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BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science

This popular course is no.1 in the South West for student satisfaction in sport science (Complete University Guide 2022) and scores 91% for student satisfaction (NSS 2021). It offers state-of-the-art sport and exercise science equipment, a BASES accredited lab and work-based learning options.

Sport science students visit the strength lab at St George's Park, the home of the England football squad

BASES accredited sports science programme

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Entry requirements

Three A-levels at grades BBC or above

Or BTEC triple grades DMM or above

Or Access 30-42 with 18D

Or T level M

And GCSE English Language at grade 4 or grade C or above

Non-traditional learners are encouraged to apply and we will consider their work experience and ability to work at this level

We will accept 2 AS levels in lieu of one A level but must be accompanied by 2 A Levels or BTECs (General Studies is excluded).


See full entry requirements

UCAS points 112

UCAS code 5A8R

UCAS institution code P63

Duration Three years full-time or six years part-time with the option to specialise in strength and conditioning, physical activity and health or nutrition.

Any questions?

Contact Charley Lumley, our Applicant Support Coordinator, if you have any questions. Email and Charley will get back to you.

Course Summary

Our BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science degree is endorsed by the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES). To go on to become an accredited sport scientist you need a BASES endorsed sports science degree. In addition this course can be taken as a part-time route, and this option is popular with Public Services and Military personnel.

This inspiring, varied sports science degree enables students to explore the impact of sport and exercise science on optimising athletes’ performance in competitive sport and exercise. It addresses the importance of sport and exercise scientists in the preparation of athletes for the competitive environment. It looks specifically at how they can have a significant impact on maximising performance outcomes, highlighting just how rewarding a sports science career can be.

Studying the core disciplines of sport and exercise physiology, psychology, biomechanics and technique analysis, the course prepares sport and exercise graduates to work effectively in this challenging and demanding industry.

As students' progress through the course they can focus on the core disciplines or opt to specialise in strength and conditioning, physical activity and health or nutrition.

Students train on the pitch at St George's Park, the home of England football

Why this course at Marjon?

State of the art BASES accredited lab

Practical hands on experience working with athletes and patients in our health clinics

Real life experience and placements with a range of organisations including professional sports teams and public services

Gain Level 2 Gym Instructor and Level 3 Personal Training qualifications (at no extra cost)

Field trips to observe sport and exercise science in practice inclusive of a world class performance setting

Option to study in the USA

Modules for this course

Course Snapshot

In our first year we learnt the basics that underpin the whole of sport and exercise science. We learnt about how a sportsperson’s mentality can affect performance. We also spent time in the sports science lab performing practical tests on athletes to assess performance. In the second year we’re learning about strength and conditioning and how bodies move during sport. We’ll build on our anatomical knowledge by learning about how bodies can be used efficiently. In the third year we will focus on how to apply our skills to work with professional and amateur athletes.
Toby - Second year, BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science

Please note: optional modules are marked with an *

1st Year

Professional practice
You'll enjoy the opportunity to experience and lead practicals in a range of sport and exercise settings including our BASES accredited lab. You'll be introduced to key sport and exercise science tutors and you'll gain the core academic skills which will get you through your degree!
Sport, exercise & health psychology
Explore the psychological behaviours that relate to high level sports performance, emotional health and wellbeing and coping with injury.
Anatomy and physiology for sport and exercise
Use a range of physiological lab equipment to understand the structure and function of the human body and how it responds to exercise.
Introduction to human movement and biomechanics
Use biomechanics equipment to analyse movement patterns of sports performers within the sport science lab. For example how much force do you generate when you sprint?
Conditioning principles for sport, exercise and health
Learn the science behind training and complete your levels 2 and 3 gym instructor and personal training awards.
Introduction to sport and exercise nutrition
You'll be introduced to the nutritional demands of exercise and sport whilst gaining a broad understanding of field and laboratory dietary assessment techniques.

2nd Year

Sport and exercise psychology
Explore and critique relevant psychological theories and cutting edge research that underpin sport and exercise behaviours, adherence and performance.
Work-based learning: sport and exercise science
Immerse yourself in a sport and exercise science placement to gain valuable experience of a real life setting.
Performance and technique analysis for sport
Further your existing biomechanics knowledge and use lab equipment to develop strategies to improve performance.
Sport and exercise physiology
Learn different physiological lab protocols exercise physiologists use and how we use these to design training.
Research methods and analysis in sport and health sciences
Learn about different ways to design research projects and how to interpret data.
Applied strength and conditioning for sport and exercise*
You'll explore new approaches to strength and conditioning including the use of Gym Aware to implement velocity based training, weight lifting techniques and periodisation and the monitoring of fitness and fatigue.
Nutrition for health and performance*
You'll explore the role of nutrition and consider strategies to manage environment, injury and the risk of overtraining
Exercise prescription and the fitness professional*
You'll develop an understanding of the interplay between health and the human behaviours (for example in relation to diabetes and stress related illnesses).
Advanced lifestyle practitioner*
You'll develop an awareness of a range of lifestyle behaviour change interventions in a range of clinical populations (for example obesity and dementia).
Entrepreneurship and small business management*
Learn how to set up and run a small business.

3rd Year

Honours project
Carry out your very own research project to find out something new or challenge something we think we already know.
Performance biomechanics*
Run biomechanics lab practicals with athletes and look at factors affecting their performance.
Injury biomechanics*
Look at how biomechanical tools can be used to identify injury risk and what can be done to prevent this.
Performance physiology*
Learn how to conduct and interpret physiological testing and how athletes adapt to training.
Environmental physiology*
Work in our climate chamber to learn what it feels like to perform at altitude and in extreme temperatures.
Contemporary sport and exercise psychology*
Learn how to gather and evaluate a variety of information to support psychological techniques suitable for improving performance.
Applied sport psychology*
Explore psychological concepts in more depth and develop an understanding of life as an applied psychologist.
Applied interdisciplinary sport and exercise science*
Look at how the sport sciences can work together to help improve athletes.
Advances in strength and conditioning*
Develop competency in advanced conditioning techniques and understand the skills needed to become a UKSCA accredited coach.
Nutrition for strength and conditioning*
Learn about what nutrition an athlete actually needs for training and competition.
Advanced nutrition for sport and exercise*
You'll develop a critical understanding of nutritional strategies to help athletes adapt to training and improve performance.
Nutrition across the lifespan*
You'll consider the nutritional requirements of humans throughout their lives and consider how this changes with age.

Current students say...

Lucy Robinson

“I’ve enjoyed the opportunities that make you ‘work ready’ when you graduate. I worked with Plymouth Raiders planning and running sessions aimed at improving their overall strength. I was thrown in at the deep-end, leading these sessions from the get-go, but it allowed me to get stuck in and come up with my own session ideas, which has been hugely rewarding. I’ve learnt so much since I started working with Raiders, and a lot of it I wouldn’t have learned without getting hands-on experience.”

Mia Halifax

"The lecturers are supportive and will help at any opportunity and they have a genuine love of what they teach, which they impart to you. I’ve developed through working in the labs, gaining a Personal Trainer qualification and expanding my coaching experience. I feel ready to go into any sport and exercise field once I graduate and I’m assured and confident in the skills I’ve gained here.”

Dani Scandrett

“I like the wide variety of modules and the opportunities to work with both athletes and clinical patients. I’ve gained in confidence from working with a variety of people and applying what I’ve learnt. I’ve also been able to get a large amount of practical experience in the lab.”

This course is perfect if you’re curious about

Will your running style improve if you run with no shoes?

What does it feel like to perform at altitude? Find out in our climatic chamber.

Does an athlete need to be big to be strong?

Can I play a role in helping to reduce the number of people who get diabetes?

Are athletes born or made?

When should athletes retire and can you delay the ageing process of muscles with exercise?

See where our graduates are now

James Aldous-Granby

“Studying at Marjon helped me develop the skills I need to succeed in the workplace. You need to be able to apply your knowledge across all sports, understanding the differences and similarities. The opportunities and teaching at Marjon encourage you to do this regularly, increasing confidence in the transferability of you skills. This means, despite starting a job in a completely different field, Marjon gave me confidence to know I can apply the knowledge and skills I learnt while studying.”

James is an Associate at Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC).

Bow Jackson

“On a daily basis I use my degree knowledge to explain the fitness levels firefighters require. Marjon developed my time management skills immensely, which I was able to transfer into working life. Working my own timetable, I can effectively train, test and network within the service. The number of people I met created a large network, which has continued to help me throughout my work, accessing useful contacts and knowledge which further my personal development and my working relationships.”

Bow is Fitness Advisor for Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service.

Luke Connolly

“I work with students, researchers and elite athletes on a daily basis covering exercise physiology, biomechanics and psychology. With a keen interest for sport and exercise, studying at Marjon provided the foundations required to kick-start my career. With a range of modules available, I gained knowledge in relevant disciplines and tailored my career towards exercise physiology. Simultaneously, I gained practical qualifications such as the FA Level 1, allowing me to coach ‘soccer’ in America.”

Luke is Assistant Laboratory Manager and a PhD student in Exercise Physiology at the University of Exeter.

What might you become?

Many graduates go on to work in the sport and fitness sector for employers such as Exeter Chiefs, Plymouth Argyle, the Royal Marines, the NHS and Virgin Active. Others go on to work in schools, in roles ranging from sports coach to sport and exercise scientist at a specialist sport academy. Graduates have also pursued postgraduate studies in health and exercise science, nutrition and education.

Endorsed by:

BASES logo

The British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences

This course is endorsed by BASES, professional body for sport and exercise sciences in the UK. BASES regard it to provide the sufficient opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills essential to become a practicing sport and exercise scientist or to progress to postgraduate study.

CIMSPA Education Partner logo 2024

The Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity

CIMSPA is the professional development body for the UK’s sport and physical activity sector, committed to supporting, developing and enabling professionals and organisations to succeed and, as a result, inspire our nation to become more active.

How you’ll be taught and assessed?

How will you be taught?

Includes lectures, seminars, tutorials and practical laboratory experience with access to high-specification physiology and biomechanics laboratories. Work based learning placements will also be undertaken.

How will you be assessed?

Mainly based on the production of lab reports, practical assessments, essays, presentation, e-portfolio and website development.

Ben Anniss

Ben Anniss

Course leader

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Ben, currently undertaking a PhD specializing in vertical jump force-time analysis; monitoring and enhancing performance. He is also a Sport Science Officer lecturing in applied biomechanics and strength & conditioning.

Fees and funding

Fees UK students: £9,250 per annum

Fees for International students: £14,500 per annum

This fee covers your tuition and access to course-specific equipment and facilities, as well associated services including access to the library, study skills support, IT support, student support and wellbeing services and membership of the Student Union. There may be additional costs by course.

Additional costs:

A DBS check is required.

Funding available for this course

Our Student Funding Advisors offer confidential and impartial advice about your funding options.

Learn more


Ben Anniss


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Ben, currently undertaking a PhD specializing in vertical jump force-time analysis; monitoring and enhancing performance. He is also a Sport Science Officer lecturing in applied biomechanics and strength & conditioning.

Melissa Coyle

Senior Lecturer

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Melissa has research interests that include increasing self-awareness and positive growth and mental health, developing confidence and emotional control, reducing anxiety, and facilitating communication.

Sophie Gibbs-Nicholls

Senior Lecturer

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Sophie, who plays pool for England, teaches sport and exercise psychology principles and how these can be applied to improve sport performance and wellbeing.

Ben Jane

Senior Lecturer

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Ben has more than twenty years of experience working in various health and fitness roles. In this time he has worked with more than a thousand participants and helped train hundreds of fitness professionals.

Dr Joseph Layden

Associate Professor

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Joe has 20 years experience within the area of health and exercise physiology and researches health care interventions, physiology and metabolism. He previously worked as an Occupational Physiologist and Researcher for the UK Ministry of Defence and the Netherlands National Research Office.

Chris Puleston

Sport & Health Science Lab Manager

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Chris is Manager of the Sport and Health Science Laboratory.

Chris Smietanka

Lecturer / Resident Life Tutor

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Chris has been involved in community football for over 20 years. He oversees the sport science support programme for Plymouth Argyle FC Youth Academy and the operational management for their Centre of Excellence. He helps students to gain volunteering and placement opportunities. He is a Coach Mentor for the FA and as part of the degree programme; students can apply to become part of the FA Young Coach Development Team to develop their theoretical understanding and coaching practice. His other interests include performance analysis, physiological testing and the development of football within the wider community.

More information

Studying the following modules will allow you to graduate with a specialism in:

  • Strength and conditioning specialism - you must take Applied strength and conditioning for sport and exercise (Yr2), Advances in strength and conditioning (Yr3) and Nutrition for strength and conditioning (Yr3).
  • Physical activity and health specialism - you must take Exercise prescription and the fitness professional (Yr2), Advanced lifestyle practitioner (Yr3) and Nutrition across the lifespan (Yr3).
  • Nutrition specialism - you must take Nutrition for health and performance (Yr2), Advanced nutrition for sport and exercise (Yr3) and Nutrition across the lifespan (Yr3).

Find out more:

The large biomechanics lab offers a variety of sport science equipment. It is an open space designed to enable a range of practical activities to take place.

Force analysis measures three dimensional force vectors to report the direction with which force is applied to the ground. It is often used by elite sprint athletes to analyse their technique.

3D motion cameras are used to provide a visual representation of movement. They are used to work with sport professionals or for patients with chronic pain conditions.

The golf simulator provides data on the golf club swing and the ball, how fast and how far it is travelling.

The EMG system enables students to track muscular activation and monitor that muscles are working as they should do.

The Physiology lab is an open space and in it students are using advanced sport and health science equipment.

The jump sensor pad works out flight times and calculates how high people can jump. It is used by athletes to monitor changes in performance.

The body composition analyser sends electrical signal through the body to calculate muscle and fat composition. It is used for general health checks and with professional athletes to monitor muscle mass.

The cortex gas analysis system measures respiratory gases, how much oxygen someone is breathing in and how much carbon dioxide is coming out. It measures someone’s maximum ability to take on board oxygen.

The anti gravity treadmill reduces body weight to as little as 20% to reduce impact forces while running, used for injury recovery.

There are several blood analysis options, this student is measuring blood lactate concentration which is a by-product of anaerobic exercise such as sprinting.

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Find out more about studying BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science at Marjon

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