Sport, Physical Activity and Health Promotion

BSc (Hons) or DipHE or CertHE

UCAS code: C695

Start dates: September 2024 / September 2025

Full time: 3 years

Part time: up to 6 years

Location: Headington

Department(s): Department of Sport, Health Sciences and Social Work

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How can you use sport and exercise to improve people’s health and improve their quality of life? How do you adapt physical exercise for various clinical populations? What part do attitudes to nutrition play?

These are some of the important lifestyle questions you’ll be covering in our Sport, Physical Activity and Health Promotion degree.

Having consulted widely with leaders in the healthcare sector, we’ve been able to design the course so it addresses the key issues faced by society today. Plus, our team’s research expertise informs their teaching and keeps you up to date with latest developments.

Our practical work placements with local healthcare and community organisations mean that when you apply for jobs, employers will see you have first-hand experience of what being a health practitioner really means.

And the course acts as a great springboard for a career in different areas of the healthcare and fitness industry. Whether you’re working with clinical populations or the general public, you’ll be able to show how health and wellbeing makes a difference.

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Why Oxford Brookes University?

  • Brand new lab space

    Put your learning to the test in our clinical rehabilitation suite, dedicated to physical activity. Access our state-of-the-art equipment to run experiments and analyse your results.

  • Develop a broad skill set

    As our course covers a wide range of topics from nutrition to public health, you’ll gain the experience needed to become a competent applied health practitioner in many areas.

  • An active research team

    You’ll be taught by research specialists and expert clinicians in their field so you can be confident the course content is right up to date and addressing real issues.

  • Extra accreditations

    Including several qualifications from the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA) at no extra cost. Recognised internationally.

  • Make yourself more employable

    Use our strong links with local healthcare and community organisations to set up practical work placements so you can stand out to future employers.

  • Free language courses

    Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.

  • Study abroad

    You may be able to go on a European or international study exchange while you are at Brookes. Most exchanges take place in the second year. Although we will help as much as we can with your plans, ultimately you are responsible for organising and funding this study abroad.

Course details

Course structure

Throughout your course, you’ll focus on physical activity, including sport and applied exercise, plus nutrition and health promotion.

In your first year, you’ll cover a number of compulsory modules to give you a thorough grounding, including subjects such as an introduction to nutrition, the psychology of food, and the physiology for human movement. You’ll also study anatomy for sport, exercise and health promotion and behavioural change.

Our Sport and Exercise Practitioner module introduces you to the many different aspects of the role and explores the varied career opportunities.

In year 2, you’ll take some compulsory modules such as how to enhance physical activity from child to elderly adult. Plus, you choose from a variety of optional modules in line with your interests.

In year 3, you’ll look at training and rehabilitation, and public health policy. You’ll also have the opportunity to do a dissertation on a subject of your choosing.

Physical Activity and Health Promotion

Learning and teaching

Our teaching staff use a variety of methods informed by contemporary practice in science teaching in higher education. These include;

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • practical work.

All modules make use of the Brookes Virtual Learning Environment. You can use this for;

  • locating module resources
  • quizzes
  • coursework submissions.

Due to the small cohort size and the facilities and external resources available, you will get an emphasis on the practical application of your knowledge.


We use a variety of assessment methods including;

  • essays
  • reviews
  • laboratory/field notebooks
  • scientific reports
  • posters and oral presentations.

Our teaching staff are committed to providing you with;

  • clear assessment criteria
  • useful and timely feedback on your work.

We also encourage reflective learning. This usually involves self, peer or staff feedback on assignments, group work and project work, and portfolios.

Study modules

Year 1

Compulsory modules

  • Introduction to Nutrition

    There are few things more fundamental to life than food and water. This module provides the building blocks for basic understanding of the Science of Nutrition. Students will be introduced to the concepts of energy supply and energy expenditure, learn about the different nutrients, and trained in how to assess dietary intake and nutritional adequacy, as well as body size and body composition.

    Module leader Dr Vasiliki Iatridi says: “Studying Nutrition was one of the best decisions I've ever made: in the Introduction to Nutrition module it's my turn to convey that enthusiasm to our future Nutritionists and Health Care Professionals and provide them with the fundamentals to value the principles of Nutrition Science during their studies and later careers.”

  • Psychology of Food

    This module aims to introduce the concept of food choice and identify the range of factors that affect food choice. The module will explore: theories and models of food choice; psychology of drinking behaviour; biological and learning influences on food choice; societal influences on food choice; changing behavioural patterns with reference to food consumption. 

    Module lead Dr Shelly Coe says: “This is one of my favourite modules to teach and the students really like it too, especially the case study assignment which allows them to design a recovery plan using behaviour change techniques for an individual. I have always enjoyed the psychological aspect of why we eat what we do, and Psychology of Food develops students' understanding of just that, whether from a biological or physiological point of view or at a societal level.”

  • Professional Skills in Sport and Coaching Science

    Learn about the social competencies required for a professional role in sport and coaching sciences. You’ll also find out about your range of career opportunities that will be open to you.

    You will reflect on your current skills and knowledge, and you’ll also have opportunities to develop the competencies needed to become a successful sport professional. You’ll be able to identify future professional development opportunities while developing an evidence based approach to enhancing your employability.  

  • Physiology for Human Movement

    On this module you’ll study the structures of bodies and the way structures and bodies function. You’ll gain a detailed theoretical knowledge of anatomy and physiology in relation to the human body. Building your skills so you’ll be able to apply theoretical principles to practical situations and investigate how the body responds to exercise.

  • Introduction to the Psychology of Sport and Exercise

    This module introduces you to fundamental psychological concepts, theories and research for you to consider ways in which they can be applied to sport. You’ll study key areas to give you a broad understanding of issues relating to:

    • motivation
    • goal setting
    • self regulation
    • attribution
    • personality 
    • and behaviour in competitive sport contexts. 

    You’ll develop a contemporary theoretical overview, so you better understand the basis of future application, and enhance the practice of sport. Also you will take part in practicals to investigate and evaluate these applications in related settings to further build your understanding and apply what you’ve learnt on the module.

  • Fitness and Assessment

    You’ll develop your basic knowledge and understanding of the principles of physical fitness and health. You’ll also learn to accurately assess certain fitness parameters in both sporting and health settings. 

    Then using your knowledge and understanding by identifying the main fitness parameters required to optimally perform in certain sports. You’ll also be able to compile an appropriate battery of fitness tests to assess the chosen fitness parameters. By the end of the module you’ll be equipped with the skills to plan and design exercise sessions based on the client's fitness goals.

  • Anatomy for Sport and Exercise

    This is your introduction to human anatomy. You’ll focus on the musculoskeletal system, and also examine human movement. Then you’ll analyse the full range of movement, looking at the muscle groups that are required for movement.

    On this module you’ll develop your knowledge and learning of specific muscle groups and also gain a deep understanding of the human musculoskeletal system. Which you’ll be able to apply to sport and exercise.

  • Health Promotion and Behaviour Change

    Study the concept and the practical application of health promotion. You will explore the models of health behaviour and the science of behavioural change. 

    You’ll gain a foundational knowledge base that surrounds the promotion of healthy lifestyles. The knowledge you gain will help you prepare for future learning in your subsequent modules.

Year 2

Compulsory modules

  • Enhancing Physical Activity Across the Lifespan

    This module will build your understanding of the relationship between physical activity and the entire lifespan of a person. You’ll learn how to conceptualise evidence-based methodology, investigate epidemiology, data analysis, and participate in discussions on physical activity in the child and adolescent stage, and pre-and postnatal stage, while forming an understanding of enhancing physical activity in the older generations. You’ll discover how your research findings can be used effectively to inform public health and clinical guidelines, and gain an understanding of creating individual customised interventions for various stages of a person’s lifespan.

  • Motivating Health Behaviour

    What are the main factors that motivate you to eat healthily and adopt healthy lifestyles? In this module, you’ll be discovering how the reasons behind consuming certain foods are important in relation to the improvement of lives globally, and in post-industrialised nations. To be healthy and active, our diet must comprise of certain foods to meet our energy and nutritional requirements and our lifestyle habits must include activities that promote health. In some circumstances, unhealthy food and lifestyle choices become of concern in relation to adverse health consequences. 

  • Determinants of Health

    This module investigates the factors that influence or impact the health of a population. You’ll be looking at social determinants of health from an international perspective. Bio-socio-economic elements all play a part, such as education, employment, gender and culture. You’ll be drawing on evidence from low, middle, and high income case examples. You’ll also get the opportunity to look at the interdisciplinary approach to tackling health inequalities, and how this influences and impacts the public health of a nation.  

  • Physical Activity and Health

    Learn the prevention and treatment concepts behind promoting and enhancing the nation’s health, from how physical inactivity impacts human health to formulating behavioural changes strategies. You’ll have the opportunity to investigate evidence from scientific literature pertaining to the role that physical inactivity plays in the resulting conditions and illnesses of obesity, insulin resistance syndrome, cancer and development of cardiovascular disease. 

  • Research Methods for Sport and Health Sciences

    In this module you’ll develop your knowledge of both quantitative and qualitative research and concepts related to research design methods, analysis and interpretation of findings in Sport and Health Sciences. You’ll consider ethical considerations fundamental to the research process in the field.

    You’ll also be given the opportunity to create your own research proposal, developing the ability to effectively present evidence-based results.  Through lectures delivered by expert academics, you’ll gain methodology knowledge, critical thinking skills and the strong insight required to identify relevant areas of research in Sport and Health Sciences. 

  • Exercise Prescription for Clinical Populations

    In this module, you’ll be trained in developing the theoretical knowledge and practical skills needed to create evidence-based exercise interventions for the enhancement of physiological and psychological health in clinical populations, including rehabilitation settings.

    You’ll draw on knowledge to devise specific custom exercise plans and modalities to improve physiologically-related mechanisms such as muscle strength, cardiovascular and immunological associations, and psychologically-related mechanisms such as anxiety, depressions, and fatigue.

    By the end of this module, you shall be able to competently design exercise interventions that encourage good health habits and behaviours. This module aims to broadly align to recognised awarding bodies in GP exercise referral schemes, enabling you the best chance of accreditation after successfully completing this module.

  • Applied Human Nutrition

    How does food play an important role in our lives? Explore this question and more on this module. Throughout your studies, you’ll discover the societal and biological nutritional links from disease prevention, maintenance and therapeutic perspectives. You’ll enjoy weekly lectures that build upon and apply the knowledge gained during Nutrition Biochemistry and Metabolism (NUTR5004) in the previous semester.

    Your learning journey will take you beyond the lecture room, introducing you to cutting-edge laboratory-based class techniques using specialist dietary analysis software, and preparing you for the career world. You’ll explore three broad sections: Nutrigenomics, which focuses on the role of gene expression and the genetic susceptibility to disease stages; chronic diseases; and specialist topics such as vegetarianism and alcohol. 

Optional modules

Nutritional Biochemistry and Metabolism

In this module you’ll be introduced to the theoretical background behind metabolic energy and human metabolism. You’ll learn about nutritional biochemistry in foods and how excessive consumption or suboptimal intake can impact internal biological mechanisms at a molecular, cellular and whole-body level.

This module serves as a precursor to NUTR5008 Applied Human Nutrition, where you’ll also gain an informative insight into the role of energy and nutrients in the various stages of the life cycle and their associations with chronic disease risk.

Once you graduate you can expect to be equipped for careers in public health, clinical nutrition/dietetics, or the food industry to name a few.

Principles of Training

In this module, you’ll be taking your understanding of sports and exercise to the next level. You’ll get to put your existing knowledge and theory into practice by honing your ability to understand, write and deliver individualised or group training programmes.

You’ll focus on the key concepts of physical conditioning for all levels of performers. Defining the training principles behind sports and exercise programmes, you’ll create the backbone of successful sports and exercise training interventions, to set goals, prevent injuries, maintain year-round fitness, and recognise different physical requirements, whether it be for a specific sport, or a specific target group or individual.

Work Experience 1

In this module, you’ll be amidst the action and working with expert staff and patrons already assigned to the field of Sport and Exercise, under a supervised work-based learning experience, designed to complement your professional and technical skills.

You’ll build on your professional knowledge, practical leadership skills and vocational competencies, embarking on a journey of self-discovery in terms of applying your theory to Sport and Exercise concepts. Participating in this placement will enhance your employability and will also open up avenues to investigate and identify your future career direction options and professional development opportunities. 

Independent Study 1

In this module, you’ll study how the psychology behind sports concepts can enhance sports performance. You’ll delve into how to present evidence-based interventions and apply this knowledge in real-world settings.

Strategic-thinking abilities, problem-solving skills, data management, and confidence in communicating your ideas will all be developed under the guidance of your tutor on this module. You’ll be offered this module as part of your programme of study under exceptional circumstances, and at the discretion of your module tutor.

Year 3

Compulsory modules

  • Project/Dissertation

    In this module, you’ll be given the opportunity to create your own project/dissertation on a specific area of knowledge in relation to fields of sport and exercise science, sport, coaching and physical activity and health promotion. You’ll work one-to-one with a supervisor, developing and enhancing your research while utilising academic literature critically and analytically to support your findings. You’ll get to choose your topic and will be encouraged to get involved with both practical hands-on collection of data and desk-based study. You’ll explore a range of issues which will widen your knowledge and increase your awareness of future career paths.

  • Clinical Populations and Rehabilitation

    Interested in creating interventions that enhance recovery, health, and mobility after injury across a range of populations? Then this module is for you. You’ll get to grips with both theoretical knowledge and practical skills in the area of exercise and training of clinical populations with long-term health conditions. On completion of this module, you shall be accredited with a Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA) award, indicating your successful completion of the module. 

  • Public Health Policy

    In this module you’ll be considering the determinants that cause public health inequalities across the nation, and how positive effective practice can improve societal public health. 

    On completion of this module, you shall be confident enough to develop public health plans that will make a difference to communities. 

Optional modules

Strength and Conditioning

You’ll develop both practical and theoretical knowledge of the strength and conditioning spectrum, including evidence-based practice, rehabilitation and working with special populations. You’ll enhance your abilities to work collaboratively with peers and plan interventions that provide solutions to real sporting problems. On completion of this module, you’ll be well prepared to achieve accreditation with recognised awarding bodies associated with strength and conditioning. 

Energy Regulation and Obesity

The increased rate of obesity is a global health challenge, leading to associated medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, which is placing added pressure on an already overwhelmed healthcare system. In this module, you’ll study the factors influencing human energy regulation and the development and treatment of obesity. You’ll explore the concept of energy balance and basal metabolic rate (BMR), and factors controlling energy intake and energy expenditure as part of the body’s internal balancing act. You’ll learn how obesity can be influenced by environmental, socioeconomic, genetic and diet-related factors, and how understanding these factors and the methods for measuring energy requirements are important for energy regulation and prevention of obesity. 

Clinical Nutrition

You’ll gain a detailed insight of nutrition-based theory and practice within a clinical setting. You’ll investigate the processes behind approaches to clinical nutrition and explore the general principles that underlie most clinical cases. Your study will touch on human energy requirements during health, disease states, the management of nutrition-related diseases, and the uses of clinical dietary therapy and therapeutic diets. You’ll gain the confidence in identifying supporting evidence for clinical practice and will focus on nutritional management of common diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders, and renal/liver disease. In addition to lectures, you’ll have the opportunity to put your problem-solving skills to the test with hands-on interactive practical laboratory experience. Put your knowledge into action within the real world by exploring the potential application of various methodologies as part of your coursework. 

Emerging Technology in Exercise and Health

You’ll get to grips with the biomechanics of the human body in this module, and will develop your theoretical knowledge, technical, practical and transferrable skills in the area of exercise. Most importantly, you’ll be encouraged to identify the strengths and weaknesses of emerging, industry specific technology, and its application to exercise and health. You will learn how to critically analyse technology data and apply the findings within your field of expertise to real-word problems.

Work Experience 2

This optional module will provide you with valuable work experience, and will not require you to take time out of your studies. You shall be able to continue your studies in other modules concurrently in the semester and there will be no additional fees to these opportunities beyond normal tuition fees. The module themes will be organised and facilitated by the department, however, you may be able to organise your own experience with approval by the work experience module lead.

Independent Study 2

This module allows you to get involved in individual group work on an appropriate topic under the constructed guidance of the module leader, and approval of the field committee. Your study may be work-based, enabling you to gain recognition and academic credit for learning gained through professional practice in employment, or from an in-depth study of your own high-level sporting performance. You’ll discuss and agree on a learning contract with your supervisor beforehand, and this shall be approved by the Subject Examination Committee before the module is registered on your programme of study. 

Please note: As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you can choose from may vary from those shown here. The structure of the course may also mean some modules are not available to you.

Download course structure chart


Health promotion and physical activity is a booming industry. Especially with various national initiatives tackling obesity and promoting healthy eating and exercise. 

This means it’s a great time to be considering a career in the sector as there are a wide range of opportunities open to you. You may decide to go into one of the following: 

  • health and fitness industry
  • community health initiatives
  • health promotion
  • rehabilitation
  • clinical exercise therapy
  • personal training
  • professional sport
  • workplace health and fitness
  • teaching
  • research. 

You can also gain professional accreditations through the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA) such as the Health Navigator, Personal Trainer, Working with people with long term conditions.

As well as the specialist knowledge you’ll gain during our course, you’ll have developed key problem-solving and practical skills that employers value.

Entry requirements

Wherever possible we make our conditional offers using the UCAS Tariff. The combination of A-level grades listed here would be just one way of achieving the UCAS Tariff points for this course.

Standard offer

UCAS Tariff Points: 104

A Level: BCC

IB Points: 29


Contextual offer

UCAS Tariff Points: 88

A Level: CCD

IB Points: 27


International qualifications and equivalences

Tuition fees

Please see the fees note
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

International full time

Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

2023 / 24
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

International full time

2024 / 25
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

+44 (0)1865 534400

Please note, tuition fees for Home students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Oxford Brookes University intends to maintain its fees for new and returning Home students at the maximum permitted level.

Tuition fees for International students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students. 

The following factors will be taken into account by the University when it is setting the annual fees: inflationary measures such as the retail price indices, projected increases in University costs, changes in the level of funding received from Government sources, admissions statistics and access considerations including the availability of student support. 

How and when to pay

Tuition fee instalments for the semester are due by the Monday of week 1 of each semester. Students are not liable for full fees for that semester if they leave before week 4. If the leaving date is after week 4, full fees for the semester are payable.

  • For information on payment methods please see our Make a Payment page.
  • For information about refunds please visit our Refund policy page

Financial support and scholarships

For general sources of financial support, see our Fees and funding pages.

Additional costs

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course are detailed below.

Information from Discover Uni

Full-time study

Part-time study

Programme changes:
On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website. For more information, please visit our changes to programmes page.