Frequently Asked Questions for the IOC Diploma in Sports Medicine

The IOC Diploma in Sports Medicine is a postgraduate program. Students enrolling for this program will normally be in possession of a degree in Medicine from a recognised University and will be eligible for professional registration as a medical practitioner in their respective regions. Other qualifications may be recognised. All applications are reviewed by the Admissions Tutor and may also be reviewed by an Admissions Board drawn from the members of the Academic Advisory Board.

The language of instruction will be English, and students whose native language is not English, or whose first degree was not undertaken in English, should provide evidence of competence in English, eg TOEFL at 500 or above, IELTS at 6 or above, GCSE or equivalent in English language.

The IOC Diploma in Sports Medicine is awarded by the International Olympic Committee (, as part of the program of the IOC Medical and Scientific Commission. The Diploma program is awarded under the Academic oversight of an international Academic Advisory Board. The members of this Advisory Board advise on the academic standards of the IOC Diploma, including suitability of applicants, quality assurance of course content, and the moderation of student assessment. More details about the Advisory Board Members can be found on the experts in the field section of this website.

The Medical and Scientific Commission of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has recognised the important role that sports medicine plays in protecting the health of athletes. As part of its commitment to supporting the health and performance of athletes and to the continuing professional development of those who care for them, the IOC Medical Commission offers a postgraduate-level program in Sports Medicine. The program is designed primarily to meet the needs of team physicians from the National Olympic Committees (NOC) and International Federations (IFs).

The workload for the whole Diploma program has a nominal teaching and learning load of 800 hours, spread over the two years of study. However, the time it takes to go through the e-lectures, to read the set literature, and to prepare assignments etc will vary greatly between individuals. It is obvious that some people can achieve a satisfactory performance with a considerably smaller investment of time, but others may need to – or may choose to – invest more. Although there are some key dates by which assignments must be submitted throughout the program, students have considerable flexibility as to how they choose to distribute the workload over the year.

There are six modules for each year of study, with each module lasting one month, so the program runs from October-March each year. Two assignments must be completed each year. Assignments are submitted in electronic format by uploading them via the student area of the website. Feedback is delivered by email and by posting of materials on the website. 

There is one examination each year. In Part One, students can access this on the examination platform and they have 24 hours to complete. The examination is held in April.  

In Part Two, a two-hour written examination is held on the morning of Day 1 at the mandatory workshop. This was not possible in 2020, 2021 and 2022 due to Covid restrictions, so these examinations were completed remotely.

Students who fail to achieve a satisfactory performance will have an opportunity to resit the examination and/or assignments.

Lectures in the form of computer-based presentations by leading international experts consist of a PowerPoint presentation with associated video and audio track. Lecture material is supplemented by a program of directed study, including review papers, original research publications, textbooks and athlete-oriented guidebooks. Additional materials are posted on the program website.

Students will be invited to attend optional zoom meetings. Sessions will give students the opportunity to discuss issues arising from the lectures, reading material or other sources with the Program Directors and/or members of the Academic Advisory Board. The sessions will be held once a month and will focus primarily on questions arising from the most recent module or on a specific topic that the AAB member is an expert in. We always offer two dates/times for each session, and recordings of the sessions will be made available for those who are unable to attend. The zoom sessions also give students the opportunity to get to know their fellow students better and build a network of contacts.

There is an optional meeting at the end of Part One of the program. In 2014-2019 this was held in conjunction with the ISSSMC in Newcastle, but meeting was not possible in 2020 or 2021 due to Covid restrictions.

There is a mandatory residential meeting at the end of Part Two of the program. There are usually five venues that students can choose from – Oslo, Amsterdam, Pretoria, Seoul and Calgary. The workshops last 3-4 days and are held in March-May.

The Olympic Solidarity program provides financial support to some students on the sports medicine diploma program. Funds are channelled through National Olympic Committees, so enquiries should be addressed to your NOC in the first instance, making them aware that support may be sought from Olympic Solidarity.

As you know, there is no global certification body in sports medicine, so recognition occurs very much at a local level. The IOC program is truly international, with the members of the Academic Advisory Board, who are responsible for all aspects of quality assurance on the program, and the Faculty, who contribute the lectures and other program resources, being drawn from experts all around the world. The credibility of these experts is what gives credibility to the program itself.

Faculty for the IOC Diploma program include research scientists, University teachers and athlete support personnel. All are recognised as world leaders in their fields and all have extensive practical experience. Faculty are selected not only for their expertise but also for their ability to present information in a clear and accessible way.

All resources needed for completion of the program are provided without further financial commitment. This includes not only the online lectures but also a portfolio of reading material that includes full online access to the British Journal of Sports Medicine and online access to core textbooks for two years.

Attendance at the meeting at the end of Year 1 is optional. For those who choose to attend, the registration fee for the International Sports Science and Sports Medicine Conference (ISSSMC) held in Newcastle in August or September will be paid as part of the tuition fee, but students will be responsible for their own travel and subsistence costs (the conference will provide lunches and an evening meal on one day).

Students are responsible for travel and accommodations costs associated with participation in the mandatory residential workshop held at the end of Year 2.

Attendance in person at the Graduation Ceremony in Lausanne is optional. The Ceremony will include a welcome from the IOC, presentation of Diploma Certificates, followed by lunch and a tour of the Olympic Museum.  Students are responsible for their own travel and accommodation costs. Certificates will be posted to those who choose to graduate in absentia.

Yes. Fees can be paid in 1, 2 or 4 instalments.

The provision of medical support at the Polyclinic in the Games Village and at training and competition venues at each Olympic Games relies on a large number of volunteers drawn from local and international personnel. Students may have an opportunity to participate, but this will depend on the Local Organising Committee and on the regulations that govern medical practice by non-nationals in the host country.

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