Sport

Sport and Exercise Science - BSc (Hons)

with a Year in Industry

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Our Open Days offer face-to-face and virtual options and they are a fantastic way to meet our staff and students. Join our Virtual Open Day on Thursday 13 January from 16.00 - 19.00 GMT to find out why Kent is right for you.

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).

Your degree, your way

Your year in industry takes place between your second and final year of your degree programme, giving you invaluable work experience. This greatly enhances your CV and employability while giving you the opportunity to apply your academic skills in practical context. It also gives you an idea of your career options after graduation. Most placements are paid opportunities, and there may be the possibility of a job with the same company after you graduate.

It is also possible to take this degree as a three-year programme. For details see our Sport and Exercise Science BSc (Hons).

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

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

    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 related subject.

  • 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: 4 years full-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

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

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.

Topics include:

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. It 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.

Topics include:

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.

Topics include:

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. It includes: Principles of sport and exercise training; Training methodology; Programme design and organisation; Adaptations to training.

Find out more about SPOR5700

This module will cover the following topics:

Introduction to staff research areas in the CSS

The process of forming a research question and hypothesis

Writing an introduction

Writing a literature review

Writing a methodology

Writing a discussion

Justification of resources

Ethics in research

Writing clinics

Supervisor contact

Presentation of current dissertation projects

Find out more about SPOR5730

This module introduces students to the analysis techniques required for their dissertation module. The analysis techniques to be covered are as follows:

Independent and paired t-tests

Overview of Regression and Correlation

Qualitative analysis techniques

One way ANOVA

Factorial ANOVA

Repeated measures ANOVA

Non-parametric tests

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

Year in industry

The year in industry gives you the opportunity to gain valuable work experience. It is your responsibility to find a placement, but we will help and support you through this process and while you are there.

Please note that acceptance onto the course is not a guarantee of a placement. The responsibility of finding a placement is on the student, with help and support from the department. If you cannot find a placement, you will be required to change your registration for the equivalent BSc (Hons) programme without the year in industry option.

Compulsory modules currently include

Students spend a year (minimum 900 hours) doing paid work in an organisation outside the University, usually in an industrial or commercial environment, applying and enhancing the skills and techniques they have developed and studied in the earlier stages of their degree programme. Employer evaluation, personal and professional reviews and on-line blogs are assessed under SPOR5910 Industrial Placement Experience, which is a co-requisite of this module. The assessment of this module draws on the experience gained in SPOR5910 Industrial Placement Experience and is assessed through a portfolio submission.

The placement work they do is entirely under the direction of their industrial supervisor, but support is provided by the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences. This support includes ensuring that the work they are being expected to do is such that they can meet the learning outcomes of this module.

Participation in the placement year, and hence in this module, is dependent on students obtaining an appropriate placement, for which support and guidance is provided through the School in the year leading up to the placement. It is also dependent on students progressing satisfactorily from Stage 2 of their studies.

Students who do not obtain a placement or who fail module SPOR5910 Industrial Placement Experience will be required to transfer to the appropriate programme without a Year in Industry and any marks obtained on this module will not contribute to their final degree classification.

Find out more about SPOR5900

Students spend a year (minimum 900 hours) doing paid work in an organisation outside the University, usually in an industrial or commercial environment, applying and enhancing the skills and techniques they have developed and studied in the earlier stages of their degree programme.

The work they do is entirely under the direction of their industrial supervisor, but support is provided by the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences. This support includes ensuring that the work they are being expected to do is such that they can meet the learning outcomes of the module.

Participation in this module is dependent on students obtaining an appropriate placement, for which support and guidance is provided through the School in the year leading up to the placement. It is also dependent on students progressing from Stage 2 of their studies.

Students who do not obtain a placement will be required to transfer to the appropriate programme without a Year in Industry.

Students who do not obtain a placement will be required to transfer to the appropriate programme without a Year in Industry.

Find out more about SPOR5910

Stage 3

Compulsory modules currently include

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

Find out more about SPOR5230

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.

Find out more about SPOR5660

Optional modules may include

The topic areas covered in this module build upon the knowledge gained in SPOR3480 Introduction to Fitness Testing & SPOR5700 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 indicative topics included in this module are:

Exercise, physical activity and health

Fitness assessment issues related to special population groups

Children and physical activity

Females and exercise issues

Exercise considerations for a sedentary population

Exercise and the older adult

Special exercise considerations and adaptations for special populations

Risks and 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 knowledge and understanding of the role of applied practice within sport and exercise psychology. A key module aim is to provide students with knowledge and understanding of the applied sport and exercise psychology service delivery process. Students will explore how sport psychology practitioners initially approach intervention work; consider ethical and professional practice dilemmas; appraise and evaluate approaches to evidence-based evidence; design an intervention; and reflect on their practice. Students will be required to conduct a case study with a sport or exercise participant.

A synopsis of the indicative topics included in this module are:

Introduction to the module

Frameworks and approaches in sport psychology (including philosophy and models of practice)

Professional practice (ethical standards, considerations, and evidence-based practice)

Initial needs assessment (Intake, interview, and performance profiling)

Choosing and planning an intervention

Psychological skills and strategies

Reflective practice - Athletic injuries and psychology - Clinical psychology (eating disorders, burnout, and exercise addiction)

Working with special populations (youth athletes, older adults, and living with disability/chronic illness)

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 be conducted to reinforce theoretical knowledge.

The following indicative topics covered in this module are:

- Submaximal and maximal determinants of exercise performance

- Strength and power in athletic performance

- Processes of fatigue and implications for training

- Contemporary issues in training

- Monitoring training and recovery

Find out more about SPOR5640

In this module students will study and investigate the latest 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 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

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.

Fees for Year in Industry

The 2022/23 annual tuition fees for UK undergraduate courses have not yet been set by the UK Government. As a guide only full-time tuition fees for Home and EU undergraduates for 2021/22 entry are £1,385.

Fees for Year Abroad

The 2022/23 annual tuition fees for UK undergraduate courses have not yet been set by the UK Government. As a guide only full-time tuition fees for Home and EU undergraduates for 2021/22 entry are £1,385.

Students studying abroad for less than one academic year will pay full fees according to their fee status. 

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

Contact us

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United Kingdom/EU enquiries

Enquire online for full-time study

T: +44 (0)1227 768896

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International student enquiries

Enquire online

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

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