Sport and Exercise Therapy BSc (Hons)

Full-time undergraduate (3 years, 4 years with foundation year, 4 years with placement)




Get hands-on. Immerse yourself in the world of sport, exercise, injury and rehabilitation and gain manual therapy skills in our specialist Cambridge facilities, endorsed by the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences. Get experience in our student-led clinic or with a placement year. Accredited by the Society of Sports Therapists, this degree covers the principles of rehabilitation techniques and exercise science, so you’ll graduate ready to work as a professional sports therapist, with sport teams or within a clinic.

Full description


We work with employers to make sure you graduate with the knowledge, skills and abilities they need. They help us review what we teach and how we teach it – and they offer hands-on, practical opportunities to learn through work-based projects, internships or placements.

You'll graduate as a healthcare professional from a course accredited by the Society of Sport Therapists.

Sports therapy professionals are increasingly in demand in the performance sport, recreational sport and healthcare industries. They can work for teams or organisations, or be self-employed. You could pursue a career in a sports medicine team, supporting professional players back from injury. Or you might choose to work with the increasing number of 'weekend warriors' and recreational athletes, who also need support to recover from injury. Alternatively, you could focus on working with the wider community – perhaps those who are inactive or older, and need assistance to get back to functional fitness.

While you're studying at ARU, we'll encourage you to make connections with industry. We have links with a range of sporting organisations, such as:

  • Living Sport (Cambridge and Peterborough Sports Development)
  • Cambridge City Council
  • Addenbrooke's Hospital
  • British Paralympic Association
  • Cambridge Utd FC
  • British Cycling
  • England & Wales Cricket Board.

When you first register as a student, you'll become a member of the Society of Sport Therapists, which provides guidance and advice for the profession. Our course will also signpost opportunities to gain wider qualifications, such as REPS (Register of Exercise Professionals) courses, to strengthen your CV.

Postgraduate study and research

Graduation doesn’t need to be the end of your time with us. If you’d like to continue your studies we offer a wide range of full-time and part-time postgraduate courses, including MSc Sport and Exercise Science as well as PhD opportunities.

Modules & assessment

Level 3 (foundation year)

  • Foundation in Sports Science
    This module will provide students with the necessary skills to begin studying at level 4 in courses related to sports and sports science. Students will be introduced to the core skills necessary to succeed in higher education, including researching and referencing appropriately, demonstrating appropriate ICT skills, and communicating effectively verbally and in writing. In addition to these fundamental study skills, students will be introduced to the various scientific disciplines underpinning sports sciences. Fundamental mathematical skills will be covered in order to support students’ other subjects and give them confidence in manipulating data. Students will be introduced to molecular and cellular biology, and how these fields are applied to real-world investigations. Students will also study the biology of micro and macro organisms, with reference to both human and animal structures. Students will be introduced to the core concepts of chemistry, with a particular focus on organic chemistry, and will also be given a grounding in the core principles of physics, applied to living organisms. Students will be introduced to the core principles of psychology and will explore various current applications of psychological theory. The module is made up of the following eight constituent elements: Interactive Learning Skills and Communication (ILSC); Information Communication Technology (ICT); Psychology; Maths for Scientists; Cellular Biology; Biology – Physiology; Chemistry; Physics for Life Sciences.

Level 4 modules

  • Anatomy and Physiology
    You will explore the fundamental aspects of human anatomy and physiology in order to understand how the body responds and performs to physical activity. You will look at how the regulation of the human body to stress (exercise) relates to an intricate set of homeostatic events, enabling different systems to increase their overall physiological output to sustain effort. The structure and function of the main organ systems in the body; the musculoskeletal, respiratory, cardiovascular and digestive systems will be examined and reviewed in relation to rest and in response to exercise. You will study and explore the content through lectures, seminars and laboratory based practicals where the functional and homeostatic principles will be applied and examined under changing conditions. As well as providing you with subject specific knowledge, this module will enable you to develop a number of specific employability skills related to practical (laboratory) techniques and general skills related to data collection, data handling and data presentation.
  • Introduction to Human Movement
    You will be introduced to the fundamentals of human movement using a concept of qualitative movement diagnosis (QMD). QMD is an observational approach to analysing human movement, a key skill which is fundamental to all Sports Coaching, Sport Science, Health and Exercise and Physical Education practitioners. You will also study the types of motion a body can have, including the concepts of distance, speed and time and displacement, velocity and acceleration. These kinematic motion quantities will be explored practically and graphically. The importance of Newton's laws and the net external force to all movement will be explained, giving you an insight into how limb rotation can produce translational movement. The anatomical quantities of mass, weight and centre of mass will be investigated and the links drawn with the body's kinetic and potential energy. You will study and explore the content within the context of real sporting actions such as: standing, walking, running, jumping and throwing and by using the techniques of video analysis, experimental investigation and computer aided data analysis.
  • Foundation Skills in Sport and Exercise Therapy
    A sport or exercise therapists’ role is underpinned by a number of fundamental skills and competencies allowing practitioners to respond to, treat and rehabilitate injuries. In the sporting domain, this includes the ability to respond immediately to injurious events, both minor and catastrophic, as well as to provide medium and long-term treatment strategies for rehabilitation and the prevention of overuse injuries. This module introduces and gives you the opportunity to practice the sports massage skills which form the basis of the manual therapies provided by a Sports Therapist alongside other common treatment modalities including but not limited to cryotherapy and electrotherapy. Additionally, your basic life support qualifications will be built upon with the advanced first responder techniques required to allow you to provide acute trauma management.
  • Anatomy and Joint Assessment for Sports Therapists
    In-depth knowledge of the musculo-skeletal system of the human body and the response of these tissues to injury is vital for the role of a sport or exercise therapist. This module practically introduces you to the key musculo-skeletal landmarks of the body, with a particular focus on the major joints and their assessment. You will gain hands on experience of locating and palpating each of the major muscle groups as well as knowledge of the underlying structural components of the muscles and bones leading to an in-depth knowledge and experience of a full range of muscle and joint assessments. You will also be introduced to the most common joint injuries and the approach to their treatment. A mixture of lectures and practical’s will introduce you to the supporting theory and knowledge of the musculo-skeletal system required to perform assessment and treatment of muscle and joint function in injured populations.
  • Exercise Physiology and Nutrition
    Energy is essential for the functioning of the body and is in strong demand during exercise. You will explore the biochemical processes involved in energy transfer (metabolism) and will examine the different energy production pathways under aerobic and anaerobic conditions – and extend this understanding to identify the continuum of energy supply and demand during differing modes of exercise. Additionally, the role and contribution of the various macro-nutrients as fuel for the metabolism will be discussed. Energy expenditure during rest and physical activity will also be investigated. As a result you will examine how oxygen consumption can give us a reliable insight into our energy expenditure and the different fuel and energy systems used. In this module you will learn through lectures, seminars and laboratory based practicals where the physiological and metabolic principles will be applied and examined under both resting and exercise conditions. As well as providing you with subject specific knowledge, this module will enable you to develop a number of specific employability skills related to practical (laboratory) techniques and general skills related to data collection, data handling and data presentation.
  • Research Methods for Sport and Exercise
    This module will provide an introduction to the core skills required for research in the area of sport science and sports coaching set in the context of a higher education environment. The module will act as key foundation within the degree programme providing wider skills for study and research. The module will seek to develop the skills and attributes required to initiate an understanding of the research process and stages associated with it and also an appreciation of different types of research. You will also develop an understanding of the different types of data that can be collected within your course area. The module will seek to develop a good awareness of the data analysis process, utilising different IT skills and IT programs. Finally, academic best practice will be discussed and evaluated which will cover themes such as writing skills and plagiarism. Key employability skills will be developed through out this module – particularly how to construct oral and written reports using appropriate formatting, language and citations.

Level 5 modules

  • Physiological Profiling for Endurance
    Aerobic physiology and functioning are the linchpins to all athletic and health-based activities. You will study the process of profiling aerobic endurance performance and health from a physiological and analytical perspective, looking at validity and reliability in test selection. You will consider the protocols and limitations associated with the assessment of maximum aerobic power (VO2max), while aerobic capacity will be addressed in the context of maximal lactate steady state, lactate minimum, individual anaerobic threshold, onset of blood lactate accumulation (OBLA) and DMax and the ventilatory threshold. The relevance of performance economy as a diagnostic tool will be considered and projected to show how this simple concept of sub-maximal oxygen uptake can be used to establish the performance indicator termed velocity at VO2max (vVO2max). Consideration will be given to the dynamics of oxygen supply and utilisation at the onset of exercise through a reflection of oxygen uptake kinetics. These concepts will all be used to explore exercise intensity domains and how the role of critical power and the W’ can be used to provide an objective measure of an integrated response to exercise. Clinical skills will also be considered through the application of such techniques as ECG, thoracic impedance, respiratory flow loops and cardiopulmonary exercise testing.
  • Physiological Profiling for Strength and Power
    The production of force and power across a range of motion, and in conjunction with the body dimensions, are crucial to both everyday living and athletic performance. You will study the process of profiling aerobic endurance performance and health from a physiological and analytical perspective, looking at validity and reliability in test selection. You will assess anaerobic power through such means as the Wingate cycle test and Margaria Stair test while anaerobic capacity will be evaluated in the context of accumulated oxygen deficit tests as well as lactate and constant load tests. The determination of strength will address measures of isometric, isotonic and isoinertial force production using conventional ‘gym-based’ approaches to more clinically relevant measures such as the Reactive Strength Index. These will be compared to the laboratory controlled assessment of strength (torque) using isokinetic dynamometry. Body composition will be considered through the use of both callipers and skinfold assessments through to hydro-densitometry. Flexibility and the determination of range of motion (ROM) will then be considered in the context of indirect measures such as Sit-and-Reach through to more applied approaches using flexometers and goniometers.
  • Applied Sports Therapy
    The module consists of both theoretical and practical components, giving you the opportunity to develop a range of practical skills. It aims to provide you with the skills and knowledge to assess and identify the most common joint dysfunction. During this module you will learn the most effective treatment protocols by using clinical reasoning and justifications, studying detailed functional anatomy, observation and complete examination of the peripheral and vertebral joint, recognition of the dysfunction by application of specific tests, treatment of peripheral and vertebral joint disorder using a variety of mobilisation techniques.
  • Functional Rehabilitation
    Strength and conditioning coaches and sport therapists are often responsible for large portions of the rehabilitation of athletes from injury. This module introduces you to rehabilitation theory and gives you the knowledge and understanding to plan, implement and deliver progressive exercise programmes. Specifically, this module focuses on the early and intermediate stages of recovery from injuries sustained in sports and exercise settings. From the acute inflammatory stage where students will learn to manage the injury, through to the recovery of functional losses, you will cover rehabilitation of upper and lower limbs and spine. Moving from non-weight bearing to weight-bearing exercise, you learn how to increase strength, endurance, range of motion and proprioception. You will also be taught the use of ambulation aids (such as crutches), gait retraining, taping, strapping and compression bandaging.
  • Strength and Conditioning
    This role of the applied strength and conditioning (S&C) coach at all levels of sport has progressed in recent years and is now a fundamental role within the sport science support team. You will explore safe and effective S&C practice and develop an evidence based applied rationale for the role of S&C work in relation to different performance athletes. You will be introduced to the fundamental techniques and principles of athlete assessment, evaluation and consultation, considering these applied modes in conjunction with a recognition of the use of an athlete needs analysis. Although the generic term “S&C” is applied to this training domain you will address the wider implications in relation to the components of fitness: endurance, speed, strength, agility (or equivalent areas). You will also explore the rationale for approaches used in relation to training programme design which will be under-scored by the issues of physiological and anatomical adaptation.
  • Applied Research Skills
    Expanding on the knowledge and experience gained from the 'Research Methods for Sport and Exercise' module, you will continue to develop the knowledge-base and applied skills required to produce a substantive independent report supported by research and data interpretation. You will focus on two interrelated areas of study; applied data collection and interpretation with respect to the research process. These two areas will be delivered with recognition of the two paradigms of research, Quantitative and Qualitative, offering different, but complementary, opportunities to collect and evaluate coaching, health, and sports science data for a perspective or objective review of scientific evidence and applied practice. You will develop key employability skills related to research design and presentation in a safe environment, providing an opportunity to evaluate which research designs would best suit your intended final year project (Research project or Advanced Work Placement).
  • Applied Research and Employability
    This is your opportunity to build and test ideas for your final year research project or advanced work placement. Following on from applied experiences gained in previous modules, you will further develop the key competencies that support independent learning and exploration. You will create a research project proposal or a proposal for suitable work experience. In addition, you will evaluate the ethical and legal issues related to being an applied research or practitioner with Sport and Exercise Sciences.

Level 6 modules

  • Professional Practice in Sport Therapy
    Here we seek to provide you with real-world practical experience of assessment, recognition, diagnosis, treatment, management and rehabilitation of injury. In advance of this module, you will plan and secure one or more relevant supervised work placements to be completed during the module. There will be some support with regards to securing placements outside of the University, but identification of placement opportunities will be primarily student-led. All work placements will require approval by the course or module leader ahead of any work-based activity occurring. To complete this module, you will draw upon learning completed in previous modules and therefore be demonstrating the Society of Sport Therapy Standards of Proficiency. You will be required to complete a minimum of 200 hours of supervised clinical placement in a sport therapy and/or exercise related environment. At least 50 of these hours will take place within the University’s Sport Therapy clinic. A limit of no more than 150 hours can be accrued/logged before the start of the second semester.
  • Rehabilitation for Performance
    In a competitive sporting environment, it is not enough just to regain function (e.g. walking or running). To be able to withstand the rigors of competitive sport, an athlete must be reconditioned, and the risk of re-injury reduced before returning to play. Building on the early and intermediate stages of rehabilitation, functional movement and strength and conditioning covered earlier in the course, this module deals with the late and pre-discharge stages of rehabilitation, covering the conditioning of patients for them to return to play. You will learn to create progressive, sport-specific exercise programmes covering flexibility/Range of Motion (ROM), endurance, strength, speed, skill and coordination. You will progress from non-contact to full-contact training, more advanced movements such as change of direction and the introduction of elements of spontaneity. You will also learn the principles and practices of pre-discharge examinations and the psychological aspects of the injury and rehabilitation process.
  • Advanced Strength and Conditioning
    Investigate the latest evidence based practice on Strength and Conditioning (S&C). Learn, experience and analyse free weight lifting techniques with specific focus on more complex lifts and the derivatives associated with them. You will learn to coach performers through this process and also consider the value (of these lifts) within the training cycle. Through observation of performers, you will understand the coaching cues in order to identify ineffective movement patterns. You will also develop a high level of knowledge to enable you to practically suggest and present appropriate interventions for a performer of varying ability. The use of technology/micro technology for monitoring performance will be investigated and you will review the value of this method of data collection for the exercise and conditioning professional. You will investigate how training may change when working with different performers with varying abilities. Being able to change your professional practice relative to the specific population you are working with is a critical skill for the conditioning coach. Learning about the needs and issues to consider when training special populations will permit you to be a more proficient in the area.
  • Contemporary Issues for Sport and Exercise Therapy Practice
    As a practicing sports or exercise therapist, the clients you will potentially encounter will rarely be textbook cases and there will be situations where specialist knowledge is required. The sports therapy skills studied previously in the course will be consolidated and critically reviewed within more in-depth and higher level scenarios. This module will prepare you for the complexities of working in the “real world”, the legal, ethical and practical considerations of working with a variety of populations including the elderly, young, disabled athletes, different cultures amongst others will be addressed. Advanced topics such as diagnostic imaging techniques, clinical referral and postoperative care will also be covered within the context of these different populations. You will also explore professional aspects of sports therapy such as good business practice, legal and moral responsibilities of professional practice. You will also have the opportunity to put your mentoring skills into practice by supporting other Level 4 and 5 students on the course.
  • Undergraduate Major Project
    The module provides you with the opportunity to select a subject area within Sport and to determine and apply ethical standards, undertake an in-depth review of the literature, and create research questions derived from the review. It will also provide you with an opportunity to develop, conceptualise, execute, analyse and reflect upon your own independent research.


Throughout the course, we’ll use a range of assessment methods to help you measure your progress. These include presentations, practical skills tests, scientific reports, case study critiques, online assessments and a research project.

We’ll also encourage you to reflect on your work, and participate in peer assessment.

Where you'll study

Your faculty

The Faculty of Science & Engineering is one of the largest of the four faculties at Anglia Ruskin University. Whether you choose to study with us full-time or part-time, on campus or at a distance, there’s an option whatever your level – from a foundation degree, BSc, MSc, PhD or professional doctorate.

Whichever course you pick, you’ll gain the theory and practical skills needed to progress with confidence. Join us and you could find yourself learning in the very latest laboratories or on field trips or work placements with well-known and respected companies. You may even have the opportunity to study abroad.

Everything we do in the faculty has a singular purpose: to provide a world-class environment to create, share and advance knowledge in science, technology and engineering fields. This is key to all of our futures.

Where can I study?

Lord Ashcroft Building on our Cambridge campus

Our campus is close to the centre of Cambridge, often described as the perfect student city.

Explore our Cambridge campus

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK & EU students starting 2020/21 (per year)


International students starting 2020/21 (per year)


Additional Costs

£250 per annum to cover optional external qualifications/professional memberships, sports attire for practical sessions and miscellaneous study items (i.e. printing).

How do I pay my fees?

Tuition fee loan

UK and EU students can take out a tuition fee loan, which you won’t need to start repaying until after your graduate. Or alternatively, there's the option to pay your fees upfront.

Loans and fee payments

International students

You can pay your tuition fees upfront, in full or in two instalments. We will also ask you for a deposit of £4,000 or a sponsorship letter. Details will be in your offer letter.

Paying your fees


We offer a fantastic range of ARU scholarships, which provide extra financial support while you’re at university. Some of these cover all or part of your tuition fees.

Explore ARU scholarships

Funding for UK & EU students

Most new undergraduate students can apply for government funding to support their studies and university life. This includes Tuition Fee Loans and Maintenance Loans. There are additional grants available for specific groups of students, such as those with disabilities or dependants.

We also offer a fantastic range of ARU scholarships, which provide extra financial support while you’re at university. Find out more about eligibility and how to apply.

Funding for international students

We offer a number of scholarships, as well as an early payment discount. Explore your options:

Entry requirements

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  • 112 UCAS points from a minimum of 2 A Levels (or equivalent), including a pass in Psychology, Physical Education, Sports Studies or a science subject.
  • 3 GCSEs at grade C, or grade 4, or above including English, Maths and Science.
  • If English is not your first language you will be expected to demonstrate a certificated level of proficiency of at least IELTS 6.0 (Academic level) or equivalent English Language qualification, as recognised by Anglia Ruskin University.
International students

We welcome applications from international and EU students, and accept a range of international qualifications.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you'll need to make sure you meet our English language requirements for postgraduate courses.

Improving your English language skills

If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry onto a degree course.

We also provide our own English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT) in the UK and overseas. To find out if we are planning to hold an ELPT in your country, contact our country managers.

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