Postgraduate MSc

Clinical Exercise Physiology

School of Health and Society





One year

Two year

Next enrolment

September 2023


In a nutshell

This programme focuses on using 'exercise as medicine', to treat and manage conditions as well as to rehabilitate patients recovering from illness.

You will:

  • Develop an understanding of advanced levels of clinical physiology and aetiology of disease states
  • Learn how to support your clients and patients to live healthier lifestyles, enabling them to self-manage chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease, as well as recovering from illnesses such as cancer
  • Gain experience using state-of-the-art equipment in our Human Performance Laboratory

This is for you if...


You want to help your clients live healthier lives


You are a compassionate and empathetic character


You are hard working and dedicated to developing your knowledge

Course details

All about the course

With ever-increasing numbers of patients being referred for exercise-screening and prescription - especially those diagnosed with chronic conditions such as coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome - correct determination of exercise tolerance and the prescription is an essential component of their wellbeing and return to normal lifestyles.

There is currently a significant shortfall in the number of qualified cardiac physiologists, with patients in some areas on long waiting lists, meaning these skills are in high demand.

The MSc programme is offered as either a full-time or part-time programme. The full-time course runs over three academic semesters (September through to September the following year), whilst giving you the chance to exit with a Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma or a Master's.


Research Methods for Exercise Sciences

This module will enable you to develop a rigorous approach to the process of research. 

Pathophysiology and aetiology of health disorders

You will explore the factors relating to disease and how exercise may be used to manage the disease states. 

Encouraging the Self Management of Healthy Lifestyle Behaviours

You will evaluate the health benefits and reduced risk of disease by following government recommendations for exercise and a healthy diet, paying attention to evaluating the potential effect of environmental and psycho-social influences on lifestyle choice. You will learn how to educate patients to self-manage lifestyle change in the treatment of disease.

Clinical Exercise Testing and Prescription for Health Disorders

In this module you will develop an understanding of the clinical presentation of disease states and the application and interpretation of exercise testing.

Research Project

You will devise and deliver an original research study in a journal publication style, utilising knowledge gained from prior learning on the programme.

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

What will I be doing?


This course will be delivered via lectures from both clinical and academic staff, demonstrations and lab practicals, and online learning materials.


Assessment methods will vary depending on the module, they include:

  • Case Studies (written and oral presentations)
  • Viva vocé
  • Literature review
  • Practical assessments
  • Journal articles (research reports written in the format of a journal article)
  • Research proposal

The School of Health and Society

The School of Health and Society is a forward-thinking, dynamic school with a commitment to lifelong learning and real world impact.

We live in a rapidly changing world, and we’re keen to leave a productive legacy of helping people at all stages of their lives, improving their physical, psychological and social wellbeing.


You will have access to some of the best facilities in the UK, including our purpose-built Human Performance Lab, which contains almost every type of physiological and biomechanical equipment:

  • FT700 Ballistic Measurement System
  • 9 AMTI Force Plates, 5 of which are situated in a 40m running track
  • ProReflex 10 Camera real-time motion analysis system
  • KinCom and Biodex Isokinetic Dynamometers for muscle strength testing
  • Portable Kistler force plate
  • EMG (electromyography) system used to measures the electrical activity of muscles and to gather information about the muscular and nervous systems
  • Esaote AU5 Ultrasound used to study skeletal muscles, tendons, ligaments and blood flow
  • We have a range of cycle and rowing ergometers, two treadmills, and two online gas analysis systems.
  • We can perform blood analysis with our Analox GM7 Multi-Assay Blood Analyser to measure blood lactate, glucose and a range of other blood substrates
  • There is also the Reflotron which another multi-use system that can measure blood cholesterol and haemoglobin as well as portable blood glucose and lactate analysers.

Take a 360 tour of the facilities here

Teacher profiles

Dr Steve Pearson 

Programme Leader.

Research areas of interest include applied human physiology (changes with ageing and training to skeletal muscle and tendon, exercise as medicine in clinical patients).

View Steve's profile here

Example publications

J Biomech. 2017 Aug 16;61:45-50.

Cardiol Rev. 2016 Nov/Dec;24(6):273-281. Review.

Pearson SJ, Hussain SR. Sports Med. 2015 Feb;45(2):187-200. doi: 10.1007/s40279-014-0264-9. Review.

Employment and stats

What about after uni?

This course will equip you with knowledge suited to allied health roles. Previous graduates of this course are now practising as exercise physiologists; physical exercise therapists, respiratory technicians and advanced physiotherapists. Some examples of roles our graduates have progressed into are:

Trainee Echocardiographer at Wythenshawe Hospital Manchester Foundation Trust
Assistant Respiratory Physiologist at Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital
Community Cardiac and Respiratory Rehabilitation Assistant
Cardiorespiratory Physiology Technician (diagnostics) at Tameside NHS Trust
Clinical Respiratory Physiologist at Wythenshawe Hospital.
Wirral Cardiac Rehab Programme
Trainee Respiratory Physiologist at UCLH

Career Links

We have links with Salford Community Leisure's exercise referral schemes and Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust.


What you need to know

This programme is ideal if you want to work, or are already working, with applied science in a clinical setting, to improve your patients' or clients' health through physiological assessment and exercise.

You will be self-motivated with good time management and have the ability to work as part of a team or individually. You will be able to assimilate effectively information and generate appropriate conclusions from the gathered information.

English language requirements 

Overseas students must provide evidence of proficiency in English - IELTS 6.5 band score (with no element below 6.0) or above are proof of this. 

Please note: Due to the structure of this programme, it is not available to applicants who require a Tier 4 visa.

Standard entry requirements

Undergraduate degree

BSc (Hons) graduates with a 2:1 or above in Exercise or Health Sciences; Sport Science; Biological Sciences equivalent with an emphasis on human physiology.

Alternative entry requirements

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

The Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) process could help you to make your work and life experience count. The APL process can be used for entry onto courses or to give you exemptions from parts of your course.

Two forms of APL may be used for entry: the Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) or the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL).

APEL: Sports injury practitioners with lower formal academic qualification will be assessed on suitability to enrol on this programme based on experience and vocational qualifications and via interview.

How much?

There are also other sources of funding available to you. For more information please see our funding section.

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home 2023/24 £8,550per year
Full-time international 2023/24 £15,750per year

Additional costs

You should consider additional costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

Apply now

All set? Let's apply

Enrolment dates

September 2023