Course details

Study options

Full-time: 3 years, Part-time: Up to 6 years

UK/EU fee

£9,250 per year (2020/21)

International fee

£14,045 per year (2020/21)

UCAS points

120 (September 2021 entry)

UCAS code


Course level



BSc (Hons)

Start date



Kedleston Road, Derby Campus

If you do not achieve the typical entry points required, you may want to consider studying this course with foundation year.

View with foundation year optionView with foundation year option

Course description

Could you inspire and motivate people to pursue healthier lifestyles? This degree equips you for a fulfilling future in health and exercise promotion.

This course has been designed and developed in collaboration with Derby City Council to provide you with the holistic skills you need for a career in all aspects of health and exercise promotion.

Physical Activity, Nutrition and Health at Derby

This specialist degree will equip you with the skills needed to make a real impact on improving health and wellbeing in today's society. You will also gain additional qualifications in gym instruction and personal training.

You'll explore the importance of physical activity and nutrition in preventing and managing disease, as well as promoting optimal health. You'll enjoy inspirational work placement opportunities with local partner organisations such as Move More Derby, Livewell Consortium and Sporting Futures. You'll draw on the latest scientific evidence, some of which is being developed by our own researchers.

The skills you will gain will help bring about positive change in individual attitudes to exercise and nutrition, and contribute towards meeting ambitious government and local authority targets for reducing inactivity.

A female preparing to lift an Olympic weights bar

Gain practical experience and additional qualifications

Through her course and work placement, BSc (Hons) Physical Activity, Nutrition and Health student, Natasha developed new skills in an area she felt passionate about.

Find out about Natasha's work experienceFind out about Natasha's work experience

Expert teaching

Many of our staff are actively involved in research, undertaking influential studies that are breaking new ground in their disciplines. Research within sport and exercise science includes improving athletes' performance through coaching, strength and conditioning, profiling and analysis, injury risk reduction, sports psychology, and the use of latest technologies. Others involve high-level scientific investigations on themes such as nutrition, metabolism, muscle physiology, respiratory systems, and balance control.

Broaden your skills portfolio

Using the latest specialist equipment, you’ll get involved in physiology testing and cardiometabolic health assessments, as well as psychology-based studies relating to exercise.

We have also mapped this programme to national standards for the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) so you will have opportunities to gain Level Two (gym instructor) and Level Three (personal trainer) accreditation.

Magdalena on a work placement

Physical Activity, Nutrition and Health: building confidence

Our Physical Activity, Nutrition and Health student Magdalena Slavikova worked on a national health promotion programme for her placement allowing her to build confidence and develop her skills.

Find out about Magdalena's experience on her placementFind out about Magdalena's experience on her placement

Outstanding specialist facilities

Our £10.8m Sports Centre includes a main hall, fitness gym with strength and conditioning area, studios, squash and badminton courts, an internal climbing wall, sprint track, changing rooms, treatment rooms and a café. It complements our existing facilities such as floodlit all-weather pitches and tennis courts.

We have invested in cutting-edge facilities. You will hone your skills in a well-equipped sport and exercise facility and measure the parameters of health and fitness. In addition, we use a range of computer software packages for statistical analysis. 

You’ll also be well catered for if you want to take part in recreational sport – whether as a first-timer or as an elite performer.  We have a new 44-station fitness facility at our Kedleston Road site, equipped with up-to-the-minute Technogym and Wellness system technology.

Join Team Derby

If you enjoy a challenge and would like to make the most of your own sporting passion and prowess, you could become involved with Team Derby which is the focal point for the University’s sporting community. It encompasses all aspects of sport, including courses, numerous sports clubs, the Athletics Union and sport development activities.

A video featuring out students experiences on the performance sport programme at University of Derby

View Performance Sport at Derby video transcript

What you will study

Year 1Year 1Year 2Year 2Optional Placement YearOptional Placement YearYear 3Year 3

Code: 4SO500

Academic and Research Skills for Sport and Exercise

This module is taught in two parts: Academic skills and research skills. The academic skills component provides students with grounding in the key skills needed to be successful at undergraduate study; including, literature searching, literature review, academic writing, referencing, and presentation skills. The research skills component gives students an introduction to qualitative and quantitative research methods, including descriptive statistics.

Students will learn how to collect and interpret data using a range of approaches including questionnaires, interviews and experimental methods. The emphasis on the module is to develop student’s confidence in engaging with academic literature including the associated terminology.

Personal Development Planning (PDP) will be embedded into the program with a series of “step-to-success” workshops which will support students in their professional development . Students will be required to engage with the PDP programme by collating hours in a Sport and Exercise based placement in addition to participation in associated activities in an area related to sport.

Most of the delivery will be based on seminar sessions wherein students will be given structured tasks which will be completed individually or in groups. Delivery and assessment will provide students with the opportunity to engage and explore their own area of interest with respect to the associated academic literature.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 4SO501

Principles of Sport and Exercise Psychology

The role of psychology is an increasingly important and recognised aspect of participation and performance in sport and exercise contexts. This module examines various personality and social-psychological factors that impact upon participation and performance.

The module offers a range of sport and exercise psychology topics focusing on three main areas: 1) Individual participants in sport and exercise, 2) Strategies for performance enhancement, and 3) Groups, group processes, and intergroup relations. For each topic, theories and research evidence are applied to practical examples.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 4SO508

Principles of Sport and Exercise Physiology

Knowledge of how the different parts of the body function during physical activity is necessary to understand how humans can take part in sport and exercise.

This module examines the basic physiology of the relevant body systems. What these systems consist of, how they function and how they respond to an acute bout of physical activity will be considered. In addition to building core knowledge of sport and exercise physiology, students will acquire a set of core skills in the laboratory. This module underpins the subsequent study of sport, exercise and health, and is therefore important preparation for modules at Levels 5 and 6.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 4SO509

Introduction to Anatomy for Sport & Exercise

This module provides students with a theoretical understanding of human anatomy. The module considers the human body in action and aims to introduce students to the integrated function of anatomical systems during physical activity and exercise. The module will incorporate both theoretical and practical elements to ensure students are given the appropriate opportunity to develop their knowledge and understanding of anatomy within an applied context.
20 Credits

Code: 4SO510

Principles of Physical Activity, Nutrition and Health

This module aims to provide students with an introduction to the theoretical principles and practical applications of physical activity, nutrition and health. There will be an introduction to health, which explores current UK government-supported policy in this area (both nutrition and physical activity policies).

The module allows students to understand the relationship between physical activity, nutrition and population health. Specific emphasis will be on reviewing physical activity and nutrition policies/strategies and the associated initiatives/campaigns, the challenges for implementation and debating the relevance and application to address the problem of sedentary behaviour and poor nutritional intake.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 4SO511

Professional Placement 1

The overall aim of the module is to provide directed real world learning and reflective opportunities within the physical activity, health and wellbeing sector. This module introduces the linkage of core competencies, knowledge and skills required to work within the physical activity, health and wellbeing sector.

The module provides an insightful experience to working with key population groups across the lifespan. The key focus of the module is placed upon the health specialist’s role in working with different populations and developing reflective skills as a health professional. In addition to the above, the module also introduces practical elements of the evaluation and monitoring of health strategies and programmes within the area to support the council’s work to make effective health interventions.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 5BY500

Nutrition and Metabolism for Sport and Exercise

This module investigates the function and role of dietary macro nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats and proteins, micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals, supplements/ergogenic aids and fluid consumption on sport and exercise performance.
20 Credits

Code: 5SO501

Physical Activity and Health

This module will enable students to understand the incidence and causes of mortality and morbidity. The benefits of physical activity on multiple facets of health such as coronary heart disease, metabolic syndrome, obesity and cancer will be discussed. The module will also examine health promotion initiatives put forward by a range of organisations, and the methods by which people can be motivated to become more physically active for health benefit.
20 Credits

Code: 5SO502

Research Methods for Sport and Exercise

This module builds upon the knowledge and skills developed in the level 4 Research and Academic Skills module. The module is designed to prepare students for their dissertation at level 6. Students will conduct a systematic literature review in a topic area related to their degree, in order to develop a coherent research question.

Particular emphasis will be given to developing a robust rationale for the research question proposed based on a review of existing literature. Furthermore, students will propose a research methodology based on the rationale developed. The overall focus of the module is on the process of “doing research”, and this will reflect in the delivery methods used. As such, students will be encouraged to explore the suitability different methodologies with respect to the research question asked. There will be the opportunity within sessions for students to attempt to critically review literature, and peer review research proposals. In addition to developing a research rationale and design for a proposed research project, students will undertake a range of in-class assessed qualitative and quantitative data analysis tasks using appropriate software, including descriptive and inferential statistics.

The Steps-to-Success programme will be implemented in this module, in conjunction with the employability and careers office. The focus will be placed on graduate schemes, teacher training, networking, job applications and masters programmes. Students will be required to engage with the Professional Development Planning (PDP) for Sport and Exercise programme by collating hours in a Sport and Exercise based placement in addition to participation in associated activities in an area related to sport.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

  1. Develop a coherent research question based on a review of the associated academic literature
  2. Provide a robust rationale for the research question proposed based on academic literature
  3. Develop a suitable research methodology for the proposed research question
  4. Analyse and interpret quantitative and qualitative data gathered from a range of research methods used in sport and exercise
  5. Demonstrate evidence of Professional Development through engagement with PDP and Sport and Exercise placement

Module content

The module will focus on the following topic areas:

  • Research proposal writing
  • Literature review
  • Research question rational
  • Research methodology (quantitative and qualitative)
  • Reliability and validity
  • Thematic analysis
  • Descriptive statistics
  • Inferential statistics
  • Probability and significance
  • Reporting/summarising data
More information
20 Credits

Code: 5SO516

Professional Placement 2

Building on professional placement 1, this module examines the physical activity, health and wellbeing sector in greater detail. Students will be expected to demonstrate and develop a greater understanding of the necessary professional portfolio of skills required to be successful in the physical activity, health and wellbeing sector. This will be achieved by working with a small number of population groups in greater depth and breadth.
20 Credits

Code: 5SO517

Lifestyle and Behaviour Change

Lifestyle change specialists need and sound understanding of theory and strong practical skills to support clients in making changes. This module introduces exercise and health psychology theories and models that facilitate understanding of behaviour and behaviour change. Students will also be taught evidence-based techniques to enhance their communication and coaching skills when working one-on-one with clients and role play/real-play will be a key component of this module.
20 Credits

Code: 5SO518

Nutrition for Public Health

The overall aim of this module is to describe and evaluate the links between dietary intake, nutritional policy and the health of individuals and populations across the lifespan.

This module aims to investigate how diet as a modifiable risk factor can affect the risk for chronic diseases, and how this relationship can affect public health policy. An accurate understanding of the contributors, prevalence and severity of nutritional problems is essential to designing effective public health programmes for the alleviation of both obesity and malnutrition and their associated adverse effects on health, quality of life and/or developmental outcomes.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 5SO528

Applied Professional Practice

This module provides a framework for the development of “lifelong learning” skills appropriate to all areas of professional practice; including objective setting, planning, negotiating, implementing, demonstrating and reflecting. The emphasis in this module is on the analysis and evaluation of the work completed within the organisation. This module also gives students an opportunity to relate their academic knowledge to the work environment.
40 Credits

Code: 5SO529

Contemporary Issues in Professional Practice

Students need to be aware of the commercial realities and external factors that influence the success of an organisation. This module provides opportunities for students to acquire an understanding of contemporary issues that may impact on industrial and professional practices relevant to a career within their chosen discipline.

During this period of work experience, students can gain a deeper appreciation of the responsibilities arising from both corporate and individual responses to such issues, thus enabling them to relate to the wider world when exploring a personal direction for potential career development.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 6SO502

Biomedical Implications of Exercise, Activity and Health

The high incidence of lifestyle-related health problems like coronary heart disease, obesity and stress means that increased activity and programmes that encourage and support the adoption and maintenance of healthy lifestyles are becoming increasingly important.

The challenge of increasing the level of physical activity requires an understanding of individual and situational factors that inhibit regular exercise. It is also recognised that that several clinical populations could benefit from regular activity (e.g. cardiac rehabilitation, osteoporosis and diabetes) and medical teams dealing with such patient groups need an understanding of how to promote long-term adherence to exercise. The module deals with the biomedical, lifestyle and physiological aspects of disease in normal and clinical populations. The health benefits of improved lifestyle and increased activity and underlying mechanisms and will be explored.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 6SO510

Advanced Nutrition and Metabolism for Sport and Exercise

This module builds on the basic grounding delivered in 5BY500 Nutrition and Metabolism for Sport & Exercise. Students will investigate a variety of pertinent topics such as but not limited to: nutraceuticals / synergistic use of ergogenic aids in sport and exercise performance, nutrition and immune function, nutrition for the global athlete, dysfunctional approaches to nutrition in athletes (i.e. fe/male athlete triad) and nutritional strategies for exercise in extreme environments.

The module will also progress student’s knowledge in more advanced topics of nutrition for sport and exercise such as the direct/indirect role of nutrigenomics and/or nutrigenetics on health and sport and exercise performance.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 6SO515

International Public Health Nutrition

This module aims to investigate how diet as a modifiable risk factor can affect the risk for chronic diseases, and how this relationship can affect public health policy across different population groups at a global level. In particular, this module will look at the differences/similarities in dietary issues faced by western (i.e. USA/Canada) and eastern (African/Asian) populations.

As such, this module provides students with an understanding of the main determinants of key international nutritional issues such as malnutrition and/or obesity, methods of nutritional assessment and approaches to nutritional intervention in both developmental and emergency contexts. It covers global nutrition epidemiology and policy, as well as focusing on more practical field issues across different population groups at an international level.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 6SO516

Professional Placement 3

Building on professional placements 1 and 2, this module incorporates a greater proportion of work based learning in order for the student to develop knowledge and expertise with respect of designing contextually appropriate strategies to address specific physical activity, health and wellbeing sector issues.
20 Credits

Code: 6SO998

Independent Study for Sport and Exercise

The independent studies module provides students with the opportunity to reflect and build upon their subject knowledge and expertise by conducting an in-depth investigation; requiring a systematic and significant application of both acquired research skills and understanding.

The investigation may adopt a variety of frameworks, typically dependent upon a combination of both the discipline and topic in question. The rationale being to avoid limiting the students to the traditional empirical research format; instead empowering them to select an investigatory design that is best suited to the conduct, completion and presentation of the study in focus e.g. an industry report or an individually focused / institutionally targeted case study etc. 

Irrespective of the study framework, all work requires students to apply critical scrutiny and analysis to a diversity of appropriate theories, concepts and procedures. Such work will inevitably relate to a field of study deemed appropriate by a specialist in the area. The module offers the opportunity to develop an in-depth critical understanding alongside the refinement of both their subject and research skills.

More information
40 Credits

Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

Side-on portrait of a young student with purple bokeh lights in the background

Campus Tours

Campus Tours are a great way to explore our campuses, facilities and halls of residence. We’ll be running the tours in two-hour timeslots, giving you the best possible experience while adhering to social distancing guidelines.

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Virtual Open Day

Delve deeper into the course with our Virtual Open Day, packed with subject and course information to help you make your choice, including tours of facilities, 360° views of award-winning accommodation plus advice and insight from students and academics.

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How you will learn

You’ll learn through a variety of lectures, seminars, practical’s, and technology enhanced innovative learning solutions. You’ll be involved in physiology testing, psychology-based case studies relating to exercise, whilst learning cardiometabolic health assessment techniques. In addition, you will also acquire essential work-based skills and knowledge through regular work placements with Derby City Move More Consortium and other local organisations/companies.

"Placement is a perfect opportunity to enrich yourself with new knowledge - you'll see how the world works. You'll meet new people and you'll gain and improve your skills and abilities useful for both study and life. It can open the door to your future career."


You will be assessed on your knowledge, understanding, and applied practical and research skills through a range of well-balanced assessment methods. These include oral presentations, written assignments, practical’s, exams and research projects. Assessments will take place in our specialist facilities and will give you with the skills required for future employment.

Personal academic tutoring

Your personal academic tutor will work with you to help you get the most out of your time at university. Having someone to talk to about your academic progress, your university experience and your professional aspirations is hugely valuable. We want you to feel challenged in your studies, stretched but confident to achieve your academic and professional goals.

Find out more about personal academic tutoring

Who will teach you

Dr Stuart Mourton

Dr Stuart Mourton
Programme leader

Programme Leader - BSc Sport and Exercise Science, Lecturer in Motor Control

View full staff profileView full staff profile

Entry requirements

September 2021 typical entry requirements

RequirementWhat we're looking for
UCAS points120
Specific requirements at A-level

No specific subject requirements

Specific requirements at GCSEGCSE Maths and English Grade C/Grade 4 (or above) or equivalent qualification
IELTS6.0 (with 5.5 in each skills area)
Interview / AuditionN/A

Alternative entry qualifications:

We usually consider an A-level in General Studies as a supplementary qualification. A good application/performance will be taken into account if you do not meet the criteria/offer conditions.

An Enhanced Disclosure & Barring Service certificate cleared by the University is required for this course. We will contact you with information on how to complete this once you have applied. More information.

Our entry requirements for this course should be read together with the University's general entry requirements, which details subjects we accept, alternative qualifications and what we're looking for at Derby.

Fees and funding

2020/21 Fees


£9,250 per year

£1,155 per 20 credit module


£14,045 per year


Further information about our fees and support you may be entitled to.

Additional costs and optional extras

How to apply

UK/EU students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Part-time students should apply directly to the University.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for EU students post-Brexit

International students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for international applicants applying for an undergraduate degree


Our BSc (Hons) Physical Activity, Nutrition and Health course is designed to make you highly employable. You will graduate with the applied experience, knowledge and professionalism you need for a variety of careers related to community development, nutrition and healthy eating promotion, health improvement, exercise referral and lifestyle management. Along with your subject-specific knowledge, you’ll graduate with a wide range of transferable skills – such as communication, problem-solving, research and presentation skills – which will stand you in good stead wherever your career takes you.

You could secure employment with a wide range of organisations including the NHS, local councils and public health agencies. With postgraduate teacher training, there are opportunities to go into educational careers too.

You could also consider taking your qualifications to the next level. We now offer the MSc Applied Sport and Exercise Science – which includes Sport and Exercise Psychology or Physiology pathways – where you will develop advanced knowledge in your subject.

Both these postgraduate courses offer you the chance to develop teaching abilities and the knowledge which could pave the way to study at PhD level. 

Through our Professional Development Package, you'll gain valuable transferable skills, including:

Careers and Employment Service

To boost your employment skills, you can access the University's Careers and Employment Service. The team can connect you with employers to help find opportunities for work placements, part-time jobs, and volunteering. Our careers consultants are also on hand to guide you through the career options for your degree, CV writing, or starting your own business - and we commit to helping you for three years after you graduate to find a job. 

Contact us

If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.

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Additional information about your studies

Teaching hours

Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.

Additional costs and optional extras

We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, excellent facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.

The information below is correct for entry in the academic year September 2020 - August 2021 only. Entry for future academic years may be subject to change.

Included in your fees

Mandatory costs not included in your fees

Optional costs not included in your fees

Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.

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