Sport Science

Sport and Exercise Sciences (with Foundation Year)

BSc (Hons)

Work with the next generation of student athletes, improving their performance through sports science and exercise. Learn in our new, dedicated Human Performance and Biomechanics Laboratories, which are kitted out with technology used by Premier League and NFL teams.

The foundation year entry provides an alternative route into degree-level study. It’s ideal for those who need to gain subject-specific knowledge and skills in order to progress with the full BSc Sports and Exercise Sciences qualification.

Key Information

Course Duration: 4 or 5 years full-time; part-time available
UC UCAS Code: CF15
Part or Full Time: Full Time / Part Time
Level of Study: Foundation Year Degrees
Placement Year: Optional
Typical Offer: 32-48 UCAS tariff points or equivalent

Course information

You’ll focus on practical, work-based learning, making the most of our professional sports campus as you understand the science behind the mechanics of movement, sports psychology, health and exercise. Take what you learn in the classroom and apply it to improving the physical and psychological qualities of our student athletes.

We’ll introduce you to a wide range of related disciplines and give you the opportunity to tailor your studies to suit your career interests. You'll also be encouraged to complete various qualifications to better understand human growth, exercise, performance and nutrition.

Learn from lecturers who are also industry professionals, whether that’s in biomechanics, physiology, psychology, or performance analysis. You could also have the chance to work alongside one of our competing sports teams, with elite-level athletes on campus, or children in local schools.

  • UCAS | A typical offer for this course is 32-48 UCAS tariff points or equivalent.

  • GCSE | A minimum of five GCSEs at grade 9 to 4, (or A* to C grades if relevant) or equivalent, to include English Language and Mathematics.

  • A-Level | Typical offer is EE-DD or equivalent. This must include a minimum of two A-levels.

  • Vocational Award | Typical offer is a PPP in an Extended Diploma in a relevant subject.

  • Access | Typical offer is 32-48 UCAS tariff points in an Access to Higher Education Diploma.

  • IB | Typical offer is 32-48 UCAS tariff points in an IB Diploma, to include a minimum of one Highers at H3 or above.

    This must also include Maths and English Language at a minimum of Standard Level S3 if equivalent GCSEs have not been obtained.

  • Scottish Highers | Typical offer is 32-48 UCAS tariff points in Scottish Highers. This must include a minimum of one Advanced Higher.

  • Irish Leaving Certificate | Typical offer is 32-48 UCAS tariff points in the Irish Leaving Certificate. This must include a minimum of one Highers. This must also include Maths and English Language at a minimum of Ordinary Level.

  • OCR Cambridge Technical | Typical offer is a PPP in a Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma in a relevant subject.

  • T Level | Typical offer is Pass in your T Level overall grade in a relevant subject.

We welcome students with equivalent qualifications. Please contact us to discuss.

We may interview mature applicants and those with non-traditional qualifications to ensure this is the right course for you.

Previous learning towards a university-level qualification or relevant work experience may count as credit for this course.

Please contact us for further information.

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Your career

Industry opportunities on this course are diverse, to ensure you develop the skills, experience and connections needed for your graduate career. Many of our students get their graduate roles with their work placement employers.

Work placements and experience

You could gain applied experience working with one of our 10 performance sports academies, or with Gloucester Rugby, who’re based on-site at Hartpury. We also have close links with local clubs, societies and governing bodies, giving you opportunities to get experience working with athletics, cycling clubs, or schools.

Our research-active lecturers often involve students to assist with data analysis and collection. A number of them have gone on to produce the own research, evidenced in publications and conference proceedings.

Field trips and guest lecturers

Guest lecturers are an important part of the degree, ensuring students are regularly exposed to industry-leading research or current professionals. We also offer a careers conference where students can meet and network with industry professionals.

Graduate destinations

As a sports graduate you may go on to work in performance analysis, biomechanics, strength and conditioning, health-related physiology, exercise physiology, sport and exercise psychology. You’ll also have the transferable skills you need for other graduate careers. Our careers team can support you to find and prepare to secure your perfect role. Recent graduate destinations have included:

  • Strength and Conditioning coach
  • Physiotherapy trainee (additional qualifications)
  • Postgraduate study
Success Stories

We're committed to supporting you to fulfil your unique potential, which is why you'll receive a minimum of 15 hours of scheduled teaching time per week in your first year - this is 25% above the UK average.

Your support network

You'll benefit from a strong support network from day one to be the best you can be. This will range from your personal tutor and specialist academic support team (our Achievement and Success Centre) to dedicated wellbeing and employability (Innovation, Careers and Enterprise) centres.

Academic Support

You’ll have your own personal tutor while you’re here who will support you to succeed in your studies. You’ll also have access to our academic and wellbeing support teams who run regular workshops and one-to-one sessions on campus and online.

Alongside this, we have a comprehensive bank of online study skills resources to help you make the most of your qualification.

Your learning experiences

You'll experience a range of teaching methods to strengthen your digestion of topics, including lectures, workshops and practical sessions, as well as supported work placement learning as part of many courses.

Your career

Each year of your course will be made up of two semesters, within which you’ll study compulsory and optional modules on different industry-focused topics, enabling you to develop your own unique portfolio of knowledge, skills and experience, ready for your career.

Further details

The course is taught in English.


What you'll study

The course focuses on the core disciplines in sport and exercise sciences. You’ll cover fundamental topics including physiology, biomechanics and psychology, which are essential if you want to pursue a career in this industry. Building on these skills, a variety of optional modules will allow you to tailor your studies to suit your interests and career goals.

This course is comprised of both compulsory and optional modules, which you'll be able to choose from to suit your interests and career goals.

Optional modules change each year in line with student, industry and research demands - you'll find recent topics studied below. You can attend introductory sessions for optional modules before deciding which ones to study.

Module credits

On successful completion of your modules you’ll gain academic credit that accumulates towards your award. The marks you gain in your second and third years may contribute towards your final degree classification.

Your foundation year will focus on sport, study skills and general science depending on your previous academic background. You will develop, and be supported with, the development of skills and knowledge to ensure you can succeed at level 4.

Compulsory Modules 

Academic Literacy for University Studies

Understand and explore topics including the scientific method and enquiry, team working, research skills, and effective time management.

Professional Development in Practice

An opportunity to explore graduate destinations associated with your programme of study, building a portfolio of experiences aiding your professional development.

Exploring Current Concepts

Develop understanding and knowledge of literature reviews including constructing a rationale and summarising and presenting relevant information to suit a purpose, subject and audience.

Principles of Sports Science

An introduction to central human biology, anatomy and physiology and its adaption to sport training. The module will explore the psychological and physiological factors that impact the performance of athletes.

Business Enterprise and Management

This module covers the learning and understanding of the balance of theory and practice in contemporary business practice; an appreciation of the complexity of modern organisational environments and the critical role of enterprise and innovation.

This year will give you a theoretical understanding of the core disciplines in sport and exercise sciences. You’ll also develop practical skills that are required to work in the sport and exercise industry.

Compulsory Modules 

Introduction to Functional Anatomy and Sports Biomechanics

Study the basic anatomical structures and functions related to sport and exercise

Introduction to Exercise Physiology

Understand the basic physiology of the muscular, cardiovascular, respiratory systems and more.

The Sport and Exercise Professional

Learn academic and research skills through work with other sports science disciplines.

Introduction to Sports and Exercise Psychology

Understand athlete behaviour through key theories in sport and exercise psychology.

Principles of Strength and Conditioning

Cover the basic principles and methods of strength and conditioning training aimed at developing athletes’ physical qualities.

Introduction to the Sports Industry

Understand the size, scope, structure and governance of the UK’s sports industry.

Build on the core skills and experience you've already gained as you start to pick topics more suited to your interests. Explore topics including sports nutrition, health-related exercise, strength and conditioning, and performance analysis.

Compulsory Modules 

Exercise Physiology

Learn the theoretical principles and physiological mechanisms that underpin the body’s responses to exercise.

The Sport and Exercise Scientist

Understand how multidisciplinary teams work together in sport and exercise. An introduction to research methods and analysis required for future projects

Sports Psychology

Learn and apply psychological skills to improve athlete performance.

Applied Biomechanics in Sport

Apply biomechanical principles to sporting performance and develop an understanding of measurement techniques and analysis of data associated with movement.


Optional Modules 

Applied Performance Analysis

Students actively collect, analyse and feedback performance analysis data.

Health Related Exercise

Focus on the exercise techniques designed to improve health.

Independent Report

A chance to independently review an approved topic area in line with the student’s programme of study.

Sports Nutrition

The basics of nutritional requirements for exercise, including metabolism, carbohydrates, fats, and protein.

Strength and Conditioning in Practice

Strength and Conditioning in practice is a deep exploration as to how practitioners can manipulate biomechanical and physiological variables to further improve athletic performance.

Placement year (optional)

An optional integrated placement year between your second and final years gives you the opportunity to put your knowledge and skills into practice and gain valuable industry experience.

Level Six (final year)

Use this year to really focus on your area of interest and select modules best suited to your career goals. You’ll also complete your undergraduate dissertation, in which you’ll focus on contemporary challenges in your chosen subject area. You’ll also use more advanced theory and practice, gaining an insight into where current research is focusing.

Compulsory Modules

Sport Research and Knowledge Exchange Project

Independent research and analysis in a related area of your choice.

Applied Sport and Exercise Physiology

Students must pick at least two of these three modules;

  • Sport Psychology in Action
  • Applied Sport and Exercise Physiology
  • Biomechanics in Sport Practice

Carry out physiological assessments on the field and in our laboratories, and interpret athletes’ exercise data.

Sport Psychology in Action

Students must pick at least two of these three modules;

  • Sport Psychology in Action
  • Applied Sport and Exercise Physiology
  • Biomechanics in Sport Practice

Evaluate the role of a sport psychologist in support of  those involved in sport.

Biomechanics in Sport Practice

Students must pick at least two of these three modules;

  • Sport Psychology in Action
  • Applied Sport and Exercise Physiology
  • Biomechanics in Sport Practice

Apply and justify the use of advanced biomechanical analysis within sport and exercise


Optional Modules

Contemporary Issues in Sports Education

Studying what we can learn from professional development in other sectors to develop coaching and teaching practice.

High Performing Teams

Evaluate the leadership and management of sport science support within the performance environment.

Performance Analysis in Practice

Students apply and evaluate the impact of performance analysis techniques within the coaching cycle.

Recovery and Monitoring for Sport Performance

Assess competition data and testing techniques for injuries.

Special Populations

Students will develop a critical understanding of how exercise can be used to improve health within special populations as well as develop and implement an exercise programme for a client of their choice.

Sports Conditioning and Return-to-Play

Understanding the relationships between doctors, sports therapists, and strength and conditioning coaches, and understanding return-to-play considerations.

The modules contain a mixture of scheduled learning – lectures, workshops and practical sessions – alongside independent learning. Students are expected to dedicate at least two to three hours of independent study per contact hour.

The Foundation Year includes an internship using Hartpury’s on-site facilities and industry links.

Year Contact learning Placement learning Independent learning

Level three (year one)

24% 0% 76%
Level four (year two) 26% 0% 74%
Level five (year three) 25% 0% 75%
Placement year (optional) 1% 80% 19%
Level six (final year) 18% 0% 82%

You will be assessed through a mixture of written exams, practical exams and written assignments. Many of the modules will be marked based on a mixture of assessment types, whilst others will be based solely on one type of assessment. Feedback will be given informally during scheduled learning and formally following each assessment.

Year Written exam Practical exam Coursework
Level three (year one) 15% 35% 50%
Level four (year two) 38% 46% 16%
Level five (year three) 30% 25% 45%
Placement year (optional) 0% 0% 100%
Level six (final year) 13% 39% 48%

Each year of this course is taught over two semesters, normally consisting of 12 weeks of scheduled teaching and then assessment weeks, with an overview below:

  • scheduled teaching takes place between 8:30 to 20:30 Monday to Friday
  • Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities
  • work placements may entail different days and hours
  • part-time students may need to attend learning activities five days each week, depending on modules selected
  • timetables are available during enrolment week
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Fees and funding

Please visit our finance page for information on tuition fees and student loans, as well as non-repayable grants, bursaries and scholarships, eligible to different groups, to support with study costs.

Below, you'll find extra costs associated with studying this course.

Clothing and footwear (circa £100)

Students are advised to purchase sports kits which can be bought as a bundle via Hartpury’s website for approximately £150. Students are encouraged to engage in various trips and visits as part of the programme. A comprehensive package of non-repayable financial support is available to facilitate engagement with placements and study tours/trips where additional costs are involved.

Performance Sports Academy membership

Find out costs and details for joining one of our performance Sports Academy teams.

Hartpury gym

Find out about costs and details for joining the Hartpury gym.

Accommodation and living costs

Please visit our student accommodation page for details.

Fees & Finance

For further details about this course, including the programme specification and module descriptions, please visit our document library.

Resource library


If you’re playing sport competitively, or you have the talent and drive to do so, you may want to join one of our Sports Academies. Over 200 international athletes have developed their talents with us over the past 10 years. You could be our next success story. We're a semi-professional sports environment offering world-class facilities and professional coaching and support services.

Hartpury College Mens Football Academy


Settle into an accommodation option to suit your taste and budget – at Hartpury University, undergraduate students can choose to live on-campus surrounded by Gloucestershire’s beautiful countryside or off-campus in the heart of Gloucester City centre. Enjoy the best of both worlds.

Hartpury University Accommodation


We can help you understand how it all works, and what you need to do next. Find out everything you need to know about tuition fees, student loans and bursaries and scholarships. In 2021/22, we provided assistance to over 1/3 of our students through bursaries, scholarships and grants, totalling a little under £1million.

Hartpury University Finance


This degree programme is endorsed by the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity

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Teaching Quality

We're in the top 10 UK universities for teaching quality

James Brooke
“I chose Hartpury due to its amazing facilities, as well as the people, lecturers, tutors and education. I am also in the rowing academy and the split between education and rowing is second to none.”
James Brooke
Access to Higher Education Diploma in Sports Studies

Sport matters

When you have passion, you're far more likely to achieve your goals – especially when you study that passion in a place that shares it.

We're home to top-level coaches, sport and exercise scientists, nutritionists, conditioners, medics and athletes, across our Sports Academy programmes and student-led teams. Our students graduate with valuable skills to succeed in a range of different careers.

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Meet our academic team

Get to know our dedicated and passionate teaching staff who’ll help you achieve your very best. We’re proud to have been awarded Gold in all three areas of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF): Overall, Student Experience, and Student Outcomes. This places Hartpury University in the top 15% of published institutions in England. Plus, we're ranked sixth in the UK for Teaching Quality, in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024.

Important information

Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of our published course information, however our programmes are reviewed and developed regularly. Changes or cancellation of courses may be necessary to ensure alignment with emerging employment areas, to comply with accrediting body requirements, revisions to subject benchmark statements or as a result of student feedback. We reserve the right to make necessary changes and will notify all offer-holders of changes as and when they occur.