Applied Sport and Exercise Nutrition

MSc or PGDip or PGCert

Start dates: September 2024 / September 2025

Full time: MSc: 12 months, PGDip: 8 months

Part time: MSc: 24 months, PGDip: 20 months

Location: Headington

Department(s): Department of Sport, Health Sciences and Social Work

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As people are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of diet and exercise, the role of the sports and exercise nutritionist has grown in demand. Our MSc/PGDip is based on the latest scientific research and best practice. You’ll explore the role of nutrition in helping people improve their health and performance in competitive sports.

At Oxford Brookes, we place great emphasis on the word ‘applied’. You’ll be working with real people and real equipment in both simulated and live situations as you put theory into practice. Our team of experts, all experienced researchers and coaches, will encourage you to consider topics such as hydration, gut health or protein metabolism.

You may already be a practising sports and exercise nutritionist, so rather than make work experience compulsory, we’ve kept it optional. Apply your lessons to your own practice or use our links with professional sports teams, Oxfordshire hospitals and food organisations. 

Whatever your starting point, our MSc will act as a great springboard for the next stage of your career.

Attend an open day or webinar Ask a question Order a prospectus

Student monitoring athlete with specialist equipment

Why Oxford Brookes University?

  • Hands-on training

    You’ll work to become an independent practitioner with the skills to interpret measurements like expired air analysis, lactate levels, or body composition.

  • Access to a variety of tech

    You can access a wide range of the latest technology including GPS systems, ultrasound, activity monitoring sensors and more.

  • Professional accreditation

    With our MSc/PGdip you can apply for Graduate Membership to the Sports and Exercise Nutrition Register (SENR), giving you professional credibility and legal protection.

  • Efficient timetabling

    We structure our teaching so that you attend 2 days a week full time or once a week part time. Travel from further afield or combine the course with consultancy work.

  • Prestigious location

    You can apply to access a range of academic opportunities in the city, such as Oxford University’s Bodleian library or union. Enjoy a direct bus route to London as well.

  • Accreditation(s)

    Sport and Exercise Nutrition Register

    • Sport and Exercise Nutrition Register

Course details

Course structure

We expect you’ll have a strong understanding of either human nutrition or sport and exercise science.

So, in the first semester, depending on your background, you’ll take either the Fundamentals of Human Nutrition or the Sports and Exercise Physiology module. We don’t want you to repeat an entire module in a topic you have a bachelor’s award for already.

You’ll follow a series of taught modules, examining theoretical and research issues. You’ll also learn advanced information about the effects of diet and physical activity on metabolic health and disease.

In the second semester, you’ll test out some of the theories in the field using our specialist portable equipment or in our state-of-the-art lab settings.

If you’re on the MSc course, you’ll do a research project in the final semester. This could be investigating the calorie-burning estimates of sports equipment, or analysing the influence of fluid and energy intake on team or endurance sports.

Students cooking in the nutrition kitchen

Learning and teaching

You will learn using a variety of methods. These reflect the wide variety of topics associated with applied sport and exercise nutrition, including:

  • lectures
  • directed reading
  • workshops
  • seminars
  • practical exercises 
  • laboratory sessions
  • project work.

You will develop the skills to understand and communicate advanced theoretical and research-based knowledge of nutrition to people who participate in sport and exercise. 

Each module requires 200 hours of student input in each twelve week semester. There are approximately 36 hours of staff contact time. 


Your performance in each module is assessed by:

  • evaluation of your written or design work
  • verbal presentations.

We use a range of assessment methods, including:

  • essays
  • seminar papers
  • formal written examinations
  • in-class tests
  • project case work
  • design and verbal presentations
  • workshops
  • simulations
  • practical exercises.

Field Trips

We encourage you to attend relevant industry and academic conferences. This will help to further your subject knowledge and take advantage of networking opportunities.

Study modules

The modules listed below are for the master's award. For the PGDip award your module choices may be different. Please contact us for more details.

Taught modules

Compulsory modules

  • Fundamentals of Human Nutrition (20 credits)

    This module provides a comprehensive overview of the different nutrients required by humans throughout the life cycle and their sources in food in the UK and worldwide. It also critically evaluates methods used to assess nutrient intake at an individual and population level. The relationship between lifestyle and body composition will also be covered.

  • Research Methods (20 credits)

    This module provides a foundation and training in fundamental research methods, from literature searching, experimental planning and design to data analysis and presentation. Assessment is by coursework only.

  • Nutrition, Physical Activity and Health (20 credits)

    This module examines the relationships between nutrition, physical activity and health outcomes in humans. In particular, the influence of diet and physical activity on cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and obesity will be considered along with counselling and goal-setting for diet, nutrition and exercise.

  • Sport and Exercise Nutrition in Practice (20 credits)

    This module draws upon expert experience from individuals who are involved in providing nutritional support for people who participate in sport and exercise. Where appropriate, the module will use the expertise of guest lecturers in addition to the core teaching team. Strategies that focus on selected techniques known to enhance healthy dietary strategies will be covered. Finally, the use of case studies and practical experience will link the theoretical and applied aspects of the course to provide you with the skills necessary to meet the challenges faced by contemporary sport and exercise nutritionists.

  • Sport and Exercise Physiology (20 credits)

    This module examines the fundamental concepts in exercise physiology. Content includes acute and chronic adaptations to exercise, biochemistry and function of skeletal muscle, principles of exercise training, physiology of special populations (eg children, women, elderly and elite athletes) and immune function. Teaching methods include seminars and laboratory sessions.

  • Applied Techniques in Sport and Exercise Nutrition (20 credits)

    This module consists of a practical component using state-of-the-art laboratory techniques including portable calorimetry, densitometry, haematology and urine analysis. This module includes comprehensive testing on both invited athletes and classmates. In addition to the practical element, a main focus of the module is placed on data interpretation and presentation to aid report writing for scientific publications and also athlete and coach feedback. Enrolment on the module also entitles you to complementary registration for the highly sought after International Society for the Advancement of Kinanthropometry (ISAK) Level 1 qualification (on completion of the required additional practical and theoretical components).

  • Applied Practice in Sport, Exercise and Nutrition (20 credits)

    This module provides you with opportunities to reflect on your professional practice and to consider the legal and ethical boundaries when working in sport and exercise nutrition settings. You will also gain training to assist in working with clients with special needs (eg young or elderly populations, disabled athletes, vegetarian athletes) or who come from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds that do not otherwise fit the 'standard' model of sport and exercise nutrition.

Final project

Compulsory modules

  • Research Project (60 credits)

    This consists of an intensive period of research into a selected topic in sport and exercise nutrition. You will work closely with an appointed supervisor to establish a project topic and identify an appropriate intervention. The research project will be primarily assessed by dissertation submission. Past projects have included fluid and energy delivery from sports drinks during cycling and rowing, accuracy of calorie expenditure estimates of popular sports equipment and effects from ingestion of alcohol, protein, carbohydrate, fat and ergogenic aids including sodium bicarbonate, caffeine, dietary nitrate and creatine.

Please note: As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you can choose from may vary from those shown here. The structure of the course may also mean some modules are not available to you.


Our research areas and clusters include:

  • immediate physiological and psychophysical exercise performed at different intensities
  • effects of restricted fluid intake in people with MS on temperature control, energy levels, balance and cognitive and physical performance
  • feasibility of supporting people with long-term neurological conditions to exercise in the community
  • exploring exercise responses in children with physical disabilities with plans to explore delivery of community exercise and sports programmes
  • exploring novel exercise delivery techniques for people who find it hard to move, including the use of mental imagery
  • effect of fluid and carbohydrate intake on rowing skill and performance
  • relationship between levels of physical activity and blood levels of neuroactive proteins induced by exercise
  • effect of green tea on competitive cycling performance
  • effective nutritional strategies for enhancing post-exercise rehydration.
Student conducting research in the sports lab


With the MSc/PgDip in Applied Sport and Exercise Nutrition, you’ll have a wide range of options open to you. As well as your theoretical knowledge, you’ll have developed key skills in analysing results and presenting practical nutrition recommendations.

You may decide to work with a professional sports club as a nutritionist to help players improve their performance and find a competitive advantage.

Or you may choose to focus on nutrition in a health and exercise context as a lifestyle consultant. That could be in a hospital or in your own private practice.

Previous graduates have gone into industry, working for major companies like GlaxoSmithKline, or have taken up roles with the regional Institutes of Sport in the UK. Others have gone on to teach in further or higher education, or acquired funded PhD positions.

Our Staff

Dr Peter Wright

My research has developed in the past from elite training and space medicine to chronic diseases (CHF, COPD, diabetes, cancer, and depression), occupational medicine, gerontology, tissue perfusion during exercise and more lately adult neurogenesis (neuroscience) and military medicine.

Read more about Peter

Entry requirements

International qualifications and equivalences

How to apply

Application process

Tuition fees

Please see the fees note
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time

International full time

Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

2024 / 25
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time

International full time

2025 / 26
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

+44 (0)1865 534400

Fees quoted are for the first year only. If you are studying a course that lasts longer than one year, your fees will increase each year.

The following factors will be taken into account by the University when it is setting the annual fees: inflationary measures such as the retail price indices, projected increases in University costs, changes in the level of funding received from Government sources, admissions statistics and access considerations including the availability of student support.

How and when to pay

Tuition fee instalments for the semester are due by the Monday of week 1 of each semester. Students are not liable for full fees for that semester if they leave before week 4. If the leaving date is after week 4, full fees for the semester are payable.

  • For information on payment methods please see our Make a Payment page.
  • For information about refunds please visit our Refund policy page

Financial support and scholarships

For general sources of financial support, see our Fees and funding pages.

Additional costs

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course are detailed below.

When possible, we provide financial support for you to attend conferences (subject to availability). Where financial support is unavailable, you will need to pay to attend the conferences.

Programme changes:
On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website. For more information, please visit our changes to programmes page.