This course equips you with a broad knowledge of the exercise science and biomedical sciences. Your first year features an introduction to a range of topics, including essential anatomy and physiology of human systems, biochemistry of the cell, exercise science concepts and biomedical science concepts.
You will be taught essential academic and professional skills to help you progress successfully through the course and into further study or employment. You’ll also develop the fundamental practical laboratory techniques that will underpin the rest of your studies.
There is the opportunity in year 1 to take optional modules within other areas of the biomedical sciences, biosciences or some health and nutrition related modules.
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 - 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 - 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 physical activity.
Introductory concepts in human physiology, physical activity & health - To build a core knowledge of the exercise sciences disciplines, alongside the relevant biomedical sciences. This will include an understanding of key concepts in topics such as exercise physiology, biomechanics, psychology & neuroscience.
Practical research skills in human physiology, physical activity & health - 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 the biomedical 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 - 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 upon year 1, in the advanced concept units you can choose specialist topics from the sub-disciplines of exercise science (e.g. muscular performance, biomechanics of exercise, social psychology of exercise, skills acquisition and motor learning) and biomedical sciences (e.g. cardiorespiratory physiology, neurobiology and gastrointestinal physiology).
You will further develop your research and applied skills in our state-of-the-art exercise science and biomedical sciences laboratories.
Flexibility is offered for taking modules outside of the School, such as diagnostic imaging, nutrition and disease or other health related modules. 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 and critical reasoning skills. Apply your knowledge and skills to evaluate scientific evidence and create solutions to major biomedical 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 human physiology, physical activity & health concept units I - 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 physical activity on these, or the social psychology of physical activity.
Advanced human physiology, physical activity & health concept units II- 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 physical activity, motor control or skills acquisition.
Practical Research Skills in human physiology, physical activity & health sciences - 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 biomedical 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 - 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 specific subject and develop the skills which will set you apart in the graduate job market.
Examples of previous projects are:
Guidelines for physical activity prescription in cancer patients.
The impact of pregnancy and the postpartum period on family lifestyle behaviours and health.
Limitations to oxygen delivery during exercise in heart failure.
Alongside this, tailor your degree to include topics which 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. Areas such as motor control and neuro-rehabilitation, exercise and psychological health and exercise medicine, health and nutrition, stem cells, neurodegeneration, and cellular cardiology.
Specialised topics in human physiology, physical activity & health I - 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 physiological sciences, physical activity and health, 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 human physiology, physical activity & health II - 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 physiological sciences, physical activity and health, 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 - 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 - 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 human physiology, physical activity or health. 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 workshop or 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 varied 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). The aim is for assessment is to be part of the learning journey of each module and the course as a whole. A mixture of multiple choice questions, short answer questions and longer essay questions are used in an online time limited assessment.
Many modules adopt authentic assessment approaches where appropriate. These assessments aim to develop the personal and professional skills required in the workplace. 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.