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Doctor of Physiotherapy


Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Doctor of Physiotherapy (DPT)
Admission Requirement:
• Australian level 7 bachelor's qualification or recognised equivalent
• GPA of 4.50 (out of 7.00)
• Recent successful completion of specified prerequisite units at tertiary level
Required Supporting Documents:
• Additional material as specified under notes
English Language Proficiency:
IELTS of 7.0 overall with minimum 7.0 in each band, or equivalent
Study Mode:
Attendance Mode:
Candidature Length:
Full-time: 3 years
North Ryde — Session 2 (July)
Volume of Learning:
Equivalent to 3 years
General requirements:
Minimum number of credit points at 800 level or above 96
Completion of other specific minimum requirements as set out below

In order to graduate students must ensure that they have satisfied all of the general requirements of the award.

Specific minimum requirements:

Credit points

800 level

Foundation Sciences for Physiotherapy A (4)
Foundation Sciences for Physiotherapy B (4)
Foundations of Physiotherapy Practice (4)
Interprofessional Healthcare (4)
Evidence-based Healthcare (4)
Physiotherapy Practice A (4)
Physiotherapy Practice B (4)
Physiotherapy Practice C (4)
Clinical Physiotherapy Placement I (4)
Clinical Physiotherapy Placement II (4)
Clinical Physiotherapy Placement III (4)
Reflective Practice and Professional Development (4)
Health and Wellbeing Across Lifespan A (4)
Physiotherapy in Workplace and Recreation (4)
Health and Wellbeing Across Lifespan B (4)
Physiotherapy, Healthcare and Society (4)
Business Management and Law for Health Professionals (4)
Advanced Physiotherapy Practice (4)
Leadership, Policy and Advocacy (4)
Advanced Research Training (4)
Advanced Clinical Physiotherapy Elective Placement (4)
Advanced Clinical Physiotherapy Selective Placement (4)
Research Project and Seminar (8)


AQF Level Level 9 Masters by Coursework Degree (Extended)
CRICOS Code 075265K
Overview and Aims of the Program The Doctor of Physiotherapy is a 3 year Masters (extended) program. It is a unique offering in NSW. The DPT offers an extended curriculum with advanced clinical knowledge and skills as well as business, management, leadership and advocacy skills. Students undertake an extensive and innovative integrated clinical education program, and a substantial research project.

The Doctor of Physiotherapy aims to ensure graduates have the following capabilities:

1. Graduates will be scientists and scholars with advanced knowledge and skills to deliver science- and evidence-based physiotherapy practice.

2. Graduates will be effective communicators and highly skilled, competent physiotherapists delivering person-centred healthcare.

3. Graduates will be socially and culturally responsive practitioners with awareness of local and global public health issues, and who are able to operate effectively in a range of health systems.

4.Graduates will be ethical and reflective physiotherapy practitioners able to lead and work collaboratively within teams.
Graduate Capabilities

The Graduate Capabilities Framework articulates the fundamentals that underpin all of Macquarie’s academic programs. It expresses these as follows:

Cognitive capabilities
(K) discipline specific knowledge and skills
(T) critical, analytical and integrative thinking
(P) problem solving and research capability
(I) creative and innovative

Interpersonal or social capabilities
(C) effective communication
(E) engaged and ethical local and global citizens
(A) socially and environmentally active and responsible

Personal capabilities
(J) capable of professional and personal judgement and initiative
(L) commitment to continuous learning

Program Learning Outcomes Macquarie University’s DPT has 3 program learning outcomes for each of the four previously stipulated DPT graduate capabilities.

1. Scientist & Scholar: Graduates will be scientists and scholars with advanced knowledge and skills to deliver science– and evidence – based physiotherapy practice
1.1. Graduates will demonstrate critical and integrative thinking in the application of medical and health sciences in the practice of contemporary person-centred physiotherapy. (K,T,P,C,J)
1.2. Graduates will demonstrate the ability to scholarly integrate best available research evidence with the individual's preferences and clinical expertise to provide person-centred healthcare. (K,T,P,C,E,J)
1.3. Graduates will demonstrate problem solving skills and creativity through the ability to produce new knowledge or apply existing knowledge in innovative ways to enhance health and wellbeing. (K,T,P,I,E,L)

2. Clinical Practitioner: Graduates will be effective communicators and highly skilled, competent physiotherapists delivering person-centred healthcare.
2.1 Graduates will demonstrate their knowledge and skills in reflective practice through the compilation of an ePortfolio outlining their progress and reflection during the attainment of all the competencies outlined in Physiotherapy Practice Thresholds in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand (2015) (K,T,J,L)
2.2 Graduates will demonstrate the application of their critical, analytical and integrative thinking skills in clinical practice such that their level of performance exceeds the expectation of entry-level physiotherapists. (K,T,P,J,L)
2.3 Graduates will be future focused, demonstrating critical thinking and analytical skills to promote health and wellbeing and innovative ways to deliver healthcare. (T,P,I,E,A,J)

3. Engaged Global Citizen: Graduates will be socially and culturally responsive practitioners with awareness of local and global public health issues, and who are able to operate effectively in a range of health systems.
3.1 Graduates will demonstrate awareness of determinants of health of diverse populations, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other disadvantaged populations, and provide socially and culturally responsive healthcare. (E,A,J)
3.2 Graduates will demonstrate knowledge of contemporary local and global public health issues and apply strategies to both prevent and remediate health issues and inequities at an individual and community level including those to support self-management and behaviour change. (E,A,J)
3.3 Graduates will demonstrate an understanding of, and work effectively within, health systems and be able to identify and recommend strategies for improvement where appropriate. (C,E,A,J,P,I)

4. Professional: Graduates will be ethical and reflective physiotherapy practitioners able to lead and work collaboratively within teams.
4.1 Graduates will demonstrate an understanding of governance and management of health professionals, healthcare, and be able to both lead and work within teams effectively. (C,E,A,J,P,I)
4.2 Graduates will demonstrate an ability to apply their knowledge and skills as ethically responsible and reflective physiotherapists committed to lifelong learning to advance their practice. (K,T,P,E,A,J,L)
4.3 Graduates will demonstrate business, leadership and advocacy skills to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities. (E,A,J,I)
Learning and Teaching Methods Learning and teaching methods are designed to meet the individual unit learning outcomes and foster the acquisition of Physiotherapy-specific knowledge and skills as well as critical thinking and problem solving ability. Learning and teaching methods are also tailored to assist in the development of the generic professional and personal attributes required for delivery of healthcare. Learning and teaching methods include: lectures, tutorials, practical skill development classes, research project development and implementation as well as integrated clinical education opportunities.

Central to the pedagogical philosophy of this program is that students learn best when they are deeply engaged with the content. It is our intention to achieve this by presenting the material in innovative ways that clearly demonstrate the clinical relevance. The program aims to produce physiotherapists who are independent problem solvers and can easily translate their knowledge to new environments and situations. As such we will emphasise an inquiry based learning approach. A fundamental aspect of the pedagogy of the program is the semester by semester structure. This structure provides a logical, systematic flow through the course from start to finish and ensures progressive development towards attainment of the program goals and Australian Standards of Physiotherapy. The focus of the six semesters is outlined below:
Semester A: Foundation physiotherapy skills
Semester B: Managing common conditions
Semester C: Developing as a clinician
Semester D: Managing more complex conditions
Semester E: Extended Knowledge of future leaders
Semester F: Becoming an independent clinician and researcher
Assessment Assessments tasks are varied to match the knowledge, skills and personal attributes required for a Physiotherapist but also to meet MQ graduate capabilities and the AQF Masters (extended) requirements. At the Unit level, there is constructive alignment between the specific learning outcomes and assessment tasks. Examples of assessment tasks used across the program include:

• Written examinations including short answer and multiple choice knowledge questions, theoretical and research based questions as well as in-depth clinical reasoning questions based on case scenarios
• Clinical Simulation and viva examinations to assess physiotherapy clinical skills and reasoning
• Clinical performance assessed using the National tool -the Assessment of Physiotherapy Practice
• Mastery of clinical skills
• Oral presentations
• Research proposals and reports in format of journal submissions
• Written and multimedia assignments
• Reflective case reports and professional development plans
• Professional portfolios
Recognition of Prior Learning

Macquarie University may recognise prior formal, informal and non-formal learning for the purpose of granting credit towards, or admission into, a program. The recognition of these forms of learning is enabled by the University’s Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Policy (see and its associated Procedures and Guidelines. The RPL pages contain information on how to apply, links to registers, and the approval processes for recognising prior learning for entry or credit. 

Domestic Students
For undergraduate RPL information visit
For domestic postgraduate RPL information visit

International Students
For RPL information visit

Support for Learning

Macquarie University aspires to be an inclusive and supportive community of learners where all students are given the opportunity to meet their academic and personal goals. The University offers a comprehensive range of free and accessible student support services which include academic advice, counselling and psychological services, advocacy services and welfare advice, careers and employment, disability services and academic skills workshops amongst others. There is also a bulk billing medical service located on campus.

Further information can be found at

Campus Wellbeing contact details:
Phone: +61 2 9850 7497

Program Standards and Quality

The program is subject to an ongoing comprehensive process of quality review in accordance with a pre-determined schedule that complies with the Higher Education Standards Framework. The review is overseen by Macquarie University's peak academic governance body, the Academic Senate and takes into account feedback received from students, staff and external stakeholders.

The program is also subject to an ongoing process of professional accreditation review
Graduate Destinations and Employability The degree is accredited by the Australian Physiotherapy Council and is an approved program by the Physiotherapy Board of Australia, with graduates eligible to apply to register as Physiotherapists. Graduates will need to meet the Physiotherapy Board of Australia's Registration Standards (Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency). These standards include English language skill and an assessment of criminal history. Applicants are advised to review these standards prior to admission to the program.

Graduates will demonstrate advanced, clinical, business management, and leadership skills and will be well prepared to pursue a career as a physiotherapist in a range of settings; private and public hospitals, community settings including sports and private practice, research and advisory positions for industry and government.
Assessment Regulations

This program is subject to Macquarie University regulations, including but not limited to those specified in the Assessment Policy, Academic Honesty Policy, the Final Examination Policy and relevant University Rules. For all approved University policies, procedures, guidelines and schedules visit

Fitness to Practice Requirements Students undertaking this program and its associated placements are required to demonstrate that they are fit to practice and compliant with these requirements. Students need to demonstrate that they are able to practice safely and properly throughout their program and placements to meet core learning outcomes.

Students identified at risk of not meeting Fitness to Practice Requirements will be notified, provided with support and monitored to assist them in achieving the program and/or placement requirements.

Students who fail to meet Fitness to Practice requirements will be permanently excluded from the program.
Accreditation This is an Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) accredited qualification. The degree is accredited by the Australian Physiotherapy Council and is an approved program by the Physiotherapy Board of Australia.

Inherent requirements are the essential components of a course or program necessary for a student to successfully achieve the core learning outcomes of a course or program. Students must meet the inherent requirements to complete their Macquarie University course or program.

Inherent requirements specific to this program are set out below. For more information about inherent requirements see



The physical inherent requirement is to have the physical capabilities to safely and effectively perform the activities necessary to undertake the learning activities and achieve the learning outcomes of an award.

  • Assess and observe patient appearance, behaviour, posture, movement and speech: e.g. perform a physical examination of a newly referred patient with an acute stroke
  • Attend placements in a range of clinical settings and locations for the required number of hours, within a reasonable period as determined by the University
  • Acquire and hold a Cardio-pulmonary Resuscitation Certificate from a registered training organisation
  • Independently carry and manipulate instruments, materials and equipment necessary for clinical care: e.g. collect and fit walking aids,such as walking frames and crutches, for patients with orthopaedic problems
  • Cleanse hands and forearms using disinfecting products: e.g. in every clinical environment and in the classroom, wash hands between patient/student contact
  • Physically examine people of any gender or age: e.g. treat both male and female patients across the lifespan
  • Gather and interpret information through touch: e.g. manipulate the joints of the cervical spine in a patient with neck stiffness
  • Effectively manipulate small objects: e.g. use small measurement tools to measure joint range of patients
  • Monitor the broader practice environment (including observing multiple patients and events simultaneously): e.g. safely conduct an exercise class for patients with low back pain
  • Assist with client or patient transfers and provide physical assistance to patients of both genders: e.g. assist hip-replacement patient to get in and out of a chair safely
  • Maintain a standing position while using both limbs to perform a task: e.g. perform chest percussion on a patient who is lying on a plinth
  • Wear personal protective clothing and equipment: e.g. wear protective gowns and masks when treating patients with infectious diseases or low immunity

The inherent requirement for cognition is possessing the intellectual, conceptual, integrative and quantitative capabilities to undertake the learning activities and achieve the learning outcomes of an award.

  • Accurately recall information in a timely manner: e.g. perform a patient handover to a senior colleague
  • Accurately undertake arithmetic calculations: e.g. calculate the intensity required for exercise training adaptation based on the findings of a six-minute walk fest
  • Develop options and assess and compare their respective merits: e.g. use evidence-based practice knowledge to prioritise treatment options for a patient with cystic fibrosis
  • Maintain a sufficient level of concentration to focus on an activity to completion: e.g. plan and implement long-term goals and treatment for a patient with an acquired brain injury over the course of three months
  • Integrate theory and knowledge from various sources: e.g. formulate a provisional diagnosis and treatment plan based on patient history and a physical examination
  • Engage in rational and ethical reasoning: e.g. give consideration to patient autonomy and preferences in palliative care treatment
  • Complete clinical tasks in a safe and reasonable time frame: e.g. plan the management of a weekend ward list to ensure that each patient receives adequate care

The inherent requirement for communication is the capacity to communicate information, thoughts and ideas through a variety of mediums and with a range of audiences.

  • Communicate clearly, audibly and intelligibly in English
  • Communicate respectfully with people of different gender, sexuality and age, and from diverse cultural, religious, socio-economic and educational backgrounds: e.g. treat and interact with patients across the lifespan, and from a wide range of cultural and linguistic backgrounds
  • Comprehend spoken English delivered at conversational speed: e.g. in noisy environments such as hospital wards, gyms and classrooms
  • Perceive non-verbal communication from others and respond appropriately (in context): e.g. recognising and responding to facial expressions and emotional states of patients experiencing pain or distress
  • Read and comprehend information presented in a variety of standard formats in a reasonable time frame in the context of clinical consultations: e.g. hand-written and electronic medical records, scientific articles, pathology reports
  • Record information accurately and make coherent notes: e.g. record results of physiotherapy tests and write a referral letter or report
  • Understand and respond to verbal communication accurately, appropriately and in a timely manner: e.g. respond appropriately to a patient's question while walking them along a noisy hospital corridor
  • Actively lead and participate in group discussions: e.g. participate in patient based group discussion in class and clinic

The behavioural inherent requirement is the capacity to sustain appropriate behaviour over the duration of units of study to engage in activities necessary to undertake the learning activities and achieve the learning outcomes of an award.

  • Accept and fulfill responsibilities you are given for patient/client care: e.g. assess a new patient and report findings to the clinical supervisor prior to commencing treatment
  • Work effectively in the face of uncertainty and adapt to changing environments: e.g. demonstrate resilience and competence when randomly allocated a patient case during a viva examination
  • Respect and adhere to personal and professional boundaries
  • Control the expression of your own emotions: e.g. maintain a professional empathy and objectivity in the context of a death of an infant or child, or a dying patient
  • Dress appropriately and safely for the clinical workplace: e.g. students are required to wear a clinical uniform and closed-in shoes in the clinic and for practical examinations
  • Manage your own physical and mental health effectively: e.g. seek professional help if required

2018 Unit Information

When offered:
S1 Day
Permission of Executive Dean of Faculty
HSC Chinese, CHN113, CHN148