Nutrition, Exercise and Health BSc (Hons)

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Course starts: 16 September 2019Apply now

If you are applying for this course from within the UK/EU, click apply now.

Course starts: 16 September 2019Apply now

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Explore your passion for nutrition, health and fitness and turn it into a career. Master graduate-level skills in developing, delivering and analysing diet and exercise programmes that are related to disease management and general health improvement.

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This course has been specifically mapped to the National Occupational Standards or Professional Standards for practice as a qualified exercise professional in response to the growing number of job opportunities in the health and fitness industry such as exercise on referral schemes. The nutrition strand is mapped to the five core competency requirements for registration as an Associate Nutritionist (ANutr) with the Association for Nutrition (AfN). In addition, the knowledge and skills obtained through successful completion of the course are readily transferable to the wider sport, leisure and health and wellbeing industry.

In your first year, you will develop core knowledge in human nutrition, sport and exercise psychology, anatomy and physiology and gym instruction. In your second year, you will extend your skills in these areas to include Nutrition in Health and Disease and also Personal Training and Injuries and Rehabilitation. In your final year, you will acquire advanced expertise in areas such as Exercise and Diet Behaviour Change, Strength, Conditioning and Prehabilitation, Sport and Exercise Nutrition and Exercise for Special Populations.

Why us?

  • 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)
  • We have links with health and fitness providers as well as sports clubs and organisations such as Sunderland City Council, City Hospitals Sunderland Foundation NHS Trust, Wearfit, The Performance Clinic, Sunderland Foundation of Light, Sunderland AFC, Durham CC and many local schools. Additionally, a number of our teaching staff work with high level athletes offering sport and exercise science support including advice regarding nutrition, health and wellbeing and fitness training
  • Gain theoretical knowledge and practical skills to enable you to work in the exercise and fitness industry as well as the health sector
  • Gain industry-led vocational qualifications alongside your degree
  • Option to apply to the Elite Athlete Bursary Scheme
  • Our Sports and Exercise courses were ranked 3rd overall in the UK in the 2018 UK Engagement Survey
  • Our Sports and Exercise courses were ranked 3rd in the UK for Assessment and Feedback, 3rd in the UK for Retention and Progression, and 3rd in the UK for Employability in the 2018 UK Engagement Survey

Course structure

Our teaching methods are designed to develop not only your academic knowledge but also graduate-level skills that enhance employability. Methods include small group work, practical activities, workshops, lectures, tutorials, computer-based and problem-based learning, presentations and independent learning.

Assessment methods include essays, reports, practical work and presentations. As well as assessments that count towards your degree, there are also on-going assessments for feedback and consolidating your learning.

The content of the course prepares you for registration as an exercise professional with qualifications endorsed by PD: Approval in Instructing Exercise and Fitness (Gym level 2),  Personal Trainer and Exercise Referral. You will also be prepared to apply for registration as an Associate Nutritionist (ANutr) with the Association for Nutrition (AfN) via the portfolio route. Please note that recognition as ANutr requires you to apply directly to the AfN, pay a fee and is independently assessed by the AfN.

Year 1 (national level 4):

  • Academic and Professional Skills (20 credits)
  • Introduction to Sport and Exercise Anatomy (20 credits)
  • Introduction to Sport and Exercise Psychology (20 credits)
  • Introduction to Sport and Exercise Physiology (20 credits)
  • Introduction to Human Nutrition (20 credits)
  • Instructing Health and Fitness (20 credits)


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

Year 2 (national level 5):

  • Research Design and Analysis (20 credits)
  • Motivating Physical Activity (20 credits)
  • Physiology of Fitness and Training (20 credits)
  • Nutrition Health and Disease (20 credits)
  • Injuries and Rehabilitation (20 credits)
  • Exercise Testing and Prescription (20 credits)

Final year (national level 6):

  • Dissertation(20 credits)
  • Sport and Exercise Physiology (20 credits)
  • Sport and Exercise Nutrition (20 credits)
  • Strength, Conditioning and Prehabilitation (20 credits)
  • Exercise and Diet Behaviour Change (20 credits)
  • Exercise for Special Populations (20 credits)
  • Our Biomechanics lab contains equipment that measures motion, muscle activity and forces on the body during high intensity sports and the activities of daily living.

    Facilities include:

    • 3D motion capture systems including Vicon® systems and Xsens® motion capture suits
    • Software such as Dartfish®, Kinovea® and LongoMatch® software to capture live action images for match tagging and coaching feedback
    • Movement tracking tools such as Actigraph® and Catapult®
    • Delsys® Trigno electromyography equipment to see how the muscles of the body are working
    • Kistler® force platforms and Batak® reaction walls to analyse sporting performance
    • Novel® Pedar systems to analyse foot pressure
    Biomechanics equipment
  • Facilities for monitoring and testing exercise physiology and psychology include:

    • Polar® Team2 heart rate monitoring system for assessing the heart rates of a full squad of team players in real time
    • Cortex® gas analysers to evaluate cardiovascular performance
    • Biochemical analysers from Randox®, Jenway® and Gonotec® to measure substances and enzymes within the body
    • Tendo®, Myotest® and Globus® equipment to profile your strength and power and develop specific training programmes
    • Fusion Sport® SMARTSPEED light gates for assessing speed, agility and reaction times
    • Assess and enhance cognitive performance using our Neurotracker® 3D multiple object tracking equipment
    Exercise physiology and psychology
  • In our lab you'll find fitness and conditioning equipment that would be the envy of most modern gyms. From a wide range of cardiovascular equipment to machine and Olympic weights, you will receive hands-on teaching in a professional environment.

    Fitness and Conditioning Suite
  • Anatomy is taught by experienced staff in a specialist clinical lab using skeletons, anatomical models, 3D software, online material and human subjects. You will learn techniques for sports injury rehabilitation, including the use of sports massage and ultrasound equipment.

    You will also examine balance and stability using our Biodex® stability and balance trainer and assess strength imbalances using our sophisticated Biodex® dynamometer and new BTE Primus® rehabilitation equipment. You can investigate how new techniques such as thermal imaging are being used in injury assessment with Flir® IR cameras.

    Sports medicine and anatomy
  • Map and directions


Sunderland's outstanding facilities include laboratories with the latest fitness equipment and technology.

Entry requirements

Our typical offer is 112 UCAS points from a minimum of two A Levels or equivalent (e.g. 1 x AVCE double award).

Find out how many points your qualifications are worth using the UCAS Tariff calculator.

We also require three 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.

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

Fees and finance

The annual fee for this course is:

  • £9,250 if you are from the UK or EU
  • £11,500 if you are from outside the EU

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


Potential employers for graduates of this course include sports and leisure companies, recreation services, local authorities, health bodies including the NHS, and schools and colleges.

PD: Approval qualifications

Sport and Exercise Sciences now has accreditation from PD: Approval, the national endorsement body for Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs), to award vocational qualifications (related to the health and fitness industry) to students who successfully complete specific modules.

University level Main module mapped to

Vocational qualifications

4 Instructing Health and Fitness Level 2 Gym Instructor
5 Exercise Testing and Prescription Level 3 Personal Trainer
6 Exercise for Special Populations Level 3 Exercise Referral Instructor

Career opportunities

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

  • Nutrition and Health Advisor
  • Sport and Exercise Nutritionist
  • Dietetics
  • Exercise leader/instructor
  • Physical activity health professional
  • Fitness centre manager
  • Physical Education (PE) teacher
  • You could also progress to further study and a career in research

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