Could you inspire and motivate people to pursue healthier lifestyles? This degree equips you for a fulfilling future in health and exercise promotion.
Prepare for a professional career in the wider exercise and health sector
Choose an innovative programme with a distinctive multidisciplinary approach
Enjoy unique work placement opportunities and build your network of contacts with our partner, the Derby City Move More Consortium, as well as many more local organisations, such as Disability Opportunities in Sport UK who run specialised basketball classes for individuals with varied disabilities classes for individuals with learning disabilities and mental wellbeing
Gain practical experience working in different settings and with different clients
Strengthen your CV by achieving additional qualifications: level 2 gym instructor qualification and level 3 personal trainer qualification
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.
93%of students agreed staff are good at explaining things**BSc (Hons) Physical Activity, Nutrition and Health - National Student Survey 2022
Sport and Exercise Science - your questions answered
In the below video, Head of Discipline for Sport and Exercise Science, Andy Hooton, answers some of the most frequently asked questions about Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Derby. You can also watch exclusive subject content by signing up to Derby on Demand.
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.
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.
You'll be taught by a range of staff who have extensive knowledge in the area of physical activity, nutrition and health including:
Dr Stuart Mourton (Programme Leader): Stuart is a professional member of BASES. He also undertakes research in the area of motor control, skill acquisition and cognitive functioning. Outside of his roles at the University, he volunteers with Special Olympics and works with the SO West Midlands ski group.
Dr Clare Roscoe: Clare is passionate about the physical activity levels of both children and adults. Her research interests are predominantly based on physical activity levels and fundamental movement skills in British preschool children. She has previously been involved with the 'Derby A City on the Move' project, which was funded by Sport England and aimed to encourage inactive people in Derby to take part in sport.
Dr Corinna Chidley: Corinna spent several years working in the elite sports industry and brings a wealth of applied experience into the classroom. She also undertakes regular applied nutrition work through the University's Human Performance Unit helping athletes reach their performance goals. Her research is predominantly focused on the relationship between sport and exercise and immune function.
Dr Andy Pringle: Andy has over 25 years of experience working in Higher Education and five years of experience working in the NHS as a health promotion specialist. Andy is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Public Health and a NICE Guidelines Implementation Expert. He has led a number of national evaluations of multi-site physical activity programmes including those for the Premier League, Department of Health and Sport England.
Dr Ruth Ashton: Ruth teaches in the areas of exercise physiology and physical activity and health. Her current research focuses on exercise in adults with chronic diseases, in particular those diagnosed with cancer or cardiovascular disease. Her research looks at how exercise can be an adjunctive therapy to conventional treatment to improve overall health and quality of life.
Dr Joel Chidley: Joel has a great depth of knowledge in a range of outdoor sports and activities which he brings to the classroom. He has two key interests which are physical activity behaviour, from a health perspective, and adventure sport performance.
Dr Shuge Zhang: Shuge is a professional member of BASES, ECSS, FEPSAC, and has contributed to writing many pieces for prestigious academic journals, such as Psychology of Sport & Exercise, Sport, Exercise, & Performance Psychology, European Journal of Sport Science, and Personality and Individual Differences. His work has contributed to the understanding of the personality factors and the associated psychological process underpinning physical activity and offered implications for exercise and health promotion.
Many of our staff are actively involved in research, undertaking influential studies that are breaking new ground in their discipline including topics such as:
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.
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.
In this video Dr Ruth Ashton, Lecturer in Exercise Physiology, discusses her industry experience since graduating, the research she has carried out, her specialism in health-based sport and how this is being implemented in the curriculum of our Sport and Exercise Science courses.
Our Performance Suite
Our Performance Suite allows Sport and Exercise Science students to learn about performance analysis, biomechanics, strength and conditioning, and injury prevention. As well as elite athletes outside of the University, you'll also be working with our Team Derby athletes to help them improve their performance and successfully compete. Take a look at the Performance Suite and Vicon cameras in action:
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.
The University of Derby is a sporting hub for talented athletes and coaches. We have a track record of improving the performance of our University sports clubs and we have created an infrastructure to provide support for talented athletes. We offer a Sports Scholarship programme that aims to help talented student-athletes realise their sporting potential while supporting them through their academic studies. We offer scholarships of up to £6,000 and provide tailored athlete-support packages delivered by an experienced multi-disciplinary Performance Sport team. Two of the Universities most recent successful sports scholars are Charlie Tanfield (World Champion and Commonwealth Cycling gold medallist) and Jack Burnell (European Open Water silver medallist 2016 and Olympian 2016).
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. You can also take part in the national BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport) competitions.
When Mark Faghy first arrived in Derby as a teenage undergraduate, he stated proudly that his goal was to become manager of the England football team. Now he is a respected research academic leading an international collaboration in the fight against Covid. And his students are helping.
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.
As a lecturer in sport and exercise nutrition, Dr Chidley leads and delivers modules across programmes within the School of Outdoor and Exercise Science. Dr Chidley has extensive experience working in elite sport as a performance nutritionist.
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.
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:
Written and verbal communication
Research and analytical
Personal motivation, organisation and self-reflection
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.
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.
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 provided on this page is correct at the time of publication but course content, costs and other individual course details do change from time to time and are updated as often as possible, so please do check these pages again when making your final decision to apply for a course. Any updated course details will also be confirmed to you at application, enrolment and in your offer letter.
Included in your fees
To welcome you to our team, you'll receive a University of Derby, Sport and Exercise Science t-shirt
Register of Exercise Professionals Level 2 Gym Instructor and Level 3 Personal Trainer Awards (fully funded). We will contribute to or pay the full cost of other additional qualifications which are arranged by us. For other additional qualifications you are interested in, we may contribute to or fund these too but this is at the Sport department's discretion)
If a DBS check is needed for the purposes of a module or programme related work placement, this is included in your fee if done via the University
Mandatory costs not included in your fees
If not already owned, appropriate clothing for practical sessions such as tracksuit bottoms and trainers - approximate cost is £50-£100
Two bound copies of your Independent Study (dissertation) - approximate cost is £12
Travel to placements, mainly Derby locations, but some of our students have travelled to Manchester and Sheffield - approximate cost is £30-£40 but is dependent on your placement venue of choice
Optional costs not included in your fees
Recommended books - approximate cost is £30-£40 per module
Memberships of clubs and societies you may be interested in joining
You may wish to undertake additional qualifications as part of your studies - costs will vary depending on your choice
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.