The University of Tasmania will launch a Master of Physiotherapy in 2022 in response to the growing demand for allied health services urgently needed across Tasmania.
The University’s School of Health Sciences, in the College of Health and Medicine, is co-designing the study program with health professionals, industry leads and professional bodies.
The Master of Physiotherapy is part of the University’s Allied Health Expansion Program, and also the Northern Transformation Program’s educational and cultural precinct at Inveresk.
Plans for the Allied Health Expansion Program to form part of the University’s Southern Transformation are also underway.
The Master of Physiotherapy will be flexibly delivered, and students will complete portions of their study through digitalised learning platforms and also attend campus for intensive practical blocks each semester.
Students will be engaged in work-based learning in health care facilities across Tasmania.
The new postgraduate course creates opportunities for students to learn from practicing physiotherapists and gain exposure to several industry applications.
“Physiotherapists are in high demand in metropolitan, regional and rural Tasmania, and there will be significant benefits for both the public and the profession in creating a local physiotherapy workforce that is capable of understanding and responding to Tasmanian’s unique health needs,” Simon Watt, Tasmanian branch president of the Australian Physiotherapy Association, said.
The two-year, place-based program is embedded within community settings. It offers real-world learnings and personalised study experiences in hospitals and a range of other clinical, professional and community health settings under the supervision of a qualified clinician.
“Allied health services are the backbone to our health system,” Kendra Strong, Chief Allied Health Advisor, Department of Health, said.
“The sector’s services – ranging from physiotherapy to speech pathology – often alleviates the need for medical intervention, or compliments a course of treatment, benefiting both Tasmanians and the State’s health system.”
The Allied Health Expansion Program is a collaboration between the University, the Department of Health, the Department of Education, and Tasmania’s health industry to increase allied health education and training programs across the State.
“The allied health workforce is integral to Tasmania’s health, education, disability and aged care services,” Head of the School of Health Sciences, Professor Nuala Byrne said.
“There has been a limited number of allied health education and training programs in the State, offering either entry-to-practice pathways or further development opportunities for current practitioners.
“This needed to be addressed as Tasmania faces significant health challenges with an ageing population, high rates of chronic conditions and increasing multi-morbidity driving demand on the State’s health system.
“The Master of Physiotherapy is the first course in the suite to be officially launched, with plans for Occupational Therapy and Speech Pathology to also be available in 2022.”
Applications for the Master of Physiotherapy will open early August, 2021.
For more information about the Allied Health Expansion Program, and study options including the Master of Physiotherapy, visit the program’s webpage here.