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Master in Physiotherapy

«Strengthen your scientific and clinical skills on our programme to equip yourself for specialised, advanced and new tasks in physiotherapy.»

Prof. Dr. Karin Niedermann, Head of MSc in Physiotherapy 

The MSc in Physiotherapy is a postgraduate degree with clinical specialisation and scientific orientation.

Five reasons to take an MSc degree in Physiotherapy at the ZHAW

Master of Science in Physiotherapy

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

Admission Requirements

  • Persons with a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Physiotherapy from a Swiss or foreign university with a minimum of 180 ECTS credit points and a professional qualification; or, with a recognized, equivalent qualification in physiotherapy (physiotherapy diploma, subsequent title acquisition NTE and proof of experience in scientific work amounting to 5 ECTS credit points)
  • Proof of experience in scientific work amounting to 5 ECTS credit points
  • Very good knowledge of English and German
  •  Employment: an occupational employment between 30% and 60% is recommended

Further information / Registration / Dates

Guidelines for Students with Visa Requirements

Application Master of Physiotherapy (available only in the German language)

Programme Structure

The master’s degree has a modular structure within five competence areas: clinical or non-clinical specialisation, advanced practice, research methodology, transfer modules and a master’s thesis.

The part-time study of six semesters duration is awarded 90 ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) points.  Professional employment of some 30 to 60 percent is recommended to achieve the optimal combination of theory and practice.

Focus Areas

In the clinical focus areas of musculoskeletal, sport and paediatrics, the modules will advance knowledge and practical skills in diagnostics, therapy and the prevention of disease-related problems relevant to physiotherapy. The modules of the non-clinical focus area of professional development teach you how evidence-based physiotherapeutic treatment concepts, assessments and interventions are developed and implemented in practice.

2020 2021 2022 2023
Development of the Profession
Muskuloskeletal with OMT-Title as 2020 as 2021

Advanced Practice

The advanced practice modules prepare students for future roles as an Advanced Practice Physiotherapist. You will also extend your knowledge and skills in communications, public relations and consultation in various roles and settings.

Research methods

The modules in this area impart in-depth knowledge of clinical research methods in the physiotherapeutic, medical, interdisciplinary and professional contexts. You will work with our practice partners on research projects in the Research Ethics and Internship modules and absolve a course on Good Clinical Practice.

Transfer Modules 1 and 2

In the Transfer Module 1, you have the choice between completing a second research internship, an internship on  professional development, or a clinical internship.

In the optional Transfer Module 2, you will learn about the daily roles and activities of Advanced Practice Physiotherapists at home and abroad.

Master Thesis

The master’s thesis is an independent scientific work, either within an ongoing project or on a self-chosen topic. Based on an issue relevant to physiotherapy, you will apply your knowledge and skills acquired during your studies. The master’s thesis should be presented at congresses and published in professional journals whenever possible.

«Complexity of patient situations and economic challenges characterie our daily lives. I rely on the skills of MSc physiotherapists to specify and develop effective physiotherapeutic inventions in the acute hospital»

Christine Meier Zürcher, Head of Physiotherapy Occupational Therapy USZ (PEU), University Hospital Zurich

Job profile and perspectives

The MSc combined with a clinical focus is an important building block in fulfilling the future role of Advanced Practice Physiotherapist (APP). All focus areas enable a broad range of prospects for new activities. Graduates can:


Students graduate from the MSc programme in Physiotherapy at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences with the federally-recognised title “Master of Science UAS Zurich in Physiotherapy”. **The course structure is based on the Bologna system, making the MSc recognised in Europe and facilitating mobility on the job market internationally.

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

An academic career with a PhD

Once graduated, students have acquired the basis for a further academic career: an MSc ZFH permits study for a PhD and opens the doors to future options in research and teaching. Many universities abroad offer PhDs, the entry criteria for applicants are country-specific. In Switzerland, physiotherapists with an MSc are accepted on the PhD programmes offered by several of the universities, among which the «Care and Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Zurich warrants particular mention. The programme has been provided in cooperation with ZHAW since 2018 and is open to all health studies applicants with a degree from a university of applied sciences. During the programme, students hone and develop their research skills and conduct, under supervision, an extensive research project.

At a glance

Degree: Master of Science UAS Zurich in Physiotherapy

Workload: 90 ECTS credits

Duration of study: 6 semesters

Course structure: Part-time, with professional employment

Start of the course: In September each year, calendar week 38

Registration deadline: In Spring each year

Teaching location: Winterthur

Language of instruction: German and English

Tuition fees: CHF 720 semester fees + additional study expenses