Train to be a Clinical Exercise Physiologist at Edinburgh Napier University

If you’re looking for a career that responds to a direct need within the NHS, take a look at the only university in Scotland to offer this degree pathway right now.

There has never been a more pressing need for Clinical Exercise Physiologists (CEPs) to support our nation's health.

As Covid has worsened our epidemic of physical inactivity, the NHS and other healthcare providers face an unprecedented demand for services, there is a real call for university-qualified health professionals trained to screen, assess and apply clinical and scientific reasoning to ensure safety and appropriateness of exercise or physical activity-based interventions that can support long-term behaviour change.

Edinburgh Napier University's MSc in Clinical Exercise Physiology can be completed full-time in a year, or you can study part-time, to gain all the requisite skills, knowledge and clinical placement experience required for professional registration.

What can I expect from the course?

"As a programme team, we are proud to be part of this brand-new registered profession in the UK," says programme leader Dr Amanda Pitkethly.

CEPs specialise in the prescription and delivery of evidence-based exercise interventions to improve the prevention, treatment and long-term management of acute, sub-acute, chronic and complex conditions.

"We are all passionate about developing truly empathic, reflective and professional scientist-practitioners who enjoy helping individuals with health conditions, and who can also make an important impact in our healthcare systems in the same way that other countries like Australia have been doing for 20 years and more."

Amanda and the team supported the development of and teach the curriculum framework developed by Clinical Exercise Physiology-UK, delivering the required knowledge and skills to be a competent Clinical Exercise Physiologist in the UK.

The MSc course develops the skills that graduates need to meet the Academy for Healthcare Sciences (AHCS)' Standards of Proficiency which are in line with the Health Care Professions Council Standards of Proficiency.

What exactly is Clinical Exercise Physiology?

As a CEP, you will specialise in screening, exercise testing and assessment, alongside the design, delivery and evaluation of evidence-based exercise interventions. Your scope of practice encompasses apparently healthy individuals to those with chronic and complex conditions, from primary prevention, through acute management and prehabilitation, to rehabilitation and maintenance.

Interventions are exercise- or physical activity-based and also include health and physical activity education, advice and support for lifestyle modification and behaviour change.

Completing this MSc forms part of the requirement for eligibility to register with the AHCS. As a graduate CEP, you may work as part of healthcare teams across settings from hospital to community. These could include primary, secondary and tertiary care settings; private hospital settings; public and private multidisciplinary clinics and leisure services; workplace health and rehabilitation; or research and academia.

Why should I choose ENU?

"Since 2016, we have a track record in Edinburgh, and Scotland more widely, for developing clinical exercise scientists," continues Amanda. "Many of our previous graduates have gone on to valuable careers in healthcare systems and research.

“Our team of excellent academics have so much to offer including international reach and esteem, involvement in the recognition of the profession of CEP in the UK and its promotion, involvement in developing the national curriculum, applied clinical experience and much more."

What do I need to do to apply?

You will need a Bachelor (Honours) degree at 2:2 or above, or equivalent experience, in a sport and exercise science or physical activity & health related subject. 

To find out more about the programme, including details on how to sign up to start in September, visit

Related topics: