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Professional Doctorate in Sports and Exercise Medicine MSc

Course Description


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.

The clinical SEM course is aimed at doctors, physiotherapists and allied professionals with a strong musculoskeletal clinical background. We feel strongly that the range of backgrounds of the students provides students with a rounded education, drawing on the wide ranging clinical experience and different expertise of the students and lecturers.

Key facts

Clinical exposure - The MSc offers students the opportunity to sit in Sports Medicine clinics with consultant SEM doctors and physiotherapists. In these clinics the student will have exposure to all sections of the community, children, recreational athletes, elite athletes and the elderly. The student will see a wide ranging spectrum of musculoskeletal problems and first hand investigation and treatment.

Face to face teaching - One of the strengths of the Nottingham MSc is the face to face teaching that take place. This allows students real time interaction with clinicians, scientists and lecturers, enabling in depth exchange of knowledge and ideas. We believe that with this the student has a much greater understanding of the subject than with distance learning.

Pitch side exposure - Included in the fees is a Gold standard pitch side emergency care course (EMMiITS). This takes place at the beginning of the academic year and success in this course enables the student to undertake pitch side emergency care at the weekly BUCS matches. Students may wish to undertake a placement with a professional team and we will facilitate this whether ever possible.

Full and part-time option - As many of our students are practising professionals we have developed a range of study options to enable them to continue with their clinical practice whilst studying. The full time course is undertaken over one year. The part time course covers the same modules but can be taken over 2, 3, or 4 years.

Research projects - The research projects are a key strength of the course. Students are encouraged to undertake a project in a field of interest. However we acknowledge that not all students will be able to do this and we have a range of projects within the department that students can undertake, within both clinical SEM and also in nutrition and muscle physiology within the School of Life Sciences. International students have the opportunity to develop research and undertake research projects within their home country.

Course quality - The MSc has a faculty of excellent internal and external lecturers of all disciplines, all experts in their field. Many of the lecturers work at a national and international level in Sport and Exercise Medicine. 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.


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, which includes research methods tutorials, in addition to the compulsory project and dissertation module. 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. There are also a wide variety of optional modules to meet your specific interests.

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).

Compulsory Modules

Module A34614 - Sports Injury Anatomy (20 credits)

Module A34628 - Clinical Sports Injury (10 credits)

Module A34632 - Sports Injury Assessment (10 credits)

Module A34633 - Pitchside Care of the Injured Athlete (10 credits)

Module A34616 - Physical Activity in Health and Disease (20 credits)

Module A34621 - Research Methods (10 credits)

Module A34631 - Project and Dissertation: Sports and Exercise Medicine (60 credits)

Students can also choose modules totalling a further 40 credits from a selection of optional modules. Full details can be found online.

The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result may change for reasons of, for example, research developments or legislation changes. This list is an example of typical modules we offer, not a definitive list.


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.


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.

Visit the Sports and Exercise Medicine MSc page on the University of Nottingham website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Dr James Cheng

2890.jpg The most useful knowledge I have obtained from MSc course was the Exercise Physiology and Biochemistry component. As a physiotherapist, I was confident with the Orthopaedics part of the course, but like other course mates, I was also confused why I had to study 'muscle metabolism' as I thought I might not use it in the rest of my life anyway. However, when I started to have communication with sports coaches, I started to realise that what I have been taught about exercise physiology and biochemistry in the MSc Sports and Exercise Medicine course could actually explain the sport training theory and plan. The knowledge I have learned from MSc Sports and Exercise Medicine allowed me to help a sport team for developing training strategies, coaching education, and coordinating all kinds of support for elite athletes. This is all about sports performance and injury prevention.

After I completed my PhD in Nottingham, I was invited to join Taiwan track and field team based in a training camp in Berlin for half year before 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. I observed the training, competitions and had so many conversations with the athletes and coaches in the training camp. I was sent to a 10 days seminar of track and field as an interpreter for a group of Taiwanese national coaches. In the seminar I quickly understood that everything I learned from MSc Sports and Exercise Medicine course was to build up ideas in my mind about injury prevention. There is never just "overtraining" but always "wrong training strategy" that leads to sports injuries. As a medical staff, I need to know more about how an athlete actually got injured. The value of being a team medical staff with a degree in sports medicine is to be able to work with a sport coach for a better training environment, that includes training strategy, facilities, medical support, scientific support, nutrition strategy, travel plan...etc, it's not just medical treatment.

If someone from medical background is interested in starting a good adventure in sport, I would recommend her/him to take MSc Sports and Exercise Medicine in Nottingham, but it is not an easy master programme.

James Shih-Chung CHENG
Associate Professor & Director of Graduate Institute of Athletics and Coaching Science, National Taiwan Sport University

(Student Profile)

Qamar Siddiqi (NHS GP and part of the medical team at Stoke City FC)

3169.jpg "Working full time and doing the MSc on a part-time basis has taken a lot of grit and determination. The course requires significant time and attention to complete the assessments. Having completed my undergraduate course 12 years prior to starting my MSc, there was an initial culture shock with the amount of reading and studying required. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at University of Nottingham on the SEM course and feel equipped with the skills and knowledge to continue my interest and career in Sports Medicine.

The course is run with precision and excellent instruction from all of the very talented lecturers. The exposure to medical staff from a variety of sports has allowed a deeper understanding of the challenges of medical provision in elite athletes. The Library and studying facilities have been accessible and convenient. I particularly enjoyed the SEM clinics and the variety of areas covered in all the taught modules. I would highly recommend this course as a solid foundation for anyone wishing to pursue a career in Sports Medicine."

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Entry Requirements

2.1 degree (or international equivalent) in physiotherapy, sports therapy or related subject or pass at MBBS (and other medical degrees where no classification is awarded at standard); English language requirements: IELTS: 7.0 (with no less than 6.0 in any element).

Course Fees

Please see the University website for details

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