Sport and Exercise Medicine Master's Program

Clinical setting

Advance your health care practice.

This program is designed to prepare physiotherapists and physicians to deliver advanced care in sport and exercise medicine. Build your profile as a leader, innovator and manager in this specialized field.

Through this interprofessional educational experience, and utliizing a combination of in-person and remote learning, students will develop clinical skills, research methodology, depth of knowledge, and the professional behaviours to enable assessment and evaluation, and management and rehabilitation of elite athletes and the wider population focused on sport, activity and exercise.

Exposure to advanced-level practice in the specialized area of sport and exercise medicine will position graduates of the program to seek advanced accreditation, recognition and opportunities, nationally and internationally.

An Innovative Partnership

This program combines the academic, clinical and research expertise of Western University's School of Physical Therapy, with that of one of Canada's leading, comprehensive sport and exercise medicine centres, the Fowler Kennedy Sport Medicine Clinic, to create a first-of-its-kind learning experience for clinical professionals looking to expand their expertise.

Physiotherapists and Physicians: Two Professions, One Goal.

Designed for physiotherapists and physicians in search of advanced-level knowledge and skills in sport and exercise medicine, this program brings both professions together under one roof to learn together, and from each other, toward the shared goal of providing enhanced patient care in the specialized area of sport and exercise medicine. The ideal candidates for the program are:

  • Experienced physiotherapists and physicians seeking to advance their practice in sport and exercise medicine
  • Those with some direct practice experience in sport and exercise medicine who would like to meet the requirements of accreditation bodies (see below)

Advanced Degree and Credentialing Opportunities

Program graduates gain specialized training in sport and exercise medicine that leads to a master's degree as well as the opportunity to pursue field-specific advanced credentials.

For Physiotherapists

Graduates receive a Master of Clinical Science (MClSc) degree and will have completed the requirements for the Sport Physiotherapy Canada Diploma, as well as the First Responder for Sport & Healthcare Professionals credential. This makes the Sport and Exercise Medicine program a potent 3-in-1 credentialling opportunity.

For Physicians

Graduates receive a Master of Clinical Science (MClSc) degree. In addition, the program is based on the Canadian Academy for Sport and Exercise Medicine (CASEM) competencies and graduates of the Sport and Exercise Medicine program will be prepared to write the CASEM Diploma exam.

Admission and Applying/Tuition and Fees

Prospective students are advised that offers of admission may be made only after the university’s own quality assurance processes have been completed and the Ontario Universities Council on Quality Assurance has approved the program.

General Admission Requirements

All applicants must meet the following general requirements, in addition to the specific requirements outlined below for each applicant group.

  • A minimum bachelor's degree from a recognized university and at least a (B) standing (or equivalent) over the final two years of the program
  • Advanced computer skills
  • Two references
    • Academic (if attended university within the last five years) and professional
  • Demonstrated English language proficiency, including both written and oral communication
    • See below for more information

For Physiotherapists

  • A current license to practice in Canada if seeking mentorship practice opportunity in Canada
    • Physiotherapists practicing outside of Canada must be licensed to practice in their country of residence
  • Evidence of more than two years of experience in sport/musculoskeletal physical therapy inclusive of more than 50 hours of sport event coverage/volunteering
    • A paragraph describing the applicant's role in delivering care to an active population, or equivalent; and a reference letter that endorses the evidence of experience
  • Be a member in good standing with Sport Physiotherapy Canada (SPC)

For Physicians

  • A current license to practice in Canada if seeking mentorship practice opportunity in Canada
    • Physicians practicing outside of Canada must be licensed to practice in their country of residence
  • Evidence of more than two years of experience in sport/musculoskeletal medicine inclusive of more than 50 hours of sport event coverage/volunteering, or equivalent
    • A paragraph describing the applicant's role in delivering care to an active population and a reference letter that endorses the evidence of experience
  • Members in good standing with the Canadian Academy of Sport and Exercise Medicine (CASEM) and home provincial regulatory college at the time of application

English Language Proficiency

  • Applicants whose first language is not English must provide evidence of English language proficiency (TOEFL or IELTS is recommended)
  • A minimum TOEFL score of 620 (paper-based), 105 (internet-based), 260 (computer-based) or an IELTS score of 8 is required
  • Students who, after admission, show an inadequate command of spoken or written English must improve their proficiency to the satisfaction of the Faculty of Health Sciences
  • Students may be asked to withdraw from the program if their command of English interferes with their ability to provide quality professional services
  • Students who are required to present evidence of proficiency in English must make their own arrangements to write the TOEFL and to have the official results sent directly to the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
  • The English language proficiency requirements outlined above do not apply to students from Quebec

Applying to the Program

To apply to the Advanced Health Care Practice program, students should:

  • Visit the online application website
  • Follow the instructions on that page to access the application
  • Select "Advanced Health Care Practice MClSc" from the program options in the application and select the appropriate field

Tuition and Fees

The annual tuition fee for this program is approximately $14,000 including ancillary fees (plus $1,500 mentor fee i.e. $500/term) which is payable over three terms (September, January and May), plus $110 for course fees (i.e. strapping, first responder microcredential) payable in the Fall term.

These fees are subject to change and are set by Western University. Instructions for students paying tuition from a Canadian bank are available from the Office of the Registrar.

Program Structure and Course Offerings

Offered on a full-time basis, this programs utilizes a combination of in-person and remote learning to help students balance the academic demands of the programs with the professional and personal demands on their lives.

Field-specific courses for the Sport and Exercise Medicine field are mapped to the diploma-level credentialing of Sport Physiotherapy Canada to enable physiotherapist-students to be credentialed upon completion of the program, and the Canadian Academy of Sport and Exercise Medicine competencies to enable physician-students to sit for the Sport and Exercise Medicine Diploma Exam after completion of the program.

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Fall Term ( September-December)

  • Research Methods
  • Advanced Management in Sport and Exercise Medicine 1: Lower Quadrant
    • Includes on-campus component
  • Clinical Mentorship
  • Research Experience

Winter Term (January-April)

  • Advanced Professional Practice
  • Advanced Management in Sport and Exercise Medicine 2: Upper Quadrant
    • Includes on-campus component
  • Clinical Mentorship (continued)
  • Research Experience (continued)

Spring Term (May-August)

  • Transformational Topics in Sport and Exercise Medicine
    • Includes on-campus component
  • Clinical Mentorship (continued)
  • Research Experience (continued)
    • Includes Research Day

Advanced Standing (for SPC Diploma holders)

Physiotherapists who already possess the Sport Physiotherapy Canada Diploma will receive advanced standing for the following courses (will not be required to take):

  • Advanced Management in Sport and Exercise Medicine 1: Lower Quadrant
  • Advanced Management in Sport and Exercise Medicine 2: Upper Quadrant
  • Transformational Topics in Sport and Exercise Medicine
  • Clinical Mentorship

Course requirements will focus on:

  • Research Methods (PT9600)
  • Advanced Professional Practice (PT9610)
  • Research Experience (PT9630)

More information about program structure and course offerings is available below.

About Clinical Mentorship

Through a Continuing Professional Development framework, this course facilitates the synthesis of the theoretical and practical aspects of a student’s development in Sport and Exercise Medicine through a period of mentorship within the work-based/practice environment and documented with a professional portfolio. Students will have the opportunity to work in a variety of settings to enable development of existing knowledge and skills and advanced practice. The Clinical Mentor(s) will enable a student’s development through a partnership of teaching; researching; managing; observing and discussing with innovative practice being encouraged within the framework of safe, legal, and ethical practice as made explicit in any applicable published standards (e.g. professional registration body, specialist competencies etc). Clinical mentorship for this field would come from sport and exercise medicine practitioners who are willing to act as mentors.

The student will undertake pre-mentorship preparation through an online half-day study day, and online preparatory study. Students will undertake a minimum of 150 hours of experience in a work-based/practice environment. Learning needs may necessitate a range of environments as part of the mentored experience to ensure that all outcomes are achieved. The selection of the work-based environment is negotiated by the student in collaboration with the field leader, dependent upon their individual learning needs and their program field and any specialist requirements. A variety of patterns of delivery of the 150 hours experience are possible, encompassing part time and full time modes as well as a variety of models of experience e.g. clinical practice, observation of practice, case analysis, situational online clinical reasoning, telehealth, e-mentoring, face-to-face mentoring etc. Current registration with appropriate professional/regulatory bodies is required as appropriate to the negotiated mentored practice.

For the Sport Physiotherapy Canada credentialing, physiotherapist students will be required to complete the following field experiences as part of their mentored clinical practice and these requirements will be included in their learning contract additional to the mentorship:

  • Minimum 300 hours
  • Minimum six different sports inclusive of:
    • Two contact/combat/collision sports for minimum of 75 hrs each
    • Two different sports followed for a full season

Learning Outcomes

Upon successfully completing the program, students should have the ability to:

  • Critically analyze and integrate the principles underpinning sport and exercise medicine to inform interventions that optimize activity/performance for persons/athletes
  • Evaluate clinical history and examination findings to inform individualized athlete/client-centred acute emergency management/triage, management and rehabilitation within a biopsychosocial and interdisciplinary framework
  • Implement and justify evidence-informed management and rehabilitation interventions to optimize activity/performance
  • Synthesize knowledge, skills and attributes to demonstrate advanced practice in sport and exercise medicine
  • Develop research skills enabling active participation and competency in clinical research
  • Communicate and apply ethical principles and practices in patient care and research activities
  • Develop communication strategies that foster therapeutic alliance and shared decision-making with the person/athlete
  • Develop iterative self-reflection skills and continued life-long learning