Sports & Exercise Medicine

Trinity College Dublin

Sports & Exercise Medicine

Course Description
The aim of this M.Sc course is to allow participants further their career progression in musculoskeletal and sports and exercise medicine by enhancing basic background knowledge in anatomy, exercise physiology, sports and exercise science; and, in addition develop high quality practical and critical thinking skills in musculoskeletal assessment, rehabilitation, exercise testing and training prescription in health and disease. Students will achieve this through a tiered process starting in Semester 1 with three basic science modules in Anatomy, Exercise Physiology; and Research Methods. In anatomy students will enhance their knowledge of musculoskeletal and neuroanatomy through instructor lead pro-section based practical classes; and in lectures revisit the organisation of the central and peripheral nervous systems. In the exercise physiology module, learning focuses on the key systems for sports and physical activity; energy systems, muscle physiology, cardiovascular and respiratory systems; and whole-body hormonal and homeostatic responses to physical activity, exercise and training. As this course will be evidence-based, students will critically appraise the literature in the area of sports and exercise medicine at all stages of the course. The research methods module in Semester 1 of each academic year will develop a students' ability to critically evaluate the latest research in order to keep up to date with the latest clinical advances in the discipline, enable the student to formulate a research question and develop skills necessary for high quality research project design, from statistical modelling, ethics application, power analysis, high quality data collection, data handling, statistical analysis; and finally scientific report writing worthy of submission as a journal article or critical review. The research methods module runs in parallel and supports the research dissertation component.

In the second semester the focus shifts to clinical aspects of sports and exercise medicine, such as; musculoskeletal assessment skills, rehabilitation protocols; aspects of team and individual athlete care within different sports; and physical activity and population health. Critical thinking skills are developed in instructor lead clinical case scenario-based teaching and student led seminars reviewing the current literature to demonstrate the scope of problems encountered in day to day care of athletes and teams, and the physically active of all ages and gender.

This M.Sc in Sports and Exercise Medicine can be completed in one or two academic years and is comprised of six taught modules (60 ECTS) and a research project (30 ECTS). In the part-time option students complete four modules in Year 1 (40ECTS) and two modules plus the research dissertation in Year 2 (20+30ECTS). All course material will wherever possible be presented in face to face lecture, workshop, seminars and practical class-based formats on campus; however, if COVID19 restrictions persist some elements of course delivery; didactic elements, student presentations and assessments may be run 'on-line'. All students will be required to have a PC or Mac computer with large RAM capability and at least 4-6 GB storage capacity to allow use of large statistical data analysis packages such as SPSS; and, Zoom or Teams functionality in order to attend 'live streamed' sessions and for remote learning of 'on-line' course delivery.

All taught components will primarily be based on campus or delivered on-line. Therefore, Fulltime students are expected to be available on campus or 'on-line' for 'live real-time' teaching on web based remote learning systems for all our main teaching days that is at least three days a week. Similarly, part time students are also required attend campus or to be available on-line on two teaching days per week in Year 1 and one teaching day per week in Year 2. All students fulltime and part-time may be required to attend campus or 'on-line' on other days each semester to attend meetings with project supervisors to develop their research projects; and or extra tutorials and practical skill competency training wherever necessary.

Subjects taught

In the one-year full-time programme there are three modules in each semester. One- year full-time students must complete three modules per semester and a research project in one year. In the two-year part-time programme students must complete two modules per semester in Year 1, and one module per semester and the their research project in Year 2. Basic science modules AN7104 (Anatomy); AN7105 (Exercise Physiology) and AN7106 (Research Methods) take place in Semester 1 of each academic year; and, clinical modules AN7107 (Sports and Exercise Medicine); AN7108 (Musculoskeletal Assessment and Rehab) and AN7109 (Exercise Science) take place in Semester 2. Two year part-time students must successfully complete four modules in Year 1 to progress to Year 2.

All students who complete six taught modules will be eligible for a Post-graduate Diploma in Sports and Exercise Medicine. In order to achieve the full exit award of MSc in Sports and Exercise Medicine, students must complete all six taught modules (60 ECTS) and the research dissertation component (30 ECTS) within one year, if full-time, or two years if part-time.

Entry requirements

Admissions Requirements:

The MSc course is open to graduates from medicine, physiotherapy and a limited number of places are also offered to certified athletic training therapists (Ireland, USA and Canada only) and sports rehabilitation therapists (UK).

Successful medically qualified applicants will hold a level 8 degree at an upper 2nd class honours (2.1) or equivalent GPA level in medicine. Degrees for all medical applicants must be recognised as equivalent to Irish, UK or EU degrees. For non-EU medical applicants, preference will therefore be given to doctors who have worked in state registered clinical roles in Ireland, UK, or EU for a period of at least 12 months. Those with appropriate clinical experience in athlete/team service provision will be prioritised.

Successful physiotherapy qualified applicants will hold a level 8 degree at an upper 2nd class honours (2.1) or equivalent GPA level in physiotherapy. Applicants must either already hold ISCP, CSP (UK) or EU equivalent state registration as a physiotherapist or provide evidence of commencement of an application process for accreditation. All applicants with physiotherapy and/or physical therapy degrees from non-EU universities must commence prior Irish state equivalence procedures (CORU) before applying for the course, evidence of a CORU application will be required to advance the application process. Those with appropriate clinical experience in athlete/team service provision will be prioritised.

Successful athletic training/sport therapy applicants will hold a level 8 degree at 1st class honours level or equivalent (GPA 4.0) in (a) athletic training and rehabilitation therapy or (b) sports rehabilitation therapy. ARTI (Ireland), the BOC (USA) and the CATA (Canada) regulate the Athletic Training/Therapy profession in their respective countries. Each of the three organisations accredit Athletic Training/Therapy programmes and set independent certification examinations which graduates must pass to become full, certified members. A tri-lateral agreement exists between ARTI (Ireland), the BOC (USA) and the CATA (Canada) whereby fully certified members of each organisation can challenge the certification examination of a sister organisation and can become full, certified members. Therefore, applicants from the Athletic Training/Therapy profession should be fully certified members of ARTI. Similarly with sports therapy graduates from the UK, the primary degree must be recognised by BASRaT, the UK accreditation body for Sport Rehabilitation Graduates. The BASRaT register has been approved as an Accredited Register by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care in the UK. Athletic Rehabilitation Training graduates from other areas must have completed WFATT recognised training programmes and undergone qualification cross-recognition procedures by ARTI. Applicants with proven clinical experience from placements in high level athlete/team service provision will be prioritised.

All applicants should provide two references, either two academic or preferably one academic and one work related reference confirming their eligibility and suitability for the programme, which together with applicant's academic performance during their undergraduate years will be used to select the most suitable candidates.

Language requirements for students whose first language is not English are as per the requirements in the Calendar part 3 for a given academic year.

Applications for admission to the programme will be made through the online SITS system, no later than June 31st of each academic year. Early applications meeting all entry criteria will be accepted prior to the closing date; and, if oversubscribed all subsequent applications meeting entry criteria before the cut-off date will be put on a waiting list. Suitably qualified applicants on the waiting list will only be considered if places subsequently become available. Potential applicants are therefore encouraged to apply early as the course is usually oversubscribed, places are limited.

Applicants must have regular access to a computer with good internet connection. The computer should have both a microphone and camera as all shortlisted applicants will be required to undertake an interview to determine suitability for the course.

Application dates

Closing Date: 31st March 2023

Assessment Info

Modules are assessed by in-course and end of term examinations consisting of:

(a) Written examination – Multiple Choice Questions and Short Answer Questions

(b) Practical examinations – competence in musculoskeletal examination techniques, clinical cases, athletic and exercise laboratory and field based assessment skills.

(c) Written course work assignments – including critical reviews, case reports, data handling assignments and journal paper reviews.

All modules must be passed (>50%). In clinical modules there is no compensation allowed between written papers and any practical clinical skills examination component. For the 2 year part time option the dissertation can only be undertaken if year 1 taught modules have been completed successfully. The degree is externally monitored and examined.


1 year full-time/2 years part-time

Enrolment dates

Next Intake September 2020

Post Course Info

All students who complete six taught modules successfully in Year 1 will be eligible for a Post-graduate Diploma in Sports and Exercise Medicine. In order to achieve the exit award of MSc in Sports and Exercise Medicine, students must complete all six taught modules (60 ECTS) and the research dissertation component (30 ECTS) within one academic year, if full-time, or two academic years if part-time.

More details
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  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

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