Nutrition and Sport & Exercise Science BSc (with Foundation Year)
UCAS Code: C6B4|Duration: 4 years|Full Time|Hope Park
UCAS Campus Code: L46
Work placement opportunities|International students can apply
About the course
Nutrition and exercise are the most fundamental components of a healthy lifestyle, with inappropriate nutrition and/or insufficient exercise being the most common causes of a wide range of disease. At the same time, correct nutrition is essential for supporting and maximising sports performance and training adaptations. Our degree in Nutrition and Sport & Exercise Science is therefore ideal for those with in interests in both of these fields as a future career. You will gain the knowledge, skills and experience with which to forge a career working with clinical populations or elite sports performers.
You will develop the essential knowledge, understanding and skills that a nutritionist requires, with a focus on the delivery of five core competencies (Nutritional science, Food chain, Social and behaviour sciences, Health and well-being and Professional conduct). You will learn the skills needed to become a sports scientist, with an understanding of how to maximise sports performance while focusing on psychology, physiology, biomechanics, performance analysis, nutrition and strength & conditioning.
Study with us and you will have full access to the multi-million-pound, state-of-the-art Health Science Building and Sports Complex, incorporating dedicated research space and specialised nutrition teaching laboratories focused around clinical nutrition, nutritional biochemistry, food sensory analysis and food product development. The facility also houses ultra-modern equipment where you will learn to conduct complete physiological, biochemical and anthropometric assessment using indirect calorimetry, breath-by-breath expired gas analysis, blood analysis, vascular and cardiac screening, body composition analysis, eye-tracking, electromyography and motion capture, to name but a few.
You will leave with the skills to become a nutritionist and a sports scientist, able to work in public health settings providing specialist advice for populations at risk of non-communicable disease or support and coach elite sports performers. You will be taught by tutors who are active researchers in the field of Nutrition and Sport & Exercise Science, all of whom regularly publish their work in the scientific literature that you will read as you progress through your degree.
Teaching on this degree is structured into lectures, where all students are taught together, seminars of smaller groups of around 15-20 students, and tutorials which typically have no more than 10 students. You will also have the opportunity to speak one-to-one with your tutor each week.
In your first year of study there are approximately 12 teaching hours each week, which reduces to approximately 10 teaching hours in your second and third years. On top of teaching hours, you are also expected to spend approximately 30 hours studying independently for each week of your course, including studying in groups to prepare for any group assessments that you may have.
Assessment and feedback
Assessment of your progress is made primarily via coursework, but with two exams in the Summer term being taken each year. These exams are worth 33% of the first year and 25% of the second and third years.
A wide variety of assessments are used to enable all types of learners to excel and to prepare you for your future career. We therefore utilise individual and group presentations, laboratory reports, portfolios, case studies, essays and practical tests.
In your final year, you will complete a research project or research dissertation a research topic that you will discuss with one of the teaching team. Though guided by your tutor and normally related to your other areas of study, you will have a significant degree of independence in choosing the topic for your dissertation. In some cases, these research dissertations have been presented at scientific conferences and recognised internationally as important pieces of research in the field.
We support our students by ensuring the marking criteria is available in advance, with specific taught sessions dedicated to understanding the requirements for all of our assessment. Following submission, we provide a comprehensive, online package of feedback and future support for every piece of coursework. This can be downloaded wherever you are and saved for future reference.
Principles of human nutrition
During this part of the course students will learn about optimum macro and micronutrient intakes, as well as the implications of excesses and deficiencies. How digestion occurs in the human body will also be considered, as well as fluid and energy balance and the impact of alcohol and non-nutritive substances.
Nutritional biochemistry and metabolism
Students will have an opportunity to develop their understanding of key principles regarding biochemistry, with a focus on the biochemical assemblage of macronutrients and their metabolism.
This part of the course will equip students with a clear understanding of the food supply chain and how this is liked to sustainability and health. Furthermore, students will also learn about key principles regarding food safety and allergen awareness, as well as having the opportunity to become certified in these areas by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health.
Dietary modification is of core importance for a variety of career pathways in nutrition and sports nutrition. Students will learn how to assess and modify the diet of an individual using dietary analysis software and will have the opportunity to try out their own reformulated diet plans in our state-of-the-art food laboratories during several practical sessions.
Understanding the foundations of the physiological basis for sport and exercise, with particular reference to the anatomy and physiology of the respiratory, cardiovascular, muscular and metabolic systems. Introduction to the regulation and integration of these physiological systems alongside an overview of neural, digestive and urinary systems. A highly applied section of the degree supported by an intensive programme of laboratory work where you will learn the fundamentals of human exercise testing and physiological evaluation.
Physical activity and health
Physical activity is central to the maintenance of health and the prevention of non-communicable disease. You will consider the “Landmark” studies that for the first time provided evidence for the prevention of disease through physical activity and exercise. You will also examine recommendations for how much physical activity should be undertaken and how this contrasts with typical physical activity undertaken by UK adults and children.
Principles of muscular strength and conditioning
An introduction to muscular anatomy and physiology, assessment of muscular function and the adaptations to muscle anatomy and physiology due to the training process
Nutritional assessment is used to determine the nutritional status of individuals via the collection and interpretation of measures and information. Students will explore the ABCD of nutritional assessment. A is for Anthropometry, the measurement of the body. B for the Biochemical analysis of nutritional status. C for the Clinical signs of malnutrition and D for assessment of Dietary intake.
Nutrition throughout the lifecycle
Energy and nutrient requirements differ depending on sex and stage of life. During this block, students will acquire knowledge and understanding of specific nutritional requirements needed for development, growth and optimal health. They will explore how dietary intakes and nutritional status during the early stages of the lifecycle, i.e. fetal, childhood and adolescence, influence health, by increasing or decreasing the risk for dietary related disease at later life stages.
Influencing factors that affect health and nutritional status
Students will have the opportunity to explore how factors such as ethnicity, culture, religion and socioeconomic status influence food choice, dietary behaviours and health. Students will learn how nutrients interact with the human genome influencing long term health, with a focus on the contribution genes make to obesity.
Nutritional status and intakes can be enhanced at population level via the fortification and enrichment of commonly consumed foods. In addition, the possible interactions between nutrients and/or drugs and how these can potentially impede optimal nutritional status will be explored.
Basic nutritional epidemiology and public health nutrition
Nutritional epidemiology is the study of the relationship between dietary exposure and the causes and pattern of diseases in populations. Students will critically appraise nutritional assessment, in addition to different research methods and study designs. Students will also explore the principles of Public Health Nutrition in promoting good health through healthy eating and preventing dietary related diseases in the population.
Physiology of exercise training
With a focus on the physiology of cardiac function and aerobic function, you will understand adaptations to exercise training and the measurement of key parameters such as cardiac output, lactate threshold and maximal oxygen uptake. This forms a basis for understanding functional decline in disease and the basis of training intensity distribution for aerobic performance. Accompanied by a series of laboratory-based workshops where you will make direct measures of cardiac and aerobic function.
Training programme design
Effective training programme design and evaluation is central to maximising the effects of training. You will learn about the fundamental principles of strength, speed and agility training and how to program them within an overall training programme. Lectures are supplemented with practical sessions in the field to understand best practice in the measurement of these parameters.
Physical activity, health & health promotion
Building on your first year of study, you will develop your understanding of the relationship between physical activity and health to examine the effectiveness of different health promotion campaigns to promote physical activity across a range of different communities and environments, such as disability, minority groups and the workplace.
Sports performance analysis
The analysis of sports performance begins with an evaluation of the demands of the event, a process known as notational analysis. This component of the course will teach you the fundamentals of notational analysis as a basis for further study in the field of sports performance; learning will be integrated with aspects of Training Programme Design in order to develop you as an interdisciplinary practitioner in the field.
Nutrition, physical activity, and sport
Students have an opportunity to learn about several key perspectives in the interrelationship between nutrition, physical activity, exercise, and health within this area. The role of body composition within health and disease and methods of assessment of body composition will be discussed. The difference between physical activity, physical fitness, sport, and exercise will be established with the critical appraisal regarding the impact of the complex association between these constructs with nutrition and health. In line with that, the relationship between active and balanced lifestyle and health will be explored, while the subject area will also discuss the key principles of nutrition for successful contribution to sport and exercise.
Within this area, the interrelationship between nutrition, obesity, and non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, and cancer together with cognitive function and impairment will be discussed. The role of nutrition and weight management in the prevention of the above clinical conditions will be critically appraised as part of broader discussions of the association between lifestyle, holistic health, and wellbeing.
Public health nutrition
The topic area explores the key principles of public health nutrition, reflecting on the international, national, and local perspectives in the development of food and nutrition policies, to incorporate public health nutrition models into practice and explore practical considerations in devising and evaluating local food and nutrition policies.
Food choice, behaviour modification and nutrition education
The theoretical models underlying food choice, and the ones explaining nutritional health behaviour will be explored while students critically appraise the traditional and modern strategies used for nutrition education and behaviour modification for enhancing nutritional status.
Motor control & skill acquisition
You will learn what it means to be an expert skilled performer and the role of practice, feedback and pressure. Learning will be integrated with aspects of Performance Analysis in order to continue your development as an interdisciplinary practitioner in the field.
Physical activity, exercise & health
With ever increasing rates of non-communicable disease, you will study best practice in prescribing exercise for the promotion of health in a range of different diseased and healthy populations, such as diabetes, osteoporosis, pregnancy and children.
An independent research project with the purpose of discovering new findings in the field of Nutrition and Sport & Exercise Science.
Graduates of Nutrition and Sport & Exercise science can work in a wide range of careers; examples include working for NHS, Sport Nutrition and supplement industries, or taking public health roles. Graduates can go on to work as Sports Scientists within elite and professional sport or work on local initiatives to improve the sport provision, health and well-being of local populations. Each of these options provides a varied, rewarding and often exciting career.
Many of our graduates choose to go on to further study at postgraduate level, such as a Masters or PhD. Alternatively, you may consider further study as a means to a career in research and academia. Therefore, our graduates often enter careers in Business, Management and Consultancy.
On top of your tuition fees, you need approximately £250 to purchase key textbooks during the course of your degree.
You will also need to consider the cost of your accommodation each year whilst you study at university. Visit our accommodation pages for further details about our Halls of Residence.
With Foundation year, this degree is only available to study as a Single Honours course.