Sport and exercise science is the scientific study of how the body and mind handle, and learn from, the demands placed on them in sport and exercise. Our courses address such questions as: How do injuries occur? Is it possible to improve performance? How does the body react in an extreme environment? This degree is the perfect opportunity to explore the biological process of the body during physical activity. As well as offering you the chance to study something you are passionate about, with the ability to tailor your degree to your interests, it acts as the perfect springboard for a graduate career in a variety of areas.

Our particular approach to sport and exercise sciences focuses clearly on the core life science disciplines that are fundamental to understanding how the body and mind work in a sport or exercise context. You will study four core disciplines: exercise physiology, biomechanics, motor control, and sport and exercise psychology.

  • Number 1 in the UK for ‘world-leading’ research in the area of sport and exercise sciences (REF, 2014)
  • 8th in the UK for sport science (The Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide 2014)
  • 7th in the UK for sport science (Complete University Guide 2016).

Related courses

Sport and Exercise Sciences BSc
Sports Science and Physiology BSc
Sport Science and Physiology MSci, Bsc

Student Profile


"The facilities available are excellent. The labs are brilliant to work in and have access to a lot of technical equipment which has definitely aided my learning by gaining a hands on experience."
Read more

Zerdazi Safia , BSc Sport and Exercise Science

Course content: Sport and Exercise Sciences MSci, Bsc

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. This is supported by additional professional and academic skills modules, where there are opportunities to take coaching awards or short work placements.
In Year 2 you will build on the knowledge and skills from year one, taking specialist modules in areas such as the mechanics of sport and exercise science, while further developing your practical skills in our state-of-the art laboratories.
In Year 3, you will take specialist compulsory and optional modules relevant to your chosen degree course, alongside preparation for your major final-year project. This includes additional taught elements that prepare you for the advanced skills module in year four and a shorter project that forms the groundwork for your Masters-level research. The main focus of the final year is the research project, which can align to one of the core disciplines.
In Year 3 of the MSci, you will take compulsory and optional modules from the BSc alongside preparing for Masters-level study in year four.
In Year 4 (MSci), you will study Advanced Professional Skills for sport and exercise scientists along with Masters topics in sport and exercise sciences. MSci graduates leave with the advanced-level skills and knowledge that really set them apart in the graduate job market. Examples of MSci projects include:

  • Refining animal models of exercise training – matching genes with function
  • Indirect muscle stimulation – a complementary therapeutic intervention?
  • Eccentric exercise – effective intervention for exercise intolerance?
  • The kinetics and kinematics of painful knees in women over 40
  • Influence of footwear on knee joint kinetics
  • Biomechanics of delivery in fast bowling
  • The effect of an acute bout of exercise on motor skill learning
  • Compensatory mechanics for disruption to normal locomotor tasks
  • Minimalist footwear: do they do ‘what it says on the tin’?
  • Vascular shear in exercise: the impacts of differing exercise intensities
  • Endothelial function and rheumatoid arthritis: exercise training and sedentary behaviour
  • Markers of cardiac electrical instability in athletes or aged individuals – differences and similarities
  • Modelling cardiac adaptation to stress – what is the basis for an increasing risk of sudden death?

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

Professional and Research Skills: Working as a Sport and Exercise Scientist 20 credits
Exercise Physiology in Sport, Health and Disease 20 credits
Mechanics of Sport and Exercise 2 20 credits
Skill Acquisition, Motor Learning and Rehabilitation 20 credits
Social and Applied Psychology of Sport and Exercise 20 credits

Year 3

Inter-disciplinary Issues in Sport and Exercise Science 20 credits
Research Project 40 credits

Year 4

Personal Development and Employability for Sport and Exercise Scientists 30 credits
Extended Research Project 90 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Sport and Exercise Sciences MSci, 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: Sport and Exercise Sciences MSci, Bsc

Entry requirements

A-level: AAA

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 B or above at GCSE Maths and Grade C or above at GCSE English.

Alternative Qualifications

Access to HE Diploma

We do not accept Access to HE.


We do not accept BTEC qualification.

Cambridge Pre-U

D3/D3/D3 including Pre-U Biology plus another science or science-related subject.

International Baccalaureate

35 points (18 at Higher Level) including 6 in a science and another science or science-related subject at Higher Level.

Irish Highers (Leaving Certificate)

AAAAAB including an A in a Higher Level science (Biology, Mathematics, Physics or Chemistry) and another science or science-related subject at Higher Level.

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

Advanced Higher: 5 x Highers AABBB, with AA 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 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

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.

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 and Exercise Sciences MSci, Bsc

Sport science at Leeds is a highly respected discipline. Our 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

Faculty Employability team
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

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.

All our degree courses offer you the opportunity to undertake a placement year as part of your degree. These are taken between years two and three of the degree programme. Most placements are based in the UK, although there is scope for placements abroad. Work experience is increasingly important in a competitive job market. An industrial placement is an excellent opportunity to sample a relevant workplace environment and give you that ‘added extra’ for entering the job market. An industrial placement will also help prepare you for graduate-level employment. 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.