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Although many health professionals find that sport and exercise medicine forms a significant part of their work, most practitioners have minimal or no formal training at undergraduate or postgraduate level.

This programme reflects the multidisciplinary nature of sport and exercise medicine, and offers training through Otago Medical School, the University of Otago School of Physical Education, Sport and Exercise Science; the University School of Physiotherapy, and the University of Otago Department of Human Nutrition.

All applications for admission to the programme must be approved by the Academic Coordinator prior to enrolment.

Enquiries to:

Diploma in Sport and Exercise Medicine
Department of Medicine
PO Box 56
Dunedin 9054
New Zealand

Tel 0800 808 098

Postgraduate Diploma in Sport and Exercise Medicine (PGDipSEM)

Schedule of papers

The Postgraduate Diploma in Sport and Exercise Medicine (PGDipSEM) is for graduates in medicine, physiotherapy, physical education, human nutrition, pharmacy, or sciences, or those with a comparable qualification in the health care professions.

It requires the accumulation of 120 points.

Given the diversity of candidates' backgrounds, there are two compulsory generic papers, SPME 701 Issues in Sports Medicine and SPME 711 Exercise Prescription. Candidates can choose their remaining 60 points from a selection of papers. This will allow students to complete a postgraduate diploma with an emphasis on a specific area of expertise.

The following links will give a brief description of each paper. The booklet available for download has more in depth descriptions of the papers. For regulations, fees, and semester structure see University of Otago Sports Medicine Regulations.

Selection of papers

The programme shall consist of:

  • SPME 701 Issues in Sports Medicine (30 points)
  • SPME 711 Exercise Prescription (30 points)

and additional papers from the schedule to a total of 120 points from:

  • SPME 702 Medical Aspects of Exercise (15 points)
  • SPME 703 Sports Nutrition (30 points)
  • SPME 704 Health and Human Performance A (15 points)
  • SPME 705 Health and Human Performance B (15 points)
  • SPME 707 Regional Sports Injury 1 (15 points)
  • SPME 708 Regional Sports Injury 2 (15 points)
  • SPME 709 Women in Sport: Health Issues (30 points)
  • SPME 710 Sports Ergonomics (30 points)
  • SPME 711 Exercise Prescription (30 points)
  • PHTY 542 Sports Physiotherapy (30 points)

All papers are not offered each year. Contact the administrator to ascertain which papers are available for that particular year.

Method of teaching

Graduate studies in sport and exercise medicine from the University of Otago are taught through the web conference network (Zoom). This format enables candidates from all centres and from overseas to undertake valuable postgraduate education without leaving their place of employment.

SPME 701 is compulsory and begins with a two day webinar on Zoom. This will be held late February/early March (date to be confirmed).

The Saturday will be an all day workshop and there will also be few hours on the Sunday morning. The weekend is essentially a workshop covering key learning material – introductory learning skills and educational content best delivered via this mode. Workshops on motivational interviewing and bioethics lay a key foundation for students from all disciplines to further build fundamentally sound practice in the workplace. Students get to meet other health professionals from diverse background and start to build the team approach that is so important in sport and exercise medicine.

SPME 711 is also compulsory. It also has an all day Zoom workshop on a Saturday at traditionally the weekend before the start date for semester 2 as shown on the Otago web page.

A senior academic representing a specific University Department or School directs each graduate paper.

Guest lecturers provide a multidisciplinary approach to teaching. There is a requirement for students to complete written assignments which account for a proportion of their final graded assessment.

Method of examination

Examination is by internal assessment and a final written examination. The internal assessment may account for up to 40% of the total mark and the written paper 60%. Examinations are held at the end of the semester in which the paper has been taught. All examinations are conducted under the regulations of the University of Otago and may be completed at various regional and international venues.

There is no examination for SPME 710. There is a take home examination for SPME 711.

The Sport and Exercise Medicine programme is making more use of computer-assisted learning and web-based learning. It is expected that all students have ready access to the Internet.

Webconferencing sessions

We utilise Zoom, which is a web-based video-conferencing system.

The system promotes, and strongly emphasises, participatory study. Teaching sessions combine the functions of the lecture with those of the seminar or tutorial. Students are encouraged to discuss topics introduced by the teacher and should regard such participation as a normal commitment of study. A further benefit of the system is that students may, at any time, seek clarification of issues raised by the teacher or comment and question as appropriate.

In addition, the system enables course directors to bring in experts from different parts of the country – and even different parts of the world. Students, as well as participating staff, have an opportunity to talk with these people directly.

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