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Clinical Exercise Physiology


School - School of Health and Society

Subject area - Sport, Exercise and Physiotherapy

Start Date(s): September


Full time

MSc (12months full-time)

PgDip (12 months full-time)

PgCert (12 months full-time)

Part time

MSc (two years part-time)

PgDip (two years part-time)

PgCert (one year part-time)

Fees 2018-19:

2019-20 fees will be displayed shortly.

Part-time - £1,260 per 30 credit module

UK - £7,560

In Brief:

  • This course will give you the opportunity to deepen your knowledge and expertise, allowing you to pursue a career in a number of allied health roles such as exercise physiologist, physical exercise therapist, respiratory technician and advanced physiotherapist.
  • You will gain experience using state-of-the-art equipment in our Human Performance Laboratory.
  • You will develop advanced skill sets to enable you to apply research into practice.
  • Part-time study option

Course Summary

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

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 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.

This course will allow you to develop an understanding of advanced levels of clinical physiology and aetiology of disease states. These developed practical and theoretical skills will enable you to progress in a dynamic health environment and to understand and interact with a range of clinical conditions.

Course Structure

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.

Programme modules:

Research methods for exercise sciences (30 credits -) – this module will enable you to develop a rigorous approach to the process of research.

Pathophysiology and aetiology of health disorders (30 credits) – 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 (30 credits) – 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 treatment of disease.

Clinical exercise testing and prescription for health disorders (30 credits) – 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 (60 credits) – You will devise and deliver an original research study in a journal publication style, utilising knowledge gained from prior learning on the programme.

Entry Requirements

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.

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.

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.

Suitable For

This programme is ideal for those that want to work, or who are already working, with applied science in a clinical setting, to improve their 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.

Fees 2019-20

Fees for entry in 2019 will be displayed shortly.

Fees 2018-19

Type of StudyFee
Part-time£1,260 per 30 credit module

Scholarships and Bursaries

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


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

Postgraduate Staff Profile

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.


This course will equip you with knowledge suited to allied health roles, including: Exercise physiologists;  physical exercise therapists, respiratory technicians; advanced physiotherapist roles, Exercise Referral Schemes (hospital and community based).

Links with Industry

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

Further Study

Upon successful completion of the course it would be possible to progress on to a PhD, or a PhD via publication. We offer a range of research degrees relevant to your area of practice.


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.

In addition we have the usual equipment found in exercise physiology labs.

  • Polar heart rate monitors
  • Harpenden skinfold callipers
  • Wingate tests
  • Hand grip dynamometers
  • Height, weight monitors
  • Jump mats & timing gates

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