Sport and Exercise Science

BSc single honours or in combination with another subject Sport and Exercise Science 2020/21

Year of entry

This engaging programme offers you the opportunity to explore the science behind physical activity and sports performance.

Under the guidance of a dynamic team of research-active staff, you will study biomechanics, physiology, psychology and sociology, with an emphasis on practical application.

You will have access to well-equipped laboratories where you will gain valuable experience in measuring and assessing physical activity relevant to competitive sport and recreational exercise, fitness and health.

You will also have the opportunity to work within our consultancy unit, SportsLab, using your expertise to help athletes improve their performance.

You can opt to follow a broad pathway through the sport and exercise sciences, or focus more specifically on competitive sport performance or exercise and health outcomes .

You will explore areas including:

  • sport exercise and fitness
  • applied sport psychology
  • physical activity and health. 

This engaging course offers you the opportunity to explore the underpinning science associated with physical activity and sports performance. You will have access to a range of resources and equipment such as our student focused laboratories, which include aerobic, flexibility, strength and power testing, blood, gas and body composition analysis, cardiac and vascular ultrasound, pressure mat,  force platform, 3D high speed filming, muscle function and eye tracker hardware. Your learning experience will combine theoretical understanding contextualised with practical participation. You will be taught by a passionate, research active and highly-qualified team of academics and supported by an exception team of technical and administrative staff. Our wealth of expertise and dedication to student success means we are committed to helping you achieve your full academic potential.

Sport and Exercise Science is extremely well established at Christ Church with sport related academic courses having been successfully delivered for over 35 years, making us one of the longest standing sport and exercise science providers in the UK.

Top reason to choose this course

Studying Sport and Exercise Science with us guarantees that you will be taught by a highly-qualified and dynamic team of research active staff, dedicated to ensuring that your course is stimulating and fun.

You will be able to gain a deeper understanding of sport and exercise-related research and consultancy through our ‘SportsLab’, which provides scientific services for sports people. You may also be able to benefit from paid employment opportunities within the SportsLab.

The Sport and Exercise Science staff are nationally and internationally recognised for their research, and we are the number one Research Institution for the Sport and Exercise Sciences in Kent (REF 2014).

Awards to staff & students from within the Section of Sport & Exercise Sciences include:

  •  Student BASES conference presentation prizes.

  • Joint British Association of Sport and Exercises Sciences/British Association of Sport and Exercise Medicine award for best exercise science research conference presentation.

  • Coubertin Prize 2008 awarded by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Pierre de Coubertin Committee (IPCC).

Who is this course for?

With our BSc in Sport and Exercise Science, you will develop a specific and generic knowledge and skills that will make you a valuable asset to any employer. The degree programme will qualify you for a range of careers related to sport, exercise and physical activity. It also opens up routes into teaching (Physical Education), and further study to Masters level and beyond.

"Studying a Sport and Exercise Science degree at Christ Church University equipped me with the necessary skills to pursue a career as an Exercise Physiologist. The friendly nature of staff and interactive nature of degree modules (including Sociology and Psychology modules) also helped me develop the necessary communication skills vital in my job at present."

A recent Sport & Exercise Science graduate.

Sport and Exercise Science provides you with the opportunity to study the academic disciplines of biomechanics, physiology, psychology and sociology underpinned by research methods. You will experience a research and consultancy informed teaching approach in:

  • 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. 

As a Combined Honours student, you will have the flexibility to study more or less of these disciplines, depending on what and how you choose to study in your other subject.

As a Single Honours student, you will have the choice of selecting one of three pathways when you complete your first year of study.  These are:

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

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

Core modules

All modules are 20 credits unless stated.

Year 1:

Core module for all students:

Orientation to Higher Education and Research in the Sport and Exercise Sciences

This module facilitates a smooth transition into Higher Education (HE) and the challenges it presents by building on your pre-existing skills, enabling you to become more independent and self-managed in your approach to study, learning and time management. The module develops skills and techniques used in the study of sport and exercise. It will identify a variety of methods by which research is conducted in sport and exercise science and will provide the opportunity for you to develop a scientific approach to your studies. You will have your personal academic tutoring initially aligned with the content of this module.

Core modules for Single Honours students; optional modules for Combined Honours students:

Psychology of Sport, Exercise and Skill Acquisition

The aim of this module is to provide an introduction to the fundamental psychology  that underpins our understanding of human behaviour and learning in sport and exercise settings. Central concepts such as personality, attributions, aggression, motivation, arousal, anxiety and stress are examined with reference to  behaviour in the sport, exercise, and the physical activity setting. The nature and development of groups and the influence of group dynamics on individual behaviour are also explored, along with cognitive processes involved in skill acquisition and performance, and the relationships between exercise participation and health and well­being.

Biomechanics in Sport and Exercise

This module  introduces you to the biomechanical basis of sport and exercise, through    practical laboratory experiences underpinned by scientific theory. The module provides a foundation in the analysis of human movement, covering basic movement terminology, functional anatomy and principles of movement. The module utilises laboratory work to apply fundamental biomechanical concepts to the study of human movement in sport and exercise.

Sport and Exercise Physiology

The module introduces key topics in physiology, including energy systems, the process of muscle contraction and the cardio­respiratory system. Laboratory practical work provides the opportunity to explore the physiological effects of these systems during exercise. Overall students will study the anatomy and physiology of gross structures and the responses and adaptations of these structures to sport and exercise training.  This module also extensively uses our state-of-the-art laboratories to enhance learning through a practical experience.

Sport, Culture and Society

An understanding of sociology can be very useful in order to study and investigate sport, culture and society. This module will begin by exploring the historical development and management of modern sport from its folk roots. A number of social factors in sport such as gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, and disability are then studied encouraging an understanding of the social problems and social issues associated with sport. Various theories that can help conceptualise sport and exercise as a social phenomenon are then examined in relation to globalisation, national identity, deviance, the media and the environment which help to develop a critical sociological approach to sport, physical education and leisure.

Optional module for Single Honours students only

Sport, Exercise and Fitness

The aim of this module is to explore the nature of sport and exercise training for fitness through theoretical and practical (laboratory and gym) experiences. This module will introduce you to the concept of exercise training specificity in relation to those with either sport and/or fitness orientated goals, and will provide a firm foundation for those seeking employment in the fitness industry.

Year 2

Core module for all students:

Research Methods and Career Skills Development

You will explore alternative approaches to research in sport and exercise science, and the philosophies and practices associated with each. The research process will be explored from conceptualisation through to presentation. Accordingly, you will develop an understanding of how to design research, collect, analyse, and interpret data, and present research in an appropriate manner. This module develops your ability to critically evaluate and conduct research in sport and exercise science and provides the conceptual underpinnings for a third year individual study. The module alsosupports the development of fundamental skills utilised in the sport and exercise industry.

Optional modules for all students:

Psychology of Sport

A range of factors influence the competitive sport performance of both individual athletes and teams; this module aims to explore these factors to understand, promote and enhance sport performance. Psychological phenomena currently addressed on the module include individual motivation, confidence and anxiety and such social psychological processes as group motivation and cohesion, the nature of the group environment and the components of effective leadership.

Psychology of Exercise and Health

This module investigates a number of the psychological factors that are associated with the adoption of and adherence to active lifestyles. Specific attention is paid to the cognitive and affective consequences of participation in exercise programmes, and the impact of these on health and wellbeing. An additional topic currently explored is the motivational effects of music in exercise settings.

Skill Acquisition

There are many roles within the sport sector which require well-qualified people to teach, develop and enable others to successfully execute skilled movements.  This module provides insight into some of the factors which influence the acquisition and performance of perceptual and motor skills in sport. You will develop an understanding of selected cognitive and ecological methodologies to skilled performance. These theoretical approaches to skill acquisition will be used to critique the design and organisation of current coaching practice.

Biomechanical Analysis of Movement

Biomechanical principles that influence physical performance are explored in this module.  Through the application of selected theoretical concepts to sport and exercise contexts, you will develop your competency in the scientific techniques used to evaluate biomechanical aspects of exercise. This module currently focuses on biomechanical principles of motion (conservation of momentum, impulse­momentum relationship, work­energy relationship), covering topics such as linear and angular kinematics and kinetics, forces and impulse, loading and injury, projectile motion, and fluid dynamics. It also includes an analysis of selected sports skills, and further develops your practical laboratory experience and use of selected analysis programs.

Sport and Exercise Training

Selected physiological factors which influence physical performance are identified in this module, and methods used to enhance these factors are investigated in the context of both sport and exercise. The module explores the physiological determinants of fitness, investigates technology and methods to collect, analyse and interpret the data from specific fitness assessments, and considers the role and limitations of training theory.

Nutrition for Sport and Exercise

This module explores the interaction between nutritional factors and physiological function associated with sport and exercise performance. The module investigates current thinking on key nutritional principles, investigates methods of data analysis in this field, and explores the efficacy of common dietary practices used in sport and exercise to promote health and performance.

Identities and Lifestyles in Sport and Exercise

This module considers the cultural meaning and significance of sport and exercise in selected societies. Specifically, the module explores the nature and characteristics of sport and exercise related sub­cultures by focusing on selected sociological themes and issues. The module is structured around the establishment and maintenance of sport and exercise sub­cultures and students explore issues of socialisation and identity formation in relation to sport subcultures, examine sub­culture related deviancy such as violence, drug­taking and over­conformity to the ‘sports ethic’ and investigate the symbolic nature of the body in sport and exercise. Aspects of research methods in the sociology of sport and exercise sub­cultures will be studied.

Optional modules for Single Honours students only:

Strength & Conditioning for Exercise and Health OR Strength & Conditioning for Sport Performance

These modules aim to provide a balanced understanding of key theoretical and practical considerations within the area of strength and conditioning science and how these are implemented within either the health and fitness industry or in an attempt to enhance sports performance and athletic development. The content will extend to being able to accurately prescribe a series of exercise modalities within a structured programme for an individual exerciser or athlete based around their needs-analysis.

Year 3

Core modules for Single Honours students; optional modules for Combined Honours students:

Applied Research Study (40 credits) OR Research and Career Planning

These two modules offer you the opportunity to undertake an in-depth study of a particular topic or issue related to the Sport and Exercise Science sub disciplines. You will be able to build upon the knowledge, understanding and skills developed so far in the course and further explore or propose the use of quantitative and/or qualitative research methodologies, as appropriate in a subject area of your choice.

Optional modules for all students:

Applied Sport Psychology

The module offers the opportunity to undertake an in-depth study of a particular topic in the sport and exercise sciences. The module affords an opportunity to build upon knowledge, understanding and skills developed in years one and two.  You will design, carry out, analyse and write up an individual research project under the supervision of a member of the academic staff with teaching responsibilities and/or research interests in the student’s area of study.

Psychology of Sport Coaching

The module examines the processes and principles of coaching both adults and children in sport. You will gain significant theoretical and practical experience of different approaches to coaching practice and the application of coaching ideologies in a variety of sports. The module probes coaching research and current issues in coach behaviour, currently including such topics as the coach­athlete relationship, coaching styles, modes of communication, and motivational climates.

Applied Exercise and Health Psychology

This module provides you with an opportunity to investigate the processes involved in developing, delivering and evaluating a sport psychology intervention. A critical consideration of the evidence base for sport psychology alongside an understanding of the practical techniques and processes commonly used by sport psychologists will equip you with a well-rounded perspective about the perils and promise of applied sport psychology.

Applied Technique Analysis

This module focuses on the analysis of technique with distinct focus on the technologies used to develop sports and exercise equipment and to evaluate performance and training. Students will critically appraise selected sport and exercise skills, sports footwear, with consideration of sport specific injuries, culminating in an evaluation of a sport or exercise performance underpinned by appropriate theory and research in biomechanics.

Sporting Extremes

This module will consider specific aspects of exercise physiology associated with selected sporting extremes and their potential impact upon an individual’s ability to perform strenuous physical exercise. These currently include the physiological considerations of participating in sport and exercise at extremes of age and environmental conditions, as well as some of the physiological parameters governing the limits of human training/performance capacity.

Physical Activity and Health

This module provides insight into the origins of physical activity and health. You will develop a critical understanding of the link between physical activity and various forms of ill-health. This currently includes cardiovascular disease, cancer, high blood pressure, lung disease, obesity, diabetes and renal disease. A laboratory practical series will prepare you to conduct a cardiopulmonary exercise test, assess coronary heart disease risk profile and provide appropriate physical activity/exercise prescription.

Nutritional Strategies for Sport & Exercise

The module will explore nutritional strategies associated with enhancing health, exercise and sports performance.  The module will investigate established and contemporary strategies based around broad themes of body weight loss and weight gain, altering substrate use during sport and exercise and the nutritional challenges faced by specific clients.  There will be focus on pre/during/post exercise nutritional strategies and the class will consider practices that are (and are not) supported by a volume of scientific literature. 

Re­thinking Sport, Health and Body Cultures

This module requires you to think critically about the social construction of the body and identity amongst dominant cultures in sport, physical education and leisure. Consideration is first given to the historical underpinnings that inform how we conceptualise the body in contemporary society. Subsequently, attention centres on how the body may be theorised and the pressures of having the ‘perfect’ body amongst discourses that promote the anti­fat ethic and the moralisation of health and wellness. In doing so, the oppression and inequalities present in embodying a range of identities in sport, physical education and leisure are explored including gendered bodies, sexual bodies, disabled bodies and ‘cyborg’ bodies.

Optional modules for Single Honours students only:

Sport Performance Analysis

This module provide students with the theoretical understanding, practical experience and analytical appreciation in the expanding field of sports performance analysis. It will also demonstrate how an understanding of the methods and processes of technique and notational analyses can inform athletes, coaches and sport scientists with the aim to improving both technique and performance outcomes. 

Exercise Referral

This module will investigate the role of exercise in the prevention, treatment and/or management of selected health conditions in primary and secondary disease populations. Students will evaluate the efficacy of exercise as an alternative or supplementary prescription to traditional medical intervention and develop knowledge and understanding of the interaction of disease states and a more universal approach to treatment.

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.

After a successful career in the Parachute Regiment, a former mature student was the first person to paraglide from John O’Groats to Dover in aid of the charity Help for Heroes.


Tuition Fees for 2020/21 have not yet been finalised. Course webpages will be updated with Tuition Fee information once these have been agreed.

Additional course costs

Although we aim to minimise any additional costs to students over and above the course tuition fee, there will be some additional costs which students are expected to meet.

Costs applicable to all students

Text books Own purchase text books
Travel to other sites Where travel to other sites is required, this will be payable by the student
Library Fees and Fines Where students fail to return loaned items within the required time they will be responsible for the cost of any Library Fees and Fines applicable
Printing & Photocopying The cost of printing and photocopying undertaken by students to support their individual learning are payable by the student
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire / photography are additional costs payable by the student

Course specific costs

Clothing / Kit

Corporate (badged by programme) sports kit purchase is recommended. Price list by garment is sent to students via online induction webpage normally in July prior to the start of your course.    

General principle policy

The University’s general principles policy for additional course fees are set out here

CategoryIncluded in the tuition feeAdditional cost to student
Field trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc) No, if the trip contributes to the course as an optional module. Yes if the trip is optional.
Travel and accommodation costs for placements  No

Travel and accommodation costs for professional placements within the Education and Health & Wellbeing Faculties.

Travel and accommodation costs for other work placements. 
Text books No Own purchase text books.
DBS / Health checks No Yes
Professional Body registration No Yes
Travel to other sites (e.g. travel to swimming pool for lessons) No Yes
Clothing / Kit Yes, where the clothing / kit is essential for Health & Safety reasons. Yes, where the clothing is kept by the student and not essential for health and safety reasons.
Learning materials Essential learning materials (excluding text books) in connection with the course. Additional materials beyond the standard provision essential for the course or where the costs are determined by the student’s area of interest and the outputs are retained by the student.
Library fees and fines No Yes
Printing and photocopying No Yes
Social events No, unless the event forms an essential part of the course. Yes, unless the event forms an essential part of the course.
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire/ photography are additional costs payable by the student.


You will be taught through a combination of real and virtual lectures, seminars, practical sessions, labs, workshops and tutorials. You will typically have around 10-14 contact hours per week. Your actual contact hours depend on the option modules you select.

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. 

As a Sport and Exercise Scientist you will have access to specific resources including state of the art laboratories housing  ‘gold standard’ 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).  The Sport and Exercise Scientists have access to their own IT lab, and all teaching is supported by online study skills material.

There are many opportunities within the programme to focus study on areas of interest and study topics that are aligned with career ambition.  All students in the Section of Sport and Exercise Sciences will have a ‘consultancy’ and ‘research’ informed experience.  Students will engage in activity aligned to the University consultancy unit ‘SportsLab’ that provides scientific services for sports people.  There are opportunities for paid employment for undergraduate students working for SportsLab when undertaking their studies. The Sport and Exercise Science staff are nationally and internationally recognised for their research, and you will have the opportunity to conduct a final year project (dissertation) which will based on a topic area of your choice utilising support from the academic, technical and professional services staff.

All programmes are informed by the University’s Learning and Teaching Strategy 2015-2020.

Independent learning

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.

During the final year of study the, research project (dissertation), will be an independent research programme where you will work under the supervision of a member of the academic staff who you will meet regularly.

Overall workload

Your overall workload typically consists of 10-14 contact hours per week. You will undertake 15-20 hours independent learning and assessment related activity.  During each semester you will normally study three modules, so each module will have a 10-12 hour commitment per week.

Academic input

The teaching team consists of highly qualified academics, supported by a specialist professional services and highly 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.

It is a University requirement that all academic staff have, or are working towards obtaining teaching qualifications. 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 Sport and Exercise Science team are at the forefront of their research fields in the UK and beyond, and have substantial experience in delivering research led and research informed teaching. You can find out more about the current teaching team on our Sport and Exercise Sciences Staff webpage. You should note that members of the teaching team might change.

The Section of Sport and Exercise Sciences has a vibrant postgraduate cohort, and these   students sometimes assist in teaching some module content in their areas of expertise, and assist with peer learning. However, the vast majority of delivery is undertaken by an experienced academic team.


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 inter­dependent 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.

Percentage of the course assessed by coursework

The balance of assessment by examination and assessment by coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. The approximate percentage of the course assessed by  coursework over the duration of the programme is approx. 70%.


You will receive feedback on all practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback is intended to help you learn and you are encouraged to discuss it with your module tutor. We aim to provide you with feedback within 15 working days of hand-in.  The quality and quantity of our feedback is often highlighted as exceptional by external examiners who annually review our academic practices.

You will require 55% in the year two Research Methods and Career Skills Development module to select the Applied Research Study module in year three.

As a student of Sport and Exercise Sciences, you will have access to our well-equipped laboratories that are used to measure and assess sport and exercise performance. You will also have the opportunity to work within our consultancy unit SportsLab, through which we work with professional athletes, conducting performance related tests and using our expertise to help athletes boost their performance either as an individual or as a team.

One member of the staff within the Section of Sport and Exercise Sciences recently broke the Guinness World Record for the fastest 100km treadmill run (6 hours, 40 minutes and 35 seconds) – completed in our laboratory!

Our course, research and consultancy work are continually developed with consideration of advances and relevant stakeholder needs within the wider health and fitness industry. We are currently one of 12 Universities working with the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA) to develop professional standards in the sector which are aligned with Higher Education qualifications.

Selected staff are accredited by or registered with the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES), the British Psychological Society (BPS), the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), and/or the Higher Education Academy (HEA). Many members of the teaching staff hold coaching qualifications awarded by a range of national governing bodies.


Full-time study

Apply via UCAS

Part-time study

Apply directly to us


Full-time study

Need some help?


For advice on completing your application please contact the Course Enquiry Team:

Tel:+44 (0)1227 928000 (0)1227 928000


Contact our International Team

Fact file

UCAS course code

  • C600 Sport and Exercise Science

  • C608 Sport and Exercise Science with Foundation Year

UCAS institution code

  • C10


  • 3 years full-time

    4 years full-time including a Foundation Year

    6 years part-time


  • September 2020

Entry requirements



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Our degree in Sport and Exercise Science has an 89% overall student satisfaction rating.

(National Student Survey, 2018)
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Last edited: 31/07/2019 10:29:00