Sports and Exercise Nutrition MSc

Study level: Postgraduate
Student using breathing monitor while using an exercise bike

Over the past decade, the impact of nutrition and exercise in optimising athletic performance and recovery from injury has become increasingly clear and there has been a growing demand for highly trained specialists in this field.

Year of entry



Coventry University (Coventry)

Study mode



1 year full-time
2-3 years part-time (UK only)

Course code


Start date

September 2024

Course overview

The impact of nutrition and exercise in optimising athletic performance and recovery from injury has become increasingly clear and there is a growing demand for highly trained specialists.

This exciting master’s aims to foster an evidence-based approach to understanding the science and application of sports nutrition and exercise for a diverse range of individuals to improve their health, fitness or sporting performance.

  • Designed to develop your appreciation of the human body and its functions, together with nutrition science and its role in promoting human health.
  • You will consider the components of fitness, including nutritional requirements, energy expenditure, body mass and body composition, examining some of the common problems associated with general health and wellbeing, diet and nutrition, exercise and sport performance.
  • We will encourage a critical, analytical and flexible approach to problem-solving in sport and exercise nutrition.
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Guardian University Guide 2021 and 2022

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5 QS Stars for Teaching and Facilities

QS Stars University Ratings

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Top 5 UK Student City in England (Coventry)

QS Best Student Cities Index 2024

Why you should study this course

  • Opportunity to undertake placements at a range of local professional and amateur sports clubs, as well as the university sports teams (subject to competitive application, availability, meeting visa requirements, and additional costs may apply)2.
  • Explore the latest issues relating to the theory and practice of sport and exercise nutrition through case studies and exposure to the applied environment.
  • We have experts in sport and exercise psychology, physiology, exercise and health, strength and conditioning, biomechanics, and nutrition, many conducting ongoing research and consultancy (staff may be subject to change).
  • Access to industry-standard software, including those for assessing dietary analysis and energy expenditure and specialist equipment, including kitchens, an environmental chamber and a range of ergometers and metabolic carts4.
  • Successful completion provides eligibility to apply as a graduate to the Sports and Nutrition Register (SENr), a collaboration between the British Dietetic Association, the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences and The Nutrition Society (subject to additional costs).

Accreditation and professional recognition

This course is accredited1 and recognised by the following bodies:

Chartered Management Institute

Chartered Management Institute

The course currently includes the Chartered Management Institute (CMI)  accredited1 module, Entrepreneurial Practice. Upon successful completion of the module, you will gain the CMI Level 7 Certificate in Strategic Management and Leadership Practice at no additional cost. Coventry University’s accreditation with CMI is currently ongoing for the relevant modules and is regularly reviewed and monitored by CMI through their quality systems.

Since graduating, I have worked at Watford FC, Harlequins, Birmingham City FC and Intraperformance who placed me in a Champions League football club. I have also built my own business and worked with a mixture of athletes, from amateur boxers to tennis players in Grand Slam tournaments.

From completing my master’s degree at Coventry University I have attained the knowledge, skills and mentorship to be competent for all of the experiences highlighted above. The support I received from Freddy Brown, Neil Clark and Mike Price has put me ahead of other graduates around the country.

Tom Hill, Sports and Exercise Nutrition MSc graduate, quoted in 2023
Tom Hill, Sports and Exercise Nutrition MSc graduate

What you'll study

Over the course of this master’s, you will cover three main themes: Exercise Physiology – exploring how the body adapts and responds to exercise and strength training; Nutrition – the exploration of the science of nutrition and the use of dietary strategies to enhance sport and exercise performance; and Research Skills – aiming to provide you with the skills necessary to conduct your own research.


  • The aim of this module is to provide an advanced understanding of the scientific basis for sports nutrition that covers the principles, background and rationale for current nutritional guidelines for sports performance. This module also considers the biochemical and physiological processes occurring in different types of exercise and how these respond to training. The module will also involve critically reviewing the effectiveness and mechanisms of new and developing areas in sports nutrition, for example the latest or most popular dietary supplements.


  • The aim of this module is to undertake applied practice in sports nutrition in the form of a placement. You will successfully apply to work with an athlete or team and provide nutritional support2. It will be expected that you will employ your understanding of the scientific basis for sports nutrition that covers the principles, background and rationale for current nutritional guidelines for sports performance.


  • This module focuses on the practical skills associated with sports nutrition and provides a broad coverage of practical issues in sports nutrition. As well as looking at nutrition goals and the dietary strategies that can meet those goals, this module reviews nutritional knowledge, beliefs and behaviours of athletes, and deals with implementation of change and achieving goals in the practical world of sport. The module will provide you with an appreciation of the skills required when supporting sporting individuals or teams.


  • This module will provide a detailed understanding of the complex processes necessary to formulate, develop and test a scientific/clinical hypothesis. You will apply these to the design of a research experiment in a particular area. The ethos, requirements and legislation surrounding medical research will also be discussed within this module. In addition, personal development planning (PDP) and career planning will also be considered in this module.


  • This module introduces you to potential opportunities to influence public health nutrition and engage with the public through media and by making an impact in the retail or service industry. It achieves this through using journalism as a channel of communication and by encouraging students to use their entrepreneurial skills to create and bring to life a new business idea.

    Professional conduct, responsibilities and accountability in relation to current legislation, guidelines and the relevant codes of ethics practice will be addressed.


  • In this module you put into practice, and report, your research proposal. You will implement your project design, collect, analyse and interpret your data and critically evaluate your findings with due regard to published literature.

    You will continue to be supported through the process via supervisory meetings, but are expected to demonstrate an ability to work independently without close supervision. You are expected to show a high level of organisational skills, practical ability, interaction with other students, engagement with supervisory meetings and professional behaviour to participants or clients.


  • The aim of this module is to give you the opportunity to critically assess the relationship between entrepreneurship and other domains of management, such as strategy and leadership. You will gain an understanding of how entrepreneurial thinking can enhance organisational performance and leadership through the application of a more enterprising mindset.


We regularly review our course content, to make it relevant and current for the benefit of our students. For these reasons, course modules may be updated.

How you'll learn

This course blends a mixture of face-to-face and online teaching, which is designed to maximise your opportunities to balance study with other commitments. Teaching can take the form of the following methods:

  • Lectures
  • Tutorials
  • Practical laboratory/therapy classes
  • Problem-based learning
  • Directed self-learning

These will be accompanied by associated online delivery methods:

  • Online lectures
  • Online problem-based learning
  • Discussion boards

This course can be offered on a part-time basis across 2-3 years. While we would like to give you all the information about our part-time offering here, it is tailored for each course each year depending on the number of part-time applicants. Therefore, the part-time teaching arrangements vary. Request further information about part-time study.

Teaching contact hours

The number of full-time contact hours may vary from semester to semester, however, on average, it is likely to be around 13 contact hours per week.

Additionally, you will be expected to undertake significant self-directed study of approximately 20 hours each week, depending on the demands of individual modules.

The contact hours may be made up of a combination of face-to-face teaching, individual and group tutorials, and online classes and tutorials.

As an innovative and enterprising institution, the university may seek to utilise emerging technologies within the student experience. For all courses (whether on-campus, blended, or distance learning), the university may deliver certain contact hours and assessments via online technologies and methods.

Since COVID-19, we have delivered our courses in a variety of forms, in line with public authority guidance, decisions, or orders and we will continue to adapt our delivery as appropriate. Whether on campus or online, our key priority is staff and student safety.


This course will be assessed using a variety of methods which will vary depending upon the module.

Assessment methods include:

  • Coursework
  • Oral presentations
  • Video presentations
  • A practical portfolio
  • Dissertation.

The Coventry University Group assessment strategy ensures that our courses are fairly assessed and allows us to monitor student progression towards achieving the intended learning outcomes.

International experience opportunities

Throughout the world, there have been tremendous advances over the last decade in the knowledge of sport and exercise nutrition and its application. Athletes at all levels are looking at the role nutrition plays in optimising training, recovery and performance. Similarly, international health organisations and governments are becoming increasingly aware of the positive effects exercise and nutrition can have on general health and wellbeing – anything from cancer and cardiovascular health to obesity and psychological health.

Connections and collaborations are being sought with institutions overseas through staff contacts and the Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) programme (which may be subject to application and availability)2.

Entry requirements

Typical offer for 2024/25 entry.

Applicants should hold the equivalent of a 2:2 undergraduate degree in Dietetics, Human Nutrition or Sport Science which includes a module in Physiology. Students must have studied and passed a Level 6 module in Nutrition.

Applicants must be able to demonstrate interest, enthusiasm and continuous professional development - ideally in the field of sports nutrition. 

We recognise a breadth of qualifications; speak to one of our advisers today to find out how we can help you.

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Select your region to find detailed information about entry requirements:

You can view our full list of country specific entry requirements on our Entry requirements page.

Alternatively, visit our International hub for further advice and guidance on finding in-country agents and representatives, joining our in-country events and how to apply.

Typical entry requirements

Applicants should hold the equivalent of a 2:2 undergraduate degree in Dietetics, Human Nutrition or Sport Science which includes a module in Physiology. Students must have studied and passed a Level 6 module in Nutrition.

Applicants must be able to demonstrate interest, enthusiasm and continuous professional development - ideally in the field of sports nutrition.

English language requirements

  • IELTS: 6.5 overall, with no component lower than 5.5

If you don't meet the English language requirements, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course. 

For more information on our approved English language tests visit our English language requirements page.

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Fees and funding

2024/25 tuition fees.

Student Full-time Part-time
UK, Ireland*, Channel Islands or Isle of Man £11,200   Request fee information
EU £11,200 per year with EU support bursary**
£18,600 per year without EU support bursary**
Not available
International £18,600   Not available

For advice and guidance on tuition fees3 and student loans visit our Postgraduate Finance page.

We offer a range of International scholarships to students all over the world. For more information, visit our International Scholarships page.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessments, facilities and support services. There may be additional costs not covered by this fee such as accommodation and living costs, recommended reading books, stationery, printing and re-assessments should you need them.

The following are additional costs not included in the tuition fees:

  • Any optional overseas field trips or visits: £400+ per trip.
  • Any costs associated with securing, attending or completing a placement (whether in the UK or abroad).

*Irish student fees

The rights of Irish residents to study in the UK are preserved under the Common Travel Area arrangement. If you are an Irish student and meet the residency criteria, you can study in England, pay the same level of tuition fees as English students and utilise the Tuition Fee Loan.

**EU support bursary

Following the UK's exit from the European Union, we are offering financial support to all eligible EU students who wish to study an undergraduate or a postgraduate degree with us full-time. This bursary will be used to offset the cost of your tuition fees to bring them in line with that of UK students. Students studying a degree with a foundation year with us are not eligible for the bursary.

  • We carry out an initial fee status assessment based on the information you provide in your application. Your fee status determines your tuition fees, and what financial support and scholarships may be available to you. The rules about who pays UK (home) or international (overseas) fees for higher education courses in England are set by the government's Department for Education. The regulations identify all the different categories of student who can insist on paying the home rate. The regulations can be difficult to understand, so the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) has provided fee status guidance to help you identify whether you are eligible to pay the home or overseas rate.

    If you meet all the criteria required by any one category, including any residence requirements, your institution must charge you the home rate. You only need to find one category that you fit into.


As part of the School of Life Sciences, this course will take place at our Coventry University main campus and has access to the state-of-the-art Alison Gingell Building which features a number of innovative classrooms and facilities4.

The Alison Gingell building has sports labs, analytical labs, research labs and sports science labs, all equipped with top-of-the-range equipment you’ll need to succeed in this course.

Sports Therapy Student learning

Sports Therapy Clinic

The Sports Therapy Clinic is run by final-year undergraduate Sports Therapy students under the supervision of qualified staff, with second-year students providing a supervised massage clinic twice a week.

Strength and conditioning suite

Strength and conditioning suite

Our multi-purpose suite is equipped with multiple Olympic lifting platforms, a 20m gait analysis track, an anti-gravity treadmill and a 3D motion capture system.

Environmental Chamber

Environmental chamber

Our environmental chamber helps us to test the effects of a wide range of environmental conditions, such as temperature and barometric pressure, on the human body.

Careers and opportunities

On successful completion of this course, you should have knowledge of:

  • The underpinning principal conceptual and theoretical issues in sport and exercise nutrition.
  • Key anthropometric, physiological and nutritional assessments.
  • The physiology of exercise and principles used to construct training programmes, physical activity, nutrition and obesity, and research skills.
  • The structure, regulation and organisation of sporting agencies.

You will be able to:

  • Critically analyse, evaluate and interpret knowledge and practice in sport and exercise nutrition.
  • Formulate and present a critical argument using a variety of methods (eg presentations, essays) that would stand up to critical review and scrutiny in academic and professional settings.
  • Exhibit the skills of critical reasoning in relation to application of sports nutrition.
  • Analyse key nutritional, anthropometric and physiological assessments.
  • Interpret training programmes.
  • Carry out appropriate anthropometrical, nutritional and physiological assessments.
  • Devise suitable nutritional goals for sports men and women.

As a qualified sport and exercise nutritionist upon successful completion of the course, you should be able to find employment in range of different areas – within academia, the sport and fitness industry or public health nutrition.

Increasingly professional in their approach, many sports clubs are now seeking the advice of nutrition consultants to assist with their performance training and rehabilitation. You could find yourself developing nutrition programmes for professional teams and elite athletes.

However, sports nutrition is a rapidly developing area in personal training and community based physical activity interventions. With public health high on the government’s agenda, there is also a growing demand for graduates who can provide guidance on exercise and lifestyle within doctor’s surgeries, hospitals and private practice, as well as research roles within governing bodies.

How to apply

  • Coventry University together with Coventry University London, Coventry University Wrocław, CU Coventry, CU London, CU Scarborough, and Coventry University Online come together to form part of the Coventry University Group (the University) with all degrees awarded by Coventry University.


    The majority of our courses have been formally recognised by professional bodies, which means the courses have been reviewed and tested to ensure they reach a set standard. In some instances, studying on an accredited course can give you additional benefits such as exemptions from professional exams (subject to availability, fees may apply). Accreditations, partnerships, exemptions and memberships shall be renewed in accordance with the relevant bodies’ standard review process and subject to the university maintaining the same high standards of course delivery.

    2UK and international opportunities

    Please note that we are unable to guarantee any UK or international opportunities (whether required or optional) such as internships, work experience, field trips, conferences, placements or study abroad opportunities and that all such opportunities may be unpaid and/or subject to additional costs (which could include, but is not limited to, equipment, materials, bench fees, studio or facilities hire, travel, accommodation and visas), competitive application, availability and/or meeting any applicable travel, public authority guidance, decisions or orders and visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand any visa requirements, please contact the International Office.

    3Tuition fees

    The University will charge the tuition fees that are stated in the above table for the first Academic Year of study. The University will review tuition fees each year. For UK (home) students, if Parliament permit an increase in tuition fees, the University may increase fees for each subsequent year of study in line with any such changes. Note that any increase is expected to be in line with inflation.

    For international students, we may increase fees each year, but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation. If you defer your course start date or have to extend your studies beyond the normal duration of the course (e.g. to repeat a year or resit examinations) the University reserves the right to charge you fees at a higher rate and/or in accordance with any legislative changes during the additional period of study.


    Facilities are subject to availability. Access to some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) may vary from those advertised and/or may have reduced availability or restrictions where the university is following public authority guidance, decisions or orders.

    Student Contract

    By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the university. A copy of the current 2023/2024 contract is available on the website for information purposes however the 2024/25 Contract is currently being updated so please revisit this page before submitting your application. The Contract details your rights and the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and contains the obligations that the university will owe to you. You should read the Contract before you accept an offer of a place and before you enrol at the university.

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