Taught course

Human and Applied Physiology

University of Portsmouth · Department of Sport and Exercise Science

Entry requirements

A minimum of a 2:1 honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject. Equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications may be considered. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

Months of entry


Course content

Why take this course?

This course will allow you to graduate with a postgraduate degree in the subject-specific discipline of physiology. It will give you the opportunity to study physiological responses to exercise in both healthy and clinical populations, in response to extreme environments, and to examine the role of exercise as a treatment adjunct.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

  • Obtain laboratory-based skills, as well as the ability to communicate with clients in a professional and approachable style.
  • Gain experience of conducting research/physiological testing in simulated environmental conditions of heat, cold, humidity and/or hypoxia.
  • Obtain knowledge and experience of how exercise can be used in the management and treatment of various diseases.

What opportunities might it lead to?

The programme will provide knowledge, skills and experience required to undertake work as a physiologist or specialised technician. Some specific examples are listed below.

Here are some routes our graduates have pursued on allied courses:

  • Health and wellbeing physiologist
  • Health advisor
  • Clinical Exercise Physiologist
  • Exercise Referral Coordinator
  • Personal Trainer
  • PhD research
  • Technician

Module Details

The programme will be offered in full-time (12 months) and part-Time (24 months) study modes, with the academic year running from September to September. The course includes 120 credits of taught units and a 60 credit research project. With the exception of the Humans in Extreme Environments unit, the taught units are delivered on a Thursday during term time. The Humans in Extreme Environments unit is delivered in a two-week block during term time.

Core units include:

  • Applied Research Methods (30 credits)
  • Research Project (60 credits)
  • Humans in Extreme Environments (30 credits)

60 credits are required from a choice of:

  • Applied Sports Physiology (30 credits)
  • Exercise Rehabilitation (30 credits)
  • Clinical Physiology (30 credits)

Programme Assessment

The delivery format for the course is based around seminar, practical, workshop and to a lesser extent, lectures. Sessions will be delivered by DSES staff with knowledge and research expertise in the areas studied.

Assessments include client/patient-focused practical and written assessments as well as some more traditional report writing assessments:

  • Practical assessments
  • Laboratory reports
  • Client reports
  • Case studies
  • Project report

Student Destinations

The skills-sets developed will permit students to enter a range of career pathways, examples of which are listed below. The course will provide essential underpinning knowledge for those who may wish to pursue professional training to possess qualifications to provide exercise in clinical populations e.g. cardiac rehabilitation, pulmonary rehabilitation etc. The course will also permit students to gain experience of physiological responses in ‘normal’ conditions as well as extreme environments. This is particularly relevant for those students who wish to pursue employment by providers such as the Ministry of Defence (in particular Defence Science and Technology Laboratory), English Institute of Sport and UK Sport.

Roles our graduates have taken on include:

  • PhD researcher leading to employment as a professional scientist
  • Health and wellbeing physiologist
  • Health advisor
  • Clinical Exercise Physiologist
  • Exercise Referral Coordinator
  • Personal Trainer

Fees and funding

UK students
Full time: £6,500 Part time: £3,250 p/a* *Tuition fee is subject to annual increase.
International students
Full time: £13,200 Part time: £6,600 p/a* *Tuition fee is subject to annual increase.

Qualification and course duration


part time
24 months
full time
12 months

Course contact details

Admissions Team
023 9284 5566