The Musculoskeletal System: The Science of Staying Active into Old Age Course - The University of Sheffield


2 locations available
Read more about this program on the institution's website

Program Description


Demystify the ageing process and learn how our everyday behaviours are likely to affect our long-term musculoskeletal health.

Why join the course?

This free online course has been developed by The Medical Research Council Versus Arthritis Centre for Integrated Research into Musculoskeletal Ageing, a collaboration between the Universities of Liverpool, Sheffield and Newcastle. On this course, you’ll learn why our bones, joints and muscles function less well as we age, and discover how best to live well as we get older.

What topics will you cover?

  • What is musculoskeletal health?
  • How can exercise benefit the musculoskeletal system?
  • How can diet benefit the musculoskeletal system?

When would you like to start?

Most FutureLearn courses run multiple times. Every run of a course has a set start date but you can join it and work through it after it starts. 

  • Available now

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to:

  • Identify the key components of the musculoskeletal system and explain how they fit together.
  • Explain how ageing affects the musculoskeletal system.
  • Describe common age-related problems of the musculoskeletal system.
  • Discuss the impacts of musculoskeletal ageing on society and quality of life.
  • Explore the impact of physical activity and inactivity on bones, muscles and joints.
  • Identify the most important nutritional factors required for a healthy musculoskeletal system.
  • Discuss how ageing and other factors affect nutritional needs and dietary habits for the musculoskeletal system.
  • Explain how scientists and health professionals determine dietary requirements.
  • Identify good dietary and other sources of essential nutrients.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for patients, carers and people who lead active lives and would appreciate knowing how their lifestyle is likely to affect their long-term health. It may also inspire you to study or research musculoskeletal ageing. No previous biological experience is needed.

This course will also be ideal for those from a non-biological background who may be interested in studying or researching musculoskeletal ageing at postgraduate level. 

Who will you learn with?

Lesley Iwanejko

I am a research scientist and lecturer in genetics at the University of Liverpool. In addition to science, I enjoy writing and reading poetry, playing golf and opera singing.

Peter Grabowski

I am a Registered Nutritionist (Nutrition Science) and Course Director of the Masters in Medical Science in Human Nutrition at the University of Sheffield, UK.

Michael Trenell

I am a Professor of Metabolism & Lifestyle Medicine and National Institute for Health Research Senior Fellow at Newcastle University.

Who developed the course?

The University of Sheffield

The University of Sheffield is one of the world’s top 100 universities with a reputation for teaching and research excellence.

University of Liverpool

The University of Liverpool is ranked in the top 1% of higher education institutions worldwide.

Newcastle University

A thriving international community of over 20,000 students. The university’s mission as a world-class civic university means it applies its academic excellence to real-world challenges.

CIMA (Centre for Research into Muscoskeletal Ageing)

The organisation’s mission is to try and understand how muscles, bones and joints change as we age and how this makes some people prone to problems with these issues, such as arthritis and osteoporosis.

Join this course



$259.99 for one year

Join free and you will get:

  • Access to this course for 5 weeks

Upgrade this course and you will get:

  • Access to this course for as long as it’s on FutureLearn
  • Access to this course’s tests as well as a print and digital Certificate of Achievement once you’re eligible

Buy Unlimited and you will get:

  • Access to this course, and hundreds of other FutureLearn short courses and tests for a year
  • A printable digital Certificate of Achievement on all short courses once you’re eligible
  • The freedom to keep access to any course you've achieved a digital Certificate of Achievement on, for as long as the course exists on FutureLearn
  • The flexibility to complete your choice of short courses in your own time within the year
Last updated Sep 2020

About the School

Learn 100% online with world-class universities and industry experts. Develop your career, learn a new skill, or pursue your hobbies with flexible online courses.

Learn 100% online with world-class universities and industry experts. Develop your career, learn a new skill, or pursue your hobbies with flexible online courses. Read less
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