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    An appreciation of the link between physical activity and health in the contemporary primary care setting that promotes interdisciplinary collaboration.

    The second of the compulsory papers for the PGDipSEM brings together nearly 20 specialists from across the medical spectrum, offering information on how exercise prescription fits into almost all patients' health regimens and addresses their related medical problems.

    The key learning opportunity from this paper - besides the high level teaching material - is an assignment where patients with at least two cardiovascular risk factors are taken through an exercise prescription programme by the student for 12 weeks. The related teaching material and the actual assignment provide a learning opportunity for how such a programme should be conducted in collaboration with other members of the patients' medical team. The second assignment is for the student to put themselves through the same process.

    The quality of the work generated by students in this paper has been outstanding historically, resulting in dramatic changes in the practices of most of those who complete the paper, and some have even had significant changes in their careers as a result.

    About this paper

    Paper title Exercise Prescription
    Subject Sports Medicine
    EFTS 0.25
    Points 30 points
    Teaching period Semester 2 (Distance learning)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $3,103.25
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    SPMX 711
    Limited to
    MHealSc, PGCertPHC, PGDipPHC, PGDipSEM, PGDipPhty, MPhty, PGDipHealSc

    Entry to the Postgraduate Diploma is by application (ie not open), and you must apply online with supporting documentation through eVision.

    Criteria are:

    • Applicant has a bachelor's degree - preferably in Medicine, Physiotherapy, Physical Education, Human Nutrition, Pharmacy or Sciences.
    • Applicant is, or has been, working in a related field.
    • Applicant has the ability to study at postgraduate level.

    International students must meet the University of Otago's admissions criteria.


    Academic Co-ordinator: Dr Hamish Osborne

    Postgraduate Administrator:

    Teaching staff

    Dr Hamish Osborne and guest lecturers.

    Teaching Arrangements

    This Distance Learning paper is taught remotely.

    Including a compulsory webinar day prior to the semester start (date to be confirmed by Dr Hamish Osborne)


    To be advised.

    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics, Teamwork.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes

    This paper aims to teach the participants the practicals skills required to assess and manage patients in terms of their exercise prescription while understanding the research literature and providing the student with appropriate resources for future needs. The learning outcomes are:

    • To understand the health consequences of inactivity and a sedentary lifestyle.
    • To explore the science behind the link between physical activity and health.
    • To understand the different types and risks of physical activity.
    • To understand the principles of health and fitness testing.
    • To understand and be able to apply the principles of (clinical) exercise prescription.
    • To understand the concepts of health behaviour modification.
    • To understand the multidisciplinary nature of prescribing exercise for health.


    Semester 2

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught through Distance Learning
    Learning management system
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