Course Overview

The MSc in Exercise Physiology and Rehabilitation (a blended learning programme: mode of study is taught and online) will provide knowledge and skill sets required for exercise prescription in a clinical setting. Physical interventions consisting of personalised exercise is a crucial component of rehabilitation programs for people recovering from chronic disorders and musculoskeletal injury. These interventions when tailored to the individuals’ current physical fitness can help to reduce the symptoms of disease and improve their physical function and quality of life. Such physical interventions also help to reduce the risks of developing further comorbidities. This course will help qualified physiotherapists obtain specific skills in applying exercise physiology interventions in a clinical setting for rehabilitation of patients and obtain the compulsory CPD credits required for their professional development and progression.

About this programme

This course is designed to provide qualified physiotherapists advanced knowledge and training in the development and application of exercise interventions in the rehabilitation of various chronic diseases. 

Students will develop an advanced knowledge of exercise physiology including in-depth understanding of physiological processes that occur during exercise. Students will understand how these changes are beneficial to improving health and fitness. Students will have a clear understanding of the methods of evaluation that can be used to assess these changes, to evaluate the fitness level and to plan and prescribe an exercise program that will be beneficial to the individual as a therapeutic intervention in certain chronic disease settings.

This unique course will enable students to—

  • Develop a comprehensive knowledge of EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGY
  • Learn to evaluate the various PHYSIOLOGIC RESPONSES to EXERCISE.  
  • Learn to prescribe an EXERCISE PROGRAM as a THERAPEUTIC INTERVENTION in a CLINICAL settings
  • Obtain PROFESSIONAL RECOGNITION in the form of CPD credits


Applications and Selections

Applications are made online via the University of Galway Postgraduate Applications System

Who Teaches this Course

Other contributing lecturers (University of Galway):

  • Dr Eva Szegezdi—Lecturer in Biochemistry, College of Science
  • Dr Jane Walsh—Senior Lecturer in Psychology, CMNHS
  • Dr Colette Kelly—Senior Lecturer in Health promotion, CMNHS 
  • Clinical Guest Lecturers from UHG, Physiotherapy and CROI

Discipline of Physiology Exercise Laboratory and Teaching Facility

Students will attend lectures and laboratory sessions in the state-of-the-art teaching facility equipped with modern audiovisual and laboratory equipment in the Human Biology Building, School of Medicine, University of Galway.

Physiology Teaching Labs, Discipline of Physiology, HBB Building, University of Galway.
Physiology Exercise Suite, Discipline of Physiology, HBB Building, University of Galway.
Physiotherapy Units UHG and Merlin Park Hospital.

Dr Ananya Gupta
Lecturer Above the Bar
Human Biology Building
NUI Galway
View Profile
Dr Micheál Newell
BA, HDip, MSc., PhD
View Profile
Dr Nicole Burns
T: Ext. 4460
View Profile
Dr Karl McCullagh
B.Sc, M.Sc, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Discipline of Physiology
Human Biology Building
University of Galway
View Profile
Dr Brian McDonagh
BSc., MSc., PhD
Lecturer Above The Bar
Human Biology Building 3031
University of Galway
View Profile
Dr Karen Doyle
B.Sc., Ph.D.
Dept. of Physiology
Human Biology Building
University of Galway
View Profile
Prof David Finn
B.Sc. (Hons)., Ph.D.
View Profile
[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Dr Michelle Roche
BSc., MSc., PhD.
Senior Lecturer
Rm2010 Human Biology Building
University of Galway
University Road
View Profile

Requirements and Assessment

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

Level 8 (or equivalent) Bachelor’s degree in Physiotherapy, Physical Therapy or Occupational Therapy, with a minimum score of 2.2 (or equivalent). Global students will need to obtain an IELTS score of 6.5.

Additional Requirements

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)


1 year, full-time (part-time option also available)

Next start date

September 2024

A Level Grades ()

Average intake


QQI/FET FETAC Entry Routes

Closing Date

Please view the offer rounds website.

NFQ level

Mode of study

ECTS weighting




Course code


Course Outline

This new course will help physiotherapists and physical therapists obtain new and enhanced learning opportunities and develop skills in applying exercise physiology interventions in a clinical setting for rehabilitation of patients suffering from musculoskeletal injury or limitations and in patients recovering from chronic diseases which affect physical function and quality of life.  The MSc in Exercise Physiology and Rehabilitation will provide an opportunity for students with qualifications in Physiotherapy, Physical Therapy or Occupational Therapy who wish to take their career to the next level - whether in a leadership role, in academic research or by advancing their clinical expertise and developing experience and expertise in clinical exercise testing and exercise prescription in a wide variety of disease settings. This course will equip students with knowledge and experience in performing physiologic exercise tests to assess cardiovascular health, respiratory health, neurological and musculoskeletal capabilities. The students will obtain training in providing tailored exercise programs for patients suffering from chronic diseases including cardio-respiratory disorders, obesity, diabetes, neurological and musculoskeletal limitations and cancer.

Programme outline

Topics featured in the course lecture/seminar series include nerve-muscle physiology, cardiorespiratory physiology, integrated physiological responses to exercise and methods of evaluation, metabolism and nutrition in exercise and rehabilitation, methods of physiological assessment during exercise in clinical populations and scientific principles of exercise prescription,.

Students will gain hands-on experience in conducting exercise tests and physiological assessment of fitness in both healthy and clinical populations. Semester 1–2 will be taught through lectures and tutorials set in a blended learning mode: all modules (1–6) will be available online via an online interactive learning platform and supported through virtual classrooms.

Online students will engage with pre-recorded lectures on blackboard on a weekly basis. To support engagement, discussion and interaction, weekly online meetings, discussions and tutorials will follow the lectures.

All students will engage with continuous assessments. Students will be assessed during each semester by continuous assessments and end of semester exams. In module 7 in semester 2, students will attend a three week-long hands-on training workshop to gain practical experience in exercise testing and physiological methods of evaluating human performance and application of their knowledge in exercise prescription. Students will also attend a workshop in professionalism and learn about the roles and responsibilities of physiotherapist in a rehabilitation setting.

In semester 3 students will complete a work placement for six weeks. For the clinical placement module, the students will complete a reflective journal reporting their experience and also complete a case study report reviewed during their clinical placement. Students will also have the opportunity to present their work at the Exercise is Medicine research symposium.

Exercise Physiology Rehabilitation Course Table 

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

Course syllabus is aligned to CORU recommendations in Ireland and American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Clinical Exercise Physiologist Qualification. Upon completion students will be able to obtain CPD points. Students will also be eligible for Clinical Exercise Physiologist certification from ACSM. International students with an appropriate undergraduate degree in Physiotherapy will be able to apply for registration in Ireland.  

Upon completion of the course students will receive appropriate professional qualification and recognition.

This programme, due to its online mode of study, will appeal to busy professionals wishing to upskill.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes

Transferable Skills Employers Value

Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€9,140 p.a. (including levy) 2024/25

Fees: Tuition

€9,000 p.a. 2024/25

Fees: Student levy

€140 p.a. 2024/25

Fees: Non EU

€18,000 p.a. (€18,140 p.a. including levy) 2024/25

Postgraduate students in receipt of a SUSI grant—please note an F4 grant is where SUSI will pay €4,000 towards your tuition (2023/24).  You will be liable for the remainder of the total fee.  An F5 grant is where SUSI will pay tuition up to a maximum of €6,270. SUSI will not cover the student levy of €140.

Postgraduate fee breakdown = Tuition (EU or NON EU) + Student levy as outlined above.

Note to non-EU students: learn about the 24-month Stayback Visa here


Find out More

Dr. Ananya Gupta,
Discipline of Physiology,
University of Galway.
T: +353 91 492 358 | +353 85 102 6457

Sign up to receive updates