Postgraduate study

Physical Activity for Health MSc, PgDip (ICL), PgCert (ICL), PgCert, PgDip

Awards: MSc, PgDip (ICL), PgCert (ICL), PgCert, PgDip

Study modes: Part-time Intermittent Study, Full-time, Part-time, Full-time Part Session

Funding opportunities

Programme website: Physical Activity for Health

Physical inactivity has been recognised as a pandemic and global public health issue. This MSc will enhance knowledge and understanding of this field, and contribute to building workforce capacity in this area.

The programme draws on the health sciences of psychology, physiology and epidemiology, and on both research and practice to provide you with a thorough knowledge and awareness of the role of physical activity in improving and maintaining health.

The programme is designed to provide academic training at a postgraduate level for recent graduates and the existing national and international workforce.

The programme combines compulsory and optional courses, which make use of traditional lectures, tutorials, seminars and some laboratory and field practicals.

Assessment involves a combination of essays, reports, case studies, examinations, oral presentations and practical demonstrations.

To complete the MSc programme, you will produce a supervised dissertation.

Compulsory courses:

  • Assessment of Physical Activity and Body Composition
  • Physical Activity for Health
  • Physical Activity for Health Across the Lifespan
  • Psychology of Physical Activity
  • Research Process
  • Understanding Research Concepts

Option courses:

Students will also choose 40 credits of optional courses selected from across the university, subject to availability and suitability for the programme. Example optional courses include:

  • Systematic Reviews
  • Research-Based Attachment
  • Developing and Evaluating Complex Public Health Interventions
  • Preventative Dance Medicine

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScPhysical Activity for HealthUp to 6 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyProgramme structure 2019/20
MScPhysical Activity for Health1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2019/20
MScPhysical Activity for Health2 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2019/20
PgDip (ICL)Physical Activity for HealthUp to 4 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyProgramme structure 2019/20
PgCert (ICL)Physical Activity for HealthUp to 2 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyProgramme structure 2019/20
PgCertPhysical Activity for Health4 MonthsFull-time Part SessionProgramme structure 2019/20
PgDipPhysical Activity for Health9 MonthsFull-timeProgramme structure 2019/20
PgDipPhysical Activity for Health2 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2019/20

This programme prepares you for a successful career in health promotion, primary care trusts, the health and fitness industry, physical activity development, or physical activity and health consultancy.

You could also go on to teach in further and higher education or progress to postgraduate research.

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in a relevant discipline such as sport and exercise science, physical education, health sciences, psychology or physiology.

We may also consider your application if you have equivalent academic qualifications and significant professional training and experience; please contact us to check before you apply.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS: total 6.5 (at least 6.0 in each module)

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 92 (at least 20 in each module)

  • PTE Academic: total 61 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)

  • CAE and CPE: total 176 (at least 169 in each module)

  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with a distinction in all four components

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.*

(*Revised 8/11/2018 to provide more accurate information on English language qualifications expiry dates. Revised 22/03/2019 to provide more accurate/comprehensive information.)

Find out more about our language requirements:

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScPhysical Activity for HealthUp to 6 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyTuition fees
MScPhysical Activity for Health1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
MScPhysical Activity for Health2 YearsPart-timeTuition fees
PgDip (ICL)Physical Activity for HealthUp to 4 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyTuition fees
PgCert (ICL)Physical Activity for HealthUp to 2 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyTuition fees
PgCertPhysical Activity for Health4 MonthsFull-time Part SessionTuition fees
PgDipPhysical Activity for Health9 MonthsFull-timeTuition fees
PgDipPhysical Activity for Health2 YearsPart-timeTuition fees

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments. The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on your programme, the duration of your studies, and your residency status. (Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.)

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Programme Director, Dr Ailsa Niven & Dr Samantha Fawkner
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 6679
  • Contact: PAfH@ed.ac.uk
  • Moray House School of Education
  • Old Moray House
  • Holyrood Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 8AQ

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible. We may consider late applications if we have places available, but you should contact the relevant Admissions Office for advice first.

You must submit one reference with your application.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Programme Director, Dr Ailsa Niven & Dr Samantha Fawkner
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 6679
  • Contact: PAfH@ed.ac.uk
  • Moray House School of Education
  • Old Moray House
  • Holyrood Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 8AQ