BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science

This respected Sport and Exercise Science degree has a high employability rate and offers many varied career options for graduates, from teaching and coaching to strength and conditioning and research.

You will learn which physiological, biomechanical and psychological factors govern elite performance. You will also consider the effect of exercise on human health, physical activity and disease. These key scientific skills are a vital part of sport and exercise science, so you can expect to spend much of your study time in the physiology, nutrition and biomechanics laboratories.

A unique element of this sport and exercise science course is the chance to work in our environmental chamber, where you can assess effects of extreme conditions on human athletic performance.

There will also be an opportunity for you to work towards REPs qualifications in personal fitness and gym instruction, which also means practical experience to enhance your employability. These qualifications, which are offered free to our students, meet the health and fitness industry’s standards and are highly valued by employers. 


96% of our BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science are in employment or further study six months after graduating Graduate Destination Survey 2016

UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
C600 Full-time 3 Years September Glyntaff A
N/A Part-time 6 Years September Glyntaff A
UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
C600 Full-time 3 Years September Glyntaff A
N/A Part-time 6 Years September Glyntaff A

Our sport and exercise science degree provides an opportunity to study a wide range of modules, including human anatomy, exercise physiology, sport and exercise psychology, biomechanics, environmental physiology, strength and conditioning, physical activity and health, fitness assessment, and sports nutrition.

Students can also gain Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) qualifications within their first year of study, at no additional charge.

Year One: Sport and Exercise Science Degree

Introduction to Sport and Exercise Psychology - 20 credits
The module will introduce the following key areas of sport psychology such as: personality and individual differences; stress, anxiety and performance; group dynamics and team cohesion; motivation and goal setting; psychology of motor learning and control; self confidence in sport; concentration and attentional focus; exercise psychology.

Measurement and Evaluation of Human Performance - 20 credits
This module aims to introduce the student to the areas of measurement, data retrieval, analysis and interpretation, health and fitness assessment, and exercise prescription.

Academic Research and Professional Skills - 20 credits
The aim of this module is to enable students to gain the fundamental social, interpersonal and academic building blocks for a vibrant and successful University experience. In addition the module aims to equip students with transferable professional skills that enable them to function in a professional environment.

Human Nutrition I - 20 credits
This module introduces students to the properties and roles of carbohydrates, proteins, fat; vitamins, minerals, and water. Consideration will be given to achieving optimum body weight in addition to health promotion. Digestion and absorption of foods at the macro level will be considered, paying attention to the GI tract. Dietary analysis and interpretation of a personal diet based on government guidelines (including RNI’s) will be detailed.

Exercise Physiology I - 20 credits
This module aims to familiarise the student with the language of anatomy and to specifically establish the students’ knowledge and understanding of human musculo-skeletal anatomy as an underpinning subject of exercise physiology and biomechanics.

Exercise Prescription - 20 credits
This module will equip students with the knowledge and practical skills to plan, prepare, instruct and evaluate gym-based exercise programmes for a variety of different healthy populations. Completion of this module largely contributes to the award of the REP’s Level 2 Gym Instructor and Level 3 Personal Trainer qualifications.

Year Two: Sport and Exercise Science Degree

Exercise Psychology - 20 credits (optional)
To encourage and enhance critical understanding and ethical application of psychological theories, concepts and constructs within exercise and physical activity contexts. Topics covered will include theories of exercise and behavior change; mechanisms for changing habits; psychological, social, cultural and developmental aspects of exercise and physical activity; exercise and psychological well-being; exercise and people with clinical acute and chronic conditions and exercise addiction and dependence.

Biomechanics - 20 credits
The aims of this module are to introduce the students to the principles of physics that are necessary for the study and understanding of biomechanics in the context of sport and exercise, and to enable the students to solve simple biomechanical problems concerning linear motion of rigid bodies and fluid mechanics.

Monitoring, Testing and Evaluation in Team Sports - 20 credits (optional)
The module aims to provide the student with: an introduction to contemporary issues and protocols used for athlete monitoring and testing in an applied environment; the opportunity to critically examine scientific literature and develop a conceptual framework via a needs analysis of a team sport of their choice; use underpinning scientific knowledge for assessment selection, evaluation and prescription; the ability to analyse data and to produce an athlete report of an assessment; and to gain practical experience of performing and conducting a range of assessments used within the team sport domain.

Exercise for Special Populations - 20 credits
This will provide an understanding of the physiological and medical issues associated with access to physical activity among special populations. You will learn to design and evaluate appropriate exercise programmes, suitable for individual needs among a diverse range of special population groups.

Research Methods - 20 credits
This will build on your understanding of research methods and broaden and deepen your appreciation of the range of approaches to research using research for both qualitative and quantitative methods. It will also provide an opportunity for students’ to develop a research proposal in preparation for their Level 6 dissertation module.

Sport Placement- 20 credits (optional)
Students will be provided with the opportunity to conduct their work related experience within a number of key vocational areas related to the sports industry. These will include school sport, competition/event organisation, community club coaching and other community sport delivery. The intention of the module is to provide students with the opportunity to develop the vocational skills of practical delivery required of individuals within the sports industry.

Human Nutrition II - 20 credits
This module aims to enable students to understand the principles of metabolism and metabolic pathways. It will introduce students to medical conditions with a metabolic component such as Type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease. It also enables the students to understand the principles of dietary investigation and to be able to assess and evaluate the dietary intake of others.

Exercise Physiology II - 20 credits
This module aims to introduce the student to the function, regulation and integration of the main physiological systems during sport and exercise and to many of the key concepts encountered in exercise physiology. In addition this module aims to provide the student with further experience of laboratory exercise testing and core laboratory skills.

Year Three: Sport and Exercise Science Degree

Applications of Psychology in Sport - 20 credits (optional)
This will provide detailed and critical coverage of key areas in sport psychology. The module is specifically designed to give students an understanding of the processes involved in working as an applied sport psychologist. The module will first cover the process of need analysis, with specific attention to the initial meeting and assessment of athletes. 

Applied Professional Project - 40 credits
This module will allow students to gain experience and develop vocational skills that are required to conduct specific roles and responsibilities within the sports industry.

Dissertation - 40 credits
This will enable you to design and conduct an independent study and to be able to critically evaluate scientific data and literature.

Muscle Function and Biomechanics - 20 credits
The module will incorporate: Newton’s laws of motion with respect to angular kinematics and kinetics; the mechanics and energetics of walking and running; theory of linear elastic and visceoelastic solids (stress, strain, strength, extensibility, stiffness, and toughness); structure and mechanics of tendon, ligament and bone; the biomechanics of sports injuries and associated healing process. Furthermore, students will develop technical competence and analytical skills using Quintic Biomechanics software.

Environmental Physiology - 20 credits (optional) 
This module will consider the physiological responses to a range of different environments (warm, cold, high-altitude and underwater) using our state-of-the-art environmental chamber and what effect these environments have on the body’s response to exercise and exercise performance.

Exercise Physiology III - 20 credits
This module will consider the relationship between exercise and selected areas of the cardiovascular system, and develop an understanding of selected measurements in cardiovascular physiology and competency in the performance of these measurements.

Strength and Conditioning - 20 credits (optional)
This module is designed to prepare students for the accreditation of both the United Kingdom Strength and Conditioning Association (ASCC) and the National Strength and Conditioning Association (CSCS) in the USA. These accreditations are increasingly a pre-requisite for employment in the strength and conditioning industry.

Sports Nutrition - 20 credits (optional)
This module aims to provide students with an appreciation of how nutritional interventions influence sport and exercise performance, especially the use and purported benefits of selected dietary manipulations. To also consider the side-effects and possible detrimental consequences of nutritional interventions with reference to current ethical and practical guidelines on usage.

Work Based Learning - 20 credits (optional)
The module is designed to provide a platform upon which the learner can enhance the effectiveness of the workplace experience and reflect on these experiences. For their chosen professional activity the student will be expected to develop independent learning based on experience in the workplace. The intention of the module is to provide students with the opportunity to develop their vocational skills of project management and delivery required of individuals within the sports industry.


Our sport and exercise science degree is taught through a mixture of lectures, seminars, tutorials and laboratory practicals in our excellent facilities at our Glyntaff campus. Independent learning is also encouraged.

The amount of time spent in formal teaching will vary each year of study due to differences in modules, laboratory sessions, work placements and dissertation/project work in your final year. The average lecture contact time per year is as follows:

  • Year One: 12 hours contact time (18 hours of independent study per week)
  • Year Two: 12-15 hours (24 hours independent study per week)
  • Year Three: 12 hours (24 hours independent study and 7-14 hours of placement per week – depending on module choices).

Much of the contact in years two and three, includes a great deal of time spent in laboratories so that you become proficient in administering exercise stress tests, measuring various health indices and physiological parameters in order to collect, interpret and analyse reliable data.

The sport and exercise science course is delivered over an academic year for 24 weeks from September to May. You will study six 20 credit modules in year one and two. In the final year you will study one 40 credit module (dissertation) and four 20 credit modules.The course tends to be delivered over four days, with Wednesdays specifically ‘free’ for BUCS University Sport competitions.


You will be assessed using a range of methods that include: written assignments, examinations, presentations, scientific lab reports and practical laboratory testing and analysis of data.


This sport and exercise science course is endorsed by the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES), which means that the academic knowledge and practical laboratory elements meet standards and requirements for the sport and exercise science and health and fitness industries.


Purposeful work-based learning opportunities are a chance to develop and practise your skills and knowledge in a range of work-related environments.

Our Centre of Employability, Enterprise and Leadership in Sport (CEELS)has partnerships with over 50 sports organisations who offer work placements, enabling you to gain first-hand experience of working in the sports industry – an essential requirement for anyone wanting to gain employment in sport.


We have purpose-built laboratories full of specialist equipment. This includes an underwater weighing system and whole-body MRI to measure whole and regional body fat and muscle. We also have a hypobaric chamber that tests subjects in different conditions, often at the extremes of endurance. There are five teaching laboratories, where you’ll study under the guidance of our academic staff and conduct your own experimental work. You’ll also have access to the biomechanics lab to measure the internal and external forces involved in performing sporting actions.

At USW Sport Park, just a few miles from the Glyntaff Campus, we have a brand-new specially designed sporting performance facility that focuses on rugby and football coaching. It includes a specialist centre for strength and conditioning with 12 lifting platforms, providing a high performance environment for aspiring athletes. Our full-size indoor 3G pitch is built to the Fifa Pro standard and World Rugby 22 standard. It will guarantee training all year round for our rugby, football and coaching students. 

You’ll also find a notational analysis suite and over 30 acres of playing fields, including five floodlit pitches. We have a sand-dressed ‘astroturf’ pitch, as well as a full-size FIFA approved 3G pitch. In addition to these all-weather pitches, there are six grass football pitches, three grass rugby pitches, and a large changing pavilion. Our facilities are regularly used by international professional teams, such as the Wales national football team and Cardiff City Football Club, as well as the touring New Zealand, South Africa and Australia rugby squads. 


The entry criteria below shows the qualification range within which the University will make offers. Most offers we make are at the top of the range, but we take all aspects of an application into consideration and applicants receive a personalised offer. Combinations of qualifications are acceptable and other qualifications not listed here may also be acceptable.nsiders all applications on an individual basis which means that we could make offers based on qualifications, personal profile and experience. Combinations of qualifications are acceptable and other qualifications not listed may also be acceptable.

In addition a satisfactory Enhanced Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) check is required (additional cost applies, no offences are considered spent).

Typical A-Level Offer

BCC - CDD to include a Science subject or PE and to exclude General Studies (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical Welsh BACC Offer

Pass the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Diploma with Grade C/D in the Skills Challenge Certificate and BC - CD at A Level to include a Science subject or PE but to exclude General Studies (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical BTEC Offer

BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction Merit Merit - Merit Merit Pass in a relevant subject (this is equivalent to 112-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical IB Offer

Pass the International Baccalaureate Diploma with higher grades of between 655-445 to include one Science, Mathematics or Psychology at Higher Level(this is equivalent to 112-80 UCAS tariff points)

Typical Access to HE Offer

Pass the Access to HE Science or Maths Diploma with 60 credits overall – the credits should equate to between 106-80 UCAS tariff points (examples below)

45 Level 3 credits equating to 15 Distinctions, 24 Merits and 6 Passes (106 UCAS Tariff Points)

45 Level 3 credits equating to 12 Distinctions, 6 Merits and 27 Passes (80 UCAS Tariff Points)

International Entry Requirements

We also welcome international applications with equivalent qualifications. Please visit the country specific pages on our international website for exact details.

English Requirements

In general, international applicants will need to have achieved an overall IELTS grade of 6.0 with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component.

However, if you have previously studied through the medium of English IELTS might not be required, but please visit the country specific page on our international website for exact details. If your country is not featured please contact us.

Additional Requirements

GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum 5 GCSEs including Mathematics and English at Grade C or above, or their equivalent but consideration is given to individual circumstances. Other: You will also need an enhanced DBS check in the second year if you wish to undertake the optional work placement module.

Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.

August 2018 - July 2019 Fees

  • Full-time UK and EU:  £9000

  • Full-time International:  £12300 

  • Part-time UK and EU:  £640 per 20 credits

August 2019 - July 2020 Fees

  • Full-time UK and EU: TBC

  • Full-time International: TBC

  • Part-time UK and EU: TBC

Additional Costs

Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.

UK and EU students

Apply via UCAS if you are a UK/EU residing applicant, applying for year one of a full-time undergraduate degree, Foundation Year, Foundation Degree or HND and you have not applied through UCAS before. If you are applying to study part-time, to top up your Foundation Degree or HND, or to transfer to USW from another institution, please apply directly

International students

Apply directly to the University if you live outside the UK/EU. 

Admissions statement

Graduates with a sport and exercise science degree can pursue careers in coaching, health science, clinical science, strength and conditioning, performance analysis, sports development and coaching in schools and the community, fitness assessment, performance coaching, or leisure management. Many students also progress to postgraduate study and research opportunities.

Our Careers and Employability Service

As a USW student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate.

This includes: one-to-one appointments from faculty based Career Advisers, in person, over the phone or even on Skype and through email via the "Ask a Question" service. We also have extensive online resources for help with considering your career options and presenting yourself well to employers. Resources include psychometric tests, career assessments, a CV builder, interview simulator and application help. Our employer database has over 2,000 registered employers targeting USW students, you can receive weekly email alerts for jobs.

Our Careers service has dedicated teams: A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements; an employability development team which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge; and an Enterprise team focused on new business ideas and entrepreneurship.