Introduction

Exercise and Health Science examines the role of sport and exercise as a means of improving quality of life.

This programme is studied on campus.

Exercise and Health Science explores the role of sport, exercise and nutrition in the prevention and treatment of disease and overall enhancement of wellbeing throughout the life cycle. It seeks to further our scientific knowledge and understanding about physical activity, the principles and practice of performance, and the application of nutrition, psychology and physical activity to benefit health.

After developing fundamental knowledge of medical and sports science and an understanding of the link between exercise and health, students will be given the chance to pursue specific issues covering different aspects of health, physical activity, psychology and nutrition.

5 year MSci degree

This degree offers you the opportunity to undertake a year's placement in an industrial, commercial or research environment and graduate after five years with an MSci (an undergraduate Masters degree) instead of a BSc. Find out more.

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Key Programme Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
BSc
Duration
48 months
Study Mode
Full Time
Start Month
September
UCAS Code
C603

What You'll Study

A degree in Exercise and Health Science is taught via a selection of compulsory and optional courses to enhance your learning and prepare you for a future career or further study. In each year you will take courses adding up to 120 credits. Depending on the number of compulsory and optional courses offered by your degree, you can also choose other eligible courses which fit your timetable.

Year 1

Year 1

In year 1 you will take courses in Sports Science, Medical Science and Psychology or Chemistry. Additional courses are selected from the science programme and other areas.

Compulsory Courses

Professional Skills Part 1 (PD1001)

This course, which is prescribed for level 1 students and optional for level 2 students, is studied entirely online and covers topics relating to careers and employability, equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing. During the course you will learn about the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes, how they are relevant to you and the opportunities available to develop your skills and attributes alongside your University studies. You will also gain an understanding of equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing issues. Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’ (non-completion will be recorded as ‘Not Achieved’). The course takes approximately 3 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks and it will be available to you throughout the academic year.This course, which is prescribed for level 1 students and optional for level 2 students and above, is studied entirely online and covers topics relating to careers and employability, equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing. During the course you will learn about the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes, how they are relevant to you and the opportunities available to develop your skills and attributes alongside your University studies. You will also gain an understanding of equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing issues. Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’ (non-completion will be recorded as ‘Not Achieved’). The course takes approximately 3 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks and it will be available to you throughout the academic year

View detailed information about this course

Introduction to Medical Sciences (SM1001) - 15 Credit Points
  • Topics covered in this course span medical science through the ages; from ancient civilizations to the modern day science of genomics and synthetic biology.
  • Alongside lecture material, in depth practical classes will cover biomedical measurement techniques, forensic science and a research-based mini project.
  • Also included in the course is a trip to the Institute of Medical Sciences where you will gain access to cutting-edge laboratories and equipment.
  • Overall, this course is a journey through some of the key milestones that underpin the discipline of medical science we see today.

View detailed information about this course

Introduction to the Science of Sport, Exercise and Health (SR1002) - 15 Credit Points
  • this course introduces core concepts of physiology, sport science and biomedical science and sets foundations for further study of these topics;
  • the course uses responses and adaptations to exercise and physical challenges to integrate and highlight links between biomedical subjects like anatomy, nutrition, pharmacology or bioenergetics;
  • the course uses a streamlined modular system to deliver and assess the course content and fortnightly online assessments ensure effective learning and are highly commended by students;
  • each subject or practical class is delivered by specialized members of staff to ensure state-of-the-art content and delivery

View detailed information about this course

The Cell (SM1501) - 15 Credit Points
  • cells are the fundamental unit of life – without them life could not exist, and as such understanding how they function is crucial to our understanding of biology and medical science;
  • this course provides theoretical knowledge in a diverse range of topics covering the fascinating world of cells, from molecules like DNA, to how different cell types function within our bodies;
  • all practical classes are research based and will provide theoretical knowledge and skills training in many areas of molecular and cell biology;
  • employability skills will also be explored through a highly interactive session run by the Scottish Institute for Enterprise

View detailed information about this course

Fitness, Performance and Survival (SR1503) - 15 Credit Points
  • this course further develops and integrates core concepts of physiology, sport science and biomedical science and expands foundations for more advanced study of these topics;
  • the course integrates various subjects of biomedical science such as Physiology, Nutrition, Biochemistry or Sport Sciences to understand responses and adaptations to exercise and physical challenges;
  • the course uses a streamlined modular system to deliver and assess the course content and fortnightly online assessments ensure effective learning and are highly commended by students;
  • each subject or practical class is delivered by specialized members of staff to ensure state-of-the-art content and delivery

View detailed information about this course

Optional Courses

Option 1

  • Introductory Psychology 1: Concepts and Theory (PS1009)
  • Introductory Psychology II: Concepts and Theory (PS1509)
  • Select a further 30 credit points from courses of choice

Option 2

  • Chemistry for the Life Sciences 1 (CM1020)
  • Chemistry for the Life Sciences 2 (CM1512)
  • Select a further 30 credit points from courses of choice
Introductory Psychology I: Concepts and Theory (PS1009) - 15 Credit Points

PS1009 introduces you to major concepts and theories in psychology to provide you with a strong understanding of the human mind and behaviour. You will attend lectures on biological, development and cognitive psychology and participate in workshops where you will work as part of a team and debate topics related to the lecture materials such as “should teenagers be held responsible for the crimes they commit?” Studying psychology is beneficial to a range of careers including management, finance and counselling, to name but a few. Psychology regularly tops employers’ lists of producing the most employable graduates.

View detailed information about this course

Introductory Psychology II: Concepts and Theory (PS1509) - 15 Credit Points

PS1509 introduces you to major concepts and theories in psychology to provide you with a strong understanding of human mind and behaviour. You will attend lectures on evolution & emotion, social, and sensation & perception and participate in workshops where you work in a team and debate topics related to the material covered in your lectures such as “should teenagers be held responsible for the crimes they commit?”. Studying psychology is beneficial to a range of careers such as management, finance and counselling, to name but a few. Psychology regularly tops employers’ lists of producing the most employable graduates.

View detailed information about this course

Chemistry for the Life Sciences 1 (CM1020) - 15 Credit Points

This course covers the foundations of chemistry that underpin the life sciences at a molecular level. The course aims to consolidate a general background in chemistry by putting chemical concepts into a life sciences context. The basic concepts of chemistry will be covered, along with organic molecules, acids and bases, and the basic principles behind the driving forces of reactions.

Laboratory classes introduce important practical techniques, with experiments that reinforce and complement the taught material.

The course will allow students to continue with other chemistry courses as part of their enhanced study by providing discipline breadth.

View detailed information about this course

Chemistry for the Life Sciences 2 (CM1512) - 15 Credit Points

Chemistry plays an important role in the life sciences, explaining the shapes and properties of biomolecules, and helping to provide an understanding of how biological processes work at a molecular level.

The shapes and function of important biomolecules will be covered. Organic molecule reaction mechanisms will give insight into how different types of molecules can be synthesised. The energetics and importance of equilibrium in driving reactions will be covered.

Methods of chemical analysis and measurement introduce other important topics linking the chemical and life sciences.

Workshops and labs complement lectures by consolidating learning and developing problem-solving and hands-on practical skills.

View detailed information about this course

Year 2

Year 2

In year 2, further expansion of Sports Science and development of Exercise & Health studies are provided. These are combined with more advanced studies in Physiology and a choice of Psychology or Biochemistry, in addition to courses delivering key skills applicable to Exercise and Health Science.

Compulsory Courses

Physiology of Human Cells (BI20B2) - 15 Credit Points
  • Physiology is the science of understanding life. It allows you to explore and understand why your body does what it does and how it does it;
  • This introductory physiology course explores living processes at the level of cells and molecules;
  • The course lays down many of the fundamental concepts of physiology required to appreciate advanced study of many of the medical science disciplines;
  • You will gain practical experience and understanding of electrophysiological techniques required for the study of electrically excitable tissues, like nerves and muscle;
  • You will also gain valuable experience in the key skill of writing formal scientific reports

View detailed information about this course

The Science of Sports Performance (SR2002) - 15 Credit Points
  • understanding the fundamental factors that limit exercise performance is of great importance for human health and athletic performance;
  • this course integrates the knowledge in biomechanics, physiology, psychology and pharmacology in order to build a comprehensive understanding of physical activity and exercise performance in humans;
  • this core knowledge prepares you for more advanced study of sports and health sciences;
  • you will also participate in practical series focussed on energy expenditure, fitness testing and body composition which will build essential laboratory and data analysis skills of importance for employability in the area of sports and health

View detailed information about this course

Foundation Skills for Medical Sciences (SM2001) - 15 Credit Points
  • this course is the cornerstone to all the advanced science courses in later years and provides you with key skills for success in science;
  • feedback from employers drove the course design to give specific and focused science skills to enhance your employability;
  • analytical, professional, data interpretation, experimental design and problem solving skills are core elements that are essential for any graduate career portfolio;
  • this course and the additional specifically developed online resources have been commended by employers and students alike.

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Physiology of Human Organ Systems (BI25B2) - 15 Credit Points
  • the digestive, cardiovascular, respiratory, renal and reproductive systems are covered using a variety of innovative teaching methods;
  • you will participate in practical classes where students act as subjects and investigators. These will reinforce lecture material, develop scientific acumen and build team working skills;
  • focussed and interactive problem solving sessions apply knowledge to clinical scenarios, and begin developing fundamental skills critically required in the final years of the degree;
  • informal teaching sessions allow one-to-one staff-student interaction and encourage discussion in a non-threatening environment;
  • a low stakes in-course mock exam is included to prepare you for the high stakes degree exam

View detailed information about this course

Exercise and Health (SR2501) - 15 Credit Points
  • this course covers many ways in which exercise can be a useful tool in the prevention of disease and the promotion of health;
  • examples of the areas covered include cardiovascular disease, metabolic disease, cancer, ageing, psychological conditions and immune dysfunction. The pathophysiology underlying these conditions will be introduced and how exercise can be a modulating factor;
  • this will prepare you for further study in clinical exercise physiology;
  • practical classes will deliver hands on science and will also cover data handling and statistical analysis

View detailed information about this course

Research Skills for Medical Sciences (SM2501) - 15 Credit Points
  • this course cultivates literature research skills, building confidence in team-working and communication through scientific writing and seminar presentation;
  • it encourages student-led learning and organisation in researching a topic on human health or disease of your own choice, with tutors providing guidance;
  • you will learn to use online and library resources to search for information from primary research articles and relay that information in the form of a written report and a Powerpoint presentation to peers and academic tutors;
  • these are all fundamental skills for scientific researchers, but are also transferrable talents for many other career pathways

View detailed information about this course

Optional Courses

Select at least one of the following:

  • Advanced Psychology A: Concepts and Theory (PS2017)
  • Energy for Life (BI25M7)
  • Advanced Psychology B: Concepts and Theory (PS2517)

Plus, select further credits from courses of choice to reach a total of 120

Advanced Psychology A: Concepts and Theory (PS2017) - 15 Credit Points

The course builds on the material covered in the 1st-year courses expanding on psychology’s concepts and theories. The course covers three core areas of psychology: cognition & language, personality & social psychology, and behavioural neuroscience. Social Psychology will cover topics such as leadership and group processes. The third strand within this course is focused on Neuroscience, and will cover topics such as localisation of brain function and the neuroscience of emotion.

View detailed information about this course

Energy for Life (BI25M7) - 15 Credit Points
  • understanding the fundamental workings of cells is important to a wide range of scientific disciplines;
  • this course integrates the key metabolic and biochemical processes that underpin human, animal and plant life in relation to health and disease;
  • this core knowledge prepares you for more advanced study in all areas of life sciences and has wide ranging applications;
  • you will also participate in an award winning practical series focussed on drug discovery which will build essential employability skills in experimental design, data analysis and practical laboratory skills

View detailed information about this course

Advanced Psychology B: Concepts and Theory (PS2517) - 15 Credit Points

This course builds on the material that is covered in the 1st-year courses expanding on psychology’s concepts and theories. The course covers four core areas of psychology: organisational & clinical, perception and developmental psychology. The lectures on Organisational Psychology cover organizational culture, occupational stress, motivation, leadership and team work. The clinical psychology section of the course will give you grounding in the key ideas within current Clinical Psychology practice and is taught by a practicing Clinical Psychology. The Perception part of the course will examine the visual and intentional systems.

View detailed information about this course

Year 3

Year 3

Sports Science, Clinical Exercise Physiology and Sports Psychology form important components of year 3, including more specific studies on Anatomy, together with health-related issues including Nutrition, Health and Disease.

Compulsory Courses

Sports Psychology (SR3022) - 30 Credit Points
  • This course will develop an understanding of the psychology of health, sport and exercise;
  • look at psychological factors likely to affect individuals and their performance in the sporting environment;
  • develop psychological approaches to improve health and well-being through key theories on behaviour and behaviour change;
  • provide research driven insights and strategies designed to benefit professionals and participants within the health, sport and exercise community.

View detailed information about this course

Clinical Exercise Physiology (SR3508) - 30 Credit Points
  • this course covers how exercise can be used to treat diseases and prevent recurrence;
  • covered conditions include heart disease, asthma, cancer, osteoporosis, spinal cord injury and sarcopenia (muscle ageing);
  • practical classes involving exposure to patients ensure that the course is practically relevant;
  • anatomy classes cover the human musculoskeletal and cardiovascular system and underpin the teaching of the relationship between exercise and disease

View detailed information about this course

Nutrition, Health and Disease (SR3511) - 30 Credit Points
  • This course covers a range of scientific nutrition topics including constituents of food, assessment of dietary/nutritional status, energy balance, and nutrition for exercise and sport;
  • Current nutritional recommendations and policies are explored by world experts, including researchers from the prestigious Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health;
  • You will be able to apply specialist knowledge of how exercise training and dietary intake influence human adaptation and optimise exercise performance and/or health;
  • You will gain in depth and focussed knowledge through core nutrition and exercise science practicals which enhance employment skills, improving problem solving, experimental design and data interpretation skills.

View detailed information about this course

Optional Courses

  • Select a further 30 credit points from courses of choice
Year 4

Year 4

The Honours year comprises focused studies on Exercise and Health, the Science of Ageing and Nutrition, Obesity and Metabolic Health. An important feature is the ten-week research project, carried out in research laboratories at the University or in local research institutes.

Compulsory Courses

The Science of Ageing - from Cradle to Grave (BM4301) - 15 Credit Points
  • this course integrates advanced physiological concepts across the continuum of life;
  • fundamental biomedical scientists meet with advanced clinical practitioners to facilitate an enquiry and interest based learning experience;
  • with an aging population and ever increasing number of children with complex health challenges, you will be prepared to progress along a range of careers threads and understand the dynamic interplay between individuals and their changing physiological, psychological, pharmacological and biochemical needs for lifelong health and wellbeing;
  • state of the art practical classes deliver hands on science and clinical skills to develop professional preparation and knowledge based practice

View detailed information about this course

Nutrition, Obesity and Metabolic Health (SR4008) - 15 Credit Points

Obesity is a major worldwide health problem and in simple terms is caused by an imbalance between energy intake and energy expenditure. However, this simple equation ignores the complex range of factors that control how individuals respond to today’s energy rich environment. These include differences in the way we sense hunger, our capacity to store or burn energy, our response to nutrients and how circulating factors affect the function of our metabolically important tissues. This course examines how body weight is controlled, why obesity can cause ill-health and what we can do to prevent or treat obesity and associated diseases.

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Research Topics in Sports Science and Studies (SR4007) - 30 Credit Points
  • this course covers the most recent research in a variety of topics in sports science and sports studies;
  • you will gain cutting edge, in depth and focussed knowledge of advances in topic ranging from nutrition, muscle, health and metabolism;
  • this knowledge and skills in literature searching will prepare you for you honours research project;
  • in course assessments will focus on writing scientific abstracts and also presentation of scientific material – transferable skills aiming to develop graduate attributes and employability

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Exercise Science Project (SR4501) - 60 Credit Points
  • the project offers a wonderful opportunity to carry out cutting-edge literature or laboratory-based scientific research;
  • with around 150 projects to choose from, this is a fantastic opening to follow your interests working with academic staff and leading scientific researchers;
  • the project forms the zenith of your degree and fosters further development of the scientific skills and knowledge you have gained and heightens analytical and critical thinking abilities;
  • the opportunity to be part of novel, yet-to-be published research projects can be career-defining, and provides the ideal experience to prepare you for postgraduate study and other future careers.

View detailed information about this course

Course Availability

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

How You'll Study

You will be taught using a variety of methods and styles and we continually seek to make the teaching engaging, exciting and responsive to the latest research in your subject area. The research we carry out in the School directly informs and guides our teaching, particularly in the final Honours year. Our commitment to teaching is recognised by the range of University of Aberdeen Student-led Teaching Awards given to staff from our School.

As a student, your learning is supported by MyAberdeen, our virtual learning environment from which you can access the lecture Powerpoint slides, online practice tests, links to related reading, and tutorial support material.

We make innovative use of 'educational voting' handsets in class, remote control 'clickers' that allow each and every student to electronically respond in class by anonymous vote to questions posed by the lecturer.

Your academic development is supported from year 1 through to year 4 by an assigned personal tutor, who acts as adviser and mentor throughout your University career.

Learning Methods

  • Lab Work
  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops

Assessment Methods

Students are assessed by any combination of three assessment methods:

  • coursework such as essays and reports completed throughout the course;
  • practical assessments of the skills and competencies learnt on the course; and
  • written examinations at the end of each course.

The exact mix of these methods differs between subject areas, year of study and individual courses.

Honours projects are typically assessed on the basis of a written dissertation.

Further Information

View detailed learning and assessment information for this programme

How the programme is taught

The typical time spent in scheduled learning activities (lectures, tutorials, seminars, practicals), independent self-study or placement is shown for each year of the programme based on the most popular course choices selected by students.

How the programme is assessed

The typical percentage of assessment methods broken down by written examination, coursework or practical exams is shown for each year of the programme based on the most popular course choices selected by students.

Year 1

Learning Method
scheduled: 26%
independent: 74%
placement: 0%
Assessment
written: 44%
coursework: 56%
practical: 0%

Year 2

Learning Method
scheduled: 35%
independent: 65%
placement: 0%
Assessment
written: 32%
coursework: 65%
practical: 3%

Year 3

Learning Method
scheduled: 30%
independent: 70%
placement: 0%
Assessment
written: 70%
coursework: 30%
practical: 0%

Year 4

Learning Method
scheduled: 12%
independent: 88%
placement: 0%
Assessment
written: 35%
coursework: 65%
practical: 0%

Why Study Exercise and Health Science?

  • This is an interdisciplinary degree delivered by specialists in exercise sciences, nutrition and fundamental biomedical sciences.
  • The expansion of sectors emphasising the long term benefits of exercise and nutrition for health means there are extensive employment opportunities for graduates of this programme.
  • 2016 has seen the opening of the new purpose-built Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health building at the University's Foresterhill campus. It will be equipped with state-of the-art laboratory facilities, write-up areas and a specialist Human Nutrition Unit.
  • Many scientific disciplines contribute to exercise and health sciences, including physiology, biochemistry, nutrition, psychology, anatomy and biomechanics.
  • You will develop a practical knowledge of research skills and methods related to the basic sciences underpinning the use of exercise in health and fitness.
  • Excellent staff and teaching facilities; 92% of our students were satisfied with teaching on courses in the School of Medical Sciences, and 91.8% of our students were satisfied that staff made the subject interesting (2014 National Student Survey).

Entry Requirements

Qualifications

The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.

SQA Highers - AABB*
A Levels - BBB*
IB - 32 points, 5 at HL*
ILC - 5H with 3 at H2 AND 2 at H3 OR AAABB, obtained in a single sitting. (B must be at B2 or above)*

*including good performance in at least two Mathematics/Science subjects.

Advanced Entry - Advanced Highers ABB or A Levels ABB or IB 34 points (6 at HL), including Psychology at A-grade.

Further detailed entry requirements for Sciences degrees.

English Language Requirements

To study for a degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Fees and Funding

You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.

Fee Waiver

For international students (all non-EU students) entering in 2017/18, the 2017/18 tuition fee rate will apply to all years of study; however, most international students will be eligible for a fee waiver in their final year via the International Undergraduate Scholarship.

Most RUK students (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) on a four year honours degree will be eligible for a full-fees waiver in their final year. Scholarships and other sources of funding are also available.

Fee information
Fee category Cost
Home / EU £1,820
All Students
RUK £9,250
Students Admitted in 2018/19 Academic Year
International Students £18,400
Students Admitted in 2018/19 Academic Year

Additional Fees

  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.

Our Funding Database

View all funding options in our Funding Database.

Careers

Graduates in Exercise and Health Science will be strongly placed for employment in a wide range of health related industries and institutions.

Graduates find employment in many areas of Biomedical and human-based science subjects allied to medicine and also the sport and leisure sectors where their understanding of the basis of human performance adds to their other skills. Many students will continue in research posts where the project work in the Honours year provides valuable experience. Others will go on to a more vocational medical related MSc, in for example, Physiotherapy or Dietetics; or a postgraduate qualification in Primary Teaching, PE or Biology. Graduates may also begin careers in the public health industry, occupational health and therapy, social work and related social services, teaching, the mass media and marketing.

Our degree programmes are built to enhance your employability and three flagship options give our degrees a distinctively different flavour from many others. All our degrees offer:

  • A 10-week full time research project in the final year which will provide you with valuable experience of working in a medical science research environment
  • The option of an industrial placement year and graduation with an undergraduate MSci
  • Highly relevant and sought after experience in bio-business aimed at giving you an understanding of the commercialisation of scientific ideas and an opportunity to learn about the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries

Career Opportunities

  • Dietitian
  • Physiotherapist
  • Teacher

Industry Links

Our Experts

Other Experts
Dr Michael Scholz
Programme Coordinator
Professor Alison Jenkinson

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

9th Globally for Biomedical Health Sciences

The University is ranked 9th in the World and 5th in Europe for its international research collaboration in Biomedical and Health Sciences (Leiden Ranking 2015).

Facilities

Image for Dedicated teaching labs
Dedicated teaching labs

Dedicated teaching labs

Our commitment to teaching is underscored by our recent rebuild and modernisation of the teaching lab space dedicated to practical teaching at years 1, 2 and 3.

Image for The Institute of Medical Sciences
The Institute of Medical Sciences

The Institute of Medical Sciences

Focused on developing future effective therapies, the Institute of Medical Sciences houses nearly 400 researchers and support staff working on cutting-edge biomedical subjects aimed at understanding the human body's response to infection and disease.

Image for Library facilities
Library facilities

Library facilities

A dedicated Medical Library on the Foresterhill Health Campus and the fantastic facilities in the Sir Duncan Rice Library at King’s College, are complemented by online access to the key medical and health sciences journals and textbooks.

Unistats

Unistats draws together comparable information in areas students have identified as important in making decisions about what and where to study. You can compare these and other data for different degree programmes in which you are interested.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

Address
Student Recruitment & Admissions Service
University of Aberdeen
University Office
Regent Walk
Aberdeen
AB24 3FX