Sport and Exercise Medical Sciences BSc

London, Bloomsbury and London, Hampstead (Royal Free Hospital)

Gain the academic and practical foundation needed to work in both athletic performance and clinical environments. On this degree, you’ll learn all about how the human body functions in health and disease, and how it responds to exercise for health and performance. This course also covers injury management while also giving you a thorough grounding in medical sciences.

UK students International students
Study mode
3 academic years
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
Fees to be confirmed
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
Fees to be confirmed
Programme starts
September 2025
Application deadline
29 Jan 2025
UCAS course code

Entry requirements

Biology and either Chemistry, Mathematics or Physics required.
English Language and Mathematics at grade B or 6.

Contextual offer information

Contextual offers are typically one to two grades lower than the standard offer. Grade and subject requirements for contextual offers for this programme will be published in Summer 2024.

A total of 18 points in three higher level subjects including 6 in Biology and either Mathematics, Physics or Chemistry, with no higher level score below 5. For Mathematics, the programme will accept either 'Analysis and Approaches' or 'Applications and Interpretation' at higher level.

Contextual offer

Contextual offers are typically one to two grade boundaries (equivalent to A levels) lower than the standard offer. IB Diploma grade and subject requirements for contextual offers for this programme will be published in Summer 2024.

UK applicants qualifications

For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:

Equivalent qualification

Pass in Access to HE Diploma with a minimum of 33 credits at Distinction and 12 credits at Merit, all from Level 3 units. Please note, where subject specific requirements are stipulated at A level we may review your Access to HE syllabus to ensure you meet the subject specific requirements prior to a final decision being communicated.

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (QCF) or BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (RQF - teaching from 2016) with Distinction, Distinction, Distinction to include Distinction in Biology plus one from Chemistry, Mathematics or Physics.

D3,D3,D3 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects. Biology and either Chemistry, Mathematics or Physics required.

A,A,A at Advanced Highers (or A,A at Advanced Higher and A,A,A at Higher), including Biology and either Chemistry, Mathematics or Physics at Advanced Higher.

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A levels at grades AAA. Biology required, plus one from Chemistry, Mathematics or Physics.

International applications

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

Access and widening participation

UCL is committed to widening access to higher education. If you are eligible for Access UCL you do not need to do anything in addition to the standard UCAS application. Your application will be automatically flagged when we receive it.

Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates

The Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPC) prepare international students for a UCL undergraduate degree who don’t have the qualifications to enter directly. These intensive one-year foundation courses are taught on our central London campus.

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:

English language requirements

The English language level for this programme is: Level 3

Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.

A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.

Course overview

Our degree in Sport and Exercise Medical Sciences prepares you to become a leading professional and/or scientist in the field of exercise and health. This degree offers a distinct advantage over sport science or physiotherapy programmes for those seeking comprehensive knowledge in human health, clinical exercise applications, and the psychology and neuroscience behind exercise.

On this course, you will study:

  • Medical sciences, and how the human body works in health and in disease.
  • How to prevent and manage specific diseases through physical activity (such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease)
  • How to prevent and manage sports injuries
  • How to optimise performance in elite sport
  • How our mind and body interact, and the psychology and neuroscience of physical activity.

All your subjects are taught by world-renowned experts from various departments at UCL. We take pride in our partnership with the Institute of Sport, Exercise, and Health (ISEH), providing you with access to an extensive network in elite sport and public health, along with valuable opportunities for internships and employment. You will also benefit from world-class teaching on the psychology and neuroscience modules which are delivered by experts from the UCL Faculty of Brain Sciences.

While studying with us, you'll gain an in-depth grounding in medical sciences, with a focus on exercise medicine, sports injuries, human health and performance, and disease. The course covers the foundations of human biology and medicine, such as how the body works, what goes wrong in disease, and how to treat it. We then introduce you to how the body responds during exercise.

What's different compared to a standard Sports Science course?

With this degree, you'll explore how exercise is used to prevent and manage disease, assess injury, and inform rehabilitation and performance. We're excited to offer a newly developed module in Exercise Neuroscience starting in 2025, delivered by experts from the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience. This module will provide you with a deep understanding of the interaction between the brain and body during exercise. The module explores topics including psychology, behaviour change and how we can use physical activity to prevent and manage cognitive decline or neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's.

You'll also gain a strong understanding of injury management. All these elements are not usually taught on standard Sports science courses.  This course provides the ideal background for careers across healthcare, industry, academia and elite sport.

What's different compared to a Physiotherapy course?

With this degree, you'll delve into biomechanics, injury assessment, prevention, rehabilitation, and strengthening - all crucial elements for restoring athletes to peak performance levels. Many of our graduates then study a Physiotherapy MSc to become registered physiotherapists. This gives you a strong advantage in the field with a comprehensive grounding in sport and performance, which is not normally the focus of standard physiotherapy degrees.

What this course will give you

This programme offers you the following benefits and opportunities.

  • Great preparation for careers across healthcare, industry, academia, and elite sport. You’ll have a strong foundation in medical sciences covering exercise medicine, sports injuries, human health and performance, and disease.
  • A unique set of skills. The clinical medical specialism of this course sets it apart from traditional sports science degrees. Your skills will include evidence-based exercise prescription, clinical and biomechanical assessment of common sports injuries and their management, and fundamental applied research skills and medical statistics.
  • Flexibility. Optional topics such as public engagement, policy and bioscience funding mean the course is also ideal for anyone who is interested in public health, strategy and government policy and wants to work in non-clinical fields. You will be prepared to tackle the urgent questions surrounding the burden of chronic disease on society.
  • Strong reputation. UCL is ranked 6th in the world for Medicine (QS World University Rankings, 2023). The Institute of Sport, Exercise and Health’s international network in both elite performance and public health provides prestigious career opportunities for motivated students.
  • You'll develop a thorough grounding in human body systems, health and disease, anatomy, and physiology. The course bridges the gap between traditional biomedical science and innovations in exercise medicine.
  • You'll access a vibrant research community of leading scientists, clinicians, and academics at UCL. You'll also work with students of related programmes and participate in projects across the university.
  • You'll collaborate on research undertaken by the Institute of Sport Exercise and Health and its partners, including the English Institute of Sport, the International Olympic Committee and University College London Hospitals.

Teaching and learning

In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 15 or 30 credits, adding up to a total of 120 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 30-credit module is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

Upon successful completion of 360 credits, you will be awarded a BSc (Hons) in Sport and Exercise Medical Sciences.


Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

Year one

In year one, you gain a strong basis of medical sciences, human physiology in health and in disease, sports anatomy and imaging, and exercise physiology.

Year two

In year two, you build on your knowledge of health, disease, and adaptations to exercise to design training programmes. You also broaden your knowledge by studying immunity, nutrition, and psychology.

Year three

In year three, you bring together everything you have acquired in the first two years by studying injury assessment and rehabilitation, sport performance optimisation, exercise neuroscience and exercise medicine. You also complete a research project.

Your learning

This is a highly practical programme. You will learn through a mix of lectures, interactive workshops, group discussion, laboratory work, biomechanical and clinical assessment, exercise training and performance testing.

In years one and two, each week you will practise your performance assessment skills through physical testing in the lab. In year three, each week you will practise your clinical skills on how to assess injuries and will continue to practise your applied skills through performance testing in the lab.

Depending which research project you choose, you may also spend a lot of time testing participants to gather data on their health and fitness. You'll have access to world-class equipment such as VO2MAX testing, dynamometers, force plates, accelerometers, electrocardiograms, and body composition machinery.

The development of your employability skills is strongly supported throughout the degree.

For each module you study each week, you will typically have 2-4 contact hours, and spend another 4-6 hours on independent learning.


Formative assessments are embedded throughout the degree to help you develop your learning and academic skills. These include:

  • Problem-based learning workshops
  • Informal presentations
  • Interactive workshops
  • Gamification
  • Peer feedback.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support and Wellbeing team.


Undergraduate In-person Open Days

Visit UCL in person to explore the programmes we offer, chat with students and staff, learn about student life at UCL and ask any questions you may have. At this year’s event, you will get the chance to explore UCL’s rich and radical history at both our historical Bloomsbury and the new East campuses. You only need to attend one of the two dates, but you are welcome to visit us at both locations. Book your place and start planning your visit on our Undergraduate Open Days page.

Online - Open day

Sport and Exercise Medical Sciences BSc - Is exercise really a magic pill?

Join us for an online taster session where we explore how exercise can be applied in health and in disease. We will talk through the Sport and Exercise Medical Sciences programme of studies, and will discuss some examples of how exercise is used in various research contexts, from military performance, to injury prevention, to obesity, to cognition and mental wellbeing. The taster event will also include key course information and the chance to ask questions to both teaching staff and a current student.

The foundation of your career

You will emerge as an experienced sports graduate equipped with practical experience, expertise in clinical exercise applications, proficiency in injury management, a comprehensive grasp of psychology and neuroscience in exercise, and an interdisciplinary perspective on sport and exercise science. This degree provides key advantages compared to sports science, as it consolidates your knowledge of clinical physiology, injury management, exercise medicine and psychology.

As a graduate of this programme, obvious next steps would be to complete a Physiotherapy MSc or a graduate Medicine degree, to specialise in Clinical Exercise Physiology or related fields, or to move straight into sports industry professions.


One of the key benefits of studying sport, exercise, and health lies in its interdisciplinary approach. This enables you to gain a wide-ranging knowledge base in various fields, including medicine, psychology, and physiotherapy. As a result, our graduates will have the foundational knowledge required to work as biomechanists, physiologists, coaches, performance analysts or clinical exercise practitioners.

In addition to being prepared for roles in sport performance, sport science research, and industry, you will also be well-prepared for positions in injury prevention and rehabilitation, clinical exercise prescription, and population health.

Unlike traditional UK sports science or sport and exercise science programmes, our degree provides an in-depth medical and clinical grounding to sport and exercise performance. This equips students for broader career choices, including patient-facing careers that serve to improve health, longevity, and quality of life.

You'll also be well placed to apply for higher research degrees, such as an MSc, PhD and NHS scientist programmes, or vocational graduate programmes in medicine or physiotherapy.


There are no additional requirements for you to work in the field of sport and exercise once you complete your degree. However, to enhance your CV further, you have a few options. You may wish to apply for accreditation as a Clinical Exercise Physiologist through the American College of Sport Medicine (ACSM) with this degree and 1,200 hours of clinical experience. You may wish to apply for accreditation as a Certified Exercise Practitioner with this degree and any Level 4 Exercise certification (eg. REPS or ACSM Level 4 personal trainer).

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time
Tuition fees (2024/25) Fees to be confirmed
Tuition fees (2024/25) Fees to be confirmed

The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2024/25 academic year. The UK fees shown are for the first year of the programme at UCL only. Fees for future years may be subject to an inflationary increase. The Overseas fees shown are the fees that will be charged to 2024/25 entrants for each year of study on the programme, unless otherwise indicated below.

Full details of UCL's tuition fees, tuition fee policy and potential increases to fees can be found on the UCL Students website.

Additional costs

There are no additional costs directly related to the course. All equipment and learning resources are provided by the University. You will be expected to travel between campuses for specific modules (Bloomsbury and the Royal Free Hospital, Hampstead), so you will face travel costs within London once or twice a week, depending on your choices. Find out about the cost of using public transport at Transport for London.

A guide including rough estimates for these and other living expenses is included on the UCL Fees and funding pages. If you are concerned by potential additional costs for books, equipment, etc., please get in touch with the relevant departmental contact (details given on this page).

Funding your studies

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.

Next steps

Your application

We are looking for highly motivated students who can draw upon their own experiences to demonstrate the value of sport and physical activity for personal and public health. You should have a passion for helping people to achieve their best performance in sport, exercise, recovery, and rehabilitation. You might not yet know whether you want to work in elite sport, in rehabilitation or in population health. This is perfectly fine, as the degree prepares you to work in any of these fields. We are looking for students who are curious, proactive and passionate about physical activity, and are dedicated to improving the lives of others through it.

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.


For further information on UCL's selection process see: How we assess your application.

We will use your predicted or achieved academic qualifications, your personal statement, and your reference to decide whether to offer you a place. In your personal statements and references, we look for examples of excellent interpersonal skills and professional behaviours that future career paths might require, as well as proficiency in English. You should also demonstrate your understanding of the value of physical activity, drawing on your own experiences.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.