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Sport and Exercise Science and Medicine (Distance Learning) (MSc/PGDip/PGCert)

Online learning at the University of Glasgow allows you to benefit from the outstanding educational experience that we are renowned for, without having to relocate to our campus.

This online taught MSc in Sports Science is designed to provide you with an advanced, research-led programme of study in sport and exercise science and medicine. A key strength of this programme is its flexibility, which enables you to specialise in physical activity and health, sports performance, or sports medicine.

Why this programme

  • The University of Glasgow is ranked 2nd in UK for Sports Science.
  • This is the only MSc in Sports Science in Scotland that merges sport and exercise medicine and sport and exercise science within a single degree programme providing a broad range of options across these disciplines.
  • You will benefit from access to the expertise of the staff at the National Stadium Sports, Health and Injury Clinic at Hampden Park, a custom-built, state-of-the-art sports medicine facility.
  • You will develop and enhance your skills in literature searching and critically evaluating relevant scientific evidence; application of knowledge to novel concepts and situations; experimental design; research methods and ethics; data handling and statistics; interpretation and evaluation of experimental data; scientific writing; and oral presentations.
  • The University has state-of-the-art facilities to study performance and health aspects of sport and exercise science, from the whole body to the molecular level. These include advanced exercise laboratories, metabolic investigation suites and a molecular biochemistry lab. We are the best equipped exercise science group for laboratory facilities in Scotland, making the University of Glasgow the perfect place to study an MSc in Sports Science.
  • The University has close links with a number of regional/national sporting bodies and a number of professional sporting clubs. There may be opportunities for internships (in place of a research project) for some students.
  • You will have access to a number of guest lecture staff providing interactive sessions in their specialist fields.

Programme structure

The course will involve online lectures, seminars and tutorials and during a residential week at the end of year 1 you will take part in lab classes. You will also take part in journal clubs, presentations and self-directed learning. The programme is made up of 60 compulsary credits and 3 x 20 credit options (X,Y and Z) plus a research project (60 credits).

Core courses

  • Evidence Based Medicine (20 credits)
  • Medical Statistics (10 credits)
  • Physiological Exercise Testing 1: Aerobics Fitness and Physical Activity (10 credits)
  • Physiological Exercise Testing 2: Strength, Power and Intensity Domains (10 credits)
  • Human Physiological & Metabolic Assessment (10 credits)

Optional courses

Choose one X option, one Y option and one Z option:

Option courses - X

  • Physical Activity and Health: Public Health, Policy & Behaviour Changes
  • Sports Injuries: Scientific Basis of Preventation and Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Sports Injuries (also involves a short residential period at the end of year 2)

Option courses - Y

  • Physical Activity and Health: Biological Mechanisms
  • Ergogenic Aids for Exercise Performance
  • Sport and Exercise Medicine in Practice

Option courses - Z

  • Cellular and Molecular Exercise Physiology
  • The World Class Athlete: Nature, Nurture and Maximising Performance
  • Exercise in Clinical Populations

Dissertation/research project

Programme alteration or discontinuation

The University of Glasgow endeavours to run all programmes as advertised. In exceptional circumstances, however, the University may withdraw or alter a programme. For more information, please see: Student contract.

Career prospects

The flexibility of this programme will provide you with many career opportunities. These include working in clinical exercise, health-promotion or in sports science support. A number of our graduates are employed in senior sports science positions with national sporting bodies and professional sports clubs. This programme also allows doctors and physiotherapists to aid their knowledge; for science graduates, there are opportunities in rehabilitation and higher education. It also provides an excellent basis if you wish to pursue PhD level research.


Visit the Sport and Exercise Science and Medicine (Distance Learning) (MSc/PGDip/PGCert) page on the University of Glasgow website for more details!

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