Human Systems Physiology
School of Health and Society
In a nutshell
This course aims to develop your skills in analysing and evaluating performance and providing interventions within the traditional (including exercise physiology, psychology, biomechanics and nutrition) and the contemporary sports science disciplines (such as performance analysis and strength and conditioning).
Our choice of pathways allows you to specialise in the final year and ensures the best preparation for a range of career choices, including sports science support, teaching, coaching, performance analysis and strength and conditioning. Depending on the pathway you choose, you can graduate with one of the following named awards:
BSc (Hons) Sports Science
BSc (Hons) Sports Science (Strength and Conditioning)
BSc (Hons) Sports Science (Performance Analysis)
We are extremely proud that our course is ranked in the Complete University Guide as number one in the North West for Sports Science (2023)
This course received a 100% overall student satisfaction rate in the most recent National Student Survey (NSS), with students stating they were most satisfied (98%) with the learning opportunities they had on the course (University of Salford analysis of unpublished NSS 2022 data).
This course is accredited by The British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES).
- Learn in state-of-the-art facilities, including human performance laboratories, performance analysis facilities, and our strength and conditioning suite for testing, analysis and training.
- Learn how to assess a client's fitness and performance needs to design an appropriate exercise programme.
- Improve your knowledge and skills in practical environments and through our organised placement module.
- Be able to work with all levels, from the recreational exerciser to the elite athlete.
- Have the chance to work in a range of applied settings including; local sports clubs and their athletes, in schools and in the wider community.
This is for you if...
You're a sports and exercise enthusiast
You have a brain for applied science
You're a strong communicator with great interpersonal skills
All about the course
In year one, you will study modules that introduce you to all of the Sports Science disciplines and lay the academic knowledge and practical skills foundations that will underpin later years. The second year builds upon the first year with more targeted modules that advance your knowledge and applied skills across all of the disciplines. You will get the opportunity to specialise in your final year to prepare you for a range of careers. You will choose from our three pathways with their specific modules and undertake a placement and dissertation that allow you to focus on the area of sports science or career path that most interests you. This year gives you the in-depth knowledge and advanced skills and practice, to enhance your employability when you graduate.
PERFORMANCE ANALYSIS PATHWAY
In this pathway, you will study the Advanced Performance Analysis module, that develops the theoretical background of biomechanics and performance analysis, and applies these concepts to the analysis of sports performance using both qualitative and quantitative methods. This pathway provides you with the knowledge and expertise to actively practice the discipline of Performance Analysis within an elite setting. You will utilise industry standard equipment to assess, monitor, review and improve performance in athletes/teams. You will use multiple methods to increase performance productivity in your clients.
STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING PATHWAY
In this pathway, you will study the Advanced Strength and Conditioning module. This module will provide you with an extended understanding of the principles governing the training of elite athletes. This module, along with a specific work placement opportunity in a strength and conditioning setting (Placement module) allows you to develop competencies that are closely aligned to the UK Strength and Conditioning Association (UKSCA) and permits progression to individual accreditation after graduation.
Physiology is the science of life. During the Human Systems Physiology module, you will explore the function of each major organ system. You will discover the molecular and cellular mechanisms that underlay this function, and how organ systems are integrated and regulated to maintain homeostasis, while allowing the human body to adapt to changing metabolic and environmental demands. Laboratory classes use cutting-edge equipment that allow you to see “physiology in action” and develop competence in the techniques used by physiologists to advance the field.
Bioenergetics and Nutrients
This module aims to present foundation knowledge which is fundamental to the study of energy metabolism and nutrition for human performance.
Principles of Training
This module aims to provide you with the necessary understanding of human anatomical structure and function, with a specific focus on movement and exercise analysis. You will learn the principles underpinning the development of cardiovascular fitness, strength, power, speed and flexibility, and apply these to performance in specific sports. You will be encouraged to use a practical approach to this learning and apply your knowledge to movements related to common sporting activities.
Introduction to Sports Science
This module introduces you to the field of sports science and the competencies required as a Sport Scientist. You will be introduced to the concepts of research in sports science through hands-on practical experience. This module will also develop your academic, personal and professional skills to facilitate a successful progression through university and into employment in sports science.
Introduction to Sports Psychology
This module introduces you to psychological factors that are important for athletic and team functioning in sport. You will explore key theories and research across a range of psychological topics relevant to athletes and teams. You will examine relationships between psychological factors and how psychological factors influence sports performance.
Introduction to Sports Biomechanics
This module will introduce you to the fundamental principles of mechanics and biomechanics. You will learn how to collect and analyse, and interpret basic biomechanical data in relation sports performance.
To examine the theoretical and practical aspects of the physiological response to exercise. Students will be able to differentiate between the acute response and chronic adaptations to exercise, explain the cardiovascular, respiratory, muscular, metabolic, and neuroendocrine response to exercise, examine the variations in fitness of different individuals and identify factors that limit performance
Applied Strength and Conditioning
This module provides you with an applied understanding of the theoretical principles of training to enhance athletic performance.
Research Methods and Study Design
Introduces you to research design and analysis to allow you to critically appraise evidence and to plan your own research.
This module aims to develop a good theoretical and practical understanding of sports nutrition. The module presents the general principles, concepts and underpinning theory in sports nutrition necessary for the development of nutritional strategies for those engaged in recreational through to elite sport.
Biomechanics and Performance Analysis
This module develops the theoretical background of biomechanics and performance analysis, and helps you to apply these concepts and analyse sports performance using both qualitative and quantitative methods.
Psychology of Exercise and Health
In this module students will examine health, lifestyle and exercise-related behavioural conditions (such as obesity, addictive behaviour, sedentary behaviour, eating disorders) and their relation to widely used behaviour change models, and the biopsychosocial perspective. Students are encouraged to think of those issues most relevant to sports and exercise populations, as well as the general public. The module is delivered for 3hours per week in trimester 2. At the end of the module, students will write an essay (2000 words) on the biopsychosocial view of a chosen behavioural condition, and potential treatments.
Allows you to conduct an in-depth, evidence based study on a topic of your choice (quantitative, qualitative or review) and analyse, synthesis and evaluate the outcomes of the study.
Sport Science Placement and Employability
This module provides you with a vocational opportunity aimed at developing personal transferable skills and work specific skills, thus enhancing future employability. By gaining experience of sport and exercise science in a real world setting you will be challenged to link theory with practice. The module will also provide you with the opportunity to reflect upon evidence-based practice within a vocational setting.
Your choice of pathway from:
Advanced Strength and Conditioning
This module will provide you with an extended understanding of the principles governing the training of elite athletes focusing on application of the latest research to a real world environment. You will also study Advanced Topics in Exercise Physiology in semester one and Biomechanics and Skill Acquisition in semester two.
Applied Human Performance
This module aims to integrate your knowledge of physiology, nutrition, biomechanics and psychology towards the improvement of sports performance in an athlete. You will apply this knowledge to develop a critical understanding of the practical needs of the athlete. You will also choose two optional modules - modules available to you may include Advanced Topics in Exercise Physiology, Advanced Sport Psychology Practice, Critical Issues and Topics in Sport Psychology.
Advanced Performance Analysis
This module aims to provide you with the knowledge and expertise to actively practice the discipline of Performance Analysis within an elite setting. You will utilise industry standard equipment to assess, monitor, review and improve performance in athletes/teams. You will use multiple methods to increase performance productivity in your clients. You will also study Advanced Topics in Exercise Physiology in semester one and Biomechanics and Skill Acquisition in semester two.
Plus your choice of one module in each semester from the following:
Advanced Topics in Sport Psychology
Explores advanced psychological topics that are considered as current or emerging themes within sport. This module focuses on critical thinking in relation to psychological themes, theories, research, and interventions. You will critically appraise the current state of sport psychology to suggest applied and theoretical implications and avenues for future research that would advance the discipline of sport psychology.
Advanced Topics in Exercise Physiology
This module will provide you with a critical understanding of physiological and environmental factors that influence exercise performance for a diverse range of athletes and people engaged in physical activity, including special populations. You will also learn to present and demonstrate the principles of test construction and methods of assessing physical performance and develop the ability to interpret data pertaining to physical performance.
Advanced Topics in Sports Nutrition
This module will evaluate the use of nutritional strategies to maximise adaptation to training as well as before, during and after sport and exercise events. You will then examine the importance of individualising nutritional strategies for specific clients/athletes, and practice the skills necessary to translate sports nutrition principles into practical professional advice in a range of sporting settings.
Biomechanics and Skill Acquisition
Looks at how athletes modify technique and movement skills for performance and injury prevention and how this can be assessed using video-based technology.
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.
What will I be doing?
Teaching is delivered in small groups, meaning that you will be given every opportunity to develop the practical skills you require in the performance laboratory and gym, gaining first-hand experience on the equipment. You will experience a range of teaching methods such as:
- Practical sessions
- Problem-based learning
- Independent study
Assessment will include:
- Coursework 50%
- Oral presentations 5%
- Poster presentations 5%
- Written and practical exams 40%
School of Health and Society
In the School of Health and Society, we are focused on enhancing the health and wellbeing of patients, service users and athletes and our commitment to public involvement help us retain our strong focus on real-world issues.
Human Performance Laboratory
Learn in state-of-the-art facilities including our world-class human performance laboratory, which 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 inbuilt 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 an isokinetic dynamometer and portable force platforms.
Take a 360 tour of the facilities here.
Strength and Conditioning Suite
The Strength and Conditioning Suite boasts the following equipment:
- 10 dedicated PowerLift lifting platforms for both students and athletes alike to learn advanced training techniques.
- Biodex isokinetic dynamometer to assess muscle function/ asymmetries.
- FT700 Power Cage with integrated force platform and linear position transducer to assess force and power output during a variety of athletic performances, plus a portable isometric mid-thigh pull station.
Exercise and Physiology Laboratory
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.
What about after uni?
The sports science market is currently undergoing significant growth in the UK and has a wide range of career opportunities in areas including sports science support, sports development, health and fitness, coaching, teaching, postgraduate study and research. The Strength and Conditioning pathway can lead to a number of opportunities for employment as a strength and conditioning coach or internships at our sports partnerships (e.g. Sale Sharks, Manchester Storm, the English Institute of Sport), which have noticeably increased in the last few years. The Performance Analysis pathway can open many doors within elite sport, to enable students the chance to become match analysts, scouting and recruitment analysts, Talent Identification Specialists or Technique Analysts.
Previous graduates of this programme have gone on to work for Manchester City Football Club, Salford Red Devils Rugby League Football Club, Quintic Consultancy, Fitness First, and the NHS. Some students go on to further study or research, while others use their degree as a stepping stone to a career in teaching or higher education.
Graduate roles include health professionals, teaching professionals, sports science support and sports coaches.
We have strong working links with top sports clubs in the north-west such as Sale Sharks, Salford Red Devils and Manchester Storm. The performance analysis strand has also allowed us to develop strong links with elite sporting clubs outside the north-west with opportunities to provide remote support for clubs up and down the country. You will have opportunities to conduct data collection for your final year research projects on these athletes.
What you need to know
We are looking for students with a keen interest in sport and sports performance, matched with good academic skills and an application for science. Students may come from sporting, coaching and personal training backgrounds.
Typical sports science students are keen, hard-working, and committed with good interpersonal and communication skills. Entry may be directly from school at 18 or after a period of gaining experience in the workplace.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS
International applicants will be required to show proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.5, with no element below 5.5, is proof of this.
Five GCSE's at Grade 4/C or above (or equivalent) including English Language, Maths and Science. You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below
UCAS tariff points
112 points including at least one of the following subjects: Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Human Biology, Psychology, PE, Sport Studies.
BTEC National Diploma
DMM to include Sports Science, Sports Studies or Applied Science
Access to HE
112 tariff points
112 tariff points to include Maths and/or Science
Irish Leaving Certificate
112 tariff points with Bs in science subjects.
English - Higher H6 (D3), Ordinary O5 (C3)
Maths - Higher H6 (D3), Ordinary O5 (C3)
112 tariff points
Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)
We welcome applications from those 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.
There are two different routes through the
and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. Assessment will either be through a review of prior learning or through a formal test.
|Type of study||Year||Fees|
|Full-time home||2022/23||£9,250per year|
|Full-time international||2022/23||£15,900per year|
|Full-time home||2023/24||£9,250per year|
|Full-time international||2023/24||£16,380per year|
In addition to course fees, students can opt to purchase a course uniform which costs approximately £70. In addition, 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. 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.
Scholarships for international students
If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our scholarships.
Explore our International Scholarships.
All set? Let's apply
Course ID C610