Sport

Sport and Exercise for Health - BSc (Hons)

UCAS code C604:K

2019

Sport and Exercise for Health is designed for students who wish to combine their passion for sport and exercise with an interest in health-related study. In this science-based programme, you develop a range of laboratory and clinical skills that give you an outstanding platform for a career in the sport, exercise and health professions.

2019

Overview

At Kent, our lecturers have vast experience in sports training, treatment of injuries and rehabilitation, and sport psychology. You work with our experts to gain a good mix of theoretical knowledge and hands-on practice. Our community of clients ranges from Olympians and Paralympians to members of the public, including the elderly and frail.

Our degree programme

In your first year, you study a variety of disciplines and gain a solid grounding in key subjects. Our modules cover all aspects of sport and exercise science including nutrition, human anatomy and physiology, sport psychology, movement and biomechanics with a focus on health related study. 

In your second and final years, you choose optional modules that reflect your interests. 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.

As part of your degree, you have the opportunity to promote your own event, and look at the issues involved in encouraging the public to become more physically active. You also have the option to gain valuable professional experience by working on placement in the sports and leisure industry, or supporting exercise rehabilitation in a community project. 

Year in industry

This degree is available as a four-year programme with a year in industry.  For more information, please see Sport and Exercise for Health with a Year in Industry BSc (Hons).

Study resources

In addition to our campus laboratories we also have facilities based in the £11 million Medway Park development, a regional centre of sporting excellence. They include the latest equipment, such as our:

  • environmental chamber, which can recreate the atmosphere of a Brazilian jungle or the top of Everest
  • anti-gravity treadmill, originally developed to help NASA astronauts to exercise in space
  • cycling and rowing ergometers to measure anaerobic capacity
  • isokinetic dynamometer to measure muscle and joint function
  • brain and muscle stimulators
  • 3D motion video analysis
  • imaging and treatment ultrasound
  • gait analysis and force pedals
  • blood testing and gas analysis equipment
  • rehabilitation gymnasium.

Extra activities

There is a thriving sports scene for students. Sports clubs at the Medway campus include athletics, badminton, basketball, boxing, cricket, football, kickboxing, rowing, taekwondo, rowing, hockey, football, rugby, equestrian, Thai boxing, table tennis, judo and volleyball, plus women’s netball and men’s futsal.

With our free shuttle bus, it’s also easy to join the sports clubs on the Canterbury campus. These include American football, archery, caving, cycling, cheerleading,  floorball, golf, gymnastics, lacrosse, snooker and pool, snowsports, and ultimate frisbee .

Professional network

The School of Sport and Exercise Sciences has links to many sporting bodies. It has worked with companies such as Science in Sport and Team Sky, and with organisations such as:

  • the NHS
  • RFU (governing English rugby)
  • English Institute of Sport
  • British Cycling
  • UK Sport
  • World Anti-Doping Agency
  • UEFA
  • UK Sport
  • Ministry of Defence.

Sports scholarships

If you are competing at the equivalent of county level or higher you can apply for a sports scholarship from the University. The amount to be offered will be determined by the University Sports Scholarship Committee and each case is considered on its own merit. For more information please go to the Sports Scholarships page. 

One of our best-known graduates is Olympic gold medallist Susannah Townsend. During her time at Kent she had a sports scholarship and played for Canterbury Hockey Club (where she continues to play midfield).

Independent rankings

Sports Science at Kent scored 94.9 out of 100 in The Complete University Guide 2019.

Of Sports Science students who graduated from Kent in 2017 and completed a national survey, over 95% were in work or further study within six months (DLHE).

Teaching Excellence Framework

Based on the evidence available, the TEF Panel judged that the University of Kent delivers consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It is of the highest quality found in the UK.

Please see the University of Kent's Statement of Findings for more information.

TEF Gold logo

Course structure

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

Modules may include Credits

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.

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15

The main aims of this module are to provide students with the knowledge and ability to explore and gain knowledge of human physiology. Students will explore the major systems of the human body, including the musculoskeletal system, the cardiovascular system and the nervous system. Students will gain an understanding of their structure, how they function, and how they are affected by exercise.

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30

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.

A synopsis of topics included in this module are:

- Introduction to sport and exercise psychology

- The learning and performance process

- Feedback

- Attention and concentration

- Personality and individual differences

- Motivation

- Self-confidence

- Arousal, stress and anxiety

- Social facilitation and audience effects

- Sport and exercise psychology in action

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15

The main aims of this module are to provide students with the knowledge and ability to explore and gain knowledge of anatomy and biomechanics. Students will learn to describe the structure and function of the major bones, joints, muscles and soft tissue structures of the lower limb, upper limb and trunk.

Students will also be able to describe the basic movements of the body and to explain the basic biomechanical concepts of human movement.

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30

This module looks at the systematic processes involved in testing fitness. Consideration is given to the evaluation of fitness in both the field and in the laboratory. A range of fitness tests for a variety of parameters of fitness are covered. Students are taught to consider the reliability and validity of the tests as well as the specificity of the test to the population they are working with.

A synopsis of topics included in this module are:

- Health screening

- Fitness assessment & evaluation

- Principles of sport & exercise training

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15

The module aims to provide students with the necessary foundation of skills to study at degree level. It will cover a number of topics that will be invaluable for success in subsequent modules in your degree. This will include referencing and plagiarism, academic writing, critical thinking, basic statistics and research methods.

- Introduction to referencing and plagiarism

- Introduction to academic writing style

- Introduction to history of science

- Introduction to critical thinking

- Introduction to research methods

- Introduction to statistical concepts

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15

Stage 2

Modules may include Credits

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 as part of the assessment for the module. 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.

- Introduction – What is health, sport and exercise?

- Determinants of health, sport and exercise

- Concepts and theories of health & health promotion

- Health promoters & their roles

- Sport development agencies and their roles

- Guidelines for agencies involved in developmental work

- Identifying population needs in relation to health & Sport needs

- Motivation & behaviour change

- Planning & evaluating a health, sport or exercise promotion activity

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30

This module will provide students with a grounding in training theory and application, specifically looking at programme design and implementation in health and athletic performance.

Indicative content includes:

- Principles of sport & exercise training

- Training methodology

- Programme design & organisation

- Adaptations to training

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15

This module will take students through the research study design process. In collaboration with a member of staff (supervisor), students will design and produce a research and ethics proposal that will be carried out at Stage 3 as their Dissertation Project. Sufficient detail and rigor in this module should allow dissertation projects to be undertaken at the start of Stage 3.

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15

A synopsis of the curriculum

Introduction and knowledge check

Independent and paired t-tests

Regression analysis

Further regression analysis

Qualitative research

Independent ANOVA

Factorial ANOVA

Repeated measures ANOVA

Non-parametric data

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15

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.

A synopsis of topics included in this module are:

- Individual differences and personality

- Attributions and perceived control

- Exercise behaviour

- Motivation

- Emotions in sport

- Attention and focus

- Group dynamics

- Leadership

- Communication

- Goal setting

- Psychophysiology in sport and exercise

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15

This module will enable you to acquire an understanding of sports massage, in order to practically demonstrate a range of sports massage skills effectively and safely. This module also develops your ability to record and review your sports massage sessions with clients. You will be taught all the basic skills required in order to carry out a full body sports massage including 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. You will learn how to assess a client and develop a treatment plan using a range of sports and remedial massage skills. This module will require you to attend supervised massage sessions in addition to the lecture and practical seminars. Underpinning knowledge will include record keeping, professional ethics and code of practice, as well as health and safety regulations.

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15

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.

A synopsis of topics included in this module are:

- Exercise, physical activity & health

- Fitness assessment issues related to special population groups

- Children & physical activity

- Females & exercise issues

- Exercise considerations for a sedentary population

- Exercise & the older adult

- Special Exercise considerations & adaptations for special populations

- Risks & benefits of exercise for special populations

- Psychosocial issues & strategies for exercise / physical activity adherence

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15

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.

- Role of the coach & coaching philosophy

- Coaching / teaching styles

- Learning styles

- Planning a coaching / teaching programme

- Communication & motivation

- Analysing performance

- Feedback

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15

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

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15

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

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30

Stage 3

Modules may include Credits

- 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

- Exercise psychology

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30

The course takes the form of an individual research study. There are 4 taught lectures covering the management of a research project. The research projects are then conducted with the supervision of a department 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.

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45

The module 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

A synopsis of topics included in this module are:

- Introduction to the module

- Stress in sport and exercise

- Affect, mood, emotion

- Aggression in sport

- Interventions for behaviour change

- Psychological skills (imagery, self-talk, relaxation)

- Challenges for the sport and exercise psychologist

- Substance abuse

- Burnout in sport

- Psychology of sports injury

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15

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.

A synopsis of topics included in this module are:

- Deep Tissue Massage

- Soft Tissue Release

- Reciprocal Inhibition

- Trigger Points

- Positional Release

- Taping techniques

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15

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.

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15

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.

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15

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.

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.

Careers

Our graduates have gone on to work in:

  • sports science support for elite athletes
  • the NHS in physical activity, exercise referral or health promotion
  • health and fitness clubs
  • public health agencies 
  • sports development as coaches
  • national governing bodies
  • community leisure centres
  • professional sports teams
  • sporting organisations (training athletes)
  • teaching
  • biomedical sciences.

Help finding a job

The University also has a friendly Careers and Employability Service which can give you advice on how to:

  • apply for jobs
  • write a good CV
  • perform well in interviews.

Career-enhancing skills

To help you to appeal to employers across a range of careers, you develop transferable skills in:

  • computing and IT
  • analysing data and problem solving
  • writing and communicating well.

You can also enhance your degree studies by signing up for one of our Kent Extra activities, such as learning a language or volunteering.

You can also benefit from the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences excellent reputation and many links to professional bodies. This network is very useful to students who are looking to gain valuable experience to enhance their CV.  

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.

Entry requirements

Home/EU students

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. Typical requirements are listed below. Students offering alternative qualifications should contact us for further advice. 

It is not possible to offer places to all students who meet this typical offer/minimum requirement.

New GCSE grades

If you’ve taken exams under the new GCSE grading system, please see our conversion table to convert your GCSE grades.

Qualification Typical offer/minimum requirement
A level

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

GCSE

Mathematics grade C

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.

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)

18 units at Distinction, Distinction, Merit plus GCSE Mathematics grade C

International Baccalaureate

34 points overall or 15 points at HL including Biology/Chemistry/Physics/Mathematics/ Sport, Exercise and Health Science/Psychology 5 at HL or 6 at SL and Mathematics 4 at HL or SL

International students

The University welcomes applications from international students programmes. Our international recruitment team can guide you on entry requirements. See our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country. 

However, please note that international fee-paying students cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.

If you need to increase your level of qualification ready for undergraduate study, we offer a number of International Foundation Programmes.

Meet our staff in your country

For more advice about applying to Kent, you can meet our staff at a range of international events.

English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of 'pre-sessional' courses in English for Academic Purposes. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme. 

General entry requirements

Please also see our general entry requirements.

Fees

The 2019/20 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

UK/EU Overseas
Full-time £9250 £19000
Part-time £4625 £9500

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.

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 AAA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages

The scholarship is also extended to those who achieve AAB at A level (or specified equivalents) where one of the subjects is either mathematics or a modern foreign language. Please review the eligibility criteria.

Full-time

Part-time

The Key Information Set (KIS) data is compiled by UNISTATS and draws from a variety of sources which includes the National Student Survey and the Higher Education Statistical Agency. The data for assessment and contact hours is compiled from the most populous modules (to the total of 120 credits for an academic session) for this particular degree programme. 

Depending on module selection, there may be some variation between the KIS data and an individual's experience. For further information on how the KIS data is compiled please see the UNISTATS website.

If you have any queries about a particular programme, please contact information@kent.ac.uk.