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Undergraduate study
Sport and Exercise Science (with Foundation Year)

Sport and Exercise Science (with Foundation Year) BSc (Hons)

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.



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Course overview


Sports facilities tour

World Champion Boxer and Teesside University student Savannah Marshall – meet the Teesside Sport and academic staff who support her.

You will learn how sport and exercise science principles can improve sports performance and sports coaching, and how this knowledge can support the health and wellbeing of society. The course emphasises practical experience, teamwork and communication, digital skills and a global perspective to prepare you for the workplace, and understanding and using research.

This course includes a foundation year - ideal if you need additional preparation or if you don't have sufficient grades to join Year 1 of a degree.

Top reasons to study sport and exercise science

  • Career focused: we introduce you to a wide range of employers and help you plan your career from day in pathways such as teaching PE, sports coaching, strength and conditioning and personal training, exercise referral, the health and fitness industry and others
  • Facilities: cutting-edge equipment and laboratory space gives you the practical skills you need to assess performance in sports and exercise, and includes: an outdoor 3G astro turf, advanced laboratories for fitness testing (VO2 max, blood sampling), technique analysis (3D motion analysis), and strength and conditioning.
  • Work experience: a wide range of work experience opportunities including placements and internships with sports clubs (regional and national) and external partners (public health exercise referral schemes) helps you build important professional and personal networks
  • Student experience: outside of your studies Teesside Sport offers performance sport scholarship, opportunities to join University and/or campus sport teams; volunteering or working in The Gym and sports facilities.
  • Staff expertise: the teaching and technical team have worked with athletes and coaches across youth development programmes, professional and elite sport. Staff hold professional accreditations (BASES and UKSCA), produce internationally-recognised research and advise on the UK government’s guidelines for physical activity.

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Course details

Course structure

Foundation year core modules

Big Data

Big data – it’s a phrase that a lot of people would argue is overused, or at least not always used in the appropriate context. So, what is it really? How is it made and how do we make sense of it?

You learn how big data is not just abundant but a growing field in so many aspects of our society from policing and conservation to health and bioinformatics. You explore how groups and communities use and share big data to help keep themselves safe in disaster zones around the world. You begin to value the role data plays in helping to make sense of community relationships in society, from uncovering criminal networks, tracking disease outbreaks to developing a deeper understanding of our ecology.

Data might end up in a data-frame spreadsheet format but it doesn’t begin there. It is often created with people and animals engaging with each other and technology. You explore how search engines collate and store the data we need to help make predictions, enhance decision making, or simply to better understand society’s needs.

Fundamentals of Nutrition

You focus on the fundamentals of food, nutrition and human physiology. You learn about dietary intake and analysis and how to use evidence to give dietary guidance and change behaviour in positive ways. You learn about the principles underpinning modern food science and nutrition, such as the composition of food, (macronutrients and micronutrients).

Global Grand Challenges

You focus on how science can help address some of the global grand challenges that face society. A group project enables you to develop innovative answers to some of the biggest issues of our time based on health and wellbeing, resilient and secure societies, digital and creative economy, sustainable environments and learning for the 21st century. The themes reflect the University’s focus on externally facing research that makes a real, practical difference to the lives of people and the success of businesses and economies.

Introduction to Sport and Psychology

You examine the principles of sport and exercise psychology and the relationship between physical and psychological functioning in a health and well-being context, with a particular focus on stress. You also develop research skills.

Life Science

You gain an appreciation of how knowledge of issues in health and disease relate to modern society. You focus on the life sciences from a human perspective, develop an understanding of human biology and explore the role of different but interconnected life science disciplines in modern life. While reviewing life science from an interdisciplinary context, you examine the major human body systems – cardiovascular, respiratory, excretory, endocrine, nervous, digestive, skeletal and reproductive.

Teaching Exercise

You gain the knowledge and skills needed to teach exercise in a variety of settings. You reflect on modern approaches to teaching exercise, including the national occupational standards for the sector (developed by the National Training Organisation for Sport, Recreation and Allied Occupations) and gain sufficient skills and knowledge to work with participants and to monitor and promote regular physical activity.


Year 1 core modules

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

Your opportunity to meet professionals working in PE teaching, sports coaching, personal training, exercise referral, the health and fitness industry and others to help build your professional networks and discuss your career plans with potential future employers.

Performance Analysis: 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.

Performance Analysis: 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.

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

The aim of this module is to equip students with enough knowledge of the relevant aspects of research methods to develop a research proposal. The research proposal must be ethical and realistic. With this aim in mind students will be introduced to the key elements of quantitative and qualitative research design, methods and measurement as well as a variety of data analysis techniques that will enable students to answer different types of research questions.

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.

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.

Sport and Exercise 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.


Final-year 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 is your opportunity to conduct your own in-depth scientific investigation in an area of your choice, within the field of sport and exercise. With guidance from your supervisor, you will use scientific methods to explore interesting research questions. Your aim is to discover new knowledge to support the progress of applied and theoretical work in sport and exercise.

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 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.

The 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.


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, grassroots participation and the public health agenda. These themes are 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 ongoing 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 per year 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 01642 738400 about our entry requirements

For general information please see our overview of 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


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Useful information

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Professional accreditation

British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences The British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences has endorsed this course. This degree encourages students to develop as a sport and exercise scientist and understand how their skills apply to sports performance and health-based settings. Students are provided a range of applied opportunities both in lab and field-based environments.

Other course routes


Entry to 2022/23 academic year

Fee for UK applicants
£9,250 a year

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£14,000 a year

More details about our fees for international applicants

What is included in your tuition fee?

  • Length: 4 years
  • UCAS code: C600 BSc/SESFY
  • Start date: September
  • Semester dates

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Complete this enquiry form only if you have already obtained your qualifications and achieved grades. If you do not have these at this time, we will be unable to progress your enquiry - please re-visit and complete the form after you have received your results.

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Our undergraduate courses are available through Clearing to international applicants. Please only complete this application form if you have already obtained your qualifications and achieved your grades. You must upload all requested documents including a copy of your passport, academic qualifications and English language qualification, and copies of any sponsor letters or maintenance documents to meet the requirements. If you have previously applied through UCAS for 2022-23 entry, please include your UCAS personal ID number in the course details box.

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