Sports nutrition students being taught in sports nutrition kitchen
BSc (Hons)

Sport and Exercise Nutrition (with Foundation Year)

UCAS Code: CF13

Typical offer: 32-48 UCAS tariff points or equivalent

Duration: 4-5 years full time; part-time available

Placement year: Optional

Awarding body: Hartpury University

Apply for this course here:


Course overview

Examine the science behind the effect of nutrition on athletic performance. Use our dedicated sport performance kitchen and human performance laboratories, working with a range of athletes, including from our Championship rugby team, 10 sports academies, and recreational sports men and women.

This foundation year pathway 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 onto the full BSc Sport and Exercise Nutrition qualification.

You don’t have to have a background in sport or nutrition, you just have to have an interest in how the body adapts to training, is fuelled by nutritional strategies and the psychology of performance.

You’ll be taught in line with the guidelines set by the Sports and Exercise Nutrition Register (SENr), which sets the standards for all practitioners in the field, so you can be confident you’ll be industry-ready when you graduate.

Develop your skills using specialist dietary software, cooking and producing menus for our recreational and performance athletes across campus. You’ll be supported throughout by research-active staff who are experts in their field.

You’ll be encouraged to develop your practical skills, but also to think critically about existing theories and practices, as well as carrying out your own research to help shape the future of the industry. You could also boost your CV with industry qualifications and work placements opportunities, alongside our sports academy teams or externally.

How to apply Contact us: +44 (0)1452 702244

What you'll study

What you'll study

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. This course covers a broad range of sport topics, through core modules, from sport nutrition, and exercise physiology, to sports biomechanics, strength and conditioning and sports psychology.

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.

Level three foundation year (year one)

Your foundation year will focus on human biology, study skills and sports science, ensuring you are fully prepared to succeed in year one.

Compulsory modules

Gain key skills, including understanding the scientific method, teamwork, research and effective time management.

Develop skills ready for level four study through an internship at Hartpury, linked to your programme of study.

Develop an understanding and knowledge of literature reviews.

Cover fundamental biological aspects, including how organisms function and operate for survival and performance.

An introduction to central human anatomy and physiology, its adaption to sport training, and factors that impact the performance of athletes.

Optional modules

There are no optional modules during this year. Your learning is focused on compulsory modules to ensure you have a thorough understanding of key topics to prepare you for module choices in your subsequent years.

Level four (year two)

This year will focus on the key skills you require to be a successful sports scientist. You’ll cover data analysis and research design, as well as team and leadership skills. You’ll also study a range of fundamental topics introducing you to degree-relevant skills, including sports nutrition, exercise physiology, sports psychology and sports biomechanics.

Compulsory modules

Learn the basic anatomical structures and functions of the musculoskeletal system and mechanical principles.

Understand the physiology of the muscular, cardiovascular, and respiratory systems, and their control through the nervous and endocrine system.

Focuses on the basics of performance training, and its physiological effect on the body.

This module covers the metabolic and biochemical pathways of energy transfer from macronutrients.

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

Understand athlete behaviour through key theories in sport exercise psychology.

Optional modules

There are no optional modules during this year. Your learning is focused on compulsory modules to ensure you have a thorough understanding of key topics to prepare you for module choices in your subsequent years.

Level five (year three)

In this year you’ll start to study more specialised topics through a range of optional modules, starting to tailor your studies to suit your interests. Pick from topics including strength and conditioning, health-related exercise and sports psychology. Build on the skills, knowledge and experience gained in the previous year as you learn how multidisciplinary teams work together in sport and exercise. You’ll also develop your research design and analysis skills.

Compulsory modules

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

This module covers the methods of assessing energy and nutrient intake in an athletic population.

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

Focus on the exercise techniques designed to improve health.

Explore the interactions and relationships between dietary manipulation strategies and specific ergogenic aids / food supplements on metabolism, sports performance and health.

Optional modules

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

This module allows students to the explore the principles and practices faced by entrepreneurs whilst working through the process of developing a new commercial venture. The assessment offers students the chance to engage with their own new business idea and present to both business professionals and academic staff in a ‘dragon’s den’ style pitch.

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

Learn and apply psychological skills to improve athlete performance.

Optional integrated placement year

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)

In your final year you’ll delve into the finer details of the importance of exercise and nutrition. Investigate the needs of varying demographics, from diabetics and vegetarians, to children and disabled athletes. 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

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

Study the nutritional demands of training and competition in various sports.

Investigate the needs of varying demographics, from diabetics and vegetarians, to children and disabled athletes.

Understand the role of the nutritionist in dietary practice and care, using the SENr code of conduct and other professional guidance.

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

Optional modules

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

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.

The purpose of this module is to give students a real picture of sport psychology in action by providing the framework from which psychological techniques can be applied to facilitate psychological and performance outcomes.

Please visit our document library for more module information.

Further module information

How you'll study

How you'll study

We're committed to supporting you to fulfil your unique potential.

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.

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

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.

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.

The modules contain a mixture of scheduled learning – lectures, workshops and practical sessions – alongside independent learning. The Foundation Year also includes an internship using Hartpury’s on-site facilities and industry links. Students are expected to dedicate at least two to three hours of independent study per contact hour. Your course may also include work placement learning as part of some modules.

The course is taught in English.

YearContact learningPlacement learningIndependent learning
Level three foundation year (year one)30%0%70%
Level four (year two)30%0%70%
Level five (year three)22%0%78%
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 on assessments, in class, and during tutorials to support students throughout their academic studies.

YearWritten examPractical examCoursework
Level three foundation year (year one)28%44%28%
Level four (year two)45%49%6%
Level five (year three)20%38%42%
Placement year (optional)0%0%100%
Level six (final year)8%43%49%

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


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 secure graduate roles with their work placement employers.

Work placements and experience

These form part of optional modules, alongside an optional integrated placement year. We’ll support you to secure a placement with a UK-based or international employer, to match your interests and career goals. Students have worked with organisations such as Cheltenham FC, Team Bath, and Gloucester Rugby, as well as our own sports academies.

Students will also gain experience understanding athletes’ lifestyle and training demands, working closely with our performance sports teams on site. Various professional development opportunities will also give you the chance to make links and network with industry.

Our practitioner workshops offer an ideal chance for further applied experience. These could cover nutrition-related subjects, or cover key employment skills such as interview techniques, and professional conduct and standards.

You’ll be prepared for the multidisciplinary nature of working in sport through a professional practice module at Level 6. You could also boots your CV by completing a Level 2 Food Safety and Handling qualification.

Throughout the programme, everything you do will be measured against the SENr framework, as well as their code of conduct. You’ll be required to map your competencies against the framework throughout to ensure you’re industry-ready when you graduate.

Graduate destinations

As a sports graduate you’ll have opportunities in varied career paths. With your nutrition background you may choose to work directly in the sports nutrition industry. Your programme also provides you with knowledge and experience in strength and conditioning, exercise physiology, and coaching. You may choose to focus your path in that direction instead.  Our careers team can support you to find and prepare to secure your perfect role. Recent graduate destinations have included:

  • Sports or performance nutritionist
  • Varied roles within professional or amateur sport, and with national governing bodies
  • Working with the NHS, supporting GP referral schemes and other healthy living programmes
  • Teacher training / Lecturing (with additional qualifications)
  • Postgraduate study


World-class facilities

You’ll have access to a diverse range of facilities while you’re here, many of which are newly built and world class. Alongside lecture halls and workshop spaces, these include:

Sports Nutrition Kitchen

Our dedicated teaching kitchen provides the opportunity to gain real-life experience, preparing meals for our athletes across 10 sports academies. It’s kitted out with the latest dietary equipment to aid your learning and development.

Sports therapy and rehabilitations suites

Our new suites include world-leading equipment for specialist and sports therapy activities. Technologies include an anti-gravity treadmill utilised for performance sport training and research, as well as a pitchside first-aid centre, located next to our professional sports pitches.


Our laboratories are modern and well equipped, providing the ideal spaces for scientific activities and research. Some are used for specialist microbiological culturing and analysis, others for biochemistry and physiology.

Study spaces

Our University Learning Centre has books, journals, ebooks, computers and breakout study spaces. In addition, we have a Study Lounge – an informal space with sports equipment, study booths and chill-out spaces to support both studying and relaxation.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

  • 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:

Fees and funding

Tuition fees and financial support

Please visit our student 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

Students have an option to purchase sports kits which can be bought as a bundle via Hartpury’s website for approximately £150.

Optional field trips

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.

Explore Sports Academies

Hartpury gym

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

Discover more

Accommodation and living costs

Please visit our student accommodation page for details.

More than just a degree

We develop passionate individuals on our degree programmes to examine the science behind the effect of nutrition on athletic performance using our dedicated sport performance kitchen and human performance laboratories, working with a range of athletes.

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Get in touch

We would love to hear from you, so please get in touch. You can ask a specific question or simply pop your details in to be kept up-to-date with news and events.

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.

*Reflects activities after 15 months for those who graduated in 2021.