Undergraduate Course

Sport and Exercise Science with Foundation Year

BSc (Hons)

Available in clearing

 - Call 01332 592024

Course details

Study options

Full-time: 4 years

UK fee

£9,250 per year (2024/25)

International fee

£14,900 per year (2024/25)

UCAS points

72 (September 2024 entry)

UCAS code


Course level



BSc (Hons)

Start date



Kedleston Road, Derby Campus

Our foundation year will help you hit the ground running if you want to gain a respected honours degree in Sport and Exercise Science.

This is a challenging and action-packed course for anyone with a keen interest in the science behind sport and exercise.

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. 

Andy Hooton, Head of Discipline of Sport and Exercise Science.

View Sport and Exercise Science - your questions answered! video transcript

Video embed-https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mikL_-_StrQ&feature=youtu.be

100%of students agreed that staff are good at explaining thingsBSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science - National Student Survey 2024
100%of students agreed that staff make the subject engagingBSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science - National Student Survey 2024
97%of students agreed they were satisfied with the academic supportBSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science - National Student Survey 2024

Sport and Exercise Science at Derby

This exhilarating course deepens your understanding of the science behind sport and exercise, so you’ll investigate the roles of biomechanics, physiology and psychology in sport performance.

We place great emphasis on helping you realise your career potential. You can tailor your studies to match your career plans by selecting modules in specialist areas such as nutrition, performance analysis, and strength and conditioning. Masterclasses delivered by sport and exercise science professionals will also give you insights into the employment opportunities which lie ahead.

Practical scientific skills lie at the heart of this degree. When you graduate, you will be fully equipped to test and measure health and fitness, using the latest computer software to analyse performance results.

Expert teaching

For inspiration with your research, you need look no further than our own team of highly qualified, enthusiastic and forward-thinking sport and exercise science staff, for example, Dr Mark Faghy is accredited Clinical Physiologists with the AHCS and RCCP. The team also includes accredited professionals who are members of leading bodies like BASES, NSCACIMSPA, The Physiological Society and the UK Strength and Conditioning Association.  

Dr Mark Faghy, is also part of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Exercise Is Medicine committee. This partnership will enable you to engage with other students and academics from affiliated institutions around the world and brings to life teaching, knowledge exchange and research opportunities that are promoted through the ACSM.

You will receive high-quality teaching and support from lecturers who are actively involved in research, high-performance sport and applied sport science consultancy.  They are pioneering wide-ranging research projects into topics such as performance profiling, injury rehabilitation, human balance control and neuromuscular fatigue.

Foundation Year - helping you to achieve more

Including a foundation year as part of your four-year study programme will give you a head start in your academic and professional life. The foundation year offers the chance to strengthen your skills, knowledge and confidence – with extensive support from our expert staff – before you advance to stage one of your honours degree. It could also be beneficial if you are planning a career change and want to get to grips with aspects of subjects which are new to you.

Our degrees with a foundation year are continuous, meaning that you won’t need to apply again once you have successfully completed the first year.

Industry experience

Having experience in the workplace makes a notable addition to your CV, so we support and encourage you to undertake placements and internships with sports clubs and other relevant employers.

Our students have broadened their professional perspectives on placements with the likes of Derby County FC, Leicester City FC, Burton Albion FC, Special Olympics, YouthSport Trust and Derbyshire County Cricket Club as well as local schools, hospitals and leisure centres.  Some have secured employment thanks to their impressive performances on placement.

Our Sport and Exercise Internship Programme offers another exciting route for you to gain real-world experience as you prepare for life after study.  You could apply for an internship supporting athletes at the local sports clubs which regularly approach us for assistance. Our students have performed key roles with organisations such as West Bromwich Albion FC and Team Derby.

Our growing links with sports organisations mean that, in future, we will be able to offer even more opportunities for you to boost your employability and build your professional networks in this way.

Female Sport and Exercise Science student lifting weights

Specialist facilities

The multi-purpose 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 other facilities such as floodlit all-weather pitches and tennis courts.

As a Sport and Exercise Science student, you’ll also get to grips with the latest technology to test and measure the parameters of health and fitness in our biomechanics laboratory, harnessing a full range of computer software packages for statistical and movement analysis. In addition, we have a specialist suite for those following the strength and conditioning pathway, where you’ll discover some of the best lifting equipment available.

If you want to take part in recreational sport – whether new to you or as an elite performer – we have a 44-station fitness facility at our Kedleston Road site, equipped with Technogym and Wellness system technology.

Conduct your own research

One of the most important aspects of this course is the chance to undertake your own research into a sporting theme of your choice. Your independent study will take up a significant proportion of your final year and culminates in a one-day conference where you and your fellow students will present your findings.

Some of our students have even had the privilege to showcase their research work nationally at the annual BASES Student Conference. They have also secured coveted places on the University’s Undergraduate Research Scholarship Scheme (URSS) to carry out supervised research over the summer break. Such experiences will broaden your skillset and give you an insight not only into the value of sport research but also the career pathways it can open up. Nichola Davies, BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science with Foundation Year student, became interested in research after volunteering to be a participant in various research trials, this encouraged her to apply for research internships at the University.

Mark Faghy conducting research in the background, with a man wearing an oxygen mask.

Managing Excellence

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.

Read Mark's storyRead Mark's story
Nichola Davis in the High Performance Unit

From foundation year to high-level research

Mature student Nichola Davis left school with few formal qualifications but is now taking part in funded research as part of her BSc after joining us for a Foundation Year.

Find out about Nichola's research experienceFind out about Nichola's research experience

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:

Radzi in the Performance Suite at our Sports Centre.

View Open Day Live - Performance Suite video transcript

Video embed-https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VR6B8stOyRI&list=PLHtOBB1DWljWJXk_F60VuSe3S5UUDsTUG&index=21

Enhance your CV

We offer you an exciting chance to gain additional professional qualifications to complement your honours degree studies and to build your confidence, communication and leadership skills.

Recognised and highly valued by employers, they include National Governing Body coaching awards and the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA) Higher Professional Diploma.

If you are interested, we can also prepare you for National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) certification. We’re one of only four universities in the UK acting as an accredited centre for the association’s Certified Strength and Conditioning (CSCS) awards.

Sports Scholarships

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.

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.

We have also recently appointed Double Olympic Medallist, Bryan Steel, as the Head Coach for Team Derby Performance Sport Cycling. Bryan is a celebrated figure in the world of cycling, bringing a wealth of experience to his role. The decorated Olympian, who represented Team GB at four Olympic Games from 1992 to 2004, boasts an impressive medal collection. His crowning achievements include a bronze medal in the team pursuit event at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and a silver medal at the 2004 Athens Games in the same discipline. Brian's journey also includes 14 World Championship appearances, where he secured five medals, along with three medals at the Commonwealth Games. With the arrival of Bryan, Performance Sport at the university will work in partnership with HUUB-BCC Race Team to give track and road riders access to an elite pathway during and post higher education. This collaboration opens doors for Team Derby Performance Cycling's athletes, offering a unique opportunity to bridge their academic pursuits with professional cycling aspirations.

students on the performance sport programme at University of Derby

View Performance Sport at Derby video transcript

Video embed-https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnVGjXIauyg&t=28s

What you will study

You’ll study the core science subjects of physiology, psychology and biomechanics, and have the opportunity to choose from specialised areas such as nutrition, performance analysis and strength and conditioning. This will enable you to follow your interests and tailor the course to your career aspirations.

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.

Kedleston Road, Derby Campus entrance

Undergraduate Open Days

The best way to find out if studying at Derby is right for you is to experience an Open Day. Get a feel for the city and campus, tour our first-class facilities and see where you could be living.

Book your Undergraduate Open DayBook your Undergraduate Open Day

How you will learn

We take pride in the teaching and learning experience of our students. You’ll learn through lectures, practicals, and seminars, all of which take place at our Kedleston Road site.


We have received particular praise from external reviewers on our innovative use of practical assessments, which take place in our new specialised facilities. These are carried out alongside written coursework, verbal presentations, and examination-style assessments to create a well-balanced assessment portfolio.

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

Entry requirements

2024 entry

These are the typical qualification requirements for September 2024 entry. Contextual offers may apply to students who meet certain criteria.

RequirementWhat we're looking for
UCAS points72
A LevelDDD
T LevelPass
GCSEGCSE Maths and English are preferred, however if you don't have these qualifications you will be able to undertake Maths and English at Level 2 as part of your course of study
Access to HEPass Access to HE Diploma with 60 credits: 45 at Level 3 with a minimum of Distinction: 0, Merit: 24, Pass: 21

English language requirements

IELTS: 6.0 (with at least 5.5 in each skills area)

If you're an international student and want to improve your English language skills before you start your course, the Derby English Language Centre's pre-sessional English course can help you. 

Fees and funding



£9,250 per year



£14,900 per year


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

Additional costs and optional extras

How to apply

Please look at our application deadlines before you apply.

UK students

If you are in Year 13 and applying for a full-time undergraduate course (including our joint honours courses), we recommend that you apply through UCAS.

Apply through UCAS

If you are applying to study part-time, or already have your qualifications, or wish to join at Year 2 or 3, you should apply directly to the University.

Apply directly to the University


As a Sport and Exercise Science graduate, you can look forward to a fulfilling career. Our recent graduates are now succeeding in roles such as sports coach, performance analyst, physiotherapy assistant, health advisor and cardiac physiologist assistant.

Alongside your subject-specific knowledge, you will graduate with high-level skills in communication, problem-solving, research and presentation to help set you apart in the competitive graduate job market.

If you’re interested in postgraduate study, you don’t have to leave Derby to realise your ambitions. We offer the MSc Clinical Exercise Science and MSc Applied Sport and Exercise Science – which includes a Sport and Exercise Psychology pathway – where you can develop advanced knowledge in your chosen subject. 

Read about a few of our graduates who went on to secure successful jobs in their chosen fields:

Graduate, Gareth Richards, went on to work for Nottingham Forest Football Club as a Strength and Conditioning Coach

Why you should study Sport and Exercise at the University of Derby

Video embed-https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eI0SAKywk7o

Graduate, Nicola Thorpe, went on to work for England Netball once she had graduated from the course.

"I am a Netball Development Officer covering Nottinghamshire and my main role is to encourage more people to play netball. I work closely with clubs, schools and other partners. This course definitely helped me to get the job and there are aspects that I learned on the course that I use in my day to day job."

Mark Faghy, who graduated with a First Class Honours degree, went on to study a PhD at the University.

"The applied nature of the course was something that was eye-catching on my visit to the University on an Open Day. From day one of the course this was apparent, with lots of practical sessions and hands-on work throughout a number of the modules on the course. As a person who learns by doing, these activities were fantastic for me in my development. The course and facilities were constantly developing and improving, allowing me to develop a broad set of skills that covered a number of key disciplines within sport science".

Graduate, Luke Jenkinson, started working at Sheffield United Football Club as a Strength and Conditioning Coach after graduating.

"I'm a UKSCA Accredited Strength and Conditioning Coach working at Sheffield United Football Club. I am responsible for the athletic development of players ranging from under-8's to under-21's. I also develop and implement athlete centred interdisciplinary strength and conditioning programmes that operate throughout the whole club in line with the philosophy."

Graduate, Calum Hayes, now works at Walsall FC, providing pre-match and post-match analysis, as well as individual player analysis.

"The physiology and the psychology captivated me and have provided me with a sound understanding from which to excel in a multi-disciplinary working environment. Coursework and deadlines mimic the real working world. The whole course is designed with an emphasis on gaining skills that are desirable and essential to prospective employers.

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.

Contact us Contact us

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 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
For September 2024
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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