Eating healthily and being physically active are essential for your wellbeing. Nutrition can also help people achieve optimal performance in the sporting arena, whether they’re amateur or professional. Individual athletes and sports teams are looking for experts in sports science and nutrition to help them perform to the best of their abilities, so this course could lead to an exciting and rewarding career.
From athletes to members of the public who want to be healthier, lose weight and get active, individuals are using the services of experts in sports science and nutrition. Sports nutrition is becoming big business in elite sport, personal training and community-based initiatives too. Sports science is expanding just as quickly, with career opportunities in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors.
This course could give you the skills to work as a physical activity coordinator, health advisor, sports development officer, personal trainer, exercise referral specialist, sports nutritionist or after further training, a teacher in educational settings.
You’ll gain an in-depth understanding of biological sciences, nutrition, exercise and sports performance. You'll study anatomy and physiology, fitness conditioning, food, digestion, metabolism and psychology. In your second year, you’ll go on a work placement, which will provide you with the opportunity to apply your skills in a real-world context.
You’ll use excellent facilities, including our biomechanics and physiology labs, nutrition labs and recently built sport and fitness centre. This is part of the reason why our Sport, Exercise and Nutrition Sciences courses scored 97% for learning resources in the National Student Survey 2016.
The course is endorsed by SkillsActive, so you could gain extra industry-recognised qualifications within your degree. You could also become a member of the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs). Additionally, the course was the first degree in the UK to be ‘approved’ by the Sport and Exercise Nutrition Register (SENr).
The course and the modules have been designed to prepare the student for the workforce and are complimented by an array of practical/vocationally orientated sessions.
Dan Gordon, External Examiner
Two branches of science, anatomy and physiology provide the foundation for understanding the body’s parts and functions. You will be supported to develop an underpinning knowledge and understanding of the human body systems that are of most relevance to sport, exercise and health. You’ll also be supported to develop an understanding of homeostatic control and how this relates to the pathophysiology of disease. Your knowledge will be assessed through an in-class test.
In this module you’ll be encouraged to learn about the relationships between food, nutrition, lifestyle and health by investigating the importance of the five food groups that make up our diet, the nutritional needs of various groups in the community such as children and the elderly, and the relationships between diet and disease such as obesity and heart disease. You’ll also have the opportunity to analyse your own diets by using dietary analysis computer programs. Assessment for this module is by coursework and exam.
Biomechanics is the study of the forces acting on and produced by the body. You’ll be supported to develop an understanding of the academic and practical skills required of a sport and exercise scientist, providing you with knowledge to interpret biomechanical principles that govern human motion. Biomechanics is one of the key sport and exercise science disciplines recognised by British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences. Your understanding will be assessed via an exam. You’ll also produce coursework where you will practically apply knowledge by producing a lab report based on biomechanical laboratory data collection.
You’ll explore leadership and the role of the coach in the context of sport, exercise, physical activity and health. You’ll be provided with opportunities to develop practical skills such as communication, demonstration, observation, provision of feedback etc. Through coursework you’ll illustrate and apply an understanding of the coach’s responsibilities and liabilities in safeguarding the physical and emotional interests of the athlete or client. You’ll also gain experience of the coaching process through completing a practical, where you’ll work in small groups to plan, organise, deliver and evaluate an exercise or physical activity session.
This module focuses on developing the academic skills required to progress in higher education and successfully complete the degree course. You'll examine the essential areas such as essay and report writing, referencing and use of Summon in searching for information. You’ll be introduced to concepts of research design and the research process and you’ll identify where support can be accessed to enable academic progression. This module will also introduce key concepts in Professional Practice to support future career goals. Assessment will involve coursework comprising two portfolios.
This module will investigate how people think, feel and behave in a sport and exercise context. You’ll have the opportunity to explore how to improve diet, exercise and physical activity levels, and gain an understanding of psychological skills and their influence on sports performance and exercise and dietary behaviour. You’ll be assessed through an in-class test and coursework in the form of an essay on a selected topic related to physical activity participation, diet or sports performance.
The module will develop the student’s understanding of the digestive tract and will examine its structure, function and regulation in detail. The module will also focus on the effects of digestion and absorption on metabolism and how this relates to the less direct consequences of gastro-intestinal activity on homeostasis, through for example, the effect on hunger and appetite. Colon function will also be reviewed and its role in the process of digestion and absorption. Once students have acquired a good understanding of gastro-intestinal physiology they'll be in a position to consider the effects of different diets and the consequences of gastro-intestinal disorders. The module will then move on to consider the way in which we liberate energy from a range of food macromolecules through enzyme catalysed metabolic pathways and how different pathways are regulated under conditions of fasting/ feasting or inactivity/exercise.
The module focuses on the nutritional significance of energy, the macronutrients and the micronutrients in the body and their sources in the diet. All aspects of the nutrients are considered, including requirements, functions, deficiency and toxicity. The role of anti-nutrients e.g. phytates, tannins on the bioavailability of nutrients will be discussed. An integral part of the module is a series of practical exercises involving the analysis of foods for their nutrient content and assessment of nutrient intakes through completion and analysis of a variety of dietary assessment methods.
Through this module you’ll be supported to develop your knowledge and skills of research methods from Year 1 and aims to stimulate your interest by examining underlying theory, concepts and philosophies of research methods in relation to the science of sport, exercise and nutrition. You’ll consider stages of the research process and examine the methods associated with experimental and naturalistic research designs and will be supported to develop knowledge of different types of research and common limitations and sources of error. You’ll be assessed through two pieces of coursework, a critique of a journal article and a research proposal.
Effective exercise programming for sport and fitness depends on the correct application of two key training principles: specificity and overload. With this in mind you will explore the assessment procedures and processes used to inform exercise programming related to sport, exercise and health. You’ll be assessed by two pieces of coursework. Additionally, this module is designed in-line with industry recognised National Occupational Standards for Fitness (recognised by the Register of Exercise Professionals) with the expectation that when you complete this module you will be in a strong position to complete these qualifications and work as a personal trainer or other health and fitness professional.
This module supports you to gain work experience in an industry placement and develop an understanding of the core purpose and management of the organisation. You’ll complete 154 hours on placement, which will be marked on a pass/fail basis, where you will identify, develop and maintain a role as a working member of the team, appreciating the rights and responsibilities of yourself and the organisation. You’ll be assessed through coursework involving a verbal presentation of your placement experience and a written essay where you will reflect on and evaluate your learning.
The module looks at the relationships between food, health and disease. You’ll consider diet and the major ‘diseases of affluence’ such as cardiovascular disease, obesity, cancer, type 2 diabetes and some gastro-intestinal disorders. You’ll have the opportunity to study in-depth factors affecting the nutritional status of individuals and various groups of people. This includes children, adolescents, pregnant women, and elderly people. You’ll consider how the factors may be favourably modified. Assessment is by coursework and exam.
You’ll have the opportunity to develop practical research skills by investigating a specific aspect of sport, exercise or nutrition of your choice by reviewing the most up-to-date research literature available. You’ll produce coursework in the form of a project, which will be individually negotiated with a University appointed supervisor and, in some cases, an employer or work-based supervisor who will provide ongoing support. All research projects will be approved by the University’s School Research and Ethics Panel.
Despite the well-established benefits of exercise, the challenge of encouraging individuals and groups to lead a more active lifestyle remains. In this module you'll explore the scientific evidence to consider the use of exercise as a treatment for a range of long-term conditions including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer. You'll consider Exercise Referral schemes and be supported to develop the knowledge and skills to plan safe and effective exercise interventions for a range of long-term conditions. Through coursework you'll produce a detailed training plan and defend the rationale for this using a viva.
This module explores the skills required to lead a project within the Sports, Health or Nutrition industries. The module aims to build on previous knowledge gained from disciplines you have studied, examining sport, health and diet project management from conception to evaluation. You will also understand the importance of applying the theory of the benefits of sport, exercise or diet to the practical side of developing a community initiative. You will be assessed through two pieces of coursework, including a proposal for a new sport, health or diet related project and an oral presentation.
What we eat affects our health; for athletes, the optimum diet is essential for optimum performance. Consequently, nutrition is of direct relevance to sport, exercise, and health professionals. This module will encourage you to develop the knowledge, understanding and skills necessary to critically evaluate nutritional requirements and to give evidence-based advice to a range of individuals within sport, exercise and health.
The course aims to equip you with the techniques, professional skills and the opportunity to undertake additional qualifications for employment in these fields. Through the ‘Work Placement Module’ in year 2, you’ll have the chance to apply your learning and knowledge in a professional setting, via a practical work-based experience.
Emma, graduated Sport and Exercise Sciences in 2016
“The wide range of modules I have studied has prepared me for the real world of work. They helped me develop an in-depth overview of different areas and topics. In particular, undertaking my dissertation developed my analytical skills and has made me consider undertaking further research at a later date.”
Teaching and assessment
You will be taught through seminars, group work, practical experience, tutorials, independent study and lectures. Assessment will include of coursework, practice/ competency based learning and examinations. 19% of the study time on this course is spent in lectures, seminars, tutorials etc. Your module specification/course handbook will provide full details of the assessment criteria applying to your course.
Feedback (usually written) is normally provided on all coursework submissions within three term time weeks unless the submission was made towards the end of the session in which case feedback would be available after the formal publication of results. Feedback on exam performance is available on request after the publication of results.
*Permanent staff, after probation: some recently appointed colleagues will only obtain recognition in the months after their arrival in Huddersfield, once they have started teaching; research degrees applies to those on contracts of more than half-time.
On the course you will be taught in a variety of environments, with access to a fantastic range of sports facilities in our Biomechanics, Physiology and nutrition labs, as well as the new recently built sport and fitness centre. Our facilities are invaluable in teaching, research and in testing the health and fitness of individuals ranging from patients recovering from injury to elite athletes and those with chronic diseases and health conditions.
At the University of Huddersfield, you'll find support networks and services to help you get ahead in your studies and social life. Whether you study at undergraduate or postgraduate level, you'll soon discover that you're never far away from our dedicated staff and resources to help you to navigate through your personal student journey. Find out more about all our support services
A wide range of resources are also offered within the School of Human and Health Sciences, which you would be a part of should you decide to study this course. The school provides you with support in a variety of areas, these include:
Student Hub: a one stop shop for students, studying within the School. Their services include offering advice on extenuating circumstances and extension requests, organising appointments with academic staff, signposting to other support networks, welfare support, as well as binding, loan of MP3 recorders and print credit.
Academic Skills Development Team: provides guidance about how students can develop their academic skills in order to improve their grades. The team provide support with general academic skills including essay writing, time management, presentations and group work skills; information technology and numeracy; research skills, as well as personal development for example confidence building and assertiveness.
Student Support Officer: provides confidential and impartial advice on welfare and course related issues.
Royal Literary Fund Fellow: a professional writer who helps students improve their essay writing. They provide assistance with structuring essays, developing an argument and improving the style and use of language.
Learning Technology Support Unit: helps students with any problems they experience with the University’s Unilearn System, including logging on or difficulties experienced when accessing modules.
We will always try to deliver your course as described on this web page. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below.
We review all optional modules each year and change them to reflect the expertise of our staff, current trends in research and as a result of student feedback. We will always ensure that you have a range of options to choose from and we will let students know in good time the options available for them to choose for the following year.
We will only change core modules for a course if it is necessary for us to do so, for example to maintain course accreditation. We will let you know about any such changes as soon as possible, usually before you begin the relevant academic year.
Sometimes we have to make changes to other aspects of a course or how it is delivered. We only make these changes if they are for reasons outside of our control, or where they are for our students’ benefit. Again, we will let you know about any such changes as soon as possible, usually before the relevant academic year. Our regulations set out our procedure which we will follow when we need to make any such changes.
When you enrol as a student of the University, your study and time with us will be governed by a framework of regulations, policies and procedures, which form the basis of your agreement with us. These include regulations regarding the assessment of your course, academic integrity, your conduct (including attendance) and disciplinary procedure, fees and finance and compliance with visa requirements (where relevant). It is important that you familiarise yourself with these as you will be asked to agree to abide by them when you join us as a student. You will find a guide to the key terms here, where you will also find links to the full text of each of the regulations, policies and procedures referred to.
The Higher Education Funding Council for England is the principal regulator for the University.