Sport Science and Physiology

If you have an interest in sport and exercise, this course will allow you to understand more fully the scientific foundations of sporting performace and health related exercise. You'll study elements of biomechanics, exercise physiology, motor control and sport psychology and work alongside final year sport and exercise students.

Our medical students have enjoyed this course. They typically find it challenging, providing them with opportunities to gain experience in laboratory based skills and research training. Previous students have presented their research at student medical conferences and regional sport medicine interest groups.

Our students often comment on:

  • the benefit of working in research teams to complete experimental work
  • making use of the support provided to help them develop academic writing skills, and
  • looking holistically at issues that relate to health and disease.

Course content

By the end of this course, you should:

  • have an understanding of the contribution of the disciplines of sports science to the understanding of performance enhancement in its various forms.
  • be able to demonstrate a broad appreciation of each of the major sports science disciplines (biomechanics, exercise physiology, motor control/sports psychology)
  • have an in-depth appreciation of at least one of the disciplines, and their relationship to exercise and/or sport.

You'll be introduced to state-of-the-art techniques currently in use in research laboratories and will have an understanding of the mathematical, theoretical and conceptual foundations of biomechanics, exercise physiology, motor control and sports and exercise psychology.

You'll also develop analytical, evaluation and design skills necessary for work in a research environment.

Health and exercise is a key issue for both medical practitioners and for sports scientists and this course will provide an added dimension and focus for your medicine related studies.

A major feature of the course is the research project, which will enable you to bring your own perspective to a group project, and to work alongside staff at the forefront of their area of research.

Research projects

Projects can be either laboratory or field based. In both case state of the art equipment is used to collect data. Project titles cover the full breath of disciplines in sport and exercise science for example; attention and joint coupling in jumping tasks, sudden cardiac death during active sports: would screening be cost effective?; Can ventilator efficiency provide an effective measure of performance?; The role of physical activity in psychological recovery from chronic disease and disability. The research project itself is written up as a journal article and this lends itself well to some students having the opportunity for publication.

Course structure

These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

Year 1


Research Project in Sport and Exercise Science II 40 credits
Inter-disciplinary Issues in Sport and Exercise Science 20 credits
Advanced Exercise Physiology 10 credits
Sport Medicine, Health and Nutrition 10 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Sports Science in Relation to Medicine BSc in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching


Teaching will be through lectures, practical classes, seminars, small group teaching, tutorials and a research project. Assessment is similarly varied, including in-course assessment (formative and summative) and written examinations. The in-course assessment exercises include tests of practical skills, essay writing, data manipulation and problem solving. The research project will be assessed throughout the project and on the final written report. Degree classification will be based upon the marks obtained in each of the component modules, with the appropriate credit weighting applied.

Entry requirements, fees and applying

Entry requirements

Other course specific tests:

Successful completion of the first two years of an MBChB programme at UK Universities or international equivalent. For international students proof of English Language proficiency will be required. In line with undergraduate medicine we require a minimum of English GCSE grade B or IELTS 7.5.

International Foundation Year

International students who do not meet the academic requirements for undergraduate study may be able to study the University of Leeds International Foundation Year. This gives you the opportunity to study on campus, be taught by University of Leeds academics and progress onto a wide range of Leeds undergraduate courses. Find out more about International Foundation Year programmes.

How to apply

Read about applying for intercalation on the School of Medicine website.

Please note:

In addition to the application form you will be required a write a 500 word statement on why you wish to study the subject. This statement should demonstrate interest and enthusiasm in understanding the influence physical activity and exercise may have on general health, disease prevention, and/or rehabilitation. In addition, the statement should provide evidence of curricular and extracurricular engagement with allied topics, and awareness of health care issues related to physical activity and exercise.

Admissions policy

Faculty of Biological Sciences Undergraduate Admissions Policy


UK/EU: To be confirmed

International: To be confirmed

For UK and non-UK EU full-time students starting in 2018, the fee for 2018/19 will be £9,250. 

The fee for undergraduate students starting in 2019 will be confirmed in September 2018.

The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation, and as permitted by law. For example, the increase of 2.8% in 2017/18 was based on the government’s forecast for the RPI-X measure of inflation.

The UK government has confirmed that non-UK EU students in 2018-19 will have home fee status and be eligible for UK government student loans. The UK government has not confirmed the situation for future years, so keep checking our website for updates.

Additional cost information

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.

Career opportunities

The course is designed to give you a challenging, enjoyable and rewarding year which will add significantly to your skills, knowledge, and enhance your career opportunities on graduation.

The course allows full integration with existing science based BSc courses and the chance of a substantive research project.

In addition to providing subject-specific knowledge, we equip you with the best possible skills for future careers. There is a strong emphasis on practical based teaching, small group teaching, online learning and problem solving. You will gain a wide range of transferable skills which are highly valued by employers. You will be ideally placed to focus on your personal development and make the most of your intercalating year.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.