MSc Primary Care (Orthopaedics & Musculoskeletal Medicine)

Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 90)

This two-year, part-time MSc programme offers a unique opportunity for doctors, physiotherapists and other allied health professionals to acquire a deeper knowledge and gain more competencies in diagnosing and managing of musculoskeletal (MSK) and orthopaedic conditions in their day to day work.


It offers options to exit at university certificate and diploma level. There is an emphasis on practical skills in particular clinical examination procedures commonly conducted in primary care.

This expert-led programme uses a blend of virtual and face to face teaching.

The MSc programme is delivered over two years part-time and is designed to include theoretical elements, research
methods and professional practice.

There is an emphasis on clinical practice.

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. Yes

This course is targeted towards:

Doctors working in clinical practice wishing to develop a special interest in musculoskeletal medicine

Physiotherapists working in clinical practice wishing to enhance their knowledge and skills in musculoskeletal medicine

Physicians Assistants, Advanced Nurse Practitioners and other relevant Allied Health Practitioners working in clinical practice wishing to develop a specialist interest in musculoskeletal medicine

All candidates may be subject to an interview process once all necessary documents are submitted. 

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 may be awarded specific credits in recognition of prior learning (subject to faculty review).

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.

Please contact the school for fee information

The following entry routes are available:

MSc Primary Care (Orthopaedics&Musculoskeletal Med) PT Jan (XA03)
2 Years
Part Time