master of science in osteopathy
programme of study
job outline

Osteopaths treat problems of the musculoskeletal system (parietal system) as well as internal conditions (visceral system) and issues regarding the (central) nervous system (craniosacral system). Osteopathic treatment is purely and solely based on gentle manual techniques. Osteopaths do not prescribe any medication nor dot hey use any invasive techniques such as injections or surgery. The objective of osteopathy is not to treat the illness itself, but to stimulate the patient's natural healing processes. Over the years, osteopathy’s holistic approach has proven to be useful and, accordingly, the demand for well-trained osteopaths is rising.

In Osteopathy manual approaches in diagnostic and treatment are the core elements when working on functional disorders. Always considering the parietal, visceral and craniosacral systems, the reciprocal relation between structure and function is identified in all mechanic, neurologic, vascular and metabolic symptoms, that characterize the patient’s problem.


The objective of the certificate programme for further education in Osteopathy is to provide specialised training in selected fields of osteopathy and to ensure the advancement of the professional qualification to a level in line with a university of applied sciences. A further objective is also to carry out scientific research on the techniques used in osteopathic treatment.



The University of Applied Sciences Tyrol has been very fortunate in being able to secure the International Academy of Osteopathy (IAO), one of the oldest and most renowned osteopathic training institutions, as its partner for this Certificate programme for further education ( 


At its headquarters in Ghent and in several educational institutions all over Europe the IAO trains around 2.500 students in both full-time and part time courses.


In the Master Programme the IAO is responsible for the osteopathic objectives.

career opportunities

Graduates of the certificate programme for further education in osteopathy are qualified to work on an employment basis or to work freelance. As fully trained osteopaths, they use both diagnosis and treatment techniques in all three core areas of osteopathy:

  • Parietal system (musculoskeletal system)
  • Visceral system (internal organs)
  • Craniosacral system (skull, brain, spinal cord, nervous system)

Their training qualifies them to perform comprehensive osteopathic diagnostic, take a medical history and develop promising therapeutic strategies. Our graduates are competent, reliable and responsible osteopaths who have successfully completed a challenging scientific and osteopathic training. Furthermore, they are accomplished in exchanging information and in working together with professionals from other medical disciplines.


The right to practice always is bound to the legal framework of the country the graduate works in. Osteopathy as a profession is explicitly legally defined and regulated in 8 European countries (Finland, France, Great Britain, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Malta, Portugal, Switzerland). The academic degree “Master of Science in Osteopathy” does not automatically lead to the right to practice.


Right to practice in Austria
In the field of osteopathy the right to practice is not legally regulated yet. Osteopathy is mainly practiced by physicians and physiotherapists with respective training. Only physicians and dentists have the right to practice in the field of Osteopathy without professional limitations. Osteopaths from non-medical health professions may practice osteopathy within the legal limits of their pre-existing professional backgrounds – and only after assignment by a physician.

Right to practice in Germany
In Germany Osteopathy is classified as “Heilkunde” and may only be practiced by physicians and “Heilpraktikern” in sole responsibility. The application of Osteopathy by members of other health-professions requires the concession corresponding to §1 “Heilpraktikergesetz”. This also applies if an osteopathic treatment is assigned by a physician. [The German terms are used here, because they cannot be translated to English in the exact (legal) meaning of the German original.]


Right to practice in Belgium
In Belgium Osteopathy is applied by physicians, physiotherapists and osteopaths (graduates from fulltime-training). In 1999 a legal framework for Osteopathy was issued but so far not implemented.

course content

In 2015 the University of applied Sciences was successful in getting the accreditation for the new Curriculum by the German agency AHPGS – Accreditation Agency in Health and Social Sciences. This can be seen as proof for the high quality of the study programme on EQF-Level 7. The accreditation is valid until September 2020 for Innsbruck.


The content of the first semester aims at widening the specific methods and technical competences of osteopaths in due consideration of the current state of knowledge, especially regarding evidence on efficacy and safety of osteopathic treatment techniques. The modules Differential diagnostics 1 and Integration 1 ensure a differenciated dealing with musculoscelettal disorders in accordance with osteopathic priciples as well as the development of stratgies for examination and treatment by the use of processes of reasoning on basis of evidence based practice. The module Teaching and learning covers concepts of learning from various perspectives and different theoretical and practical levels. In addition to this, relevant steps in the managing of projects are taught and trained to make their integration into individual professional routines and research possible.
Theoretical basis of scientific principles and first steps towards designs and methods of research are covered by the module Research 1. Furthermore, relevant models of medical thinking are analysed and discussed in the form of scientific discourse.


In the second semester the module Differential diagnostics 2 builds up on the module Differential diagnostics 1 and explicitly focuses on the visceral system and interactions between various (sub-)systems. In the module Integration 2, the focus lies on the examination and treatment of children and older patients. Further deepening of socio-communicative skills happens in the module Language and communication, which examines the congruence and incongruence in communication and discusses the various aspects of group dynamics and group processes. The module Research 2 expands on the previously taught development, organisation and design of a scientific study. Furthermore, the module also treats the subjects of applied statistics, ethics and data protection and qualitative research. The support seminars, aimed at assisting students with their master theses, offer procedural guidance and help during the various stages of research in the form of collegial advice, self-organised peer meetings and targeted feedback on work progress.


In the third semester the module Differential diagnostics 3 deals with specific approaches for examination and treatment of metabolic disorders. The module Physiology of the visceral system processes the theoretical, practical and evidence based aspects of issues regarding the visceral system. The module Social and Personal Skills deals with ethno-cultural influences on the origin of diseases, as well as the role of ethno-medicine. The students acquire the necessary cultural sensitivity and skills for professional dealing with different cultures. Scientific skills and competences are further deepened in the module Research 3. Students are given the opportunity to lead a scientific discourse and to publish and present a scientific paper. Furthermore, within the scope of the support seminar, aimed at assisting students with their master theses, students can, once again, take advantage of procedural guidance and support during the various stages of their research. For integration of quality criteria in daily routines of therapy and the development of benchmarks for the quality of osteopathic processes, the module Quality and process management provides the necessary inputs.


In the fourth semester the module Human fascial system enables the students to perform examination and treatment of the fascial system under consideration of the current state of scientific knowledge. The module Sociology, Psychology and Psychosomatics deals with a further key issue, namely micro-, meso- and macro-scale health-relevant social processes in groups and communities and with interactions between psycho-social and biological processes in the context of health and illness. The module Research 4 gives students the opportunity to lead a scientific discourse and to publish and market a scientific dissertation. Furthermore, within the scope of the support seminar aimed at assisting students with their master theses, students can, once again, take advantage of procedural guidance and support during the various stages of their research. The degree of moderation by the teaching staff is reduced for the benefit of more self-organisation of the students. The module Medical Law covers the legal regulations relevant to providing high quality osteopathy as well as at the legal framework surrounding this professional field.


The fifth semester is scheduled for the work on the master thesis. This work is further supported and reflected by procedural guidance and advice during the various stages of work on the thesis. The writing of the master thesis represents the final prerequisite for the successful completion of the Certificate Programme for Further Education in Osteopathy in accordance with § 9 FHStG.


The course content is laid down in the Curriculum


The University of Applied Sciences Tyrol is offering the certificate programme for further education in Osteopathy at the following locations:

  • Innsbruck (Austria)
  • Düsseldorf (Germany)


  • 1st – 4th semester € 1.900.- per semester plus Austrian Student Union fee
  • 5th semester €500,- plus Austrian Student Union fee


  • 1st – 4th semester € 2.000.- per semester plus Austrian Student Union fee
  • 5th semester €500,- plus Austrian Student Union fee
course schedule

The courses for our further education programmes in osteopathy are generally carried out in weekend or one-week blocks. Attendance is compulsory in all courses. 


Course schedule for courses starting in 2019

Düsseldorf (to be specified)


entrance requirements



Application documents

  • Application form in English
  • Letter of motivation
  • Signed curriculum vitae in tabular form
  • Evidence of previous experience, professional activity
  • Birth certificate, proof of citizenship, marriage certificate (if applicable) (copies)
  • Certificate of qualification entitling you to take the course (copy) - see entry requirements
  • All credentials relating to the foundation course in osteopathy; can be credited to the degree programme

Please submit your complete application within the actual registration deadline
either per mail to:

fhg – Zentrum für Gesundheitsberufe Tirol GmbH
Studien-Service-Center Master
Bettina Kaufmann, BA, MAS
Innrain 98, 6020 Innsbruck

or per email (all records and documents have to be attached in digital form) 

Please make sure that you do not enclose any original documents to the application. Please also note that the application papers will not be returned. Thank you very much for your understanding.


In accordance with § 9 University of Applied Sciences Studies Act, applicants for the certificate programme for further education in Osteopathy must go through a multi-stage admissions process, the implementation of which is the responsibility of the head of the programme. 

In order to register for the advanced professional training programme in Osteopathy it is essential that the applicant submits his/her application documents (application form plus all other stipulated documents) before the closing date. The documents, which are treated confidentially, will then be checked for completeness and compliance with the entry criteria.

Aptitude Examination

The objective of the aptitude examination is to determine the best qualified candidates through the assessment of factors relevant to the degree programme (professional, personal and social skills). The aptitude examination consists of the following parts:


Evaluation of the documentation provided
Biography (form of application, curriculum vitae, letter of motivation, verification of previous experience, professional career, certificates from other educational institutes)


Personal interview
Should the number of applicants exceed the number of available places for the programme, then a guided interview will be carried out with each applicant. The interviews are not public for reasons of confidentiality. During the interview the applicant has the opportunity to present skills and knowledge which may be significant for the successful completion of the degree course. These criteria include, in particular, the applicant’s motivation, suitability and aptitude for the degree programme and the desired additional qualification.

The interview is carried out by the head of the programme and a member of the teaching and research staff. Each interview is evaluated separately and notes are taken on the interview and on aspects of the evaluation.

The evaluations, which lead to a ranking of candidates, are all documented thus ensuring that the results are verifiable and accountable. An application file is created for each candidate in which all the results are recorded.


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Master of Science in Osteopathie (MSc.Ost.) 
5 Semester
Study Form
Part Time
Course Locations
Innsbruck (A)
Düsseldorf (D)
Number of Places available
min. 16 for each location
Contribution to the Austrian National Union of Students (ÖH)  
accredited by
Application period
30.07.2018 – 31.10.2018
Start expected:
summer semester 2019
Course dates
Application period
14.05. - 14.12.2018
Start expected 
summer semester 2019
Course dates
to follow
Head of Teaching and Research Staff
Arianne Vreugdenhil, MSc MSc BSc
T +43 512 5322 76763

Study Service Center Master
Bettina Kaufmann, BA, MAS
T +43 512 5322-76718
F +43 512 5322-6776718