Sport, Physical Activity and Health with optional placement year

BSc (Hons)

2022/23 Full-time Undergraduate course


Bachelor of Science with Honours


Faculty of Life and Health Sciences


School of Sport


Magee campus

UCAS code:

The UCAS code for Ulster University is U20

Start date:

September 2022

Clearing Grades:


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Apply now through Clearing for September 2022 start

Learn about sport, physical activity and health for individuals and wider society. Our course equips you to help people with varying degrees of health and fitness, and develop initiatives to increase physical activity, reduce sedentary behaviour and contribute to community wellbeing. An optional placement year offers the opportunity to gain real-world experience, enhancing your employability.

Career options

• Health Promotion
• Sports Coach
• Workplace Health and Fitness
• Exercise Planner
• Fitness Development Officer
• Community Health Officer
• Teacher (further training required) 

Contact our Admissions Team to apply now


The physiological, behavioural, social, and nutritional perspectives of health-enhancing physical activity and sport for the general population.

The University regularly ‘refreshes’ courses to make sure they are as up-to-date as possible.

In addition it undertakes formal periodic review of courses in a process called 'revalidation’ to ensure that they continue to meet standards and are current and relevant.

This course will be revalidated in the near future and it is possible that there will be some changes to the course as described in this prospectus.


It is becoming increasingly recognised that physical activity and exercise have a positive influence on health and wellbeing, and that the promotion of active and healthy lifestyles through sport and physical activity in the community may have substantial social and cultural benefits. This course has been designed to produce highly educated professionals with the knowledge and skills to organise and provide for the teaching, coaching, policy, planning, development, management and delivery of sport, physical activity and health initiatives.

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About this course


The serious public health problems associated with mental illness, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes are well publicised. Physical inactivity is a contributory factor to 17 chronic disease conditions and the World Health Organisation (WHO) figures have shown that a lack of regular activity results in 3.2 million deaths worldwide, making it the fourth leading cause of global mortality.

Regular physical activity and exercise result in a number of well-established physical, psychological and social health benefits. Despite this, physical activity levels across the island of Ireland and Great Britain remain low with less than 40% of the population currently meeting government guidelines with particular population groups undertaking dangerously low levels of daily physical activity.

This course aims to develop your knowledge and understanding of both the science underpinning and methods employed, to promote health-enhancing sport and physical activity. You will undertake study in the psychological, biological, social, cultural and nutritional perspectives that impact upon sport, physical activity and health at individual and societal levels. Upon graduation you will possess a wide range of knowledge and skills that will enable you to work as a professional, bringing about an increase in people’s physical activity whilst reducing their sedentary behaviour.

The course offers small group teaching, hands-on experience in our dedicated Exercise Laboratory and an optional one-year work placement with the opportunity to obtain a Diploma in Professional Practice.

Associate awards

Diploma in Professional Practice DPP

Diploma in International Academic Studies DIAS

Diploma in Professional Practice International DPPI


You should be available to attend lectures, seminars and practical classes as timetabled, during weekdays.

The course runs over three years (four years with optional placement).

120 credit points per year – 60 credits in Semester I and 60 credits in Semester II.

Start dates

  • September 2022

The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.

Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:

Attendance and Independent Study

As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until near the start date and may be subject to change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days of attendance will often be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.

Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10- or 20-credit modules and postgraduate course typically 15- or 30-credit modules.

The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.

Postgraduate Masters courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.

Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.


Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be via one method or a combination e.g. examination and coursework . Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes. You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessment. The precise assessment will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.

Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification and the assessment timetable. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.

Normally, a module will have four learning outcomes, and no more than two items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised.

Calculation of the Final Award

The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6 (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).

Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Masters degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.

All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study. In Masters degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.

Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.

Academic profile

The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 59% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.

Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (25%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (20%) or Lecturers (55%).

We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic staff (81%) are accredited fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) by Advanced HE - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.

The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise.  The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff.  This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.

Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.

Figures correct for academic year 2021-2022.

Magee campus


Enjoy student life in one of Europe's most vibrant cities.

Find out more - information about accommodation  

Sports Facilities

Our facilities in Magee cater for many sports ranging from archery to volleyball, and are open to students and members of the public all year round.

Find out more - information about sport  

Student Wellbeing

At Student Wellbeing we provide many services to help students through their time at Ulster University.

Find out more - information about student wellbeing  

Magee Campus Location

Campus Address

Ulster University,
Northland Rd,
BT48 7JL

T: 02870 123 456


Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.

Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.

Year one

Anatomy and Health-Related Physiology

Year: 1

This module provides students with a basic knowledge and understanding of human anatomy and physiology which will form the foundations for further study on the effects of exercise and physical activity on humans. It will be offered through a combination of web based learning, traditional lectures and tutorials. Assessment is by a combination of coursework and examination.

Health and Wellbeing in Modern Society

Year: 1

This module is for students undertaking the BSc (Hons) Physical Activity, Exercise and Health. It examines relevant topics to maintain a quality approach to current areas of health concern. This module will challenge the students to explore the concepts of health and wellbeing and the wider societal influences. It provides a springboard for discussion and reflection of current challenges associated with issues of wellbeing, health and physical activity. This module augments the study undertaken in other modules, in particular Introduction to Psychology and Psychosocial Aspects of Health and Wellbeing. This trio of modules will facilitate the synchronization of knowledge gained by the comprehension of health related issues. Assessment is by Coursework.

Sport and Society

Year: 1

The module introduces the students to the social sciences of sport and to the key skills required of a social scientist taking a more detached approach to how sports practice and society interrelate in different societies around the world.

Introduction to Coaching Practice

Year: 1

This module will introduce students to the best practice principles of coaching in relevant contexts. It will involve the application of basic theory into a practical context.

Introduction to Sport and Exercise Psychology

Year: 1

Through a series of lectures and tutor-led seminar sessions, students will understand the theoretical and practical importance of sport and exercise psychology to enhancing performance.

Introduction to Exercise and Physical Activity

Year: 1

This module provides students with a basic knowledge and understanding on the importance of exercise and physical activity in disease prevention as well as an awareness of how to prescribe, monitor and interpret appropriate interventions.

Year two

Sport, Physical Activity and Public Health

Year: 2

This theory-based learning module is designed to facilitate opportunities for students to examine sport and physical activity within the context of public health.

Research Methods and Statistics

Year: 2

This module is designed to introduce both the practical and conceptual understanding of research methodologies within sport, exercise and leisure research.

Clinical Exercise Physiology

Year: 2

This module will provide an overview to an exciting new area of exercise science, and will provide the student with an opportunity to further develop an understanding of the pathophysiology of the human body during conditions of exercise stress.

Principles of Exercise Physiology

Year: 2

The module provides students with a foundation of anatomy and physiology that is relevant to higher level study within physiology and other related interdisciplinary subjects within sport and exercise science. In addition, the module seeks to establish basic measurement, evaluation and writing skills that are pertinent to discipline.

Sport and Physical Activity: Theory to Practice

Year: 2

This work-based learning module is designed to facilitate opportunities for students to plan, deliver and evaluate a physical activity programme. It will require that the students reflect on their experience on a weekly basis through a reflective journal and design their own physical activity intervention

Applied Fundamentals of Movement Skills

Year: 2

Through a series of lectures, workshops and practical sessions, students will develop both the skills and understanding required to structure and deliver coaching sessions designed to develop FOM skills.

Year three

Diploma in Professional Practice (International) (DPP/DPPI)

Year: 3

This module is optional

Structured work experience helps students to appreciate the discipline and demands of the workplace and consolidate knowledge and skills acquired during the first two years of the course. The work placement also provides the opportunity for the development of personal attributes to enhance a student's employability.

Diploma in International Academic Studies (DIAS)

Year: 3

This module is optional

In this module, students may undertake a study programme in a university abroad to develop their academic, professional, cultural awareness, global mobility, personal capabilities and future employability.

Year four

Living with Long term Health Conditions

Year: 4

This level 6 module is an optional module for students undertaking BSc (Hons) Physical Activity, Exercise and Health. The aim is to assist them in recognising the needs of people with long term illness to enable them to live fulfilling lives from diagnosis to end of life across all parts of service delivery. The module will challenge the student to explore strategies to facilitate participation in physical activity and exercise among those individuals with a long-term health condition.

Physical Activity, Exercise and Health

Year: 4

Society is faced with an inexorable rise in chronic disease development, often linked to lifestyle factors such as poor diet and physical inactivity. This module equips students with a critical understanding of the role of exercise in the prevention of such diseases, by exploring the underlying physiological mechanisms, and the importance of health promotion in target populations.

Physical Activity and Psychological Well-Being

Year: 4

This module examines the influence of psychological factors in understanding the link between physical activity and public health across different settings and populations. It provides a critical understanding of the development of scientific consensus to date and identifies areas in need of further research.

Research Project: Physical Activity, Exercise and Health

Year: 4

This module will provide knowledge, practical opportunities and research skills in the undertaking of an independent piece of research in physical activity exercise and health.

Applied Sport Psychology and Contemporary Issues

Year: 4

This module is optional

This module provides students with an in-depth knowledge and understanding of theory, research and practice in the field of applied sport psychology. Students will develop an understanding of the sport psychology consultancy process and ethical principles and guidelines relevant to working in the field. This module takes students beyond understanding what is done in 'Applied Sport Psychology' to understanding how sport psychology service is delivered.

Sport and Exercise Nutrition

Year: 4

This module is optional

This module considers the relationship between nutrition and exercise performance. The module provides the student with the opportunity to further develop an understanding of the human body and how appropriate nutritional practices can be effective for exercise performance and overall health and wellbeing.

Standard entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.

A level

Grades BBC to include grade B in one subject from Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, PE, Psychology, Sports Studies, Double Award Science, Life and Health Science

Applied General Qualifications

BTEC must in a Science or Sports related discipline.

QCF Pearson BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma / OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Extended Diploma (2012 Suite)
Award profile of DDD

RQF Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma / OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Extended Diploma (2016 Suite)
Award profile of DMM

You may also meet the course entry requirements with combinations of other BTEC/OCR and A Levels. These and other entry equivalences can be viewed in the online prospectus at

Irish Leaving Certificate

112 UCAS Tariff Points to include 4 subjects at Higher level and 1 at Ordinary Level. The overall profile must include English at minimum Grade H6/O4.

Course Specific Subject requirements:
This course also requires grade H2 in either Biology, Chemistry, Maths, Physical Education or Physics.

At least a H6/O4 in Maths is required in addition to one of the subjects above.

Irish Leaving Certificate UCAS Equivalency

Scottish Highers

BBCCC to include a Grade B in one of Biology, Chemistry, Maths, Physical Education, Psychology, Sports Studies or Double Award Applied Science

Scottish Advanced Highers

Grades CCD to include one subject from Biology, Chemistry, Maths, Physical Education, Psychology, Sports Studies or Double Award Applied Science

International Baccalaureate

International Baccalaureate (Diploma) with a minimum 25 points with 12 points at the higher level

Above to include higher or subsidiary level in Maths, English and a science subject at Grade 4 or above

Access to Higher Education (HE)

Successful completion of a validated Access route with an overall mark of 63% to include 63% in one Level 3 Science module plus NICATs Maths (25 credits) or Maths 1 & 2.

60 credit GB Access Course: Overall profile (Science/Sports related) of 15 credits at Distinction and 30 credits at Merit.


GCSE Profile to include Grade C/4 or above in English, Maths and a Science subject

Essential Skills Level 2 Numeracy/Application of Number will NOTbe accepted as an alternative to GCSE Maths

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. or Trinity ISE: Pass at level III

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Additional Entry Requirements

A satisfactory AccessNI criminal record check will be required.

Acceptable alternative qualifications include:

HNC (Science/Sport related) (120 credits): Overall Distinction with Distinctions in 75 level 4 credits.

HND (Science/Sport related) (120 credits): Overall Merit with Distinctions in 45 Level 5 credits.

Ulster Foundation Degree (Science/Sport related) with an overall average of 50% in level 5 modules.

Careers & opportunities

Career options

The course has been developed in response to industry needs and professional bodies have had considerable input into its content and delivery. The main objective would be working to bring about an increase in people’s physical activity, reduce their sedentary behaviour and thus working towards improving health status. The course will also help to develop a wide range of knowledge and transferable skills that will enable you to work as a professional in your chosen career and is particularly unique in that there are a range of modules from different disciplines (Sport, Psychology, Health, Sociology).

Career opportunities can be in a wide variety of areas, such as: eligibility for postgraduate certificate in phyiscal education teaching, health promotion officer, physical activity coordination, workplace health and fitness, exercise referral, health-based intervention design and delivery, postgraduate research, community projects and national governing body coaching. On completion of the course, it will be possible to pursue accreditation with the British Psychological Society through a post graduate conversion course in psychology. Students may also pursue a career in teaching through a Post Graduate Certificate in Education, or advance to further study within the University or elsewhere.

Work placement / study abroad

The course offers an optional one-year work placement with the opportunity to obtain a Diploma in Professional Practice.


Start dates

  • September 2022

Fees and funding

Fees (per year)

Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland and EU Settlement Status Fees


England, Scotland, Wales and the Islands Fees


International Fees


Additional mandatory costs

The AccessNI criminal record check currently costs £33.

Students are required to purchase 2 items (t-shirt and zip top) from suppliers, Under Armour. Normally around £50

If you wish to purchase the full kit the cost is around £175.

It is important to remember that costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges) and normal living will need to be covered in addition to tuition fees.

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses (in addition to tuition fees) we make every effort to highlight them above. We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals, as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free Wi-Fi are also available on each of the campuses.

There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.

Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as a part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs, as well as tuition fees.

See the tuition fees on our student guide for most up to date costs.

Apply now through Clearing for September 2022 start

Learn about sport, physical activity and health for individuals and wider society. Our course equips you to help people with varying degrees of health and fitness, and develop initiatives to increase physical activity, reduce sedentary behaviour and contribute to community wellbeing. An optional placement year offers the opportunity to gain real-world experience, enhancing your employability.

Career options

• Health Promotion
• Sports Coach
• Workplace Health and Fitness
• Exercise Planner
• Fitness Development Officer
• Community Health Officer
• Teacher (further training required) 

Contact our Admissions Team to apply now


  1. The University endeavours to deliver courses and programmes of study in accordance with the description set out in this prospectus. The University’s prospectus is produced at the earliest possible date in order to provide maximum assistance to individuals considering applying for a course of study offered by the University. The University makes every effort to ensure that the information contained in the prospectus is accurate but it is possible that some changes will occur between the date of printing and the start of the academic year to which it relates. Please note that the University’s website is the most up-to-date source of information regarding courses and facilities and we strongly recommend that you always visit the website before making any commitments.
  2. Although reasonable steps are taken to provide the programmes and services described, the University cannot guarantee the provision of any course or facility and the University may make variations to the contents or methods of delivery of courses, discontinue, merge or combine courses and introduce new courses if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Such circumstances include (but are not limited to) industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key staff, changes in legislation or government policy including changes, if any, resulting from the UK departing the European Union, withdrawal or reduction of funding or other circumstances beyond the University’s reasonable control.
  3. If the University discontinues any courses, it will use its best endeavours to provide a suitable alternative course. In addition, courses may change during the course of study and in such circumstances the University will normally undertake a consultation process prior to any such changes being introduced and seek to ensure that no student is unreasonably prejudiced as a consequence of any such change.
  4. The University does not accept responsibility (other than through the negligence of the University, its staff or agents), for the consequences of any modification or cancellation of any course, or part of a course, offered by the University but will take into consideration the effects on individual students and seek to minimise the impact of such effects where reasonably practicable.
  5. The University cannot accept any liability for disruption to its provision of educational or other services caused by circumstances beyond its control, but the University will take all reasonable steps to minimise the resultant disruption to such services.