MSc in Physical Activity for Health PROPOSAL

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1 MSc in Physical Activity for Health PROPOSAL Moray House School of Education Revised June 2012 Address for Correspondence: Dr Samantha Fawkner St Leonard s Land Holyrood Road Edinburgh EH8 8AQ Telephone:

2 SUMMARY INFORMATION Awarding institution School Final Award Programme Title Programme Director Duration of study The University of Edinburgh Moray House School of Education MSc with exit points at PGCert and PGDip Physical Activity for Health Dr Samantha Fawkner and Dr Ailsa Niven Full-time / part-time Proposed start date September

3 CONTENT 1. Educational aims of the programme 4 2. Background to the proposal Policy context Relevance of the programme to the University and School Plan Relation to active areas of research 5 3. Market information Target market Current competition Market research 6 4. Financial Information Student numbers and fees Resource implications and risks 7 5. Appendices List of relevant undergraduate programmes in Scotland Existing similar MSc programmes within the UK year costing summary 11 3

4 1. EDUCATIONAL AIMS OF PROGRAMME This programme will build on and complement existing MSc provision within the Institute of Sport, PE and Health. The programme is designed to provide academic training at a postgraduate level in physical activity for health for recent graduates and the existing workforce. The core content of the programme will draw from the health sciences of psychology, physiology and epidemiology to enhance knowledge and understanding of the issues pertinent to physical activity for health, and will contribute to building workforce capacity in this area in Scotland and beyond. The educational aims of the programme are: To equip students with critical knowledge of the current research evidence relating to the relationship between physical activity and health, determinants of physical activity, measurement of physical activity, considerations for special and diverse populations, and physical activity policies To provide students with knowledge and critical awareness of how research evidence informs current physical activity recommendations, policy and practice To provide students with specialist measurement and research skills to investigate issues in the field of physical activity and health To encourage students to consider the broader implications of physical inactivity on local and global challenges To foster the development of independent learners with transferable intellectual and study skills who can make a socially responsible contribution within their chosen career path 2. BACKGROUND TO THE PROPOSAL 2.1 Policy context There has been a recent escalation in the global awareness of the importance of physical activity for health. Physical activity is now a key focus of national and international policy documents and, from a public health perspective, is an effective and affordable tool for both preventive and therapeutic purposes with respect to a wide range of chronic diseases. In May 2010, the Toronto Charter for Physical Activity: A Global Call for Action was launched at the 3rd International Congress for Physical Activity and Health in Toronto. The Charter aims to elevate the importance of healthenhancing physical activity as a policy priority throughout the world. Reflecting this increasing international prominence, the last decade has seen the establishment of a number of new professional organisations and networks including, for example, the International Society for Physical Activity and Health, the International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, the European network for the promotion of health-enhancing physical activity (HEPA), and the International Physical Activity and the Environment Network. Scotland was one of the first countries in Europe to develop a national physical activity strategy, Let s make Scotland more active (The Scottish Executive, 2003), which aims to increase and maintain the proportion of physically active people in Scotland. This has been supported by increased government investment in national initiatives and programmes such as Active Schools ( 24million), Healthy Eating, Active Living ( 56million), Coaching Provision ( 2.5million) and Go Play ( 4 million). Scotland will also host the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and On Your Marks: a Games Legacy for Scotland (Scottish Government, 2009) outlines the plans for building a lasting legacy from the Games through developing healthier, more active communities. A recent review of the Legacy in terms of workforce development (Fiona Grossart Consulting, 2010) concluded that: The legacy workforce must be better equipped to deal with the needs of young people if an increase in sport and physical activity participation levels is to be achieved. People in the health and open space sectors require greater understanding of the demands of activities for specific client groups, and people working in sport and physical activity need greater knowledge and understanding of health issues relating to specific client groups. 4

5 Education and training provision overall is not adequately aligned with the needs of the Games Legacy. Sports Coaching and Sports Science provision needs to be balanced with sports leadership and health and physical activity programmes. 2.2 Relevance of the programme to the University and School Plan The programme is aligned with the Institute and School Strategic plans, and the University s strategy to increase postgraduate student numbers particularly in relation to PGT provision. Furthermore, the programme will facilitate stronger links between research and teaching within the School of Education, ensuring that research feeds directly into the learning experience for postgraduate students. While this is a taught programme, it is also anticipated that the programme will contribute indirectly to building research capacity within the School by providing a pathway for the recruitment of PhD students and future researchers in this field Relation to active areas of research The proposed MSc will build on expanding research activity within the Physical Activity and Health research theme as part of the PE Research group. The programme of research draws from both physiological and psychological perspectives to consider determinants and outcomes of physical activity across the lifespan. Examples of current and recent projects include a focus on physical activity in adolescent girls, measuring physical activity and walking behaviour across the lifespan, and the research group actively engage in knowledge exchange with several partners and organisations. The programme directors have been awarded research funding from a range of sources including the Scottish Government, sportscotland, the Nuffield Foundation, the Chief Scientist Office, the Big Lottery, and voluntary sector organisations and are also a member of Scottish Physical Activity Research Collaboration (SPARColl). This new MSc programme will provide the opportunity to establish direct links between current research and teaching, enhance dissemination opportunities, extend links with existing national and international networks, attract a high calibre pool of potential PhD students, and enhance research capacity in physical activity and health both nationally and internationally. Consolidating existing research activity within the department, a long-term aim is to build excellence and provide leadership within Scotland in this specific area of research and teaching. The introduction of A Curriculum for Excellence has reinforced the essential contribution of PE, physical activity and sport to health and wellbeing among young people in Scotland and this will therefore increasingly become an important area for all those working in and with schools. Existing staff from within the institute will contribute to the new programme, providing specific expertise in sport science, paediatric physiology, physical education and curriculum design. It is anticipated that the programme will facilitate new collaborations within the School of Education, and indeed elsewhere in the University, drawing together academics with an interest in the areas of health and wellbeing and physical activity. In line with the University s Strategy, this will encourage the development of new ideas and ways of working between researchers from different disciplines. 5

6 3. MARKET INFORMATION 3.1 Target market Although this qualification is not explicitly aligned with a professional organisation, completion of this degree will enhance opportunities for employment in the area of physical activity for health. Therefore, the programme is aimed primarily at graduates from sports, exercise science, physical activity and health backgrounds. In the academic year 2008/09, there were 3,447 students enrolled in sports/exercise/physical activity related undergraduate degree courses at 12 institutions across Scotland (Taylor, 2010). Appendix 1 provides details of existing undergraduate programmes at Scottish Universities which are particularly relevant to the new MSc. Potential career paths, exit routes and employers include: health promotion organisations; primary care trusts; health and fitness industry; postgraduate research; physical activity development; physical activity and health consultancy; teaching in further and higher education institutions. In addition, the programme will provide an opportunity for professional development for those already working in the field of physical activity and health. The Active Leisure, Learning and Wellbeing sector in Scotland currently has an estimated 58,200 people in employment, accounting for 2.2% of all industry Scottish employment (SkillsActive, 2010). This includes those working in sport and recreation, health and fitness, playwork and the outdoors. In addition, there are estimated to be around 146,000 people involved in sport as volunteers (SkillsActive, 2010). In response to recent Government strategies and policies, there is an increasing workforce in Scotland with a remit for physical activity promotion, for example, Active School Coordinators, School Travel Coordinators, Sports Development Officers, Coaches, Physical Education professionals, and Health Promotion Specialists. The programme will be offered both full-time and part-time in order to offer flexibility for the professional market. The programme also has the potential to develop individual modules as CPD opportunities for professionals already working in the sector. Discussions with Pam Scott, National Manager for SkillsActive (Scotland) suggest that this would be of interest to a wide range of employers within the active leisure, learning and wellbeing sector. Short, focused CPD provision is seen as particularly relevant to meeting development needs of employees and volunteers, but a recent review concluded that existing CPD provision lacks the coherence necessary to help individuals readily access and acquire a knowledge and skill set which meets individual and organisational needs (Fiona Grossart Consulting, 2010). Thus, there is scope for future development in this area. 3.2 Current competition Although there are competing MSc programmes in the UK, there are currently no other physical activity and health Masters programmes in Scotland. Key competitors include the Universities of Bristol, Loughborough, Leeds Metropolitan and Exeter. Recruitment information for these courses was requested by telephone and, where provided, this is shown in Appendix 2. Current intakes range from 4 to 60. A new MSc in Physical Activity and Population Health established at Ulster University in 2009/10 achieved an intake of 18 students in its first year. Additionally, with the increasing trend for sport and exercise science students to go on to study at Masters level, the preference among Scottish students to remain in Scotland, and the international appeal of both the University of Edinburgh and the City of Edinburgh, it is anticipated that student numbers will compete favourably with these aforementioned programmes. 3.3 Market research A questionnaire was issued to 138 undergraduate students at Edinburgh, Strathclyde and Heriot Watt Universities in 2008 to explore interest in postgraduate education in the field of physical activity and 6

7 health. 11% said they would definitely and 76% would possibly consider doing an MSc in Physical Activity and Health. The majority (91%) said they would prefer a course in Scotland. A substantial proportion of these students expressed a preference for face-to-face study rather than online learning. There have also been a number of recent reports and workforce needs assessments which have identified the need for further training in this area in Scotland: We believe that there is a real opportunity for the development of vocationally oriented postgraduate provision in the growing and broad leisure and health sectors. (Genesis Consultants, 2007) Currently, the provision of training and learning opportunities related to physical activity is piecemeal and fragmented. (NHS Health Scotland, 2005) An online survey was developed with Russell Bartlett (Market Research Manager, Communications and Marketing) to enable a profiling of the target market for this new programme. The survey was a natural demand survey, and over an eight month period received 32 responses, of which 22 returned contact details and requests for further information on the masters when available. 4. FINANCIAL INFORMATION 4.1 Student numbers and fees We anticipate that a conservative estimate will be that this MSc will attract students in the first 2 years and then regularly attract ~20 students thereafter once the programme is established. We aim to attract around 10-20% of students from non-eu countries, thus paying fees at the non-eu rate. Tuition fees will be standard PGT fees invoiced at course level (EU, 5,300; non-eu, 12,200). The fees for Certificate/Diploma/MSc rates will align with those standard within Moray House School of Education and are as follows: Fee rates applicable Home ( ) Overseas ( ) Individual course fee (10 credits) Individual course fee (20 credits) 590 1,300 Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits) 1,770 4,070 Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits) 3,535 8,135 Postgraduate Masters (180 credits) 5,300 12, Resource implications and risks The predominant resource burden is time of current teaching and administrative staff, and has been included in the costing model. There are minimal additional programme costs. Demand on student support services (library and computing equipment and some laboratory needs) will be adequately met by current provision within the Institute and School. The programme has neither IT or laboratory intensive needs. 7

8 Details of resource implications are shown in appendix 3. Risks have been identified and are tabled below. Nature of Risk Lower than expected recruitment Likelihood of Risk Low: projections are conservative Impact of Risk Low-medium: programme could run at a loss beyond the 1 st year Departure of staff Low-Medium Medium to High Unavailability of staff due to other work commitments, e.g. research contracts Withdrawal of shared modules Low-Medium Low-Medium Low Medium Factors taken to Mitigate Risk Marketing costs included to actively market the MSc and raise number of EU and non- EU students. Close monitoring of recruitment Some key staff would need replacing for the MSc to continue delivery. It is anticipated that this scenario would exist in the instance that staff have attracted research funding but that this would provide appropriate teaching cover. Some courses could be delivered by programme specific staff (where the courses have a research focus), whilst elective courses could be replaced by other courses currently delivered across the School and College. 8

9 5. APPENDICES 5.1 Appendix 1: List of relevant undergraduate programmes in Scotland Aberdeen University Abertay University Edinburgh University Glasgow University Glasgow Caledonian University Heriot Watt University Napier University Queen Margaret University Robert Gordon University Stirling University Strathclyde University University of the Highlands and Islands Applied Sports Science with Education Health Sciences Sports & Exercise Science Sports Studies (Exercise and Health) Health Sciences Physical Activity and Health Sport and Psychology Sport & Exercise Science Sports Development Sports Coaching Sport & Management Applied Sport Science Sport & Recreation Management Health & Social Studies Physiology & Sports Science Sports Medicine Sport and Active Lifestyles Promotion Sport and Exercise Science Sport and Exercise Science with Psychology Psychology with Sport and Exercise Science Health Psychology Sport and Exercise Science Sport and Exercise Science Sports Studies Sport and Physical Activity Health Studies Health and Wellbeing 9

10 5.2 Appendix 2: Existing similar MSc programmes within the UK Institution Programme Title 2009/10 intake Bedfordshire Physical Activity, Nutrition and Health Promotion New programme 2010/11 Brighton Exercise and Health Science No information* Bristol Nutrition, Physical Activity and Public Health 60 students (approx ⅓ international) Cardiff Metropolitan University Physical Activity and Health No information East London Exercise Science and Health No information* Exeter Paediatric Exercise and Health No information* Gloucestershire Physical Activity and Public Health No information* Kingston Exercise for Health No information* Leeds Metropolitan Sport and Exercise Nutrition 17 students (3 international) Liverpool Hope Health, Exercise and Nutrition No information* Loughborough Physical Activity and Health 4 students Staffordshire St Mary s, Twickenham Physical Activity and Public Health (distance learning) MSc in Nutrition and Physical Activity for Public Health No information* New programme 2011/2012 Ulster Physical Activity and Population Health 18 students (0 international) Westminster Public Health, Nutrition and Physical Activity No information* * Programme Coordinators / Administrators were not willing to provide this information 10

11 5.3 Appendix 3: 5-year costing summary Students Number (FTE) Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 Home/EU Overseas Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 Start Up Costs 5,000 Recurrent Costs Marketing 5,000 2,500 2,500 2,500 2,500 Staffing 68,433 73,775 83,465 83,465 83,465 Equipment Materials Total Recurrent Costs 73,783 76,775 86,590 86,590 86,590 Fee Income (School) Home/EU 34,344 42,930 57,240 57,240 57,240 Overseas 13,176 32,940 32,940 32,940 32,940 Total Income 47,520 75,870 90,180 90,180 90,180 Annual Surplus/Deficit -26, ,590 3,590 3,590 11

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