This course provides a unique opportunity to engage in the wider sport science fields whilst tailoring your module choices and individual essay topics to your interests. I can honestly say that without the guidance and support from the incredible department this would not have been possible.


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4 years

UCAS code:



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Whether you are a school leaver or would like to return to study but don’t have the entry requirements, a foundation year may be just what you’re looking for.

Explore the science behind sports performance and physical activity under the guidance of a dynamic team of research-active staff.

You will study a range of topics, all with an emphasis on real-life application. Choose from pathways in sport and exercise sciences, competitive sport performance or exercise and health outcomes.

Our labs give you the opportunity to measure and assess physical activity in athletes. You can also gain experience in our consultancy service, SportsLab, using your knowledge to help athletes improve their performance.

Why study Sport and Exercise Science with Foundation Year?

Sport and Exercise Science is a great choice if you want to focus your studies on the relationship between exercise and the human body. It involves exploring the body at a cellular level and analysing the impact of sport and exercise on the body as a whole.

On our applied Sport and Exercise Science course you'll explore sports performance and the factors that affect behaviour in sport. You'll gain a solid understanding of the science behind sport and exercise while developing practical skills in our dedicated labs. Key areas that you'll study include biomechanics, physiology, psychology and sociology. 

During the foundation year, you'll develop a grounding in scientific principles, practical skills and the application of science to sport and exercise. You'll learn in a highly supportive environment where you can develop your self-confidence, knowledge and skills.

We offer excellent resources in our dedicated labs, so you can carry out research and apply yourself using specialist equipment including: eye-tracker technology; brain imaging equipment (EEG); reaction timers; gas analysis systems; cardiac screening equipment; 3D imaging; isokinetic and balance dynamometry; sprint timing systems and other sport/exercise related equipment (treadmills and weights, for example).

Entry requirements

Applicants should normally have 32 UCAS Tariff points. We will also welcome applications from students with few or no formal Level 3 qualifications who wish to return to education and applicants may be asked to attend an interview.

More information about entry requirements.

UCAS Points

All about the course

During the foundation year, you will gain fundamental knowledge and skills needed to progress to Year 1 of the degree. You'll focus on:

  • academic writing and study skills
  • theoretical and practical skills in scientific method
  • personal and career development.

As you progress to the degree, you'll study modules that focus on:

  • Sport and Exercise Biomechanics – the analysis of human movement during sport, exercise and rehabilitation.
  • Sport and Exercise Physiology – the study of the energy provision, system physiology, physiological responses and adaptations.
  • Sport and Exercise Psychology – the cognitive, emotional and behavioural consequences of participation in sport or physical activity, the ways in which physical, motor and perceptual skills are learned and coached.
  • Sport and Exercise Sociology – sociocultural relations, historical development of sport, sport media relations, sport in stratified societies, sport subcultures and global sport development.

You will have the choice of selecting one of three pathways when you complete your first year of the degree. These are:

  • Sport and Exercise Science (Sport Performance) – allowing you to focus your studies on the science of competitive sport.
  • Sport and Exercise Science (Exercise & Health) – allowing you to focus your studies on the science of physical activity, fitness and wellbeing.
  • Sport and Exercise Science – allowing you to study a broad range of areas related to the science underpinning health, fitness and competitive sport outcomes.

All of these pathways include the core modules of Research Methods and Career Skills Development in Year 2 and either Applied Research Study or Research and Career Planning in your final year.

Module information

Please note that the list of optional modules and their availability may be subject to change. We continually review and where appropriate, revise the range of modules on offer to reflect changes in the subject and ensure the best student experience. Modules will vary when studied in combination with another subject.

Core/optional modules

How you’ll learn

You will be taught through a combination of real and virtual lectures, seminars, practical sessions, labs, workshops and tutorials. 

Seminars and tutorials in smaller groups will enable you to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures and other sessions. In addition, you will meet with your personal academic tutor on a regular basis. 

All courses are informed by the University’s Learning and Teaching Strategy 2015-2022.

When not attending lectures, seminars, workshops or other timetabled sessions you will continue learning through self-study. Typically, this involves reading journal articles and books, undertaking research in the library, working on projects, and preparing for workshops, seminars, coursework and examinations.

Each module tutor will direct you towards specific readings and/or activities to complete before and/or after class to support your learning and development. Your allocated personal academic tutor will help you review your performance, and support your independent learning.



Your overall workload typically consists of 10-14 contact hours per week. You will also undertake 15-20 hours of independent learning and assessment related activity each week.

During each semester you will normally study three modules, so each module will have a 10-12 hour commitment per week.

The teaching team consists of highly qualified academics, supported by a skilled technical team. They have a range of expertise and experience across the breadth of disciplines in science generally, and sport and exercise science specifically.

The majority of staff hold the highest academic qualification (doctorate), with a small number of staff working towards achieving this standard. Staff are research-active and many of the teaching team are at the forefront of their research fields in the UK and beyond. They have substantial experience in delivering research led and research informed teaching.

You can find out more about the current teaching teams on our Sport and Exercise Sciences Staff web pages. You should note that members of the teaching team might change.

Postgraduate students sometimes assist in teaching and assessing some modules. However, experienced academics teach the vast majority of lectures and seminars.

We will develop your professional coaching skills and enhance your knowledge and understanding of the theory and practice of sport coaching.

Dr Andrew BalsdonProgramme Director, Sport Coaching Science

National Student Survey 2020

of our Sport & Exercise Science students were satisfied with the quality of their course

How you’ll be assessed

The course frequently provides you with opportunities to test your understanding of the subject informally before you complete the formal assessments that count towards your final mark. Many modules contain practice or 'formative' assessments or similar submissions for which you receive feedback from your tutor. Formative or practice assessments and submissions are developmental and any grades you receive for them do not count towards your module mark.

The formal or 'summative' assessments on each module are planned to take account of two inter dependent aspects - the acquisition of relevant theory / principles, and the development of both academic and practical skills.

Assessment methods include a range of coursework assessments such as essays, reports, portfolios,

presentations, your final year project (dissertation) and written examinations. The grades from formal assessments count towards your module mark.

National Student Survey 2020

of our Sport & Exercise Science students were satisfied with the academic support

Your future career

The Sport and Exercise Science degree opens up routes into teaching, through the PGCE (e.g. Physical Education), and prepares you for further postgraduate study at all levels through to PhD. It also qualifies you for roles in sport, physical activity and health administration and research, health and fitness publishing, as well as the expanding leisure industry.

In addition, it provides an excellent foundation for careers in the public sector, including the medical professions (cardiac rehabilitation, physiotherapy, health promotion and medical sales), whilst both the armed and police forces have looked favourably upon our graduates.

Wherever your career aspirations lie, a successfully completed Sport and Exercise Science degree will equip you with both the specific and generic knowledge and skills that may provide that essential ‘edge’ when trying to make a mark in today’s competitive job and postgraduate degree market.

Thanks for making Sport and Exercise Psychology so interesting! The staff are all so approachable and open – I’m going to really enjoy studying here!

Combined Honours Sport and Exercise Psychology student

Graduate Outcomes Survey 2017/18

of our Sport & Exercise Science students were in jobs or further study 15 months after finishing their course


The 2020/21 annual tuition fees for this course are:

  UK / EU Overseas
Full-time - Foundation Year 0 £7,050 £9,910
Full-time - years 1-3 * £9,250 £13,000

Tuition fees for all courses are payable on an annual basis, except where stated.

* The tuition fees of £9,250 / £13,000 relate to 2020/21 only. Please read the 2020/21 Tuition Fee Statement for further information regarding 2020/21 tuition fees and year on year fee increases.

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4 years

UCAS code:



Apply via UCAS
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