Exercise and Health Science with Industrial Placement, MSci

Exercise and Health Science with Industrial Placement, MSci


Enhance your undergraduate degree with a year's placement in an industrial, commercial or research environment.

We are ranked 1st in the UK for Anatomy and Physiology in The Times & Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023.

Study Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
60 months
Study Mode
Full Time
Start Month

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.

In your fourth year you will undertake a year's industrial placement and graduate after five years with an MSci (an undergraduate Masters degree) instead of a BSc. Placements vary considerably but, in general terms, you will have the opportunity to do a placement in an industrial, commercial or research environment where you will be able to develop a breadth of practical experience to complement your degree programme and enhance your employability.

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

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

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.
  • Overall, this course is a journey through some of the key milestones that underpin the discipline of medical science we see today.
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 enterprise session and our online mini 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
Getting Started at the University of Aberdeen (PD1002)

This course, which is prescribed for level 1 undergraduate students (and articulating students who are in their first year at the University), is studied entirely online, takes approximately 5-6 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks.

Topics include orientation overview, equality and diversity, health, safety and cyber security and how to make the most of your time at university in relation to careers and employability.

Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’.

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

Optional Courses

Select one of the following:

  • CM 1020 Chemistry for the Life Sciences 1 AND CM 1512 Chemistry for the Life Sciences 2
  • PS 1009 Introductory Psychology 1: Concepts and Theory AND PS 1509 Introductory Psychology II: Concepts and Theory

Plus select 30 credit points from courses of choice.

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 and is suitable for students with different backgrounds including little or no previous study of chemistry. The basic concepts of quantitative chemistry will be covered, along with the different types of organic molecules, acids and bases, and the principles of kinetics and thermodynamics. The relevance of the course materials to life science is emphasised throughout.

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.

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, social and cognitive psychology and participate in tutorials where you will work with peers to discuss topics related to the lecture materials. Studying psychology is beneficial to a wide range of careers including management, education, and counselling, to name a few.

Chemistry for the Life Sciences 2 (CM1512)

15 Credit Points

Chemistry plays a vital role in the life sciences, explaining the properties of biomolecules and how biological processes work at a molecular level. Organic reaction mechanisms give insight into how different types of molecules can be synthesised and methods of chemical analysis introduce other important topics linking the chemical and life sciences. The relationship between energy, entropy and equilibrium in driving reactions will be covered and the course concludes with a survey of the molecules of life – proteins, enzymes and sugars.

Laboratory classes complement lectures by consolidating learning and developing problem-solving and hands-on practical skills.

Introductory Psychology II: Concepts and Theory (PS1509)
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 Psychology or Biochemistry, and courses delivering key skills applicable to Sports Studies.

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
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 and fitness testing which will build essential laboratory and data analysis skills of importance for employability in the area of sports and health

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;
  • numerical, analytical, 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.

Physiology of Human Organ Systems (BI25B2)

15 Credit Points

  • The Physiology of Human Organ Systems course aims to develop and integrated understanding of human organ structure and function through:

    •innovative teaching approaches covering the digestive, cardiovascular, respiratory, renal and reproductive systems

    • participation 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 applying knowledge to clinical scenarios, and developing fundamental skills critically required in the final years of the degree;

    • informal teaching sessions where one-to-one staff-student interactions encourage discussion in a non-threatening environment

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
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

Optional Courses

Select a minimum of one course from the following 3:

  • PS 2017 Advanced Psychology A – Concepts and Theory
  • BI 25M7 Energy for Life
  • PS 2517 Advanced Psychology B – Concepts and Theory

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

Advanced Psychology A - Concepts and Theory (PS2017)

15 Credit Points

This 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: language and cognition, perception, and individual differences.

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
Advanced Psychology B - Concepts and Theory (PS2517)

15 Credit Points

This course builds on the material covered in the 1st-year courses, expanding on psychology’s concepts and theories. The course covers four core areas of psychology: social psychology, behavioural neuroscience and developmental psychology.

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

Working Out? Placement & Career Skills (BT3006)

5 Credit Points

  • A pre-requisite for all students intending to apply for a year’s industrial placement.
  • This course covers the skills necessary to complete placement applications by exploring CV preparation, writing covering letters, completing application forms, identification of your skill sets and good interview technique.
  • The course will prepare you for the workplace by making you aware of general employability skills and by helping you identify your own transferable skills.
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
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.
Architecture of Life (AN3009)

15 Credit Points

  • this course will equip you with key micro-anatomical principles and concepts that underpin human form and function;
  • you will study the intricacies of cellular and extracellular components; how these combine structurally and functionally to form a coherent organ, and how they are altered in disease;
  • you will learn through structured practical classes, which form the core element of this course, lectures, tutorials and online histology packages;
  • the course will equip you with key generic microscopical, analytical, problem-solving and transferable skills, aimed at developing graduate attributes, to provide a solid foundation for further study in the biomedical sciences
Sports Psychology (SR3301)

15 Credit Points

• This course will develop an understanding of the psychology sport and exercise;

• Look at psychological factors likely to affect individuals and their performance in the sporting environment;

• Develop psychological approaches to improve sports performance 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.

Optional Courses

Select a further 30 credit points from courses of choice.

Year 4

You will spend year 4 on placement in an industrial, commercial or research environment.

Compulsory Courses

Industrial Placement (BT5007)

120 Credit Points

  • an industrial placement allows students to experience workplace culture and makes them more effective employees following graduation;
  • placements vary considerably but in general terms, students are placed in an industrial, commercial or research environment where they obtain a breadth of practical experience to complement their degree programme;
  • students are employed by their host company and can expect to work a normal 40 hour week, possibly on a number of projects, over a full calendar year;
  • tutorial assistance from a member of the University academic staff is available via email and / or telephone throughout the year
Year 5

The Honours year comprises focused studies on Exercise and Health, the Science of Aging 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

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
Exercise Science Project (SR4501)

60 Credit Points

  • Final year Honours projects offer an excellent opportunity to carry out cutting-edge literature or lab-based scientific research
  • With projects from disciplines throughout the School of Medicine, Medical Science and Nutrition to choose from, this is a opening to follow your interests working with staff and leading researchers
  • Projects form the zenith of your degree and fosters development of the skills and knowledge gained throughout your degree, as well as heightening analytical and critical thinking abilities
  • The opportunity to be part of novel, yet-to-be published research projects can be career-defining, and provides experience to prepare you for the future.
The Science of Aging - 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
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.

Medical Science General Essay Paper (SM4902)

General Essay examination paper exclusively for students taking Medical Science degree programmes.

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 5 by an assigned personal tutor, who acts as adviser and mentor throughout your University career.

Learning Methods

  • Individual Projects
  • 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.

Why Study Exercise and Health Science?

  • You will spend the fourth year of your degree in paid employment and graduate after five years with an MSci (an undergraduate Masters degree) instead of a BSc.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Entry Requirements


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

General Entry Requirements

2023 Entry

SQA Highers - AAAB*
A Levels - ABB*
IB - 34 points, 6 at HL*
ILC - 5H with 4 at H2 and 1 at H3, with H2 and H3 from Chemistry and another Science or Mathematics subject, OR AAABB including AB from Chemistry and another Science or Mathematics subject. The grading within band B must be B2 or above.*

*Including AB in two Science or Mathematics subjects.

2024 Entry


Applicants who achieve AAAB or better over S4 and S5 are likely to be made an offer of admission. This may be unconditional or it may be conditional, dependent upon academic profile. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers may be required.

Highers at AB from two Science or Maths subjects required.

A Level:

A minimum of 3 A Levels at ABB.

A levels at AB from two Science or Mathematics subjects.

International Baccalaureate:

A minimum of 34 points. 6 points at HL from two Science or Mathematics subjects.

Irish Leaving Certificate:

Five subjects at Higher, with 4 at H2 and 1 at H3. H2 from two Science or Mathematics subjects.

The information displayed in this section shows a shortened summary of our entry requirements. For more information, or for full entry requirements for Sciences degrees, see our detailed entry requirements section.

English Language Requirements

To study for an Undergraduate degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:

IELTS Academic:

OVERALL - 6.0 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 5.5; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0


OVERALL - 78 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 18; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL - 59 with: Listening - 59; Reading - 59; Speaking - 59; Writing - 59

Cambridge English B2 First, C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency:

OVERALL - 169 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 162; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169

Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Fees and Funding

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

Fee information
Fee category Cost
RUK £9,250
Tuition Fees for 2023/24 Academic Year
EU / International students £24,800
Tuition Fees for 2023/24 Academic Year
Home Students £1,820
Tuition Fees for 2023/24 Academic Year

Scholarships and Funding

Students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland, who pay tuition fees may be eligible for specific scholarships allowing them to receive additional funding. These are designed to provide assistance to help students support themselves during their time at Aberdeen.

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.


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 sciences subjects allied to medicine and also in 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
  • 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

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Top 20 UK University

The University of Aberdeen is ranked 13th in the UK in the Guardian University Guide 2023 and 19th in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023

Our Experts

Other Expert
Dr Michael Scholz
Programme Coordinator
Dr Derek Ball

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.


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Science Teaching Hub

Science Teaching Hub

Our state-of-the-art Science Teaching Hub provides students with a digitally focussed environment including advanced analytical tools, research-grade equipment and flexible laboratory spaces.

Find out more
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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.

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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.

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Contact Details

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Regent Walk
AB24 3FX

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