Sport and Exercise

Abertay's Sport and Exercise degree lets you study a diverse range of topics – from sport psychology and coaching, to community development and service provision.

Course detail

Start Date



4 years (full-time)

Award Title

BSc (Hons)



Why study Abertay's BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise?

Dive in to a rich pool of diverse sport and exercise topics – from scientific support, coaching and service provision to duty of care and community development, this programme has been designed to reflect an ever-evolving employment market.  

Gain a deeper understanding of the sciences that underpin sport, and discover how the body responds to sport by exploring topics including physiology, psychology and biomechanics, as well as social policy and sport development. 

You can choose from a range of study programmes that address the physiology and psychology of performance, the science of training practices, the development and social impact of sport and exercise (for example, on health and wellbeing), and the evaluation and analysis of sports performance.

You’ll be given access to our Human Performance Laboratory, Strength and Conditioning Suite and Motion Tracking Laboratory. This means you will be able to use equipment such as the environmental chamber, gas analysis, force platform and 2-D cameras.

This degree provides you with topical information, an ability to translate theory to practice, and the opportunity to gain relevant employment experience within the industry, while still providing you with the flexibility to follow your own interests. 

This course regularly scores over 90% for Overall Student Satisfaction in the National Student Survey, and rated an impressive 96% in 2020. In addition, Abertay ranked in the 2020 top three Scottish Universities for Student SatisfactionAnd in the Guardian Good University Guide for 2021, Abertay ranked 3rd in the UK for student satisfaction with teaching, and 8th in the UK for overall student satisfaction.

Virtual Open Day October 31 2020

We aim to immerse you in student life here at Abertay and give you a true feel for our courses and our amazing academic community.

Open Days are busy, fun and full-on. And Virtual Open Days online are new to all of us, so we will make sure you know what to expect, and how you can prepare for the event.

It's a day full of talks and videos about student life. Find out all about Abertay at our virtual Open Day on 31 October 2020.



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Entry Requirements

Please note: All applicants must have a pass Maths - National 5 grade C or GCSE grade C/4.  National 5 Lifeskill Maths not accepted in lieu of Maths.

Please visit our Entry from College pages for suitable College courses.

Qualification Type Grade Requirements Essential Subjects
Higher (standard entry) ABBB To include at least one of the following: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, PE‌ and Maths
Higher (minimum entry) We may make you an offer at the minimum entry grades if you meet the criteria. Find out if you're eligible for minimum entry (see below). BBC To include Biology or Chemistry or Physics or PE or Maths at B
A-Level BCC To include at least one of the following: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, PE‌ and Maths
Irish Highers H2H3H3H3 To include at least one of the following: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, PE‌ and Maths
International Baccalaureate 29 Points To include at least one of the following: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, PE‌ and Maths
BTEC Extended Diploma DMM Sport, Sport and Exercise Sciences
AHEAD Successful completion of the relevant stream of our AHEAD programme
SWAP Access ABB Access to: Life Sciences, Health & Life Sciences, Sciences, Biological Sciences, Biological & Biomedical Sciences, University Study (to include all 4 Human Biology units)
Qualification Type Grade Requirements Essential Subjects
Advanced Higher ABB To include PE and Biology or Chemistry or Physics
A-Level ABB To include PE and Biology or Chemistry or Physics
BTEC Extended Diploma D*DD Sport or Sport & Exercise Sciences
HNC/HND Our Entry from College pages list approved HNC/HND courses
Qualification Grade Requirements Essential Subjects
HND Our Entry from College pages list approved HND courses

Not sure if you're eligible for entry?

If you have the potential and motivation to study at university, regardless of your background or personal circumstances, we welcome your application.

We understand some people have faced extra challenges before applying to university, which is why we consider the background in which your academic grades have been achieved when making an offer.

If you expect to receive passes in three Scottish Highers (grades A-C) and have either ...

  • been in care
  • participated in a targeted aspiration-raising programme such as LIFT OFF, LEAPS, FOCUS West, or Aspire North
  • no family background of going to university
  • attended a school or lived in an area where not many people go to university

... we encourage you to submit an application.

Your Journey Starts Here

In the first two years, you’ll follow a core curriculum that provides a basis for more specialised study in the final two years. 

At the end of the second year of study, you’ll choose a route leading to BSc (Hons) in one of the following specific named awards:

  • BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science
  • BSc (Hons) Physical Activity and Health
  • BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise
  • BSc (Hons) Sports Development and Coaching
  • BSc (Hons) Strength and Conditioning

Practical activities and work placements will enable you to contextualise theory to real life applications – including volunteering with the Active Schools programme – and work towards National Governing Body, or industry qualifications.

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Information for International Applicants

Please provide certified proof of your English language level. Our accredited International English Foundation Course can help. To further enhance your academic English, Intensive English for Academic Purposes can help you achieve your potential.

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Entry Requirements by Country

Discover whether you're eligible for entry and learn more about the country-specific qualifications you need to study at Abertay.

Find out more

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English Language Requirements

Explore English language requirements for entry to Abertay University.

Find out more

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English Language Courses

Discover the range of English language courses on offer at Abertay University.

Find out more

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Visa Information

Learn more about visa requirements for studying at Abertay University.

Find out more

About Your Modules

The module information shown here describes the modules our students are taking this year. The modules do change over time to keep our programmes up-to-date and relevant. This means the exact modules you take could be different. If you receive an offer to study with us, you will receive a Programme Information document that sets out exactly which modules you can expect to take as part of your Abertay University degree programme.

Please note: As well as Key Modules outlined below, you may also be required to choose Elective Modules. 

Key Modules (2019/2020)

Social Science for Sport & Exercise (SPS101)

An introduction to social issues in sport and exercise contexts. Module Content: Recognising and defining the disciplines within social science; Discrimination in sport; Sport Political Ideology; Ethics and sport; Qualitative methodologies.

Introduction to Anatomy and Biomechanics for Sport and Exercise (SPS103)

Skeletal and muscular anatomy and fundamentals of biomechanics applied within a physical activity and health perspective. Module content: Anatomy; Kinesiology; Kinematics; Kinetics; Analysis of human movement.

Introduction to Physiology for Sport Exercise (SPS102)

Introduction to physiology. Module content: Basic cellular physiology and Intercellular communication; Cardiorespiratory system; Neuromuscular system; Bioenergetics and metabolism.

Psychology of Exercise and Health (SPS104)

Introduction to the determinants and consequences of physical activity as well as interventions to increase participation and decrease sedentary behaviours. Module Content: Psychological determinants of exercise; Psychological outcomes of exercise; Models of health behaviour; Physical activity promotion.

Psychology for Sport and Exercise (SPS201)

The core concepts of sport and exercise psychology and how these apply to real world environments. Module Content: Identifying psychological issues in sport and exercise; Fundamentals of sport and exercise psychology; Individual factors; Group processes; An introduction to psychological skills.

Key Concepts in Sport and Exercise Physiology (SPS203)

The core concepts of sport and exercise physiology including energy metabolism, the endocrine system, cardiovascular physiology and respiratory physiology. Module content: Fundamentals of bioenergetics; Regulation of energy systems; Cardiovascular and respiratory system in sport and exercise; Fatigue; Physiological Testing.

Placement and Skill Development when Working with Children in a Physical Activity Context (SPS207)

The opportunity to lead, develop and/or support the delivery of physical activity sessions to school pupils in Dundee. Engage with a range of employers from the Sport and Fitness industry to gain insight into the requirements of particular roles. These experiences enable the development of a career plan for future employment. Module Content: Planning and delivering activity sessions; Personal Development Planning (PDP); Reflective practice; Articulating skill development.

Key Concepts in Biomechanics for Sport and Exercise (SPS202)

Biomechanical concepts applied within a sport health and performance perspective. Learn to analyse movement using various biomechanical laboratory techniques including those relating to movement analysis, reaction forces and the application of Newton's Laws. Module content: Biomechanical concepts in sport and exercise; Specialist equipment use (injury); Specialist equipment use (performance).

Social Science of Physical Activity and Health (SPS204)

Key social issues in physical activity and health contexts. Module Content: Interdisciplinary nature of social sciences; Critically engage with the notion of ‘healthy’ lifestyles; Research topics within the social sciences; Political Ideology and Social Inequalities; Qualitative methodologies.

Research Methods (SPS312)

Develop ideas about research in sport, exercise, physical activity and health, to better understand and appreciate published research and carry out a research project in your final year of study. Module content: The research process; Formulating and refining research questions; Research methodologies; Ethical issues; Practical skill development.

Sport Research Project (SPS400)

Undertake an independent research project in a subject area that reflects your award title. Module content: Research project topics - Students select their research project topics with staff. Each student is allocated a supervisory tutor within the Division; Supervisory sessions - Supervisory sessions will cover the identification of a research question; necessary elements of research design; the approach needed to prepare for and complete the research project; a range of appropriate research methods; appropriate statistical analyses; the structure of the research report; the interpretation of the research results; possible or probable conclusions; and the writing of the report.

How the Course Works


Learning and Assessment

The degree combines lectures, small group work, and practical activities. You also undertake work placements to reinforce the link between theory and practice.

You’ll be encouraged to evaluate information and challenge commonly held ideas about sport and exercise, as well as being invited to research your own areas of interest and expertise.

Assessment uses a combination of examination and coursework to help you develop a variety of intellectual and practical skills, such as being able to put forward a position based on evidence, or being able to discuss and promote ideas within a group.

Programme Fees

Scottish & EU students


Fees shown are payable annually and may be subject to increase each year. Fees are normally funded through the Student Award Agency for eligible students.

Please see our Undergraduate Fees and Funding page for further details. 

Additional Costs

Sport students have to cover the cost of the PVG scheme in order to be able to work with children and vulnerable adults (cost £59 for a new application, £19 for renewal). You'll also have to purchase Abertay branded sports kit for use in practical sessions and placements. The cost of the basic kit is £84.

English, Welsh & Northern Irish Students


Fees shown are payable annually and may be subject to increase each year.

Please see our Undergraduate Fees and Funding page for further details. 

Additional Costs

Sport students have to cover the cost of the PVG scheme in order to be able to work with children and vulnerable adults (cost £59 for a new application, £19 for renewal). You'll also have to purchase Abertay branded sports kit for use in practical sessions and placements. The cost of the basic kit is £84.

International Students


Fees shown are payable annually and may be subject to increase each year.

Please see our Undergraduate Fees and Funding page for further details. . 

Additional Costs

Sport students have to cover the cost of the PVG scheme in order to be able to work with children and vulnerable adults (cost £59 for a new application, £19 for renewal). You'll also have to purchase Abertay branded sports kit for use in practical sessions and placements. The cost of the basic kit is £84.



We offer a range of scholarships to help support your studies with us.

As well as Abertay scholarships for English, Welsh, Northern Irish and international students, there are a range of corporate and philanthropic scholarships available. Some are course specific, many are not. There are some listed below or you can visit the Undergraduate scholarship pages.

Abertay rUK Scholarship

This is a £9,200 award for prospective undergraduate students applying from England, Wales or Northern Ireland.

Abertay International Scholarship

This is an award of up to £12,000 for prospective international undergraduate students.

The Robert Reid Bursary

Two £1,000 awards for students who have overcome challenges to attend university.


Graduates are typically well placed to work as sports development officers, high-performance coaches, scientific support specialists, outdoor instructors, fitness consultants, lifestyle managers, health promotion specialists, teachers, lecturers, physical activity leaders, or researchers.

The broad range of studies in Years 1 and 2 will give you a solid foundation, providing flexibility for your future career, while the emphasis on employability will allow you to experience the industry and meet key individuals in order to make your mark before even finishing your studies.

Two males watching a football match

Industry Links

You’ll have the opportunity to develop links with various sports industries and work towards achieving awards through this. Work placements that are embedded in the curriculum are an integral part of this process.

Abertay staff have strong research links and many are members of professional societies. There are good links between Division of Sport and Exercise Science staff and industry, and many staff are also current practitioners.

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Unistats collates comparable information in areas students have identified as important in making decisions about what and where to study. The core information it contains is called the Unistats dataset (formerly the Key Information Set (KIS)).

Get inspired

Meet some of our Sports graduates and find out what they've gone on to do.

Fraser Murray next to the green and yellow Biella Rugby Club logo wearing a team shirt

Fraser Murray

Fraser is Head of Strength and Conditioning for the First Team of Biella Rugby Club in Italy.

Find out more

A photo of Paul Brand in Manchester United kit holding a trophy

Paul Brand

Paul landed his dream job as Head of First Team Analysis at Manchester United.

Find out more

A picture of Debbi McCullock in her Spartans coaching outfit.

Debbi McCulloch

Debbi rose up from groundsman to Business and Operations Manager at Spartans Academy.

Find out more

Related Courses

Check out the related courses below - there's a degree for everyone at Abertay.

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Sports Development and Coaching

Sports development and coaching requires well qualified graduates who truly understand the challenges and ever evolving nature of the field.

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Sport and Exercise Science

The demand for highly qualified sport and exercise scientists is high. This degree offers you the opportunity to achieve the relevant expertise.

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Physical Activity and Health

Benefit from first-rate academic support and turn your passion for sports and science into a degree.

Find out more

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