Skip to content

First Contact Practitioner (Musculoskeletal)

Postgraduate Certificate

Start date

Suitable for applications.

Entry requirements

  • Current registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), British Association of Sport Rehabilitators and Trainers (BaSRAT), Society of Sports Therapists. (SST), or General Osteopathic Council (GOC)
  • Usually, 3 years of post-registration experience, ideally in a musculoskeletal setting. Your Learning Needs Analysis (LNA) will inform suitability rather than years of practice
  • To be currently employed as a registered practitioner with a professional or regulatory body including; Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), British Association of Sport Rehabilitators and Trainers (BaSRAT), Society of Sports Therapists (SST), General Osteopathic Council (GOC), and you will either be operating in a First Contact role or planning to enter this field
  • To have your application supported by your employer, agreeing to release you to attend the taught content and practice placement. If you are self-employed, we are not able to offer reimbursement for lost earnings to attend the taught content and practice placement (taught route)
  • To appropriately source and attend the 75-hour practice placement, regardless of your current working arrangement (taught route)
  • To identify a suitable clinical supervisor (see above for requirements) for either of the routes of study, at the point of application

Application process

  1. As part of the application process, you will be required to complete a Learning Needs Analysis (LNA). This is accessed through the application portal when you begin your application
  2. Assessment of the LNA will be undertaken by the academic staff, to determine which route would be the most appropriate for you based on your previous qualifications and experience
  3. Once the assessment of your LNA has been completed, we will communicate which route is suggested for you. This will be either Higher Education Institution (HEI) taught or a supported portfolio route
  4. If the HEI taught route has been suggested, you will be required to identify a nominated appropriately trained supervisor. This is to support you for the 75-hour practice placement component as part of the second module on the PGCert (FCP2 - Working in Primary Care). Your local Primary Care Training Hub may be able to support you in finding a supervisor should you encounter difficulties*
  5. If the supported portfolio route has been suggested, you will be required to identify an appropriate supervisor to support you through the process of building your ePortfolio to meet Roadmap to Practice (MSK, July 2021) requirements
  6. For both routes, programme fees will be funded by NHS England (subject to meeting university entry requirements)
  7. Unconditional offers will only be made when a suitable practice placement supervisor has been identified. Your practice placement must be within a primary care setting

*The sourcing of a placement or portfolio supervisor remains the sole responsibility of the applicant not The University of Bradford.

English language requirements

IELTS 7 with no element below 6.5.

If you do not meet the IELTS requirement, and you have a UKVI approved IELTS, you can take a University of Bradford pre-sessional English course. See the Language Centre for more details. For further information on English Language requirements please see the dedicated international entry requirements page.

Learning and assessment

Taught route

The content is completed by distance learning, and you will be encouraged to use the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) to share practice, case scenarios and literature.

Assessments will allow you to demonstrate an in-depth subject knowledge and develop your verbal and written communication skills.

Formal and informal feedback will be given during sessions.

During the second module, you will undertake 75 hours of supervised work-based learning placement. This will be in a primary care setting, supported by a suitably qualified supervisor nominated by you, who agrees to support you and adhere to our supervision structure.

Supported Portfolio route

You will have access to our library and academic support facilities and our virtual learning environment, which allows you to engage with materials designed to support the development of your portfolio.

You will also be assigned a Personal Academic Tutor (PAT) who will also act as your educational supervisor. They will support you from an academic and pastoral perspective during your course of study.


Taught route

You will integrate the theory and evidence base of musculoskeletal practice through a series of interactive synchronous (live) lectures.

The taught route content is delivered entirely online. You will only be required to attend Bradford once during your programme of study, for the OSCE examination as part of the first module’s assessment strategy.

Further learning and teaching will take place in a work-based learning environment in a primary care clinical setting under the guidance of a clinical supervisor. You will need access to an appropriate musculoskeletal (MSK) clinical caseload in order to undertake the modules.

The taught modules at Bradford have been developed in collaboration with clinicians, stakeholders and primary care providers working within the region, thus ensuring the continued clinical relevance of the programme whilst also recognising the requirements of the NHS England educational framework.

A further strength of the taught programme is the use of external lecturers who are specialists within their field of primary care and continue to have a clinical caseload.

Both routes are recognised by The Centre for Advancing Practice as meeting the requirements of the First Contact Practitioners & Advanced Clinical Practitioners in Primary Care: (Musculoskeletal) A Roadmap to Practice.

Supported Portfolio route

On this route, you will develop your skills and capabilities in a primary care setting under the supervision of a suitably qualified supervisor  - further details can be found in the programme specification.

Your supervisor must be identified at the point of application.

You will also be supported by a nominated educational supervisor from the University of Bradford who will meet with you periodically to support your development in the academic components of the ePortfolio.

There will be drop-in sessions and workshops designed to facilitate the development of academic skills and the opportunity to network with your peers.

Once complete, your ePortfolio will be assessed and verified by a member of the academic team. On verification of your portfolio, you will be eligible for a Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits at Level 7). These credits can be used towards a substantive Master's-level award.

This is the current course information. Modules and course details may change, subject to the University's programme approval, monitoring and review procedures. The University reserves the right to alter or withdraw courses, services and facilities as described on our website without notice and to amend Ordinances, Regulations, fees and charges at any time. Students should enquire as to the up-to-date position when applying for their course of study.