MSc Primary Care (Orthopaedics & Musculoskeletal Medicine)

Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 90)

This MSc in Orthopaedic and Musculoskeletal Medicine is delivered on a part-time basis over two years. It offers a University Masters level qualification, with options at both Certificate and Diploma level.

The course is open to doctors, and allied health professionals interested in developing expertise in the area of musculoskeletal medicine. This may include those working in General Practice, Emergency Medicine, Radiology, Orthopaedic Surgery, Rheumatology, Physiotherapy and Sports Medicine.

Training is offered in the diagnosis and management of the full range of musculoskeletal conditions. The course is delivered by consultants in Orthopaedic Surgery and Rheumatology and emphasizes a practical approach. Students will be expected to develop applicable clinical skills, including expertise in musculoskeletal examination, first-responder management of pitchside and roadside trauma, and administering musculoskeletal injections using anatomic and ultrasound-guided techniques.

Curricular information is subject to change

Part Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. No

This course is targeted towards:

  • Doctors working / training in Primary Care
  • Doctors working / training in Emergency Medicine
  • Doctors working / training in Rheumatology
  • Doctors working / training in Radiology
  • Doctors working / training in Orthopaedic surgery
  • Physiotherapists wishing to develop a specialist interest in musculoskeletal medicine
  • Physicians Assistants wishing to develop a specialist interest in musculoskeletal medicine
  • Advanced Nurse Practitioners wishing to develop a specialist interest in musculoskeletal medicine

Semesters 1 and 2

Distance and Online learning

Distance and online learning allow students to develop their expertise in the full range of musculoskeletal medical conditions in these semesters. In addition, full-day workshops held every 6 weeks allow students to put into practice their examination techniques, develop expertise in MSK injections using anatomic and ultrasound-guided techniques and to develop proficiency in early trauma management.  

Online resources allow students to work at their own pace during the semester. This flexible, practitioner-focused approach to course delivery takes account of and caters for time and work pressures experienced by busy clinicians.

In addition to the clinical course content, students will also complete a module of medical scholarship allowing them to:

  • Develop their research skills, allowing them to successfully complete a research project (review literature, plan and enact a project, analyse and interpret findings, disseminate his/her work).
  • Review own practice and improve patient care through clinical audit and quality improvement initiatives
  • Critical thinking, analysis and problem solving

Semester 3 & 4

Clinical Placement

Students will have the opportunity to undertake clinical placements (80 hours over 14 weeks) with Consultants in Orthopaedic Surgery and Rheumatology in the out-patient setting, allowing them to broaden their clinical exposure and hone their diagnostic skills. In addition, students will gain a deeper understanding of the use of diagnostic modalities, clinical decision making and treatment options at secondary and tertiary levels of care.

Module Options include:

  • Sports
  • Spine
  • Joint Replacement: Hip & Knee
  • Shoulder & Upper Limb
  • Hand
  • Foot and Ankle Surgery
  • Paediatrics

Research Dissertation

Students undertake to plan, enact and disseminate an original piece of research in the area of primary care orthopaedics, under the supervision of faculty. 

Indicative Module Content

  • Enhanced critical thinking, analysis and problem solving
  • Ability to review his / her own practice and improve patient care through clinical audit and quality improvement initiatives.


The MSc programme is delivered over two years part-time and is designed to include both theoretical and professional practice elements, with significant emphasis on expertise in clinical practice. The course is designed for medical practitioners, but some modules may be open to other disciplines within primary care

The 90-credit programme will lead to a MSc in Primary Care (Orthopaedics & Musculoskeletal Medicine) with exit options at Graduate Certificate (30-credit) and Diploma (60-credit) level. Prospective students will be awarded up to 30 credits in recognition of prior learning which may have been accrued through the successful completion of diplomas / certificates awarded by bodies other than universities (e.g. professional bodies, industry, HSE, workplace-based training, etc) AND/OR professional and clinical practice (as evidenced by submission of a professional practice portfolio)

An award of Graduate Certificate (30 credits) will be given to students who have completed three core ten-credit modules which will provide them with knowledge / skills / competences that equip them to competently manage common musculoskeletal problems in a primary care setting.

A Graduate Diploma (60 credits) will be awarded to students who have completed six ten-credit modules that will allow them to be a clinical expert in the management of patients with common musculoskeletal problems in a primary care setting.

The award of Masters (90-credit) will be made to students who have demonstrated their clinical expertise in this area and an ability to interrogate and innovate in clinical practice, by completing scholarly activities such as literature reviews, clinical audit, quality improvement in practice and research.

MSc Primary Care (Orthopaedics & Musculoskeletal Medicine) (X875) Part Time
EU          Year 1 - € 9330
nonEU    Year 1 - € 14550
EU          Year 2 - € 4820 aa
nonEU    Year 2 - € 9650 aa

aaSecond Year Fee applies to Students in 2nd Year in 2024 and who were a 1st Year Student on the programme in 2023/24
***Fees are subject to change

Applicants should

  • hold an undergraduate degree (NFQ Level 8 or equivalent) in a relevant subject (e.g. Medicine, Nursing & Midwifery, Psychology, Public Health, Social Sciences, Physiotherapy etc)
  • Possess an equivalent professional qualififcation or 
  • Have relevant clinical experience in orthopaedics, primary care, physiotherapy.


Garda vetting may also be required.  

The following entry routes are available:

MSc Primary Care (Orthopaedics&Musculoskeletal Medicine) PT (X875)
2 Years
Part Time

* Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised

To apply for this programme, click on and follow the steps outline.  The course programme code is X875.