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Durham University


C606 Sport and Exercise Sciences BSc Undergraduate  2019


UCAS code C606
Degree BSc
Mode of study Part Time + Full Time
Duration 3 years/6 years
Location Durham City
Typical Offers A Level
International Baccalaureate
Please also check Requirements and Admissions.
Alternative qualifications
Contextual Offers You may be eligible for an offer which is one or two grades lower than our standard entry requirements. Find out more.
More information Still have questions?
Department(s) Website

Course Summary


In studying BSc Sport and Exercise Sciences here at Durham, a mix of core and optional modules enables students to explore traditional sport, exercise and health science disciplines (across Physiology; Psychology; Physical Activity, Nutrition and Health). Modules from the Sociology of Sport and Sport Development and Policy subject areas are also available to select across all three years, allowing you to develop a broader knowledge base and skill set across the wider study of sport. 

Research and academic study skills will be developed through bespoke modules, and during the final year dissertation project you will engage in deeper investigation of a sport and exercise topic that particularly interests you. In addition, our employability-focused programme provides further opportunities for you to take sport and exercise leadership and placement modules, as well as open modules from other departments across the university.    

Here at Durham, our multidisciplinary expertise across the Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences allows students to tackle traditional and emergent sport and exercise problems from a variety of different perspectives. Learning, teaching and assessment approaches all emphasise the application of academic knowledge to real-life sport and exercise contexts and examples.  As such, we aim to enable you to develop your intellectual capacities and personal qualities, as well as to acquire a broad range of practical, professional and employability skills that can be applied to a range of future career paths and further postgraduate studies.

Year 1

You will establish a fundamental knowledge and understanding of key concepts and issues relating to different disciplines within the study of sport and exercise sciences, through the combination of five compulsory modules and the choice of an open module:

  • Critical Skills for Sport and Exercise Sciences
  • Introduction to Exercise Physiology
  • Introduction to Sport Psychology
  • Introduction to Physical Activity, Diet and Health
  • Sport, Culture & Society
  • Open Module*

*As part of our flexible teaching programme, you have the opportunity to expand on your own academic interests through the study of ‘open’ modules in other subjects such as, for example, Business, Education, Languages, Criminology and Psychology.

Year 2

You will build on your knowledge and understanding of key concepts and issues in sport and exercise contexts. In addition, one of our compulsory modules will enable you to develop your understanding and application of research methods in preparation for your final year research dissertation project. Choices of optional modules then allow you to either begin to specialise in particular sport and exercise disciplines or alternatively maintain the breadth of study experienced in Year 1.

Compulsory modules

  • Research Methods in Action
  • Sport and Exercise Physiology
  • Physical Activity and Health Psychology

Then two optional modules (indicative list):

  • Sport, Crime and Deviance
  • Media, Sport and Society
  • Sports Development
  • Leadership in Sport and Health
  • Open Module*

Year 3


You will critically analyse and evaluate more complex issues in relation to selected disciplines within sport and exercise sciences. As is the case across the Department, modules and option choices in Year 3 are refined on an ongoing basis to reflect developments in industry, employment opportunities and the latest academic research. You will also undertake an in-depth, critical analysis of a chosen topic in sport and exercise sciences through your dissertation (an independent research project). 

Compulsory module

Dissertation in Sport (40 credits).

Then minimum of two, or all three from (indicative list):

  • Exercise Programmes for Health and Performance
  • Applied Sport Psychology
  • Nutrition for Sport, Physical Activity and Health

Then minimum of one, maximum two optional modules  (indicative list)::


  • Sport in the Community Placement
  • Sport Policy in Action
  • Advanced Sociological Perspectives on Sport, Exercise and Physical Activity
  • Open module


Placement Year

You may be able to take a work placement. Find out more.

Course Learning and Teaching

Students on this programme learn through a combination of lectures, seminars, practical laboratories, practical workshops, informal but scheduled one-on-one support, and self-directed learning, such as research, reading, and writing.

All of these are supported by a state-of-the-art virtual learning environment, Durham University Online (DUO). Seminars and practical classes are taught in much smaller groups than lectures, small enough to allow one-on-one interaction with tutors.

Practical lab sessions allow 'hands-on' experience of the work that sport and exercise science professionals perform. Workshops allow students to develop knowledge and skills through investigating real-life sport and exercise issues and undertaking practical tasks, such as filmmaking and working with different client groups. This emphasis on small-group and practical teaching reflects a conscious choice to enhance the quality of the learning experience rather than the quantity of formal sessions. In fact, the degree programme is designed to feature fewer formal sessions and more independent research as students move from their first to their final year.

Small-group teaching and one-on-one attention from the personal Academic Advisor (provided for all students when they enter the programme) are part of the learning experience throughout the degree, but by the final year classroom time gives way, to some extent, to independent research, including a capstone research dissertation. The dissertation is supported by one-on-one supervision and makes up a third of final year credits.

In this way the degree programme systematically transforms the student from a consumer of knowledge in the classroom to a generator of knowledge, ready for professional or postgraduate life. All formal teaching arrangements are supported by individual tutorials with teaching staff and induction sessions that begin in the week before the start of the programme and continue at key times throughout each year of the programme.

Admissions Process

Subject requirements, level and grade

In addition to satisfying the University’s general entry requirements, please note:

GCE A' level Requirements

  • AAB
  • We do not accept General Studies or Critical Thinking
  • You do not need to have studied a PE or Sports Studies A-Level to apply.

BTEC Qualifications

We welcome applications from students studying  BTEC qualifications.    If you are studying for a BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma our entry requirement is DDD, preferably in a Sport related discipline.  We also welcome applications from students studying qualifications from different qualification types, for example BTEC  and A levels, and are happy to provide advice and guidance on whether a particular combination is suitable.

International Baccalaureate Requirements

  • Acceptable on its own, or combined with other qualifications
  • Required Grades: 36 points

Other Qualifications

  • We welcome students with other post-16 qualifications equivalent to our standard entry requirements
  • We welcome applications from mature students and from candidates with non-standard qualifications. Every application will be considered on its own merits. Lack of formal qualifications need not be an obstacle to entry
  • For those with non-traditional qualifications who may need further preparation to enter an undergraduate programme, Durham University offers a Foundation Programme, which provides a route onto our BA Sport, Exercise and Physical Activity degree.

English Language requirements

Please check requirements for your subject and level of study.

How to apply

Information relevant to your country

Fees and Funding

Full Time Fees

EU Student £9,250.00 per year
Home Student £9,250.00 per year
Island Student £9,250.00 per year
International non-EU Student £19,250.00 per year

Part Time Fees

EU Student £4,625.00 per year
Home Student £4,625.00 per year
International non-EU Student £10,590.00 per year

Note: Fees are subject to review and change in-line with inflation.

Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.

Scholarships and funding 

Career Opportunities


Further details on career opportunities can be found here:

Open days and visits

Pre-application open day

Pre-application open days are the best way to discover all you need to know about Durham University. With representatives from all relevant academic and support service departments, and opportunities to explore college options, the open days provide our prospective undergraduates with the full experience of Durham University.

Please see the following page for further details and information on how to book a place:

Discover Durham Tours

Discover Durham tours offer a brief introduction to the University. The tour begins at one of our undergraduate colleges, where you will receive an introductory talk from a member of college staff, followed by a tour of the college by current students.

Overseas Visit Schedule

Department Information



Durham University is an outstanding place to study Sport and Exercise Sciences, as well as offering exceptional opportunities
for participation and excellence in sport.

Sport degrees have been taught for over 20 years at Durham, and have gained a well-deserved reputation for excellence that is represented in consistently high rankings in subject league tables.

Study a broad range of topics across the spectrum from grassroots to elite sport, and also across the varied connections between sport and issues such as obesity, crime and inequality. The flexibility that is distinctive to our degrees also enables you to choose from a range of optional modules at every level, so you can tailor your studies according to your own interests and career aspirations.


  • 91% of our Sport, Exercise and Physical Activity students said they were satisfied with the quality of their course in the National Student Survey 2017 (sector-wide average 84%)
  • 5th in The Complete University Guide 2018
  • 8th in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018.


For a current list of staff, please see the School of Applied Social Sciences web pages.


We have excellent teaching facilities at Durham, including a dedicated Human Performance Laboratory.

Our superb sporting facilities include:

  • 60 acres of beautiful and well-maintained playing fields which cater for rugby (union and league), soccer, lacrosse, football and cricket
  • A purpose-built sports centre with a 50-station fitness suite, high performance weight room, sports hall, squash courts, tennis courts, netball courts and athletics track
  • Indoor rowing tank
  • Purpose-built dedicated fencing salle
  • Dedicated rowing ergo gallery
  • Performance analysis suite
  • Purpose-built sports medicine/physiotherapy treatment rooms
  • Artificial turf pitch with floodlights: sand-dressed
  • Artificial turf pitch with floodlights: water-based
  • Two artificial turf pitches with floodlights: rubber crumb
  • Two county-standard cricket squares
  • International standard cross country course
  • Excellent river rowing facilities including new purpose-built boat houses on Wear, Tees and Tyne
  • Access to swimming and artificial skiing nearby
  • Biomedical science and sports fitness facilities.

The widest possible range of sporting opportunities for high performance, recreational participation, coaching and officiating, as well as involvement in community outreach programmes, are offered by a well-managed Athletic Union, ‘Team Durham’.

Team Durham also offers an Elite Athlete Support Programme and also scholarships. For further information visit: