MSc Clinical Exercise Physiology

Study mode

Full-time (1 year)

Part-time (2 years)

Start date(s)

September 2019

Tuition fees 19/20
Home (full-time, per year): £7,600
Home (per credit): £42.25
International (full-time, per year): £14,450

Contact details

General enquiries:

0151 231 5090

Faculty of Science

0151 231 2888

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About this course

The Clinical Exercise Physiology MSc focuses on the practical application of research, including intermediate life support and phlebotomy.

  • Choose this course developed by world-leading academics in our pioneering School of Sport and Exercise Sciences
  • Benefit from a small class size - student numbers are capped at 20 for this highly competitive course to give you dedicated access to staff and facilities
  • Use state-of-the-art laboratories in our award-winning Tom Reilly Building 
  • Enjoy a combination of invaluable practical experience (including a substantial clinical placement) and theoretical learning
  • Access cutting-edge equipment, including 12-lead ECG and cardiopulmonary stress exercise testing equipment. We also house several ultrasound machines – echocardiography and vascular physiology – and we are world leaders in utilising this equipment in a practical-based setting
  • Look forward to enhanced job opportunities in NHS and private clinical physiology

There has never been a more exciting time to undertake an MSc in Clinical Exercise Physiology. Exercise now represents one of the world’s major businesses and scientists have an increasingly prominent role in working with healthy and clinical populations to maintain healthy lifestyles and reduce disease.

This Masters programme is ideal if you want to go on to specialise in exercise physiology in a clinical setting. The course provides a detailed knowledge of 


physiology applied to clinical contexts, but is also designed to extend your knowledge beyond ‘classical’ exercise physiology studies and into novel techniques and theories underpinning exercise physiology and health.

You will gain extensive practical experience in key physiology laboratory tests such as ECG and cardiopulmonary testing. You will also develop a good understanding of modern and novel ultrasound assessments of cardiovascular function. Academic development is provided in fundamental scientific techniques including research methods, statistical analysis and scientific communication. 

Fees and funding

There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students


The fees quoted at the top of this page cover registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examinations as well as:

  • Library membership with access to printed, multimedia and digital resources
  • Access to programme-appropriate software
  • Library and student IT support
  • Free on-campus wifi via eduroam

Additional costs

Although not all of the following are compulsory/relevant, you should keep in mind the costs of:

  • accommodation and living expenditure
  • books (should you wish to have your own copies)
  • printing, photocopying and stationery
  • PC/laptop (should you prefer to use your own)
  • mobile phone/tablet (to access online services)
  • field trips (travel and activity costs)

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  • placements (travel expenses and living costs)
  • student visas (international students only)
  • study abroad opportunities (travel costs, accommodation, visas and immunisations)
  • academic conferences (travel costs)
  • professional-body membership
  • graduation (gown hire etc)


There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students. From Postgraduate Masters Loans to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you’ll find all of the information you need on our specialist postgraduate funding pages.


Further your career prospects

LJMU has an excellent employability record with 96% (HESA 2017) of our postgraduates in work or further study six months after graduation. Our applied learning techniques and strong industry connections ensure our students are fully prepared for the workplace on graduation and understand how to apply their knowledge in a real world context.

The substantial placement that you will undertake during the course of this programme will prepare you for a number of relevant roles in Clinical Exercise Physiology. Previous students have gained their experience at Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital, Harley Street clinics, and a range of NHS Royal Trust clinics.

This programme gives you the opportunity to learn from national and international leaders in the field, and its unique combination of theory and practice provides you with invaluable practical experience, giving you a distinct advantage when securing a job in this highly competitive market.

Many careers opportunities will be available on graduation, including teaching and lecturing in schools, colleges and universities. You may choose to continue in education, research or applied science, even taking your studies to Doctoral level.

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Course modules

Discover the building blocks of your course

Your programme is made up of a number of core modules. One module is a clinical placement - this replaces your dissertation or research project and will demonstrate your advanced learning.

Students in classroom - Course modules
Core modules

Pathophysiology of Cardiovascular Disease

The aim of this module is to focus on the causes of atherosclerotic vascular disease in humans; it considers pathophysiology of macrovascular manifestations of atherosclerosis including heart disease and stroke - the largest causes of mortality and morbidity in developed and developing countries. It also covers microvascular disease and associated morbidities such as retinopathy, nephropathy and neuropathy. The role of exercise in amelioration of cardiovascular diseases and risk factors is also considered. You will draw together current theory and practice for a broad understanding of cardiovascular disease for the clinical exercise physiologist

Technical Training for Exercise Physiology

The aim of this module is to provide you with knowledge, technical and critical appraisal skills required to work as an effective clinical physiologist with a cardiology specialty. It focuses on the practical skills required for the assessment of the cardiology patient at rest and during exercise.

Advanced Exercise Physiology and Exercise Prescription

This module provides the opportunity to apply current theoretical and practical approaches in advanced exercise physiology and exercise prescription. The module aims to:

  • extend and deepen your knowledge and understanding related to the acute and chronic physiological responses to exercise
  • help you critically reflect on the importance, role and practicalities of exercise prescription in a range of diseased populations

Promotion, Adherence and Compliance

This module considers the application of theory and policy to enhance adherence to clinical exercise interventions and promote sustained physical activity behaviour change. It will enable you to critically evaluate and integrate current contemporary policy, research and evaluation in health-related physical activity.

Clinical Placement and Thesis

This module will enable you to apply your theoretical knowledge and practical skills in a clinical setting. You will gain experience of working in a clinical environment and will be given the opportunity to further develop your theoretical, research, practical and communication skills. The module aims to:

  • provide you with the knowledge and technical skills required to work as an effective clinical physiologist with a cardiology specialty
  • focus on the practical skills required for the assessment of special populations including the cardiology patient at rest and during exercise and the effective prescription and monitoring of exercise

Research Methods

This module includes an introduction to statistical analyses and covers SPSS workshops.


An insight into teaching on your course

Study hours

Students will have approximately two hours per module per week of taught material and/or seminar work. This may be supplemented by reflective tutorials during the semester. Private study will cover both time spent studying (e.g. in the library), collecting data in the laboratory and completing directed tasks and coursework. Taught sessions will provide an orientation to the topic and opportunity for classroom discussion and debate. You will also be expected to read widely using primary sources of reference material.

Teaching is on Mondays and Fridays in semester 1 and Tuesdays and Thursdays in semester 2. Semester 3 is for your clinical placement – times and hours will vary depending on the placement provider.

Teaching methods

Our teaching is delivered primarily through lectures, laboratory practicals and student-centred learning techniques, such as problem-based learning.

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Applied learning

In place of a traditional research project, you will have the opportunity to gain essential experience through a 140 hour clinical placement, based in a hospital clinical exercise physiology department or related department in the NHS or private healthcare sector. This extensive placement affords you the unique opportunity to apply the skills and knowledge gained during the Masters in a ‘real-world’ setting, and places you in a highly employable position.

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How learning is monitored on your programme

To cater for the wide-ranging content of our courses and the varied learning preferences of our students, we offer a range of assessment methods on each programme. Assessment techniques vary from module to module to reflect relevant assessment approaches and the key learning points of each topic.

On this course you will be assessed in a variety of ways, including: interactive problem solving exercises; oral presentations in front of a peer group; coursework and essays, in some cases combined with oral defence.

The case report and literature review is a substantial piece of work based on your 140 hour clinical placement.

Course tutors

Our staff are committed to the highest standards of teaching and learning

Ellen Dawson

Ellen Dawson

Programme Leader

Ellen is a senior lecturer in cardiovascular physiology at LJMU. She completed a BSc in Sport and Exercise Science at Manchester Metropolitan University, followed by an MSc in Human and Applied Physiology at Kings College London. Ellen then returned to Manchester Metropolitan University to do a PhD in Exercise Induced Cardiac Fatigue. She has undertaken post-doctoral fellowships at the Copenhagen Research Center in Denmark and the University of North Texas Health Science Center. Ellen is particularly interested in vascular function in health and disease – including responses to acute exercise, adaptation to acute injury and improved vascular function with exercise training. The aim of the research is to understand the mechanisms underlying vascular function (both dysfunction and improved function) and its associated links with cardiovascular disease and health.

Seeing students develop their skills, confidence and knowledge is one of the best parts of my job. It’s also very rewarding to hear from past students about how we provide them with the tools to succeed in their future careers.

School facilities

What you can expect from your School

This MSc programme is delivered in the City Campus, in the £28million Tom Reilly Building, which provides world-class sport and exercise science facilities. For Sport and Clinical Exercise Physiology this includes 12-lead ECG and cardiopulmonary stress exercise testing equipment, ultrasound machines, echocardiography and vascular physiology, and we are world-leaders in utilising this equipment in a research setting. The School also houses 800m2 of exercise physiology laboratory space and 100 m2 of molecular/biochemistry laboratory space.

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Entry requirements

You will need:

  • Candidates will be required to have academic qualifications commensurate with entry to postgraduate study, and be able to demonstrate an aptitude for scientific study. Candidates would normally be expected to have a good honours degree (i.e., upper second or first) in sport science, science or a related discipline.

Additional Information
  • IELTS score of 6.5 (minimum of 5.5 in each component)
  • Pearson 58-64 (minimum 51 in each component for UKVI purposes)
  • RPL is accepted on this programme
  • International students applying to study a full-time taught Masters, MRes, Mphil or PhD at LJMU should check if they require an Academic Technology Approval Scheme or ATAS certificate. International students entering on a Tier 4 visa cannot study part time. Please contact LJMU’s International Admissions Team for further details
  • The majority of the placements offered by this programme will require a DBS check

If you have any specific queries please contact

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Please note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check via NARIC.

View country specific entry requirements

Contact LJMU's International Admissions Team for guidance on visa information. Further information is also available from our international web pages.

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Application and selection

Securing your place at LJMU

You will apply for the majority of postgraduate courses using our online application form. You should complete the form thoroughly and provide a detailed personal statement which reflects your suitability and aptitude for the programme.

The University reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University. Where this does happen, the University operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.
Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.