The diversity of modules within the course have shown me how I can apply what I have learned into many careers, namely research, which I thought at the beginning was only for the academic elite. The confidence that my time at university has given me has been invaluable.
Corinne Bolland, 2017 graduate
Graduates have gained work in exercise referral, health and physical activity improvement, corporate fitness, cardiac rehabilitation, personal training and specialist weight management. Recent graduates from this course have gained employment with Salford Community Leisure, Manchester Primary Care Trust, Fitness First and BUPA Wellness. Following graduation, some students choose to undertake a postgraduate teaching qualification.
There are career opportunities in a wide variety of areas including health and exercise promotion (including sports development), personal training, workplace health and fitness, exercise referral, health-based intervention design and delivery, postgraduate research and project work, community food work, cardiac rehabilitation and teaching.
On successful completion of the course students have moved into a range of professional roles, including the following:
- Advanced Personal Trainer, Virgin Active
- Exercise Referral Manager, Salford PCT
- Community Food and Nutrition Worker, St Helens Council
- Workplace Health Consultant, BUPA Wellness.
Becky Murray, graduated 2017, employed as Lifestyle Coach for the National Diabetes Prevention Programme.
"The National Diabetes Prevention Programme works with patients who have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes, and are at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes which is incurable. So my work has pulled on a lot of the underpinning knowledge on diabetes, healthy eating and nutrition that I gained from this programme. Besides the knowledge gained on the programme, the placement module was excellent for gaining industry experience, as employers are looking for experience as well as a sound knowledge of the area. The REPs based qualifications you can potentially gain on this programme are really useful, as you will develop valuable skills aligned with client interaction and communication and these are very important for the world of work in the exercise and health industry."
Ben Andrews, graduated July 2015, employed as a Health Trainer for Unlimited Potential supporting Salford residents to make positive life changes
"Whilst working as a Health Trainer I am developing my own service, Empower Health, with the focus on supporting Salford’s disabled population to engage in more physical and exercise based activities to generate immediate health and wellbeing outcomes, with the long-term impact of decreasing the prevalence of long term conditions within this demographic. I also do some PT work at a local community centre and have recently been employed as an Activity co-ordinator for the Royal National Institute for the Blind.
My career aspirations when I first started the course were to begin a project that I am in the ‘start up’ phase of now. I started university as a means to an end; I knew what I wanted to do but didn’t have the skills, knowledge or experience to do so. In year 1 we were given an assignment for the Practitioners Skills Development module, this gave us the opportunity to set a goal, then set aims and objectives to achieve this. My goal was to become a Health Trainer which I achieved in year 2, gaining this role allowed me the freedom and flexibility to be able to work in a capacity which acted as research for Empower Health.
The course tutors are a really good team and have supported me throughout my time at University and beyond, having good tutors has played a big part in my success in and out of University.
I would advise others who are thinking of studying this course to volunteer in a broad field of work so you can try different things and get a feel for what you want to do, use the lecturer's assistance as much as you can, they’re there for support. I achieved a 1st degree but without the support offered by lecturers there’d be no chance of me gaining that high a classification.
One thing that enabled me academically was to get a basic assignment structure going using the marking guidelines and start working on it that day, even if it’s just the title, chip away at it and by the time the few weeks before deadline day come around, other people are just starting and you can relax and tidy it up to boost your grade!
Everything works out in the end, apply yourself and don’t stress. If can see a good opportunity take it, don’t let the pressures involved stop you from doing something you want to do."
James Largey, graduated in July 2010, director of Frontline Fit
"After graduating from my degree in Exercise, Physical Activity and Health I have never looked back! The support I got from staff at Salford has been crucial in helping me head in the right direction."
Read more of James' story, from his decision to go to university to running his own successful business, on our careers blog.
Dawn Mitchell, graduated in 2009, Founder and Consultant of 'We do Wellbeing'
"I wanted to pursue a career in the exercise and health industry and this degree seemed ideal. I believe that the opportunity to combine theory with practice certainly helped me to achieve my first job, even prior to graduation, as an Exercise Referral Worker (cardiac rehabilitation) in central Manchester. I am now a Consultant and Founder of 'We do Wellbeing' which is about providing Health and Wellbeing training. My role is to lead a range of projects and manage staff with a remit for enhancing physical activity levels and increasing participation in sport to improve overall health and wellbeing."
Links with Industry
The course team are actively involved in research and undertake project work in collaboration with industry partners. The following are examples of partners and projects:
- Wigan Primary Care Trust – free swimming evaluation
- Greater Manchester Obesity Group – strategic development of weight management services
- Tameside Sport Development - evaluation of interventions
- Manchester Velodrome - active travel and cycling
- North West Health and Physical Activity Forum - representation on the steering group
- Salford Swimming – nutritional support
- Peter Harrison Centre for Disability Sport – exercise for disabled people
- NIKE – fitness testing in football
- Federation of International Lacrosse – fitness testing
The optional placement module offers students a unique opportunity to become involved in these projects. Students who have completed this module have found it invaluable to their learning experience.