Sport and Exercise Science - BSc (Hons)

  • UCAS Code: C600
  • Level: Undergraduate
  • Starting: September 2020
  • Study mode: Full Time (3 years)
  • Location: City South

Our Sport and Exercise Science course will equip you with the skills to become a practitioner in the sport and exercise industry; either helping leading athletes to achieve their potential, or working with members of the public to achieve their goals. You will be taught in our recently extended £71 million City South Campus based in Edgbaston, Birmingham. 

What's covered in the course?

The course explores the science of 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 opportunities.

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?

  • Professional accreditation - this course is accredited by the British Association for Sport and Exercise Science (BASES) to ensure content is relevant and up-to-date with industry standards
  • Gain relevant work experience - There will be live projects to work on with professional sports teams, as well as optional work-based learning experience, enabling you to gain first-hand experience and build your knowledge. See what some of our students have been up to
  • Study at our £71 million campus - we have recently invested an additional £41 million into our £30 million City South campus complete with new, state-of-the-art facilities and cutting-edge resources and equipment – including a nutrition kitchen, environmental chamber,
  • Physiology and Bio-mechanics laboratory
  • Expert knowledge - you'll receive talks from guest lecturers who work within the sector and can provide relevant, up-to-date advice.
  • Get work experience abroad - you can apply for a travel scholarship and take part in exchange programmes, as part of our Go Abroad scheme to carry out exciting work placements overseas
  • Partnerships - our Sport and Exercise department works in partnership with professional sports clubs such as Warwickshire County Cricket Club and Kidderminster Harriers Football Club
  • Flexible course structure - 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

Students outside Millennium Point

Open Days

Our next Open Day for this course will take place on Saturday 19 October 2019. Book your place to see our facilities and speak to our staff and students.

Book your place

This course is open to International students

Sport at BCU feature image

Sport at BCU

Check out our sport facilities, clubs, athlete support and weekly activity sessions that are offered here at BCU. 

Find out more

Course Accreditations

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.

BASES

Entry Requirements

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

GCSEs - A minimum of 5 GCSEs, including Double Science, Mathematics and English Language at Grade 4 (formerly a C) or above. No equivalents can be accepted. 

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:
96 - 112 UCAS points, including an A Level or BTEC as detailed below: 

A Level: To include one subject in Biology / Human Biology / Chemistry / Physics / Mathematics / Psychology / Physical Education with minimum Grade C.

Access to HE: You must have a Diploma to Science (QAA approved) with 60 credits overall and 45 credits at level 3. A minimum of 30 Level 3 credits must be at distinction, and must include Biology or Chemistry at Level 3 or Health Subject.

BTEC Extended Diploma: in Biology / Sport / Applied Science / Health 

BTEC Diploma: in Biology / Sport / Applied Science / Health 

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.

WJEC Level 3 Applied Diploma in Medical Science 112 UCAS tariff points which must be combined with other acceptable Level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum of 112 tariff points. 
International qualifications:

International Baccalaureate: Obtain a minimum of 28 points overall with grade 4 or above in at least one Higher Level subject from Group 4. 

Applicants who have not received their secondary school education in English will require an overall IELTS score of 6.0.

Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.

International Students

Entry requirements here

Don’t meet our entry requirements?

You could apply for a foundation course or a course at our International College. These routes have lower entry requirements and act as the bridge to a full degree. To find out more, please select your status:

Home student International student

  • UK students
  • EU and International students

Award: BSc (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2020

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees

Award: BSc (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2020

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 3 years
  • £12,800 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

UCAS

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 One

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).

Professional Skills and Evidence-Based Practice
20 credits

This module covers the process of research and enquiry in the discipline of sports and exercise science, nutrition, sports therapy, and PE and School Sport. It provides guidance on how to interpret scientific literature, so that you can find relevant sources of information for a study or an assessment, gain an understanding of different sources of information and consider how knowledge is generated.

Introduction to Sport and Exercise Science
20 credits

This module aims to explore the wide-ranging activities of practitioners working in the sport and exercise science industry to enable you to appreciate the inter-disciplinary nature of professional practice. You will be introduced to the skills and knowledge required to work within the disciplines of physiology, nutrition, psychology and biomechanics, and how practitioners from these areas can work collaboratively to solve a variety of problems related to sports performance, exercise and health.

Sport and Exercise Physiology and Principles of Training
20 credits

This module aims to provide you with the underpinning knowledge of various physiological systems in the human body, and key training principles, which relate to sport and exercise. You will be introduced to the concept of the body working as multiple interrelated physiological ‘systems’.

Practical Skills in Sport and Exercise Nutrition
20 credits

This module aims to provide you with an introduction to the core practical competencies required in sport and exercise nutrition. You will consider a vast array of nutrition-related measurements including: energy balance (intake and expenditure); anthropometrical assessments; body composition, methods of assessing dietary intake; and both physiological and biochemical markers of nutritional status.

Applied Anatomy
20 credits

This module provides an introduction to human anatomy, relating to structures, properties and functions of bones, joints, tendons, ligaments and muscle, in relation to the mechanical principles, which govern human movement.

Biomechanics of Human Movement
20 credits

The primary purpose of this module is to introduce the mechanical principles that govern human movement and thus equip students not only with the ability to observe and measure human movement (i.e. to describe movement), but also to begin to understand the mechanisms by which human movement is controlled and effected (i.e. to explore why we move the way that we do).

Year Two

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).

Performance Analysis
40 credits

This module aims to provide an insight into the strategies that can be used to analyse and quantify sports performance in a valid and consistent manner to help inform training and match-play decisions. Specific focus is placed upon the process of conducting a comprehensive needs analysis of a sport including tactics, techniques, and bioenergetics.

Sport and Exercise Physiology and Nutrition
20 credits

In this module, you will learn how manipulation of both physiology and nutrition can impact aspects of health, exercise and sports performance. You will gain extensive knowledge on how the human body tolerates and adapts to a physiological stressor both acutely and chronically.

Planning and Conducting Research
20 credits

This module is a key part of the BSc Sport and Exercise Science, Sports Therapy, Sport and Exercise Nutrition, and PE and School Sport Programmes in that it is studied in preparation for your Level 6 Final Year Project. Information and activities on more complex inferential statistics will be presented building on from your level 4 research module.

Sport and Exercise Psychology
20 credits

This module aims to develop your knowledge of the most common psychological processes in sport and exercise and will help you recognise situations where psychological frameworks may be useful in sport and exercise.

Practical PE and Sport: Applied Pedagogy
20 credits

Within this module students will learn about a range of pedagogical practices which bring about high quality PE lessons where students are physically active for sustained periods of time. Students will identify the key principles of high quality teaching practice and relate these to practical experiences of teaching PE and sport.

Year Three

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 80 credits).

Strength and Conditioning
20 credits

This module aims to develop the skills required to coach and evaluate training methods in strength and conditioning. You will examine contemporary training theories and successfully apply the principles when coaching athletes.

Exercise Referral and Behaviour Change
20 credits

This module aims to develop your understanding of exercise referral. It aims to specifically develop your understanding of assessing, monitoring and managing risk to clients arising from exercise participation throughout the referral period.

Independent Research Project
40 credits

This module provides you with the opportunity to design and carry out a substantive piece of independent research which is focused on an area of interest related to your programme of study. This in-depth, self-managed study will encourage you to examine a critical issue from your sector or discipline.

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete at least 20 credits from the following list of OPTIONAL modules for SEMESTER A.

All core modules are guaranteed to run. Optional modules will vary from year to year and the published list is indicative only.

Environmental Physiology
20 credits

In this module you will build upon your knowledge acquired in level 5 Sport and Exercise Physiology and Nutrition. This will include applying both theoretical and practical knowledge on how different environments affect human physiology in reference to both sports performance and health. In particular, this module considers the human capability to exercise in, tolerate, and adapt to, the conditions encountered in various environments. There will be a special focus on how hypoxic training methods can be used to enhance training adaptations. Some of the environments covered include hypoxic, hot, cold, and humid conditions.

Pyscho-Social Aspects of Physical Activity
20 credits

Within this module students will learn about a range of psychological and theoretical frameworks which support physical activity behaviours. Key principles promoting a healthy and physically active lifestyle from a psychological and practical perspective will be taught. This module is underpinned by the need, as a developing PE and school sport practitioner, to be aware of the wide range of psychological influences present when working within a PE and school sport environment. The range of teaching theories will be applied in practice so that students are able to experience and apply theory in real-life situations. This will provide the opportunity to reflect on best practice when completing work placement modules.

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete a further 20 credits from the following list of OPTIONAL modules for SEMESTER B.

All core modules are guaranteed to run. Optional modules will vary from year to year and the published list is indicative only.

Psychological Perspectives of Athletic Development
20 credits

This module aims to further develop your understanding of the psychological aspects of development and progress in sport. The module also explores the various ways this topic is researched. The underlying aim of the module is to contribute to your development as a more thoughtful and effective sport scientist. It will equip you with a range of strategies and tools for investigating the psychological aspects of athletic development.

Performance Development in Relation to Sport or Exercise
20 credits

This optional applied module will enhance your interdisciplinary knowledge and understanding of sport science or exercise science. The module aims to develop some of the skills you will require to work in a sport and exercise setting. You will undertake a 12 week ‘case-study’ where you will provide advice and support to an athlete, team or health-based client. The case study aims to allow you to critically analyse a sport or individual, and interpret and synthesize data so it can be communicated in a way that is understandable to a coach, client or practitioner. You will also have the opportunity to develop essential communication skills.

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. 

 

BASES
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.

Placements

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

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.

Firewalking

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

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

Our sports facilities include a fitness suite, sports hall, biomechanics lab, nutrition kitchen, research lab and sports therapy clinic. Over £750,00 has been spent on our sports facilities making them industry-standard to expose students to systems and equipment that they will be expected to use in the work place after graduating.

These facilities mean that our students are able to host and work with professional sports teams, schools and clients which provides students with real-life experience right here on campus. 

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.

Adam Kelly

Dr Adam Kelly

Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Science

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 sports psychology and coaching; more specifically investigating talent identification and development in youth sport. Currently, he is a Lecturer in Sport & Exercise Science at Birmingham City University, whilst acting as his Departments’ Research Coordinator, Ethics Champion, and Work Based Learning Coordinator.

Read Adam's full profile

Richard Handyside

Richard Handyside

Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Science

Richard has extensive applied experience in the field of Performance Analysis, having provided Performance Analysis support to elite, coaches and athletes at the The English Institute of Sport, England Netball, Arsenal Football Club and Leeds United Football Club. Winning a Gold Medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, Australia, and subsequent BBC SPOTY Team of the Year and Moment of the Year award wins with England Netball were undoubtedly career highlights.

Read Richard's full profile