The amazing feats of world-class athletes across the huge range of sports has projected the issues of performance into the public eye, and sports nutrition is now recognised as a key part of supporting training and competition at all levels of participation. The Masters degree in Sport and Exercise Nutrition at the University of Westminster
offers the chance to study the science behind sports nutrition, and its applications for both the 'weekend warrior' and the elite athlete. It also puts the controversies surrounding the use of supplements under scientific scrutiny, looking at the key evidence for and against performance benefits. The aim of the course is to produce sports nutritionists who are strongly focused on the science behind the subject, but who also have some experience of the practicalities of delivering sound guidance to individuals and teams who are looking to use nutrition as part of their training programmes. To this end, a number of guest lecturers contribute their expertise in key related areas, and students are also given the opportunity of shadowing established sports nutrition practitioners.
The course covers the key principles of sports nutrition and exercise physiology, including the latest research papers, and aims to develop the ability to apply critical awareness to topics across the broad remit of sports nutrition, from measurement of exercise performance to the assessment of mental performance. The modules studied are designed to underpin the subject, and create a sound base for the development of ideas for the research project, which offers students a wide degree of flexibility to pursue their personal interests. The course can be studied full-time over one year, or in part-time mode over a varying time, up to five years.
• Advanced Performance Nutrition
You will look at nutritional needs of specific athletic populations, the impact of extremes of environment, and possible contributions of diet and ergogenic aids. You will also work shadow a professional sports nutrition practitioner, and produce a reflective report.
• Assessment of Health and Fitness
You will examine the range of techniques used in assessing health and fitness, from general population up to elite performers, and the appropriate evaluation of results.
• Concepts and Principles in Nutrition
This module aims to develop critical understanding of the scientific basis of nutritional requirements, and the factors that influence them.
• Nutrition and Performance
This module examines the role of nutrition in enhancing exercise and sports performance, including understanding of nutritional ergogenic aids and their regulation.
• Nutritional Assessment
You will study the theory and practice of methods of assessing nutritional status, at individual, group and population levels.
• Practitioner Skills for Sports Nutrition
The module aim is to prepare students for the professional demands they will be required to meet once practicing in a consultancy or team environment. This includes assessing and analysing, communication skills, and models for changes, compliance, and follow up that are needed and can significantly impact the outcome of nutritional interventions either positively or negatively, as well as ethics, governance, professional conducts and business skills.
• Research Methods
This module ensures that basic methodology, design study, data handling and statistics are approached correctly in formulating the research project.
• Research Project
Your project should be an original study reflecting your expertise or interest, supervised by a research-active member of staff, requiring a high-level of scientific rigour and originality, and culminating in your project dissertation.
Qualified sport and exercise nutritionists find employment in a number of areas, ranging from research, to public health nutrition, to performance training, and many eventually become self-employed and create their own consultancy companies which can be very successful. The course is designed to make transition into any of these areas as smooth and effective as possible.
The course is accredited by the Association for Nutrition (AFN). This allows students to take the title Associate Nutritionist, which is the first step on the professional recognition and registration ladder.
The Sport and Exercise Nutrition MSc has received the Recognition Award of the International Society for Sports Nutrition (ISSN), and students are encouraged to take the Certification of the ISSN (CISSN) exam towards the end of their period of study.
At Westminster, we have always believed that your University experience should be designed to enhance your professional life. We place as much emphasis on gaining skills relevant to the workplace as on learning the academic discipline that you are studying.
Obtaining a placement, part-time or vacation job while you study will provide you with extra cash and help you demonstrate that you have the skills employers are looking for.
In London, there is a plentiful supply of part-time work - most students at the University of Westminster
work part-time (or full-time during vacations) to help support their studies.
You should have a first degree in a life sciences subject with a string element of nutrition and/or physiology, but if you are a graduate in another discipline there is an opportunity to gain entry via successful completion of an Online Nutrition course. The fees for this will be refunded on successful registration on the Masters course. If your first language is not English you should have an IELTS score of at least 6.5, including in 6.5 in writing, TOEFL score of at least 98, with a minimum of 25 in the writing component.