Our Introduction to Osteopathic Sciences (IOS) course is designed for potential M.Ost students who have proven academic achievement but who lack a solid grounding in the sciences.

The course is an intensive programme, designed to give students the core scientific knowledge to progress on to the M.Ost. Subjects covered include cells and tissues, chemical and physical processes, living organisms, diversity and disease, the musculoskeletal and human body systems. Course delivery includes. The course is delivered with integration of e-learning, study packs, recommended resources and traditional lectures. 

Key course features

  • Cohorts start at different points throughout the year to prepare students for the M.Ost starting the following September.
  • The course is offered free to anyone provisionally accepted onto the M.Ost programme.
  • Flexible learning and access to online materials.
  • There is an expectation that you will work on the areas of learning outside of contact time.

Entry requirements

  • Proven academic ability: typically a non-science degree or equivalent.
  • Suitability will be assessed as part of M.Ost application process.

The UCO is committed to a policy of inclusion, actively seeking to widen participation and to increase opportunities for high-calibre students with the aptitude and potential to undertake a degree in osteopathy. Students from diverse ethnic and social backgrounds, UCO-leavers, mature ‘second career’ applicants and students with a range of seen and unseen disabilities are all warmly welcomed. Every application to the UCO is considered on its own merits.

Additional entry requirements

All students must agree to comply with our Student Terms & Conditions.

Progression routes

This course is specifically designed to prepare students for further study on the UCO's Master of Osteopathy programme.

Course structure & delivery

Course materials are made available through the UCO’s Online Learning Environment (BONE), allowing study at home.

The course runs in three phases across the year. Phases one and two are taught on two weekends with a final day of attendance for the exam across a five week period. Phase three requires week day attendance and runs across two weeks in late summer. You only attend one phase.

Unit information

Over the duration of the course you will gain grounding in areas of science fundamental to understanding osteopathy. Units include:

  • Introduction to the Human Body and Cells & Tissues
  • Chemical & Physical Processes
  • Living Organisms, Diversity & Disease
  • Physical basis of Human Structure & Function
  • The Musculoskeletal System
  • Human Body Systems

Assessment & feedback

You will be assessed throughout the course in the form of online unit quizzes and receive feedback on your progress/performance. In addition to these cumulative units, there is a final examination held at the end of the course.

More information can be found in the Course Information Form available to download from this page.

Facilities & resources

Students have access to a variety of resources at the UCO to support learning. These include a recently refurbished library with an extensive collection of osteopathic recources, an ergonomic IT suite, spaces for group and independent study, practice rooms, a student union and common room, and the UCO Clinic. Students also have access to our virtual learning environment (VLE) and Anatomy TV.

Read more about our facilities and resources.

Mode of study


Dates & duration

One month


University College of Osteopathy
275 Borough High Street
London SE1 1JE

Relocation plans for the UCO
The UCO is currently in the planning stages of a relocation to a new, purpose-built site in Canning Town, East London.
The relocation, which will include both our teaching facilities and clinic, is an exciting opportunity for the UCO and is intended to provide an improved learning and clinical environment for our students in a vibrant new neighbourhood.
We currently anticipate that this move will take place in Autumn 2022, but will keep all applicants and students informed of any developments as the project progresses.     

Awarding body

University College of Osteopathy

Support for students

The UCO has a dedicated Student Support team who are on hand to provide advice and guidance on a range of issues, including learning and welfare, budgeting and finance, disability and dyslexia, pastoral care, bereavement and personal issues, as well as counselling. Find out more.

Costs & financial support

The course is offered free of charge to anyone provisionally accepted onto the M.Ost programme.

Students should be aware that there may be some additional costs to consider. 

How to apply

Students apply for the IOS course at the same time as applying for the M.Ost course. For more information about how to apply, including our Admissions Policy & Procedure, visit our How to Apply page.


Please note that while the University College of Osteopathy makes every effort to run courses as advertised, courses are subject to change or cancellation if enrolment targets are not met. 

Courses are typically approved for a period of five years from the point of approval to the point of periodic course review. During this period it may be identified that modifications to a course would enhance the provision. As part of this process current students shall be consulted on any proposed change and current and prospective students shall be notified of any change.

Open days

Discover the UCO for yourself at one of our regular open days...