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

For me, the best part of the course was being taught by world-leading experts in the field of physical activity and health. The tutorials were always interactive with group work or class discussions part of every class. We were encouraged to develop our own thoughts and opinions on important topics and we were never lectured at for hours and hours! The teaching staff come from a variety of backgrounds (e.g. physiology, psychology, and epidemiology), so you will be able to work in a variety of areas based on your interests and experience.

Naomi Burn MSc Physical Activity for Health 2016

Physical inactivity has been recognised as a pandemic and global public health issue. The MSc Physical Activity for Health is designed to provide academic training at a postgraduate level for both recent graduates from a range of disciplines (including sport and exercise sciences, health sciences, psychology, epidemiology, and physiology) and the existing national and international workforce in the area of physical activity and public health.

The programme draws on the health sciences 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 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

Graduates will enhance their opportunities for employment in careers related to physical activity including health promotion (local authorities), primary and community health care, physical activity development, physical activity and health consultancy, the health and fitness industry and research.

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.

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 Graham Baker
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 6034
  • Contact: pafh@ed.ac.uk
  • Moray House School of Education and Sport
  • 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.

You must submit one reference with your application.

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

Further information

  • Programme Director, Dr Graham Baker
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 6034
  • Contact: pafh@ed.ac.uk
  • Moray House School of Education and Sport
  • Old Moray House
  • Holyrood Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 8AQ