The European School of Osteopathy offers a four-year full-time programme leading to the Integrated Masters Degree in Osteopathy (M.Ost).

The undergraduate academic year is 36 weeks in duration, extending to 46 weeks for the 3rd and 4th years to incorporate essential clinical experience. The programme is a demanding one requiring total commitment from the student, but the reward is an immensely satisfying career.  Reading weeks are scheduled for mid-term to allow the students to consolidate their learning or take some time to relax.

The osteopathic teaching at the ESO is renowned for its broad approach to osteopathy and the wide range of osteopathic modalities it teaches which, at undergraduate level, include:

  • Structural techniques, including manipulation
  • Cranial osteopathy and balanced ligamentous tension techniques
  • Functional approaches to treatment
  • General Osteopathic Treatment
  • Visceral osteopathy
  • Muscle energy techniques (MET)
  • Specific adjustment technique (SAT)
  • The treatment of children and pregnant women

A Professional Skills & Identity module runs across all four years, with the aim of aiding the development of the student as an autonomous practitioner. A portfolio will be kept as part of this module to develop reflective skills. In Year 4, the module will include lectures helping to prepare students for practice life, including legal and employment issues, marketing and basic accounting.

Timetabled Hours

The M.Ost programme is a busy one, with the practical element resulting in a relatively high number of contact hours – students are generally in lectures or practical classes for 3 to 4 days each week.

One of the School’s strengths is its clinic facility. In excess of 20,000 treatments are carried out each year by ESO students under the supervision of clinic tutors, who are experienced practising osteopaths. First and second year students will observe for some 40 hours in the teaching clinic prior to formally entering Year 3, when, in addition to continuing lectures, they will begin to interact with patients and put into practice what they have learnt during the two pre-clinical years.

Students spend approximately 1200 hours in clinic during their third and fourth years, experiencing approximately fifty new patient interactions. The clinic remains open during normal holiday periods, and students are timetabled to work there for half of each holiday, including five weeks between Year 3 and Year 4.

In total the programme amounts to 480 UK academic credits totalling 4800 hours including time allocated for completion of a research dissertation between Years 3 and 4 and guided independent study, coupled to this is the life simulated learning gained through clinical educational carried out mainly in years 3 and 4.  View Example Contact Hour Table Here.

A crucial part of undergraduate osteopathic training is the time spent in the teaching clinic. Some observation time is required of first and second year students before entering Year 3, when students begin to treat patients under the supervision of tutors within the clinic. Students are allocated to a tutor, usually for a six week period. Over their training, this gives them the opportunity to work with a range of tutors, drawing on the breadth of experience on offer. The Clinic maintains a tutor/student ratio of 1:6. Year 4 students are required to spend some time in the specialist Maternity and Children’s clinics. We also run an MSK Diagnostic Ultrasound Clinic, which students are able to refer patients to for imaging of musculoskeletal problems.

The programme aims to develop technically competent, well rounded practitioners, able to think critically, evaluate evidence and cope with the complexities and demands of practice life, whichever direction that ultimately takes them.

Core Knowledge

Anatomy I
  • Embryogenesis
  • Anatomy overview
  • Palpation & Anatomy
  • Joints
  • Prosection

Pathophysiology I
  • Organisation levels
  • Homeostasis
  • Support & movement
  • Nervous system – Pathology & Pharmacology


Clinical Integration I
  • Case history and differential diagnosis
  • Constructive physical examination
  • Patient treatment and management

Osteopathic Skills

Osteopathic Technique Concepts & Evaluation I
  • Osteopathic concepts & evalutation
  • Patient handling
  • General osteopathic treatment
  • Osteopathic technique
  • Fundamentals of visceral & cranial evaluation / techniques

Professionalism & Identity

Professional Skills & Identity I
  • Research & critical thinking
  • Osteopathic tradition & evidence
  • Regulation in practice
  • Sociology & epidemiology
  • Reflective practice

Core Knowledge

Anatomy II
  • Gross structure of the viscera
  • Nervous system – structure & function
  • Impact of osteopathic treatment
  • Embryological development;
  • Prosection
Pathophysiology II
  • Physiology & common diseases
  • Oncology
  • Brain pathophysiology & psychiatric conditions
Clinical Methods
  • Case history skills
  • Differential diagnosis
  • Medical imaging
  • Systems examination
  • Orthopaedic tests


Clinical Integration II
  • Integrated osteopathic management

Osteopathic Skills

Osteopathic Technique Concepts & Evaluation II
  • Osteopathic principles, concepts and evaluation and treatment
  • General osteopathic treatment
  • Adaptations of approaches
  • Biomechanics
  • Direct, indirect and balanced techniques: foundations of
    MET, BLT, Cranial & Visceral techniques

Professionalism & Identity

Professional Skills & Identity II
  • Research & osteopathy
  • Ethics & statistics
  • Hierarchy of evidence
  • Criticality
  • Communication
  • Biopsychosocial model
  • Pain psychology

Core Knowledge

Pathophysiology III
  • Physiology & pathology of body systems & common treatments


Clinical Practice I
  • Students learn to take clinical responsibility for their own case load

Osteopathic Skills

Osteopathic Technique Concepts & Evaluation III
  • Integration of theory with practice
  • Osteopathic clinical examination & general osteopathic treatment
  • Paediatrics, care of children, care of the geriatric, sports injuries
  • Muscle energy technique
  • Strain counter-strain
  • Cranial and Visceral techniques

Professionalism & Identity

Research Methods & Statistics
  • Descriptive inferential statistics
  • Research Methods
Professional Skills & Identity III
  • Professional skills
  • Clinical psychology
  • Setting up a practice


Extended Practice

  • Patient management/treatment of patients with complex needs or co-morbidities
  • Co-Management of patients
  • Work-based elective options

Clinical Practice II

  • Students take full clinical responsibility for own case load

Osteopathic Skills

Applied Technique & Evaluation

  • Consolidation of technique applications
  • Treatment management
  • Osteopathic concepts and evaluation – consolidation

Professionalism & Identity

Research Dissertation

  • Research dissertation based around one or more research methods

Professional Skills & Identity IV

  • Practitionership
  • The job application

Undergraduate Admissions

If you have any questions or comments please contact a member of our admissions team who will be happy to assist.

For information about the application process and visiting the School please see our Applying to ESO and Open Days pages.

Bernie Ranger

Admissions Officer

Niki Lock

Admissions Assistant