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Undergraduate study

Course overview

Our MSci (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science degree builds on the extensive range of subjects included in our BSc (Hons) by providing advanced topics in sports performance, exercise, health and wellbeing, including laboratory and field-based techniques, data collection, processing and analysis.

You are encouraged to develop your own programme of study by selecting topics within modules that have particular relevance to your professional, academic and personal goals. The course allows you to focus on your particular discipline(s) of interest, while enabling you to achieve a grounding in the fundamental knowledge and skills a sport and exercise specialist needs in the contemporary world.

Sport and exercise science involves the practical application of scientific principles from different disciplines (physiology, psychology, biomechanics, motor learning and sociology) to improve sports performance and the health and wellbeing of society.

This integrated degree provides the skills you need for a career in sports performance and sports coaching. It also represents an excellent stepping stone if you want to be a teacher. By learning how sport and exercise methods can improve health outcomes in society, this course also exposes you to a range of jobs in exercise, physical activity and public health. Our graduates are fully equipped with the skills and knowledge to thrive in the ever-changing world of sport and exercise professions.

We define our future-ready graduates as confident, self-aware, competent and resilient. These attributes are strengthened as you progress through the different levels of learning. You gain the practical and communication skills for delivering applied physical activity sessions and working in teams. You become competent in using sport and exercise science methods, including fitness tests (VO2 max, blood sampling), technique analysis (3D motion analysis), assessing psychological needs, proposing training interventions and assessing the outcomes. You develop these applied skills when working both with athletes in our Sport and Exercise Science Consultancy module, and with our partners in the local community, who use physical activity to improve health in different populations.

This degree course has been developed in consultation with key stakeholders, including Public Health South Tees, and is supported by the Football Association through discussions around content and delivery of the Primary Teachers’ and Secondary Teachers’ Awards.

Our established links with local sports teams, Tees Valley Sport, Middlesbrough Football Club and MFC Foundation provide excellent opportunities for either work-related learning or undertaking placements in your second and third year, supported by a work placement conference with industry partners.

You also develop the digital skills you need to become globally connected with athletes, industry and society, with research integrity at the heart of your learning experience.

Meet some of the academics who may be teaching you on your course.


Course details

Course structure

Year 1 core modules

Analysing Performance: Physiology and Biomechanics

This module introduces you to a series of competency-based scientific methods for assessing human performance. This involves assessing the physiological systems of the body, such as the cardio-respiratory system, skeletal muscle and the metabolic system, and investigating the biomechanical principles underpinning movement technique. The laboratory sessions are designed to teach you sport science laboratory skills such as taking blood, measuring oxygen uptake, monitoring heart rate, and movement analysis using 3D motion capture and assessing ground reaction forces.

Analysing Performance: Psychology and Motor Learning

This module introduces you to the professional and interpersonal skills needed to work with and assess the human performer and, working in a multidisciplinary team, enable effective communication and rapport building. You acquire practical knowledge in how to deliver psychological and motor behaviour assessment tools such as performance profiles, systematic observations and eye tracking. Together you use these interpersonal skills and assessment tools to help an athlete to meet their potential in their sport.

Designing and Delivering Physical Activity

This module shows you how to design, deliver and evaluate applied physical activity sessions, in the context of the national curriculum for teaching Physical Education (PE). Typical weekly sessions involve practical and group-based activities in the sports hall, where your communication skills and professionalism are developed and assessed. This is in the context of working with individuals from pre-school age to older adults, giving you coaching and teaching skills.

Future Graduate Destinations

In this module you meet a number of professionals who hold significant job roles in a variety of sectors and industries from local to international. This connects you to potential future destinations following successful graduation. You learn about the training you would need to access these roles, the qualities these employers are looking for in the interview process, and the challenges they face in their current roles. In these sessions you are also involved in proposing solutions to the issues employers face and consider how to implement these for improved outcomes. You also improve your own skills and attributes in preparation for working in these roles in the future

Sport in Society

This module looks at sport and its role within society. You will examine this in relation to global, social, political and economic aspects. You will use social scientific theory to identify, analyse and evaluate the social values relating to power and hierarchy, fairness and deviance, money and sport as a commodity.

The Sport and Exercise Science Consultant

This module works like a real-life sport and exercise science consultancy service. We have strong links with athletes and sports teams. These athletes will visit the laboratories at the University and you will assess their sporting performance using a variety of cutting edge techniques, under the supervision of highly qualified and experienced members of academic staff. You develop the practical and professional skills required to deliver a high quality sport and exercise consultancy service in both the laboratory and field environments. You have the opportunity to build your competencies in a range of scientific methods across the core disciplines in sport and exercise science.


Year 2 core modules

Designing a Research Proposal

This module builds on the content embedded throughout all first year modules, which provide a foundation in research and study skills. In this module you explore how to identify and define a research problem, develop a research question, select the appropriate experimental design, and distinguish between quantitative (for example, collecting fitness testing data in a sport science laboratory), and qualitative methods (for example, interviewing athletes about their experiences within a sport). You are also aware of the ethical considerations in research.

Health 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. Key areas of exercise physiology are covered, including introduction to health physiology, chronic diseases, the ageing process and issues surrounding digital health. A major focus is the development of your practical skills and the application of theoretical knowledge to practical situations, as they relate to health physiology.

Human Movement in Sport and Exercise Science

Within this module you study biomechanics and motor learning i sport and exercise settings. You take part in a number of practical sessions on the outdoor 3G artificial pitch or in the sports hall, which are designed to help you generate applied research questions regarding how best to improve movement skills in sports performance. You are shown how to design, conduct and evaluate a research project involving a 3D analysis of movement.

Sport and Exercise Science Work Placement 1

You have a clear opportunity to expand and consolidate your links with the employers you meet throughout the degree. We have direct links to working in sports performance (through Tees Valley Sport, local clubs, Middlesbrough Football Club., MFC Foundation, and our own Sport and Exercise Science Consultancy module), public health (through Public Health South Tees), and a range of other opportunities. You forge strong links with professionals in industry, and gain key skills from working in your chosen field. With your placement supervisor you identify a challenge or problem in their line of work, propose solutions, and present the findings in a student conference attended by employers and students at all levels. Employers provide a formative report on your aptitude and engagement with the placement, and your self-reflection on this experience is a crucial assessment component. All placements must be approved by our Placement Officer.

The Health and Well-being of Society

You benefit from our working relationship with Public Health South Tees. In the previous academic year, you acquired a range of competencies in sport and exercise. While this was in the context of improving sports performance, in this second year module you learn how these methods can also promote well-being and positive outcomes in communities facing health inequalities, for example, due to disease, ageing, and socio-economic factors. You meet qualified exercise practitioners who deliver physical activity as a form of medicine for hard to reach groups. You have the opportunity to meet the clients, discuss the interventions, and learn how practical outcomes are achieved to benefit the lives of real people. Ultimately, you gain a clear understanding of how physical activity interventions are developed, delivered and evaluated in target populations.

The Psychology of Exercise and Health

The physical benefits of exercise are extensively documented, but exercise can also be used to enhance society’s psychological health, well-being and cognitive functioning. By using exercise as a means to enhance well-being, individuals can reap the physical benefits and experience an overall increase in their quality of life. In this module you explore a range of topics related to mental and cognitive well-being, and examine the efficacy of various public health promotion campaigns.


Year 3 core modules

Contemporary Issues in Sport and Exercise

The knowledge base, controversies and myths surrounding the application of sport and exercise science are always evolving. You explore current issues in this field, and the impact these have on particular individuals and groups, whether in society in general, sport and exercise professionals, those with health concerns or the sports person. You educate your peers about a contemporary issue that interests you, through a taught workshop. This fosters your ability to plan taught sessions and communicate complex and contemporary issues in sport and exercise science, while refining your professional skills, to deliver high quality verbal presentations. This is a perfect way to both hone your delivery skills and provide evidence of this prior to your future professional interviews.


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.

Sport and Exercise Science Work Placement 2

This module provides a second opportunity to further expand and consolidate the links you have made with employers. We have direct links to working in sports performance (through Tees Valley Sport, local clubs, Middlesbrough Footbal Club, MFC Foundation, and our own Sport and Exercise Science Consultancy module), public health (through Public Health South Tees), and a range of other opportunities. You again work with the placement supervisor to identify a challenge or problem in their line of work, propose solutions, and present the findings in a student conference attended by employers and students. Employers provide a formative report on your aptitude and engagement with the placement, and your self-reflection on this experience is a crucial assessment component. All placements must be approved by our Placement Officer. A further component requires evidence of your engagement in the credit-based system throughout the degree in a wide range of extra-curricular activities, including research participation, continued professional development (CPD) activities, short courses, and volunteering, which are offered throughout the course.


Final-year core modules

Applied Laboratory and Field Skills

You develop advanced understanding and skills in sport and exercise laboratory and field techniques, data collection/processing, and analysis. There is a clear focus on developing your aptitude, knowledge and creativity in research methods. You gain hands on experience of using a wide range of equipment that is used to assess different aspects of sport and exercise performance. You also develop an evidence-based reflective learning approach in the assessment of a range of clients.

Assessment of the Human Performer

You examine a variety of topics related to analysing human performance. Performance is defined in the broadest sense, in that this can range from any level of engagement in physical activity, for example in sedentary, impaired or disadvantaged populations through to participation and elite sports. You also consider the sociological context of the performer and use needs analysis to propose an intervention for performance improvement.

Development of the Sport and Exercise Specialist

You are encouraged to demonstrate an understanding of the theoretical basis of, and variety of approaches to, assessment and intervention in a variety of sport and exercise related issues. You demonstrate the technical skills required for working in sport and exercise professions, such as the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences, and the British Sociological Association. You also develop self-awareness and self-reflection in relation to your personal development.

Interventions for the Human Performer

This module builds on your proposal for an intervention in your second core module. You deliver the short-term intervention you have previously proposed for a named case study involving a human performer. You report and evaluate the outcomes with reference to issues of evidenced-based practice and ethical issues.

Sport and Exercise Science Work Placement 3

This module provides a final opportunity to expand and consolidate the links you have made with employers. You again work with the placement supervisor to identify a challenge or problem in their line of work, propose solutions, and present the findings in a student conference attended by employers and students. Employers will provide a formative report on your aptitude and engagement with the placement, and your self-reflection on this experience is a crucial assessment component. All placements must be approved by our Placement Officer.

Student Independent Learning

You have the opportunity to design a unit of advanced learning in a specific area that is relevant to your area of interest. This is achieved by negotiating, managing and presenting personal learning outcomes that are of interest to you, and agreed by an academic supervisor. Please note this module is not necessarily constrained by term dates. A learning contract must be completed by liaising with the relevant member of staff associated with the topic you choose to study.


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

Semester themes include:

  • the future facing sport and exercise graduate
  • assessing sports performance
  • the physical and mental wellbeing in society
  • research for impact in sport and exercise science.

The flexible nature of the course enables the teaching team to develop new semester themes, in response to current trends in sports performance, grass roots participation and the public health agenda. These themes are therefore reviewed on an annual basis.

As a team, we focus on developing your scientific, professional, and communication skills within applied practice, the sport and exercise laboratory and industry so you graduate with essential work-related skills. Teaching methods vary between modules but are all interactive and include lectures, seminars, laboratory work, workshops, practicals, tutorials and at least two work placements. The majority of our academic staff are either qualified, or currently training to doctorate level, which brings integrity and insight to our research-led teaching. The reach and significance of our on-going research is communicated throughout the degree. Our teaching is delivered by academic staff who are publishing research at the forefront of their disciplines and leading research projects and groups, including our two Professors in Sport and Exercise Science.

How you are assessed

A core component of the assessment and feedback strategy is that your progress is monitored throughout the degree toward successful accomplishments in becoming research active, digitally empowered, socially and ethically engaged, and globally connected. These learning objectives are embedded throughout all aspects of the teaching and learning materials at all levels of the degree.

You are assessed by a wide variety of professional relevant methods including group work, presentations and laboratory reports. Based on our consultations with employers, we have removed all exam style assessments from the degree. Many of the assessments mirror work-related tasks to help you prepare for employment in industry. For example, applications for grant funding, an athlete case-study needs analysis, delivering applied practical sessions (for example, teaching PE), group-based activities demonstrating competency in data collection, portfolios of evidence showing your ability to build networks in industry (such as through work placements), understanding and implementing sports policies, and the creative use of novel technologies in sport and exercise. There are also digital submission formats, such as video diaries, blogs, and video-based user guides, which reflect your digital literacy.

Formative feedback is provided throughout every module to help consolidate your skills, knowledge and understanding prior to the final submission.

One assessment component in a final year module involves a credit system through which you are encouraged to get involved in extracurricular activities throughout your degree, including research volunteering, work placements, sport science consultancy, and vocational courses.

Our Disability Services team provide an inclusive and empowering learning environment and have specialist staff to support disabled students access any additional tailored resources needed. If you have a specific learning difficulty, mental health condition, autism, sensory impairment, chronic health condition or any other disability please contact a Disability Services as early as possible.
Find out more about our disability services

Find out more about financial support
Find out more about our course related costs


Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Call us on 0800 952 0226 about our entry requirements

For additional information please see our entry requirements

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



Work placement

There are a wide range of placement opportunities available throughout the degree including, but not limited, to arrangements with local sports teams, Middlesbrough Football Club, MFC Foundation, Tees Valley Sport, and Public Health South Tees.

Career opportunities

A core objective of the degree is to equip you with a range of skills, competencies and knowledge for embarking on a successful career. It is important to recognise the broad range of professional roles and industries related to the field of sport and exercise science.

Examples of these roles include:

  • secondary school PE teacher
  • primary school teacher
  • exercise referral specialist
  • sports development officer
  • head coach
  • performance analyst
  • health promotion specialist
  • researcher
  • lecturer
  • manager, through a graduate scheme
  • outdoor adventure coach
  • clinical cardiac physiologist
  • high-performance physiologist
  • biomechanist
  • sport scientist
  • fitness instructor or personal trainer
  • strength and conditioning coach
  • owner of a lifestyle business

Please follow these links to job roles:
The British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences
Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity

According to the Physiological Society’s 2019 report, ‘Sport & Exercise Science Education: Impact on the UK Economy’:
• sport and exercise science courses add £3.9 billion in income to the UK economy
• average salaries for sport and exercise science graduates after six months of employment are £21,100 a year
• over the course of their careers, sport and exercise science graduates earn on average £667,000 more compared to their non-graduate peers.
Find out more


Information for international applicants


International applicants - find out what qualifications you need by selecting your country below.

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Useful information

Visit our international pages for useful information for non-UK students and applicants.

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Entry to 2020/21 academic year

Fee for UK/EU applicants
£9,250 a year

The final year is discounted to £5,900

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£13,000 a year

More details about our fees for international applicants

What is included in your tuition fee?

Apply now through Clearing



2020/21 entry

Fee for UK/EU applicants
£4,500 (120 credits)

More details about our fees

  • Length: Up to 6 years
  • Attendance: Daytime
  • Enrolment date: September
  • Semester dates

Apply online (part-time)

  • On video

    Sport and exercise student Chris Sunter

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  • On video

    Louis Cunningham, Sunderland AFC

    A master’s degree from Teesside University has helped former elite athlete Louis push on to the next level.


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