What my masters study has taught me

Student Joanna Bill has found her post-graduate physiotherapy studies both challenging and rewarding and has learnt some valuable skills


After studying biological sciences for four years, I decided that physiotherapy was the career for me, so took the plunge and applied for the MSc course. Studying a masters in physiotherapy (pre-registration) at Birmingham City University has been one of my hardest but most rewarding experiences.

The two-year accelerated course is a combination of physiotherapy theory with practice, which has helped develop my critical thinking, a vital skill in the ever-changing healthcare environment.

I believe that having a smaller cohort with a mixed variety of people from diverse backgrounds is very advantageous as the group has been able to bounce off each other’s strengths. As is the nature of MScs, there was lots of independent studying with lots of extra reading. However, we have worked together revising theory and practising our practical skills.

Being taught by a specialist lecturer and various guest lecturers, we have received up-to-date and relevant evidence-based learning along with real-life case studies. Throughout the course, I have had the opportunity to participate in interdisciplinary sessions with dieticians, occupational therapists and speech and language therapists. Lectures have included practical sessions that helped bridge the gap between the classroom and clinical settings.

The placements offered throughout the course have been varied. They have allowed me to access numerous different specialities and areas of physiotherapy. Being on practice placement helped to bring to together and build on the knowledge I have learnt as a student. Each placement has come along with its challenges and plenty of achievements.

The course has given me the skills and confidence to manage my own workload (and caseloads on placement), present my research and work in diverse settings. Importantly, I have learned never to be frightened to ask for help on placement or at university: lecturers and educators are happy to be approached for guidance and support.

  • Joanna Bill is a physiotherapy masters student at Birmingham City University

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