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2019/20 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

SPSC5203M Physical Activity, Health and Exercise Prescription

20 creditsClass Size: 20

Module manager: Dr Karen Birch

Taught: Semester 2 View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

This module explores the theory and practice of public health/health promotion with respect to the national physical activity agenda. It introduces the necessary tools (epidemiology, measures, prescription) for effective intervention. Through a series of exemplar conditions, how the pathophysiology dictates appropriateness of different interventions is discussed. Students have the opportunity to design their own exercise prescription during a supervised practical, and conduct a small scale physical activity project in their own time (using questionnaires and activity monitors) then analyse data in the university.The blended learning approach will adopt a mix of tutorials, lectures, practical sessions and mini-project. Recommended eLearning resources will be identified (including recorded lectures). Delivery will involve introductory tutorials followed by lectures of exemplar topics, online material, application seminar, and a questionnaire / physical activity intervention trial backed by computer-based data analysis.


On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
- stratify individuals into risk categories in health screening;
- describe and utilize the general principles of exercise testing and prescription;
- interpret the results of health related physical fitness testing and clinical exercise testing;
- critically evaluate the utility and diagnostic value of health related physical fitness and clinical exercise testing;
- correctly modify exercise prescription for special populations (for example cardiac patients, the elderly, children, pregnant women) and clinical conditions (e.g. dyslipdemia, obesity, hypertension, diabetes).

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module students should be able to:
- Explain the principles of risk stratification;
- Analyse and interpret exercise testing data;
- Construct an exercise prescription;
- Differentiate prescriptions for special populations and clinical conditions;
- Discuss epidemiology readouts for physical activity;
Students will critically assess the evidence-based approach for exercise prescription, and summarise and evaluate treatment efficacy. In addition, they will analyse, interpret and present experimental data.


The module will cover the following:
- Pre-participation health screening and risk stratification
- Pre-exercise evaluations
- Clinical exercise testing 1
- Clinical exercise testing 2
- General principles of exercise prescription
- Prescription modifications for cardiac patients
- Other special populations and clinical conditions

Lectures will include:
1. What is physical activity?
2. Physical activity and public health;
3. Measurements of physical activity;
4. Exercise adherence;
5. Obesity, pathophysiology and exercise epidemiology;
6. Obesity and exercise programming;
7. Dyslipidemia, pathophysiology and exercise epidemiology;
8. Dyslipidemia and exercise programming;
9. Endothelial function pathophysiology and exercise epidemiology;
10. Endothelial function and exercise programming;
11. Ischemic heart disease, pathophysiology and exercise epidemiology;
12. Ischemic heart disease and exercise programming;
13. Psychological management of patients;
14. Psychological aspects of rehabilitation: cancer & adherence.

Online material will include:
1. Principles of exercise prescription.

Practical components will include:
1. Designing an exercise prescription (practical/seminar);
2. Small-scale physical activity project.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Independent online learning hours80.00
Private study hours76.00
Total Contact hours44.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Private study will include engaging with online resources provided, preparation of questionnaires, and preparation for/analysis of the small scale physical activity project

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

A member of the academic or clinical teaching staff will be allocated as tutor to the group, and will meet with students twice during the module to assess progress, discuss issues arising, and set objectives for the next study period.

Students will have the opportunity to self-assess progress by means of seminars, suggested reading material and on-line resources available.

Students will have 2 tutorials, plus feedback from assessed work.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay or DissertationPrescription case study15.00
ReportIndividual Lab Report (3,000 words)50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)65.00

No compensation among assessments

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc) (S2)3 hr 35.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)35.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 17/04/2019


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