Delivered through blended learning, you can work full-time and study this MSc degree in Clinical Exercise Prescription. This MSc will provide you with an in-depth and relevant focus on applied and academic clinical exercise prescription for working in allied healthcare.
Start Date7th October 2023
QualificationLevel 9 Masters Degree
Course Duration3 academic semesters
Declining quality of life and physical function are afflictions endured by those living with chronic health conditions across the globe. Clinical Exercise Prescription can ease the pain patients deal with.
Safe and effective clinical exercise prescription has proven to have a great impact on those living with chronic health conditions. Treating those individuals is a continuous responsibility for clinical exercise prescription graduates. Physical activity can be used to prevent, treat and manage a range of chronic health conditions after consideration of the target individual’s health status, baseline fitness, goals and preferences.
Clinical Exercise Prescription allows us to understand the exercise capacity of the individual and where the benefit lies for each specific case in terms of frequency, intensity, type and time will create the most effective treatment. This clinical exercise prescription course will enable practitioners from allied health professions to prescribe exercise for the purposes of disease prevention and disease management in a safe and scientific manner. Students will engage in an evidence-based, clinically focused online learning experience that is globally relevant to reflect the increasing public health demand for clinical exercise prescription.
The aim of this course is to provide additional upskilling to individuals who are interested in progressing their careers in public health and preventative health domains through clinical exercise prescription.
Graduates from rehabilitation, nursing, dietetics and nutrition, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, sports science and physiology backgrounds should apply. Graduates from other degree courses will be assessed on an individual basis. Those with clinical experience will be prioritised.
Why should I study this course?
Upon graduation from this course, students will have developed their self-awareness and practical/transferable skills to enhance their employment opportunities. In addition, the teaching team will endeavour to assist students searching for suitable employment in the sector nationally and internationally. There will also be the opportunity for some graduates who want to do a PhD to do so in several specialist universities, both in Ireland and overseas.
Who will recognise my qualification?
Upon completing this level 9 degree, you will hold a MSc in Clinical Exercise Prescription.
What will I study during this MSc Clinical Exercise Prescription – Starts Oct ’23 course?
As a Clinical Exercise Prescription student, you will study the foundational physiology of exercise for health promotion and disease management. You will study a broad range of pathophysiology and develop in-depth knowledge of the biomedical implications of exercise. You will develop the knowledge and skills required to design and deliver safe, evidence-based exercise interventions for specific patient populations. You will learn about the public health challenges that we face globally and the role that exercise can play in preventative management.
You will complete the modules listed below:
- Applied clinical exercise physiology
- Clinical exercise prescription for cardiorespiratory populations
- Clinical exercise prescription across the life-span (paediatrics, geriatrics and pregnancy)
- Clinical exercise prescription for musculoskeletal rehabilitation
- Clinical exercise prescription for special populations (oncology, endocrinology, neurology)
- Psychosocial factors in Clinical Exercise Prescription
- Research Methods in Clinical Exercise
- Dissertation in Clinical Exercise Prescription
You can decide to complete a Post-Graduate Certificate (3 modules), Post-Graduate Diploma (6 modules) or complete the full programme to achieve a Masters award at level 9.
All Higher Education courses undergo a rigorous process of approval. This course is currently going through the approval/ validation process. Course approval/ validation involves external subject experts and academic staff who look at the learning outcomes of the course to ensure it is designed to meet the needs of graduates, employers and industry bodies where relevant.
Who will I learn from?
Dr Susan Giblin
‘Sports students are passionate, determined and motivated people. They bring an energy to the classroom that is infectious. They are a joy to mentor and our academic team are invaluable in providing that mentorship to our students.’
I have been passionate about sport from a young age, I decided to pursue my passion academically when I had the opportunity to and completed my BSc in Health and Performance Science in UCD. I was part of the first graduating class in Health and Performance Science, the concept of sports science was very new in Ireland at the time and opportunities to gain applied experience were rare. On graduating, I was determined to gain as much hands-on practical experience as possible and I was very fortunate to work as a Sports Scientist at Sports Med Ireland where I gained invaluable insight into the world of supporting elite athletes. Notably, there were no practical or applied experience elements as part of my degree, we worked in the lab but not on the field with coaches or athletes which meant really learning on your feet, trying to gain practical competence when starting to work in applied settings. This was something I knew I wanted to try and change if I ever found myself back in academia. It didn’t make sense to me why the applied and academic aspects of sport were so separate, really to change performance both need to be intertwined. Since then, I have endeavoured to combine applied and academic work.
During my early applied work, I became fascinated with the interplay between physical and psychological performance. I left for the UK to pursue a MSc in Performance Psychology, based in the UK I gained valuable opportunities to work in applied, elite sports settings (largely focused in soccer, motorsport and golf). From there, I completed my psychology accreditation and pursued my PhD and post-doctoral research focusing on the use of technology to assess physical and psychological parameters of development. I returned to Ireland to work with the international data sports science company Kitman Labs as Head of Research and I gained fantastic experiences working with innovative international sports organisations. On completion of my post-doctoral research I began lecturing in sports science and sports psychology. In doing so, I quickly realised that not much had changed in terms of academic qualifications in sport, despite the applied sports industry having developed light years ahead with integration of performance technology. Throughout my career development to date, mentors have been an incredibly important asset to me in terms of personal and professional growth. I wanted to be able to provide similar support to individuals who were passionate about pursuing a career in sport. Portobello institute provided the perfect opportunity to address the frustrating limitations of current educational practices in sport by developing innovative, applied degree programmes that ingrain practical skill competence, personal and professional development for students and I have thoroughly enjoyed being part of the Portobello Sports Team since arriving here as a lecturer in 2016.
Why did you choose to work in education?
Education has always been a big part of my life (despite hating school!!). The value of education and the privilege of being able to pursue third level education was instilled from a very young age. I firmly believe that education is an incredible tool that can be used to build a fulfilling life and education should be accessible and individual. Accessible, individual education is something I am very passionate about; from personal experience I understand that one size rarely fits all in terms of education. Unfortunately, primary and secondary (and in many cases tertiary) education comes in a very generic form and that can be very damaging. In fact, it can lead to individuals not pursing their full potential, or not even recognising the potential that they have to pursue. I am dedicated to ensuring that teaching/lecturing is recognised as a role of great responsibility that goes beyond delivering curricular content and focuses on promoting confident learners who are eager to pursue their dull potential after completing their primary degree.
Your experience as a Programme Manager.
My experience as Programme Manager to date has been an incredibly rewarding one. As Programme Manager I am privileged to support our students from the day arrive to the day they graduate and beyond. The most fulfilling part of my role is being able to work with and get to know the person behind the student number, understanding what their ambitions are and guiding them on to the next step of their journey. That next step may be to postgraduation education or to employment as a practitioner. Whatever it is, my role is to support our students in figuring out their path and providing individual support to ensure that students’ personal, academic and professional development is optimised during their time at Portobello Institute.
In addition to providing personal support, as Programme Manager I am involved in the continual review and strategic development of our academic offering in the Sports Department. I work with industry and academic collaborative partners to ensure that the qualifications we offer our students are leading the curve in the sports industry.
Portobello Institute is an agile, innovative Institute of Education. In academia Institutes tend to be slow to change or develop, as sport is such a new and evolving science having an Institute that is willing and able to change ahead of the curve is absolutely essential. Portobello Institute offers this dynamic, forward thinking environment that is focused on changing the way we educate our next generation of practitioners in Sport. Portobello Institute is bridging the gap that has previously existed between applied practice and academic research. The focus here is on developing graduates who are proficient, evidence-based practitioners who are also passionate about scientific research, that is something you just don’t find elsewhere.
- Post-doctoral fellowship – Psychomotor assessment validation (University of Central Lancashire)
- PhD Psychomotor Development (University of Central Lancashire)
- MSc Performance Psychology (University of Edinburgh)
- PGDiploma General Psychology (University of Derby)
- BSc Health & Performance Science (UCD)
Research / Industry Participation
- Accredited member of the Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI)
- BASES Accredited Sports Psychologist
- HCPC Chartered Scientist Status (CSci)
- Former Head of Research, Kitman Labs Ltd.
Research & Publications:
- Cruickshank, A., Giblin, S., Collins, D. ‘Mental preparation for competitive sprints’ in The Science of Sprinting. Platt, G., (Eds) Routledge https://www.scribd.com/book/353165106/Science-of-Sport-Sprinting
- Ng, J., Button, C., Collins, D., Giblin, S., and Kennedy, G. (2019). Assessing the Internal Reliability and Construct Validity of the General Movement Competence Assessment for Children. Journal of Motor Learning and Development 8, 1, 87-106, available from: <https://doi.org/10.1123/jmld.2018-0047>
- MELG Funded Research in collaboration with UHL HSE and UL. An investigation of physical activity engagement and barriers to engagement in children with T1DM (2019)
- Giblin, S., Meldrum, D., McGroarty, M., O’Brien S., Wetterling, F. (2015) ‘A markerless motion capture system to enhance injury monitoring in professional sports: a single case validation study on the example of external and internal shoulder rotation’ Functional Sports & Exercise Medicine DOI:10.13140/RG.2.1.3434.5440
- Giblin, S., Meldrum, D., McGroarty, M., O’Brien S., Wetterling, F. (2015). ‘Wholebody magnetic resonance imaging enables assessment of spatial accuracy and precision of skeletal joint locations inferred from motion capture systems’ 6th Int. Conference on 3D Body Scanning Technologies October DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.3105.0963
- Giblin, S., Meldrum, D., McGroarty, M., O’Brien S., Wetterling, F. (2015) ‘Bone length calibration can significantly improve the measurement accuracy of knee flexion angle when using a marker- less system to capture the motion of countermovement jump’ DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.3105.0963
- Giblin, S., Collins, D., & Button, C. (2014). Physical literacy: importance, assessment and future directions. Sports Medicine, 44(9), 11771184. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-014-0205-7
- Giblin, S., Collins, D., MacNamara, A., & Kiely, J. (2014). “Deliberate Preparation” as an Evidence-Based Focus for Primary Physical Education. Quest, 66(4), 385395. https://doi.org/10.1080/00336297.2014.944716
- MacNamara, Á., Collins, D., & Giblin, S. (2015). Just let them play? Deliberate preparation as the most appropriate foundation for lifelong physical activity. Frontiers in psychology, 6. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01548
Personal Academic Tutor
The Clinical Exercise Prescription programme will be delivered by a multidisciplinary team reflective of the current primary care system in Ireland (i.e. clinical nurse specialists, primary physicians, cardiac and respiratory physiotherapists, dieticians). The academic team will also include Clinical Exercise Physiologists qualified to PhD level.
Each clinical exercise prescription student is assigned a personal academic tutor to support them throughout their learning journey. They are available to offer telephone and email support to students at any time. You can arrange to meet them for further one to one guidance at a time convenient to you.
Many of our past graduates have found it is the opportunity to ask a simple question, seek direction and submit a draft of their assessment that supported them most to successful completion. Emailing your tutor at any stage during your programme to ask a query or submit a draft of your assessment supports you to achieve your personal best throughout your studies with Portobello.
This level of one-to-one support is a particular benefit to choosing Portobello as your Institute of choice to complete your studies.
How will I learn?
Students will learn through an active and engaging online clinical exercise prescription course. Material will be delivered through a combination of live-webinar classes, tutorials and small group discussion sessions. Appropriate supporting materials will be provided for each session, together with a wider range of web-based learning resources and other student-centred learning opportunities. Practical sessions (remote) will be used to develop expertise with intervention design and delivery through case-based scenario learning and will form the basis of the coursework component. Each module will have a dedicated leader who will engage and support student learning.
This is a blended learning course delivered over three academic semesters with supported webinars held during scheduled weekends.
This Masters Programme consists of seven modules. You will complete three modules in semester one, three in semester two and during your final semester you will complete your dissertation.
Each semester has three one-day webinars designed to support you to complete the modules scheduled for that semester. Webinars are generally held on a Saturday from 10am to 4pm. You can see an example schedule (not exact for this course) here.
Attendance at webinars is not mandatory but is encouraged for optimal learning outcomes. Support webinars are delivered with the purpose of introducing the module tutor, setting out the learning outcomes, content, the assessment strategy and expectations for skills/knowledge development for that module.
All of the course material is held on an e-learning portal which is an easy to use online platform specifically designed for online learning programmes. During the induction, students will be introduced to the platform with practical demonstration of how to use the portal and access lessons quickly and easily. To complete this course, students must have a basic knowledge of using a computer and searching the internet for research purposes.
Webinars & Tutor Support
The tutorial webinars held at the start and throughout each module introduce you to your tutor who will guide and support you throughout the module. These webinars lay out the module for you and support you to learn and acquire the skills you will need. The assessment and expectations for successful completion are covered in detail as is where and how to access the information on the Moodle platform.
You can email your tutor at any stage during the module to ask a simple query or submit a draft of your assessment. Our programme management team are always available to offer you telephone and email support and if you need to, you can arrange to meet them for further one to one guidance though our online portal.
Many of our past graduates have found it is the opportunity to ask a simple question, seek direction and submit a draft of their assessment that supported them most to successful completion. This level of one to one support is a particular benefit to choosing this mode of study. Portobello Institute has invested in a team of programme managers and tutors who are experienced in the field of Clinical Exercise Prescription as well as qualified and knowledgeable educators. They are available to assist you at every stage of this programme.
What is Blended Learning?
Blended learning takes the schedule of a traditional face to face learning programme and re-structures it to reduce the contact tuition time by introducing online learning together with one to one tutor support. This mode of delivery includes contact tuition through web-based e-learning sessions. The e-learning platform is interactive including recorded sessions, webinars with weekly content and assigned tasks to themes and topics. There is a webinar held at the commencement of each module. Attendance is not mandatory however is encouraged for optimal learning. The webinars are designed to support students understand the requirements of the learning outcomes, the expectations of the assessment and meet their tutor for the module.
What is a Webinar?
A webinar, in the context of online learning, is a lecturer delivering a presentation or class online to a group of students. We use specifically designed e-learning software so you can participate in the class just as if you were present in the same room. You can ask a question of the lecturer at any stage during the class. The software is designed with “break-out rooms” where you can discuss a topic or complete a group exercise with a smaller group from your class. You will need a computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone that has internet connection, an audio facility so you can hear and speak during the class and a camera so your lecturer and fellow class participants can see you. The webinar is a secure online environment and only those permitted entry by the lecturer can gain access to the “classroom”. Webinars are recorded during each session and should you miss a session, you can catch up with the recorded session at a later date. You will only be able to access Webinars of the group you are assigned to.
How will I be assessed?
The assessments for this masters degree are broadly assignment based. Assessments vary from practice based assignments to reflective essays, all seeking to combine up to date and relevant theory with scenario-based learning and practical implementation.
Currently there are limited comprehensive continuous professional development course options for allied health professionals that focus on the specific clinical considerations for exercise and physical activity prescription in special populations.
The aim of this clinical exercise prescription course is to provide additional upskilling to healthcare professionals who have an interest in career progression in public health and preventative health domains (e.g. diabetic nurse, cardiac physiotherapist etc.). Notably, to apply for more senior positions in the Health Service Executive in Ireland MSc level qualification is a requirement for most allied health professions. Additionally, despite the purported benefits of exercise prescription there is a lack of evidence-based guidelines to support practitioners in the application of exercise as a therapeutic modality. It is hoped that this course will promote practitioner engagement in clinical exercise research.
Furthermore, we hope that this pathway will provide a comprehensive transfer option for exercise scientists and physiologists who wish to work in health care settings with clinical populations.
By the end of the course, students will have developed their self-awareness and practical/transferable skills that will enhance their employability. Engagement with the alumni network and events that enable them to meet with employers and applied practitioners will support their ability to progress their careers. There will also be the opportunity for some of these graduates wanting to do a PhD to do so in several specialist universities, both in Ireland and overseas.
Careers and advice sessions are offered by Portobello Institute academic staff with extremely good industry links, supported by careers workshops and planning sessions from established industry working partners.
Who else has studied this degree?
Aoife Scally was a qualified physiotherapist who wanted to help her patients even more by adding psychology to her repertoire.
Aoife Scally – Psychology Helps Me Treat the Whole PersonRead Full Testimonial
Shannon Byrne opened her own clinic within a month of graduating and has since hired her first employee, who is a Portobello student.
Shannon Byrne – Sport Therapy Course Graduate to Clinic Owner in One MonthRead Full Testimonial
Dan O'Mahony earned his Masters degree from The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland after graduating from Portobello Institute.
Dan O’Mahony – Sports Therapy Helped Me to the RCSI Degree in PhysiotherapyRead Full Testimonial
Speak to an expert
Choosing a course that will lead you to your career of choice is a significant decision. Understanding the delivery modes, supports available, career opportunities and further study options are all key considerations when making your choice. Our course adviser team are experts in the courses Portobello offers, the employment prospects and possible progression routes to Masters programmes – they will guide you through the detail and support you with any queries you may have.
It is important you make the right choice for you and choose the Institute and course that will best suit your needs.
How do I apply?
Entry to this course is by direct application to the college.
Please note places on this course are only confirmed once tuition fees have been received.
Students will be registered as a post-graduate degree student with London Metropolitan University.
Fees & Payment Options
Exam Body Reg. Fee
Easy Payment Plan
Deposit of 30% upon acceptance of an offer of a place. Balance to be paid in 10 payments due on 1st of the month commencing the first month after the programme commences. Exam registration fees are included in the Easy Payment Plan.
Deposit + 10 Instalments
- €680.75 due on 1st November 2023.
- €680.75 due on 1st December 2023.
- €680.75 due on 1st January 2024.
- €680.75 due on 1st February 2024.
- €680.75 due on 1st March 2024.
- €680.75 due on 1st April 2024.
- €680.75 due on 1st May 2024.
- €680.75 due on 1st June 2024.
- €680.75 due on 1st July 2024.
- €680.75 due on 1st August 2024.