Sport and Exercise Science BSc (Hons)

Full-time, part-time undergraduate (3 years, 6 years)



Learn the science of sports coaching and how to apply it in different situations, and to people of different ages and abilities.

Full description


Our graduates go on to careers coaching all age groups and athletic abilities, as well as non-sports fields where developing talent and maximizing its potential are important skills.

Modules & assessment

Level 4 modules

  • This module will introduce you to the biomechanics of human movement, with the analysis of human performance in sport from the mechanical point of view. You’ll get a sound grounding in the fundamentals of human movement for Coaching Science and Sport, Health and Exercise and learn the essentials for further study in Biomechanics. We’ll 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. You’ll develop transferable skills such as IT, numeracy and communication and we’ll encourage you to become an independent thinker with good study habits. Your learning will be assessed by coursework and a final examination.
  • In this module we’ll cover concepts that underpin contemporary coaching theory and practice. By the end of the module you’ll have developed an appreciation of the coaching process including the ethical, pedagogical, managerial and behavioural components that enable good practice. We’ll investigate the roles, techniques, and planning skills of a good coach, the impact of their adherence to the professional code of conduct, their awareness of health and safety issues and their understanding of how a coaching session should progress. A crucial aspect of coaching is the ability to understand how individuals learn and acquire the knowledge and skills to perform. You’ll learn to identify different approaches to learning and what these mean for coaching practice and athletes’ development.
  • You’ll be introduced to the fundamental aspects of human physiology in order to understand how the body performs and responds to physical activity. You’ll explore the structure and function of the main organ systems of the body; the musculoskeletal, nervous, respiratory, cardiovascular, endocrine, digestive and urinary systems. You’ll examine how these systems work together and how they respond to exercise. Energy is essential for the functioning of the body and is in strong demand during exercise. Therefore you’ll explore the biochemical processes involved in energy transfer (metabolism). You’ll examine the different energy production pathways under aerobic and anaerobic conditions. Also, the role and contribution of the various macro-nutrients as fuel for the metabolism will be discussed. Then, energy expenditure during rest and physical activity will be investigated. You’ll examine how oxygen consumption can give us an insight into our energy expenditure and the different fuel and energy systems used. In your module you’ll study and explore the content through lectures, seminars and laboratory based practicals where the physiological and metabolic principles are applied and examined under both resting and exercise conditions. As well as providing you with subject specific knowledge, our module will enable you to develop a number of transferable skills, including practical (laboratory) techniques and general skills relevant to employment including report writing, data collection, data handling and data presentation. You’ll be assessed by coursework (60%) and exam (40%). Standard texts are available via the library and the more specialist literature is online.
  • Understanding psychological aspects of sport and exercise is vital in enhancing, or inhibiting, sports performance and exercise participation. This could include pre-competition nerves, attention control, self-confidence and motivation. You will reflect upon your own experiences in relation to psychological factors and to consider psychological demands of different sports and levels of participation. You will use your classroom time to take part in discussion and analysis of specific key topic areas of sport and exercise psychology and take part in group and individual tasks.

Level 5 modules

  • This module aims to bridge the gap between academic theory and practice. You will practically plan, deliver and evaluate real life coaching sessions with the help of a mentor. By the end of the module, you will have direct coaching/teaching experience and will have generated a portfolio of practical hours of coaching/teaching. The module will develop your appreciation of mentoring, coaching/teaching and reflection, whilst also developing valuable employability skills such as working in a team, communication and professionalism. The key areas we will address are those regarding the ‘job’ of the coach/teacher, from collecting real time information from your athletes/children, through to relating this into a structured plan and delivering this plan via several linked sessions. Finally, evaluating these sessions and then writing a reflection on this process will complete the coaching/teaching cycle. Throughout the module you will also develop employability skills, such as time management, administration, organisation, peer-feedback, and we will increase your awareness and understanding of important health and safety requirements of the sector. This module will be beneficial for those of you wanting to enhance their practical coaching/teaching experience and generate a greater volume of coaching/teaching hours.
  • There are a range of different tests available to assess physiological performance, the key is choosing the most appropriate. You’ll study the process of profiling performance and health from a physiological and analytical perspective. Your main focus will be the validity and reliability of the tests available to assess aerobic performance, anaerobic performance, strength, power and flexibility. Aerobic assessment will focus on the protocols used for the assessment of maximal aerobic power (VO2max). Analysis will be made of the protocols to assess aerobic capacity, such as maximum lactate steady state, lactate minimum, individual anaerobic threshold, onset of blood lactate accumulation and 4mM turn-point. The role of performance economy will be examined, and projected to show how this simple concept has been used to develop the principle of velocity at VO2max (vVO2max). The concept of critical power and speed will be assessed and justified. The application of these measures to exercise testing and screening will be observed through the study of sub-maximal cardio-pulmonary assessments and the interpretation of Wasserman's 9-plot. You’ll also address the assessment of respiratory function through spirometry and myocardial function through heart variability and electrocardiogram (ECG) monitoring. Anaerobic assessment will examine the tests used to assess both power and capacity such as the Wingate cycle test and the Maximally Accumulated Oxygen Deficit (MAOD). Strength and power testing will examine the use of strain gauges, isokinetic dynamometry and gym based protocols. Flexibility assessment will determine the appropriate use of flexometers, goniometers and reach boxes. All of these methodologies will be examined both theoretically and in a laboratory setting. The concepts of validity and reliability will be explored by further examination of statistical methods. As well as providing you with subject specific knowledge, our module helps develop a number of transferable skills including practical (laboratory) techniques and skills relevant to general employment including report writing, data collection, handling and presentation and will be of particular interest to individuals wishing to apply their exercise physiology knowledge and work within a Sports Science Support environment. Standard texts are available via the library and more specialist literature is online. You’ll be assessed by coursework (50%) and exam (50%).
  • Athletes rely on a constant stream of sensory information (e.g. visual, auditory, proprioceptive) from the environment to execute the motor skills needed for successful sporting performance. In this module you will focus on the three stages in motor control: Perception; Decision; Action. The perception of sensory information will be discussed in relation to goal directed and stimulus driven behaviour from a theoretical and applied perspective. Within this you will examine topics such as the visual system and the use of eye tracking methodology for the assessment of visual attention. Additionally, you will examine the influence of factors such as anxiety, expertise and expectancies on the perception of sensory information and elements such as anticipation and decision making. The second part of the module will focus on programming movement (information processing and dynamic systems theories), movement coordination and the execution of motor skills. Also you will examine the relationship between perceptual information, movement control and skill execution.
  • Whilst sports biomechanics is concerned with understanding the fine detail of movement during an individual’s performance of a particular technique, performance analysts are more concerned with gross movements, or movement patterns in games or team sports. Performance analysts are also more concerned with strategic and tactical issues in sport, rather than with technique analysis. This module examines how such analyses can be applied to a variety of coaching environments in order for you to monitor, analyse, diagnose and prescribe feedback and actions to enhance the learning and performance of the component elements of sport. The ability to objectively analyse both the performer's needs and the coaching process are key elements of good professional practice. You'll develop an integrated approach to performance analysis and gain a broader understanding of the conceptual frameworks underpinning movement at all levels of sports performance. You'll develop key transferable skills including communication, analytical and the ability to present information in a variety of formats.
  • The role of psychology in optimising sport performance is becoming increasingly recognised with many athletes now employing the services of sport psychology consultants and using mental skills in training and preparation for competition. Before designing an effective sport psychology intervention programme you must undertake a process of assessment and profiling to identify the mental strengths and weaknesses of the athlete. Within this module you will extent the knowledge you have gained at level 4, and we will specifically focus on the assessment methods needed to develop psychological profiles of athletes. For example, you will learn to use performance profiling and to conduct intake interviews. You will be challenged to examine the findings from this psychological assessment in relation to psychological theories to explain specific performance issues in the applied setting. The latest research within the topic areas will be examined and discussed and you will be encouraged to apply this research to case study scenarios and real-life situations in seminars and assignments. The module will be delivered through weekly sessions, combining lecture, seminar, active learning and practical elements. The module will be of particular interest to those who are planning careers in sport coaching or sport science support.
  • Build on experience you gained from previous modules and develop skills and knowledge base to produce a research project. Deliver it via assessment, presentation and written reports. Focus on advanced data handling and analysis of data and critically analysis and discuss reliability within data. You’ll produce a research proposal related to your chosen course and get constant support from our academics through tutorials, lectures and practicals.
  • Learn about sports development processes from around the world, within a variety of socio-economic and educational contexts, and how these are shaped by government policies. You’ll consider main bodies which influence the development and management of sport and focus on the ways in which sport functions as a business. As you focus on complexities of sports development and compare them to sports structures and funding from around the world, you’ll look at how sport in the UK is constructed and governed. Finally, you’ll research the recruitment, development and funding of athletes across various levels of performance from playground to podium and use case studies from around the world.

Level 6 modules

  • An effective support team makes use of various sports and exercise sciences, such as physiology, biomechanics, and psychology, to help improve the performance of an athlete, of a team, or the quality of life of the general public. In Applied Sport Psychology we will explore how to plan a sport psychology intervention, from the different perspectives that can be adopted by practitioners, to understanding when and how different psychological skill training techniques (e.g., goal setting, imagery, mindfulness) can be used. Through the adoption of a team-based learning setting, you will be engaging with the latest research within the topic areas and you will learn how to examine and critique it. Together with the members of your team, you will then be encouraged to apply this research to case study scenarios. Life briefs and guest speakers with expertise in the areas explored will add richness to the content and variety of the module, which will consist of a series of lectures mixed with practice-based sessions. As well as providing you with subject-specific knowledge, this module also helps develop a number of transferable skills relevant to general employment including interpersonal skills, data collection, handling, presentation, and reflective practice. The content is therefore appropriate for students following both the Sport and Exercise Science and the Sport Coaching and Physical Education courses.
  • You’ll examine the coach, their development and the environment within which they work. You’ll review three focused areas which include learning to mentor, awareness into ethical issues affecting the coaching domain and learning to appraise and applying theoretical concepts to support a particular view point. You’ll have an opportunity to work as a mentor to a coach, applying the knowledge you have gained and implementing this in a practical setting. The complex nature of coaching will be examined and how the coach works within the real world, with real-life sporting situations being utilised.
  • You’ll examine the holistic development of children and adolescents with a particular emphasis on the importance of adopting a long-term, athlete-centred approach to developing athletes. We’ll specifically focus on the formative years of athlete/participant development and grassroots/recreational sport. The importance of physical literacy and role of fundamental movement skills are highlighted as essential components for enabling individuals to maximise their athletic potential and to encourage lifelong participation in sport and physical activity. You’ll also explore the intersection between sport and physical education pedagogical practice and the role that PE/school sport and alternative activities play in adolescent development and their contribution towards achieving wider sport, health and physical activity objectives.
  • This module will delve into the fascinating but sometimes controversial domain of training science and explore the nature training programme design, athlete development and limitations to the success of the athlete. To this end, it will commence with an exploration of what constitutes performance, examining the physiological and metabolic demands of sports. The major component of this module will though address the principles of training application and design. Consideration will be given to the laws of training in the context of the developing athlete and how these are linked to the of one-factor and two-factor theories of super-compensation. Time will be devoted to the nature of fatigue both as a prerequisite to the training adaptation but also as a function of the training load examining the peripheral and central manifestations of this key training mechanism. Fatigue will also be explored in the context of recovery and methods of recovery. In the context of fatigue and training adaptation the role of cellular messengers such as PGC-1α and mTOR will be considered to show how an adaptation manifests. The notion of fatigue, training and recovery will lead into the evaluation of under-performance syndrome addressing both what this is as psychobiological construct but also how this can be both monitored and avoided. These elements will all be brought together to evaluate the programming of training using an array of approaches including linear and non-linear periodisation and block training models and how these programmes can either through the use of a taper lead to an athletic peak or through the application of undulating loads lead to a maintenance of performance. A major aspect of this module will focus on populations, with particular reference to children, females and the disabled, the underlying biology will considered as well as how training had to be adjusted to accommodate this ‘special’ populations. This module will help to continue developing a series of transferable skills including practical (laboratory) techniques and skills relevant to general employment including report writing, data collection, handling and presentation and will be of particular interest to individuals wishing to apply their exercise physiology knowledge and work within a Sports Science Support environment both with athletes and clinical populations. The context for the journey within this module will be established using a series of live briefs showcasing how these concepts and transferable skills are utilised by graduates of ARU in the workplace.
  • This module provides the opportunity to build on wider exercise science and previous learning to investigate the latest evidence-based practice in Strength and Conditioning (S&C). You will 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 apply this knowledge when coaching performers through this process and also consider the value of these exercises within the training cycle. Through observation of performers, you will identify and understand the coaching cues required to correct ineffective movement patterns. You will also develop a high level of knowledge to enable you to practically suggest and present appropriate interventions for performers of varying ability. Drawing upon your digital literacy skills you will investigate the use of technology/micro technology for monitoring performance and you will critically evaluate the methods of data collection for the exercise and conditioning professional. You will investigate how training may change when working with different performers with varying abilities and from different populations (e.g. youth/veteran athletes and disability athletes). 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. Through a combination of lectures and practical’s, split one third and two thirds respectively, you will be challenged to apply your underlying sports science and coaching knowledge, to effectively communicate this to athletes and to evaluate performance as you observe it. These are key skills required for people wishing to work as an S&C coach as well as in other coaching and sports science roles from community clubs through to professional teams.
  • You will create in a substantial piece of individual research and/or product development work, focused on a topic of your choice. You could choose your topic from a variety of sources including research groups, previous/current work experience, your current employer, a suggestion from your tutor or a topic you are specifically interested in. You will identify problems and issues, conduct literature reviews, evaluate information, investigate and adopt suitable development methodologies, determine solutions, develop hardware, software and/or media artifacts as appropriate, process data, critically appraise and present your finding using a variety of media. Regular meetings with your project supervisor will ensure your project is closely monitored and steered in the right direction.


We’ll assess your progress using exams, written assignments and your performance in group sessions, practical work, lab work, presentations and your major project.

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?

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK & EU students, 2018/19 (per year)*


Additional costs

Approximately £200 per annum (includes appropriate sports attire, professional development awards, visits to external industry sites and poster/project printing).

Cost of a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check (Standard £23, Enhanced £40).

Important fee notes

The part-time course fee assumes that you’re studying at half the rate of a full-time student (50% intensity, or 60 credits per year). Course fees will be different if you study over a longer period, or for more credits. All fees are for guidance purposes only. Your offer letter will contain full details of credits and fees, or you can contact us if you'd like more information.

How do I pay my fees?

You can pay your fees in the following ways.

Tuition fee loan

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

Loans and fee payments


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 students

Most new UK undergraduate students can apply for government funding to support their studies and university life. This also applies to EU, EEA and Swiss nationals who have citizens' rights following Brexit.

Government funding 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 range of ARU scholarships, which can provide extra financial support while you’re at university.

Entry requirements

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72 UCAS tariff points. Required subject(s): 2 A levels one of which needs to be a science subject. BTEC/Access required: a BTEC National or a full Access Certificate in a related subject. GCSEs required: 3 GCSEs at grade C or above in English, Mathematics and Science.

Important additional notes

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email for further information.

You'll need a computer and reliable internet access to successfully engage with your course. Before starting a course, we recommend that you check our technical requirements for online learning. Our website also has general information for new students about starting at ARU.

All tariff points must come from A levels. Points from AS levels cannot be counted towards the total tariff points required for entry to this course.

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UK and EU applicants

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UK students

Apply for 2022

UCAScode: N870

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