Do you want to advance your sport and exercise science expertise and use it to improve people's health and wellbeing? Our MSc Clinical Exercise Science course will develop your skills and knowledge in the principles of sport and exercise science, in order to improve people’s health and wellbeing, and will prepare you for roles in clinical settings.
£8,500 for the full course or £925 per 20 credits* (2023/24)
£14,900 for the full course (2023/24)
Kedleston Road, Derby Campus
This course covers three key areas: rehabilitation and training, physical activity and health, and clinical exercise physiology. It will prepare you for a variety of careers within clinical exercise science, including roles in clinical rehabilitation, clinical exercise physiology, health, and wellbeing
You’ll gain valuable experience in clinical settings and develop your applied skills through a placement
You'll explore clinically based research and conduct your own research project in an area that interests you
Our academics are leading experts in clinical exercise science, and there is a thriving community of postgraduate sport and exercise science students here
If you don't want to take the full masters, you can choose to gain a Postgraduate Certificate or Postgraduate Diploma instead
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.
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.
You’ll hone your skills and conduct research in our first-rate sport and exercise science facilities. These include our:
Sport and Exercise Physiology Lab, which has equipment to help us investigate the effects of certain variables on exercise. This is based in our sports centre and in here for example, we collect respiratory samples, monitor respiratory function, and calculate blood lipids and glucose — all while people are exercising on the lab’s treadmills, rowing machines and bikes
Sport Therapy Room — a large space which is laid out to resemble a real working environment, including therapy beds and privacy curtains. It contains specialist equipment such as ultrasound machines, TENS machines, and kit used for physical assessments, such as exercise steps, medicine balls, crutches, and therapy balls
Performance Suite, which includes high-speed cameras that capture movement and enable us to analyse it in incredible detail. It also has Kistler force plates embedded into the floor, which measure impact forces; these can be important in rehabilitation and health
Our laboratories are of such a high standard that Derby County FC have used them for pre-season training programmes.
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
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
Dr Charlotte Chandler Programme leader
Charlotte is a Senior Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Psychology and leads the Advanced Research Methods, Advanced Sport Psychology, and Psychology of Exercise and Physical Activity modules on the programme. Her research areas include effective practice and education and training in sport psychology, professional practice in sport and exercise, and motivation and wellbeing in athletes.
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.
Fees and funding
2023/24 (August 2023 - July 2024)
£8,500 for the full course or £925 per 20 credits*
£925 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
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.
MA or MSc
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.
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
If a DBS check is needed for the purposes of a module or programme related work placement, this is included in your fee if done via the University
Student membership of the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) for the duration of your studies
Mandatory costs not included in your fees
If not already owned, appropriate clothing for practical sessions such as tracksuit bottoms and trainers - approximate cost is £50-£100
Travel to placements - cost varies depending on your placement venue of choice
Optional costs not included in your fees
Optional textbooks or e-books to support your studies - costs for these are dependent on your choice
You may wish to undertake additional qualifications as part of your studies - costs will vary depending on your choice
Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.