The UCO is accepting applications for 2019 entry to this course. If you would like to apply please download the Course Information and complete the Application Form and send it to General enquires about the course can also be sent to

This one-year credit-bearing course will develop and enhance your knowledge, practical and clinical skills in the specialist area of musculoskeletal geriatric practice, and will provide you with valuable and diverse application of skills in the management of vulnerable older adults.

The course is a blend of theoretical, practical and clinical instruction centred on the newly developed specialism within osteopathic care in geriatric musculoskeletal practice. It is designed to equip students with the necessary knowledge, skills and attributes to enable them to make a claim where relevant for specialist status, and is specifically suitable for those who wish to develop specialist hands-on skills in the care of frail older adults (over 65 years) to enhance their scope of practice.

There is a growing need for expert practitioners to work with older people. The number of older people is projected to double by 2025. By 2040, nearly one in seven people is projected to be aged over 75. The number of centenarians is projected to rise nearly six fold, from 14,000 at mid-2014 to 83,000 (Office for National Statistics 2017). People are living with a growing number of long-term chronic conditions such diabetes, heart disease and dementia. It is estimated that by the age of 75 one will have two of these conditions. Use of health services increases with age with those aged over 85 are projected to use up to three times as much resource as those aged 65-74 (UK Parliament 2010). Our innovative and exciting course offers opportunities for both experienced and recently graduated allied health practitioners such as osteopaths, physiotherapists and chiropractors.

Key course features

​The course focuses on manual treatment skills relevant to this particular patient group. The course questions, appraises and develops your personal professional beliefs, whilst critically appraising the plausibility of contemporary and established models of geriatric practice within a multi-professional context. A thorough understanding of normal ageing will be complemented by typical conditions affecting geriatric patients.

Professor David Oliver, President Elect of the British Geriatric Society, writes in the King’s Fund blog on how critical the work of Allied Healthcare Professionals (AHPs) is to the care of older people:

“It’s high time we gave AHPs overdue recognition as key players in services that are now team ventures. Population demographics mean that increasingly the business of health care will be the business of caring for older people who require a genuinely multidisciplinary approach. We can’t do it without them.” 

The overarching principle of this course is collaborative, multi-professional input in the management of frail, complex cases that shall challenge students to widen their horizons and capabilities. Educators in this exciting and unique course range from geriatric consultants from Guys and St.Thomas’ Hospital, occupational therapist, nutritionist, specialist physiotherapists, experienced osteopaths and specialist nurses.

Throughout the course, an emphasis will be given to developing your safeguarding awareness and management strategies. In particular, the course enables you to identify areas of practice weakness through risk assessment in order to effectively manage and mitigate these and plan your future CPD opportunities.

This course promotes the tenets of Advanced Clinical Practice as espoused by Health Education England. Advanced clinical practice embodies the ability to manage clinical care in partnership with individuals, families and carers. It includes the analysis and synthesis of complex problems across a range of settings, enabling innovative solutions to enhance people’s experience and improve outcomes.

Entry requirements

  • A Bachelor’s Degree with Honours from a UK University (or equivalent)
  • English requirements:
    • GCSE English (or equivalent)
    • IELTS overall score of 7.0 or equivalent
  • UK applicants must be registered as a practising osteopath, physiotherapist or chiropractor
  • Practising UK osteopaths must be registered with the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC)
  • EU and overseas osteopathic applicants must, where applicable, be registered as a practising osteopath with the relevant regulatory authority or association and must, irrespective of the former, hold appropriate professional indemnity insurance
  • Practicing physiotherapists and chiropractors must be registered with their relevant professional regulatory body and carry appropriate professional indemnity insurance
  • All applicants are required to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

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.

Careers & employability

Upon completion of this course, you will be sufficiently confident and competent to practice either independently or as part of a group, participate in or establish a private specialist geriatric clinic and manage your patient case-load. On the completion of this course, you may be able to apply for an advanced practitioner status if one exists within your profession.

After graduation you will be equipped to work in the following areas, in advanced clinical care of older adults:

  • private sole osteopathic/chiropractic/physiotherapy practice
  • group practice
  • multi-disciplinary healthcare practice

You will also be equipped with the appropriate skills to pursue:

  • further study at Masters level
  • further research in this specialist area

Course structure & delivery

The course consists of two units with equal weighting.

Unit Credits   Level   
Unit 1:
Risk Management in Clinical Practice
30 7  
Unit 2:
Multidisciplinary Management of Older
Adults: New Paradigm
30 7  


Module information

More information can be found in the Course Information Form.

Assessment & feedback

Assessments are in a coursework format. The course is assessed through both summative and formative assessments including:

  • critical evaluation
  • poster presentation
  • case analyses
  • personal clinical development portfolio

A detailed breakdown of assessments for each unit can be found in the Course Information Form.

Mode of study

Part-time; 8 contact days and regular online teaching and learning

Dates & duration

September start, 1 year


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

Awarding body

University College of Osteopathy

Professional body accreditation


Support for students

Throughout your studies you will be supported by the course team and you will also be allocated an Academic Tutor to support and assist you with your studies. 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 tuition fee for all students (Home, EU, international) for 2019 entry on this course is £2,440 (£1,220 per unit). More details on course fees, discounts and payment plans for this course can be found on our course fees page.

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

The UCO provides financial support to students in exceptional hardship. 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


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...