MSc in Applied Sport and Exercise NutritionNEW 18 month full-time Masters conversion programme specialising in Sport and Exercise Nutrition. Includes work placement. Part-time options also available.
Discipline: Natural Sciences
Location: Galway - Dublin Road
NFQ Level: 9
Programme Duration: Eighteen Months
Mode of Study: Full time
Application Route: Apply direct to GMIT
Entry Requirements: Honours Degree (H2.2) in any science or related health discipline
Within the past decade, there has been a marked growth in the career opportunities available for sport and exercise nutritionists as well as an enhanced interest in nutrition to complement other job roles in the sport and exercise science field.
This Masters programme is designed to provide students with a sound grounding in the scientific method in the context of sport and exercise nutrition. Key areas of study include physiology, nutrition and metabolism with a focus on practical application of sport and exercise nutrition.
All students will complete a sport and exercise nutrition work placement and a hypothesis driven research project.
Employment opportunities exist at a local, regional, national and international level.
Unique in Ireland
There is no course in Ireland currently specialising in Sport and Exercise Nutrition. The course is offered as a conversion programme for students that have previously completed science or health-based undergraduate degrees. It therefore gives students the opportunity to specialise in Sport and Exercise Nutrition.
The blended nature of the delivery of the programme (i.e. some face-to-face sessions and some online lectures) with the majority of the content being delivered online means that the programme is suitable for students both nationally and internationally.
What is a Sports and Exercise Nutritionist?
Sport and Exercise Nutrition is the application of scientific and nutritional principles in order to understand and enhance sport and exercise performance and health and well-being.
The Association for Nutrition (AfN) define Sport and Exercise Nutritionist roles as:
‘Sports and Exercise Nutritionists develop, implement and evaluate nutritional strategies to optimise performance in sport and exercise.
They determine the energy, fluid and nutrient demands of sport and exercise and provide tailored dietary advice to individuals and groups, ranging from recreational athletes, enthusiastic amateurs to elite professional athletes.
They may also work for and in the sports nutrition industry e.g. producing products for athletes of all ability levels, or may work in education, be academics or researchers.’
This Masters programme has been designed to prepare students with the requisite level of understanding, knowledge, and skills to work within sport and exercise nutrition contexts.
- Human Nutrition (5 credits)
- Sport and Exercise Physiology (5 credits)
- Sport and Exercise Nutrition in Practice 1 (10 credits)
- Research Methods (10 credits)
- Advanced Sport and Exercise Nutrition (10 credits)
- Sport and Exercise Nutrition in Practice 2 (10 credits)
- Laboratory Techniques in Sport and Exercise Nutrition (10 credits)
- Research Project (30 credits)
The career opportunities available to sport and exercise nutritionists in Europe are expanding all the time and this expansion appears likely to continue for the foreseeable future.
Most sports now recognise nutritional science as an integral part of their sport’s development and success and most athletes consider the application of sport and exercise nutrition as an important part of everyday preparation for training and competition.
‘In the Know’ provides a summary from the AfN of different career paths in the Nutrition field. Examples of careers from AfN-accredited degree programmes in the UK may be found at http://www.associationfornutrition.org/.
Examples of careers from AfN-accredited and SENr-accredited degree programmes in the UK include:
- Sports Nutritionist
- Exercise Nutritionist
- Exercise Physiologist
- Health Promotion Specialist
- Lecturer in Higher Education
- Performance Nutritionist
- New product development technologist
- Sports Development Officer
- Self-employment (as a consultant, contractor or entrepreneur)
In the UK typical employers include:
- Food standards agency
- Government advisory groups
- Government agencies
- Local authorities
- National disease prevention initiatives
- National research groups and health promotion initiatives
- National sporting associations, governing bodies and other related sporting agencies
- Private health and fitness clubs, spas and public sports and recreation facilities
- Professional sports clubs
- Schools, further education and higher education institutions
- The health sector, including the National Health Service (NHS)
Similar job opportunities are available throughout Europe and the US.
Graduates will be eligible to pursue research PhD programmes in Nutrition and related areas.
Work Placement is included.
All students will require Garda Vetting.
Some overnight stays in Galway will be necessary for the practical sessions.
Sport and Exercise Nutrition Register (SENr) Accreditation
The Sport and Exercise Nutrition Register (SENr) has been established and developed a competency framework for graduates and practitioners in the field. The SENr has been designed by both registered dietitians and nutritionists to recognise the required standard for both groups to work in the field.
While both dietitians and nutritionists require registration with their respective professional bodies, to recognise the unique skill set required for Sport and Exercise Nutrition, the SENr was established.
This MSc in Applied Sport and Exercise Nutrition has been developed to fulfil requirements for SENr accreditation. Postgraduate education is the minimum level of education required to register with the SENr.
Association for Nutrition (AfN) Accreditation
As there is currently no developed Irish standard for nutritionists (not specific to sport and exercise), the Association for Nutrition (AfN) has developed procedures for the accreditation of suitably experienced individuals which are recognised internationally.
This MSc in Applied Sport and Exercise Nutrition seeks to provide students with an opportunity to study at a postgraduate level to fulfil the initial requirements for AfN Accreditation as a Registered Nutritionist, to develop their knowledge of sport and exercise nutrition and to increase their skills in applying such knowledge in a sport and exercise setting.