MSc Prosthetics & OrthoticsDr Anthony McGarry

Dr Anthony McGarry, Senior Teaching Fellow, tells us more about studying Prosthetics & Orthotics at Strathclyde.

From what study backgrounds do students normally come into Prosthetics & Orthotics?

The MSc in Prosthetics & Orthotics is available as one-year full time or two-year part-time study. To gain entry to this course, students must have completed a recognised undergraduate programme in prosthetics and orthotics. Our students have included those teaching at other prosthetics and orthotics schools, are clinicians working with patients or newly qualified prosthetics and orthotics practitioners who wish to further their research and education.

What attracts students to study Prosthetics & Orthotics at Strathclyde?

We are number one in medical technology in the UK!

The programme combines knowledge of the engineering and medical sciences with advances in technology and practice to generate applications and solutions to clinically relevant problems. The programme also considers the effects of disability within a population and society’s approaches globally.

This is one of the few programmes in the world that offers a specific degree in prosthetics and orthotics.

What makes studying Prosthetics & Orthotics at Strathclyde stand out from other institutions?

The National Centre for Prosthetics & Orthotics (NCPO), in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, has an international reputation for quality education within this field. The staff of the NCPO are involved in research and clinical practice both nationally and internationally.

The undergraduate programme is recognised as a Category 1 school by the International Society of Prosthetics & Orthotics (ISPO) and we are number one for medical technology in the UK.

What do you enjoy most about teaching the course?

Students come to Strathclyde from a wide international background and are already experts in their field. I enjoy meeting and learning about prosthetics and orthotics services in their home country. We encourage debate and discussion in our clinical classes to ensure critical thinking and development of clinical practice. It is always very interesting and exciting to hear the views of our expert practitioners worldwide.

Students are required to complete an MSc project. It's fantastic to learn from the students who present their topic to staff in a mini conference. Students have gone on to present and publish their work in national and international conferences and peer reviewed journals demonstrating the impact that further studies may have on the prosthetics and orthotics sector.

What do students tend to enjoy most about studying prosthetics and orthotics at Strathclyde?

The degree combines biomedical engineering classes with advanced learning in Prosthetics and Orthotics. Although this is challenging, students enjoy the variety of subjects that the department has to offer. This helps to ensure that students mix with other students on other degree programmes as classes overlap and facilitates a wider appreciation of the role of other health professionals and engineers within rehabilitation sector.

Students particularly enjoy one of the core classes: Disability and Societal Effects. This module aims to expand the learner's understanding of disability and its impact on societies. The World Health Organisation's Report on Disability and the United Nations Convention of Rights for People with Disability (UN CRPD) are used as a basis to raise awareness and appreciation of disability and the effect on society, and future impact.

Other popular modules include Orthotic Management of Neurological Conditions; Clinical Gait Analysis; Management of the Diabetic Foot; Lower Limb Prosthetic Design; Paediatric Prosthetics; Upper Limb Prosthetics and Spinal Orthotics. Students may choose up to two of these modules. This means that all students may align their studies to learn more about their particular areas of interest and expertise.

What jobs/further study to graduates from this course go on to do?

Our students have progressed to managerial or specialist clinical roles. Many are educators who will facilitate learning for new practitioners within their home country. Two former students have recently returned to study for PhDs within the department. Once completed, it is envisaged that these students will continue to develop much needed research in this field.

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