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Exercise and Health Science, BSc

Exercise and Health Science, BSc

Course Overview


Exercise and Health Science examines the role of sport and exercise as a means of improving quality of life.

Exercise and Health Science explores the role of sport, exercise and nutrition in the prevention and treatment of disease and overall enhancement of wellbeing throughout the life cycle. It seeks to further our scientific knowledge and understanding about physical activity, the principles and practice of performance, and the application of nutrition, psychology and physical activity to benefit health.

After developing fundamental knowledge of medical and sports science and an understanding of the link between exercise and health, students will be given the chance to pursue specific issues covering different aspects of health, physical activity, psychology and nutrition.

5 year MSci degree

This degree offers you the opportunity to undertake a year’s placement in an industrial, commercial or research environment and graduate after five years with an MSci (an undergraduate Masters degree) instead of a BSc

LEARNING MODE On Campus Learning
DURATION 48 months
What You'll Study

A degree in Exercise and Health Science is taught via a selection of compulsory and optional courses to enhance your learning and prepare you for a future career or further study. In each year you will take courses adding up to 120 credits. Depending on the number of compulsory and optional courses offered by your degree, you can also choose other eligible courses which fit your timetable.

In year 1 you will take courses in Sports Science, Medical Science and Psychology or Chemistry. Additional courses are selected from the science programme and other areas.

Compulsory Courses

Professional Skills Part 1 (NT1001)
Introduction to Medical Sciences (NT1001) – 15 Credit Points
Introduction to the Science of Sport, Exercise and Health (NT1002) – 15 Credit Points
The Cell (NT1501) – 15 Credit Points
Fitness, Performance and Survival (NT1503) – 15 Credit Points

Optional Courses

Select one of the following:

  • Introductory Psychology 1: Concepts and Theory (NT1009) AND Introductory Psychology II: Concepts and Theory (NT1509)
  • Chemistry for the Life Sciences 1 (NT1020) AND Chemistry for the Life Sciences 2 (NT1512)

Plus select a further 30 credit points from courses of choice.

Introductory Psychology I: Concepts and Theory (NT1009) – 15 Credit Points
Introductory Psychology II: Concepts and Theory (NT1509) – 15 Credit Points
Chemistry for the Life Sciences 1 (NT1020) – 15 Credit Points
Chemistry for the Life Sciences 2 (NT1512) – 15 Credit Points

In year 2, further expansion of Sports Science and development of Exercise & Health studies are provided. These are combined with more advanced studies in Physiology and a choice of Psychology or Biochemistry, in addition to courses delivering key skills applicable to Exercise and Health Science.

Compulsory Courses

Physiology of Human Cells (NT202) – 15 Credit Points
The Science of Sports Performance (NT2002) – 15 Credit Points
Foundation Skills for Medical Sciences (NT2001) – 15 Credit Points
Physiology of Human Organ Systems (NT252) – 15 Credit Points
Exercise and Health (NT2501) – 15 Credit Points
Research Skills for Medical Sciences (NT2501) – 15 Credit Points

Optional Courses

Select at least one of the following:

  • Advanced Psychology A: Concepts and Theory (NT2017)
  • Energy for Life (NT257)
  • Advanced Psychology B: Concepts and Theory (NT2517)

Plus, select further credits from courses of choice to reach a total of 120 credits.

Advanced Psychology A: Concepts and Theory (NT2017) – 15 Credit Points
Energy for Life (NT257) – 15 Credit Points
Advanced Psychology B: Concepts and Theory (2517) – 15 Credit Points

Sports Science, Clinical Exercise Physiology and Sports Psychology form important components of year 3, including more specific studies on Anatomy, together with health-related issues including Nutrition, Health and Disease.

Compulsory Courses

Sports Psychology (NT3022) – 30 Credit Points
Clinical Exercise Physiology (NT3508) – 30 Credit Points
Nutrition, Health and Disease (NT3511) – 30 Credit Points

Optional Courses

Select a further 30 credit points from courses of choice.

The Honours year comprises focused studies on Exercise and Health, the Science of Ageing and Nutrition, Obesity and Metabolic Health. An important feature is the ten-week research project, carried out in research laboratories at the University or in local research institutes.

Compulsory Courses

Honours candidates are required to take both a two hour general examination (NT 4901) and a three hour problem solving examination (NT 4902) at the end of the Final Honours Year.

The Science of Ageing – from Cradle to Grave (NT4301) – 15 Credit Points
Nutrition, Obesity and Metabolic Health (NT4008) – 15 Credit Points
Research Topics in Sports Science and Studies (NT4007) – 30 Credit Points
Exercise Science Project (NT4501) – 60 Credit Points
How You'll Study

You will be taught using a variety of methods and styles and we continually seek to make the teaching engaging, exciting and responsive to the latest research in your subject area. The research we carry out in the School directly informs and guides our teaching, particularly in the final Honours year. Our commitment to teaching is recognised by the range of University of Northampton Student-led Teaching Awards given to staff from our School.

As a student, your learning is supported by My Northampton, our virtual learning environment from which you can access the lecture Powerpoint slides, online practice tests, links to related reading, and tutorial support material.

We make innovative use of ‘educational voting’ handsets in class, remote control ‘clickers’ that allow each and every student to electronically respond in class by anonymous vote to questions posed by the lecturer.

Your academic development is supported from year 1 through to year 4 by an assigned personal tutor, who acts as adviser and mentor throughout your University career.

Assessment Methods

Students are assessed by any combination of three assessment methods:

  • coursework such as essays and reports completed throughout the course;
  • practical assessments of the skills and competencies learnt on the course; and
  • written examinations at the end of each course.

The exact mix of these methods differs between subject areas, year of study and individual courses.

Honours projects are typically assessed on the basis of a written dissertation.

Why Study Exercise and Health Science?
  • This is an interdisciplinary degree delivered by specialists in exercise sciences, nutrition and fundamental biomedical sciences.
  • The expansion of sectors emphasising the long term benefits of exercise and nutrition for health means there are extensive employment opportunities for graduates of this programme.
  • 2016 has seen the opening of the new purpose-built Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health building at the University’s Foresterhill campus. It will be equipped with state-of the-art laboratory facilities, write-up areas and a specialist Human Nutrition Unit.
  • Many scientific disciplines contribute to exercise and health sciences, including physiology, biochemistry, nutrition, psychology, anatomy and biomechanics.
  • You will develop a practical knowledge of research skills and methods related to the basic sciences underpinning the use of exercise in health and fitness.
  • Excellent staff and teaching facilities; 92% of our students were satisfied with teaching on courses in the School of Medical Sciences, and 91.8% of our students were satisfied that staff made the subject interesting (2014 National Student Survey).


Graduates in Exercise and Health Science will be strongly placed for employment in a wide range of health related industries and institutions.

Graduates find employment in many areas of Biomedical and human-based science subjects allied to medicine and also the sport and leisure sectors where their understanding of the basis of human performance adds to their other skills. Many students will continue in research posts where the project work in the Honours year provides valuable experience. Others will go on to a more vocational medical related MSc, in for example, Physiotherapy or Dietetics; or a postgraduate qualification in Primary Teaching, PE or Biology. Graduates may also begin careers in the public health industry, occupational health and therapy, social work and related social services, teaching, the mass media and marketing.

Our degree programmes are built to enhance your employability and three flagship options give our degrees a distinctively different flavour from many others. All our degrees offer:

  • A 10-week full time research project in the final year which will provide you with valuable experience of working in a medical science research environment
  • The option of an industrial placement year and graduation with an undergraduate MSci
  • Highly relevant and sought after experience in bio-business aimed at giving you an understanding of the commercialisation of scientific ideas and an opportunity to learn about the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries
  • Dietitian
  • Physiotherapist
  • Teacher

Entry requirements


SQA Highers

Standard: AABB*

Applicants who have achieved AABB (or better), are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/ Advanced Highers may be required.

Minimum: BBB*

Applicants who have achieved BBB (or are on course to achieve this by the end of S5) are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will normally be required.

Adjusted: BB*

Applicants who have achieved BB, and who meet one of the widening participation criteria are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will be required.

* Including good performance in at least two Mathematics/ Science subjects by the end of your senior phase of education.


Standard: BBB*

Minimum: BBC*

Adjusted: CCC*

* Including good performance in at least two Mathematics/ Science subjects by the end of your senior phase of education.

International Baccalaureate

32 points, including 5, 5, 5 at HL*.

* Including good performance in at least two Mathematics/ Science subjects by the end of your senior phase of education.

Irish Leaving Certificate

5H with 3 at H2 AND 2 at H3 OR AAABB*, obtained in a single sitting. (B must be at B2 or above)

* Including good performance in at least two Mathematics/ Science subjects by the end of your senior phase of education.

English Language Requirements

English Language Requirements

To study for an Undergraduate degree at the University of Northampton University it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:


IELTS Academic:

OVERALL – 6.0 with: Listening – 5.5; Reading – 5.5; Speaking – 5.5; Writing – 6.0


OVERALL – 78 with: Listening – 17; Reading – 18; Speaking – 20; Writing – 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL – 54 with: Listening – 51; Reading – 51; Speaking – 51; Writing – 54

Cambridge English Advanced & Proficiency:

OVERALL – 169 with: Listening – 162; Reading – 162; Speaking – 162; Writing – 169

How to apply


This programm by online learning has start dates in September and January of each academic year. 

We recommend that you apply as early as possible; this is particularly important for applicants who may need to allow sufficient time to take an English language test

Documentation required

Applications are made online via the University Application Service, EUCLID.

Please follow the instructions carefully and make sure that you have included the following documentation with your application:

  • Degree certificates showing award of degree.
  • Previous academic transcripts for all past degree programmes.
  • A reference in support or your application. The reference should be academic and dated no earlier than one year from the start of study on the LLM programme.
  • Evidence of English language proficiency, if required.

If you are currently studying for your degree or you are not in a possession of an English test result you may still apply to the programme. Please note that it is your responsibility to submit the necessary documents.

After you apply

After your application has been submitted you will be able to track its progress through the University’s applicant hub.

Application processing times will vary however the admissions team will endeavour to process your application within four to six weeks of submission. Please note that missing documentation will delay the application process.

You will be informed as soon as possible of the decision taken. Three outcomes are possible:

  • You may be offered a place unconditionally
  • You may be offered a conditional place, which means that you must fulfil certain conditions that will be specified in the offer letter. Where a conditional offer is made, it is your responsibility to inform the College Postgraduate Office when you have fulfilled the requirements set out.
  • Your application may be unsuccessful. If your application has not been successful, you can request feedback from us or refer to our guidance for unsuccessful applicants, which explains some of the common reasons we why we reach this decision.
    View the University’s guidance for unsuccessful applicants
Terms and conditions of admissions
  • The University’s terms and conditions form part of your contract with the University, and you should read them, and our data protection policy, carefully before applying.

    Northampton University admissions terms and conditions