Teaching and Learning Facilities
At Durham we are committed to ensuring that we provide the very best teaching, learning and research facilities to support our students throughout their studies. The City of Durham is your ‘campus’, part of which is Durham Castle and Durham Cathedral, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site! You will be taught in a range of different learning environments across Durham, all of which are easily accessible on foot.
The University has a continual programme of improvements and annually invests millions of pounds in staff, students and facilities to make sure that you have access to high quality lecture theatres, seminar rooms and subject specific facilities such as dedicated libraries and laboratories.
Our Human Performance Laboratory
Our purpose-built Human Performance Laboratory opened in February 2009 following a substantial investment from the University. It has been specifically designed to enhance the delivery of the Physiology pathway of our BA Sport, Exercise and Physical Activity degree, but is also sometimes used for the Physical Activity, Sport and Exercise Psychology elements of the programme.
Further investment in 2012 helped to provide new equipment to assess athletic workload and sprinting performance. New additions to our fully equipped teaching laboratory include:
Catapult 10Hz Gps units
- Smartspeed timing system
- Actiheart activity monitoring system
- and a Watt bike.
We even have a bath for thermo-regulation testing: sometimes it’s filled with hot water, other times it’s filled with ice!
The Human Performance Laboratory has been specifically designed and equipped to ensure that our students have the opportunity to engage in ‘hands-on’ practical experiences of physiology testing and exercise adaptation measurement. Through the laboratory practical elements of the Physiology pathway, our undergraduate students will learn a range of applied skills within a safe and supportive environment, including the following:
- How to undertake maximal oxygen uptake testing;
- How to conduct lactate threshold testing, and importantly how to set training thresholds from the data collected;
- How to assess hydration using both laboratory and field based methods;
- How to assess blood glucose levels;
- How to conduct body composition assessment (using a variety of techniques).
Through their taught experiences within the Human Performance Laboratory, our students are able to develop and attain real employability and vocationally relevant skills and experiences of working within an exercise laboratory setting.
In addition to its primary role as a teaching resource that our students regularly use, the facilities are also used to provide physiological support to Team Durham’s High Performance Athletes. Our Human Performance Laboratory is fully equipped to undertake a variety of testing protocols that will provide accurate measures of the physiological status of an athlete. These include:
- Assessment of VO2max and the determination of lactate threshold for a variety of sports;
- Assessment of aerobic power output;
- Assessment of hydration status;
- Body composition assessment.