Sports and Exercise Nutrition MSc
Nutrition plays an essential role in exercise and sport as it is important for health, adaptations to physical activity and exercise, weight maintenance, and exercise performance - not just for elite and pro athletes, but for recreational exercisers too. Nutrition influences nearly every process in the body involved in energy production and recovery from exercise.
This online MSc in Sports and Exercise Nutrition provides a scientific basis for sport nutrition that covers the principles, background, and rationale of current evidence-based nutrition guidelines and advice. On completion of this distance learning course, you will be equipped with new in-depth knowledge and skills that can be applied to your daily practise immediately.
Next intake: 2022 MarchKey Facts
This online, distance learning masters is specifically designed for current and aspiring sport and exercise nutritionists who have a desire to upskill and broaden their scope of practise within the field.
The successful completion of this sports nutrition masters degree will enable graduates to:
- To provide an advanced study of issues in sport and exercise nutrition to facilitate the implementation of evidence-based care and best practice.
- To prepare for and/or develop skills at a professional level, or as preparation for research or further study in the area.
- To enable graduates to develop positive and critical attitudes towards key areas in sport and exercise nutrition, so as to reflect the dynamism and vibrancy of the environment.
- To develop the ability to apply knowledge and understanding of sport and exercise nutrition to complex and/or unpredictable situations, both systematically and creatively.
- To improve nutrition advice in the context of sport and exercise, including within an international context.
- To develop the ability to convert theory into practice from a critical and informed perspective in order to advance the effectiveness of sport and exercise nutrition.
- To develop and enhance a range of general transferable skills and attributes, which, while being highly appropriate to a career in sport and exercise nutrition, are not restricted to this.
- To develop lifelong learning skills, including engendering an enthusiasm for sport and exercise nutrition and for learning more generally as part of continuing personal and professional development.
- To enable graduates to confidently work in teams in multi-agency, multi-cultural and/or international contexts.
- To develop skills in leadership, adaptability, critical thinking and self-reflection.
University of Gibraltar
Established in 2015, the University of Gibraltar is a vibrant and ambitious university.
The institution is committed to high-quality teaching and learning, world-leading research and academic freedom. Its principal mission is to shape personal and professional futures, through the pursuit of education, training and research. Partnerships with business, government, charitable foundations, healthcare and educational institutions lie at the heart of its ethos.
Accreditors and Endorsers
UEMS - European Union of Medical Specialists
This postgraduate diploma has also been accredited by the European Union of Medical Specialists (UEMS)
Nicki de Villers
Current Role: Founder and Consulting Dietician, The Sports Performance Hub
Nicki graduated as a dietitian at the University of Pretoria and then completed a postgraduate diploma through...
Next intake: 2022 March Key Facts
Why Study with Learna
We have over 10 years’ experience delivering online courses, giving you access to flexible, affordable distance learning in partnership with world-leading educators.
Value for money
Distance learning allows us to work with the worldwide industry-leading professionals.
Get a PgDip from £3,900 or an MSc from £7,500 - the most affordable courses of their kind in the UK.
Pay in instalments.
Boost your career
Get a postgraduate qualification in just 1 calendar year instead of 2 academic years.
40% of our alumni reported an increase in salary 2 years after studying with us.
Learn online. No fixed study times mean you can log in and learn whenever and wherever.
Multidisciplinary - study in a group of doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals.
15:1 student tutor ratio. We have a 92% student satisfaction rate.
Who is this course for?
This online, distance learning masters is specifically designed for current and aspiring sport and exercise nutritionists who have a desire to upskill and broaden their scope of practise within the field. These individuals would typically be sport & exercise scientists, sports medicine physicians, physiotherapists, nutritionists, dietitians and personal trainers
How Will I Learn?
You will be supported throughout your studies by a committed team of internationally recognised educational experts.
Our courses are conducted entirely online through self-directed distance learning. You’ll receive guidance throughout your course with tutor-stimulated academic discussions, which are based on clinically-rich case scenarios.
These usually occur within groups of 10-20 students, allowing you to clearly communicate with both your tutor and fellow students.
CurriculumThis online sports and exercise nutrition masters is a two year course, consisting of eight modules (180 credits) with the first 120 credits deriving from the postgraduate diploma. The second year of the Sports and Exercise Nutrition MSc starts with an initial 10 week online module that will develop skills in critical appraisal and knowledge of research methodologies. Students then complete the professional project module, which consists of a 1,500 word proposal and 10,500 word professional project (dissertation).
This module aims to develop the student’s understanding of the different physiological systems and concepts of the human body. Students will be able to develop an appreciation of how these systems contribute to normal physiological functioning during homeostasis and imbalance.
- Musculoskeletal system, including power and strength
- Cardiovascular system, respiration and aerobic fitness
- Neuro-endocrine system
- Immune system
- Fluid, electrolyte balance and thermoregulation
- Principles and components of fitness
- Demonstrate a systematic, extensive and comparative knowledge and understanding of the importance of an in-depth knowledge of physiology and health
- Critically analyse the mechanisms for the integration of metabolism at molecular, cellular and whole-body levels in health.
This module aims to develop the student’s practical and theoretical skills essential to understand the digestive system and the requirements of human nutrition to optimise health, especially in the terms of the relevant evidence-based guidelines and the latest research relating to food and health.
The student will develop analytical skills to enable them to assess the adequacy of nutritional intake as applied to general populations and subgroups of populations to include ethnicity and/or cultural differences. An awareness of the effect of nutrient deficiencies and excesses on health and an appreciation of the role of diet in various nutrition related diseases will be developed.
The student will also be provided with the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge of professional conduct, good working practice and competency in nutritional assessment.
- Digestion, absorption and excretion
- Energy, macronutrients
- Dietary assessment and recommended intakes
- Contribution of nutritional deficiencies to disease
- The effects of disease on nutrition requirements
- Critically analyse the validity and reliability of techniques to assess energy intake.
- Demonstrate a systematic, extensive and comparative knowledge and understanding of nutrients, the metabolism thereof and their role in health.
- Demonstrate a systematic, extensive and comparative knowledge and understanding to assess, plan and evaluate evidence-based nutrition guidelines for populations, taking into account all the relevant factors including nutrition science, culture, ethnicity, activity levels and special needs.
This module aims to develop the student’s theoretical understanding and appreciation of the integration between physiological and biochemical responses to physical activity. This will include analysis and assessment of testing methods available. It also aims to help students develop the knowledge and skills to translate the principles of Sport and Exercise Nutrition into foods and eating patterns appropriate to client lifestyles.
- Carbohydrate metabolism
- Lipid metabolism
- Protein and amino acid metabolism in muscle
- The regulation of ATP synthesis in skeletal muscle
- Physiological adaptations to exercise
- Laboratory techniques and field testing in sport and exercise nutrition
- Critically analyse the varying physiological effects of different exercise intensities.
- Demonstrate a systematic, extensive and comparative knowledge and understanding to select relevant laboratory and field-testing techniques for the assessment of health and performance within the scope of practice of a sport and exercise nutrition practitioner.
- This module aims to develop the student’s practical and theoretical skills essential to designing, delivering and monitoring performance nutrition programs for different sporting modalities. Students will be taught to examine the influence of nutrition on sport and exercise performance and to explore the role of nutritional strategies during the preparation for, participation in and recovery from exercise. It also aims to help students develop the knowledge and skills to translate the principles of Sport and Exercise Nutrition into foods and eating patterns appropriate to the lifestyle of athletes with the aim of optimising performance at training and/or competition.
- Intake prior to training or competition
- Intake during training or competition
- Post exercise or training recovery
- Metabolic effects, efficacy, health, safety and legal aspects of ergogenic aids
- Nutritional education of athletes
- Critically evaluate the theoretical basis for the metabolic effects, efficacy, health, safety and legal aspects of ergogenic aids of all kinds including pharmacologically active agents, sports foods, sports drinks, and supplements.
- Formulate an approach to developing individual sports nutrition advice that takes into account the demands of the chosen sport and the individual’s needs and circumstances.
- Critically understand behaviour change and theories supporting behaviour change.
This module aims to develop the student’s theoretical knowledge of body composition. This includes the process of assessment, recommendations for different sporting modalities and the influence of diet configuration on body weight regulation.
- Body composition and its assessment
- Body composition and its regulation for health
- The effect of body Composition on sport performance
- Enhancing muscle mass
- Decreasing fat mass
- The impact of psychological, physiological and health effects of changing body composition on the athlete
- Demonstrate a systematic, extensive and comparative knowledge and understanding of the physiological, environmental and behavioural factors that influence body composition, with a particular focus on dietary composition and intake (both generalised and individualised), and its impact on health & performance.
- Critically evaluate laboratory and field-testing methods used to assess body composition, and demonstrate their appropriate selection and interpretation, informing practice.
This module aims to develop the student’s knowledge, interpretation and practical skills essential to sport related nutritional considerations. Students will be taught on various approaches to address relative energy deficiency in sport, the female athlete, the travelling and injured athlete; as well as nutritional support for the disabled, young and ageing athlete. Students will be guided through the approach of weight making sports, e.g. boxing, mixed martial arts, jockeys, etc.
- Relative energy deficiency in sport (RED-S)
- Relative energy deficiency in sport (RED-S) - female athlete
- Travelling athlete
- The injured athlete
- Special populations
- Making weight (boxing, MMA, jockeys etc)
- Critically formulate sport and exercise nutrition advice for an individual, taking into account the demands of the chosen sport, the sport related nutrition considerations, and the individuality of the participant.
- Critically evaluate and monitor interventions over time implementing appropriate outcome measures and adjusting the nutrition strategy as appropriate.
- Analyse, and understand how and when to refer problems (e.g. Medical, nutritional, psychological) outside your area of expertise.
Aims of the module:
To prepare students for an independent research-based project by developing skills in selecting, appraising, discriminating, using evidence and appropriate research/investigative methods to address relevant topics for investigation.
Topics may include:
- Quantitative Studies
- Statistical Analysis Interpretation
- Interpreting the Evidence
- Meta-analysis and Systematic Reviews
- Qualitative Studies
- Evidence Appraisal: Interpreting, Weighing and Synthesizing the Evidence
- Audit, Governance and Quality Improvement, Health Economics
- Preparing a Research Proposal: Research Committees, Consent, Ethics, Probity and Literature Review
- Critically analyse and interpret research to assess its application to delivery/service development.
- Select and apply different methodological approaches and tools to answer research questions in your field of practice.
Aims of the module:
- To formulate the research question that you seek to answer.
- To develop an ability to critically evaluate areas of professional practice.
- To critically appraise specific areas of clinical, research and organisational practice.
- To develop skills in independent research and study.
- To develop skills relevant to scientific publications.
Synopsis of module content:
- Systematic literature review and appraisal of the evidence.
- Audit of non-patient data/organisational audit.
- Review and implementation of evidence-based practice.
- Literature review and qualitative or quantitative research proposal.
- Case(s)-based and quality of service review with critical appraisal.
- Case report, review of literature and organisational assessment.
- Secondary data analysis.
- Design and undertake research and a development project related to sport and exercise nutrition in order to produce an extensive piece of literature which may be suitable for peer-reviewed publication.
- Critically evaluate practice and suggest improvements or change.
- Incorporate knowledge of the research process in developing services appropriately.
The Sports and Exercise Nutrition MSc places assessments at the heart of the learning process through the employment of clinical scenarios to enhance problem-solving, critical analysis and evidence-based care. Since the scenarios act as a focus for learning and assessment, the two are intrinsically linked.
The first seven modules on the course have the same assessment format and for all modules, you will be assigned a dedicated expert tutor. Your tutor will then facilitate case discussions with the group, whilst monitoring, assessing and marking your work throughout. You will also participate in a combination of module activities that may be group and/or individual based, dependent on the module.
These innovative teaching methods enable you to envisage the translation of your studies into your every day work and practice.
For the final module of the course you will be required to produce a piece of work based upon a project that is relevant to your practice. Once you have selected a specific project, you will submit a project summary/proposal of approximately 1,500 words. Following the approval of your proposal you will then complete a 10,500 word professional project.
To produce the professional project you will continue to study online. Much of the work is self-directed, however you will receive guidance from your tutor throughout the module.
Due to the online nature of the course, you will be expected to regularly login and participate in the course - ideally on a daily basis. Students are recommended to spend around two hours per day on their studies. Our dedicated Student Support Team are also available to help with any problems you may face. From navigating our online platform to advising you on deadlines, our team can assist with any questions or challenges you may have along the way.
- Every week students are presented with two/three clinical case-based scenarios that are reflective of every day clinical practice and research.
- Your tutor will post a number of questions and prompts to aid students in a formal discussion of each case.
- These discussions are facilitated throughout by your tutor and are then assessed at the end of every module.
For this assessment, students will work on a group assignment and/or an individual assignment.
- Group assignments are designed to hone skills in the multidisciplinary, holistic approach to modern treatments and patient management by requiring group participation in a single piece of work.
- Individual assignments are designed to hone skills in academic career progression through such tasks as reviewing papers, developing scientific posters or abstracts, peer-reviewing, social media activities, patient information leaflets, and essays.
The reflective journal is used by students throughout each module to monitor personal progress. This is guided by weekly feedback from your tutor and is graded at the end of every module. The journal typically includes the following:
- Initial expectations and reasons for taking the course.
- Module and/or personal learning objectives.
- Description of events, issues and learning points within current personal practice.
- Change in every day practice due to knowledge gained on each module.
- A description of what has been learned during the module.
This module runs over a 8 week period and is designed to develop skills in critical appraisal and knowledge of research methodologies. The module consists of mandatory formative assessment activities to support your learning and development prior to the Professional Project module.
Students will work with their supervisor to submit a professional project proposal for their chosen topic.
Students will deliver an abstract (1000 words) outlining their proposal and, if deemed necessary, develop and submit documentation for the University’s ethical committee approval.
- Students will create a dissertation, the theme of which has been developed in discussion with their tutor.
- Supervision will normally involve direct online support involving planned progress, supporting research activity and reading student work.
- Supervisors and students will agree on a communications plan, which may involve emails or online chats. Some students may employ the use of freely available chat or audio conferencing facilities for live discussion with supervisors.
- Students will have access to online forums where they can develop their research capabilities together.
- All communications with tutors will be logged on the Professional Project forum by the student, and consists of brief summaries of discussion.
Since our courses are conducted entirely online, they are accessible to both UK and international registered healthcare professionals.
Applicants will typically hold a first degree or equivalent (including international qualifications) in a relevant professional healthcare or related field, such as a medical or nursing degree.
Registered healthcare professionals without these recognised qualifications will be considered on an individual basis and a wide range of prior experience may be taken into account. In some cases, applicants may be asked to submit a piece of work for assessment in order to confirm that they are able to work comfortably at postgraduate level, and demonstrate the requisite clinical and professional knowledge.
- A copy of your updated CV including your address and date of birth.
- A copy of your undergraduate degree certificate.
- The name and email address of someone who is able to provide a reference, this can be a work colleague, employer or former tutor.
- A detailed personal statement explaining why you would like to undertake the course.
- A copy of your proof of English competency (see below).
English Language Requirements
Proficiency in the English language is also essential to completing our courses. If English is NOT your first language, we ask for proof of competency during the application process. We are able to accept an IELTS overall score of 6.0 (with a minimum of 5.5 for each band) or an equivalent qualification.
If you do not meet these requirements, please don’t worry. You can also contact our admissions team on [email protected] for more information on the qualifications we accept.
Should you have already successfully completed the 1 year Postgraduate Diploma and wish to convert to the MSc and complete only the second year of the programme this is possible. Please contact our admissions department [email protected] to find out more.
Fee payments may be made via the following options:
|Deposit payable on acceptance†||£830||£830|
|1st May 2022||£830||£8,050|
|1st July 2022||£830|
|1st September 2022||£830|
|1st November 2022||£830|
|1st January 2023||£830|
|1st March 2023||£650|
|1st May 2023||£650|
|1st July 2023||£650|
|1st September 2023||£650|
|1st November 2023||£650|
|1st January 2024||£650|
† Deposits are non-refundable