The performance nutrition industry is booming as recreational competitive sport grows increasingly popular, and there has never been a better time to specialise as a sports nutritionist.
Euromonitor report that the UK sports nutrition industry grew by 16 per cent in 2013 and annual growth of nine per cent is forecast until 2018, with product sales alone expected to reach £471 million.
Our masters degree in Sport and Exercise Nutrition was written in consultation with industry-leading experts and employers including the English Institute of Sport (EIS) to maximise the value of the degree to potential employers in elite and professional sport.
Students of the course meet the eligibility criteria for graduate registration with the Sports and Exercise Nutrition Register (SENr) - the leading professional body for performance nutritionists both in the UK and globally.
The course focuses on professional practice and is underpinned by solid scientific and technical foundations. Work placements and practical training are integrated into the course, equipping you with significant experience in a professional setting.
You will learn from some of the UK’s most experienced sports nutritionists, whilst regularly treating elite athletes and sports teams. In our partnership with Saracens Rugby Club, you’ll have access to the fantastic resources at StoneX Stadium, including the brand new £23 million redevelopment project of the West Stand which offers state-of-the-art facilities as a top educational and high performance centre for teaching and research excellence. With some of the most advanced equipment in the UK, you will be able to utilise the new specialist spaces, simulation suites, specialist labs, plus much more.
*Please note this course is subject to review.
Please note this course only runs in October
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The MSc Sport and Exercise Nutrition degree is made up of five individual modules designed to equip you with the knowledge and tools needed to excel in the rapidly growing field of performance nutrition as a SENr registered practitioner.
Two 30-credit modules in the Theory of Sport and Exercise Nutrition and Applied Sport Nutrition lay the scientific foundations for the rest of the course and are followed by one 30-credit module which develop your professional skills and experience. A research methods module then prepares you with the techniques required to undertake your major research project, a 60-credit dissertation on a subject of your choice.
Full-time students will complete the programme in one year, while part-time students will complete all but the major project in their first year, with the second year spent on research methods and writing their dissertation.
This module will develop your theoretical understanding of the physiological and biochemical responses to exercise. You will critically analyse and interpret physiological results from testing procedures. You will also critique and apply methodologies of nutritional status of individuals and assess the derivation and use of energy, macronutrients and micronutrients. This module, along with previously studied modules, will prepare you through the optional certification requirements of relevant professional bodies such as the UK Sports & Exercise Nutrition Register (SENr).
This module aims to develop your practical and theoretical skills essential to designing, delivering and monitoring athletic programmes and optimising sport performance and recovery with devising individualised nutritional support programmes. You will be taught to examine the influence of nutrition on sporting performance and to explore the role of nutritional strategies during the preparation for, participation in, and recovery from sport competition. The module, along with previously studied modules, will help prepare you through the certification requirements of relevant professional bodies such as the UK Sports & Exercise Nutrition Register (SENr).
This module aims to develop the student's ability to apply and see the application of knowledge gained from other modules in relation to a real work scenario. You will be required to adopt a reflective and critical approach to your working practice and to promote a problem-solving approach in a work environment.
The Research Methods module provides a critical overview of the main methods and approaches used for research into topics areas related to sport and exercise nutrition, and enables you to apply this knowledge when planning a research proposal. The module affords opportunities to appraise the strengths and weaknesses of published work in your specialist area. You will learn in groups and explore philosophical, ethical and methodological differences which underpin various approaches to knowledge generation, while interprofessional workshops allow you to develop a research proposal, consider its adequacy and limitations, and justify the approach taken.
Throughout the dissertation module you will be supported while undertaking research with a focus appropriate to your area of interest, potentially building upon the research proposal formulated in the Research Methods module. The module creates a peer learning community for students, enabling you to provide guidance and to critically support one another on matters of ethical application, research methods, data collection, analysis and writing-up in the research process – in addition to that provided by your supervisor.
See the course specification for more information about typical course content:
Optional modules are usually available at levels 5 and 6, although optional modules are not offered on every course. Where optional modules are available, you will be asked to make your choice during the previous academic year. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.
We are regularly reviewing and updating our programmes to ensure you have the best learning experience. We are taking what we've learnt during the pandemic and enhancing our teaching methods with new and innovative ways of learning. Please regularly check this section of the course page for updates.
You will gain knowledge, understanding and practical skills through lectures, participatory seminars, small group discussions, directed learning, laboratory and practical sessions.
You will be assessed by a variety of methods including presentations, written assignments, laboratory reports, and practical demonstrations.
We have developed new approaches to teaching and learning for the 2023/24 academic year, and have resumed the majority of our teaching on campus.
We are currently reviewing our approach to teaching and learning for 2023 entry and beyond. We've learned a lot about how to give you a quality education - we aim to combine the best of our pre-pandemic teaching and learning with access to online learning and digital resources which put you more in charge of when and how you study. We will keep you updated on this throughout the application process.
Your timetable will be built around on campus sessions using our state-of-the-art professional facilities and labs, with online sessions for some activities where we know being virtual will add value. We’ll use technology to enhance all of your learning and give you access to online resources to use in your own time.
The table below gives you an idea of what learning looks like across a typical week. Some weeks are different due to how we schedule classes and arrange on campus sessions.
This information is likely to change slightly for 2022 entry as our plans evolve. You'll receive full information on your teaching before you start your course.
Learning structure: typical hourly breakdown in 2021/22
Live in-person on campus learning
Contact hours per week, per level:
Tutor set learning activities
Average hours per week, per level:
Outside of these hours, you’ll be expected to do independent study where you read, listen and reflect on other learning activities. This can include preparation for future classes. In a year, you’ll typically be expected to commit 1200 hours to your course across all styles of learning. If you are taking a placement, you might have some additional hours.
Definitions of terms
You have a strong support network available to you to make sure you develop all the necessary academic skills you need to do well on your course.
Our support services will be delivered online and on campus and you have access to a range of different resources so you can get the help you need, whether you’re studying at home or have the opportunity to come to campus.
You have access to one to one and group sessions for personal learning and academic support from our library and IT teams, and our network of learning experts. Our teams will also be here to offer financial advice, and personal wellbeing, mental health and disability support.
Whether you have experience as a sport and exercise scientist, strength and conditioning practitioner, personal trainer, nutritionist, dietician, physiotherapist, or you have recently graduated from an undergraduate degree in one of these areas – you will already have a range of career options available to you.
This postgraduate course has been written in consultation with leading industry experts such as the English Institute of Sport so is designed to equip you with the skills and experience desired by potential employers in the specific field of performance nutrition.
At the end of the degree you will have completed 150 hours of professional practice and have the necessary knowledge and experience to apply to the graduate SENr – a qualification which will enable you to take the next step in your career.
You will be well placed to work in elite and professional sport, for national and international sports teams and organisations. Numerous private gyms, consultancies and other sport and exercise organisations also demand the expertise of specialist nutritionists, and there is significant space to work as a self-employed nutritional consultant.
We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.
Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.
Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.
At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.
Start: September 2023
Duration: 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time
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Duration: 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time
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Duration: 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time