This is an advanced academic course designed for new graduates as well as professional practitioners (eg occupational therapy, physiotherapy, and other rehabilitation sciences, professions allied to medicine) with a special interest in neurorehabilitation. The course offers you the opportunity to acquire advanced theoretical knowledge, a deeper understanding of research and the ability to critically appraise scientific literature. The course encourages you to critically evaluate how theoretical knowledge informs professional practice in neurorehabilitation and to integrate knowledge with your clinical experience and skills.
The course explores the neurosciences in health and disease, and takes a research-based approach to encourage critical and analytical thinking about current theory and practice in neurorehabilitation. The course does not further clinical skills, nor leads to registration from the UK professional governing bodies, but rather focuses on developing the practictioner’s ability to conduct and evaluate neurorehabilitation research. Following the successful completion of the taught modules of the programme, students are expected to undertake a research project for the dissertation relevant to their specialist areas within neurorehabilitation.
The course consists of six taught modules plus a dissertation. It is CATS rated at M level. Each taught module is 20 credits and the dissertation is worth 60 credits. The taught modules run over the two 12 week university teaching terms, with students undertaking the dissertation following successful completion of the modules.
Neurophysiological Basis for Rehabilitation of Movement
The module examines clinical neurophysiology of movement control in health and disease as well as current research in rehabilitation of movement. The key aspects of the study of movement include: neuromuscular control, reflexes, posture and balance, as well as sensorimotor systems, motor control, the impact of aging, and neuroplasticity in recovery of function. Students will undertake several neurophysiological lab practicals relevant to the topics of the module.
Functional Neuroscience for Rehabilitation
The module examines functional neuroscience relevant to the field of rehabilitation. This includes detailed examination of synaptic physiology and plasticity, functional organisation of brain areas, new treatments in recovery of neural function, physiological basis of behaviour, development and aging, sensation and perception (eg vision and hearing) underlying brain function. Particular emphasis is on current research and the use of modern techniques in the study of neurological conditions and diseases. Relevant lab practical work will also be undertaken.
Research Methods (shared with other courses)
This module explores a wide range of research methods and deepens your understanding of the philosophy of science and the scientific method. Students are introduced to a number of quantitative and qualitative research methodologies applied in research. You will begin to apply these to the development and production of your own research proposal to be conducted for the dissertation.
Principles and practice in Evidence-Based Healthcare (shared with other MSc programmes)
The module offers students the opportunity to examine recent literature and to consider its contribution to evidence-based practice. Students will explore the types of information that are collected about health and clinical practice and will critically evaluate research material from a range of study designs.
Clinical Applications in Neurorehabilitation
The module aims to enhance the student’s ability to reflect on day-to day practice as a rehabilitation specialist and evaluate choice of techniques and current approaches to treatment of nervous system dysfunction.
Cognitive and Behavioural Issues in Neurorehabilitation
This module offers inferences about the neural structures responsible for perception, attention learning, memory, reasoning, language and motor planning. The module also investigates how these processes may be disrupted by a variety of developmental problems, ageing, disease and trauma.
If you successfully complete all taught modules you then undertake the dissertation, which is a major element of the Masters' Degree. It provides you with the opportunity to integrate and apply the concepts and principles developed throughout the course within your own particular area of work. It encourages exploration and investigation of your own particular area of interest and expertise, and it is intended that the topics selected will reflect the negotiated needs for development in your own clinical area. The time allocated will consist of library-based, tutorial and practical work, and you are expected to work towards completing the requirements of the dissertation in your own time. Full time students shall normally submit the dissertation by the end of the academic year following completion of the taught modules; for part time students this would normally be within one academic year of completion of taught modules.
Recent examples of dissertations by students taking this course include:
* Investigating the effect of an individual fatigue management programme for people with multiple sclerosis;
* Self-efficacy beliefs and functional outcome in stroke rehabilitation.
There are many short courses/modules that may be studied individually to update professional knowledge or may be used as part of the credit accumulation and transfer scheme to provide advanced standing awards or to advance diplomas to degrees for registered professionals. In addition, the School offers the following:
* Multidisciplinary Practice Teaching and Monitoring Programme;
* Workshops in Clinical Effectiveness;
* Return to Practice in Occupational Therapy