Programme Specification for PGCert Sports Rehabilitation

 Recruitment for this programme is currently suspended. 

Final award


Intermediate awards available


UCAS code


Details of professional body accreditation


Relevant QAA Benchmark statements

Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Podiatry

Date specification last up-dated

March 2008


The summary - programme advertising leaflet

Programme content

The programme explores the interrelationships between training, performance, injury and rehabilitation in sports. It seeks to develop practice that minimises injuries during training and competition and maximises rehabilitation and return to competitive performance. University based elements encompass principles that the student may apply to their personal engagement with sport whether it is at elite level or in support of community based activities. The programme is therefore, designed to give practitioners the opportunity to explore and evaluate the evidence base for their practice enabling them to develop more effective and innovative approaches within their area of interest.

Topics covered include:-

  1. Maintaining the healthy athlete
    Parameters of fitness, Fitness testing, Sports nutrition, Sports psychology and coaching, Health promotion, Drugs and Performance, Medico-legal considerations, Disability in Sport and Biomechanics.
  2. Dealing with the acute episode
    Pitch Side Management/First Aid, Pharmacological Therapy, Sports psychology and coaching, Clinical reasoning (diagnostics/timing & options for treatment e.g. surgical vs. conservative.
  3. Rehabilitation of the Injured Athlete
    Treatment modalities, Taping/Bracing/Orthotics, Therapeutic massage & soft tissue treatment, Matching muscle function to performance.

Sports Rehabilitation at UEL

The programme is interdisciplinary and students work together exploring the contribution each discipline makes to patient care. Through this approach students will develop a better understanding of other disciplines and develop approaches to working together to provide a patient led service.

Admission requirements

Students will all have:-

  • a first degree in a health related discipline classified as second class or above
  • professional registration with the relevant regulatory body from their home country and/ or
  • current membership of the relevant Professional Body
  • relevant work experience is desirable but the applicant’s overall profile will be considered during the admission’s process

We anticipate that the programme and modules offered may be of interest to a range of health disciplines including Physiotherapists, Podiatrists, Occupational Therapists, Rehabilitation Nurses, Sports Therapists, Chiropractics, Osteopaths and Medics. In the case of applicants whose first language is not English, then IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent) is required. International qualifications will be checked for appropriate matriculation to UK Higher Education postgraduate programmes.

Students who apply to enter stages of the programme may be admitted through normal Accreditation of Experiential Learning (AEL) or Accreditation of Certificated Learning (ACL) processes, or through an approved articulation agreement. Therefore such applicants must be able to demonstrate and evidence that they have the required learning outcomes as listed in the modules for which they are seeking exemption.

Programme structure

The programme forms part of our Post Graduate Framework for Health Professions, which offers a wide range of accredited short courses and modules focused around patient centred care and evidence based practice.

Full time Students complete the programme in 5 months.

Part time students may take one to three years – undertaking modules at a pace to suit their busy lives.

Students are required to complete two core modules:-

  • Managing the Healthy Athlete
  • Sports Rehabilitation: Injury to Optimal Performance.

Learning environment

The modules are studied through a variety of activities including keynote lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical sessions, workshops, laboratory sessions, web-based learning. Self direction is encouraged from the beginning and develops throughout the modules.

The modules use:-

  • Presentations, which encourage students to communicate their novel ideas, make interpretations and develop critical awareness with their peers from across the disciplines
  • Case studies which encourage the students to review and evaluate their own practice;
  • Practical and laboratory sessions which develop new skills for management and evaluation of practice.


This Masters level programme has been developed in accordance with underlying principles currently held at the forefront of the professional and academic disciplines. Students are asked to show originality in the application of knowledge and understanding of how the boundaries of knowledge are advanced through practice.

Assessment includes:-

  • Case Studies exploring the evidence-base for management of an athlete in their particular area of practice.
  • Written assignments that present a current view of research surrounding the normal functioning and management of the athlete and which critically evaluates the relevance of current understanding to students’ chosen specialist area.
  • Presentations: these will give an evidence-based overview of the current thinking and literature relating to the management of a particular injury or pathology within students’ chosen specialist area.

Relevance to work/profession

The modules are designed to support the activities of individuals involved with sporting activities at a number of levels; from those treating sports injuries at an elite level, to those involved in developing community sporting activities.

By working together, students involved in different aspects of these activities will expand their knowledge and be able to practice more effectively, taking account of all of the athlete’s needs

The students become more confident to articulate their practice in an interdisciplinary setting. This leads to advances in implementing continuing professional development, research or advanced practice in their departments and in wider context.

Thesis/Dissertation/project work


Added value

Students completing this programme are eligible to transfer onto the MSc in Advanced Practice for Health Professions, where they will have opportunities to further develop their practice in Sports Rehabilitation by undertaking other related modules and a research dissertation.

Your future career

Most of the students will return to the practice environment and will be in a position to expand their career or personal horizon. In the past, some have continued to undertake research, acted as consultants to related commercial enterprises or have been promoted to higher grades as a direct result of completing our MSc programmes.

Several students have moved on to a career in Higher Education.

How we support you

The School Help Desk provides immediate help with day to day problems. This is normally the first point of call for a student and if further advice is required the Help Desk staff will advise the student on where to go for support.

All students are allocated a personal tutor who will support them throughout the programme. Tutors are able to provide information and advice about services available to support learning or to cope with the stresses that study may bring.

Personal tutors can provide feedback and help on draft coursework essays but where the material lies outside their area of expertise the help will focus on presentation and writing style rather than on content.

Module leaders and the module teaching team provide support for students seeking help with understanding of detailed concepts being studied.

The Programme Leader provides support for the students from the time they enrol until they graduate. Advice is available on module choices and practical aspects undertaking part time study.

English language support is available for all students whose first language is not English.

Our School International Student Support Officer will help overseas students comply with legislation and support them to settle into the UK

Bonus factors

The modules have been mapped against the Skills for Health competences. Clinicians will find this helpful in planning an educational programme that supports their career development and in negotiating their access to educational opportunities.

This information can be accessed at the Skills for Health website. To access the website Log on with user name UEL and password E154LZ


Programme aims and learning outcomes

What is this programme designed to achieve?

This programme is designed to give you the opportunity to:

  • To gain an understanding of the physical and cognitive aspects of optimal sports performance
  • To gain an understanding of the concepts involved in managing the healthy athlete for optimal sports performance
  • To explore the physical, cognitive, health promotion and medico-legal aspects of managing athletes
  • To develop a critical awareness of the requirements for the effective management of the acute injured athlete
  • To apply a range of modalities in the rehabilitation of the sports person to optimise function
  • To enable students to evaluate critically and interpret current concepts in relation to their area of practice

What will you learn?

Through the programme students will:-


  • Evaluate the potential physical and psychological impact of injury on the active sports person
  • Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the physiological and psychological parameters of fitness and physical performance plus the requirements for effective management of the injured sports person
  • Consider the implications of legislation and codes of practice when working with athletes

Thinking skills

  • Critically evaluate markers of sports performance and the research evidence related to the effective management of a range of sports injuries
  • Reflect on and develop their practice autonomously in relation to a specific sport / client group
  • Appraise the evidence base related to the evaluation of physical performance

Subject-based practical skills

  • Advance and integrate a range of practical skills into assessment, management and evaluation of the injured sports person to develop individualised programmes of care
  • Utilise and appraise quantitative measurements of fitness

Skills for life and work (general skills)

  • Develop an understanding of the contribution of the multidisciplinary team in the support of the healthy sports person


The programme structure


All programmes are credit-rated to help you to understand the amount and level of study that is needed.

One credit is equal to 10 hours of directed study time (this includes everything you do e.g. lecture, seminar and private study).

Credits are assigned to one of 5 levels:

  • 0 - equivalent in standard to GCE 'A' level and is intended to prepare students for year one of an undergraduate degree programme
  • 1 - equivalent in standard to the first year of a full-time undergraduate degree programme
  • 2 - equivalent in standard to the second year of a full-time undergraduate degree programme
  • 3 - equivalent in standard to the third year of a full-time undergraduate degree programme
  • M - equivalent in standard to a Masters degree

Credit rating

The overall credit-rating of this programme is 60 for PGCert,

Typical duration

Full-time mode PGC: 5 months (Sept –Jan or Feb – June)

Participants wishing to study full-time begin studying in September or February (as offered). International students are advised to attend the Preparation of Higher Education programme offered by the University. The full-time participant will complete the 2 modules

Part-time mode MSc: One to Three Years

Participants wishing to study part-time may begin studying in either September or February (as offered). The modules are distinct entities in themselves and student will register for each module individually. Both modules must be completed within three calendar years.

It is possible to move from full-time to part-time study to accommodate any external factors such as financial constraints or domestic commitments. Many of our students make use of this flexibility and this may impact on the overall duration of their study period.

How the teaching year is divided

The teaching year is divided into two semesters of roughly equal length. A typical full-time student will study two 30 credit modules per semester and a typical part-time student will study one 30 credit module per semester.

What you will study when

LevelModule titleCreditstatus


Managing the Healthy Athlete




Sports Rehabilitation: Injury to Optimal Performance



Requirements for gaining an award

In order to gain a Postgraduate Certificate, you will need to obtain 60 credits at Level M.

Where a student is eligible for an Postgraduate Certificate award then the award classification is determined by calculating the credit-weighted arithmetic mean of all marks and applying the mark obtained as a percentage, with all decimals points rounded up to the nearest whole number, to the following classification.

70% - 100% Distinction
60%- 69% Merit
50% - 59% Pass
0% - 49% Not passed

Masters Award Classification

Where a student is eligible for an Masters award then the award classification is determined by calculating the arithmetic mean of all marks and applying the mark obtained as a percentage, with all decimals points rounded up to the nearest whole number, to the following classification

70% - 100%


60% - 69%


50% - 59%


0% - 49%

Not Passed


Teaching, learning and assessment

Teaching and learning

Knowledge is developed through

  • Lectures on key topics
  • Self directed study to explore and expand concepts presented in lectures
  • Student and Tutor led seminars which provide opportunities to explore understanding within a supportive experience.

Thinking skills are developed through

  • Student Presentations and Videos
  • Group Discussions which stimulate a critical approach to study

Practical skills are developed through

  • participation in practical sessions and demonstrations
  • laboratory sessions where new equipment is introduced and explored

Skills for life and work (general skills) are developed through

  • Library based exercises
  • Presentation of coursework essays and reports
  • Use of our virtual learning environment - UEL Plus


Knowledge is assessed by

  • Coursework assignments of not more that 5,000 words in total for a module
  • Presentations

Thinking skills are assessed by

  • Critiques of research studies
  • Literature review undertakings

Practical skills are assessed by

  • Case studies
  • Presentations

Skills for life and work (general skills) are assessed by

  • Individual presentations
  • Developing a learning contract


How we assure the quality of this programme

Before this programme started

Before this programme started the following was checked:

  • there would be enough qualified staff to teach the programme;
  • adequate resources would be in place;
  • the overall aims and objectives were appropriate;
  • the content of the programme met national benchmark requirements;
  • the programme met any professional/statutory body requirements;
  • the proposal met other internal quality criteria covering a range of issues such as admissions policy, teaching, learning and assessment strategy and student support mechanisms.

This is done through a process of programme approval which involves consulting academic experts including some subject specialists from other institutions.

How we monitor the quality of this programme

The quality of this programme is monitored each year through evaluating:

  • external examiner reports (considering quality and standards)
  • statistical information (considering issues such as the pass rate)
  • student feedback

Drawing on this and other information, programme teams undertake the annual Review and Enhancement Process which is co-ordinated at School level and includes student participation. The process is monitored by the Quality and Standards Committee.

Once every six years an in-depth review of the whole field is undertaken by a panel that includes at least two external subject specialists. The panel considers documents, looks at student work, speaks to current and former students and speaks to staff before drawing its conclusions. The result is a report highlighting good practice and identifying areas where action is needed.

The role of the programme committee

This programme has a programme committee comprising all relevant teaching staff, student representatives and others who make a contribution towards the effective operation of the programme (e.g. library/technician staff). The committee has responsibilities for the quality of the programme. It provides input into the operation of the Review and Enhancement Process and proposes changes to improve quality. The programme committee plays a critical role in the quality assurance procedures.

The role of external examiners

The standard of this programme is monitored by at least one external examiner. External examiners have two primary responsibilities:

  • To ensure the standard of the programme
  • To ensure that justice is done to individual students

External examiners fulfill these responsibilities in a variety of ways including:

  • Approving exam papers/assignments
  • Attending assessment boards
  • Reviewing samples of student work and moderating marks
  • Ensuring that regulations are followed
  • Providing feedback to the University through an annual report that enables us to make improvements for the future

Listening to the views of students

The following methods for gaining student feedback are used on this programme:

  • Module evaluations
  • Student representation on programme committees (meeting 2 times year)

Students are notified of the action taken through:

  • circulating the minutes of the programme committee
  • providing details on the UEL Plus programme notice board

Listening to the views of others

The following methods are used for gaining the views of other interested parties:

  • Questionnaires to former students
  • Annual student satisfaction questionnaire
  • Industrial liaison committee
  • Placements Officer

Further Information

Where you can find further information

Further information about this programme is available from:

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