Taught course

Orthopaedic Manipulative Therapy

University of Otago · Division of Health Sciences

Entry requirements

Admission to the programme 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 programme.

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); we also accept a number of other English language tests. Due to COVID-19, we currently accept Duolingo English Test (DET), 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" programme offers a pathway for Undergraduate and Postgraduate students to meet the English language requirements for undergraduate and postgraduate study.

Months of entry


Course content

The Master of Physiotherapy (MPhty endorsed) programme endorsed in the specialist area aims to advance the student’s clinical reasoning and patient management skills beyond that of the entry level practitioner and provide one of the prerequisites necessary to achieve specialization. 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 programme currently supporting numerous masters’ 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 trialing – 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.

This qualification is available to registered physiotherapists. Students must obtain Special Purpose Scope of Practice from the Physiotherapy Board of New Zealand before arriving in New Zealand.

For the endorsed Master's, distance based students must be practising physiotherapy whilst undertaking the clinical paper in Year 2 of the programme and should note that some papers involved in this qualification involve attending residential blocks in Dunedin and phoning in on audio conferences. On-campus students will be based at the School of Physiotherapy in Dunedin.

Students enrolling for this programme should take care to enrol for the on-campus or Distance versions of the papers as appropriate.


  • PHTY 501 Biomedical Science in Physiotherapy
  • PHTY 543 Orthopaedic Manipulative Physiotherapy
  • PHTY 561 Clinical Practice
  • PHTY 610 Research Methods
  • PHTY 650 Research Project
  • Plus one further approved paper worth 30 points from: PHTY 539, PHTY 542, PHTY 545, PHTY 548, or papers from MSME, OCCH, PAIN, PUBH, REHB or SPME papers. (Enrolment in any paper requires approval from an authorized Course Approver.)

Note: A candidate who has completed the Diploma in Manipulative Therapy awarded by the New Zealand

Manipulative Therapists' Association and who enrolled initially for that diploma in 1990 or later may be exempted from PHTY 543.

Information for international students

Otago offers students an unrivalled campus experience and a vibrant, social student culture. The majority of Otago’s 21,000 students live, work and play in Dunedin - New Zealand’s only true university city. Otago is home to over 3,000 students, from over 100 countries.

Fees and funding

International students
NZ $42,281

New Zealand is a relatively affordable country to live in. Dunedin, being a student-focused city, has living and entertainment options for all budgets.

Students are eligible for the Otago International Excellence Scholarship.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MPH
    full time
    18 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details