Exercise Physiology & Rehabilitation

The MSc in Exercise Physiology and Rehabilitation (a blended learning programme: mode of study is taught and online) will provide knowledge and skill sets required for exercise prescription in a clinical setting. Physical interventions consisting of personalised exercise is a crucial component of rehabilitation programs for people recovering from chronic disorders and musculoskeletal injury. These interventions when tailored to the individuals’ current physical fitness can help to reduce the symptoms of disease and improve their physical function and quality of life. Such physical interventions also help to reduce the risks of developing further comorbidities. This course will help qualified physiotherapists obtain specific skills in applying exercise physiology interventions in a clinical setting for rehabilitation of patients and obtain the compulsory CPD credits required for their professional development and progression.

About this programme
This course is designed to provide qualified physiotherapists advanced knowledge and training in the development and application of exercise interventions in the rehabilitation of various chronic diseases.

Students will develop an advanced knowledge of exercise physiology including in-depth understanding of physiological processes that occur during exercise. Students will understand how these changes are beneficial to improving health and fitness. Students will have a clear understanding of the methods of evaluation that can be used to assess these changes, to evaluate the fitness level and to plan and prescribe an exercise program that will be beneficial to the individual as a therapeutic intervention in certain chronic disease settings.

Subjects taught

Programme outline

Topics featured in the course lecture/seminar series include nerve-muscle physiology, cardiorespiratory physiology, integrated physiological responses to exercise and methods of evaluation, metabolism and nutrition in exercise and rehabilitation, methods of physiological assessment during exercise in clinical populations and scientific principles of exercise prescription,.

Students will gain hands-on experience in conducting exercise tests and physiological assessment of fitness in both healthy and clinical populations. Semester 1–2 will be taught through lectures and tutorials set in a blended learning mode: all modules (1–6) will be available online via an online interactive learning platform and supported through virtual classrooms.

Online students will engage with pre-recorded lectures on blackboard on a weekly basis. To support engagement, discussion and interaction, weekly online meetings, discussions and tutorials will follow the lectures.

All students will engage with continuous assessments. Students will be assessed during each semester by continuous assessments and end of semester exams. In module 7 in semester 2, students will attend a three week-long hands-on training workshop to gain practical experience in exercise testing and physiological methods of evaluating human performance and application of their knowledge in exercise prescription. Students will also attend a workshop in professionalism and learn about the roles and responsibilities of physiotherapist in a rehabilitation setting.

In semester 3 students will complete a work placement for six weeks. For the clinical placement module, the students will complete a reflective journal reporting their experience and also complete a case study report reviewed during their clinical placement. Students will also have the opportunity to present their work at the Exercise is Medicine research symposium.

Entry requirements

Level 8 (or equivalent) Bachelor’s degree in Physiotherapy, Physical Therapy or Occupational Therapy, with a minimum score of 2.2 (or equivalent). Global students will need to obtain an IELTS score of 6.5.

Application dates

Closing Date
Please view the offer rounds website at https://www.universityofgalway.ie/postgrad-admissions/key-dates/

Applications are made online via the University of Galway Postgraduate Applications System


1 year, full-time; part-time option also available.

Enrolment dates

Next start date September 2024
Closing Date Offers are made on a rolling basis

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Career Opportunities
Course syllabus is aligned to CORU recommendations in Ireland and American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Clinical Exercise Physiologist Qualification. Upon completion students will be able to obtain CPD points. Students will also be eligible for Clinical Exercise Physiologist certification from ACSM. International students with an appropriate undergraduate degree in Physiotherapy will be able to apply for registration in Ireland.

Upon completion of the course students will receive appropriate professional qualification and recognition.

This programme, due to its online mode of study, will appeal to busy professionals wishing to upskill.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

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    Course provider