This part-time undergraduate programme equips students with the underpinning knowledge, hands-on experience and multidisciplinary teamwork needed to be a competent osteopath, and will enable graduating students to apply to the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) for registration and begin professional practice.
This course is also available as a four-year full-time pathway.
Over the duration of the course you will spend extensive time in the UCO Clinic in accordance with GOsC and Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) requirements. This will include opportunities to work with particular patient groups through our specialist and community clinics. Clinical education starts from the first term of the first year with observation of osteopathic practice, and as your knowledge and skills develop you will have increasing responsibility for the decision making and treatment before you manage your own patients in the final two years. You will be supported by experienced clinical faculty members who are all practising osteopaths.
You will also have the opportunity to develop a variety of skills that will be needed as a fully-qualified osteopath working in primary health care, including the ability critically to assess research, journal papers, lectures and presentations to inform the best possible care for your patients.
Key course features
- Interaction with patients in a clinical setting begins in the first year, progressing to managing your own patient list in your final years of study.
- Clinical training delivered via the UCO's busy teaching clinic just a 5 minute walk from our teaching site, with no need to arrange external placements.
- Access to a wide range of patients from diverse backgrounds and demographics and opportunities to work in our specialist and community clinics treating specific patient groups, including NHS patients, women's health, older people and people living with HIV*. This provides a broader level of clinical experience and also introduces students to potential areas of future specialism.
- Taught and supervised by highly-experienced, qualified professionals with a range of specialist knowledge and expertise.
- Low tutor/student ratios - typically one tutor to 12 students in practical classes in the early years and one tutor to 15 at Level 7, as well as one tutor to every four treating students in clinic.
- Option to gain an ITEC Level 3 Diploma in Sports Massage during your first year at no additional cost.
- Prepares students for professional practice, including business skills, medico-legal issues, marketing and financial information, as well a working as an Allied Health Professional (AHP) as part of a wider group of healthcare practitioners in the UK and abroad.
- Strongly supports evidence-informed practice with course content underpinned by scholarship and research undertaken by the UCO's internationally-recognised Research department.
- Access to a growing range of digital resources including our virtual reality suite and recording facilities.
* Please note that our community clinics may be subject to change.
Typical entry requirements include:
- Five GCSEs at grades 9-4 (A*-C in the previous grading system), including Mathematics and English Language.
- Three A Levels (or equivalent qualifications - see the Course Information Form available to download from this page for more details) which include Biology and one other science, Psychology or Physical Education. A typical offer is three A Levels at grades BBC, normally with a B in Biology. BTEC and Access Diplomas with relevant human biology and science content are also welcomed.
- Students whose first language is not English are required to demonstrate fluency in written and spoken English equivalent to an IELTS score of 6.5 or above.
- Applicants will be invited to attend an informal interview (either in-person or virtual) whether they will have chance to discuss their suitability for the course with a member of the course team.
- If you have already undertaken science studies at degree level and think you may be eligible for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) you can find further information in our Recognition of Prior Learning Policy and how to apply for RPL on our RPL page.
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 will be required to complete an enhanced DBS registration check at the point of registration in line with the UCO’s Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) Policy & Procedure (found on our Policies, Procedures and Privacy page).
Osteopaths who are registered to practice in the UK must do so in accordance with the Osteopathic Practice Standards, published by the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC). As an osteopathic student, you will be working towards being able to meet the practice standards and must adhere to the UCO's Fitness to Practice and Professional Behaviour Policy (found on our Policies, Procedures and Privacy page).
All students must agree to comply with our Student Terms & Conditions and other Policies and Procedures.
Careers & employability
- Graduates may progress on to further study at postgraduate level at the UCO or other educational institutions. The UCO currently offers a range of postgraduate certificates designed to support graduate development and career specialisation.
- The majority of graduates go on to register with GOsC and work as self employed osteopaths. However there are also opportunities to within multidisciplinary environments, bigger healthcare practices and the NHS.
- Graduates may also wish to pursue areas of specialism, working with specific client groups such as children, sports people or animals.
- With further experience graduates may also move into osteopathic education or research.
Course structure & delivery
The M.Ost part-time programme is structured as a 'spiral curriculum', with students revisiting the same topics throughout the degree, with the subject matter increasing in complexity and reinforcing previous learning.
The course is divided into four phases:
- Level 4 - Novice, where you begin to develop a sound foundation for being an osteopath and primary care practitioner. You will acquire basic knowledge and skills; understand the patient in context and how they are able to adapt to challenges in their environment; grasp the conceptual basis of osteopathy; and appreciate the challenges associated with being an osteopath.
- Level 5 - Advanced Beginner, where your knowledge and skills are further developed, consolidated and integrated to provide a secure basis for your developing clinical work.
- Level 6 - Competent, where you focus on integrating a range of new and previously acquired knowledge and skills in order to understand how the person functions holistically.
- Level 7 (Masters Level) - Proficient, where you are given the opportunity to take your clinical skills to a much deeper level.
You will complete a number of units at each year of study focusing on five key areas: Professionalism, The Functioning Human, Patient Care, Research and Enquiry, Being an Osteopath.
A detailed overview of the course structure, including the level and credit weighting of each unit as you progress through the course, can be found in the Course Information Form available to download from this page.
More information can be found in the Course Information Form available to download from this page.
Assessment & feedback
The course is assessed through both summative and formative assessments including:
- reflective essays
- online assessments
- development of a learning portfolio
- case studies
- practical and clinical examinations
More information can be found in the Course Information Form available to download from this page.
Mode of study
Part-time (click here for our four-year full-time course)
Dates & duration
September start, 5 years
The course will mainly be delivered across our teaching and clinic sites:
University College of Osteopathy, 275 Borough High Street, London SE1 1JE
UCO Clinic, 98-118 Southwark Bridge Road, London SE1 0BQ
Teaching may on occasion be delivered at other sites as required.
You may also attend some of our community clinics as part of your studies. Locations of current community clinics are listed below, although these may be subject to change.
East Street Surgery, 301 East Street, London SE17 2SX
Blackfriars Settlement, 1 Rushworth Street, London SE1 0RB
Ian Charleston Day Centre, Royal Free Hospital, Pond Street, London NW3 2QG
Potential relocation plans for the UCO
As part of the UCO’s long term plan to enhance our learning environment we are currently considering a number of options, including a potential relocation. Applicants and students will be kept informed of any developments.
Award & awarding body
Integrated Masters, University College of Osteopathy
Professional body accreditation
The Master of Osteopathy (M.Ost) has Recognised Qualification status with the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC). As an approved course provider, all students who successfully graduate from the UCO's M.Ost course are eligible to apply for registration, however the final decision rests with the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC). Further information about the GOsC and their policies can be found at www.osteopathy.org.uk.
ITEC Level 3 Diploma in Sports Mssage
The UCO has become a registered ITEC centre and, as an added value to studying with the UCO, will be offering all first year undergraduate osteopathy students from 2023 onwards the opportunity to study for an ITEC Level 3 Sports Massage Qualification alongside their degree at no extra cost.
As a recognised industry-standard qualification, the (ITEC) Level 3 Diploma in Sports Massage provides students with the practical and theoretical skills to practice as a fully-qualified and insured sports massage therapist and to either gain employment within a health, sports and fitness or leisure setting, or establish their own sports massage business while completing their osteopathic studies.
Many of the practical and academic requirements of the Sports Massage Diploma are already built into the first year of the UCO's M.Ost course, including advanced work in anatomy and physiology, patient communication and diagnostic assessment and the principles of soft tissue dysfunction. Additional classes covering further principles of health and fitness and specifical sports massage treatments will be provided free-of-charge for students wishing to gain the Diploma. Students will then need to pass a practical examination and multiple choice exam to achieve the qualification.
Facilities & resources
Students have access to a variety of resources at the UCO to support learning. These include a recently refurbished Learning Hub with an extensive collection of osteopathic resources, 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), Anatomy TV, and our new VR Lab.
Read more about our facilities and resources.
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 fee for Home/UK students for the 2023-24 academic year (2023 entry) on this course is £6,935; and for Overseas/EU students is £9,900. More details on course fees, discounts and payment plans for this course, as well as a copy of our Course Fee Policy, can be found on our course fees page.
Students should be aware that there may be some additional costs to consider when budgeting for the course.
There may be financial support available to you depending on your circumstances. Details can be found on our Financial Support page.
How to apply
Applicants should download and complete the application form on this page and return it to firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about how to apply and to read a copy of our Admissions Policy & Procedure (including our Complaints Process) 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.