This full-time postgraduate programme for qualified chiropractors, sports therapists, physiotherapists and medical practitioners is a two-year pre-qualifying course designed to give these practitioners the opportunity to achieve the required competence profile for autonomous osteopathic practice.

Whilst enabling these practitioners to develop the required clinical competence profile for registration with the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC), the course aims to produce clinicians who have the knowledge and skills to integrate osteopathy with their existing healthcare practice in sports therapy, chiropractic, physiotherapy or medicine.

Key course features

  • This course is designed to give you the opportunity to achieve the required competence profile for autonomous osteopathic practice whilst further developing your pre-existing knowledge and skills in the area of musculoskeletal care. 
  • You will be exposed to a student centred learning environment to promote the critical acquisition, development and integration of clinical knowledge and osteopathic evaluative and treatment skills, within the context of your pre-existing clinical knowledge, skills, professional values and norms.
  • This is underpinned by a critical understanding of osteopathic philosophy and principles. Newly acquired professional capabilities will be developed and consolidated in a supervised student centred clinical education setting.
  • You will build upon your knowledge of human structure and function by further developing an integrated knowledge of the inter-relationship between structure, function and dysfunction in clinical presentations and integrated osteopathic care.
  • The course will build upon your knowledge and skills of evidence based practice and research to complete a small scale research project.
  • The course will also build upon your existing skills in patient care to further refine and develop your capabilities in areas such as diagnostic palpation and manual therapeutic techniques within an osteopathic context.

Entry requirements

  • Suitable academic qualification (honours degree in physiotherapy or equivalent, honours degree in chiropractic or equivalent, honours degree in sports therapy or equivalent or equivalent overseas qualifications, or a degree in medicine).
  • Applicants with an honours degree in sports therapy or equivalent overseas qualification should normally have achieved a minimum high 2:1 (or equivalent). In addition, they should have a good A-level or equivalent profile.
  • Ideally applicants will be required to provide evidence of having achieved IELTS level 7.0 or equivalent. 
  • Submission of a completed application form. Pre-selected applicants will then be invited to an Interview and Practical Skills Assessment (see below). 
  • Successful completion of an Interview and Practical Skills Assessment, using an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) format. Applicants will be assessed on their ability to take a musculoskeletal clinical case history using a basic pro-forma, patient examination with the emphasis on the use of palpation and passive range of motion evaluative procedures and diagnostic clinical reasoning. Their ability to communicate appropriately in English will also be evaluated.

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, care 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

The course will enable you to apply for registration with the GOsC and practise as an autonomous osteopathic practitioner within the UK. This course will enable you to maintain your existing professional role whilst further enhancing your competence profile as a specialist primarily in the area of musculoskeletal care. To this end, you will develop the knowledge and skills required to integrate osteopathy with your existing area of clinical practice.

Course structure & delivery 

The course comprises of a number of units as outlined below. 

  Yr 1    Year 2  
Unit Title Credits   Level   Credits   Level 
The Functioning Human 30 7 N/A N/A
Research & Enquiry 30 7 30 7
Being an Osteopath 30 7 60 7
Total Credits 90 7 90 7

A detailed overview can be found in the Course Information Form available to download from this page.

Unit information

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:

  • practical and clinical examinations
  • critical essays
  • peer reviews
  • presentations
  • written exams

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

Mode of study


Dates & duration

August start, 2 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.

Award & awarding body

Master of Science (MSc)

The UCO is currently progressing plans to merge with AECC University College from 1 August 2024, and will become the UCO School of Osteopathy within a newly merged institution to be known as Health Sciences University (name change subject to final approval). Your award will be issued by HSU (subject to approval) and will also recognise that you completed your studies with the UCO School of Osteopathy.   


Professional body accreditation

The Master of Science (MSc) in Osteopathy (pre-registration) has Recognised Qualification status with the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC). As an approved course provider, all students who successfully graduate from the UCO's MSc 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 

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

You will be supported by the Course Leader, Unit Leaders and the programme teaching team. The UCO also 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 2024-25 academic year (2024 entry) on this course is £10,400; for Overseas/EU students it is £12,900. 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. Further details can be accessed via our Student Support page.

How to apply

Applicants should download and complete the application form on this page and return it to

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.

Open days

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