Bachelor of Science with Honours
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences
School of Sport
The UCAS code for Ulster University is U20
Interested in becoming a sport and exercise nutritionist?
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.
The aim of this programme is to provide suitable academic training relating to the foundation of biosciences for the study of sport and exercise nutrition (SEN). Work based learning will be a major focus of the programme highlighting the wealth of professional roles within sport and exercise nutrition practice.
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Diet and nutrition significantly affect sport performance. The food and fluid which an athlete consumes before, during, and after training and competition affects health, body mass and body composition, as well as performance in, and, recovery from, the effects of exercise. As such, an optimum diet can help to maximise sport performance.
An increased level of participation in physical activity, exercise and sport also helps to improve the health and well-being of our sedentary general population. Increased physical activity can help to reduce obesity, the risk of heart disease, some cancers, and osteoporosis, and can play a role in promoting mental health. Sound knowledge and practical application of sport and exercise nutrition can ensure a healthy balance between exercise and diet of individuals and groups of individuals at all levels of fitness.
The aim of this programme is to provide suitable academic training relating to the foundation of biosciences for the study of sport and exercise nutrition (SEN). This course will provide knowledge relating to the biosciences of sport and exercise nutrition, critical awareness and transferable skills for job opportunities in the wider nutrition and sports industry. It will also equip those with aspirations to work in the area of sports nutrition with the knowledge required before pursuing a one year Masters of Science postgraduate course (at Ulster) or other institution before securing practitioner registration to practice as a registered sport and exercise nutritionist.
In the first year of the programme students will complete the following modules:
In the second year of the programme, students will complete the following modules:
The third year will be an optional placement in sport/sport and exercise nutrition setting (25-week minimum).
**students not taking the placement year, can progress into their final year**
In the final year of the programme, students will complete the following modules:
Diploma in Professional Practice DPP
Diploma in International Academic Studies DIAS
Full time attendance for 3 academic years (semesters one and two)
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 close to the start date and may be subject to some change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. A course handbook and other course related material is made available on the course support area to guide you through your studies.
Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be a combination of examination and coursework but may also be only one of these methods. For this course, the assessment will be a combination of coursework and examinations. 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: video cooking demonstration, essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, discussion board or portfolio.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 4 learning outcomes, and no more than 2 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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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This module is designed to introduce students to the fundamental biochemical pathways, an understanding of which are necessary for the further study of life and health sciences. The structure, function and metabolism of biological macromolecules and the regulation of the pathways involved in their metabolism are discussed in detail
This module introduces general descriptive, physical, organic and inorganic chemistry and the principles underlying chemical properties and reactions of simple organic and inorganic compounds with applications to pharmacology.
This module will assist first-year students to prepare for success in their university studies and success in the planning of their future careers.
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.
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.
This module will introduce basic concepts of sport and exercise nutrition which underpin the study of sport and exercise nutrition.
The module provides an integrated overview of food science and technology including principles of food processing, structure and chemistry of food components, elements of food microbiology and food safety hazards. Students are introduced to some commercial constraints relevant to the large-scale production of food that is affordable, palatable and safe.
This module is designed to promote an understanding of the fundamentals of nutritional assessment through directed learning on anthropometry, body composition and dietary assessment methodologies. Students will gain practical skills in the measurement and collection of anthropometry and dietary intake data.
This module discusses the changing nature of nutritional requirements and determinants of food selection through the human life cycle.
This module considers the acute and chronic responses and adaptations of exercise on the physiological systems. The effects of nutrition on sport and exercise performance will also be discussed. Practical experience of the use of contemporary sport and exercise physiological techniques is also provided. The knowledge and skills obtained from this module will be pertinent for related sport, exercise and health modules chosen in final year.
This module will explore the range of professional practice in performance nutrition, how to work safely with athletes with the overarching aim of assisting in preparing students for their professional placement.
This module explores key scientific principles in exercise physiology and sports nutrition permitting students to develop a detailed understanding of the appropriate practical skills and procedures required for the integrated assessment of physiological function and nutritional needs of clients in field/ laboratory settings.
Students face a variety of challenges in a complex higher education environment combined with an increasingly competitive global graduate labour market with ever-evolving technologically centric selection and recruitment methods. It is important therefore that students are aware of the people, resources, platforms, systems and the processes available to assist them to understand, review and evaluate their Career Action Planning development and their ability to successfully articulate their attributes, skills and experiences, as they progress through university and along their employability journey.
This module gives an integrated overview of nutrition and food research (which includes sports nutrition) as the basis for advancing knowledge to inform practice in dietetics, the production and promotion of foods for commerce and health, and future research. The value of the scientific literature, and the rationale and inherent limitations of research are explained. Quantitative research methodology and a selected range of experimental approaches are described and critically evaluated. The module includes practical sessions, seminars, tutorials, a literature review, and a presentation.
This module provides experience of the research process and involves the final planning, organisation, conduct, critical analysis and reporting of a substantial, independent, original, research study undertaken in the field of Food & Nutrition, Human Nutrition, Sports Nutrition and Dietetics under the supervision of a member of academic or academic related staff.
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 human body during conditions of exercise stress.
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.
This module considers the relationship between nutrition, physical activity, health and disease. The module provides the student with the opportunity to further develop an understanding of the human body and how good nutritional practices can be effective for good health and disease prevention.
This module considers the links between theory and practice of modifying dietary intake for training and competition to aid athletic performance.
This module is optional
This module provides undergraduate students with an opportunity to gain structured and
professional work experience in a sport and exercise nutrition work-based learning environment, as part of their planned programme of study. This experience allows students to develop, refine and reflect on their key personal and professional skills. The placement should significantly support the development of the student's employability skills, preparation for final year and enhance their employability journey.
This module is optional
This module provides an opportunity to undertake an extended period of study outside the UK and Republic of Ireland. Students will develop an enhanced understanding of the academic discipline whilst generating educational and cultural networks.
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.
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The A Level requirement for this course is:
Grades BCC including at least 1 subject from Sport Science, Nutrition and Food Science, Biology, Chemistry, Maths, Applied Science, Physics or Environmental Technology. PE or Single Award Life & Health Sciences considered acceptable where accompanied by AS level in Chemistry, Physics, Maths or Biology (Grade C or above).
Applied Science Double Award and Life & Health Science Double Award are also acceptable.
Provided the above subject requirement is met you can substitute a combination of alternative qualifications recognised by the University for one of the A level grades.
Only science-based BTECs are accepted - check with Admissions Office Coleraine
QCF Pearson BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma/ OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Extended Diploma(2012 Suite)
Award profile of DMM
RQF Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma/ OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Extended Diploma(2016 Suite)
Award profile of MMM (acceptable optional units 8 - 14, 17 - 22)
QCF Pearson BTEC Level 3 Diploma / OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Diploma (2012 Suite)
Award profile of DM plus A Level Grade C
RQF Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma/ OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 (2016 Suite)
Award profile of MM (acceptable optional units 8 - 14, 17 - 22) plus A Level Grade C
QCF Pearson BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma / OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Introductory Diploma (2012 Suite)
Award profile of M plus A Level Grades CC including at least 1 subject from Sport, Biology, Chemistry, Maths, Applied Science, Physics, Nutrition and Food Science or Environmental Technology.
RQF Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate/ OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Extended Certificate(2016 Suite)
Award profile of M (acceptable optional units 8 - 14) plus A Level Grades CC.and also to include AS Level Chemistry, Physics, Maths or Biology at Grade C or above.
Overall Irish Leaving Certificate profile:
Grades H3, H4, H4, H4, H4 to include 1 subject from Physical Education, Chemistry, Maths, Physics, Biology or Home Economics.
English and Maths grade H6 or above (Higher Level) or Grade O4 or above (Ordinary Level) if not sitting at Higher Level are also required.
The Scottish Highers requirement for this course is grades CCCCC including at least 1 subject at grade C from Sport, Biology, Chemistry, Maths, Applied Science, Physics, Home Economics.
English & Maths required at Standard Grade 1, 2 or 3.
The Scottish Advanced Highers requirement for this course is grades DDD including at least 1 subject from Sport, Biology, Chemistry, Maths, Applied Science, Physics, Home Economics.
English & Maths required at Standard Grade 1, 2 or 3.
Overall International Baccalaureate profile minimum 24 points to include 12 points at higher level to include at least 5 points in one of the following subjects: Sport, Chemistry, Maths, Physics, Biology, Home Economics.
Higher or Subsidiary level in English Language and Maths required at Grade 4 or above.
Overall Access profile:
Pass Access course (120 credits) with overall mark of at least 60% including 60% in each level 3 module.
Pass GB Access programme with 45 credits at Merit
Only science-based programmes are accepted.
You must satisfy the General Entrance Requirements for admission to a first degree course and hold a GCSE pass in English Language at Grade C/grade 4 or above (or equivalent). Also you must hold a GCSE pass in Mathematics at grade C or above (or equivalent) and either Double Award Science (grade CC) or Chemistry (grade C) or above.
Please note that for purposes of entry to this course the Level 2 Essential / Key Skill in Application of Number is NOT regarded as an acceptable alternative to GCSE Maths.
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. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.
Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.
Acceptable alternative qualifications include:
Pass HND with overall Merit to include 15 distinctions in level 5 credits/units may be specified.
Pass HNC with overall Merit to include 45 distinctions in level 4 credits/units may be specified.
You may also meet the course entry requirements with combinations of different qualifications to the same standard as recognised by the University (provided subject requirements as noted above are met). Examples of acceptable combinations include:
2 A Levels and BTEC Subsidiary Diploma
OCR National Diploma and BTEC Subsidiary Diploma
2 A Levels and Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma
A Level and BTEC National Diploma
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With this degree you could become:
Increasingly recognised as a vital part of public and individual health, sports nutrition graduates use their skills to help people and communities make the right dietary choices. Whilst this programme is not envisaged as a vocational course, the specialist knowledge and graduate level skills that it provides will enhance opportunities for attaining employment in a variety of areas. Graduates can pursue careers in the following contexts: educational welfare, local government, educational and community development, social/educational research, medical sales; further and higher education, nutrition, as well as training roles in business-contexts, in health services and in physical activity and health. Typically, graduates will find themselves in roles where they use their graduate skills to create learning/training content and supporting materials, to teach/advise a variety of population sectors e.g. young people, athletes and gym users using a variety of traditional and online tools. As aforementioned, there is also opportunity to follow the undergraduate programme with further study of SEN at Ulster by completing the PgD/MSc SEN (accredited programme) to become a registered sport and exercise nutritionist.
The third year will be an optionalplacement in sport/sport and exercise nutrition setting (25-week minimum).
**students not taking the placement year, can progress into their final year**
Fees for entry in 2023/24 have not yet been set. See our tuition fees page for the current fees for 2022/23 entry.
Students will need access to Nutritics software for nutritional analysis (estimated cost £20).
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.
Dr Andrea McNeilly
Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Nutrition