Leeds is ranked 1st among the Russell Group universities for Sports Science (NSS, 2016)

Sport science is the scientific study of how the body and mind cope with, handle and learn from the stresses of performance in sport and exercise. Physiology investigates, in particular, the impact of exercise on the structures and mechanisms of the body during both acute and chronic physical activity. It is important to understanding exercise concepts such as training, fitness, endurance and fatigue: from the molecular and cellular level to the cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems.

Sport Science and Physiology offers a fantastic insight into the various processes of the body during physical activity. Through the core disciplines of exercise physiology, biomechanics, motor control, sport and exercise psychology, you will develop strong transferable skills that will place you in an excellent position for a wide range of graduate careers.

Related courses

Human Physiology BSc
Sport and Exercise Sciences BSc
Human Physiology MBiol, BSc
Sport and Exercise Sciences MSci, Bsc
Sport Science and Physiology MSci, Bsc

Student Profile

Sport, Science

"The facilities at University are excellent, and I’ve been lucky to participate in practicals using a wide range of equipment, from measuring oxygen consumption , to calculating forces during jumping."
Read more

Christine Addington , BSc Sports Science and Physiology

Course content

Year 1 is a common course year, which will introduce you to the core concepts of sports science, including biomechanics, exercise physiology, motor control and sport and exercise psychology. In addition, you will be introduced to the foundations of physiology and cardio-respiratory physiology. This year is a great opportunity to develop your skills around your interests and your practical and theoretical skills. This is supported by professional and academic skills modules, where there are opportunities to take coaching awards or short work placements.

In Year 2 you will continue to specialise, with compulsory modules in exercise biochemistry and exercise physiology in sport, health and disease. During the first two years, our students develop their communication and interpersonal skills by undertaking additional experiences outside academia, including coaching awards.

In Year 3, you will specialise in one of the core themes and undertake a research project on a topic of your choice; modules available include advanced exercise physiology and exercise prescription for health and disease. You will graduate with a broad base of transferable skills ideal for the graduate job market.

Course structure

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

Year 1

Motor Control: Foundations of Control and Learning 10 credits
Functional Anatomy for Sports Scientists 10 credits
Tutorial and Practical Skills in Sport and Exercise Science 20 credits
Fundamentals of Mathematics 10 credits
Introduction to Sport and Exercise Psychology 10 credits
Introduction to Biomechanics 10 credits
Foundations of Physiology 20 credits
Cardio-respiratory Physiology and Exercise 10 credits
Neuroscience for Exercise Science 10 credits

Year 2

Exercise Biochemistry 10 credits
Environmental Exercise Physiology 10 credits
Professional and Research Skills: Working as a Sport and Exercise Scientist 20 credits
Exercise Physiology in Sport, Health and Disease 20 credits

Year 3

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
Exercise Prescription for Health and Disease 10 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Sports Science and Physiology BSc in the course catalogue

Broadening your academic horizons

At Leeds we want you to benefit from the depth and breadth of the University's expertise, to prepare you for success in an ever-changing and challenging world. On this course you broaden your learning through core and/or optional modules. Find out more on the Broadening webpages.

Learning and teaching

Teaching takes place over three terms, divided into two semesters. Our degrees are delivered through a combination of lectures, tutorials and practicals. The first and second years will see a focus on these three teaching methods, building your skills, understanding and knowledge for your final-year research project, where independent research and learning will be supported by guidance from leading experts. As a guide, a typical week in year one includes nine to twelve hours of lectures, three to six hours of practical sessions in the laboratory, tutorials, workshop and seminar sessions, plus private study. You will also benefit from our range of online resources such as Virtual Labs @ Leeds.

We have excellent library and computing facilities to support your learning, and the University Library offers training to help you make the most of them.


We use a variety of assessment methods to help you develop a broad range of skills. These include practical work, data handling and problem-solving exercises, multiple-choice tests, group work, online and face-to-face discussion groups, computer-based simulations, essays, posters and oral presentations.

Entry requirements, fees and applying

Entry requirements

A-level: AAA - ABB

Including a science subject OR both Psychology and Sports Science/PE in place of a science at A2. Critical Thinking and General Studies excluded.

We accept the following science subjects: Biology, Human Biology, Chemistry, Maths and Physics. Applicants taking a Science A-level (in England) will be required to achieve a pass in the practical element in addition to the standard A-level grade requirement.


Typically Grade 6 (B) or above at GCSE Maths and Grade 4 (C) or above at GCSE English

Alternative Qualifications

Access to HE Diploma

Pass 60 credits overall with 45 credits at Level 3, graded at D45M0P0 to D30M15P0 including distinctions in Biology and Mathematics or Chemistry. Accept Access courses in Applied Science and Science. Will also consider (depending on subject content):

  • Biochemical Sciences
  • Biological and Envionmental Science
  • Biological and Health Science
  • Biological Sciences
  • Biosciences
  • Combined Sciences
  • Environmental Science
  • Life and Biological Science
  • Life Science
  • Medical and Health Science Professions
  • Natural Sciences
  • Physical & Natural Sciences.


Applicants with BTEC Diploma or Extended Diploma qualifications must have at least one science or psychology at A2-level A-level. Applicants with BTEC Subsidiary Diploma qualifications must have at least 2 A2 A-Levels and at least one of these should be in a science subject. Preferred BTEC qualification subjects include Applied Science or Sport and Exercise Science. Offers would be in the range A/B in the A2-level subjects and Distinctions in the BTEC qualification.

Cambridge Pre-U

D3/D3/D3-D3/M1/M1 including D3 in Biology plus one other science or science-related subject.

International Baccalaureate

35-33 (with 18-17 at higher level) including 6 in a science and another science or science-related subject at higher level.

Irish Highers (Leaving Certificate)

H1,H1,H2,H2,H2,H2 - H2,H2,H2,H2,H2,H2 including H1-H2 in a science and another science or science-related subject at higher level.

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

Advanced Higher: 5 x Highers AABBB to ABBBB, with AA-AB in 2 Advanced Highers including a science subject OR both Psychology and Sports Science/PE.General Studies and Critical Thinking excluded. We accept the following science subjects: biology, human biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics. Scottish Higher: Scottish Highers not accepted on their own.

Welsh Baccalaureate

AAA-ABB including a science subject OR both Psychology and Sports Science/PE in place of a science. Critical Thinking and General Studies excluded.
We accept the following science subjects: Biology, Human Biology, Chemistry, Maths and Physics.Science- related subjects: PE, Geography, Use of Maths, Psychology, Statistics, Geology and Computing

Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the School’s Undergraduate Admissions Team.

Alternative Entry

We’re committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.

Access to Leeds is an alternative admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.

Find out more about Access to Leeds and alternative admissions.


We welcome students from around the world and consider a range of qualifications. If your qualification or country does not appear on our entry requirements page, please contact us at fbsadmissions@leeds.ac.uk

Foundation year

If you have the ability to study for a degree but don’t have the qualifications to enter directly to level one, you might consider studying a foundation year. We have formal links with the following foundation year programmes:

University of Leeds International Foundation Year (IFY)

Northern Consortium of UK Universities (NCUK)

Study Group Leeds International Study Centre (LISC)

If you are applying from an alternative foundation year provider, please contact our admissions team to find out if your qualification is suitable for entry to our courses.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in any component.. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for the programme may be able to study an English for Academic Purposes pre-sessional course with a progression route to the degree programme. For information and entry requirements, read Pre-sessional programmes.

How to apply

Apply to this course through UCAS. The institution code for the University of Leeds is L23. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.

International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK/EU students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

Faculty of Biological Sciences Undergraduate Admissions Policy


UK/EU: See fees section below

International: £20,500 (per year)

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.

If you take a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.

Read more about paying fees and charges.

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

The Faculty of Biological Sciences offer a range of scholarships for UK, EU and International students. Find out more about our scholarships

Career opportunities

Sport science at Leeds is a highly respected discipline. 96% of our graduates are employed or in further study six months after graduation (DLHE 2014/15). Graduates have gone on to successful careers in a wide range of areas, including roles in:

  • Clinical support (cardiac physiology and exercise referral)
  • Biomedical engineering
  • Physiotherapy
  • Occupational health
  • Coaching
  • Education and training
  • Providing technical expertise for major sport organisations
  • Scientific research in academia and industry.

Our degrees prepare you for a variety of opportunities in scientific and non-scientific careers. In an increasingly competitive job market, they can give you the edge and help you stand out by developing the knowledge and skills you need to succeed. The structure of our courses as you go through the years offers opportunities for real-world experience and employment, where you will develop the communication and interpersonal skills necessary for success in your future career. You could also gain additional vocational qualifications and experience, such as a National Governing Bodies of Sport coaching award or working as a volunteer in a community sports club.

Careers support

We have a dedicated Employability Officer in the Faculty of Biological Sciences who works closely with the University’s Careers Centre. We offer a host of additional opportunities beyond core course content, including volunteering and placements. We also organise regular careers workshops designed specifically for sport sciences students to develop their career opportunities. These include our annual Bioscience Networking Event, which gives you the chance to meet bioscience employers, speak to alumni, attend workshops and get masses of information.

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.

Study abroad and work placements

Study abroad

On this course you have the opportunity to apply to spend time abroad, usually as an extra academic year. The University has partnerships with more than 400 universities worldwide and popular destinations for our students include Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa and Latin America. 

Find out more at the Study Abroad website.

If you choose to undertake a study abroad option, you will spend the third year of the BSc studying abroad. This will extend your studies by 12 months.

Work placements

Practical work experience can help you decide on your career and improve your employability. On this course you have the option to apply to take a placement year module with organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors in the UK, or overseas.

Find out more about work experience on the Careers website.

Industrial placements are typically taken between your second and final year. If you choose to undertake a placement year, this will extend your studies by 12 months. For your work placement in industry, staff at Leeds will help you with your CV and application letters and provide a list of organisations which may offer industrial placements.

Placements abroad are possible. We work together with your industrial supervisors to make sure you get the most out of this year. A year working in industry gives you an excellent opportunity to get used to the demands of the world of work, to develop new skills and to augment your CV.

Our students have recently undertaken placements at:

  • Oldham Football Club community project
  • QinetiQ
  • Sports and Physical Activity Office, University of Leeds
  • Syngenta University of Western Australia
  • WIMX Tennis
  • Southampton Football Club
  • Leeds Rhinos RLFC
  • Leeds United Foundation
  • Johnson & Johnson, White Rose
  • Leeds Triathlon
  • Pro Football Support, Huddersfield.