Sports and Exercise Nutrition MSc

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Looking to improve your knowledge and skills while advancing your career? Our brand new Sports and Exercise Nutrition MSc is designed for professionals in the field looking to upskill and broaden their scope, including sport and exercise scientists, sports medicine physicians, physiotherapists, nutritionists, dietitians, and GPs and nurse practitioners.

This flexible, part-time MSc sports nutrition will not only give you a solid foundation in nutrition, but also in physiology. Our master’s in sports nutrition online has been designed to align with the standards set by the Sport and Exercise Nutrition Register (SENr), the leading professional organisation for performance nutritionists in the UK and globally. No fixed timetable means busy professionals from all over the world can fit their postgraduate studies around their current work and life commitments with Learna | Diploma MSc’s sports nutrition courses.

Subject to validation

MSc Sport & Exercise Nutrition

Next intake: March 2025Key Facts

Commitment
Part-time
Exit Points
MSc
24 Months
Class Size
15 - 20
Application Deadline
TBC
Course start date
Format
100% Online
Total Fees
TBA
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Nutrition plays an essential role in exercise and sport as it is important for health, adaptations to physical activity, exercise, weight maintenance and exercise performance. It’s not just for elite and pro athletes, but for recreational exercisers too. Gain the specialist knowledge and expertise required to guide and support athletes with tailored nutritional strategies to improve strength, endurance and recovery. Or if you're a healthcare professional treating patients with lifestyle-related diseases, such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, you can apply the learning from this programme to encourage healthier dietary habits, leading to improved overall health and wellbeing.

The successful completion of our sports nutrition course will enable graduates to:

  • Provide an advanced study of issues in sport and exercise nutrition to facilitate the implementation of evidence-based care and best practice.
  • Prepare for and/or develop skills at a professional level, or as preparation for research or further study in the area.
  • Develop positive and critical attitudes towards key areas in sport and exercise nutrition, so as to reflect the dynamism and vibrancy of the environment.

Subject To Validation

This programme has not yet been validated by a University partner. We are accepting applications for this course on the basis that it will shortly be validated. Please note that all applications are subject to this validation being approved.


Subject to validation

Qualification:

Next intake: March 2025 Key Facts

Commitment
Part-time
Format
100% Online
Exit Points
MSc
24 Months
Duration
24 months
Class Size
15 - 20
Application Deadline
TBC
Course start date
TBC
Total Fees
TBA

Why Study a Sport & Exercise Nutrition Master's 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.

knowledge

100% Flexible

Our courses are 100% 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.

Experts

Expert Led

All of our programmes are authored and developed by world leading experts in their field.

Our faculty are selected due to their subject expertise, experience and teaching abilities to ensure the highest standards of educational excellence.

confidence

Career Boosting

Get a University Validated 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.

Who is this course for?

The part time, MSc sports nutrition distance learning 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 individuals suitable for our diploma in sports nutrition would typically be:

  • Sport & exercise scientists
  • Sports medicine physicians
  • Physiotherapists
  • Nutritionists
  • Dietitians

How Will I Learn?

You will be supported throughout your studies by a committed team of internationally recognised educational experts.

Our courses are conducted through our interactive online learning platform, log in daily whenever and wherever you want. No fixed timetable empowers you to study when it suits you

These usually occur within groups of 10-20 students, allowing you to clearly communicate with both your tutor and fellow students.

Curriculum

This online Sports and Exercise Nutrition Master's is a two year course, consisting of eight modules (180 credits) with 120 credits. The second year of the MSc in sports nutrition 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).

Year 1

Module Aims
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.

Module Content

  • 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

Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate a systematic, extensive and comparative knowledge and understanding of the importance of an in-depth knowledge of physiology and health.
  2. Critically evaluate current research and advanced scholarship in human physiology.
  3. Undertake critical evaluation of scenarios involving human physiology in sport and exercise and interpret these into current employment.
  4. Demonstrate a critical evaluation of the literature and successful decision awareness in human physiology to formulate appropriate solutions for the student’s practice; evidence-based decision making.
  5. Reflect on learning from prior experience, challenge preconceptions, remove subject and function boundaries in order to holistically integrate new knowledge to complex or novel situations.

Module Aims
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.

Module Content

  • Digestion, absorption and excretion
  • Energy, macronutrients
  • Micronutrients
  • Dietary assessment and recommended intakes
  • Contribution of nutritional deficiencies to disease
  • The effects of disease on nutrition requirements

Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate a systematic, extensive and comparative knowledge and understanding of nutrients, the metabolism thereof and their role in health.
  2. Critically evaluate current issues and research in human nutrition.
  3. Demonstrate a critical knowledge of the unique complexities of nutrition and the human mechanisms supporting this.
  4. Undertake critical evaluation of scenarios involving human nutrition in sport and exercise and interpret these into current employment.
  5. Critical evaluation of the literature and successful decision awareness in human nutrition to formulate appropriate solutions for the student’s practice; evidence-based decision making.

Module Aims
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.

Module Content

  • 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

Learning Outcomes

  1. 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.
  2. Take an international and ethical/sustainable perspective on nutrition practices in exercise.
  3. Merge theoretical facts, ideas and critically evaluate nutrition literature in support of sport and exercise.
  4. Application of combined professional knowledge with nutrition skills to improve exercise nutrition delivery in complex situations.
  5. Exercise of initiative, personal responsibility and ethical decision-making in complex and unpredictable situations.

Module Aims

  • 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.

Module Content

  • Intake prior to training or competition
  • Intake during training or competition
  • Post exercise or training recovery
  • Hydration
  • Metabolic effects, efficacy, health, safety and legal aspects of ergogenic aids
  • Nutritional education of athletes

Learning Outcomes

  1. 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.
  2. Demonstrate a critical awareness of current issues in sport and exercise nutrition informed by research and novel practice in the field.
  3. Demonstrate originality, insight and critical/reflective practice to solve problems and create innovative sport and exercise nutrition.
  4. Apply combined professional knowledge with nutrition skills to improve sport and exercise nutrition delivery in complex situations.
  5. Critical evaluation of the literature and successful decision awareness in sport and exercise nutrition to formulate appropriate solutions for the student’s practice; evidence-based decision making.

Module Aims
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.

Module Content

  • 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

Learning Outcomes

  1. 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.
  2. Merge theoretical facts, ideas and critically evaluate sport and exercise literature in support of body composition.
    3.Critically discriminate in the selection and use of evidence and techniques to address complex problems in sport and exercise settings involving body composition.
  3. Critically evaluate real-life sport and exercise nutrition dilemmas involving body composition, and interpret these into current employment.
  4. Reflect on learning from prior experience, challenge preconceptions, remove subject and function boundaries in order to holistically integrate new knowledge to complex or novel situations.

Module Aims
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.

Module Content

  • 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)

Learning Outcomes

  1. 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.
  2. Analyse, and demonstrate an understanding of how and when to refer problems (e.g. medical, nutritional, psychological) outside your area of expertise.
  3. Demonstrate critical awareness of current issues in sport and exercise nutrition, informed by research and novel practice in the field.
  4. Undertake critical thinking/reflection to provide judgement and suitable courses of action related to sport and exercise nutrition.
  5. Reflect on learning from prior experience, challenge preconceptions, remove subject and function boundaries in order to holistically integrate new knowledge to complex or novel situations.

Year 2

Research Methodologies and Critical Appraisal

  • To help students recognise, understand, interpret and apply methods used in healthcare research and critically appraise the various methodologies specific to research in the subject area.

Professional Project

  • To develop students’ ability to critically appraise specific areas of clinical, research and/or organisational practice and develop skills in independent research, study and writing for publication.

Content summary: Research Methodologies and Critical Appraisal

  • Terminology used in epidemiology and research studies such as prevalence, incidence, sensitivity, specificity, false positive and false negatives.
  • Interpreting graphical representation of epidemiological and statistical data such as Kaplan-Meier curves, forest plots and meta-analyses.
  • Calculations used in the assessment of research data such as relative risk, absolute risk and number needed to treat. Statistical tests and their applications including t-tests, ANOVA and chi-square.
  • Qualitative research methods.
  • Fundamentals of evidence-based practice and its application into the clinical setting.
  • Principles of health economics, audit and quality improvement/assurance systems.
  • Establishing patient registers and the value of disease-specific registers.
    Research into educational principles for both healthcare practitioner and patient.

Content Summary: Professional Project
This module will depend on the creation of a piece of work based upon a specific clinically related project relevant to the student’s practice. This project may comprise:

  • Literature review and appraisal of the evidence.
  • Audit of practice including organisational or clinical.
  • Review and implementation of evidence-based practice.
  • Qualitative or quantitative research (formal research involving human subjects is not anticipated).
  • Case(s)-based and quality of service review with critical appraisal.
  • Case report, review of literature and organisational assessment.

Learning outcomes
Knowledge and understanding:

  • Select and apply different methodological perspectives and tools to answer research questions in the field.
  • Critically analyse and interpret relevant research in the subject area.
  • Design and undertake a research/development project.
  • Critically evaluate practice and suggest improvements or change.
  • Incorporate knowledge of the research process in developing services appropriately.

Cognitive skills:

  • Critically analyse and interpret research to assess its application to delivery/service development.
  • Design and undertake a professional project related to the field of practice in order to produce an extensive piece of literature which may be suitable for peer-reviewed publication.

Transferable/practical skills:

  • Create evidence-based recommendations to add to the knowledge base of the subject area.
  • Demonstrate critical evaluation skills enabling an in-depth critique of the academic literature.
  • Demonstrate the ability to create academic work of a publishable standard.
  • Evaluate ethical considerations in research and the process of engagement with ethical committees.

Assessment Methods

The master's in sports nutrition online 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 sports nutrition masters degree have the same assessment format, 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 everyday work and practice.

For the final module of the MSc sports nutrition 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.

Year 1

  • 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.

Year 2

This module runs over an 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 consist of brief summaries of discussion.

Entry requirements

Our online sports nutrition courses are delivered entirely online, making them 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 for our distance learning sports nutrition master's degree 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.

Documents Required

  • 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 admissions@learna.ac.uk for more information on the qualifications we accept.

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Why Learna

We have over 10 years’ experience delivering online diploma courses, giving you access to flexible, affordable distance learning in partnership with world-leading educators.

Our courses are some of the most affordable of their kind, providing value for money without compromising on quality. We also don't apply an international surcharge. No fixed timetable means you can log in & learn on the go, at your convenience.

Being totally online means we can select the very best tutors and resource editors, no matter where they’re located.

Connect with multidisciplinary people around the world to expand your insights & broaden your career prospects.

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