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BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science

Key information

UCAS code
Delivery type
Full Time
Degree qualification
BSc (Hons)
Mode of delivery
4 years
Start date

BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science combines theory and applied learning to create an inherently interesting and broadly defined university degree. Our industry links and cross-disciplinary learning ensures our teaching is relevant in the real world, and you’ll experience what it is like to be a sport and exercise scientist working in practice.  

You’ll gain knowledge in all the three core areas of sport and exercise science including physiology, psychology, and biomechanics. You’ll learn to apply this knowledge and gain experience across a variety of professional settings including strength and conditioning, nutrition, data analysis and research, understanding the impact of exercise and sport, and sport and exercise science on our daily lives.  

By studying BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science, you’ll explore evidence-based strategies for promoting health and preventing lifestyle-related diseases and the impact this has on a variety of different populations. Throughout your studies, you’ll develop practical skills as well as the ability to plan, conduct, critically analyse, and interpret results of practical work in the field and laboratory. 
As well as developing expertise in sport and exercise science, our programme builds sought after soft skills, such as problem-solving, communication skills, and practical technology skills. You’ll also understand the role of sport and exercise scientists in professional fields including performance sport, exercise prescription, adherence, research, and public health.  
This industry-focused degree will ensure you have the understanding, knowledge, skills, and personal qualities required to undertake a wide range of careers within sport and exercise science or other employment sectors. 

Your student experience

Your learning will be informed by the expertise of our research-active Sport and Exercise academic staff from the Institute of Life and Earth Sciences which sits within the School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society (EGIS); with this supported by the experienced practitioners from the Oriam Performance Team, bringing in expertise from working with leading athletes from across Scotland. 

EGIS is one of the United Kingdom’s leading institutions for multidisciplinary research and teaching in areas critical to economic development and societal equity. Our teams work closely and have links with industry, and practitioners are regularly invited as guest lecturers in most courses and advise on student research projects. 

Go Global

There are currently no Go Global opportunities for this particular programme. However, other Go Global opportunities may be available. Please contact for more information.

Course content

September Intake - Edinburgh

You’ll take eight mandatory courses in year one where you will be introduced to the principles of sport and exercise science, introductory biology, psychology, musculoskeletal anatomy, and physiology. You’ll also take a course designed to inspire awareness of the contribution of your discipline to tackling global challenges and its connection to other disciplines. You’ll work in teams, learn to cope with complexity, gain core study skills, and thrive on ambiguity.  

Mandatory September

  • Introductory Biology 1
  • Shaping Tomorrow Together A
  • Principles of Sport and Exercise Science
  • Introduction to Psychology 1

Mandatory January

  • Shaping Tomorrow Together B
  • Musculoskeletal Anatomy and Physiology
  • Introduction to Psychology 2
  • Introductory Biology 2

Programme Video

The Heriot-Watt experience

Fees and funding

ScotlandPaid by SAAS
England / Wales / N Ireland / Rep of Ireland£9,250
  • Status: Your residency status is usually defined as the country where you have been ordinarily resident for the three years before the start of your course.
  • International: 'International' includes applicants from European Union countries who do not hold Pre-Settled or Settled status in UK. (This does not include students from the Republic of Ireland - see above).

Scholarships and bursaries

Bursaries for students from England, Northern Ireland or Wales

In addition to government loans and grants towards the costs of fees and living costs, we are offering generous financial support to attract and support eligible undergraduate students from England, Northern Ireland or Wales:

  • Heriot-Watt University Bursary (up to £3,100 per year)
View details

Additional information

Sports scholarships

For elite athletes we offer a range of Scholarships as part of the Sport Scholarships Programme

Entry requirements

We have standard entry requirements for all of our courses that you will have to meet.

Standard entry requirements

  • Highers AABB (including a science subject, this can be psychology, sport science or physical education)
  • A-Levels BBC – ABB (including a science subject)
  • Int. Baccalaureate 27 points to include a science subject at Higher Level 5
  • BTEC DMM (in relevant subject)
  • HNC C in graded unit (in relevant HNC)

Minimum entry requirements*

  • Highers BBBC (including a science subject at B)
  • A-Levels BCC (including a science subject)

Additional information
Suitable science subjects are Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Sciences, Human Biology, Psychology, Physical Education, Sport Science, Mathematics and Physics.

* Minimum: under our Fair Access Policy, we will relax our standard entry requirements for Scottish students depending on their circumstances. Our minimum requirements will apply if you:

  • live in an area within the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation lowest 20% (SIMD20), or
  • are care experienced.

We can also make exceptions for some Scottish students with grades above minimum but below standard. Read more about our Minimum and standard entry requirements

Why Heriot-Watt

We're the top university in Scotland for graduate outcomes which means that more of our graduates are employed or in postgraduate education than any other institution in the country and we ranked 5th in the UK.

We're also rated number one in the UK for CEO or MD roles, meaning more of our graduates go on to become CEOs or MDs than any other university in the whole of the UK. On top of that, we have beautiful campuses, across the globe, so you'll get a truly international education. Our Edinburgh Campus is home to Oriam, Scotland's National Sports Performance Centre combined with plenty of wellbeing resources, prioritising fitness and mental health for all students. Our Global Research Institutes look at solving real world issues such as climate change and saving our oceans as well as working on the next medical technological breakthrough and the future of AI and robots.


Work and study

This is what our BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science students are doing 15 months after graduating:
are working
are studying
are studying and working


The average salary of students 15 months after graduating
The average UK salary of students 15 months after graduating from a similar course

Potential career paths

  • Sports, Natural or Social Scientist
  • Exercise Physiologist
  • Strength and Conditioning Specialist
  • Coaching
  • Teaching
  • Exercise Rehabilitation Specialist
  • Health Promotion Specialist
  • Sports Management/Administration
  • Researcher/Academic

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