University of Hertfordshire - BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science

University of Hertfordshire

BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science

You’ll study on a National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) recognised programme which will allow you to complete the Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist qualification near graduation. During your time with us, you’ll cover the three main disciplines of sport science: physiology (including nutrition), biomechanics and psychology. You’ll learn about human anatomy, sports performance, and strength and conditioning. You’ll use the performance labs to learn how to assess and improve sporting performance. What’s more, you’ll gain invaluable knowledge on the role exercise plays in improving health and wellbeing. 

Many of your lecturers are accredited or chartered with professional bodies. These include the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES), the UK Strength and Conditioning Association (UKSCA) and the British Psychological Society (BPS). This means you’ll learn from lecturers who  are recognised for their high standards of knowledge and skills. They’ll be there to ensure those standards are transferred to you. You’ll spend around eight hours in lectures per week, and eight hours in practical sessions. Some of these will take place in our labs, others are interactive workshops and seminars.

Herts is one of the few Universities with an Active Students and Staff programme. This means we offer free sports and exercise sessions to all our students and staff. This gives you an excellent opportunity to do research on the effects of sport and exercise on wellbeing. You could even get a part time job working for them as an Activator – leading your own exercise sessions or assisting with qualified instructors. Maybe even play some new sports yourself.

In your first year, you’ll learn the foundations of human physiology and nutrition, as well as musculoskeletal anatomy, psychology and the principles of biomechanics. You’ll gain the analytical and problem-solving skills needed to excel. There is a special module to teach you how to perform and analyse fitness testing and exercise prescription. You’ll study the acquisition of skills and motor control. To help you settle into university life, you’ll take a module focused on developing the academic skills you need to be a successful student.  

Your second year builds on what you learnt in first year. You’ll study the applied biomechanics of performance, applied sport and exercise psychology and exercise physiology. The module on research design helps you understand the principles and methods that underpin scientific research. You’ll be able to use this to critique and understand research done in this field. It’ll also come in handy for your final year project in third year. There are also a few optional modules for you to choose from. Learn about exercise for a health population, sports conditioning or functional anatomy and clinical biomechanics. 

Work placement/study abroad option: Between your second and final year, you’ll have the option to study abroad or do a work placement for up to a year. Not only will this give you an amazing experience to talk about but will also give your CV a boost. If you’d rather go straight to your final year, that’s fine too. You’ll decide in your second year with us, so there is still plenty of time to think about this.

In your third year, there is only one compulsory module: your final year project. You’ll get a personal supervisor and together you will produce an independent sports research project. This means you’ll design and undertake you own project on a topic relevant to your area of study. You’ll present this in the form of a poster presentation and journal-style report. All other modules are optional and allow you to specialise in the areas you like best. Learn about technology in sport, advanced biomechanics or strength and conditioning. There is one module that allows you to gain 70 hours of work experience* 

For a full list of modules, see the section under ‘What will I study?’ 
*Depending on the COVID-19 guidelines and developments 

Entry Requirements

UCAS points :

112 - 120

A Level :

BBC - BBB Including at least one Science A level preferably Biology and/or PE (acceptable A levels: Human Biology, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Psychology, Sports Science)


DMM: BTEC Sport and Exercise Science or Applied Science Extended Diploma at DMM

 BTEC Sport and Exercise Science or Applied Science. Extended Diploma at DMM.

BTEC Sport Extended Diploma (RQF 2016) at DMM (With merits achieved in the following modules: Anatomy and Physiology and Fitness Training and Programming for Health, Sport and Well-Being)

BTEC Sport Extended Diploma (QCF) at DMM (With merits achieved in the following modules: Principles of Anatomy and Physiology in Sport, The Physiology of Fitness and Fitness Testing for Sport and Exercise)

Level 3 OCR CTEC (Cambridge Technical in Sport and Physical Activity) Extended Diploma DMM (With merits achieved in the following modules: Body Systems and the Effects, Nutrition and Diet for Sport and Exercise, Sports Injuries and Rehabilitation).

Additional Science BTEC's will be considered at tutor discretion.

GCSE: Grade 4/C in English Language and Mathematics and grade 3 and 4 in Double Science.

All students from non-majority English speaking countries require proof of English language proficiency, equivalent to an overall IELTS score of 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each band.

Career Prospects

Our graduates progress to a wide range of careers which reflects the multidisciplinary nature of the degree programme.

Our graduates have gained employment with elite athletes, professional sports teams, health clubs and within the National Health Service. Also, in the leisure industry, military, fire service and as coaches. They have progressed to study for a Master’s degree, PhD or teacher training qualification.

Job titles of recent graduates include:

Community Rugby Coach, Sports Lecturer, Police Officer, NHS Trainee Cardiac Physiologist, Special Needs Coach, Strength and Conditioning Coach, Fire Brigade Fitness Advisor, Health and Fitness Coach, IT Support Officer, Learning Support Assistant, PE Technician, Personal Trainer/Gym Instructor, Pharmaceutical Production Technician, Sport Science Support Officer, Lecturer in Sport Science in Further Education, Physiotherapy Assistant, Fitness Instructor, Recreation Assistant, Swimming Coach, Lifestyle Consultant, and Mental Health Physical Activity and Nutrition Advisor.

Examples of recent employers are the NHS, the English Institute of Sport, Lucozade Sport, and Mind.

Our graduates work with elite athletes, professional sports teams, health clubs and in the NHS. Recent jobs for our graduates include community rugby coach, police officer, trainee cardiac physiologist, fire brigade fitness advisor, health and fitness coach, personal trainer / gym instructor, pharmaceutical production technician and nutrition advisor.

Course Details

Degree programmes are structured into levels, 4, 5 and 6.  These correspond to your first, second and third/final year of study.  Below you can see what modules you’ll be studying in each.   

Modules are assessed in a variety of ways via coursework, practicals and exams. The type of coursework is varied, depending on the module and includes essays, reports, practical write-ups, posters and seminar presentations.

Our laboratories boast an enviable range of performance testing equipment (e.g. Metalaysers for VO2 max testing; blood-taking facilities and blood analysers to measure blood lactate and cholesterol; running treadmills; cycling and rowing ergometers; Dynamometers, Anthropometric equipment; weight-lifting equipment, and even an indoor putting green for psychological and biomechanical analysis).

Throughout your time at the University you work closely with a personal tutor in order to help develop academic, personal, and vocational skills. This work is supported by the University intranet (Studynet) which provides a location for lecture notes, study guides, assessment details, example exam papers, and discussion forums amongst other things.

You also have 24-hour access (during term-time) to two outstanding learning resources centres.

Year 1

Developing an academic approach
Human physiology and nutrition
Exercise prescription and fitness testing
Skill acquisition and motor control
Introduction to sport & exercise psychology
Musculoskeletal anatomy
Principles of biomechanics

Year 2

Exercise physiology and metabolism
Applied biomechanics of performance
Applied sport & exercise psychology
Research design

Optional modules
Process and practice in high performance sport
Exercise for a healthy population
Sports conditioning and testing
Functional anatomy and clinical biomechanics

Year 3

Applied independent sports research project

Optional modules
Year abroad: sport
Enterprise and entrepreneurship in sports business management
Performance physiology
Exercise referral & health promotion
Work experience in ses
Technology in sport
Contemporary issues in sport psychology
Contemporary issues in exercise psychology
Advanced biomechanics
Sport & performance nutrition
Strength and conditioning
Sandwich placement – sport

*The information’s are correct at the time of publishing, however it may change if university makes any changes after we have published the information. While we try our best to provide correct information, It is advisable to call us or visit university website for up to date information.

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