Postgraduate Factfile: Sport and Exercise Physiology MSc, PgDip, PgCert
Modes of study: Full Time (1 year) & Part Time (2-3 years)
Start date: September
More films from the School of Sport & Exercise Science can be found on LJMU TV.
- The Programme
- Supporting info
- Entry requirements
- Finance / fees
- How to apply
- Employment / careers
- LJMU and Liverpool
At a glance
- Course developed by world-leading researchers in our pioneering School of Sport and Exercise Science
- Access to state-of-the-art laboratories in our award-winning Tom Reilly Building
- All staff are members of the Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Science (RISES) which was awarded a maximum 4* rating in the most recent research assessment exercise
- Career opportunities in teaching and lecturing, as applied practitioners in sport science support programmes or further study at Doctoral level
There has never been a more exciting time to undertake an MSc in Sport and Exercise Physiology. Sport now represents one of the world’s major businesses and scientists have an increasingly prominent role in working with athletes, coaches, governing bodies and industry to help optimise elite performance. Sport and Exercise Science is also playing an increasingly important role in society by promoting exercise for healthy ageing and the prevention of premature death from cardiovascular disease, cancer and obesity.
This master’s programme is ideal if you want to go on to specialise in physiology-related studies at a doctoral level for academic and professional development or if you aspire to a professional career in performance-orientated training. The MSc programme is delivered in the £28M Tom Reilly Building, which was completed in 2010 and provides world-class sport & exercise science facilities including ~800 m2 of exercise physiology laboratory space and ~100 m2 of molecular/ biochemistry laboratory space. The curriculum is informed by a world class research infrastructure with over 20 full-time academic staff and support staff contributing to the taught modules and research dissertation.
The programme provides a detailed knowledge of physiology applied to sport and exercise contexts, but is also deigned to extend your knowledge beyond ‘classical’ exercise physiology studies and into the new arena of molecular exercise physiology. Nowadays, cutting-edge research in exercise physiology relies heavily on molecular techniques and it is imperative future graduates are able to contribute to this high-impact area of exercise science. Therefore, the MSc programme at LJMU provides extensive practical experience not only in physiology laboratory tests but also ‘wet laboratory’ bench skills, as well as vocational training in strength & conditioning practice. Academic development is also provided in fundamental scientific techniques including research methods, statistical analysis and scientific communication.
Specifically, the programme consists of 6 taught modules (20 M credits each) and a 60 M credit Masters dissertation project. Taught modules in Semester 1 include “Mechanisms of Muscle Adaptation,” which provides a mixture of theory and practical work in molecular exercise physiology. The “Technical Training” module provides extensive practical training in exercise physiology laboratory tests, and data collected during these sessions is used to teach statistical analysis techniques in the “Research Methods” module. In Semester 2, state-of-the-art and novel theory underpinning exercise physiology is delivered in the “Adaptations to Training” module, and fundamental academic skills are developed through critical appraisal of leading research in the “Contemporary Research” module. The “Applied Practice” module caters to students that aspire to careers in high-level professional sport and performance-orientated amateur training. This module teaches practical skills associated with safe and effective training prescription, and talented students have the opportunity to gain experience by assisting the delivery of strength and conditioning training within the University’s Sport Scholarship scheme. Last but not least, the Masters dissertation project comprises one-third of the total number of assessment credits within the programme and is your opportunity to undertake a significant body of research in sport and exercise physiology. Dissertation projects, are undertaken within research themes led by staff and associated PhD students. The majority of work is typically conducted across Semesters 2 and 3 and then presented as a journal manuscript, which may later be submitted for publication in peer-reviewed scientific journals.
Why study this course at LJMU?
LJMU is recognised as a centre of excellence for Sport Development and Physical Education programmes. It initiated the first undergraduate honors degree in Sports Science in 1975. The MSc programme in Sports Physiology is built on a strong tradition of innovation and excellence and was the first MSc degree to be offered in the School and one of the first programmes of its kind in the UK.
In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, the School maintained its position as one of the leading research centres in the UK, and is now ranked number 1 for world leading research in this field out of all the UK’s post-1992 Universities. Research projects from MSc students have, and continue to play a significant part in this success.
Alongside its national and international standing in research, the School was the only Sport & Exercise Science Department in the UK to be named a Centre of Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL), reflecting the high quality of the School’s programmes. Funding (£4.5M) associated with this award from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) was used to create a work-related environment within the university. Specifically, the CETL building houses a fully equipped gymnasium in which the performance of athletes can be assessed. Teaching on the Applied Practice module is conducted within the gymnasium, and this work is closely aligned with the delivery of Strength & Conditioning support for the University’s Sport Scholarship athletes. Typically, a number of assistant positions are offered to MSc students to provide further work-based experience in the delivery of Strength & Conditioning sessions.
Introduction to the School
With a Teaching Quality score of 24/24 and a top UK rating for world leading research, the figures speak for themselves - the authors of the Times Good University Guide agreed when they ranked us first in the country. This School is the only Sport and Exercise institute in the UK to receive maximum scores for both teaching and research. The School of Sport and Exercise Sciences has a long-standing tradition in the field of Sport Science. It initiated the first undergraduate honours degree course in Sports Science in 1975, and has developed a world-wide reputation for Sport Science teaching and research. The School has hosted several international conferences and regularly receives visitors from overseas. It is active in pursuing links with both EC and international institutions with similar teaching and research interests.
Staff research interests
Please go to: http://ljmu.ac.uk/sps/RISES/index.htm
The Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences (RISES) was established in 1997 and continues to be a cutting-edge and vibrant home for research activity within the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences. The success of RISES staff since its inception in 1997 is demonstrated by our high-profile international reputation for Research Training and Research Outputs.
Across broad but multi-disciplinary research areas the RAE in 2001 awarded the Institute the maximum achievable 5** rating. In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 2008 RISES submitted 22 staff and maintained its position as a leading research centre in the UK with recognition of its world leading and world-class activities. Consistent with the previous assessment in 2001, 25 % of our research outputs were awarded the maximum 4* rating and the RAE Panel rating our research environment as 50 % 4* or world leading stating that, “RISES provides an exceptional focus for research training and staff development.” This performance recognition comes on the back of significant and recognized research activity and we are joint 1st nationally for world leading (4*) research, and 85% of our research is deemed to be of an international standard.
Since its inception, the Research Institute has published over 750 academic papers (over 135 each year), and trained more than 60 MPhil and PhD graduates (at least 12 per year). Non-HEFCE QR funding is well over £5 million and is currently running at c. £1.2 million a year.
How will I be assessed?
Each module has specific learning objectives which are formally assessed. The modes of assessment are diverse and include, written essays, case reports, laboratory reports, computer assessments, written examinations, oral examinations and oral/poster presentations.
Other related courses
M.Sc. Clinical Exercise Physiology
Candidates would normally be expected to have a good honours degree (first class or upper second class) in sport science, or a related discipline.
The MSc Sport and Exercise Physiology Programme typically enrolls 20 students per year. Demand for places is high and applicants are selected on merit, in some instances interviews may be conducted at the discretion of the Programme Manager. Applications for registration in September are accepted between the 1st April and 30th June of that year only.
In rare circumstances, accompanied by genuine and compelling reasons (e.g. International fellowship or visa deadlines), applications may be considered outside of this period. Within the application, the Personal Statement should be regarded as an opportunity to evidence (i) recent achievements, (ii) passion for Sport and Exercise Physiology research and practice, and (iii) career trajectory. It is particularly important to provide evidence of relevant knowledge and skills that you have gained during your undergraduate education and also through additional paid/unpaid employment, training courses or non-examined subjects that you may have studied.
For example, you may detail awards that you have received or explain how you have successfully competed for sought-after positions. In addition, Programme staff will be particularly interested to read the abstract from your undergraduate research dissertation (please provide your abstract as a separate attachment).
If you have been out of education for some time, please outline any relevant experience that may be taken into account in lieu of formal qualifications, for example, work experience, voluntary work, research etc. paying careful attention to how this has helped you to improve your knowledge of exercise physiology.
International students: IELTS English language minimum score of 6.5 or equivalent and a relevant academic qualification to degree level is the minimum requirement.
Minimum TOEFL requirements:
Listening - 17
Reading - 18
Speaking - 20
Writing - 17
Will I be interviewed?No
Please contact the admissions team for details.
Securing funding is one of the main hurdles you may have to face when considering Postgraduate study. However there is help available and you may be able to apply for funding from the sources below.
This will normally be from a bank. The most popular of these is a Professional and Career Development Loan (PCDL). These loans are from £300 to £10,000 in value and can be used to cover up to 80% of your course fees. Further Information from www.direct.gov.uk and look for PCDL
Charities and Trusts
Trusts and charities can offer assistance to some students. Eligibility for these trusts and charities vary enormously. Your local library will have a section of books and directories of grant making trusts.
Research councils may provide support for recognised postgraduate courses. Their websites offers useful information regarding the support and funding opportunities on offer. Competition for this type of funding can be very strong. For more information about Research Councils visit: www.rcuk.ac.uk
You need to be aware that most PG courses do not attract statutory funding. The ones that do attract statutory support (grants and/or loans) that we offer at LJMU are:
- PGCE courses , for more information please vist www.directgov.co.uk and www.tda.gov.uk
- MA social work for which an NHS bursary is payable to some students. For more information please visit www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk
- PG dip in Architecture
Advice and support at LJMU
LJMU offers a Postgraduate bursary of £500 to students who go from an undergraduate course to study a taught PG course. For further information and eligibility see http://www.ljmu.ac.uk/feesandfunding/117585.htm
LJMU employs a team of staff that are experts in fees and funding who can offer advice based upon your personal circumstances. You can contact them on 0151 904 6056/6057, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for guidance and support.
How to apply
Please apply via the online application form
LJMU's Admissions policy is in line with the University's Equal Opportunities Policy and applications are welcome from all candidates who fulfil the entry criteria. The university has a commitment to equality of opportunity and welcomes application from everyone regardless of age, disability, race or sex. The University is committed to widening participation and therefore will actively consider applicants who do not have a relevant degree but who are able to provide satisfactory evidence of their knowledge in the area. All applicants will be considered by the Recruitment and Selection Panel, if shortlisted applicants will be asked to attend for an interview.
LJMU offers an extensive support system through its international office and study centre. An equivalence to the normal entry requirements is needed for entry. Students must also demonstrate a proficiency in communicating through English, for example with an IELTS tests or equivalent. Please note that because of UK visa restrictions, International students are only permitted to study on a full-time basis. Please contact LJMU’s International Team by visiting www.ljmu.ac.uk/international for more information and advice.
If you have any queries relating to LJMU or university life in general please contact:
Tel: +44(0)151 231 5090
Employment and careers
A wide variety of careers are available to graduates, including teaching and lecturing in schools, colleges and universities. Many students choose to continue in education, research or applied sports science, with many continuing their studies to Doctoral level. Others still, have taken positions in applying their sports science skills as applied practitioners in sports science support programmes within a variety of professional sports clubs, National Governing Bodies of sport, or as strategic sport science officers and consultants in professional sport settings.
As a postgraduate student you will be able to take full advantage of the extensive range of advice and guidance available in our World of Work Careers Centre, including our Ready for Work training courses, which cover everything from interview skills to preparing for assessment centre tests.
LJMU also has a dedicated Centre for Entrepreneurship, offering business advice and start-up funding, to students and graduates interested in setting up their own companies or working freelance.
Our World of Work Programme – endorsed by FTSE 100 companies and leading business organisations – offers you the chance to get an additional certificate proving to potential employers that you have the skills and experience they are looking for. No other university in the UK or internationally, offers students the chance to develop these skills and organisations backing the scheme include the Confederation of British Industry, United Utilities, Sony, Siemens, Peugeot Citroen and Marks and Spencer.
LJMU offers a superb environment for postgraduate study and top level research.
Whether you are studying on a taught master's course or embarking on a research degree, LJMU offers you a supportive, flexible academic environment, well-structured programmes and round-the-clock access to extensive resources.
Our research environment is rated as 'world-leading' in a majority of our subjects and all of our postgraduate programmes are taught by academics actively involved in research or consultancy projects with business and industry.
It is this combination of academic expertise and 'real world' experience that ensures LJMU's courses have real currency with potential employers and why over 95% of our postgraduates are in work or further study six months after they graduate (HESA 2010).
We believe this expertise – coupled with world-class academic standards – 75% of LJMU's research is rated as internationally important – puts us in a league of our own.
To find out more about our postgraduate courses and research opportunities plus the range of facilities and support we offer, click on the links opposite.
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