University of Bedfordshire







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Course Information Form (CIF)


Qualification Master of Science

Course Title MSc Physiotherapy for Sport and Exercise Rehabilitation

Intermediate Qualification(s) Award Rank Master of Sciences 1 Postgraduate Diploma 2 Postgraduate Certificate 3 Postgraduate Credit 4 Awarding Institution University of Bedfordshire Location of Delivery

University Square Campus, Luton

Duration of Course

1 Year

Level 6

FHEQ Level NQF Level 7 (i.e. Masters)

Professional Statutory Body Accreditation Not applicable UCAS Course Code Relevant External Benchmarking

Although the subject area does not have its own Benchmarking Statement, the QAA Benchmark statements for undergraduate Physiotherapy, Health Care - Clinical Science, Medicine and Podiatry encompass many of the elements of this programme and have been used.

The educational aims and outcomes of the programme have been written with reference to the following reference points:

- Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ);

- QAA Benchmark statement(s)(Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism); - QAA Master’s degree characteristics (March 2010)

- QAA Code of Practice

Published Course Summary

This MSc in Physiotherapy for Sport and Exercise Rehabilitation takes a multi-disciplinary approach to exploring the relationship between sport /exercise, injury and rehabilitation. The relationships between these components are studied, and the evidence for specific pre/rehabilitation interventions being beneficial to various injuries will be investigated, along with other factors, which may mediate both an individual’s participation in sport/exercise and potentially affect their recovery from injury.


A key feature of the course is its integration of theoretical and practical components needed by students wishing to work professionally in sport and exercise

rehabilitation. Through practice, reflection and critical discussion, therapists will be able to develop sophisticated understandings of advanced assessment and treatment skills and the evidence base that underpins these. In their time on the course therapists will learn to undertake autonomous assessment and treatment planning, to manage complex and unpredictable conditions and to evaluate their own practice as highly accomplished Physiotherapists specialising in sport and exercise. They will also learn to critically evaluate the evidence base for their practice, formulating new ideas and novel solutions and stimulating them to identify gaps in the evidence that give rise to new research questions.

The course shares some units with another programme for other musculoskeletal therapists (including: Sports Therapists, Chiropractors, Osteopaths and Doctors). This provides an opportunity for physiotherapists to exchange ideas with similar therapists from other disciplines, sharing good practice and evidence in a manner that is appropriate to physiotherapy advanced practitioners. There is an expectation that as graduate entrants, each student brings with them their individual

professional understandings and interests of specialist elements of practice and is therefore able to bespoke their studies, using assessments as a vehicle, to reflect that specialism.

On completion of this award students will be equally prepared to apply their new knowledge to a vocational setting or to further academic study or to a teaching role. This MSc has a strong research element and thereby provides a route into future MPhil/PhD study. This course has been designed to help further increase employment opportunities and its content has been developed following close discussions with employers within the sector.

The MSc serves to bridge a skills and knowledge gap in the market and as such confers NO ELIGIBILITY for HPC registration or qualified membership of the CSP (chartered status) as the program is not CSP accredited. Candidates wishing to register for UK physiotherapy status would need to do so independently of the MSc undertaken and based solely on their existing physiotherapy qualification(s).


Entry Requirements

Admission for this award are in accordance with standard University policy (Section 3.1.3 University of Bedfordshire Regulations) which states that “the minimum level of attainment for entry to

postgraduate courses is defined by the ‘benchmark’ entry qualifications listed below: • An Honours degree; or

• A postgraduate qualification; or

• A qualification recognised as equivalent to the above.” For this award there are two entry routes;

Standard Entry

Graduates with a first degree normally 2:1 (at least 2:2 classification) in Physiotherapy, and two years paid work based experience in therapeutic practice.

Standard entry requirements for UK students are available at –


Standard entry requirements including standard IELTS grades for international students are available at -

Non-Standard Entry

(All non-standard entry candidates will be required to attend an interview with the Award Manager) a. Graduates with a first degree in a closely allied subject, where the gaps in subject specific knowledge could be closed using a negotiated programme that would include additional units from within the undergraduate modular degree scheme (eg. research methods, exercise physiology etc). b. Sport, Exercise and Health professionals with demonstrable experience and expertise within the field who also possess an HNC/HND or GNVQ/NVQ at level 4 in an appropriate subject. These candidates will be required to provide a full portfolio of supporting evidence outlining appropriate academic and therapy training and attend an interview, which will aim to assess;

• the applicant’s motivation, maturity and realistic approach to their studies;

• the nature and level of life/work experience and prior study, and the learning that has resulted from such experience;

• the clarity of the applicant’s educational goals and objectives;

• the extent to which the applicant can provide evidence of the threshold skills and knowledge required for a given course.

As a result of this interview candidates may also be required to bridge gaps in their current knowledge by taking additional units from within the undergraduate modular degree scheme.

Additional: AP(E)L

Credit may be given for prior (academic/professional) learning against some of the units. A portfolio of evidence and attainment of equivalent learning outcomes is required. Procedures for considering APL applications are determined by the Academic Board and issued by the Registry.

Student Support during the Course

Outside of the normal University support mechanisms, as detailed in the Course Handbook, there are a variety of support mechanisms available for students within the Faculty.

All students have a formal one-week induction course on starting the course. Covered in this are: • welcome to the Faculty,

• tours and introduction to the Division’s Laboratories and Practice areas (including several safety training sessions on basic laboratory skills);

• introductions to Division staff.

• academic advice including: support structures, roles of course tutors and personal tutors student reps and their roles; what to do if students have a problem or complaint,

• the course structure and • registration processes.

• Other talks and sessions include: • Learning Resources,

• Student Services,

• Study Skills and plagiarism, • Student Union;

• BREO (VLE) and use of the internet in teaching in the Faculty and • University’s Career Services.

There is also a skills audit incorporated into Week One to assess if any additional learning needs have to be addressed and subsequently supported. Thereafter, student support is available at the


level of the Unit, the Course, the Faculty and Student Information Desk and student support services centrally.

All units will have specialized tutorial sessions when the student can further explore subjects or issues related to assessment or the content of the Unit(s).

If students have a general academic or administrative issue they can see one of the two Academic Advisors in one of the sessions that can be booked in the Faculty Office. If students have an issue related to the Physiotherapy for Sport and Exercise Rehabilitation Course, then they can arrange to see the Course manager through the Faculty Office.

The Course also employs a Personal Tutor system whereby students are assigned a specific tutor to oversee their progress on the course who will be the first port of call should any problems arise. In the first instance this personal tutor will be a physiotherapist for students on this course. Should they not be able to give student guidance they will direct the student to another appropriate source of help. Specialist advice and assistance may come from the Engagement and Mitigation Team (EMT) and the Professional and Academic Development (PAD) team.

The Course will have its own student representative(s) to take up any specific or general student issues that are not resolved through any of the above support mechanisms (see Course handbook for further details of student representatives).

Additionally, since 70% or more of the student population are expected to be international, the International Students’ Support Team will be available to assist in providing specific advice and guidance as needed.

Students with Disabilities

The Faculty has already had experience of working with disabled students. It is anticipated that students progressing onto this course as professional practitioners will already have developed approaches to take into account any such disabilities. The Faculty will consult with any such students prior to, or during registration as to how such disabilities can be accommodated so their course of study can be completed. The Faculty will then also be able to contact the University’s Disability Advice Team if that has not already happened. Prospective and new students are thus strongly advised to enter into such discussions with the appropriate Division personnel at the earliest possible opportunity.

Distinctive Features of the Course

The course has the advantage of access to the extensive teaching facilities of the well-established and successful BSc Sports Therapy course also in the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences. The equipment necessary for teaching many of the applied practical components enhance the learning experience.

We have close links with MSc programmes in Osteopathy (British School of Osteopathy), Sports Performance, Physical Activity, Nutrition and Health Promotion, and Clinical Exercise Physiology; which may in turn allow useful collaborations with health care professionals not associated with our own course.

Career/Further Study Opportunities

On completing this course students are likely to progress into the following areas: Career:

• Lecturer in Further or Higher Education * • Teacher *

• Specialist Physiotherapist* / Specialist Sports Therapist • Strength and Conditioning Specialist (UKSCA, CSCS etc) • Laboratory Specialised Technician (e.g. sports clubs, hospitals) • Police *, Armed Services * and Prison Service.


*subject to existing or additional qualifications. Further study:

• Research (e.g. a researcher within a clinical setting, research assistant or PhD student within a University department).


Educational Aims

The overall aim of the course is to provide an intellectually challenging multidisciplinary course of advanced study in Physiotherapy for Sport and Exercise Rehabilitation, which enables students to acquire theoretical and conceptual frameworks and skills to Masters level which prepare them for careers in associated professions or further academic study in their chosen speciality. Specifically the award(s) involves the detailed study of the physiological and biomechanical demands of a range of events and outlines appropriate assessment, training and rehabilitation strategies that would lead to improved performance, health or recovery. The prevention and treatment of sports injuries adds another important aspect to sporting performance.

Students opting to register with us on this course are able to confine their diet to postgraduate certificate (PG Cert), postgraduate diploma (PG Dip) or can opt to undertake a full masters. The course has been structured so that the PG Cert focuses primarily on developing practical therapeutic assessment and management skills. Advancing to PG Dip level allows students to add deeper understandings of theory and understandings of research methods. Undertaking empirical research through completion of the dissertation project units, necessary for the award of MSc, allows students to acquire the skills necessary for undertaking research and generating evidence for future

therapeutic practice by contributing towards research in the discipline.

Rehabilitation practice is essentially applied and consequently the articulated standards for PG Cert and PG Dip units are related to both academic and practice capabilities. The integration of theory and practice within a Masters degree ensures that students will meet any developing statutory

professional requirements that relate to practice-specific knowledge, understanding and skills.

Course Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the Postgraduate Certificate (PG Cert) in Sport and Exercise Rehabilitation, you should be able to:

LO1- PHYSICAL THERAPEUTIC SCIENCES: Demonstrate systematic and synthesised knowledge and understanding of psychology, human anatomy and physiology, biomechanics, movement and function of the upper and lower limbs, alongside an appreciation of the neuromusculoskeletal influences of the spine on peripheral joint movement and function.

LO2 - ADVANCED MUSCULOSKELETAL ASSESSMENT: Demonstrate theoretical appreciation and practical skills in assessing sport and exercise problems (acknowledging body alignment,

mobility/flexibility, muscle strength and psychosocial issues).

LO3 - PATHOLOGY IN SPORT AND EXERCISE: Appreciate the multifactorial nature of sport and exercise injuries and the approaches to their prevention and management.

LO4 - ADVANCED THERAPY FOR INJURY AND PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT: Demonstrate systematic knowledge and understanding of the theory that relates to the management of sport and exercise injuries and to performance management.


Exercise Rehabilitation, you should be able to:

LO5 - CRITICAL AWARENESS OF THE PHYSIOTHERAPY EVIDENCE BASE: Have a wide ranging awareness of the evidence across the field of physiotherapy for sport and exercise rehabilitation, be able to effectively search the literature and demonstrate criticality therein - dealing with complexity, gaps and contradictions in the current knowledge base with confidence.

LO6 - FORMULATING SOLUTIONS AND/OR PERTINENT QUESTIONS FOR THE WIDER PHYSIOTHERAPY COMMUNITY: Autonomously synthesise information and ideas and create responses to problems identified in practice or in the literature, which lead to the expansion of or redefining of existing knowledge or which stimulate the development of new approaches or valid research questions.

LO7 - RESEARCH APPRECIATION AND DESIGN: Develop understanding of research methodology and identify and critically appraise the limitations of the methods used in physiotherapy / injury research evidenced by designing a piece of research, which is able to stand up to the requisite gate keeper scrutiny.

Upon successful completion of the Masters of Science (MSc) in Physiotherapy for Sport and Exercise Rehabilitation, you should be able to:

LO8 - DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Demonstrate ability and understanding in collecting, manipulating, interpreting and presenting physiological, psychological and biomechanical research data.

LO9 - INTERPRETATION AND PRESENTATION OF RESEARCH FINDINGS: Demonstrate an understanding of the research process and the issues of interpretation and presentation of findings to audience of peers evidenced by reporting on a piece of self-directed research - effectively

communicating the findings in a manner which contributes to the knowledge of the scientific community.

Teaching Strategy

The teaching and learning strategies outlined below are designed to expose students to the full range of teaching methods normally expected at Masters level and aim to provide students with the skills outlined in the QAA National Qualifications Framework for Masters Degrees (Appendix 6),

1. Graduate students undertaking this course are expected to have a clear grasp of themselves as practicing professionals and be able to articulate their key professional practice interests as well as their personal professional interests. It is expected, therefore, that students will pursue these interests through their personal study and the focussing of their answers to assignments, in order to make their studies specific to their personal and professional needs. Each of the taught component guidelines (Unit Information Form - UIF) provides sufficient academic flexibility for students to tailor the course to their own specialism.

2. Since the course is primarily designed for graduate entry or equivalent, students are expected to have already developed both the ability for independent study and an appreciation of using and generating research evidenced to support their practice decisions. Nevertheless, for those opting to study to PG Diploma or Masters level, the philosophy and thus the structure and assessment strategies of the research units is designed to revisit and reinforce some of that before developing skills further in preparation for the dissertation.

Part time students will take two (30 credit) units in Year 1 (see Table 2a). They may opt to only register for the award of a Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits) or to register, instead, for a Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits) or a full Masters (180 credits).

In Year 2 part time students take a further four (15 credit) units. As indicated above, such students may have opted to register only for the Postgraduate Diploma or may have opted to register for and proceed to the award of a full Masters.

Students registering for three years part time study will use their 3rd and Final Year to undertake their Masters dissertation, comprising two 30 credit units.


Students undertaking the Masters Programme full time do so over a year (MSc in Physiotherapy for Sport and Exercise Rehabilitation – Full Time).

In the Autumn Term, those undertaking the full-time course will register for three 30 credit units and two 15 credit units. In the Spring Term they will continue the aforementioned 30 credit units, while registering for a further two 15 credit units. Finally, in the Summer Term they will register for their 30 credit ‘Dissertation Conduct’ Unit.

In the taught part of the course, lectures would not normally exceed 50% of class contact time. In line with the expectation of greater independent learning at masters level the remainder of the time will consist of seminars, practical sessions, laboratory sessions, e-learning, oral presentations, case studies and poster presentations.

Laboratory based sessions will be formally timetabled to ensure appropriate supervision. These sessions are specifically designed to create a learning environment where both group and individual learning will take place involving: observation, demonstration, participation, problem-solving and reporting. Some practical sessions may be field based and the student will be able to complete them at their own convenience. Guidelines of field-work will be issued.

A VLE (Breo) framework will additionally support delivery of all units and their various activities supplemental to formal classroom-based work.

Assessment Strategy

Assessment forms an integral part of the learning process and allows student progress to be

monitored during the course and their achievements to be graded at the end. The variety of (formative and summative) assessment methods employed across the programme all place emphasis on the learner’s ability to demonstrate a range of subject specific, cognitive and transferable skills through the production of written papers, presentations and debates. The assessments for PG Cert and PG Dip levels of the overall course will be carried out using several methods including oral and poster presentations, course work essays/reviews, end of unit examinations and practical reports /case studies. The dissertation element provides learners with the opportunity to demonstrate proficiency in all of the aforementioned skills to the highest level.

The formative assessment within units will be on going and feature methods such as self-assessment, peer-assessment, online / in-unit tests, practical sessions and mock exam scenario practice. These formative assessments are at frequent intervals in each unit and allow students to practice and receive feedback with a reduced fear of making mistakes as well as reflect on their course / unit progress in line with learning outcomes and specific criteria.

The course team believes that there should be a clear relationship between the course objectives and the assessment of a student’s performance. Assessment not only provides students and staff with information of performance of teaching and learning in the units but, through feedback, the student can be guided to improvements.

Summative assessment activities will include: • portfolio / case-study presentation

• practical work / report writing • project work

• oral and poster presentation • essay/review/report writing • open or closed book examination

Practical work is an essential component of the course and provides an ideal vehicle for assessing progress and ability. Laboratory reports/ portfolios will be assessed for:

• manipulative, technical and observational skills • accuracy of results


• presentation of data, graphs and interpretation calculations of data and conclusion • content of relevant theory

• critical evaluation of each area

In some cases the ability to devise methodologies will be tested. Practical exercises are designed so that they assist in the understanding of theoretical aspects of the course. This is particularly true of the Research Methods units and the Assessment and Pre/Rehabilitation Unit.

In addition, assessment of projects (University and field based) will reflect the student’s ability to work independently and as part of a group. Oral and visual presentation of the results of such projects will test the student’s ability to communicate and present information in a clear and logical way.

Whilst assessments may occur at different stages in different units depending on the nature of the material covered, all assessments are comparable to one another in terms of overall workload. In calculating equivalent assignments for students the guidance provided in the University’s Quality Handbook has again been referred to. Additional in course equivalencies for practical assessments and presentations have been listed below.


30 credits = 10,000 words OR 40 minute presentation OR 120 minute practical assessment OR 6.66 hour exam

15 credits = 5,000 words OR 20 minute presentation OR 60 minute practical assessment OR 3.33 hour exam

All assessed work will be marked on the 16-point grade system used throughout the University of Bedfordshire. The pass grade for all units will be a grade 5. Additionally, the assessment strategies are consistent with the Field as a whole and conform to those indicated in the Benchmarking statements being adopted for this subject.

Curriculum Structure, Assessment Methods and Learning Outcomes Unit Code Level Unit Name Credit Core (C)




30 C PC CS



15 C PC CS



15 C PC CS






AR artefact PC practical

CB computer-based PF performance

CS case study PL placement

DI dissertation or project PO portfolio

EX exam PR presentation

GR group report RE individual report

IT in-unit test OR oral

LR literature review OT other


Skills Development Strategies


To help with the development of this, students will be encouraged to discuss and explore key ideas from lectures and readings, and communicate their understanding of these in a number of formats including written reflections on the literature, oral discussion, poster presentations on set topics, group work and a range of assessed written assignments.

Information Literacy

To help with the development of this, students will continue to develop their use of information drawn from a range of source materials in books and journals and the various search technologies that provide access to information. These include academic databases, academic sources from the library and other sources in the public domain including grey literature.

Research and Evaluation

To help with the development of this students will be set learning and assignment tasks that will require them to further develop their ability and skill at searching for, identifying and evaluating relevant material in the field.

Creativity and Critical Thinking

To help with the development of this weekly seminar set readings, learning tasks and assignments will provide a supportive learning context in which students will practice and reflexively develop their ability to critically examine, assess, compare and contrast a range of psychological, physiological and biomechanical debates and perspectives. An essential component of this is the development of students informed and grounded understanding of core and complimentary issues informing current and established sport and exercise rehabilitation practices.

Generic and Enabling Skills

In order to develop as an allied medical professional, students will be encouraged to develop the following skills through the applied practice units. This will be achieved through:

• Reflection and the learning outcomes and learning process, in order to identify personal and professional goals for continuing professional development and lifelong learning.

• Supported development of communication skills to a level sufficient to communicate safely and effectively as a professional with patients, carers and colleagues.


These skills will be developed through clinical assessment components of the units and will be assessed via reflective portfolios, objective structured clinical examinations, case-based studies and formal tests of competence.

Team Working

As professionals already working in therapeutic practice it is anticipated that students will already have acquired team-working skills. However, throughout the course students will be required to work on collaborative projects / tasks with other students and allied health professionals in the preparation of course materials, assessment items and practical scenarios. Furthermore, role-play and group projects / tasks will assist in achieving these key communication skills. It is anticipated that these activities will afford a vehicle through which students may further refine their team working skills.

Improving Learning and Performance

Throughout the course students will be given instruction and direction on how to become a more critical and reflexive thinker. Seminar tasks will be used to encourage engagement with and development of students’ M-level skill repertoire. Through these tasks and appropriate feedback (formal and informal) students will be able to:

- assess accurately their skill-development needs for meeting the demands of the task.

- plan how to meet their skill-development needs, by setting realistic targets and negotiating effective ways of meeting these; and

- monitor their progress - interpreting and evaluating information from a variety of sources, and critically reflecting on and reviewing their performance.

Career Management Skills

The core philosophy of the course revolves round using a scientist-practitioner model to equip students with both research and practical skills. Throughout the course students will be actively participating in relevant practical sessions designed to increase the skills needed to exercise independent learning as well as develop new skills to a high level.

Since the course has a “real-world” focus, to reinforce these taught practical elements, there may be additional opportunities such as voluntary (unpaid) clinics and supervised practice sessions where time would be spent working alongside University sports teams and members of the public. Where possible, this might also entail providing supervised scientific support for local teams, or athletes through short duration voluntary work “placements” during the course. Shadowing of more experienced staff may also be available to enhance learning opportunities.

Progress Files

Whilst it is an expectation at undergraduate level that all students possess a progress file in specific taught units based on career development, it is not as prescriptive at M-Level. During this course the teaching team propose to guide students to actively develop their reflective skills through informal reflective practice components that will be embedded into each unit. They will be encouraged to keep a professional portfolio in to which they will put:

- reflective diary excerpts which relate to professional benchmark components or individual goals. - copies of their transcripts of results

- an “active” CV that is continually updated as they progress through taught units and gain relevant experience in paid or voluntary work and other activity within or outside the University

- a copy of plans for personal development and their reflection on how successful they have been in keeping them – or whether they were, in fact , the right plans

- copies of (at least some) feedback sheets from their assessment tasks

- records of experiences (critical or otherwise) from practicals, clinical reasoning events, research/evidence readings or practice experiences

Students will also have the opportunity to engage with the University’s ‘Jobsavvigrad’ system, managed by the Career Employment Service

Whether students use their professional portfolio or the Jobsavvigrad tool they will have collected information, by the end of their period of study, upon which they can draw to make job applications,


have successful interviews or simply become more accomplished, flexible, reflexive and successful practitioners.

Organised sessions on career development will be integrated into the course timetable once students have settled in and become accustomed to the workload etc. These will include professional CV development, production of professional communication materials (CDs, flyers etc). These items will be formative in nature to ensure engagement and dovetailed with the proposed unit teaching structure. These sessions will involve utilization of other professional groups in the University – e.g. Media department, CLE (Centre for Learning Excellence) and the Career Employment Service.

Professional Standards

In line with the subject specific benchmark statements being adopted for this course the benchmarks specified in the documentation (medicine, physiotherapy, podiatry etc) have been defined in terms of the intellectual attributes, the knowledge and understanding, the clinical, interpersonal and practical skills, and the professional competencies, which will allow the graduates to function effectively as practitioners and develop as professionals.

Additional professional standards which are expected of students on the course include:

- An applied understanding of ethical, moral, and legal issues in relation to physical therapy practice - An ability to work as a member of a health care team

- An understanding and acceptance of their professional, ethical and legal responsibilities - Respect for patients' dignity and privacy

- Treatment of every patient/client politely and considerately - Making the safe care of their patients/clients their first concern - Listening to patients/clients and respecting their views

- Keeping their professional knowledge and skills up to date - Recognising the limits of their professional competence - Being honest and trustworthy

- Working with colleagues in the ways that best serve patients'/clients’ interests

- In all these matters never discriminating unfairly against their patients or colleagues, and always being prepared to justify their actions to them

- Adhering to the University guidelines regarding plagiarism

Strategy for Developing and Embedding the Professional Standards

It is hoped that graduates (or equivalent) returning to study from therapeutic practice will already uphold good standards of professional practice. Professional representation of the University and Faculty is specifically addressed during Induction with a presentation by teaching staff in a session entitled “Professionalism”. This is a session that is currently delivered to undergraduate and postgraduates alike on Induction to the Department.

At all times the teaching staff seek to reinforce and demonstrate the professional standards

underpinning their teaching/practice in all taught units. This is a result of the extensive experience of the teaching team that draws upon their commercial/professional experience, which informs their teaching.

The course has been designed to impart appropriate professional and personal attitudes and behaviour, including critical evaluation, curiosity and lifelong learning skills as well as the ethical and legal framework of injury/medical practice. The student should acquire and demonstrate attitudes necessary for the achievement of high standards of medical-based practice, both in relation to the provision of care of individuals and populations and to his or her own personal development. These attitudes will be assessed formally and informally during the course most often via practical



Faculty Faculty of Health & Social Sciences

Field Sports Therapy PG Field - HSS

Department/School/Division Department of Sports Therapy

Course Leader John McCarthy

Version Number 2014/15

Form completed by:

Name: Date: 24/May/2013

Authorisation on behalf of the Faculty Teaching Quality and Standards Committee (FTQSC):





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