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MSc Paediatric Exercise and Health

Course Description

It is well known that the first two decades of life represent an important window of opportunity to not only improve the health and well-being of young people, but also their health status into adult life. The role that physical activity and fitness can play in improving markers of health and well-being in young people is an important area of study, especially given concerns of declining fitness and increasing obesity in today’s children and adolescents.

Based on the internationally-recognised research conducted at the Children’s Health and Exercise Research Centre (CHERC, http://sshs.exeter.ac.uk/research/centres/cherc/), our Masters programme in Paediatric Exercise and Health offers a thorough grounding in the unique physiological responses of children and adolescents during exercise and how these responses are influenced by age, sex and biological maturation. It provides an in depth evaluation of the relationships between physical activity, fitness and health in young people. You will gain experience of both theoretical and hands-on methods used to evaluate physical activity and fitness, plus advanced training in research methods and analytical procedures.

The programme is delivered within a friendly and supportive learning environment, drawing upon innovative multi-method and multi-disciplinary research and teaching by our leading academics. You will have opportunities for involvement with on-going research projects and to develop key transferable skills beneficial for further doctoral study.

The programme is suitable for sport, exercise and health-related professionals seeking continuing professional development. Recent examples of professionals graduating from our programmes include medical doctors, practice nurses, physiotherapists and youth sports managers/coaches.

Learning and teaching

The MSc Paediatric Exercise and Health presents an academic challenge whilst also providing you with the skills to apply theoretical concepts in real-world laboratory and field settings. The Masters programme is intended to enhance teaching and learning through research and applied practice derived from sport, health and exercise. It will provide you with the opportunity to employ theoretical concepts in applied sport, health and exercise settings and acquire a range of transferable skills to develop as an autonomous and reflective individual.

All of our teaching staff are active researchers and their work informs public policy on exercise and health. For example, we provide scientific support and consultancy services to national and international athletes and teams including Rugby Football Union, England and Wales Cricket Board, and the Football Association.

Programme structure

The programme is made up of five compulsory modules. The list of modules may include the following; Paediatric Exercise Physiology; Laboratory Techniques in Physiology ; Paediatric Exercise and Health; Research Methods and Analytical Procedures and Dissertation (Journal Article)

The modules listed here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.


Dedicated careers day and tailored career support for each student are provided. Graduates of the programme have typically found employment in a variety of sport, exercise, leisure management and consultancy, and health promotion settings. Recent examples include: community based physical activity coordinators and directors; research assistant at the Medical Research Council; and a local authority physical activity specialist for children with coordination and movement difficulties.

Visit the MSc Paediatric Exercise and Health page on the University of Exeter website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Emma Pilgrim

676.jpg After completing my Undergraduate degree at the School of Sport and Health Sciences, I chose to do a Masters there also because of its worldwide reputation in children’s exercise physiology and health at the Children’s Health and Exercise Research Centre (CHERC). I knew that the staff would support me through the course and help me with anything I needed. I hope for a career in health and physical activity promotion in children - encouraging children to be active and understand the importance of a healthy lifestyle - working towards a healthier nation.

After attending the St. Luke’s careers day 2007 and talking to guest speaker Jon Pitts, I was offered a job at Motive8 Health and Fitness. Working in the schools department, I carried out research with staff at St. Luke’s on physical activity levels during PE lessons in primary schools. Then I progressed to department manager, with the aim to improve the quality of sport and health provision offered in schools. After a year at Motive8, I moved to Wales and became coordinator of the ‘5 for life’ project at Newport Local Health Board. Under the Going for Gold scheme, the project targets children and families through school, community learning and festivals to promote healthy living.

This job offers a range of experiences from working on partnership with public health agencies, organising community events as well as delivering healthy workshops to children in schools. I have to give full praise to the support that Sport and Health Sciences staff provide. Exeter University offers so much, from community action to sports and the various societies, and it's reputation enhances job prospects.

(Student Profile)

Joel Paul

677.jpg I have worked with children for a number of years as a teacher and coach, and would like to continue working with them in the future, hopefully in a hospital or organisation that uses physical activity interventions to rehabilitate children who suffer from chronic diseases like obesity and diabetes. In the words of Dr Neil Armstrong, ‘Children are not mini adults’, and by doing this degree I will be able to better comprehend how growth and maturation affects children, and design training programmes to suit their stage of development and particular health needs.

I recommend the School of Sport and Health Sciences because the facilities and lecturers are all world class. Classes are small and interactive and there’s always someone you can turn to for support when you need it. There are lots of opportunities for you to work independently and you are given a degree of autonomy in terms of choosing an area of research that interests you. The small friendly campus means you do not get lost in the crowd, unlike big universities.

The University offers a Full Fees Masters Scholarship as well as other scholarships and bursaries which cover part of your tuition. The School of Sports and Health Sciences also has a dedicated careers advisor who keeps us up to date on sports related jobs and courses on a weekly basis. The sports guild runs a community schools coaching programme which may be beneficial to coaches and those interested in working with children who want hands on experience.

(Student Profile)

Bert Bond

3928.jpg I chose to study my MSc at Exeter due to the state-of-the-art facilities, the wealth of top-level researchers/professors involved in the course, and also to be able to take part in many cutting-edge research projects that are run throughout the year here. Ultimately, I hope to be involved in childhood health promotion and involve myself in key research crucial to the future health of our children.


Funding for Postgraduate Study - 20+ Awards

We offer a range of postgraduate scholarships and studentships for talented students. For 2016 entry, the total value of scholarships for taught postgraduate programmes exceeds £500,000. This is in addition to over 100 PhD studentships we make available each year.Students who reside in England and are interested in our Masters programmes can now take advantage of the UK government's postgraduate loan scheme which offers loans of up to £10,000.

Value of Scholarship(s)



Varies, but most awards are competitive and merit-based.

Application Procedure

Please see the details of each scheme as listed in our search: http://www.exeter.ac.uk/studying/funding/search

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Normally a minimum 2:1 degree or equivalent in a relevant discipline.

Course Fees

See our website for more information (click on "Finance") website

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