The course examines health, wellbeing and work (or other meaningful occupation), bringing together the disciplines of occupational and vocational rehabilitation. A bio-psychosocial model will be explored, with a work focused approach, as opposed to a condition-focused one, in order to facilitate and support people to stay in work or return to work.
During your time with us, you'll consider the health and wellbeing of employed and unemployed individuals as well as the perspectives of a range of key players such as the employer, human resources, managers of people, health and social care professionals, occupational health practitioners, employment advisers, case managers, the voluntary sector etc.
The aim is to develop your critical awareness of the issues that play a part in the areas of occupational and vocational rehabilitation, the perspectives of key stakeholders and strategies to improve practice and collaboration. The course takes a systematic, multi-disciplinary approach - one grounded in research and ethical principles.
This course is important because there is so much still unknown about helping and supporting people with health conditions, either directly into work or helping them retain work. We’re learning all the time. It’s about making a difference to an individual’s life.
Nicholas Edwards, MSc Occupational and Vocational Rehabilitation graduate
The course has a full-time and a part-time route:
If you take the course on a full-time basis, you will be required to complete two 30-credit modules per semester, across three semesters over a year.
As a part-time student, you'll take one 30-credit module per-semester, and two semesters each year over a three year period.
The course is delivered through:
You will explore the course material via lectures, engagement in tutor and peer-led group work, and study in our virtual classroom. You will also receive support in setting up and familiarising yourself with relevant IT and media resources.
You will also have the chance to participate in academic tutorials via email, telephone or Skype. And you will have full access to our online library resources and other student support services.
You will also be assigned a personal tutor who will act as a mentor and guide for the duration of your journey through the programme.
Modules run over a 14-week semester with three semesters per academic year:
Each module sits within one of these semesters and whether you choose to study part or full time determines whether you will do one or two modules per semester. The only module that runs across semester three is the Research Project (if you are taking the full-time route). There are no modules running over the summer for the part-time route.
For each module time on campus will be organised in blocks: one week (30-34 hours) at the start of the module (plus a campus assessment day at the end of some of the modules). However, there may also be some flexibility and potential for use of online assessment in some circumstances.
There is independent/directed study (some online) to further your learning and development when not in University.
Some course modules include room for negotiation with your tutors about how you will be assessed. This is to ensure that the methods of assessment meet your learning needs, your interests and the demands of your workplace.
Assessment methods can include:
This course will demonstrate how to solve complex problems and think critically and creatively to achieve goals in assisting people to stay in work or return to work.
These skills are highly sought after in occupational and vocational rehabilitation practice industries that are placing ever greater emphasis on evidence-based, cost-effective and efficient service provision.
These skills are also vital for those working in organisations managing staff health and wellbeing and sickness absence.
The course programme will also enhance your cognitive abilities and effectiveness in inter-professional collaboration – skills and attributes that will make you very attractive to a prospective employer.
You should consider taking this course to progress in an industry that you already have experience in, re-skill for a different career path or continue the studies you took as an undergraduate.
Guest speakers make a valuable contribution to the course, and bring a real-world perspective to the academic delivery of the modules. These sessions allow you to mix with professionals from industry, make contacts, set up placements and conduct research.
Graduates from the MSc Occupational and Vocational Rehabilitation may choose to consider ongoing research based study.
There are increasing rates of ill-health resulting from sedentary living, poor dietary habits and high stress lifestyles. The duties performed by a Clinical Exercise Specialist (CES) are linked closely to treating patients living with a long term condition in which exercise has been shown to provide therapeutic benefit. Specifically, cardiovascular diseases, pulmonary diseases, diabetes, stroke, cancer and musculoskeletal limitations remain important health concerns that have all been shown to benefit from regular, safe exercise.
Therefore, this innovative course is designed to offer you an interdisciplinary approach to exercise in clinical settings as well as vocational qualifications and experiences that will enable you to apply theory to practice. The integration of theory and practice within this course will enable you to critically analyse, adapt and modify existing approaches to develop safe and effective physical activity programmes to optimise the health-related fitness of clients.
On this course you can:
Obtain lab-based and field skills, as well as the ability to communicate with clients in a professional and approachable style.
Gain Register of Exercise Professionals endorsed vocational qualifications in clinical exercise, including exercise referral, cardiac disease, chronic respiratory diseases, stroke, cancer and falls prevention which are essential requirements should you wish to pursue a career as a clinical specialist exercise instructor.
Work with clinicians providing exercise in the management of a range of long term conditions
The programme provides an opportunity to work toward ACSM Clinical Exercise Physiologist certification and units aligned to National Occupation Standards for Health and Fitness.
Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:
Health and wellbeing physiologist
Bariatric exercise physiologist
NHS trainee clinical scientist
Clinical Exercise Physiologist
Exercise Referral Coordinator
The modular programme is offered in two formats: Full-time (12 months) and Part-time (24 months). The course includes 120 credits of taught units and a 60 credit Project. It is also possible to study parts of this course for CPD purposes, such as a single unit (30 credits) or top up a related Postgraduate Diploma to a full MSc.
The units contain vocational elements relevant for providing personalised exercise training for a range of medical conditions, including classroom, exercise laboratory and placement learning. The MSc Clinical Exercise Project unit prepares you for your independent project, where you will plan and implement a service evaluation, research project or enterprise & innovation project in the area of clinical exercise.
Teaching takes place on Thursdays, Fridays and some Saturdays, so attendance on selected weekends is necessary for the vocational training included in some of the units. Placements take place in areas such as Southampton, Winchester, Portsmouth and Chichester and are scheduled according to placement provider requirements during the week. Each unit is generally taught over a three week block, however cardiac rehabilitation requires a longer study period.
The core unit you will study is:
MSc Clinical Exercise Project (60 credits)
Optional units to choose include 120 credits from:
Exercise for Cardiac Rehabilitation (30 credits)
Exercise for Chronic Respiratory Diseases (30 credits)
Exercise and Cancer Care (30 credits)
Exercise and Fitness after Stroke (30 credits)
Exercise for Falls Prevention (30 credits)
Paediatric Exercise Science and Medicine (30 credits)
The delivery format for the course is largely based around seminar, practical, workshop and placement learning to integrate theory into practical sessions. Teaching sessions will include vocational training, seminar and exercise laboratory work, led by leading practitioners in the area of clinical exercise. You will be provided with a personal tutor to assist with academic and pastoral issues.
The course has a problem-based learning approach and you will be assessed in a variety of ways with a focus on self-reflection and initiative and problem-based assignments. Here’s how we assess you:
Vocational training (MCQ and case study)
We have strong links with National Health Service partners in the Wessex region and professional training providers in exercise, such as the American College of Sports Medicine and the Register of Exercise Professionals. Graduates of this course possess qualifications to provide exercise in cardiac rehabilitation, pulmonary rehabilitation, exercise after cancer, exercise after stroke or exercise for falls prevention provided by leading vocational clinical exercise training providers. Having such a skills-set is important for being employable as an exercise physiologist in diverse multi-disciplinary teams, whilst also presenting the opportunity to work as an exercise entrepreneur as your own exercise service manager.
Roles our graduates have taken on include
Exercise referral coordinator
NHS trainee clinical scientist
Cardiopulmonary exercise physiologist
Health and wellbeing physiologist
Bariatric exercise physiologist
NHS physical activities advisor
Private exercise physiologist