Overview


Sports Science and Physiology offers fantastic insight into the various processes of the body during physical activity. You’ll study the core disciplines of exercise physiology, biomechanics, motor control, sport and exercise psychology.

Sports science will teach you how the body and mind cope with, handle and learn from the stresses of performance in sport and exercise.

While Physiology investigates the impact of exercise on the structures and mechanisms of the body during both acute and chronic physical activity.

You’ll gain an understanding of exercise concepts such as training, fitness, endurance and fatigue: from the molecular and cellular level to the cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems.

You’ll also have chances to take work placements, giving you an excellent position for a wide range of graduate careers.

Our integrated Masters offers you an additional year of specialist training. You’ll undertake an extended research project and study advanced research topics.

Course highlights

  • Number 1 in the UK for ‘world-leading’ research in the area of sport and exercise sciences (REF, 2014)
  • Ranked 3rd in the UK for sport science (The Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018; The Guardian University Guide 2018)
  • Employability: On this course you can undertake an industrial placement or study year abroad, a great way to enhance your university experience and your CV.
  • Strong scientific foundations: You’ll study the core life sciences disciplines fundamental to understanding the body and mind in a sport or exercise context.
  • Skills development: You’ll graduate with strong transferrable skills, placing you in an excellent position for a wide range of careers.
  • Excellent student satisfaction: 96% of our surveyed sports science students were satisfied with their course (NSS, 2017)

Related courses

Human Physiology MBiol, BSc
Sport and Exercise Sciences 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’ll 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’ll continue to specialise, with compulsory modules in exercise biochemistry and exercise physiology in sport, health and disease.

During the first two years, you’ll also develop your communication and interpersonal skills by undertaking additional experiences outside university, including coaching awards.

In Year 3, you’ll choose a core theme to specialise in 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’ll graduate with a broad base of transferable skills ideal for the graduate job market.

Integrated Masters (MSci)

In Year 3 of the MSci you’ll study compulsory and optional modules from the BSc alongside preparing for Masters-level study in your final year.

In Year 4 you’ll take sport science Masters topics, but your main focus will be on an extended research project in your area of interest. Recent examples include:

  • Markers of cardiac electrical instability in athletes or aged individuals – differences and similarities
  • Vascular shear in exercise: the impact of differing exercise intensities
  • Does dietary nitrate supplementation enhance cycling performance?
  • A comparison of eccentric and concentric exercise as a stimulus for cardiovascular training.

The experience and skills offered by this project will place you in a very strong position for a career in research, as well as a number of other graduate careers.

Find out more about choosing between an integrated Masters and a BSc degree

Course structure

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

Year 1

COMPULSORY MODULES
Introduction to Physiology 20 credits
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
The Physiology of Exercise Testing and Performance 10 credits
Exercise Bioenergetics 10 credits

Year 2

COMPULSORY MODULES
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

COMPULSORY MODULES
Inter-disciplinary Issues in Sport and Exercise Science 20 credits
Advanced Exercise Physiology 10 credits
Exercise Prescription for Health and Disease 10 credits
Research Project 40 credits

Year 4

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

For more information on typical modules, read Sport Science and Physiology 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

You’ll have access to the very best learning resources and academic support during your studies. We’ve been awarded a Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF, 2017), demonstrating our commitment to delivering consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for our students.

You’ll experience a wide range of teaching methods including lectures, tutorials and practicals. Your first and second years will focus on these three teaching methods, building your skills, understanding and knowledge in preparation for your final year research project, which will see you take on independent research and learning with the guidance of leading experts.

Across all years, additional workshop and seminar sessions will complement your lectures and lab practicals, and you will also undertake private study.

As a guide, a typical week in your first year 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.

Independent study and research are also crucial to every year of the course. 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.

Assessment

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

BSc:

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.

MSci:

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.

GCSE:

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

Alternative Qualifications

Access to HE Diploma

BSc:

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.

MSci:

We do not accept Access to HE.

BTEC

BSc:

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.

MSci:

We do not accept BTEC qualification.

Cambridge Pre-U

BSc:

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

MSci:

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

International Baccalaureate

BSc:

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

MSci:

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

Irish Highers (Leaving Certificate)

BSc:

H2,H2,H2,H2,H2,H2 - H2,H2,H2,H2,H3,H3 including H2 in a science and another science or science-related subject at higher level.

MSci:

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

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

BSc:

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.

MSci:

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

BSc:

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.

MSci:

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.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.

International

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 our admissions team.

International year one
Taught at the Leeds International Study Centre, this two-semester course is equivalent to the first year of an undergraduate degree. It aims to help you develop the skills you need to join the second year of a Biological Sciences related degree.

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.


Improve your English

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our undergraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.
 

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

Fees

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.

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

As well as providing you with subject-specific knowledge, we aim to equip you with the best possible skills for a variety of future careers. All of our degrees have a strong emphasis on practical based teaching, small group teaching, online learning and problem solving.

Throughout the degree, you’ll gain a wide range of transferable skills which are highly valued by employers. Supported by the Leeds for Life scheme and your academic and personal tutor, you’ll be ideally placed to focus on your personal development and make the most of your time at university.

You’ll develop excellent communication and interpersonal skills by undertaking additional experiences outside the academic requirements of the course, which could include taking a national coaching award.

We have a very close relationship with CP+R (Clinical Prevention and Rehabilitation) – they visit us several times a year, speaking at careers seminars, attending careers fairs and running drop-in sessions. They also organise for our students to visit their workplace, to gain a better understanding of their work. They are very interested in our students and usually recruit 1-2 of our graduates every year.

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 education and training, biomechanics, coaching, clinical support, physiotherapy, teaching, physiology, occupational health, and providing technical expertise for major sports organisations.

Recent graduate destinations include:

  • Netball development officer, England Netball Governing Body
  • Trainee management consultant, KPMG
  • Trainee regional director, US Sport Institute
  • Trainee cardiac scientist, NHS
  • Professional cricketer, Yorkshire County Cricket
  • Snow reporter, Ski Club of Great Britain
  • Diving development officer, Active Luton.

Careers support

Dedicated employability team

We have a dedicated employability team in the Faculty of Biological Sciences who work closely with the University’s Careers Centre to support your development.

We offer a host of additional opportunities beyond core course content, including volunteering and placements. These include our annual Faculty Graduate Panel, where graduates are invited back to talk about their work and network with our students, and our Sport and Exercise Sciences Careers and STEM Careers fairs, which give you the chance to meet 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 your course 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 after your second 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.