Courses Handbook 2010

312202 v.1 Doctor of Clinical Physiotherapy

This course is pending registration for International Onshore Students on Student Visas. Please contact the Curtin International Office to determine availability for International students.


This coursework doctorate has been developed to provide graduates with the opportunity to continue their professional development as a lifelong learner. It provides advanced theoretical knowledge, contemporary clinical practice and clinical research opportunities. It aims to support professional development of physiotherapists from the point where they are new graduates commencing practice to the point where they become expert clinicians with specialist clinical and professional expertise. The primary aim is to support the emergence of clinical expertise based on a solid foundation of evidence-based practice and clinical reasoning and diagnostic skills. It is anticipated that graduates will be expert consumers of research and evaluators of available research evidence and that as they progress through the program they will become expert in conducting clinical research. Students will also have the opportunity to acquire expertise in areas related to clinical practice to further enhance their professional development to the stage where they may be recognised as clinical specialists.

Course Entry Requirements/Prerequisites

For admission as a candidate in this doctoral coursework program an applicant shall satisfy the Faculty Graduate Studies Committee (FGSC) that at least ONE of the following eligibility criteria has been met (all in Physiotherapy) 1. graduated with or qualified for the award of the degree of Master within the University; 2. graduated with or qualified for the award of the degree of Bachelor with First Class Honours or Upper Second Class Honours within the University; 3. graduated with a degree of Bachelor and completed a Postgraduate Diploma or its equivalent with a course-weighted average of not less than seventy-five percent within the University and 4. obtained qualifications from another institution which are recognised by tertiary admission authorities in Australia and which are deemed to be equivalent to, or a satisfactory substitute for, any other qualifications prescribed in the points above. Applicants must either be registered physiotherapists, or eligible for temporary registration asa physiotherapist in Australia. Refer to University Higher Degree by Coursework Regulations for Doctoral Degrees.

Duration and Availability

A domestic candidate may enrol in the coursework Doctor of Clinical Physiotherapy either full-time or part-time. International students, due to legislative and visa restrictions, will be required to enrol on a full-time basis. Enrolment shall be continuous with the exception of periods of leave of absence as approved by the Faculty Graduate Studies Committee. The minimum course duration is two years full-time or equivalent part-time, and the maximum course duration is four years full-time or equivalent part-time. Only fee-paying places are available. The time limits shall be adjusted for approved periods of leave of absence.

Course Organisation

In preparation for the thesis, students must complete Physiotherapy Project 651 and Physiotherapy Project 652 or equivalent.

Professional Recognition

Students are required to be registered with the Physiotherapist Registration Board of Western Australia if they undertake a unit involving clinical practice within Australia. Students completing units involving clinical practice outside Western Australia must comply with local legislative requirements and are responsible for any associated fees. Eligibility for temporary registration with the Physiotherapist Registration Board of Western Australia is a prerequisite for acceptance into the course. Certification of fitness to undergo manipulative procedures is a requirement for acceptance into the course.

Additional Course Expenses

Thesis preparation and binding, and other costs as normally covered by doctoral students. Students may be expected to purchase a number of textbooks, readers and other essential study materials. Costs associated with successful completion of an approved course in first aid (CPR). Costs associated with meeting immunisation requirements.

Further Information

Further information concerning doctoral research can be obtained at and for research graduate studies at Curtin University.

Special Note

Prospective applicants are advised that the program requires full participation in laboratory classes where practical skills and topics are presented. Essential learning strategies demand that all students disrobe appropriately to act as subjects for their peer group. Curtin's Higher Degree by Coursework Regulations for Doctoral Degrees will apply in respect of enrolment, candidacy, the program committee and the examination process. For further information please refer to the General Information section at the front of this Handbook. A candidate shall comply with these regulations as from time to time amended or remade, except where the University Graduate Studies Committee is of the opinion that any candidate has been or may be adversely affected by a change in the regulations since initial enrolment. The candidate may be permitted to continue under such regulation or regulations in force at any time during the period of candidature and on conditions the Committee may prescribe.

Course Structure Disclaimer

Curtin University reserves the right to alter the internal composition of any course to ensure learning outcomes retain maximum relevance. Any changes to the internal composition of a course will protect the right of students to complete the course within the normal timeframe and will not result in additional cost to students through a requirement to undertake additional units.

Course Structure Hrs/Wk Credit
Year 1 Semester 1
307456 v.1   Evidence Based Practice 750 4.0 25.0
311898 v.1   Physiotherapy Clinics 751 3.0 12.5
311899 v.1   Physiotherapy Project 651 2.0 12.5
Year 1 Semester 2
311900 v.1   Physiotherapy Clinics 752 6.0 25.0
311901 v.1   Physiotherapy Project 652 2.0 25.0
Year 2 Semester 1
312203 v.1   Physiotherapy Clinics 754 8.0 25.0
312204 v.1   Physiotherapy Practice 754 3.0 25.0
Year 2 Semester 2
308118 v.1 *   Doctoral Coursework Thesis - Physiotherapy
Optional Units (No Year Level Specified) Hrs/Wk Credit
13179 v.3   Research Project 650 16.0 50.0
301952 v.3   Maternal and Child Health in Developing Countries 600 8.0 25.0
308276 v.2   Musculoskeletal Science 751 4.0 25.0
309437 v.1   Women Through Life Stages 650 4.0 25.0
309438 v.1   Human Continence 650 4.0 25.0
309439 v.1   Pelvic Floor Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation 650 4.0 25.0
309932 v.1   Advanced Pharmacology for Physiotherapists 750 4.0 25.0
311203 v.1   Interpersonal Communications 500 3.0 25.0
311902 v.1   Musculoskeletal Science 752 6.0 25.0
311903 v.1   Management of Pain Disorders 652 3.0 25.0
311904 v.1   Anatomy and Pathology 651 4.0 25.0
311908 v.1   Sexology Attitudes and Values 680 4.0 25.0
312071 v.1   Sports Rehabilitation Science 752 4.0 25.0
312072 v.1   Applied Clinical Sports Science 752 4.0 25.0
312073 v.1   Sports Professional Practice 752 10.0 25.0
*      This thesis is normally undertaken over 1.5 calendar year (equivalent to 300 credits) and may with approval commence earlier
NB      Option units in Year 2, Semester 1 must be of doctoral level (700), and selected in consultation with the Course Coordinator
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