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International Master of Adapted Physical Activity

Course Description

The International Master Programme of Adapted Physical Activity (IMAPA) is an initial Master programme and can be followed on a full-time or part-time basis.

IMAPA is a 2 year (120 credits) Master programme in partnership between the University of Leuven (KU Leuven, Belgium), the University of Olomouc (UP; Czech Republic), and a number of associate partners across the world. The programme aims at educating students in both a professional orientation (students can choose between education and active lifestyle), and a disciplinary specialisation (students choose between biomechanics & exercise physiology, applied pedagogy & sociocultural studies, and motor control-learning & psychology).

IMAPA aims to provide state-of-the-art research and teaching methodology in adapted physical activity (APA) and the social, pedagogical, and technical aspects of physical activity adapted to the needs of persons with a disability. The programme combines the expertise of a number of universities throughout the EU and the world, and offers students comprehensive training and expert knowledge in the many aspects of adapted physical activity. Each year, international expert academics and professionals are invited to conduct teaching and research assignments. The programme promotes the exchange of ideas between professionals and future practitioners from around the world. The multicultural aspects of the Master's programme are a great asset to the programme itself and to the field of adapted physical activity in general.


Graduates who successfully completed the course will have acquired the scientific knowledge and critical insights to develop and bring the field of adapted physical activity forward in different national settings. Graduates will have the professional competence to work in a variety of contexts, where they will be able to set up appropriate adapted physical activity programmes and assess the requirements for exercise screening. Given the wide area of adapted physical activity, as applied in the various countries, graduates will obtain the broad tools to implement and evaluate health, sports and leisure enhancing programs for people with disability. The most important of these general tools is an evidence-based approach to intervention. Graduates of the IMAPA programme will also have gained sufficient research competence to work in research settings. They will have developed the skills to design innovative research questions in adapted physical activity and to report on scientific findings. Graduates will have gained the analytical ability to highlight the needs of people with a disability in different countries and identify current barriers for implementation of adapted physical activity. Furthermore, they will ensure appropriate intervention programmes and policy statements in the area of exercise and health for people with a disability. Overall, they will have an internationally-oriented spirit and seek out multicultural collaboration. IMAPA graduates will understand the role and meaning of interdisciplinary collaboration and stimulate a multi-professional input in the field. Graduates will be aware of the need of a professional structure and certification in adapted physical activity and have gained the skills to become leaders in their field and take this agenda forward.

Students specialised in adapted physical activity at the Master's level often work with persons with an impairment in career domains such as education, coaching, personal training, physical therapy, occupational therapy, medicine or other health care professions. Some seek a research career by acquiring knowledge and expertise in both adapted physical activity and another discipline within kinesiology, and pursue a doctoral degree.

Entry Requirements

The minimum requirement for enrolment in the Master Course is a possession of one of the following diplomas:Bachelor of Physical EducationBachelor of PhysiotherapyBachelor of Sport SciencesBachelor of Movement SciencesBachelor of Motor RehabilitationMaster degree in the above mentioned study fieldsDirect, after admission procedure : Bachelor in de lichamelijke opvoeding en de bewegingswetenschappen (Leuven)Bachelor in de revalidatiewetenschappen en de kinesitherapie (Leuven)

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Recipient: KU Leuven

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