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BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science

  • Placement year available
How to apply Come to an Open Day


A Sport and Exercise Science student sitting on exercise equipment Hear from our staff and students

Studying a Sport and Exercise Science BSc at ARU

Whether you're interested in elite sport performance, supporting talented younger players, or wider issues to do with physical activity and health, prepare for a career in a fast-moving field by studying for our nationally endorsed Sport and Exercise Science degree.

Times Higher Education (THE) Awards 2023 logo

Study at an award-winning university

We're the Times Higher Education (THE) University of the Year. We've also been awarded a Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework – a reflection of the outstanding education we offer our students.

Why Sport and Exercise Science BSc at ARU?

  • Study on one of the leading Sports Science courses – ranked second in the UK and 17th in the World (Shanghai Rankings 2023) and ranked fourth in the UK (Guardian University Guide 2021-2023).
  • Discover what makes great sports performers in our high-performance specialised labs endorsed by the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES).
  • Train and work in the onsite Exercise Testing Consultancy, gaining experience testing athletes and members of the public.
  • Bring the world of work to life through Live Briefs; designed and developed with regional employers to give you exposure to ‘real world’ problem-solving.
  • Our students have given us 100% student satisfaction with our Sport and Exercise Science course (National Student Survey, 2022).
  • Study on an industry approved university sports science course – accredited by BASES and the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA).

Why study Sport and Exercise Science?

Want to turn your love of sport and fitness into a lifelong career? Sport and Exercise Science graduates are in demand, whether you want to encourage and support people to take up sports and exercise, work in a clinical environment – or help propel them to the top of their game. You’ll learn to apply the four key disciplines of sport and exercise science: physiology, psychology, biomechanics and nutrition.

At ARU, we're proud to be ranked fourth in the country for sports science courses in the Guardian League Table 2023.

Study sports science with world-leading experts in our specialist labs in Cambridge, on a degree course endorsed by the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) and the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA), so you'll graduate ready to work in the UK’s burgeoning sport and fitness industry or to continue your learning journey to postgraduate study.

There are plenty of opportunities to get hands-on experience, with internships and an optional placement year.

Course options

Course options

Key facts

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Entry Requirements


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Fees and Paying for University

Facilities and accreditation

A student lifts a barbell under supervision of an instructor. Another student faces the camera.

Specialist equipment

At ARU you’ll be based in our Cambridge Centre for Sports and Exercise Science. Its British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) accredited specialist exercise testing and human movement facilities include:

  • five dedicated laboratories (cardio-respiratory physiology, metabolic and anaerobic physiology, hydrostatic weighing, biomechanics and strength and conditioning, physiology teaching)
  • electrocardiography (ECG)
  • near infrared spectroscopy for monitoring of blood oxygenation
  • body composition systems
  • isokinetic dynamometer for the assessment of muscular strength
  • heat chambers
  • an array of ergometers: treadmills, cycles and rowers
  • GPS monitoring technology
  • breath-by-breath oxygen-analysis systems
  • haematology suites
  • accelerometers.

Take a guided tour and meet our students.

A young woman looks straight at the camera while students do fitness activities behind her

Multiple ways to learn

All our Sport and Exercise Science students can:

  • train and work in the on-site Exercise Testing Consultancy team, gaining experience of testing athletes and members of the public
  • learn from highly experienced lecturers, including practising sport therapists, coaches and conditioning specialists. Our team currently includes a Paralympian World Record holder, a Scottish Women’s Rugby player and a judo champion
  • apply for internships with Cambridge United FC, Northampton Saints and Para Monte, among others
  • hear from guest speakers at our Excellence in Sport seminars
  • collaborate with international speakers and students as part of our optional summer school
  • join an optional training programme to improve strength and conditioning coaching skills
  • take an optional placement year and gain additional work experience.
Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA) logo

The Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity

This course is endorsed by the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA), meaning employers will view you as 'job ready' for roles in sport and physical activity.

The British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences logo

The British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences

Our degree course is endorsed by the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES). You’ll be based in our Cambridge Centre for Sports and Exercise Science, using BASES-accredited specialist facilities. In 2023, we were proud to host the BASES Student Conference.


There are wide-ranging employment opportunities for sport scientists, from introducing people to sport and exercise, to helping take them to the top. Among other roles in the applied health and physical activity and the health and fitness industry, you could work as:

  • an athlete-support scientist
  • an exercise consultant
  • a performance analyst
  • a clinical psychologist.

We’ll encourage you to improve your employment prospects by making connections with industry. We have links with a range of sporting organisations, including:

  • Living Sport (Cambridge and Peterborough Sports Development)
  • British Paralympic Association
  • British Cycling
  • British Judo Association
  • Cambridge United FC
  • European Space Agency
  • British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences
  • Physiological Society
  • European College of Sports Medicine
  • American College of Sports Medicine
  • England and Wales Cricket Board

ARU ranked in the top 15% in the country for graduates in employment and/or further study (Graduate Outcome Survey 2023), and ranked third in the country for graduates who are employed as managers, directors, or senior officials 15 months after graduating. We are also in the top 15% in the country for graduates that agreed they are using what they learnt during their studies.

Graduation doesn’t need to be the end of your time with us, of course. You might decide to stay at ARU and study a postgraduate degree such as our MSc Sport and Exercise Psychology. Take advantage of our Alumni Scholarship and get 20% off your fees.

Employability and personal career development

Informed by employers, our sports science courses support an integrated approach to employability. You’ll have opportunities to develop the skills and abilities they are looking for and gain a deeper understanding of how your academic learning relates to the world of work through Live Briefs and Ruskin Modules.

To amplify your career ambition, you will need to actively dedicate time outside of your studies, whether you choose to explore placements, internships or volunteering. Or you could make a social impact by collaborating with our partner organisations through our volunteer scheme Students at the Heart of Knowledge Exchange (SHoKE). These all give you an edge, providing you with experience that you will be able to evidence on your CV and talk about in interviews.

Our Employability and Careers Service offers a range of expert advice and support to build your unique professional profile, including tailored career appointments, advice on writing your CV, and help to complete job applications. You’ll have 24/7 access to the Careers Centre, our comprehensive online digital resource, which empowers you to start building a Personal Career Development Plan from the very start. Design your future at ARU.

A student wearing a respiratory mask to measure breathing when exercising


"Seeing a career pathway for me to continue researching is an exciting opportunity for me."


BSc (HONS) Sport and Exercise Science

5 Reasons that inspired me to study Sport Science

Apply now for BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science

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Life in Cambridge

Our friendly, bustling campus is a stone’s throw from the centre of Cambridge, often described as the perfect student city.

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Do you have a question that we haven't answered so far? Talk to our application experts. You can also ask our Student Ambassadors about life at ARU.

We're here Monday-Thursday 9am-5pm (please note we close at 3.30pm on the first and third Thursday of the month for staff training), and Friday 9am-4.30pm.

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Placement year available

You have the option to take a placement year as part of this course. It’s a great chance to get hands-on experience in the industry you want to work in.

Your guide to placements
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