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University Centre Shrewsbury’s first work-based learning placement is underway as students play a growing part in Shropshire businesses and services.

Health and Exercise Science undergraduate Christian Heenan is the first student to start a placement in a county organisation as part of his degree studies.

All undergraduates are being given placement opportunities to ensure they are fully equipped for the workplace and are able to contribute to a range of Shropshire activities.

Christian is working at the Lifestyle Fitness and Physiotherapy Centre in Radbrook Green, Shrewsbury.

Christian’s lecturer, Professor John Buckley, founded the Centre alongside Christine Jennings and Alan Leigh in 1988 and was a managing partner for 21 years until 2009, when Exercise Specialist and Chartered Scientist Gareth Mapp became the owner.

The Centre also offers Exercise for Health placements for Keele University, providing the chance for students from University Centre Shrewsbury to work alongside students from other institutions.

Christian said: “I’m really enjoying the course and it’s great to see what we’re learning in practice, in the workplace.

“I’m looking forward to finding out more about the delivery of exercise and physiotherapy services, and working with students from Keele University.”

Prof Buckley said: “Using knowledge gained in the classroom in such settings as the Lifestyle Fitness and Physiotherapy Centre is an important part of learning at University Centre Shrewsbury.

“Through such placements our students can involve themselves in the community and gain first-hand experience which will be invaluable when they graduate.”

The Professor of Applied Exercise Science, who has lived in Shropshire for almost 30 years, has lectured and led programmes at the School of Physiotherapy at Oswestry, Keele University and the University of Chester, prior to his role in Shrewsbury.

Gareth Mapp, Lifestyle Fitness owner added: “Lifestyle led the way when it provided the first placements in the country for physiotherapists in this type of setting, enabling them to work alongside sport and exercise scientists and with people with a range of exercise and clinical needs.

“With students joining us from University Centre Shrewsbury’s Health and Exercise Science course, I’m delighted to finally see the collaborative education and training of physiotherapists and exercise science practitioners which now fully reflects the service we have been offering for our members and patients for 27 years.”

University Centre Shrewsbury offers more than 20 undergraduate and postgraduate courses. Research, learning and teaching are aligned to local, regional and national needs, spanning four areas: Medicine and Health; Sustainable Business and Community Development; Societal Innovation, and Design, Heritage and the Built Environment.

The BSc Health and Exercise Science course offers a variety of learning, skills development and practical opportunities in the areas of exercise, sport and health, disease prevention and rehabilitation for people looking to work in public health and clinical settings.

Further information about University Centre Shrewsbury is available at, by emailing or calling 01743 297185.

Lifestyle Fitness provides exercise programmes, advice and rehabilitation support for all members and clients based upon their needs, goals and limitations. More details about Lifestyle Fitness are available at

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