Course details

Study options

Part-time: 3 to 6 years

Course level




Start dates

January, April, See below

Course description

This course is for qualified occupational therapists and physiotherapists working in the field of hand therapy.

Building on the competence you’ve already gained in your own professional practice, this course will enable you to continue learning, evaluating, maintaining and developing services for current and future hand therapy provision.

You’ll develop your ability to critically evaluate and reflect on your own practice in hand therapy while reviewing the theory that is fundamental to hand therapy. The course will help you to develop your understanding of research methods and research skills so that you feel empowered to improve your clinical practice. You’ll find that the course is flexible to suit you and fit around your other commitments.

You’ll be fully supported by our knowledgeable academic team, who will help you with your studies by email, phone, online or face to face tutorials. You’ll have the option of attending additional study days on campus to meet with tutors, network with peers and advance your study skills. Although this is a distance learning course, the optional Hand Therapy in Practice module involves a practical week on campus in Derby. As well as developing your skills, it will also give you the opportunity to meet your peers and share knowledge and best practice.

You can choose to study an individual module as a standalone course as part of your continuing professional development, so you only need to study areas that are relevant to you if you’d rather not commit to the full course.

If you successfully complete specific modules, you’ll be eligible to apply to the British Association of Hand Therapists (BAHT) for accreditation as a BAHT accredited hand therapist provided you have completed the required clinical hours or as an Associate Member accredited hand therapist, if you have completed the clinical hours required by BAHT outside the UK.

"I chose to enrol in a Masters of Hand Therapy at Derby University as the programme provides both structure and flexibility through the use of modules that I can complete at my own pace. I am an experienced clinician but want to gain more skills in evaluating my own practice. I believe the evidence-based focus of the programme will provide me with an ability to do this."

Jessica Holding, MSc Hand Therapy

Occupational therapy student examines patient
Occupational therapy students smile during class
Multi-Faith Centre, Kedleston Road

Postgraduate Open Event

Join us at an upcoming Postgraduate Open Event, where you will get the opportunity to meet our expert academics and find out more about your course.

Book your Postgraduate Open EventBook your Postgraduate Open Event

What you will study

This course is made up of three stages – Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma and MSc. You can also choose to study individual modules as part of your professional development.

You’ll study these modules:

  • Developing as an Evidence Based Practitioner
  • Assessment of the Hand and Upper Limb
  • Treatment Modalities

You’ll study this module:

  • Research Methods

You’ll also study one of these hand therapy specific modules:

  • Hand Injuries: Mechanisms and Interventions
  • Hand Conditions: Mechanisms and Interventions
  • Hand Therapy in Practice

You'll also choose one other module. It can be another hand therapy specific module from the list above or one of the following optional modules:

Please note that some modules may only run once a year.

  • Evaluating Practice Outcomes
  • Management of Change
  • Negotiated Module
  • Professional and Informed Reasoning
  • Physical Characteristics and Ergonomics
  • Radiographic Image Analysis of the Appendicular Skeleton

You’ll study this module:

  • Independent Scholarship

Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

How you will learn

In most of the modules you will be assessed by a written assignment. 'Hand Therapy in Practice' is assessed by a written assignment and an oral assessment of which you will need to pass both elements.

The 'Independent Study' module gives you the opportunity to undertake some in depth hand therapy research in an area relevant to your practice. Your assignment will be 15,000 words, or alternatively you can carry out a systematic review of literature again in an area of hand therapy relevant to your hand therapy practice, of 20,000 words. You also have the option to carry out an action-based study or a project.

Who will teach you

Programme leader

Cate Allen

Entry requirements

You'll usually need;

Fees and funding

2022/23 Fees (August 2022 - July 2023)

 Full-timePart-time (Distance learning)
UK N/A £700 per 20 credits*
International N/A Please contact us for fee information

*Please note that at postgraduate level, you’ll need to gain the following number of credits in total to obtain the awards below.

Postgraduate Certificate 60 Credits
Postgraduate Diploma 120 Credits
MSc 180 Credits

This means you will gain 180 credits in total to complete the full MSc. If you’re studying full-time you will normally complete 180 credits over one year. If you are studying part time you will normally complete your studies over two or three years, depending on the course structure.

Please note fees normally increase in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees, which is reviewed on an annual basis. The total fee you pay may therefore increase after one year of study.

Additional costs and optional extras

Funding your studies

Find out more about fees, postgraduate loans and support you may be entitled to.

Find out about funding your studiesFind out about funding your studies

Alumni discount for Derby graduates

We offer a discount on postgraduate course fees for all Derby alumni.

Find out about the Alumni discountFind out about the Alumni discount

Students chatting to each other

International student scholarship

We're offering a £2,000 scholarship for all eligible international students studying a full-time postgraduate taught programme (PGT). Terms and conditions apply.

Find out if you're eligible for an international scholarship Find out if you're eligible for an international scholarship

How to apply

Please look at our application deadlines before you apply.

UK students

Students should apply directly to the University.

Apply directly to the University
International students

English language entry requirements must be achieved and evidenced as part of an application and before an interview can be offered for this programme.

Students should apply directly to the University.

Apply directly to the University

Guidance for international applicants applying for a postgraduate degree


To remain registered with the Health and Care Professions Council, it's now essential that all health professionals can show they're committed to life-long learning and continued professional development. Taking this course is a great way of showing this. To get a post in the NHS as a Clinical Specialist, Extended Scope Practitioner or Consultant Therapist, you'll often need to have studied at Masters Level. So this course should help you develop your career.

After completing the PG Diploma or Masters stage of the course you could apply for a place on the Doctor of Health and Social Care Practice which will enable you to develop as a clinical and professional leader in your workplace.

Contact us

If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.

Contact us Contact us

† Additional information about your studies

Please enquire to the Programme Leader regarding the available intakes for the programme 

Download programme specification

Teaching hours

Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.

Additional costs and optional extras

We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, excellent facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.

The information provided on this page is correct at the time of publication but course content, costs and other individual course details do change from time to time and are updated as often as possible, so please do check these pages again when making your final decision to apply for a course. Any updated course details will also be confirmed to you at application, enrolment and in your offer letter.

Mandatory costs not included in your fees
Optional costs not included in your fees

Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.

Minimum numbers

Please note that this course is subject to minimum numbers in order to run.