Sport

Sport and Exercise Science - BSc (Hons)

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Are you passionate about sport and fascinated by the science behind it? Are you driven to make a difference through sport and exercise? From boosting the performance of elite athletes to improving the quality of day-to-day life for the elderly, studying the Sport and Exercise Science BSc at Kent gives you the knowledge and experience needed to apply these skills in a fast-paced field.

Overview

Our lecturers have vast research and applied experience in sports and exercise training, physiology, nutrition, biomechanics and psychology. Working with experts ensures you gain a good mix of theoretical knowledge and hands-on practice, in our first-class facilities and in the local community. We offer module options and placement opportunities which allow you to specialise and work towards your career goals and increase your employability.

Reasons to study Sport at Kent

  • Our excellent facilities enhance your learning experience with hands-on practice in our laboratories and custom-built teaching spaces. Our public clinics provide the opportunity for applied real-world experience supporting athletes and the public.
  • Our lecturers have top-level experience in their fields, having worked with the England Football team and Olympians, Science in Sport and Team Sky, as well as links with sports clubs and companies, the NHS and many sporting bodies.
  • Canterbury campus is home to an outstanding sports centre and gym, outdoor pitches, indoor and outdoor tennis and netball courts and plenty of green space as well as more than 60 extra-curricular sports clubs.
  • The programme is endorsed by the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES)
  • If you are already competing at county level or equivalent (at least), you can apply for a sports scholarship from the University.
  • Sports Science at Kent scored 89% overall in the Complete University Guide 2022

What you’ll learn

You study the science behind sports performance and physical activity. Topics include anatomy and physiology, biomechanics, sport psychology, sport nutrition and research methods.

Introductory modules cover the nutrition, physiology and psychology aspects of sport and exercise, plus anatomy and biomechanics and the foundations of research methods. You then move on to study more advanced modules covering these topics as well as exercise testing and prescription for special populations and techniques for research analysis required for your dissertation.

In your final year, as well as carrying out an independent research study in sport and exercise science, you take a number of optional modules. These include topics such as sport and exercise psychology, the physiology of training, nutrition and clinical exercise prescription.

Additional work experience can be completed through placements in the sport, health and leisure industry, or sport science support with athletes. There are other opportunities for experience working with us on community engagement projects (e.g. outreach work in schools).

Entry requirements

Make Kent your firm choice – The Kent Guarantee

We understand that applying for university can be stressful, especially when you are also studying for exams. Choose Kent as your firm choice on UCAS and we will guarantee you a place, even if you narrowly miss your offer (for example, by 1 A Level grade)*.

*exceptions apply. Please note that we are unable to offer The Kent Guarantee to those who have already been given a reduced or contextual offer.

Entry requirements

Please contact the School for more information at study-sports@kent.ac.uk.

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. Some typical requirements are listed below. Students offering alternative qualifications should contact us for further advice. Please also see our general entry requirements.

If you are an international student, visit our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country, including details of the International Foundation Programmes. Please note that international fee-paying students who require a Student visa cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.

Please note that meeting the typical offer/minimum requirement does not guarantee that you will receive an offer.

  • medal-empty

    A level

    BCC including grade B in an appropriate subject (eg Biology, Chemistry, Sport, Physical Education, Physics, Psychology, Statistics, Mathematics, Applied Science)

  • medal-empty GCSE

    grade C/4 or above in GCSE English language or equivalent.

  • medal-empty Access to HE Diploma

    The University will not necessarily make conditional offers to all Access candidates but will continue to assess them on an individual basis. 

    If we make you an offer, you will need to obtain/pass the overall Access to Higher Education Diploma and may also be required to obtain a proportion of the total level 3 credits and/or credits in particular subjects at merit grade or above.

  • medal-empty BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)

    Distinction, Merit, Merit in a sport or science subject plus GCSE Mathematics grade C

  • medal-empty International Baccalaureate

    30 points overall or 15 at HL including Biology/Chemistry/Physics/Mathematics, Sports, Exercise and Health Science 5 at HL or 6 at SL and Mathematics 4 at HL or SL.

  • medal-empty International Foundation Programme

    Pass all components of the University of Kent International Foundation Programme with a 60% overall average including 60% in Fundamentals of Human Biology and 60% in Life Sciences plus 50% in LZ013 Maths and Statistics.

  • medal-empty T level

    The University will consider applicants holding T Level qualifications in subjects which are closely aligned to the programme applied for. This will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

Please note that if you do not meet our English language requirements, we offer a number of 'pre-sessional' courses in English for Academic Purposes. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme.

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Course structure

Duration: 3 years full-time, 6 years part-time

Modules

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.  

On most programmes, you study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also be able to take ‘elective’ modules from other programmes so you can customise your programme and explore other subjects that interest you.

Stage 1

Compulsory modules currently include

This module provides students with an introduction to the basic principles of Sport and Exercise Nutrition. Students will explore the macronutrients and micronutrients and Fluid guidelines. A strong physiological understanding underpins much of the module content

Macronutrients: carbohydrate, protein and fat Micronutrients: Vitamins and minerals, Fluid regulation, Thermoregulation and fluid guidelines, Competition nutrition.

Find out more about SPOR3130

This is an introductory module where students will study the structure and function of the different physiological systems in the human body. The principles of the maintenance of homeostasis and the physiological adaptation of the body systems to exercise will also be covered.

Find out more about SPOR3380

This module provides students with an introduction to sport and exercise psychology. This includes the learning and performance process, as well as approaches and responses to various sport and exercise situations. Indicative content includes:

• Sport and Exercise Psychology in Action

• Motor Learning and Performance

• Feedback

• Attention and Concentration

• Personality and Individual Differences

• Motivation

• Self-Confidence and Self-Efficacy

• Arousal, Stress and Anxiety

• Group and Team Dynamics

Find out more about SPOR3440

The module aims to provide students with a detailed working knowledge of the anatomy of the human musculoskeletal system and relevant supporting structures; and 2) a basic understanding of mechanical principles and their applications to sports performance and human movement in general. We will work by specifying a question about an aspect of sports performance, and then examining the mechanical principles that allow us to answer this question.

Find out more about SPOR3540

The module aims to provide students with knowledge of the foundations in research methods in sport sciences. Students will explore different data collection methods in sport sciences and how that information is presented and communicated appropriately. Research and academic study skills will be developed throughout the module.

Find out more about SPOR3550

Stage 2

Compulsory modules currently include

The module explores the body’s physiological response to exercise. The module deals with the assessment and interpretation of aerobic and anaerobic fitness and performance, blood lactate and ventilatory thresholds, as well as cardiovascular control during exercise. It aims to provide a critical review of the key physiological factors that determine and thus limit exercise performance in humans.The following topics will be covered in this module are:- Energy metabolism during exercise- Oxygen uptake during exercise and recovery- Control of ventilation during exercise and rest- The role of lactate during exercise including the lactate and ventilatory thresholds- Motor unit recruitment- Physiology of strength and anaerobic power

This module takes basic nutrition to the next level in an applied manner. The different needs of different sports persons are considered. Students will gain critical knowledge of common nutrition data collection and analysis methods.

A synopsis of topics included in this module are:- Elements of Digestion, absorption and energy metabolism- Nutrition requirements for different sports and different types of individuals- Changing body mass and related issues- Nutritional Strategies- Nutrition data collection and analysis

The module aims to provide students with knowledge and understanding of human responses and adaptations to sport and exercise. Using a psychological approach, students acquire knowledge and understanding of sport and exercise performance and exercise adherence to promote health. Lectures and seminars provide forums for discussion and understanding of cognitions, affect and behaviour and the complex interactions between these. A key module aim is to provide an understanding of the application of theory to real ‘applied’ situations within sport and exercise settings.

This module is concerned with angular mechanics and the biomechanics of complex movements. Laboratory experimentation will provide the opportunity for students to develop practical skills in the use of a range of analysis equipment such as a force plate and computer-based motion analysis. A range of sport and exercise situations will be used to illustrate the mechanical principles considered. These could include kinematic analysis of walking; the kinetics of weight lifting; the computation of resultant joint moments and gait analysis.

This module introduces students to the analysis techniques required for their dissertation module, as well as how to develop a research idea into a formal study proposal.

The topic areas covered in this module build upon the knowledge gained in SS348 Introduction to Fitness Testing & SS570 Fitness Training Methods, which covers the fundamental aspects of exercise testing and prescription. Special populations are those groups of individuals that may need some adaptation or modification to an exercise prescription or programme, to take into consideration a limitation, whether that be physiological, biological or psychosocial. The emphasis is on promoting health, fitness and safety in exercise, as well as some consideration being given to performance environments.

Stage 3

Students take the one compulsory module and then must select a total of 45 credits from a list of optional modules that will be provided by the School. 

Compulsory modules currently include

The module takes the form of an individual research study. There are taught lectures covering the management of a research project. The research projects are then conducted with the supervision of a tutor who will advise the student on issues such as methodology, analysis and presentation. It is the student’s responsibility to organise, conduct, analyse and present the research as required. The research project may comprise an experimental laboratory based dissertation, or a systematic review of the literature.

Optional modules may include

aims to provide students with more advanced knowledge and understanding of human responses and adaptations to sport and exercise environments. Using a psychological approach, students are offered the forum for discussion and understanding of cognitions, affect and behaviour and the complex interactions between these in the various scenarios that present within a sport or exercise setting. A key module aim is to provide an understanding of the psychological approaches within real ‘applied’ situations within sport and exercise settings.

This module aims to increase the student’s knowledge and understanding of the physiology governing sports performance. Contemporary training methods will be discussed. It also further develops the skills necessary to analyse and critically assess performance. Practical sessions will also be conducted to reinforce theoretical knowledge.

In this module students will study and investigate the latest cutting edge research in sports nutrition. This will provide the opportunity to critically analyse contemporary evidence, research and practical nutritional practices in sports nutrition. Students will study nutritional ergogenic aids and nutritional strategies suggested to improve performance. Students will conduct practical sessions in order to test some of the theories and strategies studied.

Individuals from a variety of populations take part in sport and exercise. This module takes an in-depth look at 'athletic populations' and factors that impact on performance. Students will critically analyse and discuss what types of exercise are optimal for different athletes and consider the risks and benefits associated with sport and exercise activities. Students will focus on some key issues related to sports performance, e.g. managing athlete with respiratory issues? What strategies could be used to minimise musculoskeletal injury in child athletes? Should pregnant females play sport? The module utilises the expertise of staff within SSES, guest speakers and student contributions. Students will be encouraged to think about how they might work with athletes on an individual basis.

 This module covers: Exercise prescription for the asymptomatic older adult; Physical activity & cardiovascular diseases; Physical activity & metabolic diseases; Physical activity & neurological impairment; Physical activity & orthopaedic diseases; Physical activity & pulmonary diseases; Exercise in cardiac rehabilitation; and Exercise psychology.

Fees

The 2022/23 annual tuition fees for UK undergraduate courses have not yet been set by the UK Government. As a guide only the 2021/2022 fees for this course were £9,250.

  • Home full-time TBC
  • EU full-time £15900
  • International full-time £21200
  • Home part-time TBC
  • EU part-time £7950
  • International part-time £10600

For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.

For students continuing on this programme, fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* 

Your fee status

The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.

Additional costs

All Students who are part of the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences will receive a complementary hoodie once they have started the course. 

General additional costs

Find out more about accommodation and living costs, plus general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.

Funding

University funding

Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details. 

Government funding

You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government's student finance website.

Scholarships

General scholarships

Scholarships are available for excellence in academic performance, sport and music and are awarded on merit. For further information on the range of awards available and to make an application see our scholarships website.

The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence

At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence. 

The scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of A*AA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages.

We have a range of subject-specific awards and scholarships for academic, sporting and musical achievement.

Search scholarships

Teaching and assessment

Teaching involves practical laboratory and sports-based sessions, lectures, small group seminars and private study. You will have a number of lectures and practical sessions and a series of seminars each week – depending on the optional modules you select. You may also be required to spend time developing your practical skills and experience in placement or event situations.

Methods of assessment vary depending on the module but predominantly involve coursework, observed assessment, practical tests and, where appropriate, clinical assessments. Some modules are assessed via written exams.

Contact hours

For a student studying full time, each academic year of the programme will comprise 1200 learning hours which include both direct contact hours and private study hours.  The precise breakdown of hours will be subject dependent and will vary according to modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Methods of assessment will vary according to subject specialism and individual modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Programme aims

The programme aims to:

  • provide a multi-disciplinary education
  • prepare students to meet the challenges of an expanding and rapidly changing sports industry, while providing them with a wide choice of careers paths.
  • provide the skills to promote the health and performance of an individual or a group using a multidisciplinary approach
  • enable a critical knowledge and understanding of the sport sciences
  • make students aware of current research within sport and exercise science
  • provide a curriculum supported by scholarship, research and intellectual debate.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • anatomical and physiological principles
  • the human response to exercise
  • the theoretical basis of qualitative and quantitative research
  • the nutrition required to perform at an optimum level
  • the ability to evaluate physical capacity and exercise training programmes
  • the nature of skill and models relating to the acquisition and performance of motor skills
  • exercise prescription for a range of population groups
  • social processes which influence individual and group behaviour and participation/performance in sport.

Intellectual skills

You gain the intellectual skills to:

  • engage in academic study including critical evaluation
  • plan, execute and communicate a piece of independent work that requires a critical engagement with relevant data
  • solve familiar and unfamiliar problems in order to develop reasoned arguments and challenge assumptions
  • self-appraise and reflect on practice
  • recognise and respond to moral, legal, ethical and safety issues that relate to your studies.

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in the following areas:

  • relating the concepts of anatomy, physiology and metabolism to the body’s response to exercise
  • practical skills in the physiological interpretation of data from fitness testing
  • the appraisal and evaluation of the effects of sport and exercise interventions
  • the ability to analyse, interpret and show critical judgement in the evaluation of the sport sciences. 

Transferable skills

You gain transferable skills in:

  • communication, presentation, numeracy and IT
  • interactive skills and group work
  • problem solving 
  • self-appraisal and reflection on practice
  • how to plan and manage your own learning.

Independent rankings

Sports Science at Kent scored 89% overall in The Complete University Guide 2022.

Careers

Your future

You graduate with an excellent grounding in scientific knowledge and extensive laboratory experience. In addition, you also develop the key transferable skills sought by employers, such as:

  • excellent communication skills
  • work independently or as part of a team
  • the ability to solve problems and think analytically
  • time management.

This means that our graduates are well equipped for careers across a range of fields and have gone on to work in sports science support for elite athletes, professional sports teams, teaching and in the NHS for physical activity, exercise referral or health promotion. 

You can read their stories, and find out about the range of support and extra opportunities available to further your career potential.

Apply for this course

If you are from the UK or Ireland, you must apply for this course through UCAS. If you are not from the UK or Ireland, you can choose to apply through UCAS or directly on our website.

Find out more about how to apply

All applicants

Apply through UCAS

International applicants

Apply now to Kent

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International student enquiries

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T: +44 (0)1227 823254
E: internationalstudent@kent.ac.uk

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