University of Portsmouth

University of Portsmouth

Clinical Exercise Science

There are increasing rates of ill-health resulting from sedentary living, poor dietary habits and high stress lifestyles. The duties performed by a Clinical Exercise Specialist (CES) are linked closely to treating patients living with a long term condition in which exercise has been shown to provide therapeutic benefit. Specifically, cardiovascular diseases, pulmonary diseases, diabetes, stroke, cancer and musculoskeletal limitations remain important health concerns that have all been shown to benefit from regular, safe exercise.

Entry requirements

A minimum of a 2:1 honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject. Applicants are subject to interview. All offers are subject to Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance and Occupational Health clearance.
English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 7.0 with no component score below 6.5.

Course modules

Applicants without an exercise referral qualification on commencing the course will automatically be registered for the Personal Training for Exercise Referral unit and can choose their remaining 80 credits (four units). Applicants with an exercise referral qualification will study all six of the remaining units.

These units all contain vocational elements relevant for providing personalised exercise training for a range of medical conditions, including classroom, exercise laboratory and placement learning. The MSc Clinical Exercise Project prepares you for your research project, where you will plan and implement an individual study in the area of clinical exercise.

Note that while teaching will take place on Thursdays during the week, attendance on selected weekends is necessary for the vocational training associated with some of the units.

The core unit you will study is:

MSc Clinical Exercise Project (60 credits)
Optional units to choose include 120 credits from:

Personal Training for Exercise Referral (40 credits)

Exercise for Cardiac Rehabilitation (20 credits)
Exercise for Chronic Respiratory Diseases (20 credits)
Exercise and Cancer Survivorship (20 credits)
Exercise and Fitness after Stroke (20 credits)
Exercise for Falls Prevention (20 credits)
Paediatric Exercise and Health (20 credits)

Assessment methods

The delivery format for the course is largely based around seminar, practical, workshop and placement learning to integrate theory into practical sessions. Teaching sessions will include vocational training, seminar and exercise laboratory work, led by leading practitioners in the area of clinical exercise. You will be provided with a personal tutor to assist with academic and pastoral issues.

The course has a problem-based learning approach and you will be assessed in a variety of ways with a focus on self-reflection and initiative and problem-based assignments. Here's how we assess you:

Vocational training (MCQ and case study)
Practical assessment
Applied essays
Case studies
Project report
Poster presentation


Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Course duration
MSc Full-time September 2017 - 1 years
MSc Part-time September 2017 - 2 years

Campus details

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Key information

University Admissions Centre
Telephone number: 
023 9284 5566