Sport and Exercise for Health - BSc (Hons)

Are you passionate about sport and health and fascinated by the science behind it? Driven to learn more about using sport and exercise to make a difference to people’s lives? From enhancing the performance of elite athletes to improving the quality of life for the elderly, the innovative BSc Sport and Exercise Science for Health at Kent gives you the knowledge and practical experience needed to launch your career in this exciting vocation.

Overview

At Kent you are taught by lecturers with vast experience of working in a range of fields and with clients from Olympians and Paralympians to members of the public, including the elderly and frail. You work with our experts to gain a good mix of theoretical knowledge and hands-on practice and placement opportunities, developing a range of highly valuable laboratory and clinical skills, giving you the best possible start to your career.

Reasons to study Sport and Exercise Science for Health at Kent

  • Our excellent facilities, including physiology laboratories, a biomechanics laboratory with 3D motion capture cameras, enhance your learning experience
  • A range of optional modules enable you to specialise and tailor the course to suit your career goals.
  • Our lecturers have extensive knowledge and 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 private companies, the NHS and many other sporting and health organisations.
  • 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.

What you'll learn at Kent

You study the science behind sports performance and physical activity and cover topics such as anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, psychology and sport nutrition.

In your first year, you study a variety of disciplines and gain a solid grounding in key subjects including anatomical and physiological principles, the human response to exercise and a theoretical basis of qualitative and quantitative research. In your second and final years, you choose optional modules that reflect your interests in topics such as nutrition, sport and exercise psychology, massage techniques and sports injuries.

You also conduct your own research project in the final year, choosing from specialist options that may include, physical activity interventions, exercise rehabilitation for clinical populations or contemporary issues in nutrition.

You also have the option to gain valuable professional experience by working on placement in the sports and leisure industry or completing an additional year in industry.

Flexible tariff

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

  • medal-empty

    A level

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

  • medal-empty GCSE

    Mathematics grade C

  • 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.

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 above. 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.

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

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.

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.

Indicative content includes:

• Macronutrients and micronutrients.

• Carbohydrate, protein and fat.

• Vitamins and minerals.

• Thermoregulation and fluid guidelines.

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

Students will cover the biomechanics of movement, movement patterns of the lower limb, upper limb and trunk; bones and surface markings of the lower limb, upper limb and spine; joints of the lower limb, upper limb and spine; muscles (origin, insertion and actions) of the lower limb, upper limb and trunk; soft tissue structures of the lower limb, upper limb and trunk; and nerves of the lower limb, upper limb and trunk.

Find out more about SPOR3450

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

Students take the one compulsory module and then must select a total of 60 credits from a list of optional modules that will be provided by the School. 

Compulsory modules currently include

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

The module starts by considering the multi-dimensional nature of health to broaden student's understanding of the many factors – individual or environmental - that could contribute to personal experience of health & what that means to different members of the population. Key aspects of sport and exercise promotion are considered, culminating in students completing a sport or exercise promotion event of their own. Whilst there is an emphasis on theoretical issues in the module, students are encouraged to apply these principles to the various aspects of sport and exercise promotion practice.

Optional modules may include

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 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 will enable students to interpret the pathophysiology of a range of sports injuries by mechanism of injury, anatomical region and tissue type. The module develops the students' ability to relate the mechanism of injury to the pathology of sports injuries. Students will also be required to understand the risk factors associated with sports injuries.

Leadership in the context of sport and exercise is becoming increasingly recognised as providing the 'spark' that drives successful sport organisations. In this module, students will become more aware of styles of leadership and types of communication used in the sporting context. This module is important for establishing the necessary academic and specific sport management skills that students will need to complete a successful third year at University.

This module will enable students to acquire an understanding of sports massage, in order to practically demonstrate a range of sports massage skills effectively and safely. The module also develops the students' ability to record and review their own sports massage sessions with clients.

Content will include all skills required in order to carry out a full body sports massage. Basic sports massage strokes such as effleurage, petrissage, tapotement and frictions will be included. These strokes will be applied on the back, shoulders, gluteals, legs, feet, arms, hands, chest, neck and abdomen.

Underpinning knowledge will include record keeping, professional ethics and code of practice, as well as health and safety regulations.

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. 

"SPOR5690"

Stage 3

Students take the two 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

This module covers: 

Exercise prescription for the asymptomatic older adult

Physical activity and cardiovascular diseases

Physical activity and metabolic diseases

Physical activity and neurological impairment

Physical activity and orthopedic diseases

Physical activity and pulmonary diseases

Exercise in clinical rehabilitation settings

Exercise psychology.

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.

Soft Tissue Techniques will enable students to pursue inquiry into the treatment of selected soft tissue injuries, using a variety of soft tissue techniques. This module develops the students' ability to use critical analysis and clinical reasoning skills in the application of soft tissue techniques. Students will be required to analyse current issues in the use of soft tissue techniques within the field of Sport and Exercise Therapy.

The module provides a structured opportunity to combine appropriate developmental work experience with academic study. The placement will provide the opportunity for students to develop appropriate vocational and applied academic knowledge. In order for the student to take this module they must secure a placement. The placement should be appropriate to the student's degree, experience and potential career aspirations. All placements will be subject to the module convenor's authorisation.

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 £9250
  • EU full-time £15900
  • International full-time £21200
  • Home part-time £4625
  • 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

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

The programme involves lectures, small group seminars and private study. In addition, you are expected to design, lead and take part in practical sports sessions. You have several lectures or practical sessions and a series of seminars each week. You are also required to spend additional time developing your skills and knowledge in real-life situations.

The first half of Stage 1 is largely assessed by coursework and observed assessments. In the second half of Stage 1, some modules have written examinations in addition to coursework and practical assessments. During Stages 2 and 3, the form of assessment varies from 100% coursework to a combination of examination and coursework.

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 for the challenges of an expanding and rapidly changing sports health industry, while providing them with a wide choice of careers paths
  • provide the skills needed to promote the health and performance of an individual or group using a multidisciplinary approach
  • provide a critical knowledge and understanding of the sport and exercise sciences
  • present a valuable educational experience with the opportunity to integrate theory and practice. 

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 nature of a psychological approach in relation to sport and exercise
  • exercise prescription for a range of population groups
  • social processes that influence individual and group behaviour and participation/performance in sport.

Intellectual skills

You gain intellectual skills in the following:

  • the skills needed for academic study including critical evaluation
  • how to plan, design, execute and communicate a piece of independent work demonstrating a critical engagement with the relevant data
  • how to apply knowledge to solve familiar and unfamiliar problems in order to develop reasoned arguments and challenge assumptions
  • self-appraisal and reflection on practice
  • the ability to 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 physiological assessment and interpretation of data from fitness testing
  • the ability to appraise and evaluate 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.

Professional recognition

Graduates may be eligible to apply for Register of Exercise Professionals accreditation. They may also be eligible to sit for the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Health and Fitness Specialist qualification.

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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