Taught course

Musculoskeletal Ageing and Health

University of Birmingham · School of Immunity and Infection

Entry requirements

For all applicants: BSc/BA honours degree normally classified at 2(i) or above or equivalent in a life science or physiotherapy. For applicants undertaking clinical practice in the UK as part of the Continuing Professional Development and Mentored Practice module: Current registration with the Health and Care Professions Council and the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy for physiotherapists (includes professional indemnity). Satisfactory current Disclosure and Barring Service (previously Criminal Record Bureau) check. Satisfactory health declaration and immunisation record. For applicants undertaking observation and supervised practice (where legal and professional responsibility rests with the mentor) within the UK, as part of the Continuing Professional Development and Mentored Practice module: Satisfactory current Disclosure and Barring Service check. Satisfactory health declaration and immunisation record.

Months of entry


Course content

With rapidly changing demographics, falling birth rate and increasing life expectancy, we are an ageing population. However, healthy lifespan is not keeping pace with increased longevity and people are living longer but not necessarily in good health.

A significant contributor to ill health in old age is physical frailty and poor musculoskeletal function and health. Osteoarthritis alone affects 6 million people in the UK and the health consequences of low physical activity, in terms of years of life lost, are more significant than those of smoking.

This course explores the biological basis of age-related musculoskeletal decline and associated pathologies, including factors influencing the decline and interventions to maintain good musculoskeletal health as we age.

The course is aimed at life science graduates interested in gaining an in depth understanding of the ageing process and how it specifically affects musculoskeletal function and health. It is suitable for those considering a research career as this Masters programme has a significant research component and the course is taught exclusively by active researchers in a national centre of excellence.

Designed also to appeal to allied health professionals, such as physiotherapists, dieticians and those working with the elderly in a clinical context, the part-time study and mentored practice options are specifically in place to support such students.

Supplying students with an in depth understanding of musculoskeletal ageing, equipping them with practical skills to assess and research the topic and learning practical approaches to minimise the impact of ageing on this major body system are the aims of this course.

Why study this course

Healthy ageing research is a major topic and research strength at the University of Birmingham. In 2013 the University was awarded the MRC-ARUK Centre of excellence in Musculoskeletal Ageing Research (CMAR), ensuring this course is delivered by world leading researchers and practitioners.

The teaching and research is truly multidisciplinary, as CMAR combines the skills of researchers in the college of Medical and Dental Sciences with exercise scientists and physiotherapists in the School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation sciences.

Finally the course is unique as students will have the opportunity to carry out research in projects delivered jointly by Birmingham and the University of Nottingham, who are partners in CMAR.

Explore postgraduate study at Birmingham at one of our on-campus open days. Register to attend at: www.birmingham.ac.uk/pgopendays

If you can’t make it to one of our on-campus open days, our virtual open days run regularly throughout the year. For more information, please visit: www.pg.bham.ac.uk

Information for international students

English to IELTS 7.0 (with a minimum of 6.5 in each component) or TOEFL Internet based 95 overall with no less than 22 in any band.

Fees and funding

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months
part time
36 months


part time
36 months
full time
12 months

Course contact details

Postgraduate enquiry service
0121 414 5005