Sport & Exercise Science BSc (Hons) (with Foundation Year)
UCAS Code: C610|Duration: 4 years|Full Time|Hope Park
UCAS Campus Code: L46
Accredited|Work placement opportunities|Study Abroad opportunities
About the course
Studying Sport and Exercise is a gateway to understanding how to maximise sports performance, how we learn skills and the importance of regular exercise to health and longevity. You will study from a multidisciplinary perspective, focusing on psychology, physiology, biomechanics, performance analysis, nutrition and strength & conditioning. By the end of your studies you will confidently and independently develop training programmes and interventions that will promote peak performance, the learning of new skills and reduce the burden of disease.
Study with us in our multi-million pound, state-of-the-art Health Science Building and Sports Complex, incorporating dedicated teaching laboratories and research space. This facility houses ultra-modern equipment where you will learn to conduct complete physiological, psychological and biomechanical profiles of human sports performance using 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 sports scientist working with elite performers or clinical populations, the basis to become a sports coach, or enter the teaching profession and train the next generation of sport scientists. You will be taught by tutors who are active researchers at the cutting edge of Sport & Exercise Science, and whom regularly publish their work to international audiences.
Teaching on this degree is structured into lectures, where all students are taught together, seminars, laboratory and field sessions of smaller groups of around 15-20 students, and tutorials which typically have no more than 10 students. You will also go on a number of fieldtrips throughout your studies, and will have the opportunity to have a one-to-one meeting 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.
Recognised by the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) for the purposes of endorsement by the BASES Undergraduate Endorsement Scheme (BUES).
Assessment and feedback
Assessment of your progress is made primarily via coursework, but with two exams in the Summer term being taken in the second and third years. These exams are worth 25% of the year.
A wide variety of coursework assessments are used to enable all types of learners to excel and to prepare you for your future career. We utilise individual and group presentations, laboratory reports, portfolios, case studies, essays and practical tests.
In your final year, you will complete a research dissertation worth 25% of your final year on 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 Sport & Exercise Science conferences and recognised internationally as important pieces of research in the field.
For all coursework assessments we make the marking criteria 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.
The course content is structured into two 60 credit elements each year, consisting of a core element in Human/Applied Sciences for Sport which provides a basis for the second 60 credit element of Core Studies in Sport & Exercise Science.
These two large elements of study are designed to enable a better understanding of the multi- and inter-disciplinary nature of Sport and Exercise Science which is characteristic of careers in this field.
In your third year you will specialise in certain areas through the selection of “specialist seminars” of study and your research dissertation topic.
The Foundation Year is a great opportunity if you have the ability and enthusiasm to study for a degree, but do not yet have the qualifications required to enter directly onto our degree programmes. A significant part of the Foundation Year focuses upon core skills such as academic writing at HE level, becoming an independent learner, structuring academic work, critical thinking, time management and note taking.
Successful completion of the Foundation Year will enable you to progress into the first year (Level C) of your chosen honours degree.
Introduction to sports psychology*
You will learn foundational concepts in sports psychology and skill acquisition, such as personality, confidence, motivation, emotion, information processing and motor control
Functional anatomy and kinesiology*
Providing the foundations of understanding human movement by understanding the muscles, bones, origins and insertions that co-ordinate the different types of muscular contraction and movement patterns underpinning sports performance
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.
Principles of exercise training
An introduction to muscular anatomy and physiology, assessment of muscular function and the adaptations to muscle anatomy and physiology due to the training process
Fundamentals of biomechanics*
Building on fundamental kinesiology you will understand how to quantify human movement via kinematic and kinetic approaches and understand the terms work, power, force, speed, velocity. Learning is supported by laboratory and field work.
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.
Study skills & research methods*
A key outcome of undergraduate study is the transferable skills that you acquire, such as those in writing, presenting information, working within teams, interpreting data, data analysis and understanding evidence. Studying these skills directly improves your degree outcome and improves employability prospects. Moreover, in a world with ever more conflicting opinion you will understand what information you can, and cannot, rely upon to be true.
*Single Honours students only
You will study applied aspects of sports psychology such as aggression, attribution and coach-athlete relationships
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.
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.
Through practical sessions in the purpose-built laboratory and a lecture series, you will develop your skills and knowledge in kinematic analysis, with an emphasis on gait analysis and measurement of muscle
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.
You will study foundational principles of carbohydrate-loading before and after exercise and the effect on exercise performance. This in addition to learning practical techniques to quantify fat and carbohydrate oxidation during exercise and addressing the controversial topic of fat-adaptation and sports performance.
Extreme environments have profound effects on human physiology, impacting upon sports performance. You will learn about the acute effects of extreme environments and the adaptive processes that occur during acclimatisation.
Motor Control & Skill Acquisition*
Supported by a series of seminars in the biomechanics laboratory, you will study the interaction of perception, visuomotor control and feedback in producing skilled performance
Study skills & research methods*
In your second year you will start to plan for your final year research project. From developing a research proposal to evaluating your data through statistical analysis you will be supported to produce the best possible dissertation. You will also consider your future career and understand how effective data analysis techniques are essential for the workplace in our field.
*Single Honours students only
Advanced applications of psychological principles, including imagery, motivation, self-talk and mental toughness
Exercise & cardio-metabolic disease*
Examining the physiological mechanisms linking physical inactivity to disease and how these are reversed with exercise training
You will study the evidence and practical applications underpinning the role of diet and dietary supplementation of carbohydrate and protein to promote sports performance and training adaptation. You will also consider key ergogenic aids and evaluate whether not they can enhance exercise performance.
Biomechanics of Injury*
You will study biological and biomechanical mechanisms of sports injury and principles of injury rehabilitation
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.
Within this component of the course, you will learn about fundamental principles of sports profiling and race analysis and how they can be applied using contemporary technology.
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.
Science of Sport Coaching
A scientific view of structuring and programming training, considering issues such as screening, age, sex, recovery, sleep and concurrent training.
Paediatric Exercise Science
Understanding growth, development, physical literacy, issues of maturation and the physiology of training and overtraining in children and adolescents.
Study choice (normally choice of 2 from 4)*
Applied Sport Biomechanics*
Based predominantly in the human movement laboratory, you will utilise motion capture and force-plate analysis to learn how to produce a 3-D analysis of sports performance and technique analysis.
Applied Sport Psychology*
Examining the latest research in applied sport psychology with an emphasis on the development of psychological interventions to promote sport performance
Measuring cardiovascular function*
With a “hands-on” approach you will examine the physiological principles of techniques to measure cardiovascular function, such as ECG, echocardiography, pulse-wave velocity and the use of ultrasound for monitoring vascular function
Physiology of sports performance*
Focussing predominantly on aerobic performance, you will acquire a critical understanding of lactate threshold and critical power, including their measurement, estimation and role in establishing intensity domains of exercise training.
An independent research project with the purpose of discovering new findings in the field of Sport & Exercise Science. Combined honours students will undertake two smaller research projects, but can opt to complete a full dissertation combining elements of their combined option.
*Single Honours students only
There may be some flexibility for mature students offering non-tariff qualifications and students meeting particular widening participation criteria.
Graduates of Sport & Exercise Science often go on to work as Sports Scientists within elite and professional sport, work with clinical populations within the NHS 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. Our graduates are also in an excellent position to enter the teaching profession and go on to train the next generation of sport scientists.
Many of our graduates choose to go on to further study at postgraduate level, such as Masters or PhD; our course providing the ideal basis on which to do so. Some graduates take this route as a means to further training, such as physiotherapy. Alternatively, you may consider further study as a means to enter a career in research and academia.
Graduates in Sport & Exercise Science also have excellent teamwork skills, are numerate, skilled in handling data and understanding complex ideas and arguments. Therefore our graduates often enter careers in Business, Management and Consultancy.
The Service and Leadership Award (SALA) is offered as an extra-curricular programme involving service-based experiences, development of leadership potential and equipping you for a career in a rapidly changing world. It enhances your degree, it is something which is complimentary but different and which has a distinct ‘value-added’ component. Find out more on our Service and Leadership Award page.
As part of your degree, you can choose to spend either a semester or a full year of study at one of our partner universities as part of our Study Abroad programme. Find out more on our Study Abroad page.
For the Foundation Year element of your degree, tuition fees for the 2023/24 academic year are £9,250.
If you are a student from the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands, your tuition fees will also be £9,250.
For the remaining 3 years of your degree, taught at Hope Park, you will be charged the full Undergraduate fee each year.
The University reserves the right to increase Home and EU Undergraduate and PGCE tuition fees in line with any inflationary or other increase authorised by the Secretary of State for future years of study.
On top of your tuition fees, you need approximately £250 to purchase key textbooks during the course of your degree and £25 for a course polo-shirt to be worn during practical sessions (additional branded course clothing is available for purchase).
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.
We have a range of scholarships to help with the cost of your studies. Visit our scholarships page to find out more.
International tuition fees
The International Tuition fees for 2023/24 are £12,500.
Visit our International fees page for more information.
This course is also available with Foundation Year as a Combined Honours degree with the following subjects: