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Course overview

Ideal for those with an interest in sport and the biomedical sciences, this course will provide you with scientific knowledge into why and how the body functions during and after sport and exercise.  Unlike most other Sport and Exercise courses in the country, this degree has a heavy focus on the science. 

You will be working with high-tech equipment to study biomechanics, nutrition, genetics, physiology and anatomy.  We are one of the only Sport and Exercise Science degrees to feature full-body dissection to help you better understand the anatomy of your patients.

Enhance your employability with the Personal Development Portfolio module, a hundred hours of placements or qualifications that are tailored to individual career goals.  We will aid you in organising the routes you wish to take.

Sport at Nottingham

The University of Nottingham has a strong tradition of sporting success across a wide number of sports. The University has finished in the BUCS top 10 for the last 15 years. In 2019 we finished 2nd.

Ranked in the top 10 for sport science in the The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021 where we are rated 90% for student experience.

A range of sports scholarships are available for talented athletes.

Location and facilities

Depending on the module being studied, you may be based in the Faculty of Engineering on University Park Campus or the Medical School, which is embedded in the Queen’s Medical Centre. There is a footbridge linking the Medical School to University Park, providing easy access to facilities on both bases. 

In the Medical School, we have an anatomy suite and functional sports medicine facilities so there is everything you will need to study a range of subjects. In addition, we have built new exercise physiology, psychology and human movement laboratories in the David Ross Sports Village on University Park Campus.

Alternative Entry Qualifications

Those who wish to apply for this course, but do not meet the entry requirements, or have alternative qualifications to A-Levels should consider applying for the Science Foundation Year.  This additional year will give you the necessary academic knowledge to progress onto a science course of your choosing, including Sport and Exercise Science BSc.

Why choose this course?

  • Engage with your learning in specially designed sports and biomechanics labs
  • Learn from internationally recognised academics, who specialise in associated sport, medical, health and engineering fields
  • Benefit from more personal teaching and engage with teaching staff closely through small class sizes
  • Expand your studies through optional modules, build a Professional Development Portfolio and complete a final-year research project in a topic of your choice

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2022 entry.

UK entry requirements
A level AAB
IB score 34 points overall including 5/6 from two higher level science subjects

A-levels

At least two from biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics and psychology.

A pass is normally required in science practical tests, where these are assessed separately. Due to the uncertainty of practical tests taking place, this will not be required for 2021 applicants.

Alternatively, AB at A level (two from biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics and psychology) PLUS one D* BTEC Subsidiary Diploma or National Extended Certificate in PE, Sport & Exercise Science or any other Science subject (equivalent to 1 A level).

GCSEs

Five GCSEs at grade 7-4 (A-C) including English language and maths are also required.

Those who wish to apply for this course, but do not meet the entry requirements, or have alternative qualifications to A-Levels should consider applying for the Science Foundation Year.  This additional year will give you the necessary academic knowledge to progress onto a science course of your choosing, including Sport and Exercise Science BSc.

Foundation progression options

Our progression requirements:

Foundation Biological Science - 60%
Foundation Chemistry - 60%
Overall average of 60%

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

You will learn through a variety of methods depending on the module. Practical sessions are also held in the David Ross Sports Village which contains purpose-built Biomechanics and Exercise Science labs.  We also use the anatomy suites in the Medical School to assist with functional anatomy and sports medicine teaching.

Teaching methods

  • Anatomy sessions
  • Full-body dissection
  • Lab sessions
  • Lectures
  • Placements
  • Practical classes
  • Problem-based learning
  • Self-study
  • Seminars
  • Small group learning
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops
  • eLearning
  • Clinical relevance sessions

How you will be assessed

Assessment varies on the module being studied, but is typically a combination of the types below.

Personal Development Portfolio

All students will be required to complete a Personal Development Portfolio during their studies. This mandatory portfolio includes undertaking work placements within the University and UK, completing national coaching qualifications and a first aid course to obtain the relevant certificates. The experience you gain will be extremely value for your future career.

Assessment methods

  • Case studies
  • Coursework
  • Dissertation
  • Examinations
  • Formative assessments
  • Lab reports
  • Literature review
  • Portfolio (written/digital)
  • Poster presentation
  • Practical exams
  • Practical write-ups
  • Presentation
  • Verbal exam

Contact time and study hours

Approximately 20 hours of contact time per week. Class sizes vary with module.

Placements

All students will be required to complete a Personal Development Portfolio during their studies. This mandatory portfolio will include undertaking work placements within the University and UK, completing national coaching qualifications and a first aid course to obtain the relevant certificates.

Modules

Introductory modules will cover the foundations of the science behind sport and exercise - exploring how the human body functions from the cellular level to the whole organism.

Teaching will be a mixture of classroom-based sessions and laboratory practicals. In  the Professional Development Portfolio, you’ll complete a first aid qualification.

Mechanics for Sport and Exercise Science

This module provides a mathematical foundation for understanding and characterising movement of both the body and sports equipment such as balls and other projectiles. It will cover forces and moments around joints, acceleration and inertia, and linear and rotational motion.

Human Physiology

In this module, you will be introduced to the physiology of major systems such as cardiovascular, nervous, and musculoskeletal, including some aspects of drug action. This module will allow you to understand your biochemical and genetics knowledge in the context of the intact organism. This module includes lectures and laboratory classes.

Genes, Molecules and Cells

This module combines lectures and laboratory classes and introduces you to the structure and function of significant molecules in cells, and the important metabolic processes which occur inside them. You will study, amongst other topics, protein and enzyme structure and function, the biosynthesis of cell components, and the role of cell membranes in barrier and transport processes. You'll examine how information in DNA is used to determine the structure of gene products. Topics include DNA structure, transcription and translation and mutation and recombinant DNA technology.

Core Skills in Sport and Exercise Science

This module will provide the opportunity to study the fundamental principles in:

  • Exercise Physiology - including basic cardio-respiratory and muscle responses to exercise, nutritional requirements of exercise, and the basic anatomy of the heart and lungs)
  • Psychology – including fundamentals of individual and population group processes in sport and exercise
  • Functional Anatomy - focussing on the integration of the anatomy of bones, joints, muscle, ligaments and tendons with the biomechanics of human movement.

This module also focusses on developing core skills required by sport and exercise scientists in scientific writing, experimental design, data handling and analysis, and scientific presentations. 

Professional Development Portfolio (mandatory for all students)

All students will be required to complete a Personal Development Portfolio (PDP) during their three year study in Nottingham. This mandatory portfolio will include successful completion of a first aid course in year one, undertaking short-term work placements within the University and UK, and obtaining national sport coaching qualifications of their choice.

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on Monday 19 April 2021.

Study into the three main branches of sport and exercise science (physiology, biomechanics and psychology) is continued but in more depth.

Work for the Professional Development Portfolio will progress, with the potential for you to undertake a coaching qualification and/or placements.

Functional Anatomy of the Musculoskeletal System and Applied Sports Medicine

This module will focus on specific muscles and muscle groups in the upper and lower limbs and relate this to function. The related osteology and important structures such as ligaments and tendons will be studied. There will also be the opportunity to study imaging modalities such as ultrasound. This knowledge will be integrated with fundamental aspects of prevention and treatment of sport- and exercise-related musculoskeletal injury and relevant medical conditions.  

Sports and Exercise Biomechanics

Motion of the body is extremely complex in sporting activities. This module develops skills in measuring the motion and performance of the body using cutting-edge motion analysis equipment.  Examples will be used to illustrate the applications of these techniques in assessing and understanding motion, characterising style and technique and monitoring injury.

Applied Sports Psychology

This module will cover psychological approaches to maximising training adaptations and enhancing performance in humans. It will also focus on psychological and behavioural risk factors and treatment interventions for optimal rehabilitation from injuries.

Cardiovascular and Respiratory Physiology

This module will explain how the heart and lungs operate within an integrated system to sustain blood pressure, and maintain essential blood supply to peripheral organs. The reaction of peripheral organs to this constantly changing blood supply, and the effects on cardiovascular function will be outlined. These concepts will then enable students to understand the effects of acute exercise on this system, and the effects of training. This knowledge will be integrated with the fundamental aspects of the anatomy of the human cardiovascular and respiratory system.

Muscle Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism in Exercise

This module is designed to enable you to develop a strong understanding of how the human body responds acutely to exercise and adapts to chronic physical training, with particular emphasis on skeletal muscle. It will also focus on the interaction between nutrition and energy metabolism and the impact of nutrition on exercise performance. This knowledge will be integrated with the fundamental aspects of the anatomy of the human gastrointestinal system.

Environmental Physiology

This module expands on 2nd year modules in muscle and cardiorespiratory physiology to understand how the human body reacts, and potentially adapts to, environmental stress. A series of examples including extreme cold, heat, altitude, water immersion, and microgravity will be explored.

Professional Development Portfolio (mandatory for all students)

All students will be required to complete a Personal Development Portfolio (PDP) during their three year study in Nottingham. This mandatory portfolio will include successful completion of a first aid course in year one, undertaking short-term work placements within the University and UK, and obtaining national sport coaching qualifications of their choice.

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on

In the final year, you will continue to specialise through core modules in the major disciplines of sport and exercise science.

Advanced optional modules will also be available for you to choose from. It's a great opportunity to study a topic you already have a prior interest or something new.

Research Methods and Statistics

This module will equip students with a variety of research methods relevant to their upcoming research project. The importance of correct study design will be emphasised, as well as the ethical considerations when conducting human experiments. Data and statistical analysis techniques appropriate to sport and exercise research will be explained, as well as their importance when deciding on study design.

Applied Exercise and Health Psychology

This module will focus on psychological and behavioural approaches to promoting physical activity at individual and population group level.

Exercise Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism in Health and Disease

This module will enable students to develop a strong understanding of metabolism in the promotion and maintenance of human health, including aspects of muscle, heart, liver and adipose tissue metabolism. It will also cover the role of diet in the development, prevention and treatment of disease.

Clinical Biomechanics

This module expands on your understanding of skeletal tissue mechanics and physiology to identify the mechanisms of common sports injuries explaining injury thresholds and how these are determined.  The concept of injury criteria will be introduced and used to illustrate how sports equipment and rule changes can be optimised to minimise the risk of injury.

Project and Dissertation

This is a year-long level three module. You will undertake detailed research on a chosen topic in anatomy, biomechanics, exercise physiology, or psychology with close supervision from an academic member of staff. Each project will involve collection of experimental data, their analysis and interpretation in the context of previous published work, and the completion of a written dissertation.

Optional advanced modules

Four from the list below are required:

Biology of Ageing

The success of modern medicine has resulted in significant increases in the average human lifespan. This module will focus on the mechanistic basis of human ageing and progression to chronic age-related disease and will consider the role and potential for exercise and pharmacological interventions in offsetting age related decline.

Cardiovascular Adaptation and Control in Exercise and Disease

This module will explain how the cardiovascular and respiratory systems are affected by common diseases, such as atherosclerosis, COPD and heart failure, and how exercise is central to the quality of life of these patients. The module will examine the mechanisms underlying prevention of such diseases via increased physical activity, as well as the effect of exercise in managing disease.

Treatment of Common Musculoskeletal Sports Injuries
Nutrition and Exercise in Epidemiology and Public Health
Physical Inactivity, Health and Chronic Disease
MRI in Sport and Exercise
The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on

Fees and funding

UK students

£9,250
Per year

International students

To be confirmed in 2021*
Keep checking back for more information
*For full details including fees for part-time students and reduced fees during your time studying abroad or on placement (where applicable), see our fees page.

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland starting your course in the 2022/23 academic year, you will pay international tuition fees.

This does not apply to Irish students, who will be charged tuition fees at the same rate as UK students. UK nationals living in the EU, EEA and Switzerland will also continue to be eligible for ‘home’ fee status at UK universities until 31 December 2027.

For further guidance, check our Brexit information for future students.

Additional costs

As a student on this course, you should factor some additional costs into your budget, alongside your tuition fees and living expenses. You should be able to access most of the books you’ll need through our libraries, though you may wish to purchase your own copies. Please note that these figures are approximate and subject to change.

Scholarships and bursaries

The University of Nottingham offers a wide range of bursaries and scholarships. These funds can provide you with an additional source of non-repayable financial help. For up to date information regarding tuition fees, visit our fees and finance pages.

Sport scholarship scheme

Our range of sports scholarships are aimed at providing an unrivalled level of support to the brightest and best talents in the sporting world.

As well as a reputation for academic excellence, we have a history of sporting success and are passionate about supporting promising athletes during their time at Nottingham. Please check the sport website for further details, including eligibility criteria. 

Home students*

Over one third of our UK students receive our means-tested core bursary, worth up to £1,000 a year. Full details can be found on our financial support pages.

* A 'home' student is one who meets certain UK residence criteria. These are the same criteria as apply to eligibility for home funding from Student Finance.

International students

We offer a range of international undergraduate scholarships for high-achieving international scholars who can put their Nottingham degree to great use in their careers.

International scholarships

Careers

As a graduate, you’ll have a broad range of skills valued by employers in a variety of sectors. In addition to knowledge of sport and exercise science, you’ll have transferable skills in communication, presentation and problem solving. The Graduate Entry Medicine course is an available pathway for our graduates.

A few examples of job titles advertised in 2018 that you would be eligible to apply for after completion of this degree.

  • First Team Analyst
  • Health Advisor
  • Health and Wellbeing Coach
  • Health Screening Specialist
  • High Performance Sports Assistant
  • Junior Physiologist
  • Performance Sport and Fitness Officer
  • Research Assistant – developing a home-based exercise programme and app
  • Sports Scientist - professional football club academy
  • Food and Drink Industry Scientist
  • Pharmaceutical Industry Scientist

Average starting salary and career progression

96.5% of undergraduates from the School of Life Sciences who were available for employment secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £20,000, with the highest being £41,600.*

** Known destinations of full-time home undergraduates who were available for work, 2016/17. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

Studying for a degree at the University of Nottingham will provide you with the type of skills and experiences that will prove invaluable in any career, whichever direction you decide to take.

Throughout your time with us, our Careers and Employability Service can work with you to improve your employability skills even further; assisting with job or course applications, searching for appropriate work experience placements and hosting events to bring you closer to a wide range of prospective employers.

Have a look at our careers page for an overview of all the employability support and opportunities that we provide to current students.

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers (Ranked in the top ten in The Graduate Market in 2013-2020, High Fliers Research).

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Related courses

The University has been awarded Gold for outstanding teaching and learning

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) 2017-18

Important information

This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.