Cardiff School of Sport and Health Sciences>Courses>Musculoskeletal Studies (Lower Limb) - MSc

Musculoskeletal Studies (Lower Limb) - MSc/PgD/PgC

Course Overview

The MSc Musculoskeletal Studies (Lower Limb) is aimed at Health and Care Professions Council registered practitioners who are involved in the management of a range of conditions of the foot, ankle, and lower limb across a range of patient groups. Year 1 focuses on diagnosing and understanding lower limb musculoskeletal conditions, as well as developing a critical approach to learning. In year two the focus shifts to therapeutic management before a research project in year three which brings the award of MSc.

It is a flexible award that can be taken in its entirety, or in various combinations of modules as required and prospective candidates are encouraged to contact the programme director to discuss individual requirements.

​Course Content​

Students will study the following modules in year one:
• Critical Appraisal  (10 credits) 
Introduces the process of evidence based practice and sets the scene for the objective scrutiny of published research and theories. This skill is crucial for every subsequent module, where objective appraisal of competing theories is required.

• Gait analysis (10 credits) 
Involves appraisal of the theoretical and practical issues surrounding various gait analysis modalities, considering the criteria for the optimal clinical / research system, and the clinical utility of the information yield from various technologies.

• The Pathological Basis of Musculoskeletal Disorders (10 credits) 
Considers the pathological processes underpinning the development of a range of lower limb musculoskeletal disorders, emphasising the value of this knowledge in understanding the expression of specific disorders, and linking to opportunities for treatment.

• Work Based Learning: Musculoskeletal Examination and Diagnosis (20 credits) 
Provides a framework through which students can set their own learning outcomes in relation to examination and diagnosis. These can be explicitly anchored to practice or career aspirations, and students must develop, complete and report on a series of activities designed to fulfil the learning outcomes.

And a selection of the following modules in year two:

• Sports, Biomechanics and Injury (10 credit) / Sports, Biomechanics and Injury Management (20 credits) 
Refers to two modules focusing the principles of biomechanics and their application to the field of sports injuries. The first 10 credits, which can be studied in isolation, focus on the development of injury whilst the second 10 credits focus on the implications of biomechanical issues to injury management.

• Introduction to Injection Therapy (10 credits)* 
Injection Therapy focuses on steroid injections to the foot and ankle, but includes the role of diagnostic local anaesthetic and viscosupplementation.

• Musculoskeletal therapeutics: A work-based learning module (20 credits) 
Provides a framework through which students can set their own learning outcomes in relation to musculoskeletal therapeutics. These can be explicitly anchored to practice or career aspirations, and students must develop, complete, and report on a series of activities designed to fulfil the learning outcomes.

• Pharmacology for Podiatrists (10 credits) 
Pharmacology is accredited by the Health and Care Professions Council, and successful participants are eligible for annotation on the register permitting access to the limited formulary of medicines available to Podiatrists via the exemption order. This provides access to depomedrone, an injectable steroid, and so complements the Injection Therapy module.

• Research methods (20 credits) 
Applied Research Design and Method is a 20 credit multi-disciplinary module delivered by a team of staff from the school of health and social sciences. It considers the role of qualitative and quantitative research designs and various statistical techniques.

In the third year students will undertake a 60-credit research project, which will involve the development of an assessed research proposal and the submission of a research report.

*Approval is being sought from the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists for module approval that would bring, pending completion of an additional mentored injection log, insurance cover to perform steroid injections to the foot.

Click here​ to download a full programme breakdown and overview.

Employability & Careers​

Students enrolling on this programme will already be working in healthcare. However, the enhanced knowledge base, and reflective, critical approach to practice that results will enhance career development potential. For NHS employees this may be linked to eligibility for higher banded posts under 'Agenda for Change' – moving towards extended scope practitioner roles. For those in private practice there will be increased confidence and ability in treating a wider variety of patients with a wider range of disorders.

Entry Requirements​

The pre-requisite is membership of a healthcare profession eligible for employment within the National Health Service in the UK, or the international equivalent. Candidates must posses​s a minimum of one year post-graduation practice; Musculoskeletal caseload and provide evidence of CPD activities relating to musculoskeletal diagnosis / management. Satisfactory references, confirming musculoskeletal workload and supporting the application, should be provided alongside the application.

Key Facts

Accredited by: Accreditation from the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists is being sought to provide insurance cover for students who successfully complete the Injection Therapy module and subsequently complete a satisfactory log of approximately 10 mentored injections.

Campus: Llandaff

School: Cardiff School of Health Sciences

Course Length: Three years part-time. Attendance: The programme is delivered over a series of short contact blocks. In year one this involves 3-4 contact blocks, and in year 2 four are required. These contact blocks are normally in September, January and March/April. Actual dates vary from year to year.

Students will be assessed on a continual basis using learning diaries, case studies, essays, and presentations. To fulfill the requirements for the award of MSc, students must complete the dissertation module, which involves an oral defence of the proposed methodology, a literature review setting out a critical review of the background to the project, and a publication-style article reporting the research study.

Selection Procedure:
Application form, CV, supporting references and interview.

How to Apply:
Applications for this course should be made direct to the university via our self-service facility. For further information please visit our How to Apply pages at
International Applicants:
Before making an application, international students (those outside of the EU), should contact the International Office at Cardiff Met to discuss the necessary procedures in relation to studying with us. For further information visit

Tuition Fees and Financial Support:
For up to date information on tuition fees and the financial support that may be available. Please refer to

Postgraduate Scholarships:
The university also offers a postgraduate scholarship scheme to help students whilst at university. To see if you are eligible, visit

Contact Us

For general enquiries please contact the Student Recruitment Team on 029 2041 6044 or email

For course specific enquiries, please contact programme leader Ian Mathieson:
Tel: 029 2041 6864

Full terms and conditions in relation to accepting an offer to study at Cardiff Metropolitan University can be found by visiting