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Master in Physiotherapy

«Our MSc programme increases your scientific and clinical competencies, and thus enables you to assume specialised tasks and new roles in physiotherapy.»

Professor Karin Niedermann, PhD, Head of MSc in Physiotherapy study programme

The MSc in Physiotherapy is a postgraduate course that allows for clinical specialisation and scientific orientation.

Five reasons to enrol for an MSc in Physiotherapy at ZHAW

  • You extend your knowledge, clinical expertise and the application of research methods.
  • You network through clinical placements with (future) professional fields.
  • You are taught new approaches and perspectives from renowned lecturers from home and abroad.
  • You will be well-prepared for new challenges in the area of health care 
  • A variety of professional opportunities arise out of this, including the possibility of a doctorate (PhD).

Master of Science in Physiotherapy

Statement from Prof. Dr. Robert van Deursen, Director of Research SOHCS, Cardiff University

Entry requirements

  • Bachelor of Science in Physiotherapy from a Swiss or foreign University of Applied Sciences /University, with a minimum of 180 ECTS credits; or a recognized equivalent degree in Physiotherapy, i.e. a PT diploma together with professional experience as PT and further education Bachelor of Science in Physiotherapy from a Swiss or foreign University of Applied Sciences /University, with a minimum of 180 ECTS credits; or a recognized equivalent degree in Physiotherapy, i.e. a PT diploma together with professional experience as PT and further education 
  • Integrated (through BSc degree) or additional proof of basic scientific knowledge (5 ECTS credits)
  • One year of working experience as a physiotherapist after graduation. 
  • Good knowledge of English (B2) and German (B2). German skills have to be proven by a certificate. 
  • Professional activity during study: For all clinical focus areas, a working permit and clinical work with patients in your chosen clinical focus area is mandatory 

Further information / registration / dates

Structure of the course

The master degree programme is a modular course with a clinical focus, research methods, transfer and master thesis.

Clinical focus

In these modules (with particular reference to current evidence, patient education and interprofessional cooperation), knowledge and practical skills in diagnostics, therapy and prevention of physiotherapeutically relevant and disease-related problems are deepened.

The clinical specialisation is offered in two-year cycles. ZHAW focuses on specialisation in musculoskeletal, sports and paediatrics. Bern University of Applied Sciences prioritises neurology as well as musculoskeletal and sport (in planning). Together, the two universities also offer a specialisation in Professional Development.

Registration for the MSc is possible at both universities, regardless of the chosen clinical focus.

Research methods

The modules provide in-depth clinical research methods in a physiotherapy-related, medical as well as interdisciplinary and professional context.


The modules aim at transferring competencies acquired in the clinical specialisation as well as research methods into practice. Students get to know different fields of activity and acquire practical skills for clinical, research and professional development.

Master thesis

The master thesis is an academic project in which students demonstrate the application of acquired knowledge and work on a research topic relevant to physiotherapy. Students choose the topic for their master thesis within an ongoing project at ZHAW and BHF or their research partners. In particular cases, and after consultation with the programme director, students can select a project from their own field of work. Students working on their Master thesis are under the guidance of expert researchers from Switzerland and abroad.

Job profile and perspectives

An MSc in combination with a clinical specialisation paves the way to fulfilling the role of Advanced Practice Physiotherapist (APP). All specialisations open up various perspectives for new activities. Graduates are able to:

  • independently assess and treat and continue to work with complex clinical problems in a needs-oriented way within a broad theoretical context in their capacity as experts in physiotherapy (APP).
  • transfer clinically relevant knowledge – for example through the development and implementation of evidence-based clinical treatment concepts – in their capacity as line manager
  • teach in the undergraduate and continuing education programmes
  • work in research and assist in the planning, acquisition, implementation and publication of research projects
  • do a PhD


Students graduating in the MSc degree programme in Physiotherapy at Zurich University of Applied Sciences receive the federally recognised title “Master of Sciences in Physiotherapy UAS Zurich” **. Thanks to the Bologna system, the MSc in Physiotherapy UAS is also recognised in Europe and hence facilitates international mobility on the job market.

* ZFH = Zürcher Fachhochschule / ** UAS Zurich = University of Applied Sciences Zurich

At a glance

Degree: Master of Science ZFH in Physiotherapy

Workload: 90 ECTS credits

Duration of study: 6 semesters

Course structure: Part-time

Start of the course: September, calendar week 38

Registration deadline: 30 April

Teaching location: Winterthur

Language of instruction: German and English

Tuition fees: CHF 720 semester fees + additional study and living expenses