Undergraduate study
Sport and Exercise (Coaching Science)

BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise (Coaching Science)

UCAS code: C611 BSc/SECS
UCAS code: C618 BSc/SECSFY for Year 0 entry

Behind every successful athlete is a highly knowledgeable and effective coach. Learn about the science that underpins sporting performance, and how to apply this in practical settings to improve an athlete’s ability.

Course information


  • Length: 3 years or 4 years including foundation year

More full-time details


  • Up to 5 years

More part-time details

  • Daytime
  • Enrolment date: September
  • Admission enquiries: 01642 342308

Contact details

Further information

  • Facilities

    Sport & Exercise facilities

    The Sport & Exercise department is home to some outstanding facilities, including fully-equipped physio and biomechanics labs, an environmental chamber and a state-of-the-art hydrotherapy pool.

  • Student profile
  • On video

    Aimee Willmott: BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise (Coaching Science)

    Olympic swimmer Aimee Willmott is studying BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise (Coaching Science) and is also on the elite athlete scheme.


An experienced sports coach can usually improve an athlete’s technique in any sporting domain, and help them achieve their potential. By studying human anatomy, physiology, and strength and conditioning you analyse which training techniques produce the best results. A good coach learns how to get the best from the individuals they are working with. You discover the best ways of working with teams – how to communicate your ideas, how to create, implement and evaluate training programmes, and how a team’s psychology and its leaders can greatly affect the team performance. In the first year, you study the Science of Sports Coaching module, developing coaching-specific knowledge to apply in your work placements in years 2 and 3. Throughout all years of the degree you have access to some sector-leading facilities, setting you up perfectly for your chosen career.

Course structure

Year 0 (foundation year) core modules

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Year 1 core modules

Anatomy and Biomechanics

A good knowledge of how the human body operates is crucial for you, as a student of sport and exercise sciences. In this module, you will learn to describe motion and the action causing the movements of the human body using anatomical and scientific terminology. You will also apply subject theory to specific sport and exercise situations. You will learn how to interpret scientific literature and present your own ideas in a scientific format.

Introduction to Sport and Exercise Physiology

This module introduces you to the physiological systems of the body, such as the cardio-respiratory system, skeletal muscle and the metabolic system. A typical teaching week will comprise of a one-hour lecture and either a two-hour laboratory or seminar session. The laboratory sessions are designed to teach you sport science laboratory techniques such as taking blood, measuring oxygen uptake, monitoring heart rate and others.

Motor Control and Learning: Principles and Applications

This module aims to introduce you to the basic principles relating to motor control and motor learning theories. It will develop your appreciation of how sport and exercise scientists, coaches and teachers incorporate this knowledge into their programmes. You will apply the theoretical knowledge gained from lectures during the practical coaching sessions on a wide variety of sports and skills.

Research Methods for Sport and Exercise 1

This module aims to introduce you to conducting research and the accompanying requisite study skills that you will need throughout your studies. Specifically, this module is intended to help you to develop essential intellectual and study skills in reading, writing and reasoning. You will discuss the history of science, including the fundamental concepts. You will also look at how the separate disciplines within sport and exercise such as psychology, biomechanics, physiology and sociology function by themselves and in combination.

Sport and Exercise Psychology

In recent years, the role of psychology in sport and exercise has received increasing recognition and is a central component of all sport and exercise education and training. This module introduces key concepts and theories within mainstream sport and exercise psychology and provides a basis for further development. You will investigate a diverse range of sport psychological issues including intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, arousal, goal setting and many others.

The Science of Sports Coaching

You develop an understanding of the coaching process by investigating the roles of the coach, leadership styles, and the fundamental skills for effective coaching, such as communication and interpersonal skills. Lectures, seminars, workshops and practical sessions explore differences in current practice and examine the factors that underpin athlete participation, performance, and adherence to coaching practice. You have the opportunity to gain coaching experience within this module. You also develop an understanding of the sports coaching industry in the UK.


Year 2 core modules

Applied Exercise Physiology

You focus on the immediate and long-term effects of exercise on the physiological systems, for example - energy metabolism, cardiovascular system, neuromuscular system and the endocrine system of the human body. At the same time you develop the relevant practical skills required to establish a professional working practice in both the exercise physiology laboratory and field environments. Key areas of exercise physiology are covered, including introduction to health physiology, endurance performance, high intensity intermittent exercise, resistance training and nutritional ergogenic aids. A major focus is the development of your key practical skills and the application of theoretical knowledge to practical situations.

Coaching Practice and Placement 1

Sports coaching requires practitioners to plan, teach and reflect upon athletic performance. To do this a coach is required to understand and apply scientific principles. This is a core module for and provides an opportunity to experience and reflect upon practical coaching and to apply principles of sport science to performance. You facilitate the development of vocational skills in coaching which are transferable to employment opportunities. It provides a platform from which you are able to build in terms of coaching experience in a supervised environment with support available from the placement mentor and teaching staff. It provides an opportunity for you to assess methods of best practice in addition to expanding awareness of current issues, including health and safety and child protection in coaching.

Human Movement in Sport and Exercise

Within this module you will study biomechanics and motor control in sport and exercise settings. You will learn and apply theory to why athletes move their bodies to complete techniques during sport, and how technique can be altered to improve performance or reduce injury. You will also learn how the body regulates the motor system to control movement and develop expertise in sporting actions.

Psychology of the Human Performer

You examine the major psychological aspects of working with others within a sport and exercise environment. You gain an understanding of what makes an effective practitioner within an applied setting. The personal and psychological skills needed to be an effective practitioner are discussed, alongside the analysis of effective leadership skills with particular attention on ethical implications.

Research Methods for Sport and Exercise 2

This module builds on the foundation given in Research and Study Skills, exploring experimental design, data analysis, statistical testing and distinguishing between quantitative (eg collecting fitness testing data in a sport science laboratory) and qualitative methods (eg interviewing athletes about their experiences within a sport). You will also be introduced to the ethical considerations of research.

Strength and Conditioning for Sport

This module examines the use of strength and conditioning within the concepts of sports performance and health-related exercise. You will develop your knowledge and skills that can be used in applying sport sciences to enhance the effects of training by using resistance training.


Final-year core modules

Coaching Practice and Placement 2

You build upon the work completed in the level 5 module, Coaching Practice and Placement 1. Sports coaching requires practitioners to plan, teach and reflect upon athletic performance. A coach is required to understand and apply scientific principles in a sporting and coaching context. This is a core module and provides you with the chance to experience and reflect upon practical coaching and to apply principles of sport science to performance.


This project-based module builds on your research skills acquired in Levels 1 and 2. You will need to demonstrate your knowledge of designing an experiment, analysing data and testing statistics to investigate a research question of your choice within the field of sport and exercise.

Physical Education, Physical Activity and Sport

Physical education (PE) is an integral part of the curriculum in most schools that should involve pupils in continuously planning, performing and evaluating all areas of activity. This module explores contemporary issues in PE such as its current state, future direction, curriculum innovation and physical activity in children and young people. It also examines approaches to assessing PE, and effective instructional strategies and approaches to teaching it. You will have the opportunity to acquire knowledge and understanding of a variety of activities in the National Curriculum.


and one optional module

Applied Biomechanics

This highly applied module builds on the Human Movement in Sport and Exercise module. You will be able to explore and apply biomechanical principles in a relevant area through a research process. The module allows you to develop the scientific skills used by bio-mechanitions working within sport and exercise.

Applied Sport Psychology

This module aims to extend the knowledge and skills you will have developed in Foundation Psychology and Sport and Exercise Psychology. You will explore the key issues related to working with individuals and teams when providing sport psychology support. You will also look at designing and implementing psychological interventions whilst developing an understanding of the ethical issues supporting best practice in sport and exercise psychology services.

Decision-making and Perceptual Training

You critically analyse and discuss research in the area of decision making and perceptual training in sport and exercise, a topic concerned with differences in decision-making processes between expert and novice performers and how decision making may be improved in order to enhance performance. You use an interdisciplinary approach by examining motor behaviour, psychological and physiological influences on decision making and perceptual training.

Environmental Physiology

Sport and physical activity can place a severe physiological demand on the human body. These demands are often made harder when the activity takes place in an extreme environment, such as competing in the heat of the Athens' Olympics or trekking across the ice sheets of the Antarctic. This module introduces you to the effects that different environmental conditions have on the physiological functions on the human body. It particularly focuses on the immediate and long-term responses to exercise in these extreme environments such as extreme heat, extreme cold, high altitude, the ocean depths and outer space.

Nutrition for Health and Physical Activity

Current concepts in nutrition relating to health and physical activity are critically reviewed and their practical application are evaluated using case studies and the professional experiences of the module leader. Sport specific nutritional requirements are investigated and you develop the skills to establish nutritional status relative to these needs. You acquire the skills to develop, implement and critically appraise dietary strategies and food programmes aimed at optimizing an individual’s health and performance.


Modules offered may vary.

How you learn

This multidisciplinary course uses different teaching and learning strategies to ensure you graduate with excellent theoretical knowledge and essential work-related skills. The teaching methods vary between modules but include lectures, seminars, laboratory work, workshops, practicals, tutorials and a coaching placement.

How you are assessed

You are assessed by a wide variety of methods including group work, presentations, laboratory reports and examinations. Many of the assessments mirror work-related tasks and help you prepare for employment in industry.

Timetabling information
As a full-time student your timetabled hours are between Monday to Friday, 9.00am - 6.00pm. On Wednesdays the latest you will be timetabled is until 1.00pm. Hours of attendance vary between 12 hours and 20 hours per week. Part-time undergraduate students are required to attend during the same days and times as full-time students but for only a proportion of the time, dependant on the modules being taken. Module choices are discussed with course tutors during the enrolment and induction period. Further details are automatically sent to applicants due to enrol this year.

Your full teaching timetable for Semester 1 of the 2018/19 academic year should be available from 1 September 2018. Standard University term dates can be found here.

Our Disability Services team helps students with additional needs resulting from disabilities such as sensory impairment or learning difficulties such as dyslexia
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Find out more about financial support
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Career opportunities

Graduates should be well prepared for careers in coaching at various levels, from recreation to elite sports performance and sports development, either with a national governing body or local authority. This course is also a good pre-requisite qualification for pursuing a career as a PE teacher in mainstream education.

All programmes are designed to incorporate employability skills development alongside your degree course. Our staff utilise their extensive connections to provide many and varied opportunities to engage with potential employers through fairs, guest lecture sessions, live projects and site visits. In addition we offer a series of workshops and events in the first, second and third year that ensure all students are equipped with both degree level subject knowledge PLUS the practical skills that employers are looking for in new graduate recruits.

Our award winning careers service works with regional and national employers to advertise graduate positions, in addition to providing post-graduation support for all Teesside University alumni.

Entry requirements

A typical offer is 88-112 tariff points from at least two A levels (or equivalent). You must have GCSEs in English, Maths and Science at grade 4 (grade C) or equivalent. We recommend an Access course if you're a mature student.

For entry to Year 0 (Foundation Year) a typical offer is 32-64 tariff points from at least two A levels (or equivalent) and GCSE grade 4 (grade C) or equivalent in English, Maths and Science.

To enter the second year you need an HND in Sport Science/Exercise with a merit profile in appropriate modules.

An enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check (formerly an enhanced Criminal Records Bureau check) is required for this course.

For additional information please see the entry requirements in our admissions section

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country

You can gain considerable knowledge from work, volunteering and life. Under recognition of prior learning (RPL) you may be awarded credit for this which can be credited towards the course you want to study.
Find out more about RPL

Foundation year


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Course information


  • Length: 3 years or 4 years including foundation year

More full-time details


  • Up to 5 years

More part-time details

  • Daytime
  • Enrolment date: September
  • Admission enquiries: 01642 342308

Contact details

Further information