Course details

Study options

Full-time: 1 year, Part-time: 2 years

UK fee

£9,000 for the full course or £1,000 per 20 credits* (2024/25)

International fee

£14,900 for the full course (2024/25)

Course level




Start date



Kedleston Road, Derby Campus

The highlights

Clinical exercise science is a growth area

The role of the clinical exercise scientist is relatively new but increasingly important nationally and internationally. These specialists draw on the skills, knowledge, and underlying principles of sport and exercise science, in order to improve people’s health and wellbeing. Clinical exercise scientists are often involved in helping people manage long-term health conditions or recover from serious illness.

In its 2019 report, 'National Health Service – Five Year Forward View', the UK Government recognised the need for effective collaboration between the clinical exercise sciences and the NHS. It sees this as a way to address increasing public health challenges and to relieve pressure on the NHS — particularly within hospital and community settings. The Covid-19 pandemic then pushed population health and wellbeing into the spotlight like never before, and this further accelerated the growth of clinical exercise science.

Preparing you to enter the profession

This masters enables you to make the most of these new job opportunities, by developing your current understanding of human function and behaviour so you can improve people's health outcomes and quality of life. We focus on giving you real-world learning opportunities that develop your intellectual, analytical, and critical skillsets.

You will develop a unique understanding of the role and importance of a clinical exercise scientist and obtain first-hand experience in clinical and community settings. We’ll also encourage you to take part in training and development opportunities that will increase your knowledge and understanding of effective practice and prepare for your future career.

A female student filling out a form with a patient

Get first-hand experience of clinical exercise science

You'll get the opportunity to experience what it's really like working in the field, through a 150-hour placement. To organise your placement, you can draw on our strong links with local and regional hospitals and community health organisations. You will be supported in this placement by a workplace mentor, as well as your tutors. 

Learn from tutors that are leading experts

Our academic team are active researchers and practitioners, so your learning will include current research and the latest developments in industry. They are leading experts in sport and exercise psychology, physiology, exercise and health, strength and conditioning, biomechanics, performance analysis and nutrition. They include Programme Coordinator, Dr Charlotte Chandler, Programme Leader, Sean Lowton-Smith, as well as Dr Mark Faghy, who is an accredited Clinical Physiologist with the Academy of Healthcare Science (AHCS) and the Registration Council for Clinical Psychologists (RCCP).

A graphic with a runner and a coin split in half with a covid virus

From Olympic glory to Long Covid recovery

Dr Ruth Ashton and Associate Professor Mark Faghy, both Sports and Exercise Science academics at the University of Derby, are currently leading an international study of the effects of Long Covid.

Find out more about their researchFind out more about their research

Top facilities

You’ll hone your skills and conduct research in our first-rate sport and exercise science facilities. These include our:

Our laboratories are of such a high standard that Derby County FC have used them for pre-season training programmes. 

A female fitting a face mask to a man on a treadmill
Scholar cycling in Derby Velodrome

The Human Performance Unit (HPU)

Our students benefit from working in a venue established to provide expert sport science services to sports clubs and individual athletes, from beginners to elite performers

Find out more about Derby's leading sports performance centreFind out more about Derby's leading sports performance centre
Multi-Faith Centre, Kedleston Road

Postgraduate Open Event

Join us at an upcoming Postgraduate Open Event, where you will get the opportunity to meet our expert academics and find out more about your course.

Book your Postgraduate Open EventBook your Postgraduate Open Event

What you will study

All of the modules for the MSc Clinical Exercise Science are core modules. However, through your research and placement, you will get the opportunity to focus on the specific areas that interest you.

Students can also graduate with a Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) after successfully completing 60 credits through the Global Physical Activity and Public Health; Advanced Clinical Exercise Physiology; and the Clinical Exercise Rehabilitation and Training modules.

There is also the opportunity to obtain the Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) award, where students would need to complete 120 credits by studying all of the modules except the Independent Research in Sport and Exercise module.

  • Advanced Research Methods - you'll develop your knowledge in order for you to effectively and competently carry out the design, data collection, analysis and reporting of Masters level research. All areas of the research process will be covered both in terms of practical skills and critical understanding
  • Independent Research in Sport and Exercise - you'll undertake an independent piece of research specific to your subject area within sport and exercise science. This involves the planning, design, organisation and conduct of a research study which draws upon research methods and skills that you'll have developed throughout the programme
  • Advanced Clinical Exercise Physiology - you'll increase your pathophysiological knowledge of established clinical conditions and develop a deep understanding of theoretical and practical approaches to support clinical thinking and decision-making
  • Clinical Exercise and Rehabilitation Training - you'll be introduced to the stages of rehabilitation and learn the key screening techniques and considerations that are required to inform the design, development, and monitoring of intervention approaches to improve functional capacity. The importance and differentiation of preventative and management of conditions will also be explored as will the role of adjunct technologies to facilitate rehabilitation acknowledging a demand for assistive approaches to support long-term and effective rehabilitation
  • Global Physical Activity and Public Health - you'll learn about the role and importance of physical activity, and healthy lifestyle behaviours in promoting positive changes in public health. You'll explore key areas such as behaviour change techniques, prevention and management of chronic conditions, intervention mapping, and health economics, amongst others
  • Professional Practice in Clinical Exercise Science - you'll engage with existing clinical research training opportunities such as good clinical practice training, clinical research ethics training, and the development of knowledge in clinical statistics, and engage in practical aspects of the design of clinical research. Important to this module is the engagement with placement opportunities in community and clinical settings where you'll develop and reflect on your real-world practical experience

Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

How you will learn

A range of teaching and learning methods will be used to enhance advanced learning and skill development, which include lecture-seminar style sessions, guest lectures, computer-based sessions, practical laboratory sessions and field-based sessions.

Real world learning is an important element of our course, with applied placement and internship opportunities, as well as the chance to develop independent study skills.

Learning will take place in our £10.8m Sports Centre, specialist sport science laboratories, and in conjunction with multiple sports based partners in the region.


Students will complete both summative and formative assessment throughout the course to include written essays, reports and case studies, oral presentations, and viva-voce exams. Students’ will be assessed on their practical skills, their application of scientific knowledge to practitioner settings, and their ability to critically evaluate the role and requirements of an applied practitioner.

Who will teach you

Sean Lowton-Smith
Programme leader

Sean is currently Module Leader for the Manual Therapy Module. He continues to practice clinically in the University Sports Therapy Clinic, where he also provides clinical supervision for final-year students.

View full staff profileView full staff profile

Entry requirements

Applicants to the course are required to hold a relevant undergraduate degree at 2.1 or higher. This relevant degree should be in a science subject and have covered content related to the modules listed as part of the MSc programme. Applicants are welcome to contact programme staff with any queries related to entry criteria, and each application will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

International applicants should have the above or an international equivalent, and must meet English language requirements, these being IELTS 6.5 with no lower than 6.0 in each category.

If you're an international student and want to improve your English language skills before you start your course, the Derby English Language Centre's pre-sessional English course can help you. 

Fees and funding

2024/25 (August 2024 - July 2025)


£9,000 for the full course or £1,000 per 20 credits*

£1,000 per 20 credits


£14,900 for the full course


Please note fees normally increase in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees, which is reviewed on an annual basis. The total fee you pay may therefore increase after one year of study.

* UK full-time fees paid within one academic year are rounded down to the nearest £50 if applicable

Additional costs and optional extras

About postgraduate awards

Please note at postgraduate level, you’ll need to gain the following number of credits in total to obtain the respective awards. If you have any questions please contact us.

Postgraduate Certificate60 Credits
Postgraduate Diploma120 Credits
MA or MSc180 Credits

This means you will gain 180 credits in total to complete the full MA or MSc. If you are studying part time you will normally complete your studies over two or three years, depending on the course structure.

Funding your studies

Find out more about fees, postgraduate loans and support you may be entitled to.

Find out about funding your studiesFind out about funding your studies

Alumni discount for Derby graduates

We offer a discount on postgraduate course fees for all Derby alumni.

Find out about the Alumni discountFind out about the Alumni discount

Students chatting to each other

International student scholarships

We have a range of scholarships and discounts available to international students which can be used together to offer a reduction in your tuition fees.

Find out if you're eligible for an international scholarship Find out if you're eligible for an international scholarship

How to apply

Please look at our application deadlines before you apply.


After graduating from this programme, you could apply for a variety of jobs within clinical exercise science — for example, roles in:

These jobs could be in public or private organisations, and in academic, community and clinical settings.

Some roles in clinical science may require you to take further qualifications or gain accreditation. For example, you may want to become:

You will also have the skills and knowledge to undertake research-based roles or to move onto a research degree in the biomedical and clinical sciences research area.

Contact us

If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.

Contact us Contact us

Additional information about your studies

Download programme specification

Teaching hours

Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.

Additional costs and optional extras

We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, excellent facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.

The information provided on this page is correct at the time of publication but course content, costs and other individual course details do change from time to time and are updated as often as possible, so please do check these pages again when making your final decision to apply for a course. Any updated course details will also be confirmed to you at application, enrolment and in your offer letter.

Included in your fees
For September 2024
Mandatory costs not included in your fees
Optional costs not included in your fees

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