Course details

Study options

Full-time: 4 years

UK/EU fee

£9,250 per year* (2020/21)

International fee

£14,045 per year (2020/21)

UCAS points

72 (September 2019 entry)

UCAS code


Course level



BSc (Hons)

Start date



Kedleston Road, Derby Campus

This course is available as a Joint Honours degree.

View Joint Honours optionsView Joint Honours options

Course description

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.

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.

Setting the pace for sport science

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.

Ideally placed for success

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, Leicester Tigers RFU 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.

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

Learn in an iconic sporting venue

The University of Derby is serious about sport. That commitment was underlined by our investment in an award-winning £10.8m  and cutting-edge sports science 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 latest technology to test and measure the parameters of health and fitness in our  and 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 as a first timer 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 itnerships at the Univeristy. 

This is Nichola's story

SCR 6 - Image Group

Draw on our expertise and experience

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. They include accredited professionals who are members of leading bodies such as BASES, NCSA, CIMSPA and the UK Strength and Conditioning Association.

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.

An extra string to your bow

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.

Become part of Team Derby

Challenge yourself further still by engaging with Team Derby, the focal point for the University’s wider sporting community. You can develop your prowess in specific sports through our vast array of clubs and even compete on a national level. Team Derby is represented at British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) competitions in a number of sports. 

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.

You'll study modules such as:

  • English
  • Maths
  • Study Skills in Science
  • Research Methods in Data Handling
  • Fundamentals of Sport and Exercise Science
  • Fundamentals of Human Behaviour
  • Fundamentals of Human Anatomy and Physiology
  • The Art of Sport and Exercise: A Foundation

If you already have level 2 English and Maths, you will not be required to take English and Maths core modules

  • Research and Academic Skills
  • Principles of Sport and Exercise Physiology
  • Introduction to Anatomy for Sport and Exercise
  • Coaching and Skill Acquisition
  • Principles of Sport and Exercise Psychology
  • Principles of Sport Biomechanics
  • Research Methods for Sport and Exercise
  • Physiological Assessment
  • Sport and Exercise Psychology
  • Biomechanical Assessment

You'll choose two of these optional modules:

  • Nutrition and Metabolism for Sport and Exercise
  • Physical Activity and Health
  • Strength and Conditioning
  • Injury Rehabilitation for Sport and Exercise

This course offers an ‘Industrial Placement Year’ giving you the opportunity to enhance your practical skills by putting theory into practice, network in your industry and stand-out in the graduate job market. The placement year takes place in your third year, once completed, you would return to University to complete your final year of studies.

  • Applied Professional Practice
  • Contemporary Issues in Professional Practice
  • Applied Sport Science
  • Independent Study for Sport and Exercise

You'll choose to study at least one of these modules:

  • Applied Sport Physiology
  • Applied Sport Psychology
  • Applied Biomechanics and Performance Analysis

In addition, you'll choose two of these optional modules:

  • Advanced Nutrition and Metabolism for Sport and Exercise
  • Biomedical Implications of Exercise, Activity, and Health
  • Applied Strength and Conditioning
  • Applied Injury Rehab and Risk Reduction

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.

University of Derby student drinking coffee

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.

Entry requirements

September 2019 typical entry requirements

RequirementWhat we're looking for
UCAS points72 (up to 16 from AS-levels)
Specific requirements at A-levelN/A
Specific requirements at GCSE

GCSE Maths and English are preferred, however if you don't have these qualifications you will be able to undertake Maths and English at L2 as part of your course of study.

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*



£14,045 per year


* The fees stated above are for the 2019/20 academic year; fees for 2020/21 have not yet been confirmed by the UK government. We will update this information as soon as it is available.

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.

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


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 now offer the MSc Applied Sport and Exercise Science – which includes Sport and Exercise Psychology or Physiology pathways – where you can develop advanced knowledge in your subject. Another avenue is our MRes (Sport and Exercise) where you can further your applied sport science and research skills. Both courses feature the chance to foster your teaching abilities and could even put you on the pathway to PhD studies.

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

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.

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

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

Download programme specification

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.

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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