Course details

Study options

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

UK fee

£9,250 per year (2021/22)

International/EU fee

£14,045 per year (2021/22)

UCAS points

120-128 (2022 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

Keen to explore the science behind sport and exercise? Look no further than this action-packed degree, designed to equip you with the specialist skills needed to prepare you for graduate employment.

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.

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

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

91%of students agreed that staff are good at explaining things**BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science - National Student Survey 2021

Sport and Exercise Science at Derby

If you're interested in the science behind sport and exercise, this course will keep you ahead of the game with specialist facilities, work placements, sports masterclasses and the chance to gain additional professional qualifications such as coaching awards.

Endorsed by the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) you will also have access to free student membership, and be prepared for your first step towards BASES chartered scientist accreditation.

We give you a strong foundation in the science behind sport and exercise, including the roles of biomechanics, physiology and psychology in sport performance. As your studies progress, you'll be able to choose from specialised areas such as nutrition, physical activity and health, injury rehabilitation, and strength and conditioning. 

You'll undertake work placements during both your first and second years to put theory into action and take advantage of our excellent Sport and Exercise Internship Programme, supporting athletes at local clubs.

An accredited course

Our BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science degree has received the only available endorsement for undergraduate sport courses from the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES); the UK professional membership organisation for Sport Scientists.

BASES rigorous assessment criteria ensures that only the highest calibre of courses achieve their endorsement award and provides a designated route towards BASES accreditation (postgraduate study required). BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise students follow curriculum content recognised by the accrediting body as required by practitioners in the sector and have access to a wealth of learning and networking opportunities through free membership to BASES.

Expert teaching

Our sport and exercise science staff include accredited professionals who will provide you with high-quality teaching and support. They are actively involved in research, high-performance sport and applied sport science consultancy. They are also members of leading professional bodies such as BASESNSCA and the UK Strength and Conditioning Association.

Dr Mark Faghy, Senior Lecturer in Exercise Physiology, 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.

The team conducts important research through the Human Performance Unit and Human Sciences Research Centre. Research themes include performance profiling, injury rehabilitation, human balance control and neuromuscular fatigue – to name but a few subjects. You’ll also have the chance to undertake your own independent research into a theme of your choice, culminating in a major conference where you will showcase your findings.

The Human Performance Unit (HPU) is a dedicated space focused on providing sport science services to coaches, individuals and teams wanting to enhance their performance. The range of services provided by the HPU includes, targeting improved physical training, recovery from exercise, exercise nutrition, sport psychology, injury prevention and rehabilitation for a specific sport.

The Human Performance Unit team analyse Jake Lowe's running performance in preparation for the London Marathon. As part of our Running Package, his blood lactate and heart rate were tested in the below video.

In preparation for his upcoming marathon, Jake Lowe, Running with Jake, takes part in a blood lactate and heart rate test, part of the Human Performance Unit's Running Package.

View Jake Lowe's marathon preparation video transcript

A blonde haired lady holding a smiling baby in the air

Human Sciences Research Centre

Our Human Sciences Research Centre conducts theoretical and applied research into the prevention and treatment of diseases and into improvements to the quality of life for people of all ages.

Find out more about our researchFind out more about our research

Exciting internship opportunities

To give you the best possible preparation for life after study, we also have an excellent Sport and Exercise Internship Programme. You could apply for an internship supporting athletes at local sports clubs – an experience which will help you build your professional networks and boost your employability skills. Students have performed a variety of roles with organisations which have approached us for assistance, including West Bromwich Albion FC and Team Derby and we continue to develop links with local organisations to increase the opportunities offered to our students.

Strengthen your CV

As part of the course, you’ll have the chance to gain additional sport and exercise science professional qualifications which are recognised and highly valued by employers. These include National Governing Body coaching awards and the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA) Higher Professional Diploma. All will develop your confidence and leadership skills. We’ll also prepare you for National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) certification, if this is of interest to you. We’re one of only four universities in the UK to act as an accredited centre for the association’s Certified Strength and Conditioning (CSCS) awards.

Specialist facilities

Our facilities include the main hall, fitness gym with strength and conditioning area, studios, squash and badminton courts, an internal climbing wall, sprint track, changing rooms and treatment rooms. It complements our existing facilities such as floodlit all-weather pitches and tennis courts.

Build your skills in a well-equipped sport and exercise centre, with a separate biomechanics laboratory containing equipment for testing and measuring the parameters of health and fitness. In addition, we use a range of computer software packages for statistical and movement analysis. If you follow the strength and conditioning pathway, you’ll use some of the best lifting equipment available and develop your practical skills by using technology in our strength and conditioning suite.

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.

A range of career options

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.

A close up image of Dr Ruth Ashton, Lecturer in Physiology at the University of Derby.

View Ruth Ashton - my career in Sport and Exercise Science video transcript

Weightlifter using our Vicon Motion Analysis Cameras in the Performance Suite

Performance Suite

The Performance Suite contains a physiology laboratory, conditioning area, eight dedicated lifting zones and a 30m lane indoor sprint track and jump pit.

Take a virtual tourTake a virtual tour

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

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

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. 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.

students on the performance sport programme at University of Derby

View Performance Sport at Derby video transcript

What you will study

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

You’ll learn through lectures, practicals, and seminars.


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

Who will teach you

James Keenan in the University of Derby Performance Suite

James Keenan
Programme leader

James delivers innovative teaching to provide a real-world learning experience. The design of his teaching is underpinned by his S&C experience working in industry, and his work with the UK Strength and Conditioning Association. He believes in translating theory to practice in an accessible way to allow students to develop skills to ready them for the workplace.

View full staff profileView full staff profile

Entry requirements

2022 entry

These are the typical qualification requirements for September 2022 entry.

RequirementWhat we're looking for
UCAS points120-128
A-levelsABB-BBB (At least a grade C (or equivalent) from a Science subject, including Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Physical Education or Psychology)
GCSEAt least five GCSEs (or equivalent) including Maths and English at grade 4/C or above
Access to HEPass Access to HE Diploma with 60 credits: 45 at Level 3 with a minimum of Distinction: 15, Merit: 24, Pass: 6. Must include passes in compulsory Level 3 subjects

Additional entry requirements

English language requirements

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

Fees and funding

2021/22 Fees (August 2021 - July 2022)


£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 students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS.

Part-time students should apply directly to the University.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University


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.

Our recent sport and exercise science graduates now enjoy roles as cardiac physiologist assistants, sports coaches, health advisors, physiotherapy assistants and performance analysts. Some have secured employment on the basis of their success on work placements and internships.

You can 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. This postgraduate course offers 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.

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.

Please also note that due to the current Covid-19 situation, if your course offers fieldtrips, the location of these may change or be cancelled. If this happens, you will be communicated to in advance and we will do our very best to seek out other practical opportunities to ensure your experience is not affected.

The information below is correct for entry in the academic year September 2021 - August 2022 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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