You have just finished the 3rdlevel of IMTA training. You are interested in further deepening your knowledge in musculoskeletal/manual therapy? Are you looking for an academic recognition of your manual therapy competencies? And you’re ready to go on a new adventure?
Now it’s possible…we did it!!
The Sheffield Hallam University master degree in advanced clinical practice musculoskeletal management requires to obtain 180 UK credits (90 ECTS) and can be achieved exclusively on distance learning.
60 credits (30 ECTS) could be gained at Sheffield Hallam University (SHU), by the recognition of previous IMTA training plus writing two case report: one case on the upper quarter and one on the lower quarter. These are no easy and straightforward tasks, since you are asked to extrapolate 3-4 main themes on each case (e.g. yellow flags, thoracic spine involvement in cervical radiculopathy, etc.) and to discuss the best evidences available upon these themes and how you managed these aspects. Furthermore, it requires a nice amount of self-criticism in order to discuss strong and weak points of your reasoning and treatment!
30 credits (15 ECTS) could be obtained by the recognition of a clinical placement, done with…an IMTA teacher for instance, and this was a very exciting and interesting opportunity!
Other credits could be gained choosing between modules of 15 credits (7.5 ECTS) each on topics such as: pain management or concepts of learning and teaching. Each of these module provides interesting and useful information that can be easily applied in a clinical or teaching context. On the contrary, the final assignments were not easy at all!
The last mandatory module of 15 credits (7.5 ECTS), before dissertation, is the Research for Practice module, that allows you to deepen the knowledge of paradigms and methods of scientific research. This is by far not the most fancy module, but the effort leads to a solid preparation for the final module to take. The intermediate assignments and final one the Research for Practice module offer an invaluable opportunity to reflect and plan on the last and most demanding task: the final dissertation.
The final dissertation module, of 60 credits (30 ECTS), is, probably, the best and the most interesting assignment, because it gives you the possibility to plan, conduct and reflect on your real research project!
After that, you end up like us: all dressed up and ready to get the recognition for all the hard work we did over the last couple of years, and finally get that MSc diploma. Paolo did it, besides his clinical work and besides his IMTA teacher training programme. Dick did the same, besides the daily clinical work and while starting-up his own business.
Interestingly, two of the three Manual Therapy students who got their diploma’s at the end of November 2018 were Distance Learning students: Paolo and Dick met each other at the graduation ceremony for the first time, having had the same mentor (Mrs Sionnadh McLean), andthe same thesis supervisor (Dr. Stephen May), anddid the same type of research study for their dissertation module (a Delphi study), without knowing the other was also participating in this MSc program; it’s all Distance Learning! Paolo’s dissertation was an eDelphi study on first rib dysfunction in neck and shoulder pain patients and Dick’s one aimed to find consensus on the physical examination procedure for knee osteoarthritis.
Regarding the time you plan for doing a MSc, you, as a student, can set your own time frame for each module, as long as you finish the study within six years.
SHU experience requirements
It is not easy to join into a British academic program such as the Msc in advanced clinical practice musculoskeletal management at Sheffield Hallam’s University for EU students. The structure of the distance learning program requires at least four-five hours per week of self-directed learning and the requirements seems sometimes a bit too rigid for students not used to the British Academic world.
It is also required to have a significant experience with scientific literature and the ability to critically read and interpret scientific papers, and these are not competencies easy to achieve.
Future careers and further study opportunities
After the achievement of this qualification, you can have the possibility to teach musculoskeletal physiotherapy in bachelor and post graduate courses, in particular if you chose the learning and teaching for practice. It offers also the possibility to apply for a high level job position in private and public UK clinics.Last but not least, if you are mad enough and if you are not fed up with endless studying, there is also the opportunity, at the end of the master degree, to apply for a PhD at the SHU…
For further information contact:
Paolo Mastromarchi, PT, MSc, IMTA Teacher Candidate
Dick Bruin, Msc, PT, MT
Renée de Ruijter, MME, PT OMTsvomp® , Post.Grad Dip. MT,
IMTA Teacher, IMTA curriculum group