Practical class

Master of Osteopathy - 4 years full-time undergraduate degree

The ESO is renowned for high quality osteopathic education

This four year full-time undergraduate Master of Osteopathy degree (M.Ost) is a high quality undergraduate degree programme, which prepares graduates for a rewarding and fulfilling healthcare career.

Students have access to a team of experienced and dedicated staff and faculty, with teaching, research and clinic facilities in Kent (at the ESO) and London (at the British College of Osteopathic Medicine – BCOM). Our broad osteopathic programme includes a range of approaches, including visceral and cranial techniques, enabling students to treat a wide variety of patients and presentations. We also offer electives and specialisms, so students can gain valuable experience in an area of special interest before they graduate. Our aim is to develop safe, competent, well rounded osteopaths, able to think critically, evaluate evidence and manage the complexities of practice life, whichever direction that ultimately takes them.

The M.Ost offers flexibility of where to study; students may, for example, choose to spend two years studying osteopathy in Kent followed by a year in London, before returning to Kent to complete their final year. Students may, of course, choose to study in one location for the duration of the degree course. This choice and flexibility enables ESO students to meet a diverse patient population, provides opportunities to specialise in areas such as sports osteopathy, women’s health, care of the older adult and provides valuable learning experiences.

After completing this University of Plymouth validated degree, graduates can register with the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) and and the General Council and Register of Naturopaths (GCRN) and launch straight into a career as a practising osteopath.

Master of  Osteopathy (M.Ost) four years full-time undergraduate degree 

Duration: 4 Years
Attendance: Full-time 

The course requires students to integrate their theoretical knowledge and practical skills within an osteopathic and naturopathic clinical setting, and integrates scientific, anatomical, theoretical and research knowledge with applied osteopathic and naturopathic skills. Graduates who have successfully completed the course have undertaken a variety of roles and professions. On successful completion of the 4-year full-time course, graduates are eligible to apply for registration in the United Kingdom with the General Osteopathic Council*.

The practical element of our osteopathy degree programme results in a relatively high number of contact hours, with students spending up to 4 days per week in lectures or clinical training. You can find more detailed information about the programme in the sections below.

Successful students graduate with a Master of Osteopathy, validated by the University of Plymouth.

*The Master of Osteopathy (M.Ost) degree is validated by our partner university, University of Plymouth, and is fully accredited by the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) with ‘recognised qualification’ status in accordance with the Osteopaths Act 1993.

 

Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4
Technique Practice 1: Fundamentals &

Bio-mechanics

Functional Nutrition Research Methods Business Skills & Practice Management
Professionalism & Clinical Integration 1 Clinical Diagnosis, Pathology & Pharmacology Clinical

Practice 3

Clinical

Practice 4

Nutrition, Health & Wellbeing Technique Practice 2: Functional Applications Technique Practice 3: Applied Treatment Complex Case Management
Anatomy 1 Clinical Methods Paediatrics Leadership
Anatomy 2 Musculo-

skeletal Diagnosis

Psychology Research Investigation
Physiology Clinical

Integration & Professionalism

Women’s Health (elective) Pain Management (elective)
Care of the Older Adult (elective) Introduction to Osteopathic Sports Care (elective)

You can find more information on module content, assessment and delivery in the section below.

The Master of Osteopathy Programme specification can be found here 

Please note this Masters programme has been validated by the University of Plymouth, our partner University. The Masters programme is approved by the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) obtaining ‘recognised qualification’ status subject to the Privy Council approval in accordance with the Osteopaths Act 1993.

One of the ESO’s strengths is our in-house clinical facility, which has been established in Maidstone for over 45 years. The ESO Clinic provides an authentic training environment for students. You can find more information about the ESO Clinic on our Clinical Training page. 

The academic year is 36 weeks in duration, extending to 38 weeks in Year 2, 43 weeks in Year 3 and 38 weeks in Year 4 to incorporate essential clinical experience.

Students are generally timetabled to attend online/in person lectures, practical classes or clinic up to 5 days each week.  Reading weeks are scheduled for mid-term to allow students to consolidate their learning and to attend clinic as necessary. An example Year 1 timetable can be found on the BCNO website here.

The clinic remains open during holiday periods, inclusive of reading weeks, and Year 3 and Year 4 students are scheduled to attend sessions over a given number of weeks between the academic terms. Please note that in the third year, students spend approximately nine hours a week in Clinic for six weeks of the holiday period (one week in December, two weeks in April and three weeks in the summer holidays). Please note that in the fourth year, students spend approximately twenty four hours a week in Clinic for six weeks of the holiday period (one week in December, two weeks in April and three weeks in the summer holidays). Year 2 students also spend part of the summer holidays in Clinic, as part of the transition period from Year 2 to Year 3. Year 1 and Year 2 students observe in the teaching clinic during scheduled hours throughout the academic year. Students spend over 1000 hours in clinic during their osteopathic training, experiencing around fifty new patient interactions.

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.

The curriculum involves problem-based learning, case-based scenarios and research. The teaching clinic sits alongside practical skills classes, lectures, tutorials, online learning resources, which aims to develop clinical reasoning, student reflection and self-directed learning. Throughout the four years, students engage with evidence-based medicine and learn to evaluate and appraise evidence critically. Students are also taught business and practice management skills to equip them with the tools needed when working in an osteopathic practice.

The programme utilises a range of assessments. The assessments are designed to be stimulating and challenging, stretching the students’ knowledge and practical skills. Assessments include:-

  • essays
  • presentations
  • group work
  • reflective accounts
  • ISCE (integrated standard clinical exam)
  • clinical assessments either as individual students or group work

For more information about the application process, tuition fees and how you can register for an open event, please visit our Applying to the ESO section.

Modules (M.Ost)

YEAR 1

Introduces the principles, concepts, philosophy, and models of osteopathy from an evidence-informed perspective. Enables the development of skills needed for an osteopathic evaluation of body structure and function. Fundamental osteopathic manual technique skills and the underlying mechanisms of technique are established. Includes the concepts of biomechanics and its role in musculoskeletal health and disease.

Assessed: Practical presentation group, Clinical examination ISCE
Delivery: Hands on: Face to Face, Theory: Streamed
Core/ Optional: Core

An introduction to the clinic through observation and practical skills. Students are familiarised to GOsC fitness to practise requirements, professional standards and competencies within the UK. An introduction to sociology related to healthcare provides further context for patient and practitioner values and related expectations. Students are introduced to research methods, reflective practice and critical thinking.

Assessed: Coursework, Clinical examination-ISCE
Delivery: Hands on – Face to Face, Theory – Streamed, Includes time in clinic
Core/ Optional: Core

Examines the utilisation of food on a cellular, tissue, and whole-body level.  How chemical energy from food in the form of macro and micro-nutrients is converted via metabolic pathways.  The requirement and use of macro and micro-nutrients in the maintenance of health. It also includes lifestyle changes in the maintenance of health and wellbeing. Role of other therapies promotion and prevention in health and wellbeing.

Assessed: Coursework, Practical- poster presentation
Delivery: Streamed
Core/ Optional: 
Core

The nature and structure of the connective tissues and the muscular system form the foundation of the module. The classification, names, markings, and position of each bone and the classification and structure of each joint in the human body are covered in detail.

Assessed:  Examination, Viva
Delivery: Mixed
Core/ Optional:
Core

This module introduces students to the physiological organisation at the molecular, cellular, and tissue levels. Homeostasis and the genetic, physical, and biological factors underpinning disease are reviewed, including introducing the pathological principle of cellular adaptation to disease, autoimmunity reproduction, and infection.

Assessed: Examination, Viva
Delivery: Mixed
Core/ Optional:
Core

The module covers the structures and features that comprise the nervous system in the human body.  The module studies the nerves and how they integrate with other structures and cause pain.

Assessed: Coursework, In class test
Delivery: Mixed
Core/ Optional: 
Core

YEAR 2

Review of functional medicine matrix and revision of clinical imbalance pathways. Clinical nutrition topics, covering the major physiological systems and the nutritional aspects of these systems, along with common nutritional disorders and dietary treatment.  How to undertake clinical case history for nutrition, patient compliance, and case histories.

Assessed:  Coursework, In class test
Delivery: Streamed
Core/ Optional:
Core

The module covers the cellular basis of disease and injury, body defence, repair, and regeneration.  The content overlaps with normal physiology to integrate structure, function, control, pathology, and clinical presentation of the major physiological systems. To understand the role of differential diagnosis of common presentations. Provide a general overview of common use drugs and potential adverse events.

Assessed: Examination, Viva
Delivery: Mixed
Core/ Optional:
Core

Aims to critically align osteopathic concepts and models with established osteopathic evaluation skills to enable students to integrate core knowledge and develop responsible practices The student will build on their soft-tissue techniques. Self-awareness of practitioner and patient handling and communication skills will be elaborated, developing the process of autonomy in practice and working within defined parameters.

Assessed: Clinical examination x2
Delivery:
Face to Face
Core/ Optional:
Core

Practical knowledge of clinical methods and osteopathic tests and examinations required for osteopathic practice and diagnosis.  Problem-based series of practically focused clinical case scenarios supported by clinical observations to enable students to integrate their knowledge, understanding, and technical skills to aid in diagnosing and clinical reasoning.

Assessed: Clinical examination ISCE x2
Delivery:
Face to face
Core/ Optional:
Core

The module provides an understanding of orthopaedic and rheumatological conditions and introduces the basic concepts of medical imaging techniques such as X-ray, MRI, CT, and ultrasound.

Assessed: Examination, OSCE
Delivery: Streamed
Core/ Optional:
Core

Provides experience for preparing students to engage with the broader scope of patient’s needs and expectations. Includes problem-solving and critical thinking skills to inform and guide the interpretation of clinical and other data to justify clinical reasoning and decision-making. Problem based clinical case scenarios supported by observation will enable students to develop their diagnostic and clinical reasoning.

Assessed: Coursework, Practical
Delivery: Mixed
Core/ Optional:
Core

YEAR 3

The module provides further knowledge in research writing and designing research studies both quantitative and qualitative methodologies. The module covers the critical analysis of the literature, literature appreciation and evaluation, data collection and interpretation, statistical analysis, writing a robust protocol, and understanding research ethics.

Assessed: Coursework
Delivery: 
Mixed, Supervision
Core/ Optional: Core

The clinical component students manage patients under close supervision from tutors and develop their skills in case-history taking, examination, clinical reasoning, and treatment/management plans in partnership with patients. Students attend the on-site teaching clinic.

Assessed:  Clinical examination
Delivery:
Clinic
Core/ Optional:
Core

Emphasis will be placed upon monitoring, critically evaluating, and integrating theoretical and practical applications within techniques for delivering safe and flexible patient care and management. Students will be assuming more responsibility for their actions as they progress towards autonomy. Aims to enhance established technical and clinical reasoning relating to patient evaluation, diagnosis, and techniques.

Assessed: Clinical examination-ISCE x2
Delivery:
Face to face
Core/ Optional:
Core

The module covers paediatric osteopathy, including child safeguarding, emergency signs and symptoms and their management, pregnancy, labour and birth, premature babies, infant feeding, colic, and the unsettled infant, child development, examination of children, common childhood conditions, children’s oncology, paediatric medication, and osteopathic treatment.

Assessed: Examination, Practical-presentation
Delivery: Mixed
Core/ Optional:
Core

Introduction to behaviourism, cognitive and humanistic approaches.  Students gain an understanding of personality, abnormal psychology, aspects of developmental and social psychology. Provides an overview of the main conditions and the relationship between psychological factors and disease. Taught from a clinical viewpoint to understand emotional, psychological problems and reactions experienced by patients.

Assessed: Coursework, In class test
Delivery: Streamed
Core/ Optional:
Core

This module will give the student a comprehensive understanding of the principles of Women’s health. To provide knowledge in female anatomy, physiology, and pathology from puberty to menopause and beyond. Students will learn aspects of women’s (physical and mental) health and how this may impact the patient.

Assessed: Coursework
Delivery:
Mixed
Core/ Optional:
Optional

This module will give the student a comprehensive understanding of the principles of care of the elderly/aged to provide knowledge in all aspects of elderly care, from changes in anatomy and physiology, sociological and legal aspects. Diseases and disorders that affect the elderly.

Assessed: Coursework
Delivery:
Mixed
Core/ Optional:
Optional

YEAR 4

This module prepares students for entry into professional practice by giving an overview of key issues such as managing a business, marketing, legal, insurance, financial and professional requirements, CPD, and clinical audit.

Assessed: Coursework
Delivery:
Streamed
Core/ Optional:
Core

Students autonomously integrate knowledge, understanding, practical skills, and professional attributes within a real patient context. Students will demonstrate full responsibility for the care and management of patients within clinic. This environment of clinical uncertainty enables students to critically apply multi-dimensional attributes to a range of patient presentations coupled with possible co-morbidities.

Assessed: Clinical examination
Delivery: 
Clinic, Face to face
Core/ Optional: Core

This module is aimed at complex case management of patients with long term health conditions building on existing skills and knowledge. The module will provide students with a holistic theoretical knowledge base that will enable students to develop their role in the participation of the treatment and management of these individuals in the wider healthcare context and the role of osteopathy in inter-professional working.

Assessed: Coursework, Practical-presentation
Delivery: Mixed
Core/ Optional:
Core

This module aims to provide learners with a framework of management leadership relevant to an osteopathic/healthcare setting and understand how this impacts patient care. The module will include practical skills in mentoring, delivering and receiving effective feedback, appraisal skills, and managing change.

Assessed: Coursework
Delivery:
Streamed
Core/ Optional:
Core

The module follows the grounding gained in Research Methods and over previous years. It requires the student to undertake original research, or a systematic review required to be presented as a journal-ready research paper.

Assessed: Dissertation
Delivery:
Supervision
Core/ Optional:
Core

To develop an advanced understanding and knowledge of the underpinning causes and types of pain. To develop an understanding of evidence-based different treatment approaches in pain management, including manual therapy, pharmacology, patient education, psychology, and others.

Assessed: Coursework
Delivery:
Streamed
Core/ Optional:
Optional

Understand and develop skills in the aetiology, presentation, and management of sports and related injuries (acute and chronic).  Understand the evidence behind treatment and management, for example, the role of nutrition. To recognise other conditions that may appear as sports injuries (e.g., malignancy, infection, etc.). Understand any specific sports-related injury guidelines.

Assessed: Coursework
Delivery:
Mixed
Core/ Optional:
Optional