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  • UCAS Code:
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  • Delivery:
    Full time according to Funding Council definitions

This course provides you with the scientific knowledge and practical skills to safely prescribe and manage exercise and rehabilitation programmes for a range of people, from athletes to those with disabilities and people suffering from injury and illness.

Whilst studying at our Lansdowne Campus and at the AECC, you'll acquire the skills and knowledge needed to excel on this popular course and later, the industry. What's more you'll undertake several exciting work placements to gain that all important practical experience, in a variety of exciting environments.

Throughout the course you'll have opportunities to undertake REPs (Register of Exercise Professionals) qualifications. REPs recognises the qualifications and expertise of health-enhancing exercise instructors in the UK ensuring that they meet the health and fitness industry’s agreed national occupational standards. This means you'll gain qualifications as an exercise and fitness instructor which you can use during your studies. 

98% of our final year students said staff are enthusiastic about their teaching and are good at explaining things. Why not visit us to find out for yourself? 

All statistics shown are taken from Unistats, Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE), BU institutional data and Ipsos MORI (National Student Survey) unless otherwise stated.

Key information

Next start date:

September 2017, September 2018


Bournemouth University, Lansdowne Campus


3 years Full-time with mandatory clinical placements, or 4 years with a minimum 30-week placement

Relevant subjects:

Maths, Psychology or Physics. Physical Education/Sport is not accepted as a science

Required subjects:

Biology or Chemistry

Entry requirements:

For 2017 entry: (we will use the new UCAS tariff)112 tariff points from 3 A-Levels. BTEC Extended Diploma of DMM. Offers will be subject and grade specific, particularly in the science subjects. For more information check out our 2017 entry requirements page

International entry requirements:

If English is not your first language, you will need:

IELTS (Academic) 6.5 with minimum 6.0 in each component or equivalent

For more information check out our international entry requirements page

Course details

On this course you will usually be taught by a range of staff with relevant expertise and knowledge appropriate to the content of the unit. This will include senior academic staff, qualified professional practitioners, demonstrators, technicians and research students.

Year 1

Core units

  • Human Anatomy & Physiology: You'll develop an in-depth knowledge of anatomy, as well as learn about applied functional and kinetic principles.
  • The Anatomy of Human Movement: You'll discover an understanding of the anatomy of the neuromuscular and musculoskeletal systems and apply this knowledge in identifying surface anatomical landmarks and the development of palpation skills.
  • Principles of Food & Nutrition: You'll examine the basic concepts of nutrition and food, including an understanding of the nutritional requirements of the population throughout life.
  • Psychosocial Aspects of Health: The aim of this unit is to promote an understanding of social processes in determining beliefs, attitudes, emotions and behaviour.
  • Exercise Prescription 1: You'll be introduced to the current concepts of exercise prescription in healthy populations. This unit contains the content required for the Register of Exercise Professionals Level 2 qualification, which can then be taken upon successful completion of this unit.
  • Research Methodologies 1: Here you'll learn how to work effectively with information from a variety of sources.
  • Work Placement - 40 hours: You'll undertake 40 hours of work placement throughout the year.

Year 2

Core units

  • Clinical Exercise Physiology: Adding to your understanding of the demands of exercise and how the body will benefit and adapt to exercise.
  • Pathophysiology: This unit is an overview of the pathology, clinical presentation of common clinical syndromes and their nutritional needs that students are likely to encounter in a rehabilitation setting.
  • Exercise Prescription 2: This will enhance your understanding and application of the current concepts of exercise prescription in healthy populations. This unit contains the content for the Register of Exercise Professionals Level 3 qualification; this qualification can be taken upon successful completion of the unit.
  • Promoting Health and Wellbeing: This unit promotes a clinical understanding of the theories and practices of health promotion.
  • Management of Rehabilitation Systems: You'll gain an overview of aspects of rehabilitation management including GP Referral Schemes, Ethics and Law and Business Management.
  • Research Methodologies 2: You'll be introduced to a range of methodologies and provide a critical understanding of their use.
  • Work Placement - 70 hours: You'll undertake 70 hours of work placement throughout the year.

Year 3

As well as clinical placements you'll undertake throughout the course, you also have the option of taking a further minimum 30-week placement at the end of your second year of study.

Year 3/4

Core units

  • Integrated Clinical Rehabilitation - Long Term Conditions: This unit promotes the skill of professional self-reflection in the context of current research as applied to client/patient experiences.
  • Integrated Clinical Rehabilitation - Musculoskeletal Injuries: You'll reflect on personal performance, clinical observations and research as a vehicle for professional development.
  • Community Health & Wellbeing: You'll learn about health and social care systems, function and management, and current trends and policies the Government influences upon health provision in the UK.
  • Research Project: You'll carry out a programme of independent research involving either the gathering of primary data or secondary analysis of existing data. This will enable you to evaluate your findings in the context of a critical review of published literature and present the results and conclusions of a substantive piece of research.
  • Work Placement - 90 hours: You'll undertake 90 hours of work placement throughout the year.

Option Units (choose one)

  • Advanced Psychology for Health & Wellbeing: You'll broaden your knowledge of the psychosocial processes of behaviour formation in the context of eating and exercise with a view to improve health related quality of life among individuals and groups.
  • Contemporary Nutrition: Here you'll broaden your nutritional knowledge and understanding in planning and preparing dietary modifications for the maintenance of health and reduction of chronic disease.
  • Advanced Exercise Prescription: This practical unit builds upon your knowledge gained during Years 1 and 2 in Exercise Prescription, particularly the ability to work with active populations in diverse areas of practice. This will include the biomechanical breakdown of movement and advanced functional rehabilitation.

Please note that option units require minimum numbers in order to run and may only be available on a semester by semester basis. They may also change from year to year.

Throughout this course you can also study the Register of Exercise Professionals Levels 2 and 3 qualifications. These qualifications are included within your course at no additional cost; however there may be a final cost to gain your certificate for this qualification. 

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

Contact hours

You will experience lectures and seminars throughout the course with a range of experienced scientists and clinical professionals. As the course is very practically orientated you will have placements throughout the course in a range of setting so you can apply theory into practice.

Year 1 – 18% of your time will be spent in timetabled learning & teaching activities

  • Learning and teaching: 229 hours
  • Independent learning: 971 hours
  • Non-assessed learning and teaching: 13 hours

Year 2 – 15% of your time will be spent in timetabled learning & teaching activities

  • Learning and teaching: 174 hours
  • Independent learning: 1026 hours
  • Non-assessed bearing learning and teaching: 2 hours

Year 3/4 - 9% of your time will be spent in timetabled learning & teaching activities

  • Learning and teaching: 108 hours
  • Independent learning: 1092 hours (estimated hours)

92% of the course is assessed by coursework

You will mostly be assessed through coursework however you will also experience some written exams, group work and practical assessments.

  • Year 1: 75%
  • Year 2: 100%
  • Year 3/4: 100%

Throughout the course you will be assessed by coursework culminating in your final year research project, but you will also undertake group work and written exams.

Programme specification

Programme specifications provide definitive records of the University's taught degrees in line with Quality Assurance Agency requirements. Every taught course leading to a BU Award has a programme specification which describes its aims, structure, content and learning outcomes, plus the teaching, learning and assessment methods used.

Download the programme specification for BSc (Hons) Clinical Exercise Science.

Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the programme specification, the information is liable to change to take advantage of exciting new approaches to teaching and learning as well as developments in industry. If you have been unable to locate the programme specification for the course you are interested in, it will be available as soon as the latest version is ready. Alternatively please contact us for assistance.

All statistics shown are taken from Unistats, Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE), BU institutional data and Ipsos MORI (National Student Survey) unless otherwise stated.

Placement opportunities

There is a strong emphasis on practical skills acquisition and you'll have the opportunity to practice these skills in both clinical labs and various community based rehabilitation settings.

Your engagement with placements will develop from observation to full caseloads over the three year course. You’ll be supported throughout this time to enable you to put theory into practice and apply your learning.

How long is my placement?

As well as the clinical placements you’ll undertake throughout the course, you also have the option of taking a further minimum 30-week placement at the end of your second year of study.

Our students have previously worked for; 

  • Anglo European College of Chiropractic clinic
  • NHS referral schemes
  • Hospitals and community based healthcare
  • BH Live
  • Local leisure centres.

Find out more about placements and our student experiences here.

What our students said

"The course offers excellent opportunities within clinical settings where I can relate the theory I have learned into job practice. Along side this I've undertaken extracurricular and industry recognised qualifications to help further my course knowledge and my overall employability." 

Rob Wallace, current student

Your application

Background and experience

For Clinical Exercise Science, we are looking for applicants who:

  • Have an enthusiasm for Clinical Exercise Science as well as the motivation and commitment to undertake the course
  • Have a clear understanding of the profession
  • Can demonstrate personal skills and qualities relevant to the course.

We are looking for applicants with a good science knowledge/background for this course. Experience in healthcare is preferable to a sports background.

Selection methods

In assessing your application a wide range of indicators may be considered, including personal qualities of motivation, the ability to develop with the course and any relevant work experience as well as qualifications. You can find some handy hints about filling in your UCAS form on our how to apply webpages. There is a possibility of interview with this course if you do not meet the usual entry criteria and we would like to find out more about you.

Our offer making process 

Our offer making will typically be based on your three main graded qualifications, including any required subjects. Additional study may be valuable for breadth of study, and we will look at a range of qualifications and subjects, including the Extended Project Qualification and General Studies, although these may not be part of our offer.

If you do not meet the criteria of your original offer, we may still offer you a place. We will review your whole application and consider all academic qualifications (including those not in the offer) and the rest of the application to see if you have the academic potential to succeed on the course. If we feel the answer is yes, we will still confirm your place.

How we'll assess your application 

We look at individual applications and make a tailored offer based on your potential to succeed on the course considering a range of factors, including your academic achievements, work and other experience, predicted grades, reference and personal statement, and in some cases, your performance at an interview/selection test.

If you meet one or more of our contextual data indicators for educational disadvantage (such as being in care, living in a low participation neighbourhood or in an area with less advantaged socio-economic characteristics), your offer could be between 6-20 points below the published tariff.

Unconditional offer scheme

Our Unconditional Offer Scheme seeks to reward exceptional applicants who are predicted to achieve top academic results. The scheme is offered to applicants on all courses who are predicted AAA at A-level/triple Distinction in BTEC Extended Diploma, or above, or equivalent, subject to any course selection measures and meeting other entry criteria (i.e. required qualifications). What’s more we’ll recognise your achievement if you meet these grades with an Academic Excellence Scholarship from £1,500 when you arrive*.

We believe that unconditional offers will reduce pressure on applicants who will continue to strive to achieve the best grades possible. Excellent grades will become a part of applicants’ CVs and are also required for BU’s scholarships. International qualifications are considered in the scheme; however applicants must satisfy the English language requirements. *Our scholarships are subject to terms, conditions and eligibility criteria, detailed on our scholarships pages.

2017 entry requirements

The new UCAS Tariff will be used for September 2017 entry.

The entry requirements for this course are 112 tariff points from 3 A-Levels. BTEC Extended Diploma of DMM. Offers will be subject and grade specific, particularly in the science subjects.

UCAS have created a helpful calculator so you can calculate points to use for courses starting from September 2017 onwards.

Required subjects: Biology or Chemistry, but if you're not studying one of these subjects please contact our admissions team. 

Excluded subjects: This course does not accept general studies A or AS-Level but critical thinking is accepted.

GCSEs: This course requires a minimum of 4 GCSEs grades A* - C (or grade 4 or above in the newly reformed GCSE grading) including Maths and English or equivalent qualifications. Science subject is preferred. 

Numeracy and Literacy: We need to be sure that you can express yourself in written English and have basic numeracy skills. We look at level 2 of the National Qualifications Framework, which includes, but is not limited to, GCSEs, iGCSEs, Key Skills and Functional Skills level 2. If you do not have formal qualifications to this level or have alternatives, we may still be able to consider your application – please contact the askBU Enquiry Service to find out more.

Other qualifications

We have outlined below other qualifications that we consider for this course. If you are studying a qualification that is not listed, please contact the askBU Enquiry Service – it may be that we can still consider it.

Access Courses: BU welcomes Access to HE Diploma applicants.

This course requires applicants to pass the Access to HE Diploma with 60 credits - at least 45 at level 3, the remainder at level 2 or equivalent. Offers will be subject specific, particularly in the science subjects; any combination of grades to meet the overall tariff is acceptable.

BTEC Qualifications

  • Extended Diploma: This course requires Distinction, Merit, Merit from the Extended Diploma - offers will be subject specific, particularly in the science subjects.
  • Diploma: This course requires a Distinction*, Merit from the Diploma in addition to an A-Level Grade B in a required subject to achieve the overall tariff. Offers will be subject specific.
  • 90-credit Diploma: The 90-credit Diploma will be accepted as part of your overall tariff but it must be accompanied by A-Levels or equivalent qualifications.
  • Subsidiary Diploma: The Subsidiary Diploma will be accepted as part of your overall tariff but it must be accompanied by A-Levels or equivalent qualifications.

We recommend that you study BTEC Sport and Exercise Science or BTEC Applied Science. Due to the nature of this course we recommend students undertaking BTEC in Sport or Sport Science also undertake some relevant work experience in a healthcare setting for their application to be considered.

A combination of BTEC qualifications to meet the overall course tariff is also acceptable.

Cambridge Pre-U Diploma: We welcome applicants studying the Cambridge Pre-U Diploma or a combination of Pre-U subjects and A-levels.

European Baccalaureate: This course requires a minimum score of 75%.

International Baccalaureate (Diploma): The IB Diploma is welcomed as part of the International Baccalaureate (IB). This course requires 30 points including 5 points from each of the 3 Higher Level subjects. 

Scottish Qualifications: Scottish Advanced Highers, Scottish Highers and other Scottish qualifications are all welcomed providing that your results meet the overall course tariff and include required/relevant subjects as appropriate.

Welsh Baccalaureate: Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma is welcomed alongside A-Levels or equivalent, to meet the overall course tariff.

Open University: If you currently have some academic qualifications but do not have a biology/ human biology and this is a required subject for your course we recommend you consider studying the Open University course SK277.

OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Qualification: The OCR Extended Diploma or a combination of one Diploma and one Introductory Diploma is acceptable for entry to this course.

Extended Diploma: This course requires Distinction, Merit, Merit. Offers will be grade subject and grade specific, particularly in the science subjects.

Other combinations of OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical qualifications to meet the overall course tariff may be acceptable.

Extended Project Qualification: The grade achieved for the Extended Project may be taken into account when considering whether or not to accept a candidate who has marginally failed to meet the conditions of their offer.

Deferred Entry: We are happy to consider applicants for deferred entry.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Check (previously known as CRB)

All successful applicants will be subject to an enhanced Disclosure and Barred List check; this will be a condition of offer and will need to becompleted prior to commencing the course. Please see the Government website for the most up to date information.

ISA Registration

This course may involve regular access to children and/or vulnerable adults, also known as regulated activity. Registration for the Vetting and Barring Scheme (VBS) due to be administered by the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) has been halted pending review by the Government. However, students should be aware that this may be a requirement at a later date.

International entry requirements

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you will need to provide evidence that you can understand English to a satisfactory level. English language requirements for this course are normally:

  • IELTS (Academic) 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component of writing, speaking, listening and reading or equivalent.

View further information about our English language requirements.

If you do not meet the English language requirement for your degree then why not join our Pre-Sessional English course. Successful completion of our Pre-Sessional English course will meet your English language requirement, without the need to re-take IELTS.

Academic entry requirements 

You can find details of the international qualifications we accept, and what level of study they apply to, on our entry requirements for non-UK students’ page.

We offer a number of preparatory programmes through the Bournemouth University International College. These courses offer you progression from High School in your home country to a Bachelor’s degree at BU.


  • Students in work/further study six months after graudation: 100%* 

There are varied career prospects for students who graduate from this course and you'll be in a position to search for roles in a range of environments, including hospital rehabilitation units, physical rehabilitation clinics, the leisure industry, medical centres, the sports industry, health clubs and within community exercise referral schemes.

Within six months of finishing their degree, 100%* of our students are working or in further education. Among the roles you can apply for are:

  • Exercise Scientist
  • Physiotherapy Assistant 
  • Rehabilitation Assistant 
  • Teaching Assistant 
  • Therapy Technician 
  • Researcher.

This course is recognised by the Register of Exercise Professionals, which means it meets the health and fitness industry's agreed national occupational standards.

Industries worked in

  • Healthcare
  • Leisure
  • Sport
  • Education

Further study

Once you have completed an undergraduate Honours degree, you can further develop your education by studying for a postgraduate degree. Please visit our Postgraduate section for further details about our range of Master's degrees.

*All statistics shown are taken from Unistats, Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE), BU institutional data and Ipsos MORI (National Student Survey) unless otherwise stated.

No hidden extras

Course specific material(s) included in your tuition fee:

  • Lab coats and glasses
  • Professional body accreditation
  • Disclosure and Barring Service Check

As a student at BU we will provide many things to support you and there will also be additional costs you may encounter whilst studying at BU. The information below will help you understand our provision and what you need to budget for.

What you can expect from us

All of your teaching and assessments are included in your tuition fees, including, lectures/guest lectures and tutorials, seminars, laboratory sessions and specialist teaching facilities. You will also have access to a wide range of support and services, many of these are included on the Next Steps insert enclosed with your offer letter.

  • One set of study-related consumables such as a memory stick/ DVD
  • Materials for laboratory and field-based teaching activity
  • Support for placements (UK or abroad) and fieldwork
  • A range of student services – advisors, help desks, counsellors, placement support and careers service
  • The Library – access to a wide range of electronic resources (databases, e-journals and e-books), print and multimedia collections, subject librarians and study spaces
  • IT labs (some open 24/7), wireless network, AV equipment to borrow
  • Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) scheme
  • Disability and additional learning support
  • The BU Language Centre to help you develop/improve foreign or English language skills
  • 24 hours a day, 365 days a year security team.

Costs of living and other expenses you need to consider

  • Accommodation and living costs: view our price guide.
  • Text books: remember that our award-winning library is stocked with a large range of text books for all courses, as well as online resources such as industry journals, free of charge
  • General stationery and other supplies such as print and presentation materials: the Students’ Union shops stock a wide range of stationery supplies on both campuses
  • Travel to, from and between BU campuses: our bus service operates in the local areas offering a subsided travel rate; we also have a large number of secure bike storage compounds
  • SportBU membership: check out our student membership packages, sports events, varsity teams, information about our new facilities and more on the SportBU webpages
  • Fieldwork travel, outdoor wear and footwear (where applicable)
  • Telephone and travel costs incurred when undertaking interviews for coursework/securing placements.
  • A fee will be payable towards the cost of an Educational Psychology Assessment if this is required in connection with additional learning support. BU pays for approximately two-thirds of the cost of this assessment for UK students. For more details and current pricing please visit the Students section of the website.

Repeat Units

If you need to repeat one or more units during the course of your studies, you may be required to pay an additional fee of £1,500 per 20 credit unit. 

Financial help available from BU

We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries to students who are beginning their studies at BU. Our website also provides details on living costs, budgeting and paying your tuition fees.

Course changes

Date Changes to this course Where the change was made Previous text


For 2017 entry: IELTS entry requirement increased to 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component of writing, speaking, listening and reading or equivalent from 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component.

Entry requirements

For 2016 entry: If English is not your first language, you will need to provide evidence that you can understand English to a satisfactory level. English language requirements for this course are normally: 

  • IELTS (Academic) 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component of writing, speaking, listening and reading or equivalent.

Hear from our staff

Kate Rowe-Jones

The course has a practical emphasis with students having the opportunity to develop their clinical skills both within practical lab environments but also out in real-life scenarios with real patients throughout the course of the programme.

What our graduates think

Judith Adams

The course itself has been great fun, and really taught me a lot. We not only learn the theory behind rehabilitation, but get to spend lots of time practising on each other so that we can apply what we learn to real life.

Additional information

Fees and funding

Fees and funding

Find out about fees and funding, including scholarships and bursaries.

applicant open days

Open Days

We give a warm welcome to anyone who comes to meet us and we love showing off our campuses and Bournemouth to prospective students and their families. 

International students

International students

We have a strong international student community. Find all the practical advice and information you need here.

Clinical exercise science

Exercise science lab

Explore our exercise science laboratory and see what equipment you’ll be able to access during your studies.