherapists.
Pre-reading material is sent to prospective students in the program. Master of Manual Therapy students are sent a 60+ page Pre-Clinical Handbook four months prior to the beginning of the clinical residency. This contains information regarding the taught program, assessment, recording, terminology and professional issues related to clinical practice. A CD with Pre-reading is provided.
Students are expected to practice on each other as they participate in practical sessions. Suitable clothing is required in practical sessions. The development of clinical competence in all aspects of this program will involve mixed gender skills practice sessions and supervised skills training involving patients. Core learning strategies require that all students disrobe appropriately, participate fully in all classes, and are willing to act as subjects for their peer group and as mock patients in examinations.
As the on campus semester includes highly intensive class contact througout with assignments and presentations, students are not enouraged to work clinically during this period.
When you accept an offer of a place on the Master of Manual Therapy program, you must apply to AHPRA for ‘Limited Registration for postgraduate training’. Information about these requirements and an application form is available at the AHPRA website. Further advice about the application will be provided by the CMS. As this application takes time for processing prior to arrival in Australia, early attention to this requirement is necessary.
In order to obtain registration you must provide full details of your Physiotherapy qualification and your clinical history related to continuing professional development, English language, professional indemnity insurance, criminal history, and a record of your clinical practice. Full details are found here. Can I work as a physio in Australia once I have the degree?
The limited registration only allows you to work under supervision within the course. It does not allow you to work outside the course either during or after completion of the degree. However, you may be eligible to apply for full registration through AHPRA to allow unlimited practice in Australia.
Course fees are set annually by the university and can be found by searching the UWA website.
Scholarships tend to be available for research degrees not coursework degrees like the Master of Manual Therapy. However, support from employers, or from private agencies / national scholarship schemes may be possible but these should be initiated by the applicant.
There are no CSPs for local students due to Government regulations, however Fee-HELP is available and further information is available on this scheme.
Accommodation may be available at the university colleges, subject to room availability. The colleges provide full board, including 3 meals per day. The weekly cost is approx $A300 depending on the college and the type of room. Local newspapers provide the best source of information. Students are advised to liaise directly with the UWA college accommodation officers . Please also see our accommodation sheet.
For information on clinical training programs, please contact:
Professor Kevin P. Singer
Phone: +61 8 6488 7078
The Centre for Musculoskeletal Studies,
School of Surgery M424,
The University of Western Australia,
35 Stirling Highway
Crawley, Western Australia, 6009
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Last updated: 14:50:21 September, 2012