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.
At a Glance
On Campus Learning
Sports and Exercise Science includes the study of the body's responses to exercise and the adaptations that occur in response to regular exercise. Sports and Exercise Science also includes the role that regular modest levels of physical activity can play in maintaining health.
Exercise involves the integrated actions of all the body's systems, and a knowledge of physiology, biochemistry and nutrition is essential to understand how individuals respond to and adapt to the stress of exercise. The exercise and sport sciences are broadly based, and encompass both basic and applied science from the whole body to the molecular level.
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 Sports & Exercise 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.
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’.
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.
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.
In year 2 further expansion of Sport and Exercise Science courses develop the degree area and cover issues relating to the elite athlete, the recreational exerciser and exercise for health. Courses are also taken in Physiology and Biochemistry.
• 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
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
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
course cultivates literature research skills, building confidence in
team-working and communication through scientific writing and seminar
encourages student-led learning and organisation in researching a topic on
human health or disease of your own choice, with tutors providing guidance;
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;
are all fundamental skills for scientific researchers, but are also
transferrable talents for many other career pathways
this course integrates
advanced physiological knowledge using examples from four different organ
systems to help explain how these systems interact in health and disease;
use of real-life clinical
examples, diagnostic test data and a literature-based research project
facilitates an enquiry and interest-based learning experience;
with an aging population
and ever-increasing number of people with complex diseases, you will appreciate
why understanding how organs interact is the key to improving the diagnosis and
treatment of various disorders;
classes measuring physiological functions delivers hands-on science and
clinically-related skills to develop professional preparation and knowledge-based
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.
This course integrates the key concepts in nutrition and metabolism which are essential for understanding how these metabolic and biochemical processes underpin human physiology;
You will be able to apply specialist knowledge of how exercise training and dietary intake influence human adaptation and optimise exercise performance;
You will gain in depth and focussed knowledge through core sport and exercise science practicals which enhance employment skills, in addition to improving problem solving, experimental design and data interpretation skills;
All this will prepare you for advanced study of human and exercise physiology
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
The Honours year aims to explore in depth, specific aspects of sports science and exercise physiology. An important feature is the ten-week research project, carried out in research laboratories at the University or in local research institutes.
there is a growing understanding that exercise
and physical activity are important contributors to health and wellbeing;
this course integrates information pertaining to
acute and long term adaptations to various modalities of exercise. You will
learn about changes in relevant physiological systems and cellular and
molecular mechanisms underlying these adaptations;
you will also learn about constrains that
determine exercise performance and limit the ability to adapt;
knowledge of the mechanisms underlying the
effects of exercise is increasingly relevant for careers in sports, exercise
and health, and biomedical sciences
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.
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 Sports and Exercise Science?
You'll be taught at the internationally renowned, multi-million pound Aberdeen Sports Village as well as the Foresterhill campus, one of the largest health campuses in Europe.
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.
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 minimum of 3 A Levels at ABB.
A levels at AB from two Science or Mathematics subjects.
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:
You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.
Tuition Fees for 2023/24 Academic Year
EU / International students
Tuition Fees for 2023/24 Academic Year
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.
Sports and Exercise Science is a discipline that offers an opportunity to combine an interest in the biological sciences with a career in a field related to sport, physical activity or health.
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 intensive project work in the Honours year provides particularly valuable experience. Others will go on to a more vocational medical related MSc, in for example, Physiotherapy or Dietetics; or a postgraduate qualification in teaching PE or Biology.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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Get in Touch
Student Recruitment & Admissions University of Aberdeen University Office Regent Walk Aberdeen AB24 3FX