The aim of this postgraduate diploma course is to enable clinicians to prescribe exercise as a disease preventative and treatment modality in a safe, effective and scientific manner. Students will achieve this through a tiered process starting with a thorough understanding of the physiology of the cardiovascular and respiratory system and the body's reactions to different types of physical activity and exercise (module 1). The second module will concentrate on physical activity and exercise at the populations' level as well as detailing the importance of and various methods used to assess physical activity, body composition, strength and aerobic fitness. The third and fourth modules will be clinically focused and will use case scenarios and current literature to demonstrate how the application of exercise and physical activity can be an effective and safe treatment modality for patients with common chronic morbidities. As this course will be evidence-based, students will become critical consumers of literature in the area of exercise in the prevention and treatment of chronic disease. Module 5 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. Module 6 will provide students with a thorough understanding of the relationship between exercise and metabolism. Finally, in module 7 students will gain valuable practical experience on critical techniques used by clinicians in the assessment of cardiorespiratory and musculoskeletal fitness.
This Postgraduate Diploma can be completed in one or two academic years and will be made up of 60 ECTS. With the exception of the final blended module (M07) all other course material will be online with some material presented in real time (synchronous live webinars) and some material recorded/prepared for students to complete in their own time. All students will be required to have a computer with good internet access a microphone and a webcam. The one year postgraduate diploma delivery format will be made up of seven modules totalling 60 ECTS. The first six modules will be delivered fully online, with the final module (M07) on Practical Applications of Clinical Exercise will be delivered in a blended format which will combine both online and on-campus learning components. The integration of an on-campus learning component to Module 07 on Practical Applications of Clinical Exercise is a crucial requirement of this programme. This module will take the form of a concentrated 3-day laboratory-based seminar to be attended in Trinity College Dublin, which will develop practical skills essential to the safe and effective delivery of exercise in the clinical environment.
The two year postgraduate diploma delivery format will cover year 1 where students will complete modules 1 to 4, and year 2, where students will complete modules 5 to 7. Students who have successfully passed all the required modules in year 1 to the value of 30 ECTS but who do not wish to progress to year 2 will be considered for an exit award of Postgraduate Certificate in Clinical Exercise.