Toni, MSc Physiotherapy

Toni started her MSc in Physiotherapy in 2019. Hear about what gave her the confidence to take the next step in her career, and her journey to taking on her Masters.

What were you doing before your Masters at Edinburgh Napier?
So, before I began my Masters here at Napier, I was actually an Undergraduate student here – I did my Sports Science degree and finished in 2013. The thing about Sport Science, was that there were lots of career opportunities, so much choice that I didn’t actually know what I wanted to do. I had previously thought about doing Physiotherapy, and I was lucky enough to get a job as a Physio Assistant to get a bit of an idea of what was involved. I did that for five years and I really enjoyed it.  

How did you come to decide to do you Masters? 
In the time I had been a Physio Assistant, I had got married, I had a daughter and I loved my job. I could see myself doing the job long term, but I wanted to be able to be a bit more autonomous, I wanted to have a bit more responsibility, and that comes from being a qualified professional. My husband encouraged me to go and do it and I got a lot of encouragement from some of my colleagues. And then in terms of family life, my daughter was beginning to start nursery, so it was the perfect time, and I just decided to go for it.

What gave you the confidence to take that next step? 
I felt that there were so many other areas of Physiotherapy that I just needed experience and knowledge of, to build on what I already had. The people that I worked with had a lot of confidence in my potential, so I was given quite a bit of responsibility where I was working and that gave me the confidence to think that I was able to do it. I’m quite an ambitious person, I enjoy learning and I felt I had the drive to take it on.

How did you find out more about the course? 
I was able to come along to a Postgraduate open evening and I met my Programme Leader, who was able to just give me a bit more information. She went into a bit more into depth about the fact that it’s a multidisciplinary course and we would be doing some work with occupational therapy and social work. It was really interesting to hear about it and she was just able to give us a bit of guidance on what to expect, so that when we did put in an application, we knew what we were applying for.

How did you feel when you got your place on the Masters course?
I was incredibly proud of myself, but quite apprehensive about the fact that I was making that big jump away from full-time working to then going back into education. I had been out of education for a long time, but actually, it’s the best move I’ve made.

What was the main difference between your Undergraduate and your Masters?
Although my Undergraduate course in Sport Science opened up a lot of avenues, there wasn’t a direct path to what career you were going in, whereas the Postgraduate course in Physiotherapy is very much leading you to a direct occupation. The Masters course is very much aimed at you becoming a qualified Physiotherapist, the whole course is there to prepare and guide you for what would be expected of you when you finish.

What have been your highlights of the Masters?
The skills that you learn and the knowledge that you gain, you can’t wait to then go and put it into practice. That’s why the clinical practice placements that we get, getting to go out into that environment, is great. Another highlight has been having specialist physiotherapists from different areas coming in and teaching with us. We’re really lucky with the facilities here at Edinburgh Napier too. With the Clinical Skills Simulation Centre, we have the simulation dummies and the set-up of the wards, and no other university has that.

What would you say to someone thinking about doing a Masters? 

I suppose when you’re starting the thought process of doing your Masters, there’s a lot to consider in terms of financial life and work-life balance, but certainly from my experience, it’s all been positive. I took that big jump, and the benefit at the end is worth it.

Find out more about masters study at Edinburgh Napier

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