Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Sciences

Clinical research on musculoskeletal health

MSc in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy

If you are interested in clinical research and in musculoskeletal health, the Master programme Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Sciences might be exactly what you are looking for.

Musculoskeletal disorders are the leading cause for functional disabilities and physiotherapy treatment. Scientific research on musculoskeletal health has increased exponentially over the last 10 to 15 years, both in volume and quality. As a clinician or therapist, reading the literature is one way to stay up-to-date. Yet, you will much better understand and value the ins and outs of scientific research when you do research yourself.

In our Master programme, you will learn how to conduct high quality research in the field of musculoskeletal physiotherapy; from searching for theoretical evidence of clinical problems to translating knowledge into clinical solutions. You will perform pre-clinical research in a lab-environment, and apply the acquired knowledge and skills in your own (clinical) research project. This Master programme is unique in its multidisciplinary focus on clinical experimental research in musculoskeletal physiotherapy. It offers you the necessary scientific expertise to advance physiotherapy practice.

The Master's degree programme Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Sciences is a one-year, full-time programme (for part-time options, see below). The programme is taught in English. Various teaching formats are used: lectures, practicals, work groups, seminars and directed self-guided learning. The different formats enhance your theoretical knowledge and research skills, and integrate those within the context of relevant physiotherapy-related problems. The programme also involves a 5-month substantial individual research project. This project can be conducted within the labs of our own faculty or in clinical practices that are part of the VU Science Network. Selected students can conduct their research project abroad. Regardless of the location, you will be supervised by an experienced staff member from our faculty.

The programme
The Master programme consists of 60 EC. The study load of most courses is 6 EC, elective courses are 3 EC and the research project is 24 EC. The programme is spread over 6 blocks. In block 1-3 (September – January), the educational programme will start with courses on clinical experimental research related to current “hot” topics as pain, body and mind, arthroses, aging, low back pain and clinical exercise physiology. Basic principles of data acquisition and data processing in measuring human movement will be trained and supported by advanced knowledge on research methodology (design, statistics and appraisal). The focus will be on the translation of this knowledge and skills to clinical practice. In blocks 4-6 (February – June) you will prepare and perform your individual research project. In parallel, you can select two elective courses based on your individual interest.

Studying part-time
The Master programme can also be followed part-time over a two-year period. Please contact the academic advisors to discuss the possibilities for tuning this part-time option to your individual situation.

Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Sciences courses in the study guide.

To gain admission to the programme we have 3 requirements:

First, you need sufficient knowledge and insight on clinical reasoning. Applicants who a successfully completed the following Bachelor's of Science programmes meet this requirement:

  • Physiotherapy
  • Occupational or exercise therapy (Cesar Mensendieck)
  • Medicine

Second, sufficient knowledge on basic mathematical and analytical skills are required to successfully complete our academic Master programme. See “application and admission” for details to meet these requirements.

Third, VU Amsterdam requires all applicants for a Master’s programme, taught in English, to have a sufficient level of English. See “application and admission” for details to meet these requirements.

With a Master's degree in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Sciences a large and varied range of career opportunities awaits. Graduates of the programme may use their scientific perspective and training to join or return to clinical practice, being more competitive for (more senior and leadership) positions. Having a Master's degree from a leading institution can be helpful when applying for management or policy-making positions in physiotherapy, exercise therapy, occupational therapy or physician/ specialist care. Others may aspire to an academic or commercial research career. The programme is an ideal preparation to commence a PhD in Physiotherapy or related fields in Health Sciences.

Shortlist of career opportunities:

  • Academic trained clinician / physiotherapist
  • Clinical movement analyst
  • Clinical exercise physiologist
  • Embedded scientist
  • Lecturer in higher education
  • Researcher (PhD)
  • Manager / policy maker 
Note that since the Master’s programme Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Sciences is an academic programme, clinical training is not included. Therefore, you will not receive a Certificate of Registration (BIG-registration) within the programme.

A programme with a unique focus
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is the first university in The Netherlands (and probably the world) to offer a dedicated scientific Master programme in clinical experimental research in musculoskeletal physiotherapy. It is an excellent stepping-stone to a clinical or research career.

Learn and team up with the best
We have a long tradition of providing excellent education and research. Our staff are recognised as international experts and leaders in various fields, such as physiotherapy, human movements sciences, clinical psychology, biomechanics and physiology.

An integrated approach
We conduct applied clinical research and fundamental research to discover, diagnose and manage biologically plausible contributors to pathology of musculoskeletal disorders. Both biological and psychosocial factors are considered. Thanks to the integration of basic and applied clinical sciences – often within one research group – discoveries in the lab influence clinical practice, and clinical research questions drive lab experiments. The overall goal is to advance physiotherapy practice.

A national and international network
We have a vast national and international network. The Master's degree programme is linked to the Professorial Chair in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy at VU Amsterdam, which is supported by the Dutch Physiotherapy Association (KNGF). Our faculty has a national science network of physiotherapy clinical practices which participates actively in research. (Exchange) students and staff collaborate closely with international partners in Europe, Australia and the United States.

A personal touch while being part of an international group
We value personal interaction and student well-being. There is flexibility in the programme thanks to optional courses and a wide range in choices in research topics. We value close interactions between students, lecturers and researchers. It is also inspiring to be part of an international group of like-minded people who want to advance physiotherapy practice. The student social club of the faculty further enhances the friendly and welcoming environment.

Enjoy your time in Amsterdam
Amsterdam is an inspirational and vibrant city that provides plenty of opportunities for relaxing, making friends, and expanding your horizons. Living in this charming city will give an extra boost to your experiences as an international student.
empty

emptyemptyemptyemptyempty

emptyemptyemptyemptyemptyRead more about Amsterdam.

grachtenpanden 1 

Overview Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Sciences

LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION

English

DURATION

1 year

APPLICATION DEADLINE

31st of May for Dutch students and EU/EEA students with an international degree who do not need housing services through Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. 1st of April for Non-EU/EEA students.

START DATE

1 September 2020

STUDY TYPE

Full-time

SPECIALIZATIONS

-

FIELD OF INTEREST

Health and Movement

Dutch students

To gain admission to the programme we have 3 requirements: 


First, to gain admission to the programme we require sufficient knowledge and insight on clinical reasoning. Applicants who a successfully completed the following Bachelor of Science programmes meet this requirement:

  • Physiotherapy
  • Occupational or exercise therapy (Cesar Mensendieck)
  • Medicine

Second, sufficient knowledge on basic mathematical and analytical skills are required to successfully complete our academic Master programme. This requirement can be met in either of the following ways:

  • By successfully completing an academic Bachelor of Science programme
  • By successfully completing courses on mathematical and analytical skills at an academic level. The Admission Board will determine whether the courses taken are of a sufficient level.
  • By completing a GMAT test. For admission, a minimum score of 300 is required to be eligible for admission. Note that successful students of the master’s programme Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Sciences typically have a GMAT score of at least 450. If your score is between 300-450, we therefore advise you to follow an additional educational programme to meet the required mathematical and analytical standards. More information on the GMAT can be found here:

More information on the GMAT and the costs. Please note that it takes time to make a GMAT test and to receive the results! On average the process will take you three months. The cost of this test is about 250 US Dollar.

Third, VU Amsterdam requires all applicants for a Master’s programme, taught in English, to have a sufficient level of English. Therefore all apllicants have to to take an English language test and to submit their score as part of their application.

An exception is made for:

  • Dutch students who have obtained a VWO degree
  • Students who have obtained a diploma of a Bachelor of Science programme that was taught in English

The minimum English language proficiency requirements for admission are:

  • IELTS: 6.5 - please note that candidates must take the Academic test and not the General one! 
  • TOEFL paper-based test: 580
  • TOEFL Internet-based test: 92
  • Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE): A, B, C
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): A, B, C
  • VU-test English-language proficiency: TOEFL ITP: 580
Admission requiring review by the Admission Board
If you don’t have one of the Bachelor’s degrees listed above, but are confident that you meet the admission requirement on clinical reasoning, the Admission board will decide whether you are admissible. The same applies to the determination whether the courses on mathematical and analytical skills are of an adequate standard. The procedure is as follows: send an email to toelatingscommissie.fgb@vu.nl with your argumentation (and evidence for that argumentation) that you do meet the admission requirements. Within 4 weeks you will receive a letter with the decision regarding your admission.

Any further questions?

  • You can call us on +31 20 5985000 (on working days from 10.00 till 16.00).
  • Or email us at contact@vu.nl.
  • You can also send us a text message via Whatsapp on +31 6 82 54 83 67.

Information for Dutch students on study related issues as courses, study programme and study choice:
Study advisor
studieadvies.fgb@vu.nl

Information on specifics of the content of the programme:
a.l.pool-goudzwaard@vu.nl
Coordinator of the Master's degree programme Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Sciences

empty Or

Programme director of the Master programme Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Sciences
m.pijnappels@vu.nl

Information days   
Meet us at the next Master's Event!

International students

To gain admission to the programme we have 3 requirements:

First, to gain admission to the programme we require sufficient knowledge and insight on clinical reasoning. Applicants who a successfully completed the following Bachelor of Science programmes meet this requirement:

  • Physiotherapy
  • Occupational or exercise therapy (Cesar Mensendieck)
  • Medicine

Second, sufficient knowledge on basic mathematical and analytical skills are required to successfully complete our academic Master programme. This requirement can be met in either of the following ways:

  • By successfully completing an academic Bachelor of Science programme
  • By successfully completing courses on mathematical and analytical skills at an academic level. The Admission Board will determine whether the courses taken are of a sufficient level.
  • By completing a GMAT test. For admission, a minimum score of 300 is required to be eligible for admission. Note that successful students of the master’s programme Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Sciences typically have a GMAT score of at least 450. If your score is between 300-450, we therefore advise you to follow an additional educational programme to meet the required mathematical and analytical standards.

More information on the GMAT and the costs. Please note that it takes time to make a GMAT test and to receive the results! On average the process will take you three months. The cost of this test is about 250 US Dollar.

Third, VU Amsterdam requires all applicants for a Master’s programme, taught in English, to have a sufficient level of English. Therefore all apllicants have to to take an English language test and to submit their score as part of their application.

An exception is made for:

  • Students who completed their education in Canada, USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia

The minimum English language proficiency requirements for admission are:

  • IELTS: 6.5 - please note that candidates must take the Academic test and not the General one! 
  • TOEFL paper-based test: 580
  • TOEFL Internet-based test: 92
  • Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE): A, B, C
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): A, B, C
  • VU-test English-language proficiency: TOEFL ITP: 580

To apply for the Master programme Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Sciences, you need to complete the appropriate forms and submit them together with the required documents. Please consult the complete admission procedure. You will receive a letter from the Admission board with their decision regarding your admission within 4 weeks.

The following documents are required (to be submitted in English):

  • Copy of your valid passport
  • Copy of your diploma(s)
  • Transcript of records from you Bachelor's programme
  • Relevant courses in statistics and methodology and the use of SPSS 
  • English language test results

What if you do not meet all admission criteria? If you do not meet the admission criteria, the Admission board may decide that you are admissible after you have eliminated your deficiencies. These deficiencies depend on your educational background. Please contact us as soon as possible to find out whether this is the case for you, and which options you have to become admissible before the start of the new term.

  • For international students who have obtained a relevant Bachelor's degree in higher education in The Netherlands, this implies direct admission. Relevant Bachelor’s degrees obtained in the Netherlands are:
    • Physiotherapy
    • Occupational therapy
    • Exercise therapy (Mensendieck, Cesar)
    • Medicine

For students with another Bachelor's or Master's degree than those listed above, the Admission board will decide on whether or not you are admissible after you have eliminated specific deficiencies.

  • The Admission board will also determine whether the courses on mathematical and analytical skills are of an adequate standard.

Practical matters such as application & registration procedure, admission requirements, scholarships:
Jet van der Wouden
International student advisor
masters.fbms@vu.nl

Study related issues such as courses, study programme and study choice:
Study Advisors
studieadvies.fgb@vu.nl

Information on specifics of the content of the programme:
a.l.pool-goudzwaard@vu.nl
Coordinator of the Master's degree programme Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Sciences 

Or

Programme director of the Master programme Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Sciences
m.pijnappels@vu.nl

Information Day's
Meet us in Amsterdam or abroad

;