Postgraduate MSc

Clinical Exercise Physiology

School of Health and Society




One year

Next enrolment

September 2024


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.

We are currently applying for programme accreditation with the Registration Council for Clinical Physiologists (RCCP). Once accreditation has been approved, students who pass all modules and the clinical assessment of competencies will be eligible to register with RCCP as a Clinical Exercise Physiologist.

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 hardworking 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 qualified clinical exercise physiologists, with patients in some areas on long waiting lists, meaning these skills are in high demand.

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


Clinical Assessment and Exercise Testing

This module will provide students with an understanding of clinical assessment and its importance. Students will develop a range of practical skills including medical history taking. They will become proficient in baseline and exercise assessment and be able to use these techniques to help establish disease presence and severity.

Pathophysiology and Aetiology of Disease

This module will present a number of clinical conditions to students from a pathophysiology perspective, to enable the development of underpinning knowledge for exercise modulation of the physiology of disease states.

Disease, Acute and Chronic Exercise Interactions

This module will present/discuss the effects of exercise on a number of clinical conditions to students, to enable the development of underpinning knowledge for exercise modulation of the physiology of disease states.

Exercise Prescription and the Management of Chronic Disease

This module will enable students to understand the role and practical application of exercise in the treatment and management of long-term conditions. Across a broad range of disease states, students will learn the art and science underpinning the exercise prescription process, to enable the development of programmes which maximise adherence, enable compliance, promote long-term lifestyle change, and maximise physiological outcomes.

Encouraging Healthy Lifestyle Behaviours

This module has been designed to educate students on the importance of advocating and encouraging healthy lifestyle behaviours in patients with long-term conditions.

They will be taught how to use nutrition and exercise as prevention and treatment for conditions whilst considering appropriate behaviour change techniques to enable lifestyle change and adherence.

Clinical Placement and Professional Practice

This module will enable students to develop their clinical skills and competencies through practical experience in a clinical setting. The placement hours involved in this module are an essential requirement for registering as a Clinical Exercise Physiologist in the UK with the Academy for Healthcare Science (AHCS) upon graduating from the programme. This module will allow students to improve their teamwork skills, and develop interprofessional, interpersonal, clinical and procedural skills, and enhance their employability. 

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, practical placement experiences 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)
  • Placement assessment

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.

Programme Leader

Dr Steve Pearson 

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

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.

As part of the application process, you may be invited to attend an interview. If this is the case, we will contact you with further details. 

English language requirements 

Overseas students must provide evidence of proficiency in English - IELTS 6.5 band score (minimum of 6.5 for reading and writing and no less than 6.0 for the speaking and listening components) or above are proof of this. 

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 2024/25 £8,820.00per year
Full-time international 2024/25 £16,380.00per year
Full-time home 2025/26 £10,350.00per year
Full-time international 2025/26 £17,000.00per 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

Still have some questions? Register for one of our Open Days or contact us:

By email:
By phone: +44 (0)161 295 4545

Enrolment dates

September 2024

September 2025