Course provided by Future Learn

Study type: Online

Starts: Anytime

Price: Free


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?
    Identify the components of the musculoskeletal system and explain how they fit together. Find out how ageing affects the musculoskeletal system; learn about common, age-related musculoskeletal disorders; and discuss the impact of such disorders on society and quality of life.

  • How can exercise benefit the musculoskeletal system?
    Explore the impact of physical activity – and inactivity – on bones, muscles and joints. Find out why exercise can be good and bad, not just for cardiovascular health, but also for your musculoskeletal system as you age. Examine, through case studies, why clinical care teams make decisions about physical activity as they do.

  • How can diet benefit the musculoskeletal system?
    Extend your knowledge of the role of nutrition in musculoskeletal health, learn which foods provide important nutrients for our muscles and bones, and understand how dietary recommendations for musculoskeletal health change as we age.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and learn at your own pace. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

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. For more information see our MRes and PhD training pages on our web site.

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 tissues, such as arthritis and osteoporosis.