Exercise & Nutrition Science
MSc Exercise and Nutrition Science
This part-time Master's course is designed for those who wish to extend their knowledge, qualifications and expertise in this popular area of study. Our course aims to provide postgraduate education and training opportunities for exercise, nutrition and health professionals, and provide opportunities for those aspiring to work in this high-profile field.
This course aims to provide postgraduate education and training opportunities for exercise, nutrition and health professionals, and provide opportunities for those aspiring to work in this high-profile field.
The aims of this postgraduate course are for you to develop:
• a critical understanding of the concepts and controversies in exercise and nutrition science
• a scientific and enquiring approach to the study of contemporary exercise and nutrition issues
research skills for the critical investigation of exercise
The course is highly flexible, allowing you to study part time to suit your personal and work commitments. Flexibility is achieved through the delivery of modules over three-day blocks followed by eight weeks of home-based learning. This allows students nationally and internationally to attend the course.
The course is delivered by a team of experienced academics and also practitioners who work in high-profile areas.
How will I be taught?
Teaching is mainly by lectures interspersed with laboratory practicals, group discussion, seminars and interactive computer-based sessions.
There are 25-30 contact hours per module. You will also undertake campus- or home-based learning and tutorials (face to face or online).
The modules aim to enable you to develop a critical knowledge and understanding of fundamental and contemporary issues in relation to physical activity and health and nutrition in health and disease, as well as applying these principles to sporting populations. A variety of module options means the course can be tailored to suit your needs.
Physiology & Physical Performance (Optional) (XN7501)
• Homeostasis: rest, exercise and recovery integrative responses and control mechanisms.
• Physiology of anaerobic and aerobic metabolism: energy substrate utilisation; neurohormonal control mechanisms; thermoregulation mechanisms and fluid balance.
• Physiology of the cardiovascular, respiratory and neuromuscular systems during exercise.
• Maximum oxygen uptake: measurement and evaluation; physiological limits to maximal aerobic performance.
• Relationships between workload and HR/BP/VO2/VCO2/VE
• Resting and exercise ECG assessment and interpretation.
Physiology & Biochemistry of Metabolism (Optional) (XN7502)
• Metabolic overview: metabolic requirements of tissues – liver, muscle, heart and brain; bioenergetics and energy transduction in cells; role of creatine phosphate; energy sources and pathways
• Carbohydrate metabolism – glucose and glycogen; glycolysis, glycogenolysis and gluconeogenesis; TCA cycle; substrate and oxidative phosphorylation
• Dietary lipids – saturated, unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats; essential fatty acids; cholesterol. Lipid metabolism – triglyceride and ketone body metabolism; phospholipid and cholesterol; adipose tissue metabolism; lipoproteins –role and turnover; lipids and health.
• Protein metabolism – amino acid catabolism and waste nitrogen; nutrition and protein metabolism; regulation systems. Metabolic control of lipids and carbohydrates – glucagon and insulin; metabolism in exercise and starvation.
Science of Weight Control (Optional) (XN7506)
• Physiological & biochemical principles of energy inputs and outputs.
• Measurement of energy inputs; the value and validity of such measurements; use of food tables; valid approximations.
• Biochemical and physiological basis of human metabolism and metabolic rate. Measurement of energy expenditure.
• Energy balance and the control of body weight.
• Definitions and measurement of body composition.
• Obesity, causes, problems and treatments (surgery, drugs, diets and lifestyle).
• Eating disorders: starvation, bulimia, anorexia nervosa.
• Exercise and weight control.
• Weight control in sport: body builders, boxers, jockeys, gymnastics
• Control systems involved in regulation of food intake; genetic and psychological aspects; drug treatments
Nutrition in Health and Disease (Optional) (XN7509)
• Nutrition and health including review of the principal nutrients.
• Nutrition needs of different groups including eating behaviour and food choice.
• Healthy eating recommendations for the general public.
• Malnutrition: including protein, energy and micronutrient deficiencies.
• Dietary factors in causation and prevention of chronic diseases.
• Nutritional epidemiology and public health.
• Role of scientific advisory committees and regulatory agencies.
• Emerging concerns in nutrition and health.
Research Methods and Data Analysis (Compulsory) (XN7512)
• The building blocks of scientific research: types of research (analytical, descriptive, experimental, and qualitative), scientific parlance (hypothesis, concepts, operational definitions, and dependent/independent variables), sampling procedures, and measurement issues (reliability and validity).
• Research and data collection methods: experimental research (developing hypotheses, independent/dependent variables, controls, sample selection, study designs, and experimental validity); descriptive research (questionnaires and interviews, case studies); qualitative research (characteristics, procedures, methods of data collection, data analysis, and internal/external validity).
• Typical research of relevance to the discipline.
• The nature of research; scientific methods of enquiry, pure versus applied ways of problem solving. Developing the research problem; identifying a topic area, devising specific questions, discovering what is already known (reviewing the literature), determining feasible ways to answer the questions.
• Ethics in research.
• Introduction to data analysis software (SPSS for Windows). Establishing an SPSS database. Defining and transforming variables; data storage and retrieval.
• Data analysis for descriptive and experimental research; descriptive statistics. Describing data; measures of variability, correlation and scatter plots. inferential statistics. Selecting an appropriate statistical test (parametric or non-parametric), and types of statistical tests (chi-square; t-tests; one-way ANOVA & post-hoc tests; Wilcoxon, Mann-Whitney U). Worked examples in SPSS
• Additional statistics; Repeated Measures ANOVA; Factorial ANOVA, Limits of agreement analysis for method comparison and test retest reliability. Worked examples in SPSS.
Sports Nutrition (Optional) (XN7514)
• Energy for exercise: an overview of energy systems and fuels
• High intensity versus low intensity exercise.
• Review of literature related to the role of carbohydrate, fat and protein during different exercise intensities.
• Fluid balance: related research.
• Nutritional ergogenic aids.
• Sports nutrition in practice: working with elite and club level athletes.
• Methods of dietary analysis in research and field situations
• Professional and ethical issues in Sports Nutrition
• Determinants of eating behaviour; related research.
Exercise and Health (Optional) (XN7515)
• Exercise, fitness and health; physiology of exercise; overview of exercise in prevention and treatment
• Exercise in cardiovascular health and disease; metabolic syndrome, diabetes management, etc.
• Exercise and the immune system, cancer, bone health & stress management
• Assessment of health-related fitness: strength, body fat%, flexibility, aerobic capacity
• Exercise prescription – principles & practices
• Exercise in occupational and community health & fitness
Independent Study (Exercise Science) (Optional) (XN7521)
The module will focus on individual student research into the agreed exercise-related topic.
Independent Study (Nutrition) (Optional) (XN7522)
The module will focus on individual student research into the agreed nutrition-related topic.
Research Project (Compulsory) (XN7523)
The research will be agreed with an appropriate supervisor and the Research Co-ordinator. The subject matter must be related to exercise and nutrition science.
The modules given above are the latest example of the curriculum available on this degree programme. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to change from time to time for reasons which include curriculum enhancement, staff changes, student numbers, improvements in technology, changes to placements or regulatory or external body requirements.
The course is open to applicants with a minimum of a 2:2 honours degree in a related subject area, or equivalent professional qualifications.
Consideration will also be given to applicants with relevant work experience, background knowledge and skills.
Schedules and Location
This course is available part-time as three or four day weekends in Dublin at the National Training Centre in Dublin's city centre.
How long does this course last ?
Modules are delivered over the first two years and you have an additional two years to complete your thesis.
Start Date: September 2019
Post Course Info
As a qualified sport and exercise nutritionist you will be able to pursue employment in a range of different areas including the sports and fitness industry, public health nutrition and academia (taught and/or research).
You will also be able to apply for Graduate Registration on the Sport and Exercise Nutrition Register as a stepping stone to becoming a Registered Sports Nutritionist.
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