People are increasingly encouraged to undertake sport and exercise as part of a healthier lifestyle. Although this has a number of global health benefits, a related caveat is an increased risk of injury. Currently, sporting injuries commonly present to the health professional; these injuries present a unique challenge in terms of their aetiology, management and potential for recurrence.
Sport and Exercise medicine is now recognised as a specialist area and there are growing numbers of physicians and allied health professionals seeking to work in this diverse and exciting area. The teaching faculty comprises a balance of respected academics and clinical specialists in relevant fields of Sports Medicine, Physical Activity and Sports Biomechanics.
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This Masters programme has been developed in collaboration with various professional bodies. In particular, consultation with members of: the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Sports Medicine, the International Federation of Sports Physiotherapists, the Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine and the British Association of Sport and Exercise Medicine has informed our learning outcomes, module content and delivery. We have ensured that these are mapped directly to masters’ competencies as defined by the International Federation of Sports Physiotherapists.
The course is tailored towards clinical professionals working as medical doctors, or other health professionals including physiotherapists and podiatrists. It will provide the knowledge, critical awareness and transferable skills for physicians and allied health professionals aspiring to engage in the field of Sports Medicine. The primary focus will be to develop practitioners who understand the importance of evidence based and specialist reflective practice, who will enhance the health care of people who are involved in sport and exercise within the UK and Ireland and beyond.
Many members of the teaching staff hold a PGCE, PGCHEP, PGCHET, PGCUT or other teaching qualifications and are members of the Higher Education Academy. Several of the staff are engaged with the Sport and Exercise Sciences Research Institute (SESRI; CB, GD, CMcC, MM). Teaching staff have considerable research and practical experience that informs their teaching. In addition, many staff are qualified members of health-related professional bodies such as the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).
The teaching faculty includes a range of academics and professionals across the following specialist areas: orthopaedic surgery, sports podiatry, sports physiotherapy, consultant sports physicians, exercise and health, strength and conditioning, sports psychology, biochemistry and sports medicine research.
Full time or part time options are available. Students can enrol on the programme on a Full time (over 1 year; 3 semesters), or Part time basis (over 3 years; 6 semesters).
Teaching, Learning and Assessment
Teaching and Learning Methods include: lectures, case studies, tutorials, seminars, on line material; videos; access to graphical and anatomical models; problem based cases and scenarios, workshops, on line and face to face discussion groups, analysis of clinical data; practical exercises, demonstrations, literature searching and observation.
The learning outcomes of the course will be assessed through a combination of essay, examination, case studies, reflective practice, group and individual presentations and extended research project. These assessment methods will measure students’ knowledge and understanding of the subject as well as their intellectual and transferable skills.
The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.
Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:
the requirements of any professional, regulatory, statutory and accrediting bodies.
Attendance and Independent Study
As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until near the start date and may be subject to change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days of attendance will often be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.
Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10- or 20-credit modules and postgraduate course typically 15- or 30-credit modules.
The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.
Postgraduate Masters courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.
Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.
Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be via one method or a combination e.g. examination and coursework . Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes. You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessment. The precise assessment will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification and the assessment timetable. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Normally, a module will have four learning outcomes, and no more than two items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised.
Calculation of the Final Award
The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6 (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).
Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Masters degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.
All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study. In Masters degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.
Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.
The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 59% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.
Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (25%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (20%) or Lecturers (55%).
We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic staff (81%) are accredited fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) by Advanced HE - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.
The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise. The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff. This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.
Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.
Figures correct for academic year 2021-2022.
High quality apartment living in Belfast city centre adjacent to the university campus.
Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.
Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.
Optimising Exercise and Load: Effective monitoring and management
In order to optimise the performance of an athlete, it is essential to understand the key scientific and practical concepts of biomechanics, athlete monitoring and load considerations to prevent injuries, or optimise rehabilitation of an athlete's return to play. This module will advance the students' ability to observe and collect athlete data, analyse, interpret, act upon and communicate with the athlete and within, or across, multidisciplinary settings. This module draws upon the student's previous knowledge and skills to ensure a multifaceted approach to the development of professional practice in sports and exercise medicine.
Research Methods for Sports and Performance
This module is designed to enhance the knowledge and competencies of students to prepare them to undertake research in Physical Activity and Public Health; Psychology and Sports Nutrition. It focuses on the application of advanced elements in experimental design, conducting quantitative analysis, research synthesis and the presentation of data and findings. It equips students to review, conduct and commission research.
Research Project in Sports and Performance
Carrying out an original, independent piece of research from the formulation of a research question through to reporting findings in accordance with the conventions of the academic area is an important part of the research training provided by Masters level study. This module provides students with an opportunity for students to carry out an original independent piece of research within the area of their own profession, or special interest in sports and performance, and present findings in the form of a journal manuscript and a conference presentation.
In order to provide an optimal outcome for the sports person, it is essential to understand the physiological and psychological response to injury. Assessment skills, clinical reasoning and a range of treatment strategies are also essential for successful sports injury management and outcome. This module draws upon the student's previous knowledge and skills to ensure a holistic approach to the management of the injured athlete.
Sports Rehabilitation: Critical Thinking and Dynamic Practice
In order to provide optimal care to the injured athlete it is essential that health professionals working in the area of sport and exercise medicine are proficient in a wide range of assessment and monitoring skills, enabling successful rehabilitation planning and outcome. During this module the student will develop an advanced knowledge of the physiology of injury and repair at key points in the rehabilitation process allowing for tailored rehabilitation programmes to be developed across a range of sporting injuries.
Standard entry conditions
We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.
(1) An Honours or non-Honours degree from a University of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, from the Council for National Academic Awards, the National Council for Educational Awards, or the Higher Education and Training Awards Council or from an institution of another country which is recognised as being of an equivalent standard; OR an equivalent standard in a Postgraduate Certificate, Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma or an approved alternative qualification; AND (2) Provide evidence of competence in written English (GCSE grade C or equivalent); AND
(3) Be registered as a health professional with the relevant regulatory body or equivalent (ie UK - Health and Care Professions Council, IRL - CORU, or equlivalent)
In exceptional circumstances, where an individual has substantial and significant experiential learning, a portfolio of written evidence demonstrating the meeting of graduate qualities (including subject-specific outcomes, as determined by the Course Committee) may be considered as an alternative entrance route. Evidence used to demonstrate graduate qualities may not be used for exemption against modules within the programme.
English Language Requirements
English language requirements for international applicants The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.
Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.
All students enrolling on this course will already possess a relevant professional qualification (eg. medical doctor, physiotherapist, podiatry). It is anticipated that most students on this programme will be employed or will be seeking employment within the National Health Service, Social, voluntary sectors, or in independent practice. The programme therefore has significant clinical and vocational relevance. The specialist knowledge and postgraduate level skills gained will enhance students’ opportunities to progress in their careers.
We have also ensured that the content of the programme meets the postgraduate education requirements and levels of competencies for accreditation, set out by key professional bodies: 1). Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Sport and Exercise Medicine (Physios in Sport UK) and 2). International Federation of Sports Physiotherapists.
Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) statistics provided by the University Careers Service for the last three years show that a significant cohort of students graduating from Ulster with sport and exercise related undergraduate awards go on to full-time employment (statistics are available on request). It is anticipated that this programme will allow the Faculty and the USA to continue its excellent track record of producing multi-skilled graduates who are attractive to a range of employers. This will be achieved in conjunction with the Career Development Centre at the University, with all students encouraged to avail of the relevant employability training and support.
Fees and funding
Fees (total cost)
Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland and EU Settlement Status Fees
Where the postgraduate course selected offers multiple awards (e.g. PG Cert, PG Dip, Masters), please note that the price displayed is for the complete Masters programme.
Postgraduate certificates and diplomas are charged at a pro-rata basis.
It is important to remember that costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges) and normal living will need to be covered in addition to tuition fees.
Where a course has additional mandatory expenses (in addition to tuition fees) we make every effort to highlight them above. We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals, as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free Wi-Fi are also available on each of the campuses.
There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.
Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as a part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs, as well as tuition fees.