Sports Science BSc (Hons)

Full-time undergraduate (3 years)

Cambridge

September 2016

Intermediate awards: BSc (without honours), CertHE, DipHE

code: C600

The entry requirements below are for students starting in September 2016.

Overview

No major athlete or team is complete without a sports scientist on their staff. Our course trains you to work in this fast-moving field – and there’s financial support for promising athletes. You’ll work with professional athletes to understand and apply the four key disciplines of sports science: physiology, psychology, biomechanics and nutrition.

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Your course will have a new home in Compass House, which will extend our campus along East Road. You’ll have the latest technology at your fingertips and be able to collaborate with other students on innovative projects to hone your skills.

Full description

Careers

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Sports science graduates are increasingly in demand around the world. There are wide-ranging employment opportunities – from introducing people to sports, to developing them as participants and even helping take them to the top. As a sports scientist, you could work:

  • as an athlete-support scientist, with teams and national sports associations
  • as an exercise consultant
  • as a performance analyst
  • in sports development, for a school, a county or a national body
  • in the fitness industry
  • as a clinical physiologist
  • in applied research.

You could also continue your studies at a higher level, perhaps by doing a PGCE which would allow you to teach. You might go on to train as a physiotherapist, exercise physiologist, clinical exercise consultant or healthcare scientist in the NHS. Postgraduate degrees in sports science are also more and more popular as a route into doing research.

You’ll be encouraged to improve your employment prospects by making connections with industry. Consider becoming a student member of the British Association of Sport & Exercise Sciences (BASES). You can then attend, and even present at their student conferences. We also have links with a range of sporting organisations, including:

  • Living Sport
  • British Paralympic Association
  • British Cycling
  • British Judo Association
  • European College of Sports Science
  • American College of Sports Medicine
  • England & Wales Cricket Board.

We have strong research and collaboration links with the Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge; and the Department of Sport at the University of Montpellier, France.

Graduation doesn’t need to be the end of your time with us. If you’d like to continue your studies we offer a wide range of full-time and part-time postgraduate courses, including MSc Sport and Exercise Science.

Modules & assessment

Year one, core modules

  • Research Methods for Sport and Exercise
    Gain an introduction to the core skills required for research and study in sport science and sports coaching in a higher education environment. You’ll develop skills and attributes to initiate an understanding of the research process and stages associated with it and also an appreciation of different types of research. You'll develop an understanding of the different types of data that can be collected within your course area and you’ll develop a good awareness of the data analysis process, utilising different IT skills and IT programs. You’ll develop key employability skills throughout the module, for example, how to construct oral and written reports using appropriate formatting, language and citations.
  • Exercise Physiology
    You’ll be introduced to the fundamental aspects of human physiology in order to understand how the body performs and responds to physical activity. You’ll explore the structure and function of the main organ systems of the body; the musculoskeletal, nervous, respiratory, cardiovascular, endocrine, digestive and urinary systems. You’ll examine how these systems work together and how they respond to exercise. Energy is essential for the functioning of the body and is in strong demand during exercise. Therefore you’ll explore the biochemical processes involved in energy transfer (metabolism). You’ll examine the different energy production pathways under aerobic and anaerobic conditions. Also, the role and contribution of the various macro-nutrients as fuel for the metabolism will be discussed. Then, energy expenditure during rest and physical activity will be investigated. You’ll examine how oxygen consumption can give us an insight into our energy expenditure and the different fuel and energy systems used. In your module you’ll study and explore the content through lectures, seminars and laboratory based practicals where the physiological and metabolic principles are applied and examined under both resting and exercise conditions. As well as providing you with subject specific knowledge, our module will enable you to develop a number of transferable skills, including practical (laboratory) techniques and general skills relevant to employment including report writing, data collection, data handling and data presentation. You’ll be assessed by coursework (60%) and exam (40%). Standard texts are available via the library and the more specialist literature is online.
  • Sport and Exercise Psychology
    Understanding psychological aspects of sport and exercise is vital in enhancing, or inhibiting, sports performance and exercise participation. This could include pre-competition nerves, attention control, self-confidence and motivation. You’ll reflect upon your own experiences in relation to psychological factors and to consider psychological demands of different sports and levels of participation. You’ll use your classroom time to take part in discussion and analysis of specific key topic areas of sport and exercise psychology and take part in group and individual tasks.
  • Anatomy for Motion
    This module will introduce you to the biomechanics of human movement, with the analysis of human performance in sport from the mechanical point of view. You’ll get a sound grounding in the fundamentals of human movement for Coaching Science and Sport, Health and Exercise and learn the essentials for further study in Biomechanics. We’ll study and explore the content within the context of real sporting actions such as: standing, walking, running, jumping and throwing and by using the techniques of video analysis, experimental investigation and computer aided data analysis. You’ll develop transferable skills such as IT, numeracy and communication and we’ll encourage you to become an independent thinker with good study habits. Your learning will be assessed by coursework and a final examination.
  • Coaching and Behaviour
    In this module we’ll cover concepts that underpin contemporary coaching theory and practice. By the end of the module you’ll have developed an appreciation of the coaching process including the ethical, pedagogical, managerial and behavioural components that enable good practice. We’ll investigate the roles, techniques, and planning skills of a good coach, the impact of their adherence to the professional code of conduct, their awareness of health and safety issues and their understanding of how a coaching session should progress. A crucial aspect of coaching is the ability to understand how individuals learn and acquire the knowledge and skills to perform. You’ll learn to identify different approaches to learning and what these mean for coaching practice and athletes’ development.

Year two, core modules

  • Research Methods and Project Preparation for Sport and Exercise
    Build on experience you gained from previous modules and develop skills and knowledge base to produce a research project. Deliver it via assessment, presentation and written reports. Focus on advanced data handling and analysis of data and critically analysis and discuss reliability within data. You’ll produce a research proposal related to your chosen course and get constant support from our academics through tutorials, lectures and practicals.
  • Exercise Testing
    There are a range of different tests available to assess physiological performance, the key is choosing the most appropriate. You’ll study the process of profiling performance and health from a physiological and analytical perspective. Your main focus will be the validity and reliability of the tests available to assess aerobic performance, anaerobic performance, strength, power and flexibility. Aerobic assessment will focus on the protocols used for the assessment of maximal aerobic power (VO2max). Analysis will be made of the protocols to assess aerobic capacity, such as maximum lactate steady state, lactate minimum, individual anaerobic threshold, onset of blood lactate accumulation and 4mM turn-point. The role of performance economy will be examined, and projected to show how this simple concept has been used to develop the principle of velocity at VO2max (vVO2max). The concept of critical power and speed will be assessed and justified. The application of these measures to exercise testing and screening will be observed through the study of sub-maximal cardio-pulmonary assessments and the interpretation of Wasserman's 9-plot. You’ll also address the assessment of respiratory function through spirometry and myocardial function through heart variability and electrocardiogram (ECG) monitoring. Anaerobic assessment will examine the tests used to assess both power and capacity such as the Wingate cycle test and the Maximally Accumulated Oxygen Deficit (MAOD). Strength and power testing will examine the use of strain gauges, isokinetic dynamometry and gym based protocols. Flexibility assessment will determine the appropriate use of flexometers, goniometers and reach boxes. All of these methodologies will be examined both theoretically and in a laboratory setting. The concepts of validity and reliability will be explored by further examination of statistical methods. As well as providing you with subject specific knowledge, our module helps develop a number of transferable skills including practical (laboratory) techniques and skills relevant to general employment including report writing, data collection, handling and presentation and will be of particular interest to individuals wishing to apply their exercise physiology knowledge and work within a Sports Science Support environment. Standard texts are available via the library and more specialist literature is online. You’ll be assessed by coursework (50%) and exam (50%).
  • Psychological Profiling for Sport
    Many sports performers now employ sport psychologists in preparation for competition. Before an effective sport psychology intervention programme can be designed and delivered a process of athlete assessment, or profiling, must be undertaken. Here, you’ll build on previous modules and specifically focus on profiling/assessment methods and delivering interventions. You’ll learn the principles of assessing a sports performer from a psychological perspective and consider how the findings can be used to develop an intervention. You’ll cover performance issues, profiling tools and interventions, as well as the latest research and case study scenarios and real-life situations. Finally, you’ll profile an individual athlete on his or her psychological needs and develop and teach and intervention programme.
  • Biomechanics
    This module is ideal for students who want to specialise in Biomechanics, or add more of a Biomechanical focus to their Sports Coaching and Physical Education degree. It'll build on your learning from 'Anatomy for Motion'. You'll be introduced to the use of force plates for data capture, extend your use of video analysis and integrate new ideas from anthropometrics into your biomechanical analysis. You'll focus on the initiation and development of motion in terms of both the internal torques produced by the musculoskeletal system and the external forces acting. You'll explore the ground reaction force in depth and see how the concepts of internal forces, the external net force and mass and acceleration are used to explain movement patterns, enabling you to appreciate the importance of torque, momentum and impulse and to use these quantities to critically analyse any sporting action. We'll also discuss the mechanical energy considerations of movement in terms of work and power. Finally, you'll investigate projectile behaviour and its importance to sport.

Year two, optional modules

  • Sport and Exercise Nutrition
    You'll gain an integrated overview of human nutrition from both an applied exercise and sports performance aspect. The module begins with an introduction to nutrition for health, including methods of dietary assessment and energy expenditure. You'll be expected to undertake a case study diet evaluation for your first assignment. Additionally, you'll be required to work in 'case study teams to develop evidence-based thinking around how to apply nutritional concepts to real-world cases. This leads to your second assessment involving a team presentation of an individual case study and nutrition programme, with relevance to sport and exercise. You'll also explore the relevance and role of key macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats and proteins) as well as micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) and fluid intake both in terms of health and well-being, and integration from an applied sports perspective. The use of contemporary sports supplementation and ergogenic aids will also be considered in terms of enhancing anaerobic and aerobic performance, with a view to understanding potential mechanisms of action. You'll develop key practical skills throughout this module, culminating in the application of case study interpretation and programme design.

Year three, core modules

  • Scientific Basis of Training
    This module is essentially split into three blocks, all of which are inter-related. The first block deals with the principles of performance components. Within this you'll consider the history of training, where we have come from and where the science is now leading us. You'll also consider what is meant by the term ‘performance’. You'll address the physical demands of athletic events, the event analysis. Here we'll consider the variety of methods that can be adopted to evaluate an athlete in the field and that are regularly used in the literature to inform us as to the physiological and metabolic demands of sport. The second block forms the foundation on which all your understanding will be based, the principles of training design. Within this you'll address and critically evaluate the variables and components of training discussing the use of intensity, frequency, duration and how these help us to establish the key components of training load and volume. This block is very much about you developing a critical appreciation for training programme design. We'll evaluate the models of training considering a number of different proposed theories. Further evaluation will be made of how to structure training programmes. Can we for example use the same approach with elite and novice athletes, team sports and individual sports? You'll consider the differences between peaking and tapering for performance and why some athletes quite simply just miss their window of athletic opportunity. The final block is essentially the backbone to this module, which focuses on the principles of training for speed, strength, flexibility and endurance. Of these it will be endurance training that will be studied the most. The concept of VO2max as a criterion measure of endurance performance will be studied, along with the concept of the lactate turn-point. The lactate turn-point as a performance/training tool will offer up a controversial debate, firstly what does it represent and secondly can it be used to monitor and judge performance. Endurance training will also be extended to consider the often over looked area of anaerobic endurance and the development of the anaerobic capacity. Strength and power will be sub-divided to assess how they each have a role in the make-up of an athlete. These are terms which are interchanged yet require considerably different means of training and as a result produce quite different physiological responses. Speed training is considered in conjunction with these two modes of training. All sporting disciplines require speed to some degree, the key is deciding how best to train this component and as with all of the other modes when to programme it into the annual plan.
  • Undergraduate Research Project
    In your final year, you have the opportunity to create a substantial piece of individual research, focused on a topic of your choice, which may be based on laboratory work, or a research project based on data in the literature. The project will follow on from the proposal developed in ‘Preparation for Research’. Your project will show evidence of appropriate academic challenge, technical expertise, and progress. You will identify and formulate problems and issues, conduct a literature review, evaluate information, investigate and adopt suitable research methods, and develop approaches for data collection and processing. Regular meetings with your project supervisor will ensure your project is closely monitored and steered in the right direction.

Year three, optional modules

  • Applied Biomechanics and Kinesiology
    In this module we’ll investigate the biomechanical analysis and evaluation of human movement in sport. You’ll learn to describe the movement pattern of the rotation of the limbs and the linear motion of the body, and explain it in terms of the muscle torques and the external forces that produce the motion. This will give you the skills to make tentative scientific suggestions to athletes on how they may be able to improve their performance. The background theory we’ll cover will continue to develop and deepen your understanding of the concepts of linear Newtonian mechanics as well as rotational dynamics. We’ll also cover the behaviour of the muscles in terms of the production of the torques and analyse the use of EMG. We’ll assess your learning through coursework and your ability to critically analyse human movement.
  • Applied Sports Psychology
    In this module we’ll specifically examine the psychological factors of successful performance and will address issues such as coach-athlete relationships, sport and exercise psychology interventions, coaching behaviour and burnout. You’ll gain the knowledge and skills to successfully prescribe and deliver sport and exercise psychology interventions as a coach or sport scientist. We’ll examine and critique the latest research, and discuss the current knowledge in specific topic areas.
  • Strength and Conditioning
    This role of the applied strength and conditioning coach is continuing to grow in importance. You’ll begin within an in-depth exploration of the body’s anatomy and address the principles of muscle, joint, connective tissue interactions and how locate these through the process of palpation and recognition. With this knowledge you’ll then be able to address the mechanistic principles of strength and performance development. You’ll learn how to work in a safe and effective manner executing appropriate movement patterns in relation to the gross anatomical structures that need to be engaged. Supporting these principles, you’ll develop a scientifically applied rationale for the role of strength and conditioning work in different population groups and also consider how technology can enhance the practice of the professional. You’ll be introduced to the techniques and principles of athlete assessment, evaluation and consultation. You’ll constantly consider endurance, speed, flexibility, agility and power, as well as gaining an in-depth appreciation for the training principles and methodologies and exploring the physiological rationale for these approaches in relation to programme design. You’ll be jointly taught between our staff at Anglia Ruskin and an external strength and conditioning professionals.

Assessment

Throughout the course, we’ll use a range of assessment methods to help you measure your progress. These include presentations, practical skills tests, scientific reports, case study critiques, online assessments and a research project.

We’ll also encourage you to reflect on your work, and participate in peer assessment.

Where you'll study

Your faculty

The Faculty of Science & Technology is one of the largest of five faculties at Anglia Ruskin University. Whether you choose to study with us full- or part-time, on campus or at a distance, there’s an option whatever your level – from a foundation degree, to a BSc, MSc, PhD or professional doctorate. 

Whichever course you pick, you’ll gain the theory and practical skills needed to progress with confidence. Join us and you could find yourself learning in the very latest laboratories or on field trips or work placements with well-known and respected companies. You may even have the opportunity to study abroad.

Everything we do in the faculty has a singular purpose: to provide a world-class environment to create, share and advance knowledge in science and technology fields. This is key to all of our futures.

Where can I study?

Cambridge
Lord Ashcroft Building on our Cambridge campus

Our campus is close to the centre of Cambridge, often described as the perfect student city.

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Fees & funding

Course fees

UK & EU students, 2016/17 (per year)

£9,000

International students, 2016/17 (per year)

£11,000

Additional costs

Please note, the estimated additional costs for this course are £100-£200 (for trainers, shorts and t-shirts for lab work over lifetime of degree).

How do I pay my fees?

Tuition fee loan

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Most English undergraduates take out a tuition fee loan with Student Finance England. The fees are then paid directly to us. The amount you repay each month is linked to your salary and repayments start in April after you graduate.

How to apply for a tuition fee loan

Paying upfront

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If you choose not to take out a loan you can pay your fees directly to us. There are two ways to do this: either pay in full, or through a three- or six-month instalment plan starting at registration.

How to pay your fees directly

International students

You must pay your fees up-front, in full or in instalments. You will also be asked for a deposit or sponsorship letter for undergraduate courses. Details will be in your offer letter.

Paying your fees
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Funding for UK & EU students

We offer most new undergraduate students funding to support their studies and university life. There’s also finance available for specific groups of students.

Grants and scholarships are available for:

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Funding for international students

We've a number of scholarships, as well as some fee discounts for early payment.

Entry requirements

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Entry requirements are not currently available, please try again later.

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Important additional notes

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email answers@anglia.ac.uk for further information.

We don't accept AS level qualifications on their own for entry to our undergraduate degree courses. However for some degree courses a small number of tariff points from AS levels are accepted as long as they're combined with tariff points from A levels or other equivalent level 3 qualifications in other subjects.

Entry requirements are for September 2016 entry. Entry requirements for other intakes may differ.

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International students

We welcome applications from international and EU students, and accept a range of international qualifications.

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English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you'll need to make sure you meet our English language requirements for undergraduate courses.

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Improving your English language skills

If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry onto a degree course.

We also provide our own English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT) in the UK and overseas. To find out if we are planning to hold an ELPT in your country, contact our country managers.

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