Nutrition and Exercise as Medicine
School of Health and Society
In a nutshell
Current statistics around obesity, diabetes, inactivity and poor dietary intakes are alarming, showing 29% of UK adults classified as obese and 20% and 14% of year 6 primary school children classified as obese and overweight respectively. In addition, 4.8 million adults in the UK are living with diabetes which emphasises the opportunity and demand for lifestyle-based interventions to facilitate change in morbidity and premature mortality rates.
Those who are active and eat well have a decreased chance of developing lifestyle disorders and enjoy an enhanced physical, social and mental health status. Moreover, those who are suffering with disease, disorders, physical restrictions or impairments can benefit greatly from a change in behaviour, which sees them incorporating new approaches within their lifestyle. However, being able to recognise the importance of a healthy lifestyle right through to making positive and consistent behaviour change, requires specialised knowledge and skills.
To ensure success, the practitioner must have an in-depth understanding of underpinning scientific principles yet also be skilled in advocating and incorporating change into a person’s daily schedule. For this reason, the art and science of exercise prescription and dietary intervention is tremendously complex and takes years to learn and hone. You will learn the skills and competencies associated with all aspects of exercise prescription and dietary intervention through a combination of theoretical and practical applications.
In the most recent National Student Survey (NSS) 100% of students said they were satisfied with the amount of advice and guidance they received, as well as the opportunities they had to explore ideas or concepts in depth (University of Salford analysis of unpublished NSS 2022 data).
- You will undertake applied work in the workplace, schools and clinical settings to equip you to prescribe exercise- and nutrition-based strategies for the prevention and treatment of ill-health
- You will study on the UK’s first BSc (Hons) in 'Nutrition and Exercise as Medicine'
- You will undertake vocational awards during your studies, in order to gain relevant industry experience in ‘Gym Instructing’ and ‘Personal Training’
- You will have the opportunity to undertake a practitioner placement (150 hours) during your final year, which will give you valuable learning experience and enhanced employability
This is for you if...
You have a passion for nutrition, exercise and activity
You are interested in helping individuals to lead healthier lifestyles through the use of nutrition and exercise
You are hard-working and organised
You want to work with people from all kinds of backgrounds
You are interested in gaining vocational awards whilst studying for your degree
You are interested in undertaking a final year placement which will enhance your employability
All about the course
Nutrition and Exercise as Medicine in the current climate
Obesity, obesity-related conditions, and COVID-19
The impact of COVID-19 has been nothing short of devastating, with over 375,000 hospitalisations and 100,000 deaths within the United Kingdom alone. Obesity and obesity-related conditions have consistently been demonstrated as a leading risk-factor for covid-19 severity and mortality.
The pandemic and associated lockdowns have clearly impacted both metabolic and mental health among the general population. This coupled with the potential implications of “long covid”, means that the population-wide adoption of regular physical activity and well-balanced and nutritious diets is of increasing importance. This means that the development of competent practitioners in nutrition and exercise has never been more imperative.
This course is formally endorsed by Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA) to deliver professional qualifications in gym instruction, personal training, health navigation and exercise prescription for long-term conditions, meaning you will have the opportunity to gain vocational qualifications in these areas as part of your degree.
You will become familiar with the factors that can affect the decision to exercise and how exercise programmes can be structured and implemented to enable an overall improvement in health.
In your final year you will have the opportunity to take a placement in a wide range of professional settings (referral schemes, private/public sectors, health clubs, community, clinical).
The programme includes two semesters (12 week blocks of teaching) at each level. The following are the modules you will learn at Level 4 (first year), Level 5 (second year) and Level 6 (final year).
Develop a basic knowledge and understanding of the core human physiological systems which are fundamental to sport, exercise health and movement.
Bioenergetics and Nutrients
Develop a foundation of knowledge which is fundamental to the study of energy metabolism and nutrition for human movement
Monitoring Health and Lifestyle Interventions in Practice
Learn about the importance of physical activity, nutrition and health monitoring by designing interventions to promote health and wellbeing among individuals and groups. Students will learn how to assess intervention effectiveness via the monitoring of health behaviour, fitness, and wellbeing parameters.
Evaluating Contemporary Developments in Applied Settings
Learn how the concept of innovation has been applied within the exercise, nutrition and health industries to develop fitness levels and improve health. Students will learn to question why and how different approaches may or may not be successful with different population groups operating in different settings.
Developing the Practitioner
Explore the range of employment opportunities within the nutrition and exercise industry and the key attributes required by professionals working in this area. Students will be introduced to research and academic enquiry, and learn how practitioners use evidence-based practice to promote health and wellbeing in individuals and communities.
Fundamental Exercise Prescription
Develop the fundamental knowledge and skills in exercise prescription for healthy adults – students will learn how to design suitable, safe and well-structured one-to-one, gym-based exercise sessions for asymptomatic adults with no contraindications to exercise.
Workplace and Corporate Health and Wellbeing
Develop an understanding of established exercise training techniques and how they can be applied in different settings, most notably the workplace, to develop active lifestyles.
Applied Nutrition and Dietary Analysis
This is the second module relating to Nutrition delivered within the programme, and builds on the bioenergetics and nutrients module at L4. Students will learn about the importance of macro and micronutrients and the quantities needed to enable good health and also how to manipulate the diet to align with specific health or performance goals.
Advanced Exercise Prescription
Learn how to design and implement safe and effective training programmes to meet the needs of clients with advanced fitness. Students will be able to analyse physiological measures to design training to meet client's goals, whilst developing knowledge and skills in advanced training methods and behaviour change to ensure long-term adherence to training.
To examine the theoretical and practical aspects of the physiological response to exercise. Students will be able to differentiate between the acute response and chronic adaptations to exercise, explain the cardiovascular, respiratory, muscular, metabolic, and neuroendocrine response to exercise, examine the variations in fitness of different individuals and identify factors that limit performance
Healthy Behaviour and Promoting Change
Learn how health behaviour models, and behaviour change techniques can be used to impact health risk and health protective behaviours across a range of populations. Students will be introduced to specific behaviour change techniques and learn how to implement 'lifestyle' interventions (e.g. exercise) to promote physical health and psychological wellbeing.
Developing the Researcher
Learn how to integrate and consolidate prior learning and experience of various research methodologies and skills from level 4 and 5 modules. Students will apply this prior learning and experience to various authentic case studies within exercise, nutrition and health.
Measurement and Evaluation of Fitness and Health
Explore the application of methodologies and associated instrumentation for assessment and accurate quantification of health-based parameters.
Learn about the aetiology and pathophysiology of cardiovascular disease and how it is diagnosed. Students will apply their knowledge and understanding of human physiology and exercise physiology to understand how cardiovascular disease can limit individual fitness, and how exercise can be prescribed to both treat and prevent this condition.
Exercise Prescription for Special Populations
Students will be equipped with the knowledge and skills to safely prescribe exercise to special population groups. Students will examine the normal and abnormal functioning of selected organ systems, in preparation for subsequent evaluation of the use of pharmacological and exercise-based procedures for the treatment and management of common referred conditions.
Eating Behaviour and Dietary Interventions
This module is the 3rd Nutrition module that features on the programme, and there is a shift of focus for this module to understanding why people choose have certain dietary habits and structures. The intention to use this understanding to help people change their behaviour to use nutrition as medicine to health treat certain conditions, promote health and prevent ill health.
Your final year consists of the above four modules and one of the below:
Dissertation for Nutrition and Exercise as Medicine
Conduct an in-depth evidence-based study on a topic (either through an empirical project or structured review), and analyse, present and discuss the outcomes of the study.
Practitioner Placement for Nutrition and Exercise as Medicine
This module provides the student with a placement within an area related to the nature of the programme. The students will gain valuable experience, apply knowledge and skills learnt throughout the programme and produce a research study which will be of use for their specific placement provider.
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?
A wide range of teaching methods will be used according to the nature of the module:
- Practical sessions
- Reflective practice
- Guided study
- Peer teamwork
- Oral presentations
Students on the course also engage in self-directed study activities, group work and project team working. All students are allocated a personal tutor to ensure personal and academic development and achievement.
This programme includes a broad range of assessment methods including:
- Assignments (17%)
- Reports (12%)
- Practical assessments (14%)
- Presentations (10%)
- Case studies (8%)
- Reflective reports (6%)
- Laboratory reports (5%)
- Simulated interviews (5%)
- Exams (11%)
- In class tests (11%)
School of Health and Society
In the School of Health and Society, we are focused on enhancing the health and wellbeing of patients, service users and athletes, and our commitment to public involvement helps us retain our strong focus on real-world issues.
You will be taught within lecture theatres and seminar rooms. You will undertake practical assessments in our Exercise Physiology laboratory where we have a range of exercise-based equipment and the ability to undertake exercise testing and interpretation. You will also use the University gym when during your studies, gain experience with nutrition-related software and be competent at analysing data using statistical packages.
The extensive equipment in our exercise and physiology laboratory includes:
- Portable and static online gas analysis systems for breath-by-breath cardiopulmonary exercise testing, including VO2 max tests
- A Lode Cycle Ergometer to provide isokinetic testing conditions within cycling
- An Analox G37 Multi-Assay Blood Analyser to study blood lactate concentration. We also have a range of field-based Lactate Pro analysers, which have been used to test professional athletes as part of our partnerships
The University is also home to three gait labs, which, together with the human performance lab, are used to conduct research by the Centre for Health Sciences Research that underpins your learning.
Human Performance Laboratory
Facilities include our world-class human performance laboratory which contains almost every type of physiological, performance analysis and biomechanical testing equipment, including a 30-metre sprint track with inbuilt force platforms, motion capture systems, blood and gas analysis equipment and speed guns.
We also have a separate physiological testing laboratory and fully equipped strength and conditioning suite, which includes an isokinetic dynamometer and portable force platforms. Take a 360 tour of the facilities here.
What about after uni?
Recent graduates from this course have gone on to work for Tameside and Glossop Primary Care, Morelife Healthy Lifestyle Programmes, Xyla Health and Wellbeing, Salford Community Leisure, Manchester Primary Care Trust 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 exercise referral, community food work, health and exercise promotion, workplace health, cardiovascular rehabilitation, personal training, health-based intervention design and delivery, postgraduate research and teaching. These are some roles our graduates have gone on to secure following graduation:
- Prehab Cancer programme manager for Greater Manchester Active
- Health and Wellbeing Regional Manager for Xyla Health and Wellbeing
- Project Manger for Empower you, Salford (supporting disabled power to be physically active)
- Cardiac Rehabilitation Exercise Physiologist (Royal Sussex County Hospital)
- Director Frontline Fit (Advanced Personal Training)
- Director Active Angels (Family yoga)
- Founder of 'We do Wellbeing' (Health and Wellbeing Training and Consultancy)
- Psychology and multidisciplinary team coordinator (ABL Health, weight management services)
- Health and Wellbeing Coordinator (BUPA)
- Dietetic Associate Practitioner for Morelife
- Children's Physical Activity Link Worker for Morelife
The programme has close links with placement providers to enable students to be placed in an area that interests them but is aligned with the overall aim of the programme.
The programme team are very keen to bring alumni back into the University to educate students on what they are now doing in industry.
The programme team have links with industry in order to enable the teaching of certain modules in applied settings, such as Schools, Workplace/Corporate Health and Hospitals.
Staff members are actively involved with their own research links, such as Greater Manchester Sport, British Food and Drink Group, Obesity forums, British Association for Cardiac Prevention and Rehabilitation, which enables students to gain valuable volunteering experience during certain activities that align with such connections.
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
What you need to know
We are looking for applications from students who are interested in learning how to help individuals to lead healthier lifestyles through the use of nutrition and exercise as medicine. In order to help individuals improve their health and fitness, students will need to undertake learning in the following areas - physiological systems, behaviour change, exercise instruction, nutrition and dietary analysis, exercise prescription for special population groups, data collection and analysis and eating behaviour. Previous study in Human Biology, PE, Sport Studies, Psychology would be desirable. Previous experience with working in an instructing and / or coaching role would also be an advantage for study on this programme but is not essential.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS
If you are an international student and not from a majority English speaking country, you will need IELTS 6.5 with no element below 5.5. We also accept a range of other English language qualifications. If you do not have the English language requirements, you could take the Pre-Sessional English course to gain entry onto this degree.
Minimum of three GCSE's at Grade 4/C including English Language and Maths (or equivalent) You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below
UCAS tariff points
112 tariff points, at least one science subject preferred (can include psychology, sociology, sport, PE)
112tariff points, at least one A2 science subject preferred (can include biology, psychology, sociology, sport, PE)
BTEC National Diploma
DMM (to include specific subjects: sport, exercise, health or applied science)
Foundation Degree graduates will be considered for entry at Level 6 of the course.
Access to HE
112 points from Access to HE Diploma. 60 Credits total, including at least 45 graded credits at level 3. Science and health subjects preferred.
112 tariff points at least one science subject preferred (can include psychology, sociology, sport, PE)
Irish Leaving Certificate
112 tariff points, at least one science subject preferred (can include psychology, sociology, sport, PE) and to includ
English – Higher H6 (D3), Ordinary O5(C3)
Maths – Higher H6 (D3), Ordinary O5(C3)
112 tariff points.
We accept qualifications from all around the world. Find your country to see a full list of entry requirements.
Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)
We welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we have received your application we will assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.
There are two different routes through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. Assessment will either be through a review of prior learning or through a formal test.
|Type of study||Year||Fees|
|Full-time home||2022/23||£9,250per year|
|Full-time international||2022/23||£15,900per year|
|Full-time home||2023/24||£9,250per year|
|Full-time international||2023/24||£16,380per year|
You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.
Scholarships for international students
If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our scholarships.
Explore our International Scholarships.
All set? Let's apply
Course ID CB71