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BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science

UCAS Code CC61 Part-time study available Study abroad opportunities

Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence provides the perfect place for you to study and kick-start your career in sport with our Sport and Exercise Science course.

Sport and Exercise Science

Key facts

  • Award BSc (Hons)
  • Start date September
  • Duration 48 months
  • Mode of study Part-time, Full-time, Campus based

How can physical activity affect our health and wellbeing? How do our body systems respond to acute exercise and adapt to training? You can be the difference and transform lives with our degree in sport and exercise science.

As Scotland’s official University for Sporting Excellence, we place sport at the heart of everything we do – from our innovative research improving the health of the nation, to preparing athletes for success on the world stage. That’s why we're 1st in Scotland for sports research (REF2014).

Our first-rate teaching and research-driven expertise will first and foremost develop you as a scientist, so that you’ll understand the biology and genetics that underpin exercise physiology, nutrition, and sport and exercise psychology. Our sport, health and exercise laboratories enable you to develop your skills in a world-class sporting environment, so you’ll be well prepared for the many career opportunities working in sport and biosciences.

  • Top reasons to study with us
  • Year 1 entry – Four-year honours

    SQA Highers
    AABB - one sitting
    AAAB - two sittings

    GCE A-levels

    IB Diploma
    32 points

    BTEC (Level 3)

    Essential subjects: to include one of Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics or Physics

  • Other qualifications

    Scottish HNC/HND
    Bs in graded units

    English, Welsh and Northern Irish HNC/HND
    Merits and Distinctions

    Foundation Apprenticeships
    Considered to be equivalent to 1 Higher at Grade B

  • Advanced entry

    Year 2 entry may be possible with HND in a Science based subject.

    For information on accepted courses, please consult our Advanced Entry pages.

  • Additional information

    General entrance requirements apply

    If you’ve taken exams over two sittings, repeated an exam, or been upgraded, the entrance requirements may be higher.

  • Other routes of entry

    Access courses
    Access courses and other UK/EU and international qualifications are also welcomed.

    If you’re an international student and don’t meet the required academic and English-language criteria for entry onto this degree, there are other options. You could take our International Foundation in Science, Computing and Engineering which prepares you for entry onto our degrees. Delivered by INTO University of Stirling on our Stirling campus, you can benefit from excellent teaching and supportive English language training. Successful completion of the International Foundation in Science, Computing and Engineering provides guaranteed progression to this degree.

  • English language requirements

    If English is not your first language, you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

    • IELTS: 6.0 with 5.5 minimum in each skill
    • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C
    • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade C
    • Pearson Test of English (Academic): 54 with 51 in each component
    • IBT TOEFL: 80 with no subtest less than 17

    More information on our English language requirements

    Pre-sessional English language courses

    If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO University of Stirling offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree.

    Find out more about our pre-sessional English language courses

We are Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence, a designation from the Scottish Government in recognition of our continued contribution to the development of sport in Scotland.

Sport and Exercise Science is delivered jointly by the Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport and the Faculty of Natural Sciences, combining a wide range of expertise to ensure an unrivalled student experience.

Our sport-centred campus includes a 50m swimming pool, a golf course, ten tennis courts and seven sports pitches - as well as a suite of laboratories for research and performance analysis.

Teaching is delivered across eight semesters, with an extensive research project conducted in the final year.

In Year 1, you’ll gain a strong grounding in biological science, and an introduction to the study of sport and exercise. Further outline modules will include Cell biology, Physiology and Sports Studies. Laboratory skills will also be introduced that year.

Year 2 considers issues and concepts of sports studies. You’ll also further develop your knowledge and skills in biological science, as well as sport and exercise sciences.

You’ll study subjects such as Human Anatomy and Physiology; Genetics and Evolution; and Statistical Techniques.

Further advanced level modules are delivered in Year 3, studying areas such as the Physiology of Sport and Exercise, which considers adaptations to exercise training and the challenges of environmental extremes. You’ll also explore Animal Cell Biology, which looks at the basic components of animal cells, their functions and how these functions are regulated in health and disease.

Understanding exercise and diet in developing a healthy lifestyle is also explored during Year 3, and considers medical issues that affect physical activity. Applied Exercise Physiology is studied in the laboratory, and Psychology of Exercise considers the factors that influence a person’s decision to exercise.

Semester 7 covers Advanced Methods in Human Physiology Research, and also helps you to discover the techniques and methodological assumptions underpinning sport and exercise science research. You’ll then undertake a dissertation in the final semester.


The module details given below are subject to change as the University regularly revises and refreshes the curriculum of our taught programmes. The modules outlined below represent those offered in 2018/19 on this course of study.

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Course details

  • Teaching

    We've been awarded five-star excellence for our teaching by the QS World University Rankings 2017/18. In addition to conventional lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops and laboratory practical sessions, web-based technology is used to support the teaching course.

  • Assessment

    Assessment is by a combination of coursework, group project work, group and individual presentations and examination.

  • Study abroad

    You have the opportunity to study abroad through Stirling's well-established connections with several international universities.

    Find out more about studying abroad.

  • Contact

    Dr Oliver Witard, Course Director

    +44 (0)1786 466298

  • Fees and costs

    Fees shown are per year (Fees are different for each course)

      2018/19 2019/20

    Scottish/EU Students

    Although you’re liable for annual tuition fees, students domiciled in Scotland or the EU will be able to apply to the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have tuition fees paid by the Scottish government on their behalf. If you’re unsure of your fee status, you can check your eligibility online.

    You will be liable to pay tuition fees for every year you’re in attendance, and your fees will be held level upon entry. Please note if you need to extend your period of study, you may be liable for an additional fee.

    Important note for EU students

    The Scottish Government has confirmed that EU students enrolling in the 2018 and 2019 academic year will be entitled to free tuition fees in Scotland. EU Students will retain that status for the duration of their four year degree. The future fee status of EU students enrolling in UK universities will depend on the timing and terms of the UK’s exit from the European Union. The University will make decisions on fee levels for EU students enrolling in 2020 when further guidance is available from the Scottish and UK governments, and will publicise information about fee levels and financial support available on the University website.

    While students should be aware this may mean a change from the current position where EU students are treated with equivalence to Scottish students, it is also important to note that any changes would also require changes to existing UK and Scottish legislation. Current indications are that the UK would leave the EU at the earliest in 2020, so any changes would not take effect before the academic year 2020/21.


    *This tuition fee is set by the Scottish Government, and may be subject to change.


    Students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland

    If you’re domiciled in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, you’ll be able to apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of your tuition fees, from your relevant funding body.

    You will be liable to pay tuition fees for every year you’re in attendance, and your fees will be held level upon entry. Please note if you need to extend your period of study, you may be liable for an additional fee.

    If you successfully complete Years 1-3 of your course, you will also be eligible to receive an Honours Year Scholarship valued at £9,250 to cover the tuition fee costs of your fourth and final year of study. Learn more about the Honours Year Scholarship.

    There is additional funding available for students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland – please see Funding opportunities below.

    £9,250 £9,250

    Overseas (Non-EU) Students

    You will be liable to pay fees for every year you’re in attendance, and your fees will be held level upon entry. Please note if you need to extend your period of study, you may be liable for an additional fee.

    £14,460 £14,820

    You should expect to pay fees for every year you attend. Fees are subject to revision and may increase annually. Students on programmes of study of more than one year should take this into account when applying.

  • Funding opportunities

    See what funding opportunities and loans are available to help you with tuition and living costs.

    Students domiciled in Scotland and the EU

    The University of Stirling offers undergraduate funding opportunities for students domiciled in Scotland or the EU. To find out if you’re eligible to apply for an award, use our scholarship finder.

    Students domiciled in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (RUK)

    The Undergraduate Choice Scholarship provides a £1,000 cash award to all students from England, Wales or Northern Ireland who meet the conditions of their offer and select the University of Stirling as their Firm or Insurance choice on UCAS.

    The University also offers the Undergraduate Merit Scholarship, which is awarded to selected students and provides a £1,000 cash award per year for years 1-3 of study. To be considered for the Merit Scholarship, students require a minimum of AAB at A-level or equivalent.

    In addition, students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland who enter in year 1 and progress successfully through years 2 and 3 will receive our Honours Year Scholarship, which covers the cost of undergraduate tuition fees in the Honours year of study.

    You don’t need to apply for the awards listed above - we'll automatically identify your eligibility as part of the admissions process.

    To explore other scholarships and learn more about funding opportunities, use our scholarship finder.

    Students domiciled overseas

    The University of Stirling offers generous undergraduate funding opportunities for overseas students. To find out if you're eligible to apply for an award, use our scholarship finder.

  • Additional costs

    If you choose to attend your graduation ceremony, you will be liable for an additional charge. There is no charge if you wish to graduate in absentia. Learn more about additional fees.

  • Cost of living

    If you’re domiciled in the UK, you can typically apply to your relevant funding body for help with living costs. This usually takes the form of student loans, grants or bursaries, and the amount awarded depends upon your personal circumstances and household income.

    EU and overseas students won’t normally be able to claim living support through SAAS or other UK public funding bodies. You should contact the relevant authority in your country to find out if you’re eligible to receive support.

    Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling.

  • Payment options

    We aim to be as flexible as possible, and offer a wide range of payment methods - including the option to pay fees by instalments. Learn more about how to pay.

  • 95% of our Sport and Exercise Science students are in work or further education within six months of finishing the course (HESA DLHE 2017)
  • We’re ranked first in Scotland and top five in the UK for our sport facilities (Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey 2017).
  • 97% of Sport and Exercise Science students say our staff are good at explaining things (NSS 2017)

Careers in the sport sector account for around three percent of all jobs in Scotland, according to a recent study by Cambridge Econometrics. Students who graduate in Sport and Exercise Science are prepared for the many career opportunities working in sport and biosciences.

What jobs can you get with a Sport and Exercise Science degree?

Graduates have gone on to postgraduate taught (Masters/MSc) and research degrees (MPhil/PhD), as well as pursuing careers in sport and health, such as:

  • Sports science support of athletes
  • Health and fitness monitoring
  • Physical activity promotion
  • Coaching
  • Teaching
  • Physiotherapy, Dietetics and other allied health professions

Other employers who have benefitted from Stirling graduate expertise include local authorities, commercial and voluntary sport organisations and governing bodies of sport.

I wanted to continue swimming whilst studying and knowing Stirling was the University of Sporting Excellence made me want to study here.
Danielle Joyce
Scotland BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science
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I love Stirling as it’s a sporting university – there are athletes and people who want to do sport for fun all together. The lecturers are brilliant and have a great knowledge and enthusiasm for their topics
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