BSc (Hons) Physical Activity and Health

Undergraduate, Full-Time

Explore the techniques, skills required and programmes available to encourage physical activity for overall health and wellbeing for individuals, specific clinical populations and society.

  • Napier code:

    74212BH

  • UCAS code:

    C6C8

  • Course type:

    Full-Time

  • Duration:

    4 years

  • Award:

    BSc (Hons)

  • Location:

    Sighthill campus

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Course introduction

If you have a passion for physical activity and health and the science underpinning how these topics can influence wellbeing and quality of life, then this course will provide you with both the knowledge and skills you need to pursue a career in an exercise and health-related area.

You'll develop in-depth knowledge and a range of techniques and skills including in exercise testing, prescription, physical activity and health in various clinical populations.

This will equip you with a skills to work in various works settings to improve health, wellbeing and physical activity with both the general public and clinical populations.


sport and exerise

The BSc (Hons) Physical Activity and Health aims to provide you with the knowledge and skills to study and analyse the various aspects of physical activity/exercise and health in relation to different population groups, ensuring that you'll have both a firm theoretical and vocational grounding in the subjects that underpin the health and exercise industry.

To achieve this goal, this course has a strong emphasis on the practical application of theoretical knowledge. You'll gain the independent study habits, academic and employability skills and deliver volunteer opportunities that will develop your understanding and skills in the area of physical activity and health.

You'll learn about the impact of physical inactivity on health and disease and the methods for tackling health-related issues in non-exercise populations and the attached benefits.

We have excellent laboratory facilities in which you'll use a range of equipment. These include exercise physiology, biomechanics, conditioning and multimedia laboratories, plus an environmental chamber. You'll carry out a range of practical procedures and use equipment involved in exercise physiology, biomechanics, exercise and health psychology, sport and exercise nutrition and exercise testing.

This is a full-time course studied over four years. You'll learn by a variety of teaching methods including
  • lectures
  • tutorials
  • laboratory practical based sessions 
  • and independent study

Our teaching team have a wealth of experience in exercise science, physical activity and health. Our approach is student-centered and supportive, with an emphasis on applied practical experience and the development of skills.

Some international exchange opportunities may exist. We have good links with German Sport University Cologne and some students have spent trimesters in universities in the United States.

The applied nature of this course encourages the development of skills that make you more employable such as communication, IT, problem solving, research and team working skills.

What you study

Year 1

  • Anatomy & Physiology in Sport & Exercise Science
  • Application of Science to Sport and Exercise
  • Exercise Training
  • Foundations of Sport and Exercise Science
  • Skill Acquisition

Year 2

  • The Research Process in Sport & Exercise Science
  • Introduction to Biomechanics
  • Sport & Health Nutrition
  • Exercise Physiology
  • Introduction to Sport & Exercise Psychology
  • Volunteering & Employability

Year 3

  • Intermediate Exercise Physiology
  • Health Psychology
  • Behavioural Change
  • Scientific Communication: Dissertation and Statistics
  • Growth Maturation & Exercise
  • Work Based Learning

Year 4

  • Health, Lifestyle and Exercise Behaviour
  • Exercise Testing & Prescription
  • Physical Activity & Inactivity in Health & Disease
  • Scientific Research Project

Study modules mentioned above are indicative only. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.

Full information on this is available in our disclaimer.

Around 40 per cent of our graduates move on to postgraduate study in subjects such as Exercise Physiology, Exercise/Sport Psychology, Health Promotion, Exercise/Sports Nutrition, Physiotherapy, Sports Performance and Enhancement and PE teacher training.

This course will help you develop a number of skills that will prepare you for positions both in exercise science and health as well as the wider jobs market, for example:

  • The NHS
  • Health and fitness industry
  • GP referral exercise consultant
  • Exercise physiologist
  • Schools activity coordinators
  • Physical activity and health promotion and improvement
  • Further education lecturing


Minimum year 1

SQA Higher

BBBB including Biology or Chemistry or Physics or Psychology. Please note SQA Higher PE will be accepted in lieu of a Science if studied alongside SQA Higher Maths (Minimum Grade C required).

National 5 B in Maths (excluding Lifeskills), & National 5 C in English & a Science subject.

A Level

BBC including Biology or Chemistry or Physics or Psychology or PE.

GCSE Grade B in Maths, GCSE Grade C in English & a Science subject or Double Award Science at Grades CC also required.

Irish Leaving Certificate

Pre-2017 Grading System

B1, B1, B3, B3 at Higher Level including Biology or Chemistry or Physics or Psychology.

B3 at Ordinary Level in Maths, C2 in English & a Science subject.


New Grading System 

Grades H2, H2, H3, H3 at Higher Level to include Biology or Human Biology or Chemistry or Physics.

Grade O3 at Ordinary Level in Maths and Grade O4 at Ordinary Level in English and a Science subject.

BTEC (QCF) Extended Diploma Level 3

Minimum grades DMM (Distinction, Merit, Merit) in a related subject.

GCSE Grade B in Maths, GCSE Grade C in English & a Science subject or Double Award Science at Grades CC also required.

International Baccalaureate

Award of Diploma with 28 points overall with three HL subjects at grades 6, 5, 4 including a Science* at minimum grade 5.

5 points in SL Maths (excluding Maths Studies), 4 points in SL English & a Science subject.

European Baccalaureate

Pass at 70% or above with grade 7 in three subjects including Science *

Gain Grade 6 in Maths, English and a Science *


* Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Psychology

Minimum Year 2 

HNC

Pass in a related subject* with A in the graded unit.

*Sports Coaching with Development of Sport, Fitness, Health and Exercise, Sports & Exercise Science, Applied Sports Science, Applied Biological Science

Minimum Year 3

Please note this course will not be open to applicants for Year 3 entry in 2017. Applicants wishing to apply for a Year 3 Sports course should refer to one of the following courses: BSc Sport and Exercise Science, BSc Sport and Exercise Science (Sports Coaching), BSc Sport and Exercise Science (Sports Injuries).

English Language Requirements

If your first language isn't English, you'll normally need to undertake an approved English language test and our minimum English language requirements will apply.

This may not apply if you have completed all your school qualifications in English. Check our country pages to find out if this applies to you.

Our entry requirements indicate the minimum qualifications with which we normally accept students.Competition for places varies from year to year and you aren't guaranteed a place if you meet the minimum qualifications.

International students

If your qualifications aren't listed above, visit our country pages to get entry requirements for your country.

Please note that non-EU international students are unable to enrol on our nursing courses (except Veterinary Nursing).

Admissions policies

We're committed to being as accessible as possible to anyone who wants to achieve higher education.

Our admissions policies will help you understand our admissions procedures and how decisions are made.


Tuition fees
Students from 2016/17 2017/18
Scotland/EU £1,820 £1,820
England Wales and Northern Ireland £9,000 £9,000
Overseas £11,840 £11,950

Frequently Asked Questions about Fees
Information of Bursaries and Scholarships

An opportunity to study with a hands on approach to the subject with an emphasis on real world situations whether working with elite athletes or non-exercisers.

Pete Laird

Programme Leader, School of Life, Sport & Social Sciences

Elite Athlete Bursary

Are you representing your sport at international level? This includes full, student and Under 19 representation. If so, you may be eligible for an annually reviewed bursary of £1000 per year for four years.