Sport

Sport and Exercise Science - BSc (Hons)

Would you like to use scientific principles to boost the performance of elite athletes? Or improve the health of the injured and elderly? This degree allows you to become a qualified practitioner in the fast-growing field of sport and exercise science.

Overview

At Kent, our lecturers have top-level 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

You apply scientific principles to many aspects of sport, fitness and exercise. Topics include: anatomy, physiology, the principles of training, exercise prescription, sports nutrition and sports psychology.

Overall, this degree allows you to gain the skills you need to become a well-rounded practitioner in the field. In your final year, you can choose optional modules that allow you to specialise, perhaps with a particular career in mind.

You also have the option to gain extra professional experience by working on placement in the sports and leisure industry, or supporting ‘centre of excellence’ athletes.

Study resources

Our laboratories are based in the Chipperfield Building in the Canterbury campus. They include the latest equipment, such as our:

  • 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.

Our environmental chamber, which can recreate the atmosphere in the Brazilian jungle or at the top of Everest, is based on the Medway campus.

Extra activities

There is a thriving sports scene for students at the Canterbury campus. Team Kent, funded by the Students' Union, run more than 60 different clubs including; athletics, badminton, basketball, boxing, cricket, football, cheerleading, lacrosse, caving, taekwondo, rowing, hockey, football, rugby, equestrian, korfball, table tennis, judo and volleyball, plus ultimate frisbee.

Professional network

The School of Sport and Exercise Sciences has links to many sporting bodies. It works 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 already competing at county level or equivalent, you can apply for a sports scholarship from the University. 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).

Entry requirements

You are more than your grades

At Kent we look at your circumstances as a whole before deciding whether to make you an offer to study here. Find out more about how we offer flexibility and support before and during your degree.

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

    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

    34 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.

  • 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.

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.

As well as the equipment for practical study, you also have good access to journals and the library is excellent.

Megan Judge - Sport and Exercise Science BSc

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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

Students will cover the structure and function of the following:

Musculoskeletal system including muscle, bone, cartilage, ligaments and tendons, nervous system, cardiovascular system, respiratory system and endocrine system.

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

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

Find out more about SPOR3440

Stage 2

Compulsory modules currently 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

Find out more about SPOR5330

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

Find out more about SPOR5340

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

Find out more about SPOR5690

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

Find out more about SPOR5700

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.

Find out more about SPOR5730

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

Find out more about SPOR5750

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.

Indicative content includes:

• Definition and computation of angular kinematic quantities.

• Newton's Laws in their angular formulation.

• Methodology: motion analysis, force plates, anthropometry.

• Interpretation of resultant joint moment profiles in gait analysis.

• Basic material properties such as stress and strain and the relationship between these measures and injury.

Find out more about SPOR5770

Stage 3

Compulsory modules currently include

- 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

Find out more about SPOR5230

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.

Find out more about SPOR5660

Optional modules may include

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

Find out more about SPOR5270

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

Find out more about SPOR5460

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.

The following topics will be covered in this module are:

- Oxygen uptake kinetics

- Contemporary issues in training

- Processes of fatigue and implications for training

- Recovery from training

- Tapering

- The effects of altitude and altitude training

- Genetics and athletic performance

- Plasticity of the human muscle fibre

Find out more about SPOR5640

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.

Find out more about SPOR5650

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.

Find out more about SPOR5760

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.

Find out more about SPOR5790

Fees

The 2022/23 annual tuition fees for Home undergraduates have not yet been set by the UK Government. As a guide only full-time tuition fees for Home undergraduates for 2021/22 entry are £9,250.

  • Home full-time TBC
  • International full-time TBC
  • Home part-time TBC
  • International part-time TBC

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.

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.

Teaching Excellence Framework

All University of Kent courses are regulated by the Office for Students.

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

Independent rankings

Sports Science at Kent scored 93% overall in The Complete University Guide 2021.

Over 95% of Sports Science graduates who responded to the most recent national survey of graduate destinations were in work or further study within six months (DLHE, 2017).

Careers

Graduate destinations

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
  • 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 School of Sport and Exercise Sciences has an excellent reputation and many links to professional bodies. This network is very useful to students when looking for employment.

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.

Professional recognition

Graduates may be able to apply for accreditation from the Register of Exercise Professionals and also have the option to take an exam for the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Health Fitness Instructor qualification.

Applications

Start to consider your options any time and you'll be able to submit your application from September 2021.

Visiting universities, virtually or in-person, helps you to discover the places and courses that suit you. Why not start by signing up for a Virtual Open Day at Kent.

Use our timeline for applying to Kent to help you plan your future.

Contact us

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International student enquiries

Enquire online

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

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