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PhD study programme in Physiotherapy, offered by Alma Mater Europaea – ECM will teach you to become professional and skilled health care professionals in the field of medical rehabilitation.

This PhD programme in Physiotherapy is a novelty in Slovenia. We developed it on the basis of the needs for this kind of study, as a study programme of the 3rd Bologna cycle in Physiotherapy did not yet exist in Slovenia. The program is modern, it introduces the missing basic knowledge in the field of scientific research work and solving scientific problems. It covers evidence-based practice and inter-professional collaboration in healthcare, modern approaches to healthcare and policy, in response to emerging epidemiological trends, scientific views on contemporary theoretical, ethical and sociological concepts in the field of physiotherapy and other health care professions. The program is focused on critical evaluation of research results, development of research methods and transfer of knowledge into practice. Students will deepen their knowledge in the field of physiotherapy, they will be trained in the search for new knowledge sources in a professional and scientific field, trained to take responsibility, to manage demanding systems in health care, and to develop critical reflection and social and communication skills to manage teamwork.

The doctoral student, future doctor of physiotherapy, will understand the importance of knowledge for academic development, will be able to comprehensively understand the techniques of applied research work and advanced academic research, will be capable of assessing complex situations where there is little data, will be able to understand and critically assess complex scientific and research questions, critically evaluate research results, development of new research methods and will be able to transfer knowledge into practice.

This study program will be vertically and horizontally linked to the existing second cycle physiotherapy study program. The study program is composed of compulsory and elective subjects. This will allow candidates to upgrade their knowledge and build on their vertical education in the field of physiotherapy.

Research shows that doctoral studies must be designed in the way to have an original contribution to knowledge. This can be achieved through research projects whose mentoring is carried out by experts in the field of research problem with knowledge from methodological research approaches.

Alma Mater researchers will work together with the Institute for Sports Diagnostics and Physiotherapy (hereinafter referred to as ISDP), which is in the process of establishment, with the aim of transferring modern knowledge and experience of top experts to PhD students and assisting in the conceptual design and application of research projects at Alma Mater.

This way, students will get to know concrete examples in practice, while planning the services would expand their ability of realistic thinking. The ISDP will also deal with the applied research of the human movement: from monitoring the development of children to the study of adaptations and changes in the movement of the adult and the elderly. On the basis of a comprehensive analysis of the motor status, various activities and recommendations for the optimization of exercise and nutrition will be formulated for recreational and top athletes, elderly people and the rest of the population.

Doctoral students must have clinical competencies as well as competencies and responsibilities for training and teaching others, as they will also have to provide transfer of knowledge and good practices. As in other scientific disciplines, academically educated healthcare professionals must be able to conduct research, and from the people they manage, require research work, know how to publish in magazines with a review, know how to write projects, financed through different research funds, and contribute to broader tasks and research obligations for development of the profession.

The emphasis of the doctoral program is on active studies, application of more demanding scientific research methods, problem-based studies and individual studies. The compulsory component of the program is understanding and using various research methods through research projects, scientific writing, publishing and presenting research results to the professional and scientific public.


Physical Therapy PhD - 1. Year

  Courses ECTS
1 Quantitative and qualitative research methods and statistics 15
2 Selected Topics in Physiotherapy 15
3 Evidence Based Physiotherapy 10
4 Applied research project in the field of physiotherapy 10
5 Ethics and Cultural Diversity in Health Care 10

Physical Therapy PhD - 2. Year

  Courses ECTS
13 Methodology of writing doctoral thesis 10
14 Planning of Individual Research Work 10
15 Elective course 10
16 Elective course 10
17 Individual Research Work 20

Physical Therapy PhD - 1. Year

  Courses ECTS
25 Individual Research Work 30
26 Doctoral dissertation 30

Elective Courses

  Elective Courses ECTS
1 Informatics as a tool for research and development in health care 10
2 Health Promotion in Society 10
3 Management and professional development 10
4 Psychosocial determinants of health 10
5 Approaches to pain management 10
6 Special Rehabilitation – Selected Topics 10
7 Quality and Safety in Health Care 10
8 Evidence based medicine and clinical practice 10



The third-cycle graduate will have the knowledge and skills to evaluate research needs and evidence-based healthcare practices, bring about changes in the organization and the team, applying them to and follow the research approach, strengthen confidence and empower health professionals from various health care professions to engage in research activities and participate in decision-making regarding patient care.

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The doctor of physiotherapy will:

- understand the importance of knowledge for academic development; will be able to understand comprehensively the techniques of applying research work and advanced academic research,

- be capable of judging complex situations where there is little data; will be able to understand and critically assess solving complex scientific research questions, critically evaluate research results, develop new research methods, and transfer knowledge into practice,

- be capable of basic and applied scientific research, publication and presentation of results of research work to the scientific, professional and layman public; will be aware of the limitations of research work and will follow the ethical norms of scientific and research work.

Upon completion of the program, students will be personally responsible, professional and competent experts and researchers with advanced research skills, who will be able to suggest initiatives, change carriers, will be leaders, consultants, and will have developed critical thinking to the research problem.

They will know how to conduct creative and independent scientific research at a more demanding level and solve scientific problems. The study program offers a range of broader competencies that will enable doctors of physiotherapy to work and take action in strategic areas.

  • DURATION: 6 semesters / 3 years
  • TITLE: Doctor of Philosophy degree (PhD) in Physiotherapy (abbreviation PhD after the Name and Surname or. Dr. before the Name and Surname)
  • LOCATION: Slovenia
  • START DATES: November

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