Female sports and exercise student on treadmill with oxygen mask in human performance lab
BSc (Hons)

Sport and Exercise Sciences

UCAS Code: C615

Typical offer: 120 UCAS tariff points or equivalent

Duration: 3 or 4 years full-time; part-time available

Placement year: Optional

Awarding body: Hartpury University

Apply for this course here: https://www.hartpury.ac.uk/university/courses/undergraduate/bsc-hons-sport-and-exercise-sciences/bsc-hons-sport-and-exercise-sciences-2024/


Course overview

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.

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.

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

What you'll study

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.

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.

Level four (year one)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 subsequent years.

Level five (year two)

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

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

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

Learn and apply psychological skills to improve athlete performance.

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

Optional modules

Students actively collect, analyse and feedback performance analysis data.

Focus on the exercise techniques designed to improve health.

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

Assess competition data and testing techniques for injuries.

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.

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

Please visit our document library for more module information.

Further module information

How you'll study

Your unique potential

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

The course is taught in English.

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. 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.

YearContact learningPlacement learningIndependent learning
Level four (year one)29%0%71%
Level five (year two)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.

YearWritten examPractical examCoursework
Level four (year one)38%46%16%
Level five (year two)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


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


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 lectures halls and workshop spaces, these include:

Human performance, biomechanics and performance analysis laboratories

In our human performance laboratory you’ll have access to an altitude chamber, multiple gas analysis systems, eight Wattbike Atoms, multiple non-motorised and sprint treadmills, an ultrasound machine and more. Our biomechanics and performance analysis laboratories boast digital mirrors, a host of in-ground and portable force plates, several high-speed cameras, a sprint track and much more.

Sports therapy and rehabilitations suites

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

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

  • UCAS | A typical offer for this course is 120 UCAS tariff points or equivalent.

  • GCSE | A minimum of 5 GCSE A* to C, (or 9 to 4 where numeric grades are being awarded) or equivalent, to include English Language and Mathematics.

  • A-Level | Typical offer is BBB or equivalent. This must include a minimum of two A Levels including one in Biology, Sports Studies or PE subject at grade D or above.

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

  • Access | Typical offer is 120 UCAS tariff points in an Access to Higher Education Diploma to include a minimum of a pass in Biology, Sports Studies or PE module at Level 3.

  • IB | Typical offer is 120 UCAS tariff points in an IB Diploma, to include a minimum of two Highers at H3 or above, including one in Biology, Sports Studies or PE subject.
    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 120 UCAS tariff points in Scottish Highers. This must include a minimum of one Advanced Higher and one Higher including one in Biology, Sports Studies or PE subject.

  • Irish Leaving Certificate | Typical offer is 120 UCAS tariff points in the Irish Leaving Certificate. This must include a minimum of two Highers, including one in Biology, Sports Studies or PE subject at H4 or above. This must also include Maths and English Language at a minimum of Ordinary Level.

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

  • T Level | Typical offer is Merit in you T Level overall grade in a relevant subject

  • The minimum academic entry requirement for this programme is 80 UCAS tariff or equivalent providing this is combined with relevant experience.

  • 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 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.

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.

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.

A rapidly growing industry

Benefit from industry-standard technology as you explore all aspects of human performance through sport and exercise, developing the skills you need to become a sport and exercise scientist.

Book open day

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.