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Course content

This unique practical and applied course will develop specialised knowledge of clinical exercise science using an evidence-based approach to enhance your career prospects.

This novel programme is designed for those wishing to gain and develop expert knowledge in the science of exercise assessment and prescription and learn applied techniques which will enable you to develop a career in clinical exercise science, academic research, teaching and other science based professions. The evidence demonstrating that physical activity reduces the risk of developing chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, obesity and type 2 diabetes highlights the need for clinical exercise practitioners with high level knowledge of physical activity and health who can work within community and healthcare settings.

This programme offers a well-balanced blend between practice and theory. The course is multi-disciplinary in nature covering aspects of exercise physiology, exercise and health psychology as well as clinical skills.

What you'll learn

During your studies you will develop an advanced understanding of the research evidence in the context of clinical exercise science. You will learn to apply theoretical concepts and professional skills in practical situations likely to be encountered by a clinical exercise scientist. You will employ advanced investigative, analytical and practical techniques to advance knowledge in clinical exercise science. You will present evidence based clinical exercise prescription appropriate for a range of pathologies and in seemingly healthy populations and be able to effectively communicate (evidence and treatment goals) with a variety of populations.

You will gain enhanced knowledge and learn skills in clinical exercise science to increase employability in an academic or applied setting.

There are opportunities to complete a PgDip (120 credits) or a PgCert (60 credits). Alternatively you may wish to complete specific module/modules as part of your own continuous professional development.


Trimester 1:
• Exercise, wellbeing and psychological health (20 credits)
• Exercise Physiology & Health (20 credits)
• Research Methods in Sport and Exercise Science (20 credits)

Trimester 2 (option of 3 out of 4):
• Physical Activity and Cardio-metabolic Conditions (20 credits)
• Physical Activity and Cancer Survivorship (20 credits)
• Physical Activity for Neurological Conditions (20 credits)
• Independent Study (20 credits)

Trimester 3:
• Research Project (60 credits)

Study modules mentioned above are indicative only. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.


Within the taught option modules, you may have the option of gaining accredited Level 4 occupational qualifications. For example you may choose to sit the Skills Active Validated Level 4 Cancer and Exercise examinations following on from successful completion of the Physical Activity and Cancer Survivorship module in trimester 2 (please note there will be an additional cost to sit the examinations).

On successful completion of this programme you will have the knowledge, understanding and skills to gain postgraduate-level employment within the NHS, private healthcare sector, third sector, local government and leisure services. You will be equipped to deliver high level exercise testing, assessment and prescription for health impaired individuals and groups both individually as an autonomous practitioner; or within multi-disciplinary teams in clinical or community settings. This programme will prepare you for occupations such as a:
• GP exercise referral coordinator
• trainee clinical scientist
• health advisor
• exercise science research technician
• health and wellbeing physiologist
• physical activities adviser
• private exercise physiologist

You may also to progress to a research degree up to PhD level. Alternatively you may wish to complete specific module/modules as part of your continuous professional development.

How to apply

SAAS Funding

Nothing should get in the way of furthering your education. Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) awards funding for postgraduate courses, and could provide the help you need to continue your studies. Find out more:

Visit the MSc / PGDip / PGCert Clinical Exercise Science page on the Edinburgh Napier University website for more details!




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Recipient: Edinburgh Napier University

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