BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science

The course

UCAS code
4 years
Delivery type

New BSc (Hons) in Sports and Exercise Science for September 2022. Our degree combines cutting edge teaching with world-leading sports performance facilities – The Oriam. Study, Play, Grow.


Got questions about this programme?

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New degree for September 2022 - Enquire now


We have launched a new degree in Sports and Exercise Science for 2022. Our Sports and  Exercise Science undergraduate degree combines cutting edge teaching with world-leading sports performance facilities – Oriam. Study, play and grow; this flexible degree will ensure you are ready to achieve the sporting career you are looking for.

Studying BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Sciences at Heriot Watt, a mix of core and optional modules enables you to explore traditional sport, exercise and health science disciplines. This programme comprises a core of sport and exercise science with an additional emphasis on the study of topics central to human health and well-being, such as biology, nutrition, physiology, and psychology. These themes are developed together throughout the programme, with some flexibility in programme structure and design, according to your interests or career aspirations.


Based on our campus in Edinburgh is Oriam - Scotland's Sports Performance Centre. Along with providing excellent teaching facilities for this programme, Oriam is also a training facility for elite Sports teams such as; Scottish Rugby Union, the Scottish Football Association, Heart of Midlothian F.C. and Scottish Squash, who all use the facility for senior team training and (where applicable) to run their respecitve academies.

Sports +

At Heriot-Watt we have a well-established Sports Union who offer a large group of Sports Clubs; over 30 sports clubs ranging from traditional Football/Soccer and Rugby to Mountaineering and Ultimate Frisbee. The sports clubs offer you the opportunity to grow in your sport, meet likeminded friends and make use of the first class facilities available.

Talent Development & Sports Scholarships

For elite athletes we offer a range of Scholarships and are part of the Talent Development programme  – to apply or find out more, please contact us.

This degree is subject to academic validation. You can still apply for this degree while it is being approved.

Course content

We have excellent facilities for the study of human physiological function and exercise performance. By way of strength testing, we have systems to measure isometric and isokinetic strength. We can measure oxygen consumption at basal levels through to maximal exercise on a treadmill and with both arm and leg cycle ergometers complemented with automated blood pressure measurement and EMG capabilities. Body composition can be measured using air displacement plethysmography while we have a full diagnostic lung function testing system and the ability to make both static and ambulatory cardio-respiratory measurements. In addition we can also simulate attitude with a hypoxic generator and elevate inspired oxygen concentration. We can measure biochemical parameters including blood gases, pH, lactate, sodium and potassium ions, haematocrit, glucose and cholesterol, to study changes in metabolism during exercise.

The sport and exercise psychology field resources include questionnaires and interviewing equipment. Additionally, the exercise physiology labs are available to perform psycho-physiological research. Our molecular exercise physiology laboratories have:

  • RNA and molecular biology laboratories
  • human cell culture facilities
  • human performance laboratory
  • advanced proteomics detection methods (MALDI-TOF mass spectrometer)
  • equipment for studying immune cell function (flow cytometry)
  • general equipment for carrying out molecular sciences (plate readers, real-time qPCR and confocal microscopy)

Entry requirements

Year 1

Standard entry requirements

  • Highers AABB (including a science subject)
  • A-Levels BBC (including a science subject - Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Sciences, Human Biology, Mathematics or Physics)
  • Int. Baccalaureate 27 points to include a science subject at Higher Level 5
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma DMM (in relevant subject)
  • HNC C in graded unit (in relevant HNC)
  • Scottish HNC - Pass
  • Suitable science subjects are Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Sciences, Human Biology, Mathematics and Physics We operate contextual admissions defined by our Fair Access Policy which may mean entry requirements are flexible. We accept a wide range of other qualifications from the UK, Europe and International countries. Please contact the Admissions Officer for the programme for further information on the entry requirements for these.

Minimum entry requirements*

  • Highers BBBC (including a science subject at B)
  • A-Levels BCC (including a science subject)
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (MMM)

Additional information
Suitable science subjects are Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Sciences, Human Biology, 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

Year 2

  • Advanced Highers BB (including Biology or Human Biology plus Highers AABB)
  • A-Levels ABB (including Biology or Human Biology)
  • Int. Baccalaureate 32 points (with Biology or Human Biology)
  • HNC B in graded unit (in relevant HNC)
  • HND BB in graded units (in relevant HND)
  • BTEC DDM (in relevant subject)

Year 3

  • HND AB in graded units (in relevant HND)

Additional information


Tuition fees for 2021 entry
Status* Scotland England / Wales / N Ireland / Rep of Ireland** International***
Fee Paid by SAAS £9,250 £19,792

* 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. Find out more about tuition fees.

** 'Rest of the UK' (RUK) and Republic of Ireland students entering at Level 1 receive a fee waiver of one year's tuition fee. Normally this will be the final year, or a year during which students study abroad (either at a partnership institution, or at one of Heriot-Watt's overseas campuses).

*** '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). Read more about the application process for EU nationals.

Additional costs

You may incur additional costs in the course of your studies at Heriot-Watt over and above tuition fees in an academic year. Depending on your programme of study, these may include: protective equipment, field trips, professional memberships, studio fees, required course texts or other study resources.

Scholarships and bursaries

Featured scholarships

Bursaries for students from England, Northern Ireland or Wales starting undergraduate degree courses in 2021

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 students from England, Northern Ireland or Wales:

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

View our full range of undergraduate scholarships.