Sport and Exercise Science - BSc (Hons)

UCAS Code:
Full Time (3 years), Sandwich (4 years)
September 2018

Our Sport and Exercise Science course will equip you with the skills to help you become a health sports professional, either helping leading sportspeople to achieve their goals, or supporting the local community.

Health plays a major factor in everyone’s lives; to ensure we exercise regularly and maintain a healthy diet, we look to the professionals to provide hands-on advice, guidance and support.

What's covered in the course?

The course explores the science in sport and exercise, considering how disciplines such as physiology, psychology and biomechanics can be applied in the context of sports performance, physical activity, health and wellbeing.

You will study a range of discipline-specific and multi-disciplinary modules, equipping you with a diverse range of perspectives that will enrich your learning and enhance your career development.

It won’t just be about sport - you'll be looking at different aspects of health and people at opposite ends of the health spectrum. Sport and exercise is a large and expanding global industry and levels of fitness and participation in physical activity are significant issues on the political agenda. Therefore, you’ll be trained to respond to the challenges facing society today, by exploring the profession and it's disciplines in encouraging and supporting greater physical activity. 

Endorsed by the British Association for Sport and Exercise Science, the professional body for sport and exercise science, our practice-led course is full of relevant, fresh information and insight that you can take into the work environment and make a positive contribution to modern society.

Why Choose Us?

  • There will be live projects to work on, as well as optional work-based learning experience, enabling you to gain first-hand experience and build your knowledge.
  • You'll have access to our dedicated physiology and biomechanics laboratory, where there will be an array of state-of-the-art equipment and cutting-edge resources.
  • You'll receive talks from guest lecturers who work within the sector and can provide relevant, up-to-date advice.
  • There will be the opportunity to engage in international exchanges, as well as trips and visits that will aid your course.
  • Work will be both practical and lab-based, giving you the best of both experiences; supporting your development to work out in the sporting environment, in fitness settings, or conducting lab-based research. 

To welcome all new home and EU undergraduate degree students starting in 2018 or 2019, we're giving at least £150 worth of credit to spend in a host of ways, on books and a range of learning materials. Even better, it doesn’t have to be repaid. Terms and conditions apply.

Find out more

This course is open to International students

Accreditation for Sport and Exercise Science

This course is accredited by the British Association for Sport and Exercise Science (BASES), the professional body for such subjects. This will ensure our course is fresh and relevant, as well as creating valuable industry links and knowledge.


Entry Requirements

Level 2 qualifications which must be achieved PRIOR to application for all applicants:

A minimum of 5 GCSEs, including Double Science, Mathematics and English Language at Grade 4 (formerly a C) or above or equivalent. 

Acceptable GCSE Science equivalents:

  • Functional Skills/ Essential Skills level 2, a minimum of a pass or above, must include Science

Acceptable GCSE Maths equivalents:

  • Functional Skills/ Essential Skills level 2, a minimum of a pass or above, must include Mathematics
  • City and Guilds Level 2 Certificates in Adult Numeracy a minimum of a pass or above, must include Mathematics
  • Key Skills level 2, a minimum of a pass or above, application of number 

Acceptable GCSE English equivalents:

  • Functional Skills/ Essential Skills level 2, a minimum of a pass or above, must include English
  • City and Guilds Level 2 Certificates in Adult Literacy a minimum of a pass or above, must include English
  • Key Skills level 2, a minimum of a pass or above, application of communication
Irish Leaving Certificate, a minimum of five Ordinary levels at Grade B3 or above, must include English, Mathematics and a Science subject.
Scottish qualifications, a minimum of five Intermediate Standard 2 or above, must include English, Mathematics and a Science subject.

Plus one of the following Level 3 qualifications which you may be working towards:

112 UCAS points.

A Level: To include one subject in Biology / Human Biology / Chemistry / Physics / Physical Education / Applied Science with minimum Grade C. A typical offer would be BBC. General Studies not accepted.

Access to HE: 60 credits overall. Minimum of 45 credits at level 3. The remaining 15 credits can be taken at either level 2 or 3. Within the level 3 credits, a minimum of 24 must be achieved at merit or distinction including 18 in science or health subjects. Must have Mathematics, Science and English Language GCSE at 4 or equivalent prior to application.

BTEC Extended Diploma: in Sport and Exercise Science. Other sport related BTECs are acceptable.

BTEC Diploma: in Sport and Exercise Science. Other sport related BTECs are acceptable.

Irish Leaving Certificate: 112 UCAS tariff points from a maximum of 5 Highers with at least 4 subjects at Grade B2 or higher and 1 subject at B3 or higher. Must include sport, health or science related subjects.

Scottish Qualifications: Maximum of 5 Scottish Highers and 3 Advanced Highers at Grade C or above to achieve 112 UCAS tariff points.

Foundation degrees will be reviewed on an individual basis and will require a transcript of the content of the course.

International qualifications:

IB: 112 UCAS Points minimum of 2 HL subject at Grade 4 or above including one Science (with remaining points to come from a combination of HL SL and Core).

Applicants who have not received their secondary school education in English will require an overall IELTS score of 7, with no subtest below 6.5.

International Students

Entry requirements here

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BSc (Hons) Sep 2018 FT 3 years £9,250 per year Apply via UCAS
SW 4 years £9,250 per year (excluding sandwich year)

International Students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BSc (Hons) Sep 2018 FT 3 years £12,000 per year

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead. The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.

Guidance for UK/EU students


UK and EU students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

Applying through UCAS
 Register with UCAS
 Login to UCAS
 Complete your details
 Select your course
 Write a personal statement
 Get a reference
 Pay your application fee
 Send UCAS your application

Our advice for applying to a health care course

Applying for a course and preparing for an interview can be a daunting process, so we have created a series of films to help you through the process, including what to put in your personal statement.

More guidance

Non-EU (International) students

There are three ways to apply:

1) Direct to the University

You will need to complete our International Application Form and Equal Opportunities Form, and submit them together with scan copies of your original academic transcripts and certificates.

2) Through a country representative

Our in-country representatives can help you make your application and apply for a visa. They can also offer advice on travel, living in the UK and studying abroad.

3) Through UCAS

If you are applying for an undergraduate degree or a Higher National Diploma (HND), you can apply through the UK’s Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

You can request a printed form from your school or nearest British Council office. You will be charged for applying through UCAS. Birmingham City University’s UCAS code is B25 BCITY.

Personal statement

Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Course choice

Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?

Career plans

If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.

Work experience

Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.

School or college experience

Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.

Non-accredited skills or achievement

eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.

You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

Additional costs

We offer a wide range of professionally accredited and vocational courses that require the purchase of, among other things, uniforms, equipment, subscriptions, professional body memberships and DBS checks, and may require you to pay to attend conferences or participate in placements.

The link below provides our estimate of the possible costs associated with key activities on specific courses. Please bear in mind that these are only estimates of costs based on past student experience and feedback. The actual costs to you could vary considerably (either greater or lower than these estimates) depending on your choices as you progress through the course. We set out where we can, based on experience, where these indicative costs are for activities that are optional or compulsory.

All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

Find additional costs for your course

Accommodation and living costs

The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.

Worried about personal statements?

Worried about personal statements?

If you've got no idea where to start or just want to check you're on the right track, we’ve got expert advice and real examples from our students to help you nail your personal statement. You can even download our ultimate personal statement guide for free.

Get personal statement advice

Loans and Grants

Financial Support

We offer further information on possible undergraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.

Year 1

Introduction to Sport and Exercise Science
20 credits
Reading Research, Evidence and Professional Practice
20 credits
Sport and Exercise Physiology and Principles of Training
20 credits
Sport and Exercise Psychology: A Case Study Approach
20 credits
Anatomy and Biomechanics
40 credits

Year 2

Sport and Exercise Psychology and Nutrition
20 credits
Planning and Conducting Research
20 credits
Athletic Development: A Lifespan Perspective
20 credits
Optional Modules
20 credits
  • Performance Development Review System 1
  • Fundamental Movement Skills in PE and School Sport/Contemporary Issues in PE and School Sport
  • Nutritional Assessment 1
Monitoring, Testing and Evaluation in Team and Individuals Sports
40 credits

Year 3

Strength and Conditioning
20 credits
Performance Lifestyle
20 credits
Exercise Referral and Behaviour Change
20 credits
Optional Modules
20 credits
  • Environmental Physiology
  • Exploring Practical Sport and Physical Activity
  • Application of Exercise Nutrition
  • Performance Development Review System 2
Final Year Research Project
40 credits

Course structure

You can choose from a range of discipline-specific and multi-disciplinary modules, equipping you with a diverse range of perspectives that will enrich your learning and enhance your career development.

The sport and exercise science degree course has been co-designed with employers, ensuring you receive up-to-date and useful information, and you’ll also have the opportunity to engage in work-based placements, applying theory to practice and enhancing your employability prospects. There will also be live industry case studies as part of the core assessment diet.

All of our sport courses will provide additional, employability based qualifications at the same time as your course, building your knowledge and improving your prospects. For this course, you could gain REPS fitness qualifications, providing you with the skills and knowledge you need to become a personal trainer.

The modules involved will cover the core disciplinary areas required – physiology, psychology, biomechanics and nutrition.

You'll have the option of taking a sandwich year between Year 2 and Year 3 of study. 


The British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences

This course is accredited by the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences.

Overseas opportunities

You can gain international insight and experience a new culture with our Erasmus exchange programme. Students have spent a term at a number of major institutions, including the University of San Diego in the USA, as well as destinations in Cyprus and Denmark.

Within the course, there will also be the opportunity for international exchanges, as well as trips to sporting locations across Europe. 

Further study

You could progress on to a Masters course, including our new MSc Sports Therapy, or move into a teaching-based qualification, such as a PGCE.

Trips and visits

Alongside international exchanges, there will also be the opportunity to take international trips, taking mobile kit out and conducting tests and exercises in different climates and cultures. 

Enhance your employability skills

Sport and Exercise Science covers a wide range of roles, sectors and challenges, giving you a wide range of career options upon graduating. Placements and live case studies, provided by existing sports teams and organisations, will increase your job prospects.


Our partnerships with Warwickshire Cricket Club and Sport Birmingham will provide you with the opportunity to undertake valuable work placements. You'll be able to gain first-hand experience, assisting with fitness testing, lab-based research and exercise regimes.

Sport Birmingham works with sports coaches and staff, so you’ll be working alongside trained professionals who can impart advice and guidance. You could also undertake placements with professional sports teams, organisations and education facilities.

More about our placement opportunities...


OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.


BCU Graduate+

Through our courses we give you the skills and experience needed to get a head start when applying for jobs. But we offer something extra too – Graduate+.

Our unique programme gives you the chance to develop valuable skills outside of the more formal classroom learning. We award points for Graduate+ activities (including firewalking!) and these can be put towards a final Graduate+ award.

More about Graduate+

Graduate jobs

Upon graduating, you'll have the opportunity to enter a number of exciting and relevant job roles. Career opportunities include sport and exercise science support, health and fitness industries, professional sport, sport coaching, sports development and the armed forces.

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

The UK remains one of the world's leading study destinations

The UK remains one of the world's leading study destinations for international students.

The first-class experience offered by universities are reflected in the world’s largest survey of international students. International students are more likely to recommend the UK than any other leading English-language study destination.

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.


BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.

Learn more about BCUIC

Our Facilities

The creation of our new suite of courses in Sport and Life Sciences is yet another exciting development at Birmingham City University. The 10,500sq metre building at City South Campus will enable us to offer a wide range of new health, nutrition, biomedical science and sports courses, as well as providing a new home for our education programmes.

Not only are we investing £41 million in a new building to house the laboratories and teaching spaces needed, but we also plan to open up these facilities to benefit all students and the wider community. This will complement our existing sports facilities, which already provide a base for students to compete in activities ranging from rugby to .

The courses will reflect the latest developments in our teaching and our focus on practice-led learning with work placements and live industry case studies incorporated into the curriculum. All courses have been co-designed with employers and are endorsed or accredited by professional bodies where appropriate.

By expanding our provision to these new areas, we will be helping to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing society today, such as obesity and unhealthy lifestyles, by encouraging and supporting healthy eating and greater physical activity.

In addition, we will be producing graduates who can support elite performers in meeting the UK’s ambitions for sporting success at events such as the Olympics and other world sporting tournaments. We are constantly looking to enhance the range of courses we offer - please check all our courses for the latest additions to our portfolio.

Mary Seacole Library

The Seacole library, based at City South Campus, is one of the UK's largest specialist health education libraries. The facility offers an extensive range of range of information and reference materials set out in a relaxing environment, conducive to studying. There are comfortable seating areas, group study areas, a silent study area and private study rooms.

Computer Facilities

The Seacole building houses a large open access IT Suite which comprises of 96 PCs, printers, photocopiers and scanners. Our PCs utilise the latest Intel i5 core technology, all with:

  • Fast (unrestricted) internet connectivity
  • Ability to save files to USB, DVD & CD
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Research and statistical software
  • Storage space which can be accessed from any PC across the University and from home

Our PCs are also designed to support students who may have difficulties with reading and writing, featuring specialised software with zooming/magnification and screen reading capabilities, which may also be customised for individual student needs.

The IT Suite offers extended opening hours and is supported by a specialist Open Access Assistant during term time. In addition to the open access PCs within the IT Suite, there are 12 networked student PCs available within Seacole library.

Doug Ellis Sports Centre

Our £8.5 million Doug Ellis Sports Centre boasts an 80-station fitness suite, an eight-court sports hall, and workout and spinning studios. The centre offers state-of-the-art fitness training equipment and plenty of room for team sports including five-a-side football and cricket. An all-weather pitch adds the finishing touches to the centre, which is located close to our City North Campus.

Visitors to the gym can choose a personalised fitness programme, instructed by qualified fitness trainers, and take advantage of a selection of classes, such as yoga, salsa or body combat.

Doug Ellis Sports Centre website

Our staff

Our staff have PhDs in the key disciplinary areas of physiology, biomechanics and psychology. They also have incredible industry links and a wealth of experience, and often continue to work in their specialist areas.

Richard Blagrove profile

Richard Blagrove

Course Leader and Senior Lecturer for BSc Sport and Exercise Science

Richard is the Course Leader for the BSc Sport and Exercise Science. He previously worked at St Mary’s University for eight years as Programme Director for the BSc Strength and Conditioning Science, where he also managed the sport science support to The Royal Ballet Company in London, and was Lead Strength and Conditioning Coach for Sport and Health Services.

Adam Kelly

Adam Kelly

Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Science (Work-based Learning Coordinator)

Following seven years in an applied environment at Exeter City Football Club working as the Head of Academy Sport Science, Adam moved into the academic realm to facilitate his desire of becoming a world-leading expert in skill acquisition and sports coaching. Currently, he is a Lecturer in Sport & Exercise Science, whilst acting as the departments Work Based Learning Coordinator here at BCU.

Adam is also a PhD Research Scholar at the University of Exeter, investigating the talent identification and development process in an English football academy, joint funded by the University, Open Innovation, and Exeter City Football Club. Since joining BCU in January 2018, Adam has become an Academy Coach at West Bromwich Albion Football Club, alongside actively engaging with other national and regional institutions that reside locally to support both student learning through work based learning opportunities and research purposes, including organisations such as Warwickshire County Cricket Club, Worcester Warriors Rugby Football Club, UK Athletics, and Kidderminster Harriers Football Club.

Alongside seven projected publications from his PhD studies, Adam has been proactive in developing his personal research portfolio further, with relationships ongoing with Queens University in Canada surrounding ‘academy coach behaviours and player social interactions in youth football’, the Football Gene Project through ‘a multidisciplinary approach for using genetics for talent identification and development’, the University of Exeter regarding ‘RPE and HR loading in elite youth football players’, AFC Bournemouth focussing on ‘the effect of pitch size and player numbers when applying bio-banding’, and Cardiff Metropolitan University concerning ‘the effect of bio-banding on the psychological & physical returns compared to chronological age grouping’.

An example of his recent achievement as a researcher includes six successful abstract submissions, where he has presented at the European College of Sport and Exercise (ECSS) Conference in Germany, the British Psychological Society – Department of Sport & Exercise (BPS-DSE) Conference in Glasgow, the Expertise and Skill Acquisition Network (ESAN) Conference in Coventry, and the International Coaching Conference (CRiC) in Cardiff during 2017. Another two presentations, including the Movement & Skill Acquisition Ireland (MSAI) in Cork and the ECSS Conference in Dublin, are imminent in 2018.

His professional and academic qualifications include BASES accreditation as an Interdisciplinary Sport & Exercise Scientist, Associate Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA), the FA Advanced Youth Award (Level 4), MSc Sport & Health Science, and BA (Hons.) Football Studies. He also has ongoing CPD through engaging in British Psychological Society (BPS) accreditation, the PGCert (HE), Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA), and the FA UEFA A Licence.