Postgraduate MSc

Trauma and Orthopaedics: Spinal

School of Health and Society




One year

Two year


September 2019

Next enrolment

In a nutshell

This course has been produced in consultation with clinical specialists and in partnership with specialist spinal centres to ensure that it provides the appropriate content for you to progress in spinal management in the current climate. Not only will you have input from our own, highly experienced staff, you will also be taught by clinical experts who are in current practice.  

Key lectures and case discussion sessions delivered on-campus days with consultant guided distance learning coupled with work-based learning tailored to individual aspirations. This course will also give you access to expertise in clinical assessment, spinal pathology management strategies as well as specialist surgical skills workshops.

Modules can also be taken as stand-alone courses for continuing professional development.

You will:
  • Be taught by consultant surgeons, anesthetists and specialists in spinal practice, in the ageing to pediatric spine.
  • Focus on your individual training needs through this flexible course.
  • Benefit from blended part-time distance learning element designed to fit in with your clinical commitments.

options available


students accepted

Course accreditations
RCS Accreditation logo

This is for you if...


You want to explore current advances in spinal management


You want to develop your clinical reasoning skills


You want to contribute to the evidence base

Course details

All about the course

The course runs full-time over one year and part-time over two to three years giving you the chance to exit with the following awards:

  • Postgraduate Certificate: two modules
  • Postgraduate Diploma: four modules
  • Masters: four modules plus a dissertation

Part-time study with elements of distance learning is delivered in blocks for those involved in busy clinical practice.

Observational clinical placements in hospitals and specialist units are arranged for full-time students in the specialist areas of spinal orthopaedics, lower limb orthopaedics and upper limb orthopaedics.

Course modules

Spinal Orthopaedics

Looks at the management of complex orthopaedic spinal pathology and addresses the management of low back pain in primary care. Areas of special interest include biomechanics, advances in surgery, spinal TB and infection, pain management and rehabilitation and metastatic disease of the spine. Key staff involved include Mr John Leach, Mr Neil Oxborrow, Mr Bradley Williamson, Dr Abdul Lalkhen.

Clinical Biomechanics

Applies biomechanics to clinical practice and clinical case scenarios. Biomechanics underpins all orthopaedic, sports injury pathology and treatment, and this module will cover areas of movement dysfunction, gait analysis and biomechanics of musculoskeletal tissues and fracture fixation.

Applied Orthopaedic Radiology

Covers advanced knowledge of imaging, diagnostics and reporting in orthopaedics, and to apply this to clinical reasoning and decision making in a range of complex spinal clinical case scenarios. 

Key staff involved include Professor Waqar Bhatti. Find out more.

Extending Proficiencies in Orthopaedics

Provides a negotiable and flexible route towards achieving proficiency to an advanced level of knowledge and skill. This work-based learning module utilises an electronic portfolio to capture evidence and enables content to be tailored to individual training needs and aspirations.        

Students will be mentored by experts in their chosen area of focus.        


An opportunity to undertake an in-depth evidence-based exploration of an area of research relevant to you. Projects are supervised and run alongside key areas of research in orthopaedics and are supervised by clinicians and academic staff.

Optional Modules: 

Professional and Business Management for Health Professionals

This module will enable you to develop professional business awareness and acumen and implement this in current or future healthcare practice. You will have the chance to explore issues such as business outlines, marketing, health commissioning, finance, leadership and strategic planning in a variety of contexts.

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

What will I be doing?

Delivery is by full-time (one year) and part-time attendance (two to three years) at the University. Please note: international applicants are only able to apply for the full-time route.

A programme of formal lectures, case discussion seminars and workshops, together with online learning is delivered to students by a team of orthopaedic consultants, radiologists, advanced therapists and other specialists. Attendance is between three to six days depending on the module with distance online learning released weekly, live webinars and tutorials using a variety of media. Both full and part-time students are taught together.

All supportive material from the taught days is recorded on our virtual learning environment, Blackboard.

Each module in the course employs a variety of teaching strategies considered most appropriate for delivery of the aims and objectives. A student-led approach to learning will be encouraged throughout with directed and personal study will perform an integral part of the course.

For those attending full-time, additional observational placements are an integral part of the course. These are arranged for specialist areas of spinal orthopaedics, in key spinal departments.

Research skills sessions are integrated throughout the course.


This course allows for a variety of assessments, depending on the module you will be undertaking and can include:

  • Written assignments
  • Objective structured clinical examination
  • Case presentation/study
  • Literature review
  • Electronic Portfolio of Evidence.

The School of Health and Society

The School of Health and Society is a forward-thinking, dynamic school with a commitment to lifelong learning and real world impact.

We live in a rapidly changing world, and we’re keen to leave a productive legacy of helping people at all stages of their lives, improving their physical, psychological and social wellbeing.


The course is delivered in new state of the art practice and workshop facilities. Extensive online resources are available to aid study.

A number of specialist workshops will take place in our campus at MediaCityUK including surgical simulation sessions.

Staff profiles

This course is unique in that it is taught by a team of enthusiastic experts in spinal management, who are nationally and internationally renowned.

These include:

Mr Irfan Siddique

Module Leader Mr Siddique Consultant Spinal Surgeon. Has a specialist interest in the operative and non-operative management of conditions affecting the adult spine, from degenerative disease to deformity, trauma and tumour surgery. Mr Siddique completed his Spinal Fellowship training in Spinal Surgery in Manchester and Birmingham. Having been awarded the prestigious Soli Lam Spinal Fellowship by the British Orthopaedic Association in 2008/9 he has undertaken fellowships in renowned centres for Spinal Surgery in Germany and Switzerland. For more information please visit

Mr John Leach

Consultant in spinal neurosurgery (minimally invasive cervical and lumbar spine surgery allowing rapid recovery and return to normal daily functions by preserving normal healthy anatomy and reducing post-operative pain) as well as brain and spine tumours. Mr Leach has presented at national and international conferences on cervical spine surgery, minimally invasive spine surgery, orthobiologics and spine trauma. He has an interest in inflammatory arthritis of the spine, particularly rheumatoid arthritis. Mr Leach believes in a multi-disciplinary approach to the management of spinal conditions.

Dr Abdul Lalkhen

Consultant in Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust and leads the Spinal Cord Stimulator Service. He is also responsible for medical education within the Pain Centre. He is the Associate Foundation Programme Director at SRFT.

Mr Robert Dunsmuir

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon he also has an interest in the non-operative treatment of spinal conditions. Mr Dunsmuir trained on the West of Scotland HST programme in orthopaedics and developed an early interest in spinal surgery following a training period with Professor Gordon Waddell. Further training in spinal surgery in Glasgow was followed by a period as National Spine Fellow in St James's Hospital Leeds and Leeds General Infirmary. Research Interests: Scoliosis, spinal tumours and infection and applied anatomy biomechanics.

Dr Amit Herwadkar

Consultant Radiologist.

Employment and stats

What about after uni?

This course has been produced in consultation with clinical specialists to ensure that it provides the appropriate content for orthopaedic trainees and advanced practitioners in both primary and secondary care. You will gain the skills and qualification to compete for specialist posts in orthopedics within the NHS and private sector.

This course addresses the needs of orthopaedic trainees and of experienced non-medical health professionals who have been training/developing in their clinical roles.

Many doctors have advanced to higher posts in surgery as a result of completing the MSc.

Non-medical health professionals have advanced to specialist roles. Completion of the Extended Proficiency module provides students with an electronic portfolio of evidence of practice competency.

You will also gain networking opportunities with experts and peers in the field of spinal management.

A taste of what you could become

An Advanced Orthopaedic Practitioner

Career Links

The course works with a number of orthopaedic companies to provide specialist workshops.

  • Arthrex
  • Stryker
  • DePuy
  • Smith & Nephew

There are also a number of bursaries available through these companies.

Not only will you have input from our own, highly experienced staff, but you will also be taught by clinical experts who are in current practice. Among these are internationally renowned Professors Max Fehily, Philip Turner and David Sochart.


What you need to know

This course is particularly relevant to those working in orthopaedics where responsibilities in spinal assessment and patient management are all or part of your job role. You will want to:

  • Develop advanced clinical reasoning skills in the assessment, diagnosis and management of spinal patients in a range of clinical presentations.
  • Explore current advances in spinal management and how this applies to your own practice.
  • Develop a critical approach to the evidence base and use this knowledge to enhance practice and expertise.
  • Contribute to the evidence base (year three dissertation).
English language requirements 

Students whose first language is not English will be required to demonstrate proficiency in English – IELTS – a minimum overall score of 6.5 with no component below 6 is required.

Standard entry requirements

Undergraduate degree and experience

Applicants should be:

  • Orthopaedic doctors with MBBCh or equivalent.
  • BSc (Hons) graduates with an appropriate health care degree.
  • Prospective students will usually be required to have achieved a 2.1 Honours Degree, but consideration will be given to students with a 2.2 Honours Degree with appropriate experience and satisfactory references.
Alternative entry requirements

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

We welcome applications from students who may not have formal/traditional entry criteria but who have relevant experience or the ability to pursue the course successfully.

The Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) process could help you to make your work and life experience count. The APL process can be used for entry onto courses or to give you exemptions from parts of your course.

Two forms of APL may be used for entry: the Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) or the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL).

How much?

Please note: Returning students that started this course prior to September 2017 will remain on the same fee structure as when they started the course.

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home/EU 2019 £8,820per year
Full-time international 2019 £17,640per year
Part-time 2019 £1,470 per 30 credit module
Additional costs

You should consider additional costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

Apply now

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Enrolment dates

September 2019

September 2020