Exercise, Health and Fitness FdSc

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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.

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This foundation degree is run at our North East-based partner colleges. You can then 'top-up' to full honours degree at the University of Sunderland. This course is offered at partner colleges: Sunderland CollegeGateshead College and Tyne Metropolitan College - a site of Tyne Coast College.

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


  • 94.2% of our graduates are in employment or further study within six months of graduating, according to DLHE 2015/16 (based on UK undergraduate students)

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.
  • Courses at Gateshead College are delivered in the state-of-the-art industry standard facilities. Its £39 million Baltic campus is next to Sage Gateshead. It offers a 200-seat performance theatre, Learning Resource Centre, music rehearsal and recording studios, and modern classrooms with integrated IT.

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

    Gateshead College
    Quarryfield Road
    Baltic Business Quarter
    NE8 3BE

    Gateshead College
  • 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
  • Please contact Tyne Metropolitan College for more information:

    Tyne Metropolitan College
    Battle Hill Drive
    NE28 9NL

    0191 229 5000



    Tyne Metropolitan College – a site of Tyne Coast College


This course is taught at three partner colleges, all with modern equipment and facilities:

Sunderland College
Gateshead College
Tyne Metropolitan College - a site of Tyne Coast College

Entry requirements

Our offer of a place will take into account any relevant employment experience. Our typical offer is 56 UCAS points gained from A Levels/BTEC qualifications or equivalent. We will also accept PPP at BTEC Extended Diploma level.

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

Applicants without formal qualifications may qualify for entry through relevant work based experience. Applicants may be asked to attend an interview and present a portfolio of evidence.

If English is not your first language, please see our English language requirements.

Fees and finance

The annual fee for this course is:

  • £8,200 if you are from the UK/EU

Please note that part-time courses are not available to international students.

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

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.

Meet our academics

Sandra Leyland

Senior Lecturer