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BSc Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

Start date
3 years
UCAS code
Course Type
Undergraduate, Single Honours
£9,250 (Home - 2024-25)
£23,640 Fee Band 2a (International Students - 2024-25)
More detail
Two of our students talk about why they chose to study at the University of Birmingham, and what they love most about it.

Our cutting-edge Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences programme covers a wide spectrum from sport performance to physical and mental health, ensuring that you graduate with the knowledge, skills and motivation to lead in a range of contexts.

At Birmingham, we believe that understanding the science behind sport and exercise not only enhances the performance of elite athletes, but also helps address some of the world’s greatest societal challenges, such as obesity, physical inactivity and unhealthy ageing.

Wherever your personal interests and professional aspirations lie, you will be able to tailor your studies as you progress through your degree with a choice from around 14 exciting and varied modules. Your learning activities will range from laboratory science in our outstanding custom-built Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences facility, to community engagement across our diverse home city. These experiences will help you to develop skills in both the fundamental sciences and their application in the real world.

I chose to study here as I fell in love with the city of Birmingham...The University has some of the largest sports science facilities in the country, and many of the staff are internationally recognised in their fields, so the lecturers are really knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the modules they are teaching.

Kingstun Nelson, Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

Why study this course?

  • Facilities – The combined impact of our £55m Sport & Fitness club, custom-built Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences facility and access to UBSport with their wide range of clubs, make Birmingham an ideal destination for those interested in sport science.
  • Strength and Conditioning Programme - Each year up to ten students are selected (via an application process) to provide assistance for Strength & Conditioning (S&C) support to some of our Performance sports clubs including football, rugby, netball and hockey. This includes being assigned to a team(s) and their Lead S&C coach at the start of the season and assisting during gym and pitch sessions, as well as testing. Interns provide between 50–60 hours of support, gaining pivotal on-the-job experience in an applied sporting environment, which is a great CV asset.
  • Final-year research project – In your final year, you have the opportunity to work closely with our world-leading academics to conduct a research project in an area of your choice. You could collaborate with an external partner, such as a charity or community group, to complete an applied project that addresses a specific organisational need. Alternatively, if you have an interest in physiotherapy, you will have the unique opportunity to complete your project with a member of our physiotherapy and rehabilitation team.
  • Links with diverse external partners – Visiting speakers from some of our external partners enrich the taught programmes for all our students. Our external partners include Swim England, Birmingham Royal Ballet, NHS trusts, British Gymnastics, British Heart Foundation, British Triathlon Federation, Alzheimer’s Research UK, Age UK, and The Football Association.  
  • International year opportunity - BSc Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences with an International Year offers you the exciting opportunity to study abroad for a year at an overseas university. Recent destinations have included USA, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Hong Kong. Find out more about the International Year here.
  • Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022 - during the Commonwealth Games in 2022, we hosted hockey and squash here on our campus, as well as being the primary campus village for athletes, with a wealth of opportunity for students to be involved. 
  • The latest Research Excellence Framework (REF) results rank research at the University of Birmingham as 6th* in the UK for ‘Sport and Exercise Sciences, Leisure and Tourism’. These results provide further compelling evidence of the long recognised research strength of Sport and Exercise Sciences at the University of Birmingham.

* ranking by Grade Point Average (Times Higher Methodology)


Year 1

In year one, students take core modules on a range of topics:

Year 2

Your second-year modules extend your knowledge of exercise physiology, applied sports and exercise psychology, laboratory practical skills and research methods, with additional modules integrating the basic science with applications in sport.

Core module

Students must choose three or four from the following optional modules:

Examples of other avaiable optional modules include:

Year 3

Core module

Project - You will plan and carry out a research project, analysing the data you will collect and presenting the results. You will produce a poster and you will write a dissertation to present your project.


Professional Dissertation - You will apply your theoretical knowledge and skills, to an authentic challenge, in collaboration with a community organisation by undertaking voluntary placement work. The focus of the placement could be based on research on an area of concern, evaluating existing provision, or designing resources for an organisation. Before the start of the project you will produce a project proposal and timeline, and following its conclusion you will create one multimedia presentation summarising your findings and recommendations, as well as a report for the organisation.

Optional modules

In Year 3 you will have a choice of modules in the same areas as those listed for Year 2 but at a more advanced level.

Optional modules include:

Please note: The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. Unless indicated otherwise, the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2024. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to compulsory modules after that date; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.


Standard Home student fees 2024-25

For UK students beginning their studies in September 2024, the University of Birmingham will charge the maximum approved tuition fee per year. The fees for your first year of study will therefore be £9,250. Visit our tuition fees page for more information.

Standard international student fees 2024-25

International fee
Fee Band (Undergraduate) Full-time
Band 2a (Intermediate) £23,640

Learn more about fees and funding

Learn more about our scholarships and awards

For EU students applying for the 2020/21 academic year

The UK Government has confirmed that EU students will continue to be eligible for 'home fee status' for entry in September 2020, and will continue to have access to financial support available via student loans for the duration of their course. For more information take a look at the website.

How To Apply

Apply through UCAS at 
Learn more about applying

If you are a current medical or dental student looking to intercalate at University of Birmingham please contact for more information.

Standard offer

International Requirements

Number of A levels required:
Typical offer:
Required subjects and grades:
A level requirements dependent on the number of science subjects° being offered. GCSE Mathematics, English and a science at a minimum of grade 4/C.

°Science subjects: Biology/Human Biology, Chemistry, Economics, Geography, Maths, PE/Sports Studies, Psychology, Physics, Statistics, Geology

Some offers of ABB will be made to those applicants with multiple A levels from the preferred list and an exceptional supporting statement. 

Specified subjects excluded for entry:  Applied Science, Citizenship Studies, Communication and Culture, Critical Studies, Critical Thinking, General Studies, Moving Image Arts, Science in Society, Use of Maths and World Development.

BTEC Extended Diploma (18 units) accepted subjects: Applied Human Biology, Applied Science, Health and Social Care, Sport, Sport and Exercise Science, Sport and Exercise Sciences, Sport, Fitness and Personal Training, Sporting Excellence and Performance, Sports Coaching and Development. Considered with D*D*D*.

BTEC Diploma (12 units) accepted subjects: Applied Human Biology, Applied Science, Health and Social Care, Sport, Sport and Exercise Science, Sport and Exercise Sciences, Sport, Fitness and Personal Training, Sporting Excellence and Performance, Sports Coaching and Development. Considered with D*D* plus grade A in an accepted subject.

 BTEC Subsidiary Diploma (6 units) accepted subjects: Applied Human Biology, Applied Science, Health and Social Care, Sport, Sport and Exercise Science, Sport and Exercise Sciences, Sport, Fitness and Personal Training, Sporting Excellence and Performance, Sports Coaching and Development.  Considered with a D* and 2 A levels at AA to BB grades. A level grade requirements are dependent on the number of science subjects being studied (please see A level subject list above).

Applicants who take the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) and meet our offer criteria will be made the typical offer for the programme, plus an alternative offer, which will be one grade lower plus a grade A in the EPQ.

Alternative offers through our Pathways to Birmingham programmes and our Contextual Offer scheme

Students who are eligible and successfully complete a Pathways to Birmingham programme will receive special consideration from admissions tutors and an alternative offer (typically two grades below the standard offer). In addition, our Contextual Offer Scheme recognises the potential of students whose personal circumstances may have restricted achievement in school or college. If you are eligible to benefit from the contextual offer scheme, you will receive an offer which is one grade lower than the standard offer.

International Students

International Baccalaureate diploma: 6,6,6 - 6,5,5  in Higher level subjects plus 32 points overall. Higher level subjects need to include the required subjects as defined for the A-level qualification, where applicable.

Learn more about international entry requirements

Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in one of our foundation pathways, which offer specially structured programmes for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on Birmingham International Academy web pages.

How you learn is as important as what you learn. The learning experience at Birmingham combines a wide variety of study methods extending way beyond the lecture theatre.

Our degree programmes are taught using a range of methods including formal lectures, small group seminars, computer-based learning, practical classes in both laboratories and the sports centre, and practical placements.

In all three years there are practical sessions related to different aspects of your course, from teaching and coaching to psychology. Particular attention is paid to developing generic learning skills in addition to specific subject knowledge. We believe that attention to these skills is one reason why our graduates are so attractive to potential employers.

We have introduced the Speed BSc which is an innovative approach to introducing new students to the school. As well as a great place to meet students from the course, the Speed BSc helps you learn useful skills that will serve you well during your time here and help you with the transition from school/college to university.

Our state-of-the-art sports centre sits on the corner of Bristol Road and Edgbaston Park Road, and is a gateway to the University for students, staff and our local community. The £55 million centre encompasses a unique raft of facilities, including Birmingham’s first 50-metre swimming pool, as well as a large multi-sport arena, a range of activity and fitness studios, an extensive gym, six glass-backed squash courts and various other facilities.

The centre underlines the University of Birmingham’s commitment to sport at all levels. In conjunction with the new athletics track and astroturf facilities, it is a home for our many sports clubs, allowing them to train and compete at the highest level.


You will have access to a comprehensive support system to help you make the transition to Higher Education.

  • Personal tutors - You will be assigned your own personal tutor who will get to know you as you progress through your studies. They will provide academic support and advice to enable you to make the most of your time here at Birmingham.
  • Wellbeing officers - We have dedicated wellbeing officers who provide professional support, advice and guidance to students across a range of issues. They can meet with you to discuss extensions, disabilities, reasonable adjustments, extenuating circumstances, or talk through any problems you might be experiencing, and help you access wider support on campus and beyond.
  • Academic Skills Centre - The centre aims to help you become a more effective and independent learner through a range of high-quality support services. The centre offers workshops on a range of topics, such as note-taking, reading, academic writing and presentation skills.
  • Student experience - Our Student Experience Team will help you get the most out of your academic experience. They will offer research opportunities, study skills support and help you prepare for your post-university careers. They will also organise social events, such as field trips, to help you meet fellow students from your course.

During your first year it is important that you have a smooth transition into university. You will be able to talk to your tutors about this and discuss if there are particular areas where you need support.

Contact Hours

Throughout your Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences degree you can expect an average of 12 hours of contact time per week made up of 10 hours of lectures or seminars and 2 hours of practical classes.

Assessment Methods

Studying at degree-level is likely to be very different from your previous experience of learning and teaching.  You will be expected to think, discuss and engage critically with the subject and find things out for yourself.  We will enable you to make this transition to a new style of learning, and the way that you are assessed during your studies will help you develop the essential skills you need to make a success of your time at Birmingham. 

You’ll be assessed in a variety of ways, and these may be different with each module that you take.  You will be assessed through coursework which may take the form of essays, group and individual presentations, laboratory-based work (depending on your chosen degree) and formal exams.

With opportunities for work placements and tailored advice, you will develop a range of employability skills which open the door to an exciting range of careers after you graduate including sport science support, scientific research, healthcare settings, teaching, coaching and management.

Preparation for your future career should be one of the key things you think about when you start university. By choosing to study with us you will embark on an enriching journey, building a strong foundation for your professional future.

Our graduates have gone on to diverse and exciting careers including:

  • coaching/sports development
  • personal training
  • PE teaching
  • physiotherapy
  • the police force
  • scientific research in academia and industry

Many graduates continue to further study in subjects including medicine, physiotherapy, dietetics and occupational health. The University offers a Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDipEd) for prospective teachers.

Career profiles of some of our alumni

Gareth Sheppard – Paralympic Performance Manager for the British Cycling Team

Gareth Sheppard is the Paralympic Performance Manager for the British Cycling Team. The team won 17 Gold and 3 Silver medals at the Bejing Games in 2008, and are now building towards London. Gareth graduated from the University of Birmingham in 1999 with a Full Blue (an award earned from universities for competition at the highest level) and a 2.2 degree in sports science, and later completed his MBA.  He represented Wales and Great Britain on both mountain bikes and road, and road professionally, for 3 years after graduating before starting his career in a variety of different sport and leisure roles to his current role with British Cycling.
Gareth Sheppard - Video transcript here

Amy Bird - Club Development and School-Club Links
Birmingham Sport and Physical Activity Partnership (BSPAP)

A Sport and Exercise Science Graduate from 2003-2006, Amy remained in Birmingham after graduating and initially worked in Sales – firstly for a small family-run media company selling community websites, and then trying her hand in Recruitment for a global agency.  This was all before realising that this wasn’t quite what she was looking for, and so instead decided to utilise her degree by setting-out on a sporting career path. Amy joined the BSPAP in June 2009 and was responsible for running a Sport England funded city-wide project 'Sport Unlimited' before taking on a wider strategic remit to include Club Development for the County Sports Partnership.Amy has a wide range of voluntary experience including instructing outdoor pursuits whilst on her gap year in Australia for 4 months, working for Cancer Research UK on the ‘Race for Life’ events and volunteering with young people during her time at University. 

Work experience

We offer a number of competitive opportunities for work experience throughout our programmes. Internships are sometimes also available in staff laboratories including Biochemistry and Human Movement, and as part of ongoing research projects. These opportunities help to enhance your CV and prepare you for the world of work.

Some of the destinations of previous placements include:

  • Birmingham City FC/Aston Villa FC
  • Birmingham Council Sports Clubs/Healthy Living programmes
  • The Football Association (St George’s Park)
  • Primary and secondary schools, and colleges
  • The NHS and local hospitals
  • Business
  • National and international golf resorts

Careers Network

From your first day at Birmingham to after you graduate, Careers Network is here to help you identify and achieve your individual career aspirations through its wide range of services, including:

  • Sector-specific career planning workshops and employer/alumni sessions
  • One-to-one advice appointments tailored to your specific needs
  • Our multi-award-winning work experience team with dedicated internship officers
  • Advice on CVs, interview skills and using social media more effectively
  • Our Careers Hubs and dedicated virtual learning resource