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Sport and Exercise Science

BSc (Hons) - single

Department of Sport, Health Sciences and Social Work

Endorsed by BASES (the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences); meets the requirements in topic breadth and quality to fulfil the professional requirements of BASES

There is growing evidence that exercise, whether in the pursuit of sport or health, benefits both the individual and society as a whole. Society needs professionals trained in interpreting the health consequences of our current lifestyles, as well as the more performance-focused requirements of athletes.

This course provides you with both the in-depth academic knowledge and the practical skills and experience required to launch a career in this exciting field.

Oxford Brookes University was ranked 15th out of 71 institutions, up from 22nd in 2016, in the Guardian's University Guide 2016: league table for sport and exercise science.

Typical offers

UCAS Tariff points: 112 - preferred subjects include Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics and PE

Available start dates

September 2019 / September 2020

Teaching location

Headington Campus

Course length

  • Full time: 3 years
  • Part time: part-time study is possible

UCAS code


For full application details, please see the 'How to apply / Entry requirements' section.

  • Oxford Brookes is one of the UK’s leading sport universities with a strong performance history, including producing Olympic medal winners.
  •  We have our own in-house Clinical Exercise and Rehabilitation Unit (CLEAR) and Human Performance Unit (HPU), which provide excellent hands-on experience and enhance employment prospects. We are located close to some of the UK's best hospitals.
  • There is a unique opportunity to investigate the physical and physiological responses to sustained exercise on our Alpine Fieldwork module. This reflects our strong emphasis on experience gained from both laboratory and field work.
  • We have comprehensively equipped, up-to-date teaching and research facilities.
  • Eighty-five per cent of Brookes research undertaken in the allied health professions was judged ‘international’ in the government’s 2014 Research Excellence Framework. As research underpins all our teaching, you gain from knowledge and skills honed in this environment.
  • We maintain close links with local sports clubs, schools and the Oxford Sports Partnership. This, alongside exciting in-house placements, ensures a wide and varied range of work experience opportunities. There are also close links with our sports coaching and nutrition courses, allowing you to see sport and exercise from other perspectives.

Year 1 will provide you with a thorough grounding in human physiology, exercise science, nutrition and academic science skills. A feature of your first year is a series of tutorials with your academic adviser (a member of the teaching staff responsible for overseeing your academic progress while you are at university). The tutorials are designed to help you adjust to academic life at university and establish good study habits.

In Years 2 and 3, you have the opportunity to choose from a range of advanced modules, enabling you to select a pathway that reflects your interests. The choice is very wide-ranging. Once the core modules have been taken, you can choose to concentrate on either sport- or exercise-related studies, or a combination of both. A sound grounding in nutrition is also available for those who are interested in this area.

We have developed a challenging fieldwork module that is available to students on a number of related degree courses. It investigates changes in energy balance and physical fitness following a week of trekking in the French Alps. There is also an independent study module allowing you to investigate a particular subject that really interests you.

The honours component of the degree is based on the completion, in your final year, of six honours-level credits. These credits may be chosen from a selection of honours-level modules. In their final year, honours students may choose to tailor their course towards the more established research model of a degree course by undertaking a project.

Alternatively, you may choose to adopt a more contemporary approach by taking an applied honours-level module geared more towards practice. As a Sport and Exercise Science student you can choose a practice-based module that deals with clients from sporting, clinical or recreational backgrounds, depending on your future career aspirations.

There are no additional costs associated with this programme, although you will be expected to participate in practical activities, which will require appropriate general sportswear.

Study modules

As courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the module list you choose from may differ from those shown here.

Year 1

  • Introduction to Nutrition (Compulsory)
  • Human Movement and Skill in Sport (Compulsory)
  • Physiology for Human Movement (Compulsory)
  • Anatomy for Sport and Exercise (Compulsory)
  • The Sport and Exercise Practitioner (Compulsory)
  • Introduction to Biomechanics (Compulsory)
  • Fitness and Assessment (Compulsory)

Years 2 and 3

  • Work Experience
  • Human Nutrition and Metabolism
  • Applied Human Nutrition
  • Sport and the Modern City
  • Global and Cultural Studies in Sport
  • Principles of Training for Sport and Exercise
  • Applied Sport and Exercise Psychology
  • Sports Development
  • Laboratory Techniques in Sport and Exercise
  • Research Methods
  • Performance Analysis
  • Talent Identification and Development
  • Motivating Health Behaviour (Compulsory)
  • Physical Activity and Health (Compulsory)
  • Sport and Exercise Biomechanics (Compulsory)
  • Applied Sport and Exercise Physiology (Compulsory)
  • Enterprise Skills for Life Scientists (Honours component)
  • Clinical Nutrition (Honours component)
  • Energy Regulation and Obesity (Honours component)
  • Sport and Exercise Nutrition (Honours component)
  • Applied Practice in Sport and Exercise Science (Honours component)
  • Advanced Practice in Sport and Exercise Psychology (Double honours component; Alternative Compulsory)
  • Project/Dissertation (Double honours component; Alternative Compulsory)
  • Alpine Fieldwork in Exercise Science (Double honours component; Alternative Compulsory)
  • Strength and Conditioning for Sport and Exercise (Honours component)
  • Special Populations and Rehabilitation (Honours component)

Work placements

You have the opportunity to undertake a work experience module. This is a placement which you will organise to align with your employment interests, although we can provide a range of possible alternative options. On site, the Clinical Exercise and Rehabilitation Unit (CLEAR) and Human Performance Unit (HPU), based at Oxford Brookes' Centre for Sport, are excellent environments for practical experience of laboratory exercise tests. Local hospitals, sports clubs and sports centres also provide similar environments for hands-on field-based exercise tests.

Recent work placement projects include:

  • the development of exercise training programmes for CLEAR unit clients with significant movement disorders
  • performance analysis of Olympic-level athletes in the HPU.

Field trips

We have developed a challenging optional fieldwork module, available to students on a number of related degree courses (the cost of the field-trip is not included in course tuition fees). The module investigates changes in energy balance and physical fitness following a week of trekking in the French Alps.

The route follows the Tour du Mont Blanc. It takes you through 160km of amazing alpine wilderness, circumnavigating the Mont Blanc Massif and passing through France, Italy and Switzerland.

This module gives students the opportunity to investigate the physical and physiological responses to sustained exercise in a mountainous environment.

Among the many benefits of field courses are the opportunities for students to further develop their transferable skills. Students and staff conduct each day’s activities together under, at times, challenging environmental conditions. Spending long periods of time together as a group requires students to employ a range of skills including teamwork, communication and problem solving. These are competencies invaluable in the workplace.

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.

Studying abroad provides an amazing opportunity to add value to your studies by:

  • increasing your employability within an international market
  • boosting your language skills
  • building your confidence in adapting to new situations
  • improving your knowledge of different cultures.

While on exchange you will gain credits which count towards your degree.

We have more than 100 partner universities around the world. Funding is available through the Erasmus scheme, and also via some international programmes such as the Santander Student Awards.

There is also a European work placement programme which gives you the chance to work abroad as part of your studies.

For more information, visit our pages on studying abroad and exchanges.

Free language courses for students - the Open Module

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.

Please note that the free language courses are not available if you are:

  • studying at a Brookes partner college
  • studying on any of our teacher education courses or postgraduate education courses.

Attendance pattern

The teaching day is generally broken into three 3-hour blocks starting at 9.00am, 1.00pm and 5.00pm respectively. There are normally twelve teaching weeks together with associated practical work (which may run for four weeks, for example). Students are encouraged to attend all timetabled sessions, which may include lectures, seminars and tutorial sessions.

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.

Teaching and learning

Our degrees aim to combine theoretical study across a range of disciplines with the development of practical or field skills. In particular you will be using IT to find, analyse and present information. We believe this is an essential part of any modern science course.

Most modules use lectures to deliver content and learning outcomes. Alongside these we use a range of learning tools including seminars, tutorials and laboratory classes. We believe that useful scientists are those who are also practical. To that end we are committed to laboratory work, surveys and fieldwork as appropriate.

We have a good range of well-equipped and modern laboratories. In this environment, under the careful supervision of academic staff, you will be taught safe and effective ways to carry out laboratory investigations. 

Time spent in different learning activities

Year Lectures, seminars or similar Independent study Placement
1 26%74%0%
2 23%77%0%
3 19%81%0%

Approach to assessment

Some modules are assessed by coursework only - very few are entirely assessed by examination. The majority are assessed by a combination of coursework and examination. 

A wide variety of assessment methods are used; these reflect the knowledge or skills being evaluated.

Breakdown of assessment methods used on this course

Year Written exams Practical exams Coursework
1 24%0%76%
2 33%12%56%
3 0%13%88%

Tuition fees

Home/EU - full time fee: 2018/19: £9,250. 2019/20: £9,250.

Home/EU - part time fee: 2018/19: £750 per single module. 2019/20: £750 per single module.

International - full time: 2018/19: £14,000 2019/20: £14,280

*Please note tuition fees for Home/EU students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Tuition fees for International students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students.

Oxford Brookes University intends to maintain its fees for new and returning home and EU students at the maximum permitted level.

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course, if any, are detailed in the 'This course in detail' window above.

Questions about fees?
Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088

Funding and scholarships

For general sources of financial support, see:

Typical offers

UCAS Tariff points: 112 - preferred subjects include Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics and PE

A-Level: BBC or equivalent - preferred subjects include Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics and PE

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

IB Diploma: 30 points, to include a science at Higher Level


We seek to admit students who have the potential to make good scientists and accept that qualifications are not the only indicator of future potential. Typical offers also include:

  • A-level grades BB plus 2 AS-levels at grade C. Students studying more than one science subject may receive a lower offer
  • 1 12-unit Vocational A-level at grade BB plus 1 A-level or 2 AS-levels at grade C
  • other recognised qualifications, eg BTEC Nationals or Scottish qualifications.

 If your combination of qualifications doesn't match our typical offer, please contact our Admissions Administrator.

Specific entry requirements

A-Level: grades BBC or equivalent, including Science

GCSE: 3 GCSEs at Grade 4 (C) to include Mathematics, English Language and Science

Ability to demonstrate an interest in sport. 

You must have studied science post-16, either at A-level or equivalent. If you do not have a background in science, we encourage you to consider our Life Sciences foundation year taught at Abingdon and Witney College.

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.

English language requirements

An IELTS score of 6.0 overall (6.0 in Reading and Writing, 5.5 in Speaking and Listening) is required for all applicants whose first language is not English. 

Please also see the University's standard English language requirements

Pathways courses for international and EU students

If you do not meet the entry requirements for this degree, or if you would like more preparation before you start, you can take an  international foundation course. Once you enrol, you will have a guaranteed pathway to this degree if you pass your foundation course with the required grades.

If you only need to meet the language requirements, you can take our  pre-sessional English course. You will develop key language and study skills for academic success and you will not need to take an external language test to progress to your degree.

English requirements for visas

If you need a student visa to enter the UK you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration minimum language requirements as well as the University's requirements. Find out more about English language requirements.

How to apply

If you are an international applicant, you will need to apply early to allow enough time for obtaining visa if you are offered a place. 

International applicants

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

Credit transfer

Oxford Brookes operates the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). All undergraduate single modules are equivalent to 7.5 ECTS credits and double modules to 15 ECTS credits. More about ECTS credits.

Why Oxford is a great place to study this course

Oxford Brookes attracts potential world-class athletes and there is the opportunity to work with such individuals within specific modules. Well known for its rowing heritage, Oxford is also famous as the city where the world's first four-minute mile was run.

The city is home to leading health care providers, such as the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, which provide excellent work experience and career opportunities.

As a student in Oxford you'll be at the heart of the UK's most successful economic region and in a centre for leading industries, which provides you with a host of learning opportunities.

Because Oxford is one of the world's great academic cities, it is a key centre of debate, with conferences, seminars and forums taking place across education, science, the arts and many other subjects.

In addition to our own excellent libraries and resource centres, our students have access to the world-renowned Bodleian Library and the Radcliffe Science Library.

Support for students studying Sport and Exercise Science

Our personal and academic support system recognises that students need to make various adjustments as they move into higher education, whether from school or employment.

The system encompasses three elements:

  • a structured group tutorial programme
  • an academic adviser who will help you to plan your degree programme and future career
  • interaction with other students on your course.

The first stage includes regular seminars covering a wide range of subjects including research skills, understanding assessment criteria and making the most of coursework feedback. Our programme also helps students adjust to university life by developing their transferable skills.

Secondly, our academic staff monitor your progress regularly to check that you are maximising your potential. If you experience academic difficulties we can arrange for you to receive further academic mentoring support.

Thirdly, if you are faced with challenges that affect your ability to study, such as illness, bereavement, depression, financial difficulties or accommodation issues, we will work with you in finding a way forward. Please talk to your academic adviser or our student support team. Oxford Brookes also offers a range of excellent services to support you.

Specialist facilities

Students will have access to a range of facilities. These include our British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) accredited laboratory, our Human Performance Unit and the Clinical Exercise and Rehabilitation Unit. We also have a very good range of equipment, including near-infrared spectroscopy technology, Qualysis motion capture system, breath-by-breath data capture and analysis, and specialised laboratories for physiology. 

General support services

Supporting your learning

From academic advisers and support co-ordinators to specialist subject librarians and other learning support staff, we want to ensure that you get the best out of your studies.

Personal support services

We want your time at Brookes to be as enjoyable and successful as possible. That's why we provide all the facilities you need to be relaxed, happy and healthy throughout your studies.

Career prospects

Our graduates have found employment in a wide variety of jobs. Examples include technical sales (Human Kinetics Publishing), therapeutic childcare (Action for Children), strength and conditioning (Watford Football Club), health promotion and community sports (County Council), clinical perfusionist, clinical exercise physiology in cardiac rehabilitation (NHS) and graduate entry into the forces.

Sport and exercise scientists are key people with an informed view of both the performance and the health-related benefits of exercise. In recent years, the government has become proactive in the promotion of active lifestyles for all. Consequently, there are increasing employment opportunities in the areas of sport and health and this is reflected in the demand for related courses in the higher education sector in the UK.

Further study

Our graduates have gone on to study on a wide range of courses. These include master’s programmes in Ergonomics and Sports Nutrition (Loughborough University), Sport and Exercise Physiology (University of Chichester, Loughborough University), Physiotherapy (Oxford Brookes University), Psychology (Oxford Brookes University) and Applied Sport and Exercise Nutrition (Oxford Brookes University). They also include graduate teacher training programmes at either primary or secondary level.
If you're interested in further study, Oxford Brookes also offers a flexible choice of taught and research postgraduate degrees across a wide range of subjects.