postgraduate certificate in sports medicine

Last Updated on January 16, 2023

Postgraduate Certificate In Sports Medicine

The Postgraduate Diploma in Sports and Exercise Medicine is for those working in a sports clinic environment who want to enhance their employability by developing the skills to critically assess, evaluate and disseminate evidence.

This online course, run with the collaborative partner Diploma MSc, is delivered by an innovative and experienced team who have an established international reputation in sports and exercise medicine. The curriculum is based on the specialist training curriculum developed by the Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine of the Royal College of Physicians. It therefore meets the highest standards for Sports and Exercise Medicine education and will enhance national and international employability. On completion you can progress to the MSc Sports and Exercise Medicine (online delivery).

2022/23 update: Blended learning approach for USW courses.

[Update excludes online-only courses].

The wellbeing and health and safety of our students and staff is paramount to us. We are committed to delivering all of our courses and services as safely as possible. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the methods and activities adopted for delivering our courses in the coming year may differ from those previously published and may be subject to change during the course of your study if such change is necessary due to public health concerns, health and safety guidance or in response to Government Guidelines. Whether you’re on-campus full time, part-time with online study, or full-time online, USW is committed to providing you with a fantastic student experience and a wealth of support, and you can hear how students have benefitted from this approach here: 

Study ModeDurationStart DateCampusCampus Code
Part-time1 YearMarchOnline8
Part-time1 YearSeptemberOnline8


The Sports and Exercise Medicine Postgraduate Diploma is based on the specialist training curriculum developed by the Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine.

You will undertake six modules, each running over six weeks. The modules you will cover are as follows:

Module 1 – Anatomy, Physiology and Psychology of Sport and Exercise
Module 2 – Exercise and Sport in Relation to Chronic Disease and Populations
Module 3 – Injury Prevention, Rehabilitation and Return to Exercise
Module 4 – Common Sports Injuries and Investigation
Module 5 – Management and Rehabilitation Planning of Sports and Exercise Related Injuries
Module 6 – The Multidisciplinary Team in Exercise and Sport


Although you’ll be learning online you will be part of a group with 10 to 15 other students. Your self-directed distance learning will be guided by tutor-stimulated discussion based on clinically rich case scenarios.

You’ll do a combination of individual and group projects, and you’ll have a reflective practice portfolio to help you consider how what you’re learning on the course can be translated into everyday work and practice.

You’ll have the support of a dedicated team who will help you with any challenges you may face – from help with navigating our online learning platform to advice on what you need to do to pass the course and meet deadlines.

Once you have secured your place on the course, you will be invited to an Online Induction Day Webinar. This will give you the opportunity to participate in study skills workshops on Harvard Referencing, scientific and reflective writings, and levels of evidence in preparation for your studies.

It is not compulsory for you to attend our Induction Day, but it is recommended as it’ll provide you with a sturdy introduction to the course.


You will be assessed via a range of methods including:

  • Academic Forum – 40%
  • Reflective Journal – 10%
  • Module Activity – 20%
  • Case-based examination – 30%



The course director is Dr Gareth Jones. Having obtained an MSc in Sports and Exercise Medicine Dr Jones later went on to become a DipSEM examiner. He has attended four Commonwealth Games, the last two as Chief Medical Officer and has been a Match Day Doctor at the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

We regularly revalidate courses for quality assurance and enhancement

At USW, we regularly review our courses in response to changing patterns of employment and skills demand to ensure we offer learning designed to reflect today’s student needs and tomorrow’s employer demands.

If during a review process course content is significantly changed, we’ll write to inform you and talk you through the changes for the coming year. But whatever the outcome, we aim to equip our students with the skillset and the mindset to succeed whatever tomorrow may bring. Your future, future-proofed.


To secure your place on the course, applicants will typically hold a first degree or equivalent (including international qualifications) in a relevant professional healthcare field, such as a medical or nursing degree. Registered healthcare professionals without these recognised qualifications will be considered on an individual basis and a wide range of prior experience may be taken into account.

In some cases, applicants may be asked to submit a piece of work for assessment in order to confirm that they are able to work comfortably at postgraduate level, and demonstrate the requisite clinical and professional knowledge.

English Language Requirements

Proficiency in the English Language is also essential to completing our courses. If English is NOT your first language, we ask for proof of competency during the application process. We are able to accept an IELTS overall score of 6.0 (with a minimum of 5.5 for each band) or an equivalent qualification.

sports medicine diploma online

Start dateSeptemberDurationMSc – Minimum 13 months, maximum 6 years; PGDip – Minimum 10 months, maximum 4 yearsCourse TypePostgraduate, Continuing professional development, TaughtFees

£14,040 (UK students) (*max)
£24,840 (International students) (*max)

Our innovative Exercise and Sports Medicine (Football) MSc is aimed at physiotherapists and doctors either working within football medicine or interested in moving into football medicine.

The programme is aimed at physiotherapists and doctors and is ideal for those either working within football medicine or interested in moving into football medicine.

Aspects of the learning and teaching for two specialist modules is delivered in the tranquil grounds of St George’s park with input from some of the Football Association’s sports key sports medicine staff. Anatomy teaching is delivered in the state-of-the-art prosectorium at University of Birmingham.

This is a research-led programme delivered within a School with 90% of its research classified as world leading or internationally excellent, with experts from football medicine, sports medicine and musculoskeletal medicine.

The programme is part of a collaboration framework of MSc and MRes programmes between the School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences and the College of Medical and Dental Sciences.

The overall aim of the programme is to enable exploration of the theoretical basis of exercise and sports medicine in general and football in particular, and its application to the development of a physiotherapist’s and doctor’s clinical reasoning. Using the process of clinical reasoning as its framework, the programme will integrate the key issues central to practice in this specialist area, including: clinical assessment, communication skills, accurate diagnosis, differential diagnosis, diagnostics and prognostics, treatment interventions, management approaches, best evidence, evaluation of outcome, strategies to reduce injury time etc.

The programme will facilitate the evaluation of existing evidence through the exploration of the assessment and management of athletes. It will provide students with the opportunity to tailor their learning experience to meet their personal and professional needs, developing their their capacity for leadership within a multidisciplinary team providing clinical management in football. The programme will promote enquiry based learning through a range of strategies including case analysis and problem based learning.

The programme was written in line with the international competencies and standards established by the International Federation of Sports Physiotherapists and the Specialty Training Curriculum for Sports and Exercise Medicine from the Joint Royal Colleges of Physicians Training Board, and in collaboration with The Football Association and physiotherapists and doctors working within football and other sporting contexts.

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?

The specific aims of the programme are:

  • To critically evaluate approaches and methodologies for researching theoretical and practical issues relating to exercise and sports medicine with a focus on clinical practice within football.
  • To critically evaluate previous professional development and plan future development within the framework of contemporary exercise and sports medicine within football.
  • To critically analyse the theoretical and conceptual issues underpinning assessment, evaluation, management and rehabilitative approaches within football.
  • To use advanced clinical reasoning and clinical skills to enable optimal clinical effectiveness and holistic management of complex clinical presentations in athletes.
  • To develop a high level of clinical and research skills to enable leadership within a football medicine context.
  • To critically evaluate the scientific and clinical evidence of exercise and sports medicine in football.
  • To formulate a justifiable research design and conduct analytically an investigation to address a given problem.
  • To produce a written research report and presentation worthy of scrutiny in both academic and clinical settings. 

Unique features of the programme include aspects of delivery of two specialist modules at The Football Association’s National Football Centre, St George’s Park at Burton on Trent. In addition, also anatomy development within the prosectorium in the Medical School, and to practice 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.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) latest updates and FAQs for future students and offer-holders


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

  • Research Methodology in Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation (20 credits)
  • Sports Medicine (Football) 1 (20 credits)
  • Sports Medicine (Football) 2 (20 credits)
  • Neuromuscular Adaptation to Training (20 credits)
  • Continuing Professional Development and Mentored Practice (20 credits)

In addition, you will choose one option module to the value of 20 credits from within the College (subject to availability and viability).

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 2022. 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.


Postgraduate Loans for Masters students

Student Finance England’s new Postgraduate Loan application service is now open for Masters degrees in the UK. The Postgraduate Loan for Masters study will be: 

  • A contribution towards the costs of study, i.e. it will be at your discretion to use the loan towards fees, maintenance costs or other costs;
  • Non-means tested;
  • Paid directly to you into a UK bank account;

Full details and a “Postgraduate Master’s Loan Explained” video can be found here

Online applications are now open via the PGL website.

Student Finance England have created a range of resources on their YouTube channel to help you understand the Loan.

2022/23 programme fees

UK students: max. £14,040
International students: max. £24,840

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.

Scholarships and studentships 
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. 


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