Our foundation year will help you hit the ground running if you want to gain a respected honours degree in Sport and Exercise Science.
Choose a four-year course featuring a foundation year for a strong start to your University of Derby studies
Fulfil your ambition and potential: the foundation year is a smart move if you are planning a career change or are keen to explore a new subject area
Explore the roles of biomechanics, physiology and psychology in sport performance
Become skilled with the latest technology via our High Performance Resistance Training Facility, VICON 3D motion capture system and breath-by-breath analysis system
Gain vital experience by applying for placements or internships: our students have worked with organisations like Derby County FC, Derbyshire County Cricket Club and Burton Albion FC
Work alongside renowned sports scientists who are actively involved in research and consultancy
Take the opportunity to achieve extra professional qualifications such as National Governing Body coaching awards
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. You can also watch exclusive subject content by signing up to Derby on Demand.
96%of students agreed that staff are good at explaining things**BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science - National Student Survey 2022
93%of students agreed that staff made their subject interesting**BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science - National Student Survey 2022
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
As a Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Physiology, Dr Ashton teaches on physiology and health-related modules at all levels within the department of Sport, Outdoor and Exercise Sciences. Her research interests surround promoting exercise as part of the treatment pathways of various health disorders such as cancer and cardiovascular disease.
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.
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.
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:
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
British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) student membership for the duration of your studies
Whole day fieldtrips in each year (at least one each year) to relevant Sport and Exercise Science events/organisations
We will contribute to or pay the full cost of additional qualifications and trips which are arranged by us. For other additional qualifications you’re interested in, we may contribute to or fund these 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 Independent Study (dissertation) - approximate cost is £12
Travel to placements - cost varies depending on your placement venue of choice
Optional costs not included in your fees
Recommended/optional textbooks or e-books to support your studies - costs for these are dependent on your choice
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.