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Study plan - Master of Physiotherapy

Autumn 2023

Musculoskeletal, mental, and psychosomatic issues, as well as heart and lung diseases, are among the major health challenges of our time. Complex and intricate conditions are on the rise, placing increasingly greater demands on healthcare services. Physiotherapy plays a pivotal role in health promotion, prevention, examination, and treatment of these health issues. Through the master’s in clinical Physiotherapy program, physiotherapists can develop specialized clinical and research competence in the following three study tracks:

  • Cardiorespiratory Physiotherapy
  • Musculoskeletal, Orthopedic, and Rheumatic Health Problems Physiotherapy
  • Psychomotor Physiotherapy

Social development, technological changes, increasing life expectancy, and altered lifestyles in a multicultural society have significant implications for the disease landscape that the healthcare sector faces. This calls for physiotherapists with strong clinical skills, independent assessment abilities, and updated knowledge within the field.

The main goal of the program is to contribute to better healthcare by educating physiotherapists at the master's level with specialization in the fields of the master's study tracks. Graduates should become skilled clinicians and academics. Emphasis is placed on developing a critical analytical mindset and theoretical training to foster solid academic, clinical, and research-based competence. Graduates become familiar with relevant and new research and gain firsthand experience with various research processes through writing a master's thesis.

The approach of the program is centered around the human being as an experiential and interactive actor. The body is examined as a complex phenomenon, and health and functional problems are discussed from various theoretical perspectives. The program emphasizes the interplay in the treatment situation and reflects on physiotherapy as a relational endeavor. Communication, power dynamics, and powerlessness are addressed, and clinical and ethical aspects of patient participation are analyzed. Age, gender, and culture are seen as essential factors in how individuals act and interact. The program highlights the ability for academic and ethical reflection. Graduates will be qualified for both clinical work and practice-oriented research and professional development.

Graduates qualify for various roles/tasks in specialized and primary healthcare, such as professional leaders, leaders in interdisciplinary teams, and drivers of professional development and quality work. A master's degree is a necessary step towards the development of research and specialist competence. The program qualifies for admission to doctoral programs.

Study track in Cardiorespiratory Physiotherapy
Physiotherapy is integral in the treatment of patients with cardiorespiratory diseases from a lifespan perspective. Various physiotherapy interventions can enhance quality of life, improve function, promote a more active lifestyle, contribute to longevity, and consequently yield societal economic benefits. Through this study track, students develop competence in physiotherapy related to patients with cardiorespiratory diseases in both acute and chronic phases. The study track aims to qualify students for specialized and extended skills in guidance, prevention, examination, treatment, habilitation, and rehabilitation related to these conditions.

Study track in Musculoskeletal, Orthopedic, and Rheumatic Health Problems Physiotherapy
Physiotherapists play a central role in working with individuals suffering from musculoskeletal, orthopedic, and rheumatic health issues. They conduct functional assessments and offer preventative and rehabilitative treatments, which can include pain reduction, improved function, and increased participation in the workforce. Students in this study specialization gain advanced competence in the examination and treatment of patients with musculoskeletal, orthopedic, and rheumatic health problems in both primary and specialist healthcare services. Students can familiarize themselves with relevant research, assume leading positions in professional development, and contribute significantly by offering non-surgical treatment alternatives for conditions that have traditionally been addressed through orthopedic surgery and/or postoperative rehabilitation.

The study trach in Psychomotor Physiotherapy is central in the treatment of patients with health issues where tension states, prolonged musculoskeletal problems, traumas, psychiatric, and psychosomatic disorders can be complexly intertwined to varying degrees. Based on the physical body as a functional unit and a source of life expression, insight, and meaning, psychomotor physiotherapy can help alleviate discomfort and improve function. Through specialization, students develop advanced skills in examining and adapting psychomotor physiotherapy for patients with a wide range of life challenges, in both primary and specialist healthcare services. Emphasis is placed on skills and knowledge about bodily adjustment, as well as relational and resource-oriented competence in interaction with vulnerable patients.

Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree in physiotherapy.
  • Minimum of 1 year of professional practice as a physiotherapist after completing education.

Learning outcomes

A candidate who has completed the qualification shall have the following overall learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills, and general competence:

The candidate...

  • possesses in-depth knowledge in clinical physiotherapy and specialized knowledge in their study track
  • can apply theories, health-promoting measures, examination and treatment methods, classification methods, and interpretative frameworks within the field analytically
  • can apply research-based knowledge critically and analytically

The candidate...

  • has specialized competence in health promotion, prevention, examination, treatment, and (re-) habilitation of patients in their study track
  • can carry out an independent, delimited research or development project under guidance and in accordance with current scientific requirements for valid knowledge and research ethical norms

General competence:
The candidate...

  • can contribute to analytical and critical thinking in assessment, choice, planning, and implementation of clinical physiotherapy for patients with issues within the chosen study specialization
  • can interact with patients/users, their relatives, and other professional groups in the planning, implementation, and organization of physiotherapy measures
  • can apply and reflect upon theories, health-promoting measures, examination, and treatment, and can critically and inquisitively relate to their own professional practice
  • can work knowledge-based
  • can analyze and critically relate to various sources of information and apply these to structure and formulate professional reasoning
  • can contribute to insight and competence so that the patient's physiotherapy offerings are seen in an interdisciplinary context and across service levels
  • can communicate the place and relevance of the field and education in society
  • can contribute to innovation processes and new thinking


Organization of the three study tracks:
The study track in physiotherapy for heart and lung disorders and the study track in physiotherapy for musculoskeletal, skeletal, rheumatic, and orthopedic health problems are full-time programs.

The study track in psychomotor physiotherapy is a full-time program for the first year, while the second and third years are part-time.

The teaching is organized in weekly gatherings on campus. Up to three weekly gatherings per semester, each lasting 2 weeks. Practical periods will take place between the weekly gatherings.

First Year
Students acquire theoretical foundational knowledge and practical skills related to physiotherapy for patient groups within the master's program's study specializations. Students should acquire prerequisites to understand various perspectives on the body, function, health, illness, and communication. Scientific theory and research methodology are organized as online courses.

Some subjects and parts of other teaching will be shared among the different study specializations.

Second Year
Students work on their master's thesis in addition to subjects related to the study specialization.

Third Year
Students in the psychomotor physiotherapy specialization work on their master's thesis in addition to subjects related to the study specialization.

Students follow subjects in the order they are listed in the educational plan. When one subject is completed, it is expected that the student brings this knowledge to new learning situations and integrates it into further study work. MAMET1KF must be passed before the student can start the master's thesis.

All other subjects must be passed before submitting the master's thesis for final evaluation. Expected weekly workload in full-time studies is 40 hours.


Students in the study trach in Physiotherapy for heart and lung disorders and the study track in Physiotherapy for musculoskeletal, skeletal, rheumatic, and orthopedic health problems undertake 10 weeks of supervised clinical practice during the 2nd and 3rd semesters.

Students in psychomotor physiotherapy undertake 200 individual treatment hours during the 2nd to 5th semesters.

The practice takes place in specialist and community health services. Emphasis will be placed on gaining a deeper insight into the levels of services in healthcare and on evaluating and justifying clinical practice, as well as on developmental opportunities in the practice field.

A 90% attendance requirement is in effect for clinical practice.


Through student-active learning methods, students are expected to take responsibility for their own and fellow students' professional development and learning. The study is therefore designed for both individual and group work. Teaching methods in the program vary between lectures, online teaching, seminars, skill training, group work during gatherings or online, interactive knowledge tests, guidance, and practical studies. Self-study is also included.

Critical reflection on the connections between theoretical perspectives and professional practice is emphasized. Students are expected to work on practice-related issues and gain experience in bringing knowledge back to the practice field. Opportunities will be provided for students to participate in professional development and research projects at the college and in clinics. Canvas is used as a study support system.


Students will encounter individual assessment methods such as assignments, practical work, oral and practical exams.


Students in the master's program in clinical physiotherapy could travel for exchange studies to Duke University in the USA and to European partner institutions. Opportunities can also be arranged for stays with our international partner institutions in connection with the master's thesis.