Exercise Science BSc(Hons) 2017-18

This course also available for 2018-19 entry

Want to join us in September? You can now apply via Clearing

Student Story, Facilities, SkillsActive Endorsement, Future Careers, Course Structure, Student Story, Graduate Story

About the course

The economic and personal burden of leading unhealthy lifestyles is clear. The number of people with diseases linked to physical inactivity and poor nutrition has increased dramatically. Equally there has been much made in the media and healthcare about how physical activity, sport and exercise can improve physiological and psychological wellbeing. This is a developing field in the UK and the demand for expertise in this area is increasing.

This course focuses on two main areas, physiology and psychology, in order to understand how the body works and why humans behave the way they do. It is designed to provide you with an opportunity to develop professional skills and knowledge to promote physical activity as an intervention to achieve health and wellbeing. Potential future careers include exercise referral specialist, physical activity coordinator, sports development officer, personal trainer, and teacher in a variety of educational settings.

Why study Exercise Science at Huddersfield?

  • The course is endorsed by SkillsActive (the Sector Skills Council for sport and exercise) meaning that we can offer you additional industry recognised qualifications within your degree. This helps to prepare you for entry onto the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs), demonstrating your knowledge, skill and competence to potential employers.

  • The course is also endorsed by The British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES).

  • In the 2015 National Student Survey, Sport and Exercise Sciences at Huddersfield received a 91% satisfaction score.

  • You'll have the opportunity to benefit from a work placement. This will support your future employability prospects and give you the chance to make useful contacts in industry.

  • You'll experience a range of excellent facilities, currently including our biomechanics and physiology labs and the University's recently built sport and fitness facilities.

  • Our teaching staff undertake research and maintain their expertise in the subject area by continued industrial experience in fields such as cardiac rehabilitation, strength and conditioning and coach education.

UCAS code:

Start date:
18 / 09 / 2017


3 years full-time
6 years part-time

Course type:

Full Time / Part Time

Course content

You'll study the key academic disciplines relating to exercise and health, seeking to gain an in-depth understanding of the physiological and psychological relationships of health-related behaviours, and develop the skills to apply that knowledge to improving the health and fitness of a variety of people.

Through the ‘Work Placement Module' in year 2, you'll have the opportunity to apply your learning and knowledge in a professional setting, via a practical work-based experience.

This course aims to equip you with the techniques, professional skills and the opportunity to undertake additional qualifications for employment in these fields.

Read on for details of each core and option module.

Year 1

Core modules:

Anatomy and Physiology

Human movement science considers two branches of science, anatomy and physiology, which provide the foundation for understanding the body’s parts and functions. This module aims to provide you with underpinning knowledge and understanding of the human body systems that are of most relevance to exercise and health. You will also be supported to develop an understanding of homeostatic control and how this relates to the pathophysiology of disease. Your knowledge will be assessed through an exam (worth 100% of module marks).

Introduction to Nutrition

In this module you’ll be encouraged to learn about the relationships between food, nutrition, lifestyle and health by investigating the importance of the five food groups that make up our diet, the nutritional needs of various groups in the community such as children and the elderly, and the relationships between diet and disease such as obesity and heart disease. You’ll also have the opportunity to analyse your own diets by using dietary analysis computer programs. Assessment for this module is by coursework and exam.

Introduction to Biomechanics

Biomechanics is the study of the forces acting on and produced by the body. You'll be supported to develop an understanding of the academic and practical skills required of a sport and exercise scientist, providing you with knowledge to interpret biomechanical principles that govern human motion. Biomechanics is one of the key sport and exercise science disciplines recognised by British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences. Your understanding will be assessed via an exam (worth 30% of module marks). You'll also produce coursework where you will practically apply knowledge by producing a lab report based on biomechanical laboratory data collection (worth 70% of module marks).

Principles of Coaching

You will explore leadership and the role of the coach in the context of sport, exercise, physical activity and health. You will be provided with opportunities to develop practical skills such as communication, demonstration, observation, provision of feedback etc. Through coursework (worth 40% of module marks) you will demonstrate an understanding of the coach’s responsibilities and liabilities in safeguarding the physical and emotional interests of the athlete or client. You will also gain experience of the coaching process through completing a practical assessment (worth 60% of module marks), where you will work in small groups to plan, organise, deliver and evaluate an exercise or physical activity session.

Professional Development

This module focuses on preparing you for work placements and future employment. It helps you to develop the personal and academic skills required for successful transition into employment. You'll examine the essential elements of professional practice including communication, listening and mentoring skills. Potential career routes for sport, exercise, or health will be explored, helping you to gain an understanding of the expectations of employers. You'll identify where you can access support to develop the skills required both personally and academically to help achieve your career goal. Assessment will involve coursework comprising two portfolios (each worth 50% of module marks).

Sport; Exercise and Health Psychology

This module will investigate how people think, feel and behave in a sport and exercise context. You will explore how to improve diet, exercise and physical activity levels, and gain an understanding of psychological skills and their influence on sports performance and exercise and dietary behaviour. You will be assessed through an in-class test (50% of the module marks) and coursework in the form of an essay on a selected topic related to physical activity participation, diet or sports performance (worth 50% of module marks).

Year 2

Core modules:

Behaviour Change

In response to concerns expressed about the activity profile of children, adolescents and adults; the UK government aims to see 50% of the nation active and healthy by 2020. In this module you'll explore why many individuals do not meet current recommended physical activity levels and look at ways of motivating and encouraging them to do so. Through coursework, which will utilise a case study approach, you'll identify the barriers to and determinants of exercise and physical activity suggesting strategies to change behaviour (worth 100% of module marks).

Sport; Exercise and Health Nutrition

The aim of the module is to present a broad view of nutrition as it relates to both performance and health. Through the module you will develop the level of knowledge, understanding and skills needed to critically evaluate dietary requirements for a range of individuals within sport, exercise or health. You will be assessed by two pieces of coursework, an appropriate dietary plan based on an appropriate dietary assessment, and an examination.

Research Methods in Sports and Exercise Science

This module will help to further develop the skills and knowledge of research methods you learnt in Year 1, supporting you to produce a more considered research proposal for your final year project. You will focus on the applications of research methods to different kinds of problems, allowing experiential learning to take place. This will help you to become better equipped both to undertake your own research and offer a critique of the research of others. You will be assessed through two pieces of coursework, a critique of a journal article and a research proposal.

Sport and Fitness Conditioning

Effective exercise programming for sport and fitness depends on the correct application of two key training principles: specificity and overload. With this in mind you will explore the assessment procedures and processes used to inform exercise programming related to sport, exercise and health. You will be assessed by two pieces of coursework, a training programme and a written rationale. Additionally, this module is designed in-line with industry recognised National Occupational Standards for Fitness (recognised by the Register of Exercise Professionals) with the expectation that when you complete this module you will be in a strong position to complete these qualifications and work as a personal trainers or other health and fitness professional.

Work Placement Module

This module supports you to gain work experience in an industry placement and develop an understanding of the core purpose and management of the organisation. You'll complete 154 hours on placement, which will be marked on a pass/fail basis, where you'll identify, develop and maintain a role as a working member of the team, appreciating the rights and responsibilities of yourself and the organisation. You'll be assessed through coursework involving a verbal presentation of your placement experience (worth 50% of module marks) and a written essay where you'll reflect on and evaluate your learning (worth 50% of module marks).

Year 3

Core modules:

Applied Research Methods

You will have the opportunity to develop practical research skills by investigating a specific aspect of sport, exercise, or nutrition of your choice by reviewing the most up-to-date research literature available. You will produce coursework in the form of a project, which will be individually negotiated with a University appointed supervisor and, in some cases, an employer or work-based supervisor who will provide ongoing support. All research projects will be approved by the University’s School Research and Ethics Panel.

Exercise Medicine

Despite the well-established benefits of exercise, the challenge of encouraging individuals and groups to lead a more active lifestyle remains. In this module you'll explore the scientific evidence to consider the use of exercise as a treatment for a range of long-term conditions including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer. You'll consider Exercise Referral schemes and be supported to develop the knowledge and skills to plan safe and effective exercise interventions for a range of long-term conditions. Through coursework you'll produce a detailed training plan and defend the rationale for this using a viva (worth 100% of module marks).

Project Management

This module explores the skills required to lead a project within the Sports, Health or Nutrition industries. The module aims to build on previous knowledge gained from disciplines you have studied, examining sport, health and diet project management from conception to evaluation. You will also understand the importance of applying the theory of the benefits of sport, exercise or diet to the practical side of developing a community initiative. You will be assessed through two pieces of coursework, including a proposal for a new sport, health or diet related project (worth 50% of module marks), and an oral presentation (worth 50% of module marks).

Option modules:

Choose two from a list which may include-

Active Ageing

You'll consider the implications of an ever increasing ageing population, in view of the growing concern of how to best manage old age. This module will help you to understand the physiological, psychological and social process of ageing, alongside the importance of promoting positive ageing to lessen many of the associated consequences of getting older. These include improved physical functioning, mental and social health, independent living, falls prevention, as well as the benefits of exercise. You'll be assessed through coursework (worth 100% of module marks).

Paediatric Sports Science

Childhood and adolescence represents an important window of trainability for young talented athletes and the general population in order to improve fitness levels. You'll consider the unique physiological responses of children and adolescents during exercise and how these responses are influenced by age, gender and biological maturation. Additionally, you'll consider the contribution of cognitive and emotional development to a young person’s performance, and will gain experience of both theoretical and practical methods used to assess physical fitness. Your understanding will be assessed via an in class exam (worth 40% of module marks) and coursework, where you'll demonstrate knowledge by creating an annotated reference list (worth 60% of module marks).

Physical Education and School Sport

This module explores the role of Physical Education in schools in promoting health related fitness and sports performance. You'll examine the National Curriculum and the impact of teaching styles on the child’s experience. You'll also consider issues including the value of school sport, mixed and single sex provision and the impact on academic and social skills. Assessment will involve producing coursework, in the form of a journal article, where you'll write a discursive commentary on one of these issues (worth 100% of module marks).

Sport Rehabilitation

The module introduces you to information and skills that provide the framework for making judgements to deliver appropriate remedial and rehabilitation advice throughout all stages of the recovery process. You'll explore the role of the multidisciplinary team in the rehabilitation of the injured participant. You'll also consider common sport and exercise injuries including tennis elbow and Osgood Schlatters disease and their management. The module will complement your previous knowledge of sport and exercise science to consider appropriate exercise programmes safely and effectively in order to restore maximum function. You'll be assessed through coursework, using a case study approach (worth 100% of module marks).

Important information

We will always try to deliver your course as described on this web page. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below.

We review all optional modules each year and change them to reflect the expertise of our staff, current trends in research and as a result of student feedback. We will always ensure that you have a range of options to choose from and we will let students know in good time the options available for them to choose for the following year.

We will only change core modules for a course if it is necessary for us to do so, for example to maintain course accreditation. We will let you know about any such changes as soon as possible, usually before you begin the relevant academic year.

Sometimes we have to make changes to other aspects of a course or how it is delivered. We only make these changes if they are for reasons outside of our control, or where they are for our students’ benefit. Again, we will let you know about any such changes as soon as possible, usually before the relevant academic year. Our regulations set out our procedure which we will follow when we need to make any such changes.

When you enrol as a student of the University, your study and time with us will be governed by a framework of regulations, policies and procedures, which form the basis of your agreement with us. These include regulations regarding the assessment of your course, academic integrity, your conduct (including attendance) and disciplinary procedure, fees and finance and compliance with visa requirements (where relevant). It is important that you familiarise yourself with these as you will be asked to agree to abide by them when you join us as a student. You will find a guide to the key terms here, where you will also find links to the full text of each of the regulations, policies and procedures referred to.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England is the principal regulator for the University.


The course includes a compulsory 154 hour work placement in your second year, in an appropriate environment, helping you to relate theory to practice and develop skills in a real work context. The teaching staff have developed excellent links with local employers and will provide assistance in finding a suitable placements if necessary.

Previous placement providers have included Primary Care Trusts, primary and secondary schools, colleges, local authority sport development/physical activity units, community based physical activity projects, private gyms and private physical activity/sport providers.

Career opportunities

95% of graduates from this course go on to work and/or further study within six months of graduating.

Previous Huddersfield Sport and Exercise graduates have gone on to roles relating to education, healthcare, research, media, community and social services in organisations including the NHS, LA Fitness, Chelsea Football Club, the UK Department of Health, Challenger Sports and Bradford College.*

*Source: LinkedIn

Professional links and accreditations

The course is endorsed by Skills Active, the Sector Skills Council for sport and exercise, which allows us to embed industry recognised qualifications within the degree. This aims to prepare you for entry on to the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) and helps to ensure that our graduates are industry ready.

Learn more about our SkillsActive endorsement and what it means for you by watching this short film.

This course is also endorsed by The British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES).

Teaching and assessment

You will be taught through seminars, group work, practical experience, tutorials, independent study and lectures.

Assessment will include coursework, practice/ competency based learning and examinations.

15% of the study time on this course is spent in lectures, seminars, tutorials etc.

Your module specification/course handbook will provide full details of the assessment criteria applying to your course.

Feedback (usually written) is normally provided on all coursework submissions within three term time weeks – unless the submission was made towards the end of the session in which case feedback would be available on request after the formal publication of results. Feedback on exam performance/final coursework is available on request after the publication of results.

Huddersfield is the UK's only university where 100% of the permanent teaching staff are fellows of the Higher Education Academy.*

*Permanent staff, after probation: some recently appointed colleagues will only obtain recognition in the months after their arrival in Huddersfield, once they have started teaching.


You'll experience a range of excellent facilities, including our biomechanics and physiology labs and the University's sport and fitness facilities.

How much will it cost me?

In 2017/18, the tuition fee for UK and EU students at the University of Huddersfield will be £9,250.

Tuition fees will cover the cost of your study at the University as well as charges for registration, tuition, supervision and examinations. For more information about funding, fees and finance for UK/EU students, including what your tuition fee covers, please see Fees and Finance. Please note that tuition fees for subsequent years of study may rise in line with inflation (RPI-X).

If you are interested in studying with us on a part-time basis, please visit our Fees and Finance pages for part-time fee information.

If you are an international student coming to study at the University of Huddersfield, please visit the International Fees and Finance pages for full details of tuition fees and support available.

Please email the Student Finance Office or call 01484 472210 for more information about fees and finance.

Other information

Professional Qualifications: You will have the opportunity to undertake professional qualifications including Level 2 Gym-Based Exercise in your first year, Level 3 Personal Trainer in your second year and Level 3 Exercise Referral in your third year, as well as National Governing Body of Sport awards throughout the degree.


If you are an international student (including EU) you can check if you meet our entry requirements (both academic and English language) by visiting our country pages.

If you do not meet the entry requirements you can consider completing a degree preparation programme (if you are from a country outside of the EU) at the University's International Study Centre (ISC) or you can call the ISC on +44 (0) 1273 339333 to discuss your options. You can also complete the online application form or to ask a question please fill in the enquiry form and talk to one of our multi-lingual Student Enrolment Advisers.

If your English language is not at the required level (IELTS 6.0 overall), we have a range of Pre-Sessional English programmes that you can enrol on before starting your degree programme. You will not need to take an IELTS test after completing one of our Pre-Sessional English programmes.

How to apply

We hope you're interested in what you've seen and want to apply to join us. Please take a look at the information on what to do next.

Research community

Research plays an important role in informing all our teaching and learning activities. Through research our staff remain up-to-date with the latest developments in their field, which means you develop knowledge and skills that are current and highly relevant to industry. For more information, see the Research section of our website.

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