Sports and Exercise Medicine Postgraduate Diploma

Team: Sports and Exercise Medicine Team
In partnership with: University of South Wales

The Postgraduate Diploma course in Sports and Exercise Medicine is based on the specialist training curriculum developed by the Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine. Course Code: QPDP001

Next Intake: 2019 Sept

Course Information

Diploma MSc is a collaborative partner of the University of South Wales. On successful completion of this course, you will receive a University of South Wales Postgraduate Diploma.

Delivered over one year, the online part time distance learning Postgraduate Diploma in Sports and Exercise Medicine course is specially developed for busy health professionals. Comprising of 6 modules (120 credits), each of 6 weeks duration.

The Sports and Exercise Medicine course is designed to be practical and clinically focused. On completion of the Postgraduate Diploma, students will have obtained:

  • A systematic understanding of the basics of Sports medicine, exercise physiology including the behavioural and life science basis.
  • A critical awareness of current issues affecting the care of patients with certain sports related injuries and the tailored benefits of exercise.
  • An advanced knowledge of Sports and Exercise Medicine including physiology and anatomy of exercise.
  • An ability to use knowledge to adapt professional practice to meet the changing demands of health care systems.

It is envisaged that most students will be in primary care or aspiring to such posts. The course is designed to be relevant to all health professionals who have exposure to people with sports related injuries and is particularly relevant to: Physiotherapists, Sports Therapists, Chiropractors and Primary Care Physicians with a specialist interest in Sports and Exercise Medicine.

Course Structure

The Postgraduate Diploma course is based on the Royal College of Physicians Specialty Training curriculum. It therefore meets the highest standards for SEM education and would enhance national and international employability. The online course lasts one calendar year and is a part time distance learning course. It consists of 6 modules per year, each of 6 weeks duration.

Aims of the module:

  • To develop an understanding of anatomy and physiology as applied to sports and exercise performance and understand the benefits and contraindications.
  • To develop an understanding of the psychology of sport and exercise performance for the wider population.

Synopsis of module content:

  • Anatomy and physiology of muscle, innervation, function and biochemistry.
  • Role of calcium, vitamin D, protein and hormonal control of muscle.
  • Types of exercise (aerobic/anaerobic) and types of exercise programmes/individualising exercise.
  • Training regimes – endurance, power, HIT, improving performance.
  • Psychology of exercise. How to motivate the patient to exercise.
  • How to motivate the athlete.

On completion of this module the student will be able to:

  1. Critically appraise the anatomy, physiology and psychology of sport and exercise performance.
  2. Individualise specific training/exercise programmes for the patient/sportsman.
  3. Understand and apply the motivating factors that limit exercise participation in subjects.

Aims of the module:

  • To develop an understanding of the benefits of exercise in chronic diseases and its impact on the health of populations including behaviour change.
  • To develop an understanding of how exercise can be tailored appropriately to the individual with chronic disease.

Synopsis of module content:

  • Impact of reduced exercise upon the individual and across populations.
  • Limitations of disease and population characteristics upon exercise or sport.
  • Types of exercise appropriate for diseases.
  • Evidence based benefits of exercise in specific conditions/disorders/diseases.
  • Introducing sports and exercise programmes across populations.

On completion of this module the student will be able to:

  1. Critically appraise impact of exercise upon populations and chronic disease.
  2. Understand and apply exercise programmes for populations and specific chronic disease states.
  3. Understand and apply the benefits and contra-indications of exercise for specific chronic disease.

Aims of the module:

  • To understand approaches to the prevention of injury across a variety of common sports and exercises.
  • To understand exercise techniques to reduce injury in sport and exercise.
  • To develop an understanding of the evidence relating to products and equipment designed to reduce injury in sport and exercise.
  • To develop an understanding of the rehabilitation of sportsmen as well as illness regarding return to play and return to exercise.

Synopsis of module content:

  • Specific programmes of exercise designed to prevent injury.
  • Evidence based equipment and techniques used in the prevention of and rehabilitation of injury.
  • Evidence and guidelines regarding return to play following injury.
  • Evidence and guidelines relating to return to exercise following acute illness/disease.

On completion of this module the student will be able to:

  1. Critically appraise the evidence relating to prevention of injury in sport and exercise across a spectrum of health and disease.
  2. Have an understanding of the guidance relating to the return to play or exercise of injured sportsmen as well as subjects with acute illness/disease.
  3. Have an understanding of devices and equipment used for the prevention of injury across a variety of sports and disease.

Aims of the module:

  • To develop an understanding of the common injuries sustained in sport and exercise activities.
  • To develop an understanding of the investigation of common sport and exercise related injuries.

Synopsis of module content:

  • Common injuries sustained whilst undertaking exercise/sport relating to musculoskeletal injuries (Muscular injury, common bone injury, neurological injury, lacerations, tendon and joint injuries).
  • Common and uncomplicated injury of the entire body: head, neck, lumbar spine, cardiovascular, upper and lower limb.
  • Injury associated with prescribed exercise programmes.
  • Avoidance of injury and evidence based devices to reduce or eliminate injury.
  • Accurate diagnosis of injury through appropriate history and examination.

On completion of this module the student will be able to:

  1. Have an understanding of common injuries sustained in sport and exercise and an ability to apply this information to make an accurate diagnosis.
  2. Develop an appropriate approach to the diagnosis and investigation of a patient presenting with a sport/exercise related injury.
  3. Understand and apply skills in investigating the individual presenting with a sport/exercise related. injury
  4. Understand the investigations used in the investigation of injury and apply these to the individual.

Aims of the module:

  • To develop an understanding of the management of common injuries associated with sports and exercise.
  • To develop an understanding of the approach to rehabilitation following illness.

Synopsis of module content:

  • Specific approaches to the management of exercise and sports-related injuries.
  • Rehabilitation of individuals with sports related injuries.
  • Role of exercise in the rehabilitation of individuals suffering illness/disease.

On completion of this module the student will be able to:

  1. Critically appraise the appropriate management of individuals with sport and exercise related injury.
  2. Individualise specific rehabilitation programmes for subjects with injury.
  3. Understand and apply appropriate exercise related rehabilitation of individuals with illness including the role of exercise in behaviour modification.

Aims of the module:

  • To develop an understanding of the role of constituent healthcare professionals in the management of subjects with injury.
  • To develop the interaction of healthcare professionals in the management of sports and exercise related injury.
  • To develop educational strategies used in the management of subjects with acute and chronic injury.

Synopsis of module content:

  • Educational strategies employed in the management of acute and chronic injury.
  • Role of the multidisciplinary team in the management of the injured patient.
  • Multidisciplinary approaches to encouraging exercise across the population.
  • The evolving role of the sports physician, nurse, physiotherapist and biomechanist in sports and exercise medicine.

On completion of this module the student will be able to:

  1. Have an ability to critically appraise the multidisciplinary approach to the management of sports and exercise related injury.
  2. Understand the evolving role of the healthcare professional in sport and exercise related medicine.
  3. Understand and apply the educational principles of sport and exercise medicine.


Online Postgraduate Diploma in Sports and Exercise Medicine

The course puts assessment at the heart of learning by using clinical scenarios to facilitate problem-solving, critical analysis and evidence-based care. The scenarios act as both the focus for learning and assessment thus embedding assessment within the learning process.

Each of the 6 modules has the same assessment format. Due to the online nature of the course, students are expected to login and participate in the course regularly throughout the module (ideally on a daily basis).

Students are split into groups of 10-15 students and are assigned a dedicated expert tutor who:

  • Facilitates clinical case discussions with the group.
  • Monitors, assesses and marks each student throughout the module.
  • Students use the skills gained during the lectures to engage with the different activities (see below).

Each week, students are presented with 2/3 clinical cases with associated questions.  These cases are designed to promote discussion within a specific clinical area. Students:

  • Complete the questions.
  • Discuss the cases and issues surrounding the cases in a discussion forum.

Students discuss the cases within their tutor groups, facilitated by their tutor.  They use an online discussion forum to write well referenced, scientifically written postings.

The individual portfolio or journal is a learning log/diary. The purpose is for the student to reflect on their personal progress throughout the module. Students would typically include the following:

  • Initial expectations of the course, reasons for undertaking the course.
  • Module and/or personal learning objectives.
  • Description of events/issues/learning points within their personal practice.
  • Examples of change in personal practice due to knowledge gained throughout the module.
  • A description of what has been learned during the module.

Students are asked to think reflectively about what they are learning from each module, how this differs from their current practice, and how they can apply what they have learned through the course to their everyday practice as a health professional. Referencing would not typically be found in a learning portfolio nor would a simple list of points learned.

The group activity is designed to encourage group dynamics catering to the multidisciplinary nature within the field of Sports and Exercise Medicine. Students are required to produce the following:

  • A group submission.
  • An individual submission.

Students are also marked according to their contribution to the group submission.

The group is given a specific task to accomplish over the 6 weeks of the module e.g. Develop an appropriate screening method for your clinic. Students are required to write well referenced, scientific reports.

  • 30 single best answer (SBA) questions.
  • One hour online assessment.
  • Questions are based on the clinical aspects of the module and their discussion topics.

Teaching Methods

Each module has the same format. Using an online platform and one tutor per 10-15 students, the self-directed distance learning is guided by tutor stimulated discussion based on rich case scenarios. Group projects are undertaken alongside independent projects. Reflective practice is recorded in a reflective portfolio to help students consider how the learning can be translated into everyday work and practice.

Teaching starts with an induction day. Students may attend the event in the UK (Glyntaff campus, University of South Wales) and also online via a webinar.

They are a pre-course organiser, giving students the tools required to undertake the online course such as:

  • Scientific writing
  • Levels of evidence
  • Harvard referencing
  • Reflective writing

The day gives an opportunity to meet face to face with tutors/other students prior to the online course.

Students are not required to attend the induction day however those who attend do benefit as they get a "jump start" to the course. Students who are not able to attend, should request a skype/telephone call to orientate them onto the course and are advised to review the slides.

Entry Requirements

Applicants will usually possess a 2:1 first degree and a professional qualification and will typically be Doctors, Physiotherapists, Sports Therapists or other Allied Healthcare Professionals currently working within a clinical environment.

Applicants who do not possess a healthcare related degree will be reviewed on an individual basis. Applications will be judged on the individual specifics of background and qualifications including ability to work at postgraduate level (applicants may be asked to submit a piece of work for assessment to confirm that they are able to work comfortably at postgraduate level and demonstrate requisite clinical/professional knowledge).

Applicants should submit copies of the following with their application:

  • Qualification certificates
  • One written reference
  • IELTS with an overall score of 6.0, including 5.5 for each of the bands

Language requirements for overseas applicants are in line with USW requirements for postgraduate study.

How much is the course?

Total Course Fees for UK/EU & International Students for September 2019: £3900

Please Note: These are the fees for a single year.

Fee payments may be made via the following options:

Date Option A Option B Option C
Deposit payable on acceptance £480 £480 £480
1st September 2019 £3,420 £570
1st October 2019 £1,140 £570
1st November 2019 £570
1st December 2019 £1,140 £570
1st January 2020 £570
1st February 2020 £1,140 £570

Deposits are non-refundable

Student Stories

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The diploma has awoken my middle aged brain...

"and I have found that I am loving hoovering up new knowledge. There is a lot of work, but it is fascinating work – which I am finding really enjoyable – so much so I am thinking of continuing into an MSc.Read full story..."

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