Sport and Exercise Sciences BSc
Year of entry 2023
- UCAS code
- Start date
- September 2023
- Delivery type
- On campus
- 3 years full time
- Work placement
- Study abroad
- Typical A-level offer
- AAB (specific subject requirements)
- Typical Access to Leeds offer
Full entry requirements
Sport and exercise science has an important role in society, ranging from improving sports performance in elite athletes to reducing the burden of disease associated with physical inactivity in modern lifestyles. By improving our understanding of how the body and mind respond and adapt to exercise, we can develop new research-based approaches to enhance performance and health.
In addition to being provided with a broad knowledge and understanding of the principal body systems, processes and functions in health and disease, you will have the opportunity to discover and explore individual areas in more depth such as exercise physiology, biomechanics, motor control, and sport and exercise psychology. You will explore how this knowledge may be applied to optimise sports performance, improve health and disease outcomes, and inform rehabilitation strategies.
You will be part of an investigative-based inspirational and engaging learning experience, informed by cutting edge research undertaken in purpose-built laboratories, delivered by the world leading academics undertaking this research. This course will give you an integrated understanding of how the body and mind respond to and learn from, the particular demands placed on them during sport and exercise using current techniques and methods.
Our focus will be on making you workplace ready, equipped with the knowledge, skills and attributes required to succeed in whatever career you choose. To showcase your knowledge and skills to potential employers, you will undertake a capstone or culminating research project, where you will bring together the knowledge, skills and attributes developed throughout your degree and apply it with ultimate aim of creating a solution to this problem.
Top 15 in the UK for sport science – (Complete University Guide 2021 & The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021).
92% student satisfaction for sports and exercise science – (NSS 2020).
Delivered using inspirational, engaging and inclusive approaches. Develop the key skills and attributes of a global graduate, able to contribute biomedical solutions to the global challenges facing humankind.
Develop hands-on practical skills in our state-of-the-art physiology, biomechanics and motor control laboratories, including the use of our environmental chamber and motion capture system. Practical skills modules throughout the first 2 years train you to identify problems, design and conduct experiments to find answers to key health and sport related questions.
Gain experience working with organisations relevant to the discipline such as sports teams, rehabilitation specialists, sports management teams, health organisations through our year in industry programme.
The opportunity to undertake an independent capstone research project under the supervision of a field-leading academic, further developing the key skills and attributes that will set you apart in the graduate job market.
Sport and exercise sciences is a specialist degree within the School of Biomedical Sciences which offers you flexibility throughout your time studying at Leeds.
Our sport degree programmes share a common first year which means that at the end of year 1, there are opportunities to transfer on to other suitable and related degree courses, subject to approval.
Here at the University of Leeds, we are acutely aware that teaching is only part of a healthy, engaging university lifestyle. Activities which contribute to your wellbeing are vital, and so we have created Wednesday Wellbeing Afternoons.
These afternoons are a period of time with as much teaching as possible removed to give you the chance to pursue your passions. This may be a competitive sport for the university, a social sporting activity, or indeed any activity which contributes to positive mental health. We want your degree to be as flexible as possible so that you can make the most of your time here with us.
This course equips you with a broad knowledge across the sports and exercise sciences and certain aspects of the biomedical sciences.
The knowledge you will gain includes an introduction to essential anatomy & physiology of human systems, biochemistry driving energy production, and core concepts in the major discipline areas of sport and exercise sciences. These core concepts include biomechanics, exercise physiology, motor control, and sport and exercise psychology as well as some basic neuroscience. This is delivered in a structured and facilitated way to support your learning.
You’ll also develop the fundamental practical laboratory skills and techniques that will underpin the rest of your studies, and essential academic and professional skills to help you progress successfully through the course and into further study or employment.
You will also have the opportunity to take optional modules within other areas of the biomedical sciences or key applied areas such as sport and physical activity modules operated through the local sports service – The Edge facility (The Edge - Gym, swimming pool & sports complex in Leeds) and specialist areas such as nutrition as well as pursue other interests you may have.
At the end of year 1, our flexible degree structure may offer you the opportunity to transfer onto other suitable, related degree courses.
Human systems and health (20 credits) – An introduction to the anatomy and physiology of the main human body systems and how we maintain health. This module will discuss topics such as the cardiovascular, respiratory and neuromuscular systems. The module will include students working in teams to apply their knowledge to create solutions to problem-based case studies.
The basis of life (20 credits) – An understanding of the molecular basis of human life. This module will discuss molecular processes and cell structures, and their critical role in determining how humans function and survive. It will explore the biochemical basis of key physiological functions, for example, in muscles and how these change during exercise.
Introductory concepts in sport and exercise sciences (20 credits) – To build a core knowledge of the sport and exercise sciences disciplines. This will include understanding of key concepts in biomechanics, exercise physiology, motor control and sport and exercise psychology. There may be options to take other biomedical sciences concepts.
Practical research skills in sport and exercise sciences (20 credits) – Students will develop fundamental practical laboratory and associated skills. This module will cover the introductory laboratory and scientific skills that are essential for experimental design, execution and reporting of practical work in sport and exercise sciences. This module will equip students with a range of scientific research skills that will underpin their work in subsequent years.
Academic and professional skills addressing global challenges (20 credits) – Whilst focussing on addressing key challenges within Biomedical Sciences, students will develop essential academic and professional skills. Students will work as a team to research and create solutions to a national or global challenge or problem. They will develop and apply important skills including critical thinking, creative problem-solving, team-working and communication skills.
Building and extending on the knowledge and skills from year 1, you can choose specialist topics in each sub-discipline within the advances concept units such as muscular performance, biomechanics of sport and exercise, social psychology of sport and exercise, skills acquisition and motor learning while further developing your research and applied skills in our state-of-the-art Sport Science laboratories.
Flexibility is offered for taking modules sitting outside of the sport and exercise sciences degree, such as diagnostic imaging, and nutrition and disease. We also offer applied modules in collaboration with our colleagues in the Sport and Physical Activity Service, based at The Edge and you could study topics such as strength and conditioning, or teaching and coaching young people. In year 2 the modules are taught in a way that balances facilitated and independent learning.
You will further develop your personal and professional skills including critical thinking, creative problem solving, team-working, critical reasoning skills, and gain further experience of applying your knowledge and skills to evaluate scientific evidence and creating solutions to major sport related and health problems.
At the end of year 2, you will have the opportunity to complete an industrial work placement, study abroad, or combined study and work abroad. This will add an additional year of study to your degree.
Advanced sport and exercise sciences concept units I (20 credits) – Students can build subject specialist knowledge by choosing concept units they are most interested in studying further. This module builds on Year 1 and prepares students for Specialist Topic units in Year 3. Units may include, for example, the cardiorespiratory systems, and the impact of exercise on these, or the psychology of exercise
Advanced sport and exercise sciences concept units II (20 credits) – Students can build subject specialist knowledge by choosing concept units they are most interested in studying further. This module builds on Year 1 and prepares students for Specialist Topic units in Year 3. Units may include, for example, the biomechanics of exercise, motor control or skills acquisition.
Practical research skills in sport and exercise sciences (20 credits) – The opportunity to develop more complex practical skills to address research questions. Students will participate in practical activities and mini projects, using key experimental approaches and methods used in the sport and exercise sciences. They will develop key research skills including experimental design, and appropriate statistical and mathematical methods or approaches for analysing biomedical data and information.
Academic and professional skills addressing global challenges (20 credits) – Whilst focussing on addressing key complex global challenges related to UN sustainability goals (United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) | Sustainability (leeds.ac.uk)), students will build their skills in knowledge application, a variety of methods of analysis, and the presentation of scientific data or information to different audiences. Students will work as a team to research and create biomedical solutions to a global grand challenge or UN SDG. In this and other activities, students will develop and practice key academic and professional skills including the critical analysis of research papers and other sources of information, verbal, written and graphical communication, team-working, planning and organisation, and negotiation.
The focal point for year 3 is an independent capstone research project that you’ll carry out under the supervision of a field-leading academic. Here you will be able to select from a wide range of project types, enabling you to focus on a subject of specific interest, developing the skills required for your future career.
Examples of previous projects are:
Limitations in oxygen delivery to high intensity exercise performance.
Strategies to overcome concussion in rugby.
Guidelines for exercise prescription in cancer patients.
The impact of pregnancy and the postpartum period on family lifestyle behaviours and health.
Alongside this, choose research-based topics that interested you in earlier years. Specialised topic modules allow you to choose from a menu of different research topics so you can focus more on your areas of interest such as motor control and neuro-rehabilitation, exercise and psychological health and sports medicine, health and nutrition. You can also choose other specialist optional modules.
Specialised topics in sport and exercise sciences I (20 credits) – Students have the opportunity to build their knowledge of research in specific topic areas led by active researchers in the field of study. It will introduce students to a range of research topics in the sport and exercise sciences, and the broader biomedical sciences, and develop their ability to collate, critically analyse, and describe scientific information. Topics covered will reflect current research interests of the School, and may include, for example, motor control and rehabilitation.
Specialised topics in sport and exercise sciences II (20 credits) – Students have the opportunity to build their knowledge of research in specific topic areas led by active researchers in the field of study. It will introduce students to a range of research topics in the sport and exercise sciences, and the broader biomedical sciences, and develop their ability to collate, critically analyse, and describe scientific information. Topics covered will reflect current research interests of the School, and may include, for example, exercise and psychological health, health and nutrition, or cellular cardiology.
Advanced skills (20 credits) – Students attend a series of compulsory and optional units designed to provide scaffolding and support for their capstone research experience. They will develop and utilise the research, employability and 4th Industrial Revolution skills required both for their capstone project and for the workplace. Students select the units which develop the key skills and attributes required for their individual capstone project and/or future employment. The assignments for this module provide further scaffolding and support for the creation of their capstone project.
Capstone research project (40 credits) – Students will design and undertake, either individually or as part of a team, an extended enquiry-based project in an area or topic relevant to sport and exercise sciences. This project could be one of many formats including scientific research, public engagement, grand challenges report, or the development of educational resources. Students will apply knowledge and skills gained in earlier years of their programme, acquire new knowledge and understanding, and develop new research and employability skills. On completion, they will communicate the outcomes or outputs of their project in different ways to a variety of audiences. Students may choose the capstone project or format of interest to them, being mentored by one of the leading academics in that field of study.
Throughout your degree you will benefit from a range of opportunities to expand your intellectual horizons outside or within your subject area.
This course gives you the opportunity to choose from a range of discovery modules. They’re a great way to tailor your study around your interests or career aspirations and help you stand out from the crowd when you graduate. Find out more about discovery modules on our Broadening webpages.
Learning and teaching
You will experience a wide range of blended educational approaches and methods designed to enhance learning for all students. You will be involved in active learning approaches including creative problem solving, team-working and mini-projects. You will be provided with short pre-recorded screencasts to introduce key topics, enabling you to listen again and have flexible access to the resources, supported within the virtual learning environment. This will be combined with in person hands on practical classes, facilitated active learning sessions and small group workshops to develop and apply your knowledge and skills.
There will be plenty of opportunities to work with fellow students in team-work problem solving exercises with input and feedback from academic staff. Your first and second year will focus on building your skills, understanding and knowledge. This will be initially fully facilitated, moving to a more independent approach across the first two years, in preparation for your final year where both the research project and topics, will see you take on independent research and learning, with the guidance and mentoring of leading experts.
A typical week in your first year may include nine to twelve hours of a combination of in person and online study, three to six hours of practical sessions in the laboratory, regular personal tutorial sessions, plus private study.
Across all years, you will be required to undertake private study. You will also have regular meetings with a personal tutor who is there to advise and support you academically.
As independent study and research are also crucial to the course, we have excellent library and computing facilities to support your learning, and the University Library offers comprehensive training.
On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.
Assessment on the course in a mix of course work submitted during the teaching semester and online time limited assessment, both during the semester and in the exam periods (Jan and May each year). A portfolio of assessment approaches is used, the aim is for assessment is to be part of the learning journey of each module and the course as a whole, to use assessment for learning. A mixture of multiple-choice questions, short answer questions and longer essay questions are used in online time limited assessment.
Many modules adopt authentic assessment approaches where appropriate. Authentic assessments aim to develop the personal and professional skills required in the workplace- to make you workplace ready, so for example, writing of laboratory or other reports, grant applications, presenting orally or delivering poster presentations as well as preparing reflective accounts and portfolios. Communicating science to a wider audience is also a key skill in which authentic assessment is used. In some circumstances there may be a choice of assessment piece to make it more relevant, meaningful and engaging for all students. Assessments in the school are prepared in a fair and inclusive manner adhering to relevant and up to date guidance.
Including a science subject. Critical thinking and general studies excluded.
We accept the following science subjects: biology, human biology, chemistry, maths, physics and physical education.
Applicants taking a Science A-level (in England) will be required to achieve a pass in the practical element in addition to the standard A-level grade requirement.
When an applicant is taking the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), the Cambridge International Project Qualification (Cambridge IPQ) or Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate, this can be considered alongside A-levels and may attract an alternative offer in addition to the standard offer. If you’re taking A-levels, this would be a 1 grade drop from the standard offer. For example A in one of the above qualifications with ABB at A-level (BSc applicants).
GCSE: Grade 6 (B) or above at GCSE maths and Grade 4 (C) or above at GCSE English. The Faculty of Biological Sciences will accept Level 2 Functional Skills English in lieu of GCSE English.
Access to HE Diploma
Pass 60 credits overall with 45 credits at Level 3, graded at D39M6P0 including distinctions in biology and mathematics or chemistry.
Accept Access courses in Applied Science and Science. Will also consider (depending on subject content):
biological and environmental science
biological and health science
life and biological science
medical and health science professions
physical & natural sciences.
BSc: Applicants with BTEC Diploma or Extended Diploma qualifications must have at least one science or psychology at A-level.
Applicants with BTEC Subsidiary Diploma qualifications must have at least 2 A-Levels and at least one of these should be in a science subject. Preferred BTEC qualification subjects include Applied Science or Sport and Exercise Science. Offers would be in the range A/B in the A-level subjects and Distinctions in the BTEC qualification.
BSc: D3/D3/M1 including D3 in a science subject. Global Perspectives excluded.
When an applicant is taking Global Perspectives this can be considered alongside Pre-U subjects and may attract an alternative offer in addition to the standard offer. This would be D3/M1/M1 and grade D3 in Global Perspectives.
BSc: 6,6,5 at higher level including a science or Sports, Exercise and Health Science.
Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)
BSc: H2, H2, H2, H2, H3, H3 including H2 science (biology, mathematics, physics or chemistry).
Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers
BSc: Advanced Higher: 5 x Highers AABBB, with AB in 2 Advanced Highers including a science subject. General studies and critical thinking excluded.
We accept the following science subjects: biology, human biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics.
Scottish Higher: Scottish Highers not accepted on their own.
Including a science subject or both psychology and Sports Science/PE in place of a science. General studies, critical thinking and Advanced Skills excluded.
We accept the following science subjects: biology, human biology, chemistry, maths and physics.science-related subjects: PE, geography, Use of maths, psychology, statistics, geology and computing
Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the Schools Undergraduate Admissions Team.
Were committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.
Access to Leeds is an alternative admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.
Find out more about Access to Leeds and alternative admissions.
Typical Access to Leeds offer
Specific A Level subjects required – see entry requirement section above.
GCSE: Grade 6 (B) or above at GCSE maths and Grade 4 (C) or above at GCSE English.
Access to Leeds: Pass
International Foundation Year
International students who do not meet the academic requirements for undergraduate study may be able to study the University of Leeds International Foundation Year. This gives you the opportunity to study on campus, be taught by University of Leeds academics and progress onto a wide range of Leeds undergraduate courses. Find out more about International Foundation Year programmes.
English language requirements
IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in any component.. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.
Improve your English
If you're an international student and you don't meet the English language requirements for this programme, you may be able to study our undergraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.
UK: £9,250 (per year)
International: £26,500 (per year)
Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2022/23
For UK full-time undergraduate students starting in 2022/23 the fee will be £9,250. The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation and as permitted by law. Fees for UK undergraduate students are decided by the government and may vary if policy changes.
Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2023/24
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students for 2023/24 have been agreed by the UK Government and will remain at the current fee level of £9,250. The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation and as permitted by law. Fees for UK undergraduate students are decided by the government and may vary if policy changes.
Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2023/24
Tuition fees for international students for 2023/24 should be available on individual course pages from September 2022.
Tuition fees for a study abroad or work placement year
If you take a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.
Read more about paying fees and charges.
There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs.
Scholarships and financial support
If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.
The Faculty of Biological Sciences offer a range of scholarships for UK, EU and International students. Find out more about our scholarships
Apply to this course through UCAS. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.
We welcome applications from mature students. We welcome applications from mature students from all backgrounds onto both full-time and part-time programmes.
International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.
Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.
Visit our admissions guidance page for more information about applying to undergraduate courses in the Faculty of Biological Sciences.
The Faculty of Biological Sciences may consider applications submitted after this date. Availability of courses in UCAS Extra will be detailed by UCAS at the appropriate stage in the cycle.
Alternative Entry Scheme for mature applicants
As per the information detailed in the corresponding section of the University of Leeds Taught Admissions Policy the Faculty of Biological Sciences will consider prospective students via the Alternative Entry Scheme run by the Lifelong Learning where appropriate applicants will be referred to the Lifelong Learning Centre, who will advise the applicant further.
Except for those courses detailed below, interviews do not form part of the Faculty of Biological Sciences’ standard admissions process however, in some cases, an applicant may be invited for an interview if it will help inform whether or not an offer should be made.
We typically receive a high number of applications to our courses in the School of Biomedical Sciences. The number of applicants exceeds the number of places available and so, to ensure that we treat all applications fairly and equitably, we review applications until after the UCAS deadline before making a final decision.
This is a normal part of our process for these courses and may mean applicants have to wait longer than usual to hear from us. It takes time to thoroughly assess all applications, but we aim to make all decisions by the end of March.
Offer decisions are made based on an overall review of applications including predicted grades, breadth of knowledge demonstrated through qualifications, personal statement, extra-curricular and work experience, and contextual information.
University of Leeds Taught Admissions Policy 2023
This course is taught by
Faculty of Biological Sciences
Faculty of Biological Sciences Undergraduate Admissions Office
As well as providing you with subject-specific knowledge, we aim to equip you with the best possible skills for a variety of future careers. All of our degrees have a strong emphasis on practical based teaching, small group teaching, online learning and problem solving.
Throughout the degree, you’ll gain a wide range of transferable skills which are highly valued by employers. Supported by the faculty student opportunity team, Leeds for Life scheme and your academic and personal tutor, you’ll be ideally placed to focus on your personal development and make the most of your time at university.
You’ll develop excellent communication and interpersonal skills by undertaking additional experiences outside the academic requirements of the course, which could include taking a national coaching award.
We have a very close relationship with a variety of sports and exercise science employers. They visit us several times a year, speaking at careers seminars, attending our specialised sport careers networking event and running drop-in sessions.
Typical graduate careers include:
Sports scientist in an elite club
Sport development officer
Examples of recent graduate destinations include:
Clinical Exercise Specialist
Community sport and physical activity development
Graduate management trainee
MSc Data science and analytics
We have a dedicated student opportunity team in the Faculty of Biological Sciences who work closely with the University’s Careers Centre.
We offer a host of additional opportunities beyond core course content, including volunteering and placements. These include our annual student-alumni networking event, where graduates are invited back to talk about their work and network with our students, and our STEM Careers Fair, which gives you the chance to meet bioscience employers, such as AstraZeneca, Labcorp, GSK, Nuffield NHS Ecological consultancies, speak to alumni, attend workshops and get masses of information.
We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. Thats one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.
Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.
The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.
Study abroad and work placements
On this course you have the opportunity to apply to spend time abroad, usually as an extra academic year. We have over 300 University partners worldwide and popular destinations for our students include Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa and Latin America.
Find out more at the Study Abroad website.
If you choose to undertake a study abroad option, you will spend the third year of your course studying abroad. This will extend your studies by 12 months.
Practical work experience can help you decide on your career and improve your employability. On this course you have the option to apply to take a placement year module with organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors in the UK, or overseas.
Find out more about work experience on the Careers website.
Industrial placements are taken after your second year. This will extend your studies by 12 months. For your work placement in industry, the staff at Leeds will help you with your CV and recruitment process and provide details of organisations.
Placements abroad are possible. We work together with your industrial supervisors to make sure you get the most out of this year. A year working in industry gives you an excellent opportunity to get used to the demands of the world of work, to develop new skills and to augment your CV.
Combined study and working abroad
Our new module allows you to combine both a study abroad and industrial work placement into one additional year of study. Over the year you will study for a semester at one of our partner universities and complete an industrial work placement for 6 months abroad or in the UK.
Find out more about Combined study and work abroad.
Student profile: Safia Zerdazi
The facilities available are excellent. The labs are brilliant to work in and have access to a lot of technical equipment which has definitely aided my learning by gaining a hands on experience.Find out more about Safia Zerdazi's time at Leeds