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Advancing Practice in Musculoskeletal Medicine


Course code: PM105
Duration: 200 study hours
Lectures: 24 hours
Credits: 20 credits

Location: Face to Face at our Liverpool HQ

This master’s level module is aligned to the four pillars of advanced clinical practice – clinical practice, leadership, education and research. You will develop your skills in manual therapy, diagnostic referral and interpretation and dealing with medical complexity, underpinned by evidence based practice and Best MSK health pathways.

The module offers a multidisciplinary environment for reflecting, sharing and discussing ideas, evidence and clinical experiences for advancing practice.

You will develop advanced clinical reasoning, critical appraisal and presentation skills. The module includes critical analysis of the latest evidence and developments in musculoskeletal practice, for example MSK masqueraders, cervical arterial dysfunction and appropriate referral for diagnostic imaging. Complex cases will be presented for discussion and you will gain further mastery of musculoskeletal medicine manual therapy skills.

Injections will be considered as part of the clinical reasoning process in devising programmes of management for different clinical conditions but injection therapy as such is covered extensively in the dedicated module ‘Theory and Practice of Injection Therapy’ (PM104).

The commitment of all students to participate fully, and to be prepared to share their experiences with the whole group, is paramount. You will be actively encouraged to engage in dialogue and discussion with your fellow students in an atmosphere of mutually supportive learning and development.

The tutors on this course will be experienced in clinical reasoning in musculoskeletal medicine and in using the techniques taught and applied in musculoskeletal medicine in their clinical practice.

Advancing Practice in Musculoskeletal Medicine (PM105) requires a total of five days’ attendance (including the assessment day) split over Unit 1, three days, and Unit 2, two days, with a period of guided study in between.

Unit Breakdown

Unit 1 – 3 days at SOMM Liverpool HQ

  • Discussion on advanced reflective practice
  • Evaluation and development of regional techniques used in musculoskeletal medicine
  • Methods of critical review
  • Discussion on indicators of serious pathology (‘red flags’) and when to refer
  • Presentation of a critical appraisal of a scientific paper
  • Evaluation and identification of lacunae within the specialism
  • Developing the research base of musculoskeletal medicine
  • Mock objective structured clinical examination (OSCE)

 Unit 2 – 2 days at SOMM Liverpool HQ

  • Presentation and discussion of case reports
  • Mock objective structured clinical examination (OSCE)
  • Review session
  • Guidelines for reflective essay
  • OSCE

What you will learn?

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the module the student will be able to:

  • Critically evaluate their clinical musculoskeletal medicine practice indicating enhancement through the integration of the approach into their professional practice
  • Critically synthesise the comprehensive knowledge base on musculoskeletal medicine in order to advance their own professional and clinical practice
  • Demonstrate advancement in their mastery of handling skills in the performance of musculoskeletal medicine techniques
  • Critically discuss and debate current theory underpinning musculoskeletal medicine practice and contribute to the development of the taught techniques through a creative and innovative approach to practice
  • Develop their leadership skills for advancing and promoting musculoskeletal medicine practice, and in further developing the evidence base of practice

How is it assessed?

Face-to-face contact: 24 hours
Directed learning: 10 hours
Self-directed learning: 166 hours
Total Hours: 200 hours

Assessment Pattern

Formative Assessment:

  • Tutor and peer feedback throughout the module, particularly on practical skills. Presentation of case reports and academic papers with tutor and peer feedback. Mock OSCE sessions to provide practice, with tutor feedback. Marking schemes are provided to students within the module handbook as a guide to summative assessment requirements.

Summative Assessment:

  • A 2,500 word reflective essay that demonstrates the way in which the learning outcomes have been achieved and have enhanced clinical practice (50%)
  • Objective structured clinical examination (OSCE), with competency and safety pass/fail component (50%)


  • Students must have fully satisfied the assessment requirements of the Foundation in Musculoskeletal Medicine module or that of an affiliated association; or be an experienced HCPC registered allied health professional, registered osteopath, registered nurse or medical practitioner, working in an MSK setting for 3 years or more.
  • The module can be a stand-alone course or used as an optional module (PM105) for the MSc Musculoskeletal Medicine.


Electronic tutorials are available in the inter-unit period and students are encouraged to communicate with each other through an email group provided. Online student resources are also available through the textbook which is recommended as core reading for the module (ATKINS, E., KERR, J. and GOODLAD, E., 2016. A practical approach to musculoskeletal medicine. 4th edn. Oxford:Elsevier.)


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