Sport and Exercise Medical Sciences (SEMS) is a novel degree programme that bridges traditional biomedical science and sports science degrees with the newest and growing medical specialty of Sport and Exercise Medicine (SEM). Students will learn about human body systems in health and disease as well as in sport and exercise performance; prevention and treatment of medical conditions through physical activity; and critical research skills.
- UCAS code
- Full-time: 3 years
- Application deadline
- 15 January 2018
- London, Bloomsbury
- Applications per place
- n/a (2016 entry)*
- Total intake
- 30 (2018 entry)*
- Biology and Chemistry required.
- English Language and Mathematics at grade B or 6. For UK-based students, a grade C or 5 or equivalent in a foreign language (other than Ancient Greek, Biblical Hebrew or Latin) is required. UCL provides opportunities to meet the foreign language requirement following enrolment, further details at: www.ucl.ac.uk/ug-reqs
- A total of 17-18 points in three higher level subjects including Biology and Chemistry, with no score below 5.
UK applicants qualifications
For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:
BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (QCF) or BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (RQF - teaching from 2016) with Distinction, Distinction, Distinction.
Pass in Access to HE Diploma, with a minimum of 23 credits awarded with Distinction in the Level 3 units, the remainder of the Level 3 units awarded with Merit.
D3,D3,D3 - D3,D3,M1 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects. Chemistry and Biology required.
A,A,A - A,A,B at Advanced Highers (or A,A at Advanced Higher and A,A,A at Higher to A,A at Advanced Higher and B,B,B at Higher), including Chemistry and Biology at Advanced Higher.
Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A-Levels at grades AAA-AAB. Chemistry and Biology required.
In addition to A level and International Baccalaureate, UCL considers a wide range of international qualifications for entry to its undergraduate degree programmes.
Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates
The Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPCs) are intensive one-year foundation courses for international students of high academic potential who are aiming to gain access to undergraduate degree programmes at UCL and other top UK universities.
Typical UPC students will be high achievers in a 12-year school system which does not meet the standard required for direct entry to UCL.
For more information see: www.ucl.ac.uk/upc.
English language requirements
If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency. Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.
The English language level for this programme is: Good
A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.
SEMS is a unique exciting new cross-faculty programme designed to turn top students of today into leading health professionals and scientists of tomorrow.
SEMS will ground students in the medical sciences with a focus on exercise medicine, sports injuries, human health and disease, leading to careers across healthcare, industry, academia and elite sport.
Students will be taught by leading scientists, clinicians, and academics at the prestigious Bloomsbury and Hampstead campuses.
Students have opportunities to learn alongside peers on related programmes, and collaborate on research across UCL, the Institute of Sport Exercise and Health and its partners including the International Olympic Committee, the English Institute of Sport, and University College London Hospitals.
Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Division of Surgery and Interventional Science.
- 80%: Clinical Medicine subjects; 95%: General Engineering subjects rated 4* (world-leading) or 3* (internationally excellent)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 0.5 or 1.0 credits, adding up to a total of 4.0 credits for the year. Modules are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional modules varies from programme to programme and year to year. A 1.0 credit is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).
Across three years this programme steadily transitions from general medical science to sport and exercise-specific learning. Taught research skills modules prepare students for their own dissertation. Up to eight modules are taken and assessed in each academic year.
The programme starts with the foundations of human biology and medicine, covering how the body works, what goes wrong in disease and how to treat it; students will later be introduced to physiological adaptations during exercise.
In year two there is further teaching on the foundations of clinical sport and exercise, from the energy requirements to perform, to the behavioural psychology and skills to promote physical activity for health and in disease. Students learn essential medical research and statistical skills to start their research project. There is also an optional module.
Year three comprises the research project, and five modules covering exercise prescription, musculoskeletal and sports injuries, rehabilitation, and strength and conditioning for performance optimisation.
An indicative guide to the structure of this programme, year by year.
Core or compulsory module(s)
Foundations in Health and Disease
Cardiovascular and Respiratory Function in Health and Disease
The Gut, Liver and Drug Metabolism
Kidneys, Hormones and Fluid Balance
Infection, Inflammation and Repair
Musculoskeletal Systems in Health and Disease
Sport & Exercise Physiology
Data Interpretation and Evaluation of Science
Core or compulsory module(s)
Molecular Basis of Disease
The Nervous System
Pharmacology and Drug Action
Functional Anatomy and Medical Imaging
Health and behaviour
Statistics for Medical Scientists
You will select one module from the following options:
Introduction to Clinical Trials
Bioscience & Society: Public engagement, policy and funding
Core or compulsory module(s)
Principles of Tissue Injury, Healing and Rehabilitation
Muscle Physiology and Sports Strength and Conditioning
Sports Injuries I
Sports Injuries II
A breadth of teaching strategies are employed to suit different learning styles, but independent study outside of taught time is an essential component of adult learning. Small group tutorials predominate, used to explore students’ understanding and application of lecture-based and online interactive learning. Lab practicals are used for experimental work as well as clinical skills teaching.
Formative and summative assessment methods include online and written examinations, including multiple-choice or short-answer question format; coursework in the form of written assignments, oral and poster presentations; practical skills assessment; and online participation. The dissertation is written as an academic paper aiming for publication.
Detailed course descriptions are available on the department website: Sport and Exercise Medical Sciences BSc.
The prestige of UCL and allied sports institutes stands SEMS graduates in good stead to progress to a host of careers that require a sound understanding of medicine and science, from healthcare and industry such as pharma and nutrition, through to elite sport or academia including research and clinical trials.
Students would also be well placed to apply for higher research degrees, such as MSc, PhD and NHS scientist programmes, or, vocational degrees, such as medicine or physiotherapy.
The first cohort from this programme will graduate in 2021 and specific career destination information is therefore not yet available.
Data taken from the 'Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education' survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013-2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
UCL is commited to helping you get the best start after graduation. Read more about how UCL Careers and UCL Innovation and Enterprise can help you find employment or learn about entrepreneurship.
Fees and funding
The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2018/19 academic year. The UK/EU fees shown are for the first year of the programme at UCL only. The Overseas fees shown are the fees that will be charged to 2018/19 entrants for each year of study on the programme, unless otherwise indicated below.
- UK/EU students
- £9,250 (2018/19)
- Overseas students
- £24,040 (2018/19)
Full details of UCL's tuition fees, tuition fee policy and potential increases to fees can be found on the UCL Students website.
Various funding options are available, including student loans, scholarships and bursaries. UK students whose household income falls below a certain level may also be eligible for a non-repayable bursary or for certain scholarships. Please see the Fees and funding pages for more details.
The Scholarships and Funding website lists scholarships and funding schemes available to UCL students. These may be open to all students, or restricted to specific nationalities, regions or academic department.
Application and next steps
Prospective students will be academically able, and also demonstrate excellent inter-personal skills and professional behaviours that future people or patient-facing careers would require. Examples will be sought on personal statements and references. Students should demonstrate the value of physical activity, drawing on their own experiences.
How to apply
Application for admission should be made through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). Applicants currently at school or college will be provided with advice on the process; however, applicants who have left school or who are based outside the United Kingdom may obtain information directly from UCAS.
Application deadline: 15 January 2018
We will use your predicted or achieved academic qualifications, your personal statement and your reference to decide whether to offer you a place.
For further information on UCL's selection process see: Selection of students.