sport and exercise science students monitoring a running student
Mode of Study
Part-time, Full-time, Full-time sandwich with work placement
3 years full-time, 4 years sandwich with work placement, 6 years part-time
Start Date
September 2019


If you're interested in improving sporting performance or understanding the health benefits associated with physical activity, this endorsed BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science degree course helps you turn your interest into a fulfilling career.

You’ll use a combination of theory, research and practical laboratory techniques to understand and improve human performance, while minimising the risks of sport-related injuries. You'll develop tools to help everyone – from those who play sport for fun to elite athletes – get the most out of their exercise.

By the end of the course, you'll have in-depth grounding in the fields of professional sport, health and education, helping you secure your ideal career when you graduate.

Professional recognition 

This course is endorsed by the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES), the leading sport science organisation in the country. BASES recognises this course gives you a high-quality student experience that maximises your career prospects.

The course is also recognised by the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs). This allows you to register as a fitness instructor when you complete this degree. Membership of a body such as REPs is a requirement of the UKactive Code of Practice and assures employers that you have the appropriate skills to do the job.

97% Graduates in work or further study (DLHE, 2017)

98% Overall student satisfaction (NSS, 2018)

What you'll experience

On this course you'll:

  • Be taught by expert staff with industry-relevant accreditations who are actively engaged in research projects that inform the future of sport science
  • Put what you learn into practice using our ties to local sports and healthcare providers
  • Be able to get specialist qualifications that match your career aspirations in areas such as first aid, coaching and gym instruction
  • Boost your transferable skills such as teamwork, decision making, communication and time management

Sports science facilities you'll be able to use include:

  • a biomechanics lab
  • a physiology lab
  • a kinanthropometry lab
  • climatic chambers for manipulating temperature, humidity and altitude (including one at sub-zero temperatures, for polar preparation)
  • an immersion pool
  • a swimming flume
  • an automated tracking system

Careers and opportunities

When you finish the course, our Careers and Employability service can help you find a job that puts your skills to work in the industry.

Previous BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science graduates have gone on to work in roles in areas such as:

  • the NHS
  • health and fitness training
  • teaching and education
  • strength and conditioning
  • sport science support (UK Sport, EIS, professional clubs)

Roles our graduates have taken on include:

  • PE teacher
  • fitness instructor
  • NVQ coordinator
  • sports development officer
  • sports and exercise scientist
  • sports therapist and physiotherapist
  • cardiac rehabilitation technician

After you leave the University, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability service as you advance in your career.

The lab classes enhance what you have already learnt during lectures.

Emma Burnett, BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science

What you'll study on this BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science degree course

Each unit on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study units worth a total of 120 credits. For example, 4 units worth 20 credits and 1 unit worth 40 credits.

(This may be different if you're studying part time.)

Units currently being studied

Core units in this year include:

  • Introduction to Sport and Exercise Physiology
  • Introduction to Sport and Exercise Psychology
  • Coaching Principles
  • Introduction to Kinesiology and Biomechanics
  • Introduction to Fitness Training and Assessment
  • Research Methods 1

There are no optional units in this year.

Core units in this year include:

  • Psychology of Sport and Exercise
  • Tools of Biomechanical Analysis
  • Research Methods 2
  • Sport and Exercise Physiology

Optional units in this year currently include:

  • Foundations of Sports Nutrition
  • Psychology of Coaching and Learning
  • The Science of Injury and Rehabilitation
  • Applied Coaching Practice

On this course, you can do an optional work placement year between your 2nd and 3rd years to get valuable experience working in industry.

We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your situation and ambitions. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.

Core units in this year include:

  • Project

Optional units in this year currently include:

  • Professional Practice in Sports Psychology
  • Physiological Approaches to Training and Assessment
  • Environmental and Occupational Physiology
  • Physical Activity Prescription and Promotion
  • Advanced Injury and Rehabilitation
  • Applied Biomechanics
  • Professional Practice in Coaching and Learning
  • Professional Development
  • Paediatric Exercise and Health
  • Sports Nutrition

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.

Placement year

After your second year, you can do an optional work placement year to get valuable longer-term work experience in the industry.

Previous students have completed placements in organisations such as:

  • England Badminton
  • England Volleyball
  • Hampshire County Cricket
  • Hampshire Football Association
  • Parkwood Leisure
  • Portsmouth Football Club
  • Southampton Football Club
  • Sport Hampshire and IOW
  • Surrey Ladies Golf

The employability team in our Sport and Exercise Science department will work with you to find the ideal placement to feed your career goals. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.

Sam's story
"Portsmouth gives me the tools to achieve my goals..."

Discover what attracted Sam to take his passion for BSc (Hons) Sports and Exercise Science to University of Portsmouth.

Kirsty's story
"When I came on an Open Day, I got out of the car and just thought, 'wow!'..."

Find out about the facilities, location and course that made Kirsty choose Portsmouth to study a BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science degree.

Work experience and career planning

To make sure that you're prepared when it comes to securing the perfect job when you graduate, our Careers and Employability service can help you find relevant work experience during your course.

We can help you find the coaching roles, placements, internships and voluntary roles that will help you to kick-start your ideal career and complement what you’ll be learning on the course.

Learning support

As well as support by faculty teaching staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • academic writing
  • note taking
  • time management
  • critical thinking
  • presentation skills
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques

If you have a mental or physical disability, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) can give you help, support and advice so you can reach your potential.


Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • laboratory work
  • tutorials
  • work in field settings

You'll also get support from a personal tutor throughout your degree.

How you'll spend your time

Each academic year is divided into 2 teaching blocks and 2 assessment periods:

  • September to December – teaching block 1
  • January – assessment period 1
  • January to May – teaching block 2 (includes Easter break)
  • May to June – assessment period 2

Most teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends.

There’s usually no teaching on Wednesday afternoons.

How you're assessed

You’ll be assessed through:

  • written exams
  • essays and lab reports
  • individual or group presentations
  • practical exercises

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

The way you’re assessed may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:

  • Year 1 students: 55% by written exams, 7% by practical exams and 38% by coursework
  • Year 2 students: 42% by written exams, 13% by practical exams and 45% by coursework
  • Year 3 students: 8% by written exams, 33% by practical exams and 59% by coursework

Entry requirements​

Entry Requirements

  • 128 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent, with 32 points from a Science subject (Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, PE, Physics, Psychology or Sports Science and the Active Leisure Industry or Sports Studies).

    See the other qualifications we accept

​Course costs

Tuition fees (2019 start)


  • UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £13,900 per year (subject to annual increase)


  • UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £3,080 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £6,950 per year (subject to annual increase)

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

Additional costs

Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

You’ll study up to 6 units a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each unit.

You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.

You’ll have to pay for meals and other living costs while completing compulsory fieldwork, amounting to £50–£1000. Travel and accommodation costs are covered by your course fee.

You’ll need to contribute towards the cost of optional fieldwork programmes, which usually come to £50–£1000.

You may need to a pay a returnable deposit for some field trips to ensure attendance. For day trips, this deposit is £20. For trips that last several days and require overnight stay, the deposit is £50. The deposit for these trips will be returned to you after the trip.

If you take an optional placement unit or placement year, you’ll need to cover the costs of travel, accommodation and subsistence. These costs will vary depending on the duration and location of the placement. The cost will usually be £50–£1000.

If you take an optional professional qualification unit on this course, you’ll need to make a contribution of £250 towards the cost.


How to apply

If you want to start this course in 2019, you need to apply through UCAS. You can start your application now and submit it from 5 September. You’ll need:

  • the UCAS course code – C600
  • our institution code – P80

Not quite ready to apply? Come to an Open Day to explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.

If you’re new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

Apply for this course using our online application form. Our courses fill up quickly, so submit your application as soon as you decide which course you want to study.

Not quite ready to apply? Come to an Open Day to explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.


How to apply from outside the UK

If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply for this course through UCAS (see the 'How to apply' section above for details). You can also apply directly to us or you can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section. 

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.