BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science (top-up)

Want to get your sport career on track and exercise your academic muscles? If you’ve already completed a related Foundation Degree or HND, our BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science (Top-up) course offers you Honours-level skills and knowledge ready to boost your career prospects in professional sport, teaching or scientific research.

BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science (top-up)

Course details

Our BSc (Hons) in Sport and Exercise Science (Top-up) course seeks to enhance your existing Foundation Degree or HND-level knowledge and skills, and expand your opportunities in the rapidly growing sports, exercise and physical activity sector. Expertly combining theory and practice, our dedicated team will guide you as you explore how physiology, biomechanics, nutrition, psychology, performance analysis, and strength and conditioning interact to address the challenges in sporting performance and physical activity.
We will support you to develop scientific research and practical skills in our purpose-built laboratories and encourage you to work on existing and new projects in the school. Our exceptional school of academics have unparalleled experience of working in elite sport providing evidence-based support to athletes from Olympic events, Premier League football, Women’s football, and Super League Rugby League teams. Our ambition is to help you develop the understanding and applied skills required for career success in this exciting and competitive field.
There is a strong practical and vocational emphasis throughout the course, which will allow you to develop the understanding and applied skills that are relevant in a broad range of careers in the field of sport, physical activity and health. We’ll support you to develop your understanding of the three key disciplines in Sport and Exercise Science of biomechanics, physiology, and psychology, at every level. In addition you’ll explore how evidence based practice is achieved in scientific support by exploring research methods, performance analysis, sport and physical activity healthcare, and strength and conditioning.

  • Start date: 23/09/2019
  • Location: The University of Bolton
  • Award: BSc (Hons)
  • Duration: 1.5 years

Course highlights:

  • Our Sports courses are ranked 13th in the UK, and first in the North West, by the Guardian University Guide 2018. We’re also ranked in the top 10 in the UK for both Student Satisfaction and Graduate Prospects by The Complete University Guide 2018.
  • This course is endorsed by the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES), meaning it has been aligned with the professional body’s standards to ensure that our students receive a high level of education.
  • We offer a highly qualified and experienced team of multi-sports practitioners and academic staff with links to top-flight athletes and sports teams.
  • Our course team includes staff that are professionally chartered or accredited by one or more of the following organisations: BASES, The British Psychological Society (BPS), the Science Council, the Health Professions Council (HPC) and the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).
  • Your work placement will be with one of our broad network of partners. These include professional football and rugby clubs, private and public sector health and fitness providers, community sport and activity clubs, and national governing bodies.
  • You’ll be encouraged to attend our world-class guest lectures from internationally renowned sports professionals and practitioners. These enhance your learning, help you make contacts in the industry and contribute to your professional development.

Key features:

  • Our on-campus facilities are based in the £31 million Bolton One building, including fully-equipped physiology and biomechanics laboratories, strength and conditioning suite, performance analysis suite, multi-use gym, rehabilitation suite, and specialist classrooms.
  • Opportunities exist for you to gain experience in our Athlete Development Centre (ADC), where you can engage with a range of athletes on activities such as physiological, biomechanical, and psychological assessment and monitoring; strength and conditioning programme development and delivery; and nutritional, and psychological evaluation and advice.
  • We prefer to keep lecture and practical classes relatively small, so that you have plenty of opportunities to ask our friendly, supportive staff for help, as well as benefit from the ideas and support offered by your classmates. Two thirds of your contact time will be practical-based workshops, seminars, or laboratory sessions.
  • Your work placement gives you the opportunity to put what you have learned into practice, providing valuable real-world, hands-on experience.
  • You’ll have the chance to gain further applied experience within the University’s vibrant sports culture, volunteering programme and links with community sports programmes.
  • We’ll support you to develop valuable transferable skills such as communication, self-management, independent and group working, research, and critical evaluation that are highly sought after by employers.

Entry requirements

  • Start date: 23/09/2019
  • Location: The University of Bolton
  • Award: BSc (Hons)
  • Duration: 1.5 years

For direct entry to Level HE6 (Top-up), you need to have successfully completed either a Foundation Degree (FdSc) or an HND in Sport and Exercise Science, or a similar sport-related course.

You'll be required to attend an interview as part of the application process.

This course involves working unsupervised with children and/or vulnerable young people and adults and you must gain an Enhanced Disclosure certificate from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) before starting your studies. Charges are payable to cover the cost of the DBS Enhanced Disclosure application and annual registration with the online Update Service. Find out more

If English isn't your first language you'll also need IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in any band (or equivalent). Find out more

Career opportunities

A degree in sport and exercise science will provide you with an understanding of the role of scientific support in sport and physical activity, and subject specific knowledge in exercise physiology, sports psychology, performance analysis, nutrition and biomechanics.

Some of the key transferable skills that will also be developed include the ability to work independently, planning and time management, adapting to changing circumstances, good communication skills, responding to customers and their needs, applying techniques of health and safety and risk assessment, teamwork and group work skills.

Completing your Honours-level studies should prove valuable in helping you achieve your career goals.

What can I do with this qualification?

Typically graduates can expect to gain employment in sport or exercise science support, fitness assessment and consultation, commercial health, corporate fitness, exercise referral and promotion, sports development, consultancy and research. Employers recruiting sport and exercise science graduates range from professional sports clubs and governing bodies through to local authorities, schools, colleges and universities. Some specific job roles include exercise physiologist, sports administrator, fitness centre manager, sports coach, sports development officer, and sports therapist.

Some sport-related careers such as teaching require further study. If you want to become a sport and exercise psychologist a postgraduate pathway has to be followed. To get a job as a sports coach you’ll also need to gain the appropriate coaching qualifications. It’s also possible to study at Master’s or PhD level to open up research opportunities in higher education.

Alternative career options

  • Event organisation
  • Health promotion
  • Teaching and lecturing
  • Outdoor activities
  • Sport and exercise psychology
  • Brand consultancy
  • Community education
  • Diet and nutrition
  • Journalism and the media
  • Youth work
  • Police
  • Marketing
  • Agent work
  • Medicine and medical science
  • Paramedics

Professional recognition

The British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES), the professional body representing the sport and exercise sectors, endorse our traditional three-year undergraduate course. This endorsement is an assurance that the course provides opportunities to develop the knowledge, understanding and practical skills considered essential for entry into the sport and exercise profession.

Fees & funding

No fee information is currently available, please contact Student Data Management on 01204 903059 or for more information

The fees for a student’s course of study will be set for the normal duration of that course subject only to inflationary increases – measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded in March each year to take effect for subsequent start dates.

The University is currently awaiting Government guidelines as to EU fee charges for students commencing study in 2019/20.

UK undergraduate tuition fees are subject to UK government approval and are subject to the outcome of the Teaching Excellence Framework.

No hidden extras

  • Sports kit comprising Tracksuit top, Tracksuit trouser, Polo shirt, T shirt, Shorts and Hoodie. (2019-20)
  • Rain Jacket (2019-20)
  • Holdall (2019-20)
  • Backpack (2019-20)
  • For your final year project you may require consumables or other specialist items not normally provided by the university. There will be a supplementary charge for these. (2019-20)

How to apply


You may apply directly to the University using the University's online application form. Please select your chosen start date from the list below:

Before you commence the online application please read the Application Guidance Notes.

You should also ensure you have to hand:

  • Details of the educational establishments you attended and dates

  • Your certificates for the qualifications you are using to gain entry to the course – you will need to enter the completion date and upload copies

  • Details of any employment history including name, address, dates and role

  • Personal statement – this can be either input into the relevant field or uploaded separately

  • Details including e-mail addresses of two referees, at least one of which should be someone who can provide an academic reference

Please make sure any documents you wish to upload in support of your application are in pdf or jpeg format. Personal statements may be word documents.

Please ensure your data is correct at each stage of the application before you proceed to the next page. If you use the back button at any time during the application, you should check the validity of the data you have already input.

If you experience difficulties during the application process, contact the Admissions Team on 01204 903394 or


International applications are not possible for this course

As an international student you are not allowed to study this course because of the restrictions on your visa.

We offer a wide range of full-time courses in lots of different subjects, many of our courses start in September and January. If you would like to see what courses are available please visit our Course Search.

Teaching & assessment


Modules listed below are a mixture of compulsory and optional. You may not have the opportunity to study all the modules as part of the course.

  • Sport and Exercise Science Project
  • Applied Interdisciplinary Practice
  • Work Experience
  • Sport and Exercise Psychology in Professional Practice
  • Advanced Sport and Exercise Biomechanics

Teaching, learning and assessment

We use a combination of face-to-face teaching, and directed and independent study. Knowledge, skills and understanding are developed through a wide range of teaching methods including lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, and workshops. Individual tutors are free to introduce techniques that they view as especially suitable in aiding learning in their specialist area. You’ll also have access to our virtual learning environment, with online learning resources.

Personal and independent study is essential and you should expect to devote a significant amount of time to activities such as background reading, assignment work, preparation for seminars, essay writing and revision for examinations.

In terms of assessment, you can expect written or practical examinations, essays, case studies, laboratory or project reports, oral or poster presentations, statistical analyses, reflective logs, and others. These contribute to your final marks and allow you to demonstrate that you’ve met the learning outcomes for the course.

We also use other forms of assessment to help you learn, provide you with feedback and inform your development, though these don’t count towards your final marks. For instance, you might be asked to complete quizzes or undertake practical exercises. You’ll also receive feedback on assessment drafts. These will help to identify any areas which would benefit from extra attention on your part, or where you need extra support from your tutor.


The university will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver your course as described in its published material and the programme specification for the academic year in which you begin your course. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis. The content of course modules and mode of associated assessments may be updated on an annual basis. This is to ensure that all modules are up to date and responsive to employment and sector needs. The published course material and the programme specification contain indicative ‘optional modules’ that may be subject to change due to circumstances outside of our control. For this reason we cannot guarantee to run any specific optional module.

Assessment methods

Level Assessment method
Level One Coursework (58%), Practical exams (34%), Written exams (8%)

Learning activities

Level Learning activity
Level One Guided independent study (61%), Placement/study abroad (17%), Scheduled learning and teaching activities (22%)

Contact The University

Key facts

  • Course type:
  • Start date:
  • Location:
    The University of Bolton
  • Award:
    BSc (Hons)
  • Duration:
    1.5 years

Contact us

Sean Sankey
Programme Leader
Telephone: +44 (0)1204 903871

Tom Clegg
Admissions Tutor
Telephone: +44 (0)1204 903630

Allison Gallacher
Admissions Tutor
Telephone: +44 (0)1204 903603

Enquiry Team
University of Bolton
Telephone: +44 (0)1204 903903