Master of Physiotherapy (MPhty)

University of Otago
1.5 years
Full time
Master's degree
Scholarships available

About this program

Master of Physiotherapy (MPhty)

The Master of Physiotherapy (MPhty endorsed) Program endorsed in one of the specialist areas (Neurorehabilitation, Orthopaedic Manipulative Therapy or Sports Physiotherapy) aims to advance the student's clinical reasoning and patient management skills beyond that of the possible level practitioner and provide one of the prerequisites necessary to achieve specialisation. The one-semester research components that may comprise the design and implementation of a small research project, a case series, a data-based clinical review, a systematic review, or a critical review under the supervision of a member of staff, will ensure that the student is research enabled and ready to embrace evidence based practice in the performance of their career.

Alternatively, students can undertake two papers from the approved schedule and a thesis to obtain a research master's (MPhty). The School of Physiotherapy has a strong postgraduate research Program currently supporting numerous master's research students working on topics that range from neurological disorders to anatomical studies. We aim to provide students with a high level of knowledge and experience in order to help them develop their own research skills whether using qualitative or quantitative methodologies for statistical analysis, lab-based studies or community work, prevalence studies or intervention trialling – our aim is to have students complete their master's confident in their abilities to conduct research and assess relevant literature and practices, whether this leads to PhD study in the future or to more assured clinical practice.

Admission requirements

Admission to the Program shall be subject to the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences) on the advice of the Board of Studies in Physiotherapy, which must be satisfied that the candidate has the ability and experience to proceed to the Program.

Every applicant shall

  • have been admitted to the degree of Bachelor of Physiotherapy or hold an equivalent qualification in physiotherapy acceptable to the Board of Studies in Physiotherapy;
  • obtain registration with the Physiotherapy Board of New Zealand and possess an Annual Practising Certificate where appropriate; and
  • have had relevant full-time post-qualification clinical experience in physiotherapy, where the application is for an area of specialisation.

If your first language is not English you need to meet our English language requirements as follows: IELTS score of 6.5 in the academic module (with no individual band below 6.0); Internet-based TOEFL: Score of 95 with a minimum writing score of 22, Paper-based TOEFL: score of 587 (TWE 4.5); we also accept a number of other English language tests. Due to COVID-19, we currently accept IELTS Indicator Test, and TOEFL iBT Special home Edition.

Don't meet the English language requirements? The University of Otago Language Centre "English for Otago" Program offers a pathway for Undergraduate and Postgraduate students to meet the English language requirements for undergraduate and postgraduate study.

Does this course require proof of English proficiency?

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Program content

  • The Program shall consist of either:
    • PHTY 501or an approved paper worth 30 points;PHTY 610; and a thesis embodying the results of one year of full-time or equivalent part-time supervised research (unendorsed option); or
    • approved papers to the value of 180 points, as prescribed in the Schedule for the chosen endorsement (endorsed option).
  • With the permission of the Dean of Physiotherapy a candidate may be permitted to substitute papers worth 30 points in a relevant subject for one of the PHTY papers prescribed for an endorsement in the Schedule.
  • A candidate whose qualification for entry to the Program is a Postgraduate Diploma in Physiotherapy may be exempted from all or some of the required papers for an endorsed option.
  • A candidate may not present a thesis or dissertation which has previously been accepted for another degree.
  • The Program of study, the topic of the thesis, dissertation, or research project, and the supervisors of the research must be approved by the Board of Studies in Physiotherapy.
  • For a thesis, the research should be of a kind that a diligent and competent student should complete within one year of full-time study.
  • A candidate must achieve an average grade of at least B in the 500-level papers in order to proceed to the 600-level papers or thesis.

Subject area


Scholarships & funding

Several scholarship options are available. Please check the university website for more information.

Program delivery

Application details

Applicants must apply online. They should also attach all the necessary supporting documents which includes scanned copies of their previous official academic transcripts (awards gained, marks, grades) with their application, and provide proof of their identity this is usually achieved by providing a certified copy of the personal details page of their passport or a birth certificate (in English). Applicants may also be required to submit an Educational Credential Evaluators report (ECE). As soon as applicants have completed their online application, their proof of identity document must be posted to International Division, University of Otago, PO Box 56, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand.


International tuition fees per year: 43127 NZD


Level of Award of the Degree

The degree may be awarded with distinction or with credit.

The Master of Physiotherapy (MPhty) degree is available with endorsed options in:

  • Neurorehabilitation
  • Orthopaedic Manipulative Therapy
  • Sports Physiotherapy

These endorsements for the Master of Physiotherapy (MPhty) are also available through Distance Learning.

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About this institute

University of Otago

Founded in 1869, the University of Otago is New Zealand's first university. Otago has gained an excellent international reputation for its research and teaching. Ranked among the world’s top 1% of universities according to QS World University Rankings, Otago students...

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Why study at University of Otago

Otago’s approachable, world-renowned teaching staff are dedicated to fostering creativity and independence and helping students achieve their visions for the future.

Otago graduates are globally in demand, with 95 percent of graduates going on to employment or further academic studies. Otago’s Social Impact Studio provides volunteering and leadership opportunities, while programmes like Audacious support start-ups and entrepreneurs.

Otago boasts some of the best completion rates for a doctorate or master’s qualification in the world, with exceptional supervisory support.

At Otago, old meets new, from iconic historic buildings to modern, award-winning laboratories and teaching spaces, on one of the most beautiful campuses in the world.

Contact info

University of Otago

362 Leith Street
9016 Dunedin
New Zealand

Phone no: +64 0800 80 80 98

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