Exercise, Health and Fitness FdSc

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Course starts: 14 September 2020Apply now

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Gain a broad-based education in the exercise sciences, plus training in the latest techniques for planning, delivering and evaluating exercise classes and interventions in this two year Exercise, Health and Fitness foundation degree, studied at a local partner college. Undertake placements at local sports organisations and schools in both years and have the option to ‘top-up’ to a full bachelors degree with a third year of study at the University of Sunderland.

Contact the partner college


This foundation degree is run at our North East-based partner college, Sunderland College. You can then 'top-up' to full honours degree at the University of Sunderland.  

Foundation degrees differ from honours degrees because they are designed with the help of employers to reflect the needs of industry and commerce.

The content of this course reflects guidelines set by PD: Approval which works to develop qualifications that enable people to be competent in a specific area of work or type of role.

Why us?

  • At the end of the course you could immediately apply for a job. Alternatively you could progress to a university course that would 'top-up' your qualification to an honours degree, with one year of additional study


  • 93.4% of our graduates are in employment, further study or training within six months of graduating, according to DLHE 2016/17 (based on full-time, first degree, home leavers)

Course structure

Foundation degrees combine academic study with work-based learning and you have the opportunity to learn in the workplace as well as the classroom.

Teaching methods include practical sessions, lectures, discussions, case studies and workshops. We also encourage you to develop independent study skills.

Assessment methods include evaluation of work experience, reports, presentations and practical tests.

Year 1 (national level 4):

Sport and Exercise in the Community (20 credits)

  • Get an introduction to the structure and function of organised sport and associated provision, particularly in the context of the United Kingdom. Embrace the full definition of sport as laid out by the Council of Europe.

Principles of Sport and Exercise Physiology (20 credits)

  • Take an introductory look at the fundamentals of human physiology with applications to acute exercise. Cover the structure and function of each of the systems in the body and the regulation of responses to exercise.

Principles of Sport and Exercise Psychology (20 credits)

  • Gain an understanding of psychology and motor behaviour within a sport and exercise setting. Demonstrate knowledge of psychological concepts and explain their relevance in health-related physical activity/exercise and performance enhancement.

Principles of Sport and Exercise Anatomy (20 credits)

  • Gain theoretical and practical knowledge of the anatomy of the human body. Identify individual structures using anatomical models, images and other media, and then compare them to real human subjects through palpation techniques.

Principles of Sport and Exercise Leadership (20 credits)

  • Cover issues that impact upon leading, coaching, instructing coaching and exercise related sessions. Investigate the roles of the coach and instructor, qualities and requirements of the effective coach and instructor and the psychological, physiological and sociological factors that influence them.

Personal and Professional Development (20 credits)

  • Develop key study and employability skills essential for academic and professional success. Increase your awareness and understanding of the processes involved in learning and professional development.


Some modules have prerequisites. Read more about what this means in our Help and Advice article.

Year 2 (national level 5):

Injuries and Rehabilitation (20 credits)

  • Look at the prevention of injury and ill health, and the mechanisms behind injury and healing, including psychological aspects. Focus on strategies to reduce the risk of injury during performance of sport and physical activity, and take an introductory look at sports massage, providing both theoretical knowledge and practical skills.

Personal Training (20 credits)

  • Learn how to collect, interpret and analyse client information using validated methods appropriate for the health and fitness industry and in-line with current Sector Skills Council guidelines. Take advantage of the opportunity to apply theoretical concepts to real-life and case study situations.

Sport, Exercise and Public Health (20 credits)

  • Explore the relationship between sport, physical activity and health in the UK. Examine policy, strategy and initiatives in these three areas over time to illustrate the political, economic, social and cultural influences on all three.

Sport and Exercise Physiology 1 (20 credits)

  • Develop your knowledge of exercise physiology and its application to training in exercise and sports. Examine both the acute and chronic effects of exercise on the cardiovascular, respiratory and musculoskeletal systems in both normal and abnormal environments.

Sport and Exercise Psychology 1 (20 credits)

  • Use the theoretical models of motivation to look at the determinants and correlates of adoption and maintenance of regular physical activity and of successful performance in sport.

Research Methods in Sport and Exercise (20 credits)

  • Study the research process and learn how to construct an investigation from an initial idea, to the point of completing and presenting the study. Learn quantitative and qualitative research design and analysis, and apply the most appropriate research.
  • The course is delivered at Sunderland College, which has specialist facilities for music, dance and drama alongside excellent IT and library resources. As a student, you will also have access to the library and resources at the University of Sunderland.

    Sunderland College is a world-class provider of education, with five campuses located across the city.

    Please contact Sunderland College for more information about facilities and location.

    Sunderland College
    Washington Campus
    Stone Cellar Road
    NE37 2NH

    Sunderland College


This course is taught at our partner college.

Entry requirements

Our typical offer is

  • GPA 3.0 or above from High School Diploma along with one of the following at the required grade - SAT I and SAT II, ACT or Advanced Placement

If your qualification is not listed above, please contact the Student Administration team at admissions@sunderland.ac.uk for further advice.

We also require three passes at GCSE grade C or above, which must include Mathematics and English Language, or an equivalent qualification, for example; a minimum of Level 2 Key Skills in Communication and Application of Number. If you have studied for a new GCSE for which you will be awarded a numerical grade then you will need to achieve a grade 4 or above.

If English is not your first language we will require an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with an overall score of 6.0 and at least 5.5 or higher in each component: reading, writing, listening and speaking. An alternative approved Secure English Language Test (SELT) can also be considered if the applicant's element scores are equivalent to those required for IELTS.

Fees and finance

The annual fee for this course is £8,750.

Please note this course is not available to international students.

If you need support or have any queries about applying for your finances for this partner college programme, or want to get in touch with our Partnership Liaison team, you can find out more in our Help and Advice article.

If you are not sure whether you qualify as a UK, EU or international student, find out more in our Help and Advice article.

If you currently serve (or have recently served) within the Armed Forces, then the Ministry of Defence's ELCAS scheme may be able to help cover your funding for this course. For more information, see our Funding for Armed Forces personnel page.

Take a look at the Your Finances section to find out about the scholarships and bursaries that may be available to you.

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This information was correct at the time of publication.

City Campus by night


 Our courses are continually updated so that they are relevant to employers' needs. This helps make sure you are ready for a new role or promotion.

Further study

There is a natural progression from this Foundation Degree to the final year of BSc (Hons) Exercise, Health and Fitness at the University of Sunderland.

If you decide to follow this route, you can gain an honours degree with just one more year of full-time study.


Career options

Potential employers include sports and exercise clubs, recreation services, local authorities, and schools and colleges.

Job roles include the following (some require further training):

  • Sports coach/instructor
  • Sports management
  • Fitness centre manager
  • PE Teacher

You will undertake placements in both years of the course. These are mainly provided through regional sports organisations and schools. They are good opportunities to make connections with potential employers and build up your CV.

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