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MSc in Physiotherapy

A Master of Science in Physiotherapy is offered by dissertation only and should take two to three years to complete. Current areas of research include paediatric neurology, neuromusculoskeletal and sports physiotherapy, orthopaedic physiotherapy, disability prevention, health promotion, and physiotherapy education.

Admission requirements

An applicant to the MSc (Physiotherapy) must have a BSc (Physiotherapy) degree.

Duration of the degree

The MSc (Physiotherapy) must be completed in a minimum period of one year full-time and a maximum period of three years full-time or five years part-time. The student will be also need to provide proof of attendance at an approved course in research methods and biostatistics. The course may be completed prior to registration, may be an online course, or may be a course offered at UCT.


The student will be expected to produce a research proposal and to obtain ethical approval for the study. For full time students this usually takes approximately 6 months. The data collection should take about 9 months and the analysis and write up of the thesis a further 9 months. The student will be expected to work independently under the guidance of the supervisor. In some cases there may be funding available to assist the student with the research project. The thesis may not be longer than 50 000 words and will be marked by two external examiners.

Application procedure

Before starting the application process the student is advised to contact the postgraduate convener, Dr Gillian Ferguson (+27 21 406 6045), to discuss possible areas of research and to identify a possible supervisor.

The application procedure requires:

  • The submission of a study outline
  • Identification of a suitable supervisor and possible topic
  • The submission of a curriculum vitae (CV) and academic transcript
  • The completion of a UCT Application form which may be found on the University of Cape Town Application webpage.
    Return the completed form to: Ms Salega Tape; Postgraduate Office; Faculty of Health Sciences; Anzio Road; Observatory; 7725; Cape Town; South Africa.
    The closing date usually about September each year, but this might vary from year to year. The Postgraduate Office must receive a completed application form before the closing date for the student to be considered for admission to study in the following year.
    Please contact Ms Salega Tape (+27 21 406 6340) with any further enquiries regarding the application form.

Submission of a study outline

As part of the application process, the Division of Physiotherapy requires the submission of a brief outline of a proposed study. Although a thesis supervisor will provide formal guidance and input in refining the research question and study design, at a Masters level it is expected that the student should have identified a specific research area of interest or a potential research question.

The study outline should include a brief rationale for the study, the proposed research question, and a short description of the proposed study design. The study outline should be a maximum of 500 words.

This outline will be reviewed by a selection committee, to determine whether applicants are (a) familiar with the literature, (b) able to initiate research (i.e. familiar with principles of research design), and (c) to determine the level of scientific writing skills.

In addition, the selection committee will decide whether there is an appropriate supervisor available to assist with thesis supervision. Admission to the programme will be dependent on the identification of a suitable topic and supervisor.

Submission of a CV and academic transcript

Applications should be supported by the submission of a CV, and a copy of an undergraduate academic transcript.
The study outline, CV, and academic transcript may be submitted to Dr Gillian Ferguson before 30th September each year.


Fees for the Postgraduate degrees in Physiotherapy are obtainable from the Fees Office and vary from year to year. Students can anticipate an average 10% increase in fees each year.

Email: Fees office
Phone: +27 21 650 1704
Fax: +27 21 650 4768

Financial assistance

Financial assistance is available for postgraduate students at the University of Cape Town. Further enquiries may be directed to the Postgraduate Centre and Funding Office.


Please contact Dr Gillian Ferguson (+27 21 406 6045) for any further information.