St George’s, University of London
Sudden cardiac death is the leading medical cause of death in athletes and sadly at least 12 apparently fit young people die in the UK each week from an underlying, undiagnosed heart condition. Around 80% of these individuals have no prior symptoms and therefore cardiac screening is the only way to determine if they are carrying a hereditary heart defect.
A rapidly evolving subspecialty in cardiology, more sports cardiologists are needed to work with patients – especially athletes – to monitor, check for risk of and prevent cardiac complications. This is done by assessing family history, medical background and conduct tests such as echocardiogram (ECG) or measuring the heart rhythm during exercise.
This course will be of interest to a broad range of physicians and allied health professionals wishing to learn more about sports cardiology and inherited cardiac conditions, including cardiac physiologists, cardiac physiotherapists, nurses and sports scientists. This course may be suitable for highly motivated medical students with the opportunity to register for an intercalated MSc.
It offers a unique opportunity to gain a comprehensive range of expertise in sports cardiology, including cardiovascular evaluation, cardiac screening, cardiac rehabilitation and exercise prescription and the management of athletes and individuals with heart disease. Specialist optional modules allow you to tailor your study to match your interests, for example, in emergency response planning in sport arenas or interpretation of genetic testing in inherited cardiac conditions.
The only course of its kind in the UK and Europe, our MSc is taught by world-leading experts from the Centre for Inherited Cardiovascular Conditions and Sports Cardiology at St George’s NHS Foundation Trust – one of the UK’s top multidisciplinary clinics dedicated to sudden cardiac death prevention and one of few centres globally specialising in sports cardiology.
Our course directors are the leading sports cardiologists in the UK and consultants to the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY), English Institute of Sport, English and Wales Cricket Board and the Rugby Football Union. As well as their unrivalled expertise and cutting-edge research, you’ll benefit from the course team’s global connections. This brings opportunities to hear direct from international experts, evaluate several hundred patients with heart disease, and screen young people and top-level athletes.
The growth in the number of competitive athletes, the drive for preventive medicine and a healthier lifestyle and the rising population of amateur athletes – with 2.5 million marathon runs per year in Europe alone – has led to an increase in the need for cardiologists with an in-depth knowledge of sports cardiology.
Sports cardiologists evaluate a wide range of individuals, including young athletes (with symptoms or as part of cardiac screening), athletes with inherited cardiac conditions, older recreational athletes with coronary artery disease and individuals who simply want to take up exercise as part of improving their general wellbeing.
Our long-standing collaboration with major sporting bodies, clubs and charitable organisations and the participation of key figures from the industry offers the chance to network and explore the prospect of potential employers. You will gain a good understanding of the needs of such organisations and receive career advice from potential employers.
Successful completion of our master’s courses will set you apart from the competition and provide you with unique employment opportunities within national health systems, sporting organisations and charitable organisations dedicated to sport and prevention of sudden cardiac death.
Whether you are interested in a career within the NHS or elsewhere, our MSc will provide you with the skills and qualifications in the field of Sports Cardiology and inherited cardiac conditions to rise above the competition.
Students must have the equivalent of a bachelor degree to intercalate a Master’s. This will usually require you to have a BSc degree or have completed the first three years of your medical programme.
Please note, we require all students to have a basic competency with the interpretation of the 12-lead ECG. For individuals who do not have experience of ECG interpretation, cannot provide evidence, or wish to refresh their ECG skills, an ECG course offered by St George’s will be available close to the commencement of the course.
We may invite you to interview if we are unable to make a decision directly from your application.
Applications typically open in November and close in July. Early applications are recommended.