Exercise and Sports Medicine (Football) MSc/Postgraduate Diploma

Start date
MSc – Minimum 13 months, maximum 6 years; PGDip - Minimum 10 months, maximum 4 years
Course Type
Postgraduate, Continuing professional development, Taught

£15,030 (UK students) (*max)
£28,350 (International students) (*max)
More detail


Our innovative Exercise and Sports Medicine (Football) MSc is aimed at physiotherapists and doctors either working, or aspiring to work, in elite sports such as football.

The overall aim of the programme is to enable exploration and critical evaluation of exercise and sports medicine in elite sport. Clinical reasoning skills will be developed throughout the duration of the course. While considering the clinical effectiveness and holistic management of varied clinical presentations.

Exploration of theoretical knowledge through case studies, practical sessions and seminars will be used to develop specialist knowledge within the field of Sports Medicine.

The modules cover a wide range of topics, from injury/illness prevention, assessment and diagnosis of sport injuries/illnesses through to rehabilitation and return to play. Topics will help students to gain insight into the roles and importance of the wider interdisciplinary team within elite sport. The programme offers a flexible approach with the structure to work around your professional commitments.

Scholarships for 2024 entry

The University of Birmingham is proud to offer a range of scholarships for our postgraduate programmes. With a scholarship pot worth over £2 million, we are committed to alleviating financial barriers to support you in taking your next steps.

Each scholarship has its own specific deadlines and eligibility criteria. Please familiarise yourself with the information on individual scholarship webpages prior to submitting an application.

Explore our scholarships

I studied Exercise and Sports Medicine (Football) at the University of Birmingham part-time while I was working in a third division professional football club in Italy. I would not hesitate to recommend this course, which I feel made a difference in allowing me to secure a position at Juventus Football Club. The award itself from such a prestigious University surely made my CV stand out among the others, but what I feel most important are the strong clinical reasoning skills I developed throughout the course particularly thankfully to a top-class faculty of lecturers.

Mattia Zambaldi, MSc Exercise and Sports Medicine (Football) alumnus

Why study this course?

Learning outcomes:

  • Developing Sports Exercise Medicine practitioner's holistic skills with a multidisciplinary team in professional practice
  • Exploration of contemporary issues related to Sports Exercise Medicine and the evidence-based practice 
  • Enhance clinical reasoning skills within Sports Medicine and criticality of theoretical frameworks 
  • Critically evaluate the key research methodologies in sports medicine and their application

Unique features of the programme include:

  • Anatomy skills development taught at the prosectorium in the Medical School.
  • A specialist module that promotes professional practice/clinical mentorship within a football/sports medicine environment.

A range of skills can be gained from undertaking this programme that contribute to advanced practice within the speciality of Sports Medicine (Football). Specifically they include: oral communication, written communication, leadership, teamwork, critical thinking, time management, cross-cultural awareness, enterprise skills, commercial/business awareness, numeracy, ICT, adaptability/flexibility, advanced interpersonal skills, managing own development, advanced clinical reasoning, prioritisation skills, and excellence in practical skills.

Hear from some of our students

This course is closely associated with the Graduate School of Sport and Professional Practice.


Compulsory modules

In addition, you will choose two optional modules to the value of 20 credits per module from within the College (subject to availability and viability). We advise you discuss your optional module choices with the programme lead before confirming selection.

Optional modules include and not exclusively:

The Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) in Exercise and Sports Medicine (Football) is awarded with successful completion of six 20 credit masters level modules. Cumulative total of 120 M level credits.

The award of Master of Science (MSc) in Exercise and Sports Medicine (Football) will be awarded following successful completion of the Research Dissertation (60 credits) to provide a cumulative total of 180 M level credits.

Please note: The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. Unless indicated otherwise, the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2023. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to compulsory modules after that date; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.

Staff involved in teaching on the course

Programme Lead: Caroline White.

Please note: The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to compulsory modules; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.


2024/25 programme fees

Code 9967: UK students: max. £15,030
Code 9967: International students: max. £28,350

Code 9969: UK students: max. £12,855 PGDip
Code 9969: : International students: max. £24,269 PGDip

Part-time: Exact fee depends on the modules taken. Contact the School for full details.

Are you an international applicant?

All international applicants to this course will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit of £2,000 on receipt of an offer, to secure their place.

Find out more about the deposit >>.

Scholarships and studentships 

Birmingham Masters Scholarship

We are offering over 200 awards of £2,000 to support the brightest and best applicants wishing to undertake Masters study at the University during 2024-2025.

Find out more and apply now  

Postgraduate Progression Award

Our Postgraduate Progression Awards offer final year undergraduates at the University of Birmingham a fee discount of £1,500 for postgraduate taught study.

Find out more and apply now  

Scholarships may be available. Email financial support for more information. International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government. Visit our website for information about scholarships for international students.

For further information contact the School directly or email sfo@contacts.bham.ac.uk.

How To Apply

International students requiring visas

26th July 2024 is the application deadline for international students who require a visa to study in the United Kingdom. We are not able to consider applications for 2024 made after this date; a new application will need to be made for September 2025.

UK students

31 August 2024 is the application deadline for UK students. We are not able to consider applications for 2024 made after this date; a new application will need to be made for September 2025.

Making your application

How to apply

To apply for a postgraduate taught programme, you will need to submit your application and supporting documents online. We have put together some helpful information on the taught programme application process and supporting documents on our how to apply page. Please read this information carefully before completing your application.

Apply now

Our Standard Requirements

Academic entry criteria


A BSc/BA Honours degree or equivalent. The degree should normally be a pre-registration Physiotherapy degree qualification.

Medical Doctors

A Medical degree - BMBS, BM, MBChB.

The degree should normally be a first or upper second-class Honours degree.

Evidence of equivalence of your qualification(s) to the UK educational system of awards can be found at www.naric.org.uk

Evidence of a minimum of 1500 hours experience post qualification of musculoskeletal physiotherapy, ideally within a sporting context. Supporting evidence of appropriate continuing professional development during this experience will also be required. Please note that hours accrued as part of your pre-registration/qualifying education or internship do not count.

Supporting evidence of appropriate Continuing Professional Development during this post qualification experience.

Learn more about entry requirements including Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL).

Please be aware that students wishing to use APCL credits towards their degree will not be eligible to apply for a Postgraduate loan for Masters study in the UK.

You can find more information at http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/pgt-fees/postgraduate-loans.aspx

Important information

Additional criteria for the compulsory module Continuing Professional Development & Mentored Practice (CPD&MP) in our Exercise and Sports Medicine (Football) MSc/Postgraduate Diploma:

  • Evidence of satisfactory current Disclosure and Barring Service check
  • Evidence of satisfactory health declaration and immunisation record
  • Current registration with the Health and Care Professions Council and the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy for physiotherapists (includes professional indemnity),


  • Current registration with the General Medical Council, and evidence of appropriate professional indemnity for mentored practice within a football environment for doctors.

Please note that if these above criteria are not met within three months of starting the programme, you will be required to transfer to a non-clinical programme.

You must also submit the following documentation in support of your application:

  • Two academic/employer references in support of your application and professional and practical capabilities
  • Transcripts of your degrees (certified and translated into English if appropriate).

Personal statement expectations

As part of the admissions process for our Exercise and Sports Medicine (Football) MSc/Postgraduate Diploma, your personal statement should follow these expectations.

  • A maximum of 500 words in length.
  • A specific description of how you have met the minimum requirement of 1500 hours of experience in post-graduate (post-registration) autonomous musculoskeletal physiotherapy/medical practice (preferably within a sports setting).
  • Explanation of how our Exercise and Sports Medicine (Football) will help you with your career development.

If the above entry criteria and personal statement expectations are met, an applicant will be invited to interview.

Interview expectations

Usually, our interviews take place through the Zoom platform. Where possible, please ensure that there is a quiet space with a reliable internet connection to complete the online interview. There are normally two academic staff members completing the interview.

All applicants must have photo identification (ID) on the day of the interview so we can complete the necessary ID checks before proceeding with the interview.

At the interview, we invite applicants to discuss why they have applied for the Exercise and Sports Medicine (Football) MSc/Postgraduate Diploma programme, their academic strengths and areas for development, their research experience and how they anticipate managing independent studying at Master's level.

After the interview, the academic team will review the applicant’s application (including interview performance) and recommend an outcome to the University of Birmingham central admissions team. This recommendation will usually take 2-3 weeks.

International Requirements

International Students

If applying from overseas, you should also bear in mind that the process of applying for a visa can be a long and complicated one and you are therefore advised to submit your application for study as early as possible, enabling us to provide you with the offer letter that will be necessary for your visa application well ahead of the programme start date.

Academic requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.

English language requirements

Standard English language requirements apply (IELTS: 6.5 overall with no less than 6.0 in any band)

  • IELTS 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in any band
  • TOEFL: 88 overall with no less than 21 in Reading, 20 in Listening, 22 in Speaking and 21 in Writing
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) including online: PTE Academic 67 with no less than 64 in all four skills
  • Cambridge English (exams taken from 2015): Advanced – minimum overall score of 176, with no less than 169 in any component

Teaching will be highly interactive and collaborative underpinned by contemporary evidence based musculoskeletal/sports practice, with a strong emphasis on reflective and problem solving approaches. Multiple teaching and learning methods will be utilised throughout the course, supported by self-directed learning. The course is supported by industry experts based at the University of Birmingham and guest lecturers who are experts within their specialised field of musculoskeletal/sports medicine.

Learning will be further supported through:

  • Anatomy skills development taught at the prosectorium in the Medical School,
  • A further specialist module that promotes professional practice/clinical mentorship within a football/sports medicine environment.

Example timetable

Assessment Methods

Assessments methods will vary across modules. They will include written and oral case reports, vivas, practical assessments, and conducting and writing up a research study.

By the end of the course

You will have developed your clinical reasoning skill and evidenced based practice knowledge to apply in the elite sports medicine environment, with enhanced development of research skills and knowledge to help further support your career development.

Masters level study

Self-directed study

Independent study forms a critical component of a higher education’s students development into an autonomous learner.

Therefore, university students are expected to engage with a significant amount of study outside timetabled teaching hours.

At a Masters level of study, self-directed or independent learning typically accounts for two-thirds of the total time spent on a module (although this may vary between modules).

Our Academic Skills Centre has excellent support services to facilitate your self-directed study:

Find out more

Resources to support your studies

In some modules on our MSc/PGDip Exercise and Sports Medicine (Football), students will be expected to complete a ‘mini-literature review’, which forms part of their assessment and final grade.

Before joining our programme, we highly recommend that all students access these freely available resources. They will support your preparations for the independent research components of our programmes.

Find out more


Careers Support for Postgraduate Students

Careers Network – We can help you get ahead in the job market and develop your career

We recognise that as a postgraduate student you are likely to have specific requirements when it comes to planning for your next career step. Employers expect postgraduates to have a range of skills that exceed their subject knowledge. Careers Network offers a range of events and support services that are designed for all students, including postgraduates looking to find their niche in the job market.

Here are just a few ways in which we can help postgraduates to get ahead:

  • Careers Networking opportunities
  • Effective careers strategy toolkit
  • Year planner for all postgraduate students
  • Masters Career Coaching Workshops
  • One to one careers guidance

The Careers Network also have subject specific careers consultants and advisers for each College so you can be assured the information you receive will be relevant to your subject area. They also have a dedicated careers website for international students where you can find useful resources and information.


“We have hired some fantastic Birmingham graduates and postgraduates in the past, and believe that they have the experience and intelligence to understand the challenges of working with Procter and Gamble.”

In an independent survey, over 75% of employers regarded a postgraduate Masters-level qualification as ‘essential’ or ‘preferred’ when recruiting. ‘Talent Fishing: What Businesses want from Postgraduates’ A CIHE Report for Department of Business Innovation and Skills, March 2011.

For more information visit the Careers Network website.

Professional Accreditation

This course is accredited by:

Chartered Society of Physiotherapy logo