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All major athletes and teams need a sports scientist. Our full-time degree is endorsed by the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES), and will prepare you for a career in this fast-moving field. Study in specialist labs in Cambridge, take an optional placement year, and learn to apply the four key disciplines of sport and exercise science: physiology, psychology, biomechanics and nutrition.
The field of Sport and Exercise Science applies to all levels of exercise – from the general population to elite performance. It uses scientific principles and techniques to help educate and improve the quality of health and wellbeing of individuals, and enhance the performance of athletes and teams across an array of sports at national and international level.
Our course gives you the skills you need to work at the top level. You’ll explore the nature of human performance from health through to athletic excellence; how the human machine operates when engaged in sport and exercise, and how to interpret and evaluate its responses.
You’ll learn to work safely and ethically as a sport and exercise scientist within our BASES accredited laboratories housed in the Cambridge Centre for Sports and Exercise Science. You’ll develop key employability skills in both an applied and research setting, as well as gain effective practical skills that are in demand from top level clubs,sporting organisations and in clinical practice.
In your final year you’ll have a unique opportunity to choose between a final year research project or to work and complete a project in industry and deliver on an organisation’s strategic priority, as a result potentially creating a service/product that helps them fulfil their needs.
You’ll get involved in a wide range of activities on this course, anything from strength and conditioning training through to testing VO2max to understand the limits of both athletic performance and human capability.
By studying at ARU, you’ll benefit from highly-experienced lecturers, including practising sport therapists, coaches, conditioning specialists, sports analysts, psychologists, nutritionists, and world-leading researchers. Our team currently includes a Paralympian World Record holder, a Scottish Women’s Rugby player and a Judo champion. We also host visiting guest speakers as part of our Excellence in Sport seminar series, which has had an array of speakers including Olympians, world record holders, elite coaches, an International Cricketer and Commonwealth gold medallist!
Our BASES accredited sport and exercise science laboratories will help you put what you’ve learnt into practice. They contain cutting-edge, industry-standard equipment – including a 3D motion capture suite, high speed treadmills, metabolic carts for the assessment of cardiorespiratory responses, force plates, hydrostatic weighing tank for assessing body composition, full haematology suites, an array of cycle and rowing ergometers, GPS systems for field work and eye-tracking glasses. You’ll also have access at any time to an array of sport and exercise science software packages.
In addition to all of this, we offer optional training opportunities where you will have the opportunity towork as a strength and conditioning coach in a high performance sporting environment, be part of the exercise testing consultancy team and you’ll have the opportunity to join a number of sports clubs and societies as part of Sport & Active Anglia. Additionally financial support is available for promising high-performance athletes. Check out our scholarships and bursaries that we offer to promising athletes.
To top it all off, the Cambridge Centre for Sports and Exercise Sciences offer a range of activities (i.e. research seminars, consultancy, coach network groups) including an Excellence in Sports seminar series, where you’ll get to listen and learn from world leading guest speakers from the world of sport.
We work with employers to make sure you graduate with the knowledge, skills and abilities they need. They help us review what we teach and how we teach it – and they offer hands-on, practical opportunities to learn through work-based projects, internships or placements.
During the course, you’ll be encouraged to improve your employment prospects by making connections with industry. For example, you should consider becoming a student member of the British Association of Sport & Exercise Sciences (BASES) or the European College of Sports Sciences (ECSS). You can then attend, and even present at, their student conferences. We also have links with a wide range of sporting organisations, including:
- Living Sport (Cambridge and Peterborough Sports Development)
- British Paralympic Association
- British Cycling
- British Judo Association
- European College of Sports Medicine
- American College of Sports Medicine
- England & Wales Cricket Board.
Sports science graduates are increasingly in demand around the world. There are wide-ranging employment opportunities for introducing people to sport and exercise, to developing them as participants, and even helping take them to the top. As a sports scientist, you could work:
- as an athlete-support scientist (with teams and national sports associations)
- as an exercise consultant
- as a performance analyst
- in the health and fitness industry
- as a clinical physiologist
- in applied health and physical activity.
You could also continue your studies, perhaps by doing a PGCE, which would allow you to teach. You might go on to train as a physiotherapist, exercise physiologist, clinical exercise consultant or healthcare scientist in the NHS. Postgraduate degrees in sports science, including our MSc Sport and Exercise Science, are also more and more popular as a route into doing PhD research.
We have strong research and collaboration links with the Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge; Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences, University Paris-Saclay; and The Department of Sports Science University of Minas Gerais, Brazil.
Modules & Assessment
Year one, core modules
Anatomy and Physiology
Pedagogical Principles in Sport
Applied Sport Pedagogy
Exercise Physiology and Nutrition
Research Methods for Sport and Exercise
Sport and Exercise Psychology
Organisation and Structure of Sport
Introduction to Human Movement
Year two, core modules
Applied Research Skills
Practical Competencies in Biomechanics
Physiological Profiling for Endurance
Psychological Profiling for Sport
Applied Research and Employability
Year two, optional modules
Nutrition for Health and Exercise
Perceptual Motor Skills
Strength and Conditioning
Biomechanics: Analysis of Motion
Physiological Profiling for Strength and Power
Year three, core modules
Physiological Responses to Training
Physiological Basis of Training
Research Project (Dissertation) or Advanced Work Placement
Year three, optional modules
Applied Sports Psychology
Advanced Strength and Conditioning
Performance and Exercise Nutrition
Theoretical Aspects of Biomechanics
Contemporary Issues in Sport, Exercise and Performance Physiology
Throughout the course, we’ll use a range of assessment methods to help you measure your progress. These include presentations, practical skills tests, scientific reports, case study critiques, online assessments and a research project.
We’ll also encourage you to reflect on your work, and participate in peer assessment.
Where you’ll study
The Faculty of Science & Engineering is one of the largest of the four faculties at Anglia Ruskin University. Whether you choose to study with us full-time or part-time, on campus or at a distance, there’s an option whatever your level – from a foundation degree, BSc, MSc, PhD or professional doctorate.
Whichever course you pick, you’ll gain the theory and practical skills needed to progress with confidence. Join us and you could find yourself learning in the very latest laboratories or on field trips or work placements with well-known and respected companies. You may even have the opportunity to study abroad.
Everything we do in the faculty has a singular purpose: to provide a world-class environment to create, share and advance knowledge in science, technology and engineering fields. This is key to all of our futures.