BSc single honours Physical Education and Sport & Exercise Science with Foundation Year 2018/19

Year of entry

Clearing places available

A number of our degrees are also offered with an additional foundation year (Year 0). Whether you are a school-leaver or someone considering returning to study but don’t have the entry requirements for your chosen subject, a foundation year course may be just what you’re looking for.

A foundation year is the first year of a four year programme which:

  • provides an introduction not only to study at University but also to your chosen subject
  • offers you a highly supportive environment where you can develop the self-confidence, knowledge, skills and understanding for further study.

Following the Foundation Year you will go on to explore areas including:

  • physiology
  • biomechanics
  • psychology
  • sociology
  • physical education
  • sport and exercise science.

This single honours degree course offers an opportunity to study the complementary disciplines of physical education and sport and exercise science. With an emphasis on the practical application of knowledge, the course will appeal to anyone who intends to follow a career in teaching, as well as those interested in pursuing careers in the sport, fitness, health and leisure industries. Through a focus on problem based learning and the provision of opportunities to engage in critical discussion, the course will enable you to develop an informed perspective on critical issues relating to physical education and sport and exercise science.

The course enables you to tailor your experiences and module choices to suit your chosen career path throughout the three years.

We are proud to have been awarded the following:

  • Student British Association of Sport and Exercises Sciences (BASES) Conference presentation prizes.
  • Joint British Association of Sport and Exercises Sciences/British Association of Sport and Exercise Medicine award for best exercise science research conference presentation.
  • Coubertin Prize 2008 awarded by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Pierre de Coubertin Committee (IPCC).
With an emphasis on the practical application of knowledge it will appeal to anyone who intends to follow a career in teaching, as well as those interested in pursuing careers in the sport, fitness, health and leisure industries.

The course has a number of University Sports Scholars one of whom has represented Great Britain at Canoe Polo.

This multidisciplinary course critically examines the wider context of physical education at all ages and enables you to follow a pathway through the sport science disciplines of physiology, psychology, biomechanics and sociology. It is structured in such a way to allow for the focused study of key disciplines as well as the synthesis of physical education, sport and exercise science, theory and practice.

The most effective learning takes place in a collaborative environment where students and staff share knowledge and experiences.
(Matthew Light, Programme Director)

Work experience The year 3 Professional Experience in PE and Sport module enables you to engage with work experience in a setting of your choice, related to your expected career path. Typically you would be encouraged to take up a minimum of 20 hours of paid or unpaid work and to reflect on this experience from the point of applying for this work experience, induction, the challenges and key areas of skills, knowledge and competencies that apply to the job.

Outdoor and Adventure Education Module You may have the opportunity to attend a residential experience at an outdoor education centre. There is no additional cost for this residential experience, however, if demand for the module exceeds places, the 20 students with the best attendance in year one will be selected.

Modules including PE of Young Children, Inclusion in PE and Sport Education may offer the chance of educational experiences in a range of settings including primary, secondary and special schools.

This course can also be studied over four years with an initial foundation year (Year 0) for those without the formal entry qualifications. It is designed to provide you with the grounding you need to progress on to this degree.

This course is one of only a few in the country which offers the combination of Physical Education and Sport and Exercise Science as single honours.

100% of Physical Education and Sport & Exercise Science graduates were in employment or further study six months after completing their studies

(2013-14 DLHE)

Year 0

You will take 5 core modules plus one optional module. Optional modules will be offered subject to cohort size and you may choose to take a module which relates to your overall degree choice.

 Optional module choices are made in the second semester and become the last module taken.

 However, you are not locked into the choice of overall course but may choose to change pathways at the end of the Foundation Year (Year 0). Alternatively, you may choose to take a Certificate of Completion and apply to another degree course, subject to entry criteria.

Core modules

  • Introduction to Education
  • Applied Literacy, Numeracy and Science Skills for Education
  • Communication and Academic Skills for Higher Education
  • Personal and Career Development
  • Introduction to Human development through the Lifespan

Optional module 

Year 1

The core modules you will study are:

Learning Through Practical Activity

The module aims to develop your knowledge and understanding across a range of practical activities. The focus will be on your ability to observe and analyse performance in a range of settings including individual and team activities which are typical of school physical education. Opportunities may be provided to improve subject knowledge and performance through short courses /workshops provided by National Governing Body Awards for Sport. These short courses and workshops do not contribute to the assessment of modules and there is no additional charge for them.

Orientation to Higher Education and Research

The aim of this module is to facilitate a smooth transition into Higher Education (HE) and the challenges it presents by building on your pre-existing skills, enabling you to become more independent and self-managed in your approach to study, learning and time-management. The module also aims to facilitate the development of skills and techniques used in the study of sport and exercise. It will identify a variety of methods by which research is conducted in sport and exercise science and will provide the opportunity for you to develop a scientific approach to your studies.

You will then choose further modules from these likely optional modules:

Physical Education likely optional modules

Foundations of Physical Education

The module will introduce you to a range of key concepts and issues about physical education and education as a field of study. You will be encouraged to explore the values and benefits of physical education to children and consider some of the factors that affect learning and teaching. Themes such as health education, moral, personal and social education, play and physical development may be considered.

Learning and Teaching in Physical Education

You will be introduced to a range of theories, principles and practices in the pedagogy of physical education. Participants will be asked to consider aspects such as learning theories, teaching styles, and the classroom environment and how these impact on pupils’ learning.

Sport and Exercise Science likely optional modules:

Introduction to the Psychology of Sport, Exercise and Skill Acquisition

The aim of this module is to provide an introduction to the fundamental psychological constructs that underpin our understanding of human behaviour and learning in sport and exercise settings. Central concepts such as personality, attributions, aggression, motivation, arousal, anxiety and stress are currently examined with reference to their implications for sport and exercise behaviour. The nature and development of groups and the influence of group dynamics on individual behaviour are also explored, along with cognitive processes involved in skill acquisition and performance, and the relationships between exercise participation and health and well-being.

Introduction to Biomechanics in Sport and Exercise

The aim of this module is to introduce students to the biomechanical basis of sport and exercise, through both theoretical and practical experience. The module provides a foundation in the analysis of human movement, covering basic movement terminology, functional anatomy and principles of movement. It aims to apply fundamental biomechanical concepts to the study of human movement in sport and exercise.

Introduction to Sport and Exercise Physiology

The aim of this module is to introduce the physiology of sport and exercise, through both theoretical and practical experience. The module currently covers key topics in physiology, including energy systems, the process of muscle contraction and the cardio-respiratory system. Laboratory practicals provide the opportunity to explore the physiological effects of these systems during exercise. Overall, you will study the anatomy and physiology of gross structures and the responses and adaptations of these structures to sport and exercise training.

Introduction to Sport, Culture and Society

The aim of this module is to show how sociology can be used to study sport, culture and society. You will begin by exploring the historical development and management of modern sport from its folk roots. A number of social factors in sport such as gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, and disability are then explored encouraging an understanding of the social problems and social issues associated with sport. Various theories that can help conceptualise sport and exercise as a social phenomenon are then examined in relation to globalisation, national identity, deviance, the media and the environment which help to develop a critical sociological approach to sport, physical education and leisure.

Year 2

The core modules you will study are:

Pedagogy for Practical Activity

The module aims to enable you to develop your knowledge and understanding of pedagogy and practice in teaching practical activities. The focus is on how teachers arrange the learning environment and how this knowledge enables pupils to meet intended learning outcomes. A range of instructional models is explored to illustrate a variety of approaches to learning. The module will provide a core practical experience that can be used to explore concepts and themes from across your area of study.

Research Methods in Sport and Exercise

You will explore alternative approaches to research in physical education and sport and exercise science, and the philosophies and practices associated with each. The research process will be explored from conceptualisation through to presentation. Accordingly, you will develop an understanding of how to design research, collect, analyse, and interpret data, and present research in an appropriate manner. This module develops your ability to critically evaluate and conduct research in sport and exercise science and provides the conceptual underpinnings for a third year individual study.

Physical Education likely optional modules:

Assessment & Evaluation in Physical Education

The module aims to enable you to develop your understanding of the principles, modes and policies of assessment; and to develop a deeper understanding of the ways in which assessment and evaluation practices affects learning in physical education.

Contemporary Issues in Physical Education and School Sport

This module aims to introduce you to a range of issues which apply to physical education and school sport. You will explore the historical foundations of physical education and its influence on contemporary practice through the analysis of pupils’ experiences of physical education. Topics of study may include gender, children’s health and issues of inclusion.

Inclusive Practices in Physical Education

You will be engaged with the issues of inclusion in relation to physical education in both a theoretical and practical way. You will explore relevant theory and consider its application in a range of educational contexts. You will also consider how to plan, lead and assess differentiated, adapted physical activities and Paralympic sports.

Outdoor and Adventure Education

This module aims to introduce you to a range of issues which apply to physical education in an outdoor and / or an adventure setting. The module aims to explore the role of the outdoors in learning and examine the contribution that adventure, risk and challenge make to learning and development.

Physical Education of Young Children

Through a combination of theoretical and practical experiences, you will consider theoretical perspectives, pedagogical approaches and practical strategies appropriate to Physical Education for young children. The module will explore factors which impact upon children’s learning in physical education such as motor development and play.

Sport and Exercise Science likely optional modules:

Psychology of Sport

This module examines a range of factors which influence the competitive sport performance of both individual athletes and teams. Psychological phenomena currently addressed on the module include individual motivation, confidence and anxiety and such social psychological processes as group motivation and cohesion, the nature of the group environment and the components of effective leadership.

Psychology of Exercise and Health

This module examines a number of the psychological factors associated with the adoption of and adherence to active lifestyles. Specific attention is paid to the cognitive and affective consequences of participation in exercise programmes, and the impact of these on health and wellbeing. An additional topic currently explored is the motivational effects of music in exercise settings.

Perceptual and Motor Skills in Sport Coaching

This module aims to provide an insight into some of the factors which influence the acquisition and performance of perceptual and motor skills in sport. You will develop an understanding of selected cognitive and ecological methodologies to skilled performance. These theoretical approaches to skill acquisition will be used to critique the design and organisation of current coaching practice.

Sport and Exercise Biomechanics

This module explores selected biomechanical principles that influence physical performance, through applying selected theoretical concepts to sport and exercise contexts. It will also aim to develop your competency in the scientific techniques used to evaluate biomechanical aspects of exercise. This module currently focuses upon biomechanical principles of motion (conservation of momentum, impulse-momentum relationship, work-energy relationship), covering topics such as linear and angular kinematics and kinetics, forces and impulse, loading and injury, projectile motion, and fluid dynamics. It also includes an analysis of selected sports skills, and further develops practical laboratory experience and use of selected analysis programs.

Sport and Exercise Training

This module investigates current understanding of selected physiological factors which influence physical performance, and identifies methods used to enhance these factors. The module will explore the physiological determinants of fitness, investigate methods to analyse and interpret the data from specific fitness assessments, and consider the role and limitations of training theory.

Nutrition for Sport and Exercise

This module explores the interaction between nutritional factors and physiological function associated with sport and exercise performance. The module will investigate current thinking on key nutritional principles, investigate methods of data analysis in this field, and explore the efficacy of common dietary practices used in sport and exercise to promote health and performance.

Sporting Identities and Lifestyles

This module considers the cultural meaning and significance of sport and exercise in selected societies. Specifically, the module explores the nature and characteristics of sport and exercise related sub-cultures by focusing on selected sociological themes and issues. It is currently structured around the establishment and maintenance of sport and exercise sub-cultures and you will explore issues of socialisation and identity formation in relation to sport subcultures, examine sub-culture related deviancy such as violence, drug-taking and over-conformity to the ‘sports ethic’ and investigate the symbolic nature of the body in sport and exercise. Aspects of research methods in the sociology of sport and exercise sub-cultures will be studied.

Year 3

The core module for this year is:

Either Individual Study 1 or Individual Study 2

These 20 or 40 credit modules offer you the opportunity to undertake an in-depth study of a particular topic or issue related to either physical education and/or sport and exercise science. You will be able to build upon the knowledge, understanding and skills developed at levels 4 and 5 and further explore the use of quantitative and/or qualitative research methodologies, as appropriate. 

Physical Education likely optional modules:

Learning in Physical Education

This module will present you with the opportunity to consider a range of factors that affect learning in physical education. These include the relationship between teaching and learning in physical education; the contested nature of the aims of physical education; educational policy and sociological and psychological factors that affect learning in physical education.

Perspectives, Values & Beliefs in Physical Education

This module aims to extend thinking in relation to issues introduced in the Contemporary Issues in Physical Education module at level 5. The module will explore the range of values and beliefs about how physical education should be contemplated, taught and practiced. You will be presented with a range of perspectives and asked to consider your values in a range of issues within society and school.

Professional Experience in PE and Sport

You will engage in a series of workshops designed to align with your desired career path. The development of career skills; such as interview technique, forming and managing relationships, and resume writing will form the basis of workshop content along with a focus on the holistic development of self (in preparedness for entry/re-entry into a desired career sector). You will engage in a serial or block experience to provide the necessary learning and reflection required to develop knowledge of the physical education, sport and/or health sectors.

Practical: Concepts and Applications

The module is a progression of the core practical modules in year 1 and 2 of the programme, and will enable you to develop detailed knowledge and understanding of a range of activity areas of the National Curriculum for Physical Education. You will engage in theoretical and practical workshops and seminars to explore the conceptual demands of activities as outlined the National Curriculum. You will also be asked to construct and deconstruct learning scenarios from a range of activities to explore the nature of teaching and learning. This will include improving your practical ability, demonstrations and content knowledge of activity areas.

Sport Education

The module will focus on the values, goals and purpose of the sport education model and will examine how to implement sport education in a physical education setting. You will explore through seminar and practical activities the curricular and instructional implications of the model. The sessions will also address matters such as assessment, inclusion and the role of sport education in contributing to physical literacy.

Sport and Exercise Science likely optional modules:

Applied Sport Psychology

This module provides you with the opportunity to investigate the processes involved in developing, delivering and evaluating a sport psychology intervention. A critical consideration of the evidence-base for sport psychology alongside an understanding of the practical techniques and processes commonly used by sport psychologists will equip you with a well-rounded perspective about the perils and promise of applied sport psychology.

Psychology of Sport Coaching

The module will examine the processes and principles of coaching both adults and children in sport. You will gain significant theoretical and practical experience of different approaches to coaching practice and the application of coaching ideologies in a variety of sports. The module examines coaching research and current issues in coach behaviour, currently including such topics as the coach-athlete relationship, coaching styles, modes of communication, and motivational climates.

Applied Exercise and Health Psychology

This module explores the current perspectives and contemporary research in the psychology of exercise and health field. The module examines the potential for effective behaviour change interventions in the exercise domain. The module currently includes topic areas such as the psychology of exercise addiction, exercise and pregnancy, and eating behaviours. The module evaluates the impact of exercise behaviour on the holistic health of individuals, communities and the population.

Performance Biomechanics

This module focuses on the biomechanics of selected sport skills, including technique analyses, and discussion of the technologies used to develop sports equipment and to evaluate performance and training. Students currently have the opportunity to critically appraise selected sports skills, sports footwear, with consideration of sport specific injuries, culminating in an evaluation of a sporting performance underpinned by appropriate theory and research in biomechanics.

Sporting Extremes

This module will consider specific aspects of exercise physiology associated with selected sporting extremes and their potential impact upon an individual’s ability to perform strenuous physical exercise. These currently include the physiological considerations of participating in sport and exercise at extremes of age and environmental conditions; as well as some of the physiological parameters governing the limits of human training / performance capacity.

Physical Activity and Health

This module reviews the origins of physical activity and health. It is intended that you will develop a critical understanding of the link between physical activity and a variety of forms of ill-health. This currently includes cardiovascular disease, cancer, high blood pressure, lung disease, obesity, diabetes and renal disease. A laboratory practical series will prepare you to conduct a cardiopulmonary exercise test, assess coronary heart disease risk profile and provide appropriate physical activity / exercise prescription.

Re-thinking Sport, Health and Body Cultures

This module requires you to think critically about the social construction of the body and identity amongst dominant cultures in sport, physical education and leisure. Consideration is first given to the historical underpinnings that inform how we conceptualise the body in contemporary society. Subsequently, attention centres on how the body may be theorised and the pressures of having the ‘perfect’ body amongst discourses that promote the anti-fat ethic and the moralisation of health and wellness. In doing so, the oppression and inequalities present in embodying a range of identities in sport, physical education and leisure are explored including gendered bodies, sexual bodies, disabled bodies and ‘cyborg’ bodies.

We continually review and where appropriate, revise the range of modules on offer to reflect changes in the subject and ensure the best student experience. 

The Physical Education and Sport and Exercise Science degree opens up both primary and secondary routes into teaching, through PGCE or Schools Direct, and prepares you for further postgraduate study at all levels through to PhD. It also prepares you for roles in sport, physical activity, health and fitness and the leisure industry. In addition it provides an excellent foundation for careers in the public sector, including the medical professions (cardiac rehabilitation, physiotherapy and health promotion), whilst both the armed and police forces look favourably upon our graduates.

This course is excellent, it offers pathways to so many careers after graduation


The 2018/19 annual tuition fees for this course are:

  UK / EU Overseas
Full-time - Foundation Year 0 £6,165 N/A
Full-time - years 1-3 * £9,250 £11,500

Tuition fees for all courses are payable on an annual basis, except where stated.

* The tuition fee of £9,250 relates to 2018/19 only. Please read the 2018/19 Tuition Fee Statement for further information regarding 2018/19 tuition fees and mid-course year on year fee increases.

Additional course costs

Although we aim to minimise any additional costs to students over and above the course tuition fee, there will be some additional costs which students are expected to meet.

Costs applicable to all students

Text books Own purchase text books
Travel to other sites Where travel to other sites is required, this will be payable by the student
Library Fees and Fines Where students fail to return loaned items within the required time they will be responsible for the cost of any Library Fees and Fines applicable
Printing & Photocopying The cost of printing and photocopying undertaken by students to support their individual learning are payable by the student
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire / photography are additional costs payable by the student

Course specific costs

Travel and Accommodation costs for Placements Where a student has chosen a module which requires them to attend an education or work place setting
DBS / Health Checks An enhanced DBS check is required at the start of the programme
Travel to other sites Students may need to travel to specialist sports facilities such as swimming pools
Clothing / Kit Corporate (badged by programme) sports kit purchase is optional. Price list by garment is sent to students via online induction web page normally in July prior to the start of their course

General principle policy

The University’s general principles policy for additional course fees are set out here

CategoryIncluded in the tuition feeAdditional cost to student
Field trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc) No, if the trip contributes to the course as an optional module. Yes if the trip is optional.
Travel and accommodation costs for placements  No

Travel and accommodation costs for professional placements within the Education and Health & Wellbeing Faculties.

Travel and accommodation costs for other work placements. 
Text books No Own purchase text books.
DBS / Health checks No Yes
Professional Body registration No Yes
Travel to other sites (e.g. travel to swimming pool for lessons) No Yes
Clothing / Kit Yes, where the clothing / kit is essential for Health & Safety reasons. Yes, where the clothing is kept by the student and not essential for health and safety reasons.
Learning materials Essential learning materials (excluding text books) in connection with the course. Additional materials beyond the standard provision essential for the course or where the costs are determined by the student’s area of interest and the outputs are retained by the student.
Library fees and fines No Yes
Printing and photocopying No Yes
Social events No, unless the event forms an essential part of the course. Yes, unless the event forms an essential part of the course.
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire/ photography are additional costs payable by the student.

Each taught module has a standard 50 hours of student contact. This will typically be composed of practical lectures, seminars, labs, workshops, field based activity, tutorials and feedback on assignments. You will also be expected to engage in 150 hours of self-directed study per taught module.

Academic input
In Physical Education there are currently seven staff teaching on the course (ranging in experience from principal lecturer to lecturer status). All of them have experience of teaching physical education in schools.

In Sport and Exercise Science there are currently approximately 33 experienced staff who teach/deliver the course. In January 2016 there was one professor, four readers, four principal lecturers, 10 senior lecturers, seven university instructors (half time academic), three postgraduate students, and one senior lab technician, supported by three other technical staff. The Section is supported by a professional services team comprising nine specialist roles. The consultancy unit, SportsLab, also has a manager and access to a number of experienced sport performance consultants.

Surprising terms
You will require 60% in year 2 Research Methods module or an overall profile of 60% to select the Individual Study 2 module in year 3.

You will be assessed through a range of methods, including individual and group presentations, reports, portfolios, case studies, essays, scientific reports and examinations.

For Physical Education lectures you will have access to a range of indoor and outdoor teaching facilities including

  • 3 astroturf sports pitches
  • 2 indoor sports centres
  • indoor and outdoor tennis courts
  • and a range of grass pitches.

In Sport and Exercise Science you will have access to our well-equipped laboratories used to measure and assess sport and exercise performance. You will also have the opportunity to work within our consultancy unit SportsLab, through which we work with professional athletes, conducting performance-related tests and using our expertise to help athletes boost their performance either as an individual or as a team.

There are a number of informal relationships with providers in the physical education and sport sectors aligned to the continued development of our teaching programme, research and consultancy work and some who are happy to support paid and unpaid work experience for students.

We also have links with:

  • British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) – selected accredited staff;
  • British Psychological Society (BPS) – selected accredited staff;
  • Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) registered – selected staff;
  • Higher Education Academy (HEA) – accredited staff.  

“I love the fact that on this course one day you’re on placement through a physical education module, and the next day you’re in the science lab looking at a participant’s VO2max as part of a Sport Science module.”

Joshua,  Physical Education and Sport & Exercise Science student


Full-time study

Apply via UCAS

Need some help?

For advice on completing your application please contact the Admissions Enquiry Team:

Tel:+44 (0)1227 928000

Fact file

UCAS course code

  • C611 Physical Education and Sport & Exercise Science with Foundation Year

UCAS institution code

  • C10


  • 4 years full-time including a Foundation Year


  • September 2018

Entry requirements

  • One AS Level pass or a pass in a Level 3 vocational study programme e.g. BTEC

    Candidates without formal qualifications will be considered following an interview and should demonstrate an interest in education.

    Candidates must be motivated to benefit from study at this level



Last edited 17/08/2018 11:36:00

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Last edited: 17/08/2018 11:36:00