Sports and Exercise Medicine MSc


Fact file

Qualification name:Sports and Exercise Medicine
Duration:1 year full-time; 2-4 years part-time
Entry requirements:2.1 OR pass at MBBS (and other medical degrees where no classification is awarded as standard)
Including:Degree in a relevant subject, eg Physiotherapy, Sports Therapy and other allied health sciences
IELTS:7.0 (no less than 6.0 in any element)
Start date:September
Campus:Queen's Medical Centre

Course Overview


Established in 1991, the MSc Sports and Exercise Medicine is one of the longest running SEM courses in the country and is constantly updated and improved. This successful programme is recognised nationally and internationally as one of the top sports and exercise medicine courses for the rounded sports medicine specialist. 

This course is now delivered as part of the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine – East Midlands (NCSEM-EM), which is a London 2012 legacy funded project aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of the nation. This MSc will provide you with the knowledge and skills to manage sports injuries and illness and to explore the relationship between physical activity and health.

Key facts
  • Consultants from medicine, physiotherapy and other professions contribute to the course. They include eminent surgeons, sports physicians and physiotherapists holding prominent positions which link the course to a wide range of organisations, from the English Rugby Football Union to the Birmingham Royal Ballet.
  • Includes a two-day programme in pre-hospital trauma management on the field of play (EMMiITS), which is RCSEd Faculty of Pre-Hospital Care approved level 2.
  • Opportunity to gain first-hand experience of providing pitch side emergency medical care for athletes. There are also opportunities to do placement with professional teams.
  • Opportunity to attend musculoskeletal, sports medicine or sports physiotherapy clinics to gain clinical experience.
  • Study in this field has opened up varied and stimulating new career options for a large number of health care professionals.
What our students say

"Most foreign students come to UK just for a foreign degree that could be helpful for their future career. It turned out that MSc Sports Medicine course brought me some valuable abilities that lead me to a better life and interesting experience."

The course is led by a knowledgeable and enthusiastic team. The taught modules covered a wide spectrum of subjects, and enhanced my understanding of sports and exercise medicine tremendously. Overall, an extremely informative and genuinely enjoyable course.”

Enjoyable and challenging course, well organised, generally supportive staff and lecturers. A good range of assessments and provided a solid base in sports and exercise medicine.”

Exposure to a number of different sports and the sports medicine side of these specific sports. The physiology lectures were very good and delivered by two very knowledgeable lecturers.”

Who can apply?

This MSc course is suitable for healthcare professionals, including physiotherapists and trainee doctors across many specialties, for example, Sports and Exercise Medicine, Orthopaedics, Accident and Emergency, and General Practice.

Achievements and highlights

Staff at the Centre was invited to guest edit the 2014 autumn edition of BASEM Today. View a copy.




Course Details


The MSc Sports and Exercise Medicine can be taken full-time over one year or part-time over two to four years. As an MSc student, you will study a series of core modules in sports and exercise medicine. In addition, you will take a compulsory project and dissertation module which includes research methods tutorials. This is an exciting opportunity to undertake research on a subject related to sports and exercise medicine or exercise physiology under the supervision of an appropriate member of academic staff.

This course can also be taken as a Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) by those who do not wish to complete a research project and dissertation. The PGDip can be taken full-time over 9 months or part-time over 18 months.


The syllabus is covered by lectures, seminars, sport placements, anatomy teaching in our dissection room, eLearning and practical sessions. The course includes a two-day programme in Emergency Medical Management in Individual and Team Sports (EMMiITS).


For full-time students teaching is usually delivered on Tuesdays and Wednesdays during the semesters (from end of September to mid-June). The other weekdays are intended for private study, production of written reports and presentations, sports placements, clinic attendance and research. Students undertake a research project and prepare a dissertation in the second semester and this work will continue through the summer vacation. The dissertation is submitted by the end of August with a final viva voce examination towards the end of September.


The part-time course, identical in content to the full-time course, commences in September each year and is covered over the two, three or four year period. Teaching in Nottingham takes place one day a week during semester times (on Tuesdays in year 1, on Wednesdays in year 2), totalling approximately 33 days each year. As a part-time student, you will be expected to devote the equivalent of an additional one and a half days per week to private study, production of written reports and presentations, sports placements, clinic placement and research. Part-time students take their research project in the final year. The dissertation is submitted in August with a final viva voce examination in September.

Additional part-time study options are available for students to complete the MSc course over three or four years. Details of these study options can be obtained from the Course Administrator.

Your work will be assessed by a number of methods including both written and practical examinations, oral presentations, essays, reflective portfolio as well as the dissertation.



MSc students undertake all modules to gain 180 credits.

PGDip students undertake all modules, but not the Project and Dissertation module to gain 120 credits.


Module A34614 - Sports Injuries - Anatomy and assessment(30 credits)

The overall aim of this module is to integrate the knowledge, skills and techniques required for the effective assessment and management of sports injuries. An integrated approach to functional anatomy and the application of specific assessment/examination procedures is adopted. This module strips back to the basics of underlying structural and surface anatomy and relating it to clinical presentation ensuring students have the foundations on which to build their clinical assessment of common sporting injuries.

Further information about this module.


Module A34628 - Clinical Sports Injuries (10 credits)

The overall aim of this module is to integrate the knowledge of common sporting injuries and approaches to management of regional and sport-specific injuries using research based evidence and current daily practice. The teaching is provided by many different lecturers, who are experts in their fields of sport and exercise medicine, thus providing you with up-to-date and knowledgeable tuition from key specialists.

Further information about this module.


Modules B14001 - Nutrition in Health and Exercise (20 credits) and B14005 - Muscle Physiology and Metabolism (20 credits)

Nutrition in Health and Exercise (B14001)

This module aims to provide students with the opportunity to develop an understanding of:

  • the principles of nutrition;
  • the essential nutrients, their metabolism and the energy requirements of exercise; 
  • the influence that dietary manipulation/management has on (a) resting metabolism and (b) exercise metabolism and performance; 
  • nutrient-gene interactions in healthy humans.

Further information about this module.

Muscle Physiology and Metabolism (B14005)

This module is designed to enable students to develop a strong understanding of the central roles that muscle metabolism and muscle mass play in deciding muscle functional outcomes in health and disease. A series of lectures, together with directed study, will lead students to focus a series of seminars on physiological integration and disease.

Further information about this module.


Module A34629 - Immediate and Pre-hospital Care of the Injured Athlete (10 credits)

This module includes the material required for the acquisition of a RCSEd Faculty of Pre-hospital Care approved level two “Emergency Medical Management in Individual and Team Sports (EMMiITS)” certificate, valid for three years. The module also provides an insight into specific issues associated with a range of sports.

Emergency Medical Management in Individual and Team Sports (EMMiITS)

This highly practical and intensive two day advanced emergency care on the field of play course will enable doctors, physiotherapists and other allied medical professionals who already hold a basic first aid certificate to improve upon their current basic skills under the guidance of a highly experienced and knowledgeable faculty of sports medicine practitioners, emergency care and basics doctors, physiotherapists, nurse practitioners and paramedics. 

Advanced discussions will occur on duty of care in sport, emergency airway management, extrication from the field of play, automated external defibrillation and BLS plus sports specific moulages focusing on common sporting traumas.

Candidates are required to attend the two day course in full and complete all three assessments in order to pass and be awarded a certificate for EMMiITS.

Sport placements

Students will be placed at selected University sports grounds to provide first aid cover at events. Placement with professional sport teams will also be arranged for students.

Further information about this module.


Module A34616 - Physical Activity in Health and Disease (30 credits)

This module will cover the current public health issues relating to exercise and health; the relationship between exercise and specific medical conditions; exercise under specific conditions and the practical aspects of the medical management in sport.

Further information about this module.


Module A34631 - Project and Dissertation (60 credits)

This module aims to provide the skills needed for designing, undertaking and analysing data from the research project.

It will involve the student undertaking a research project on a topic relevant to Sports and Exercise Medicine. Suitable project topics will be proposed by members of the MSc teaching staff. Students are also free to make their own suggestions for projects, which may or may not be deemed acceptable. (Student dissertations in previous yearsPDF format) A project supervisor will be appointed for each project. This allocation is made at the start of the academic year and the student is then expected to work on the project throughout the year.

This module also covers the main research methods relevant to the students’ research projects, the strengths and weaknesses of different types of study design, the key principles of research ethics, critical appraisal, and statistics, and how to undertake statistical analyses relevant to their research projects. This will be taught using a combination of tutorials, e-learning, formative assessments and computer practicals.

Further information about this module.





Home/EU students

Dr Vivien Lane Scholarship

Established in the memory of Dr Vivien Lane the Scholarship is currently open to any registered practitioner who has completed at least two years in practice as a vocationally qualified principal in Medical General Practice and who is studying Sports medicine and Injury Management whether on a full-time or part-time basis at a recognised medical training establishment in the UK. Further information is available online.

BASEM MSc in Sport and Exercise Medicine Bursary

The MSc in Sport and Exercise Medicine Bursary is available by application for all members of BASEM beginning a full-time or part-time course of study from September 2015. This award will become an annual award, ie also available for study commencing in September 2016. To be eligible to apply for these bursaries, individuals are required to already be BASEM members for 1 year preceding application.

The monetary award is £2,000 towards the full-time or part-time study fees for a MSc in Sport and Exercise Medicine qualification only.

Postgraduate loans from 2016

New Postgraduate Loans of up to £10,000 is available for students studying a taught or research Masters course commencing in September 2016/17. Further information is available online.

Learning Beyond Registration

Funded modules are available for health care professionals (non-medics)working in the East Midlands and having the support of their manager. These places are funded through the East Midlands Healthcare Workforce Deanery (SHA) contract with The University of Nottingham. To check if you qualify for funding please call +44 (0)115 823 1213 or email

The Graduate School at The University of Nottingham provides information on other internal and external sources of postgraduate funding.

International students

Opportunities for funding may be available to overseas students through the International Office at the University of Nottingham. These scholarships have closing dates for application normally in April/May each year. Most of the scholarships are now closed for applications.



Alumni destinations

On completion of the MSc course, our graduates become involved in a wide range of sport and exercise related activities from General Practice and consultants in Sports Medicine to the provision of medical care for professional athletes and teams. 

Graduates have gone on to successful careers including the Head of Sports Medicine for the Rugby Football League, the Chief Medical Officer to the England and Wales Cricket Board, the Director of Training and Conditioning for the New York Knicks Basketball team, Lead Physiotherapist for the Indian Cricket team, league football club physiotherapists and county cricket club doctors and physiotherapists.

Other achievements include winning the Health Specialist of the Year award in Dubai 2014 and presentation at various conferences.


Career prospects and employability

The acquisition of a masters degree demonstrates a high level of knowledge in a specific field. Whether you are using it to enhance your employability, as preparation for further academic research or as a means of vocational training, you may benefit from careers advice as to how you can use your new found skills to their full potential. Our Careers and Employability Service will help you do this, working with you to explore your options and inviting you to attend recruitment events where you can meet potential employers, as well as suggesting further development opportunities, such as relevant work experience placements and skills workshops.

Average starting salary and career progression 

In 2014, 98% of postgraduates in the School of Medicine who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £31,261 with the highest being £75,000.* 

*Known destinations of full-time home and EU postgraduates, 2013/14.

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Marina Skinner
School of Medicine
Academic Orthopaedics, Trauma and Sports Medicine
C Floor, West Block
Queen's Medical Centre
t:   +44 (0)115 823 1111
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