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Exercise, Nutrition and Health

BSc (Hons)

School - School of Health and Society

Subject area - Sport, Exercise and Physiotherapy

UCAS Code: CB69 (full-time), CBP9 (part-time)

Start Date(s): September


Three years full-time
Five years part-time


UK - £9,250 per year

Part-time - Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.

International - £14,820 per year

In Brief:

  • Learn about the theory and practice of health and fitness and gain entry onto the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs)
  • Learn how to support people to live healthier lifestyles
  • Final year placement opportunity in a wide range of professional settings (referral schemes, private/public sectors, health clubs, community, clinical)
  • Part-time study option
  • Work/industrial placement opportunity
  • International students can apply

Course Summary

This programme is also available with a Foundation Year

This course, which has been formally accredited by SportsCoachUK for entry on to the Register of Exercise Professionals, is designed to improve the health of the nation by developing knowledge around the areas of exercise physiology and exercise prescription and instruction, cardiac rehabilitation, eating behaviour and nutrition. You will become familiar with the factors that can affect the decision to exercise and how exercise programmes can be structured and implemented to enable an overall improvement in health. Whilst on this course, you will also have the opportunity to take gym instructor, personal  trainer  or  exercise referral certification at no additional cost.

The ultimate aim of the course is to produce graduates who can work with a range of individuals in a variety of settings to improve health, fitness, wellness and quality of life.

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If you're interested in exercise, health and nutrition and are passionate about helping the general public with their health then this is the course for you without a doubt. You couldn't get a better degree to qualify you to work with the general public in terms of their health (mental and physical), exercise, nutrition and even long-term health problems.

Demi-lee Bridges, 2016 graduate

Awards and Accreditation

Course Details

You will learn about the many factors that can affect the decision to exercise and how to overcome resistance to healthy lifestyle behaviours. You will be competent in the prescription of exercise for healthy adults and special population groups. You will understand how to produce a nutritional profile for general health and optimal performance, and you will develop an appreciation of physical activity innovation in practice.

Year 1        

Explore innovation in the exercise and health industries and use a critical approach to assess the effectiveness of fitness-based products and services.            
This provides a basic knowledge and understanding of the core human physiological systems which are fundamental to exercise, health, sport and movement.            
This module provides you with the knowledge that underpins all forms of physical exercise and fitness development in order to design suitable, safe, well-structured exercise sessions.            
The module aims will provide you with the skills to be able to educate communities and groups about the importance of leading a healthy and active lifestyle, intervene with related interventions and to measure, monitor and interpret physical activity related data of individuals and groups.            
The module aims to present a foundation knowledge which is fundamental to the study of energy metabolism and nutrition for human movement.            
Differentiating between the concepts and roles associated with careers in the exercise, physical activity and sports industries.            

Year 2        

You will learn how to create effective, individualised exercise programmes based on an analysis of information gathered from fitness assessments, exercise counselling and goal setting.            
You will examine the theoretical and practical aspects of the physiological response to exercise.            
You will develop an understanding of the scientific principles that underpin the nutritional requirements for health and exercise.            
You will explore a range of established exercise training techniques and how they might be applied, and consider their role in the development of an active lifestyle.            
You will develop a broad understanding of research design and analysis, learning how to appraise evidence and plan your own research.            
You will develop a critical understanding of health behaviour and health literacy, evaluate health behaviour models to explain individual and population health behaviour and develop an understanding of different approaches used to engage the public on health issues.            

Year 3        

You will be expected to conduct an in-depth evidence-based study on a topic of your choosing.            
This module will introduce the students to related areas of employment by practical experience, whilst applying academic knowledge to practice and enabling a range of key and transferable skills within a placement setting.            
You will learn the theoretical and practical skills associated with the measurement of fitness, the prescription of exercise and the process for delivering feedback to client groups.            
You will learn about the role of evidenced-based cardiac rehabilitation in the management of cardiovascular disease. You will gain a detailed knowledge of conditions such as coronary artery disease and heart failure, and the physiological and psychological impact these can have on people. You will also        gain knowledge and experience of how to prescribe safe and effective exercise for this clinical population.            
You will learn about the normal and abnormal function of selected organ systems, the pharmacological management of disease and how to safely prescribe exercise for special population groups.            
You will explore the behavioural basis for food choices and eating patterns, which will enable you to then address the implications of inadequate food consumption.

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

Entry Requirements

Qualification Entry requirements
You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.
Three GCSE subjects at grade C or above including English and Mathematics. If you are in England and are taking GCSEs that are awarded from 2017 onwards, grade 4 will be required.
UCAS tariff points 112 points, at least one A2 Science subject preferred (can include Psychology, Sociology, Sport, PE)
BTEC National Diploma DMM (to include specific subjects: Sport, Exercise, Health or Applied Science)
Foundation Degree Foundation Degree graduates will be considered for entry at Level 6 of the programme.
Scottish Highers 112 points
Irish Leaving Certificate 112 points
International Baccalaureate 31 IB points. To include at least one science subject (can include: psychology, sociology, sport, PE).
Access to HE 112 points from Access to HE Diploma. 60 Credits total, including at least 45 graded credits at level 3. Science and health subjects preferred.

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)

We welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we have received your application we will assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.

The University offers two routes for entry under the scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. As this course is part of the School of Health Sciences you will only be considered under Entry Route 1.

English Language Requirements

International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.5 (no element below 6.0) is proof of this.

Applicant profile

Due to the nature of the industry, we aim to recruit confident, hard-working, organised individuals who have a passion for exercise and activity. If you could see yourself working with a range of people in a range of different settings, this course is for you.

Fees and Funding


Fees 2019-20

Type of Study Fee
Full-time £9,250 per year
Part-time Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.
Full-time International £14,820 per year

Fees 2018-19

Type of Study Fee
Full-time £9,250 per year
Part-time Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.
Full-time International £14,400 per year

Students may incur other expenses during placements. An optional cost may be incurred to undertake a First Aid qualification should the student wish to do so and for a uniform whilst on placement (the cost of a uniform should be approximately £60). Costs are approximated based on the  current academic year. 

You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.


The staff go above and beyond their job role. They have great communication and interpersonal skills. They care about what's happening in your personal life and help remove barriers towards achieving your full potential on the course.

Lawrence Stirk, 2017 graduate

The curriculum has been designed by expert staff with national reputations and professional experience in the exercise, health and fitness industries. Teaching is delivered using a variety of methods:

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Workshops
  • Practical skill sessions
  • Case studies
  • Problem-based learning
  • On-line learning
  • Work experience
  • Laboratory classes

Students on the course also engage in self-directed study activities, group work and project team working. All students are allocated a personal tutor to ensure personal and academic development and achievement.


  • Coursework 20%
  • Presentations 20%
  • Practical 15%
  • Simulated interview scenarios 5%
  • Case studies 5%
  • Portfolio 10%
  • Report writing 10%
  • Written and practical exams 10%
  • Reflective writing 5%


The diversity of modules within the course have shown me how I can apply what I have learned into many careers, namely research, which I thought at the beginning was only for the academic elite. The confidence that my time at university has given me has been invaluable.

Corinne Bolland, 2017 graduate

Career Prospects

Graduates have gained work in exercise referral, health and physical activity improvement, corporate fitness, cardiac rehabilitation, personal training and specialist weight management. Recent graduates from this course have gained employment with Salford Community Leisure, Manchester Primary Care Trust, Fitness First and BUPA Wellness. Following graduation, some students choose to undertake a postgraduate teaching qualification.

There are career opportunities in a wide variety of areas including health and exercise promotion (including sports development), personal training, workplace health and fitness, exercise referral, health-based intervention design and delivery, postgraduate research and project work, community food work, cardiac rehabilitation and teaching.

On successful completion of the course students have moved into a range of professional roles, including the following:

  • Advanced Personal Trainer, Virgin Active
  • Exercise Referral Manager, Salford PCT
  • Community Food and Nutrition Worker, St Helens Council
  • Workplace Health Consultant, BUPA Wellness.

Alumni Profile

Becky Murray, graduated 2017, employed as Lifestyle Coach for the National Diabetes Prevention Programme.

"The National Diabetes Prevention Programme works with patients who have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes, and are at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes which is incurable. So my work has pulled on a lot of the underpinning knowledge on diabetes, healthy eating and nutrition that I gained from this programme. Besides the knowledge gained on the programme, the placement module was excellent for gaining industry experience, as employers are looking for experience as well as a sound knowledge of the area.  The REPs based qualifications you can potentially gain on this programme are really useful, as you will develop valuable skills aligned with client interaction and communication and these are very important for the world of work in the exercise and health industry."

Ben Andrews, graduated July 2015, employed as a Health Trainer for Unlimited Potential supporting Salford residents to make positive life changes

"Whilst working as a Health Trainer I am developing my own service, Empower Health, with the focus on supporting Salford’s disabled population to engage in more physical and exercise based activities to generate immediate health and wellbeing outcomes, with the long-term impact of decreasing the prevalence of long term conditions within this demographic. I also do some PT work at a local community centre and have recently been employed as an Activity co-ordinator for the Royal National Institute for the Blind.

My career aspirations when I first started the course were to begin a project that I am in the ‘start up’ phase of now. I started university as a means to an end; I knew what I wanted to do but didn’t have the skills, knowledge or experience to do so. In year 1 we were given an assignment for the Practitioners Skills Development module, this gave us the opportunity to set a goal, then set aims and objectives to achieve this. My goal was to become a Health Trainer which I achieved in year 2, gaining this role allowed me the freedom and flexibility to be able to work in a capacity which acted as research for Empower Health.

The course tutors are a really good team and have supported me throughout my time at University and beyond, having good tutors has played a big part in my success in and out of University.

I would advise others who are thinking of studying this course to volunteer in a broad field of work so you can try different things and get a feel for what you want to do, use the lecturer's assistance as much as you can, they’re there for support. I achieved a 1st degree but without the support offered by lecturers there’d be no chance of me gaining that high a classification.

One thing that enabled me academically was to get a basic assignment structure going using the marking guidelines and start working on it that day, even if it’s just the title, chip away at it and by the time the few weeks before deadline day come around, other people are just starting and you can relax and tidy it up to boost your grade!

Everything works out in the end, apply yourself and don’t stress. If can see a good opportunity take it, don’t let the pressures involved stop you from doing something you want to do."

James Largey, graduated in July 2010, director of Frontline Fit

"After graduating from my degree in Exercise, Physical Activity and Health I have never looked back! The support I got from staff at Salford has been crucial in helping me head in the right direction." 

Read more of James' story, from his decision to go to university to running his own successful business, on our careers blog.

Dawn Mitchell, graduated in 2009, Founder and Consultant of 'We do Wellbeing'

"I wanted to pursue a career in the exercise and health industry and this degree seemed ideal. I believe that the opportunity to combine theory with practice certainly helped me to achieve my first job, even prior to graduation, as an Exercise Referral Worker (cardiac rehabilitation) in central Manchester. I am now a Consultant and Founder of  'We do Wellbeing' which is about providing Health and Wellbeing training. My role is to lead a range of projects and manage staff with a remit for enhancing physical activity levels and increasing participation in sport to improve overall health and wellbeing."

Links with Industry

The course team are actively involved in research and undertake project work in collaboration with industry partners. The following are examples of partners and projects:

  • Wigan Primary Care Trust – free swimming evaluation
  • Greater Manchester Obesity Group – strategic development of weight management services
  • Tameside Sport Development - evaluation of interventions
  • Manchester Velodrome - active travel and cycling
  • North West Health and Physical Activity Forum - representation on the steering group
  • Salford Swimming – nutritional support
  • Peter Harrison Centre for Disability Sport – exercise for disabled people
  • NIKE – fitness testing in football
  • Federation of International Lacrosse – fitness testing

Placement Opportunities

The optional placement module offers students a unique opportunity to become involved in these projects. Students who have completed this module have found it invaluable to their learning experience.

Further Study


Human performance laboratory

Our world-class human performance laboratory is one of the best equipped in the country and contains almost every type of physiological, performance analysis and biomechanical testing equipment, including a 30-metre sprint track with in-built force platforms, motion capture systems, blood and gas analysis equipment and speed guns.

We also have a separate physiological testing laboratory and fully equipped strength and conditioning suite, which includes and isokinetic dynamometer and portable force platforms.

We also have extensive equipment in our Exercise and Physiology Laboratory including:

  • Portable and static online gas analysis systems for breath-by- breath cardiopulmonary exercise testing, including VO2 max tests.
  • A Lode Cycle Ergometer to provide isokinetic testing conditions within cycling.
  • An Analox G37 Multi-Assay Blood Analyser to study blood lactate concentration. We also have a range of field based Lactate Pro analysers, which have been used to test professional athletes as part of our partnerships.

The University is also home to three gait labs, which, together with the human performance lab, are used to conduct ground-breaking research by the Centre for Health Sciences Research that underpins your learning.

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