At Kent, our lecturers have top-level experience in sports training, treatment of injuries and rehabilitation, and sport psychology. You work with our experts to gain a good mix of theoretical knowledge and hands-on practice. Our community of clients ranges from Olympians and Paralympians to members of the public, including the elderly and frail.
Our degree programme
You apply scientific principles to many aspects of sport, fitness and exercise. Topics include: anatomy, physiology, the principles of training, exercise prescription, sports nutrition and sports psychology.
Overall, this degree allows you to gain the skills you need to become a well-rounded practitioner in the field. In your final year, you can choose optional modules that allow you to specialise, perhaps with a particular career in mind.
You also have the option to gain extra professional experience by working on placement in the sports and leisure industry, or supporting ‘centre of excellence’ athletes.
Year in industry
Your year in industry takes place between your second and final year of your degree programme, giving you invaluable work experience. This greatly enhances your CV and employability while giving you the opportunity to apply your academic skills in practical context. It also gives you an idea of your career options after graduation. Most placements are paid opportunities, and there may be the possibility of a job with the same company after you graduate.
It is also possible to take this degree as a three-year programme. For details see our Sport and Exercise Science BSc (Hons).
Our laboratories are based in the £11 million Medway Park development, a regional centre of sporting excellence. They include the latest equipment, such as our:
environmental chamber, which can recreate the atmosphere in the Brazilian jungle or at the top of Everest anti-gravity treadmill, originally developed to help NASA astronauts to exercise in space cycling and rowing ergometers to measure anaerobic capacity isokinetic dynamometer to measure muscle and joint function brain and muscle stimulators 3D motion video analysis imaging and treatment ultrasound gait analysis and force pedals blood testing and gas analysis equipment rehabilitation gymnasium.
There is a thriving sports scene for students. Sports clubs at the Medway campus include athletics, badminton, basketball, cricket, football, kickboxing, rowing, taekwondo, Thai boxing and volleyball, plus women’s netball and men’s futsal and rugby.
With our free shuttle bus, it’s also easy to join the sports clubs on the Canterbury campus. These include American football, archery, boxing, caving, canoeing, cycling, equestrian, cheerleading, fencing, floorball, golf, gymnastics, hockey, judo, karate, kendo, korfball, kung fu, lacrosse, mountaineering, sailing and windsurfing, skydiving, snooker and pool, snowsports, squash, swimming, surfing, tennis, trampolining, ultimate frisbee and women’s rugby.
The School of Sport and Exercise Sciences has links to many sporting bodies. It works with companies such as Science in Sport and Team Sky, and with organisations such as:
the NHSRFU (governing English rugby)English Institute of SportBritish CyclingUK SportWorld Anti-Doping AgencyUEFAUK SportMinistry of Defence.
If you are already competing at county level or equivalent, you can apply for a sports scholarship from the University. One of our best-known graduates is Olympic gold medallist Susannah Townsend. During her time at Kent she had a sports scholarship and played for Canterbury Hockey Club (where she continues to play midfield).
Teaching involves practical laboratory and sports-based sessions, lectures, small group seminars and private study. You will have a number of lectures and practical sessions and a series of seminars each week – depending on the optional modules you select. You may also be required to spend time developing your practical skills and experience in placement or event situations.
Methods of assessment vary depending on the module but predominantly involve coursework, observed assessment, practical tests and, where appropriate, clinical assessments. Some modules are assessed via written exams.
Knowledge and understanding
You gain knowledge and understanding of:
- anatomical and physiological principles
- the human response to exercise
- the theoretical basis of qualitative and quantitative research
- the nutrition required to perform at an optimum level
- the ability to evaluate physical capacity and exercise training programmes
- the nature of skill and models relating to the acquisition and performance of motor skills
- exercise prescription for a range of population groups
- social processes which influence individual and group behaviour and participation/performance in sport.
You gain the intellectual skills to:
- engage in academic study including critical evaluation
- plan, execute and communicate a piece of independent work that requires a critical engagement with relevant data
- solve familiar and unfamiliar problems in order to develop reasoned arguments and challenge assumptions
- self-appraise and reflect on practice
- recognise and respond to moral, legal, ethical and safety issues that relate to your studies.
You gain subject-specific skills in the following areas:
- relating the concepts of anatomy, physiology and metabolism to the body’s response to exercise
- practical skills in the physiological interpretation of data from fitness testing
- the appraisal and evaluation of the effects of sport and exercise interventions
- the ability to analyse, interpret and show critical judgement in the evaluation of the sport sciences.
You gain transferable skills in:
- communication, presentation, numeracy and IT
- interactive skills and group work
- problem solving
- self-appraisal and reflection on practice
- how to plan and manage your own learning.
The programme aims to:
- provide a multi-disciplinary education
- prepare students to meet the challenges of an expanding and rapidly changing sports industry, while providing them with a wide choice of careers paths.
- provide the skills to promote the health and performance of an individual or a group using a multidisciplinary approach
- enable a critical knowledge and understanding of the sport sciences
- make students aware of current research within sport and exercise science
- provide a curriculum supported by scholarship, research and intellectual debate.