Undergraduate prospectus 2022


Sport and Exercise Medical Sciences BSc

Sport and Exercise Medical Sciences is an innovative programme that equips you with skills in sport and exercise healthcare to apply to patients and populations with chronic diseases. You will learn about the human body in health and disease as well as in exercise and athletic performance; exercise prescription for the management of medical conditions; performance optimisation; assessment, management and prevention of sport injuries; and scientific research skills.

Key Information

Programme starts

September 2022
UCAS code
Full-time: 3 years
Application deadline
26 January 2022
London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

A Levels

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

Contextual offer

BCC (more about contextual offers)
Biology and either Chemistry, Mathematics or Physics with Biology at grade B.
English Language and Mathematics at grade C or 5.

IB Diploma

A total of 17 points in three higher level subjects, including Biology and either Chemistry, Mathematics or Physics, with no score below 5. For Mathematics, the programme will accept either 'Analysis and Approaches' or 'Applications and Interpretation' at higher level.

Contextual offer

30 (more about contextual offers)
A total of 15 points in three higher level subjects, including Biology and either Chemistry, Mathematics or Physics, with no score below 5. For Mathematics, the programme will accept either 'Analysis and Approaches' or 'Applications and Interpretation' at higher level.

UK applicants qualifications

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

Equivalent qualification

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 and either Chemistry, Maths or Physics.

Pass in Access to HE Diploma with a minimum of 30 credits at Distinction and 15 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.

D3,D3,M1 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects. Biology and either Chemistry, Mathematics or Physics required.

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

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

International applications

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

UCL 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: 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.

Degree benefits

  • SEMS is a unique exciting 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 performance, and disease, leading to careers across healthcare, industry, academia and elite sport.

  • The programme is taught by leading scientists, clinicians, and academics at the prestigious Bloomsbury and Hampstead campuses and at the world-leading Institute of Sport, Exercise and Health (ISEH).

  • There are opportunities to learn alongside peers on related programmes, and collaborate on research across UCL, the ISEH and its partners including the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the English Institute of Sport (EIS), and University College London Hospitals (UCLH).

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Degree structure

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).

The programme begins 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 then be introduced to how the body responds during exercise.

In year two the foundations of sport and exercise medicine are taught, from the principles of exercise training and performance optimisation, to the behavioural psychology and skills to promote appropriate physical activity for health and in disease. Students learn essential medical research and statistical skills to start their research project. There are also optional modules.

Year three comprises the research project, and modules covering exercise prescription, sports nutrition, assessment and management of musculoskeletal and sports injuries, their rehabilitation and prevention.

Compare this programme to others you might be considering here.

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.

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
  • Cardiorespiratory Exercise Physiology
  • Data Interpretation and Evaluation of Science

Compulsory module(s)

  • Molecular Basis of Disease
  • The Nervous System and Neurological Diseases
  • Pharmacology and Drug Action
  • Functional Anatomy and Medical Imaging
  • Muscle Physiology and Sports Strength and Conditioning
  • Health and Behaviour
  • Statistics for Medical Scientists

Optional modules

You will select one module from the following options:

  • Introduction to Clinical Trials
  • Health Economics
  • Bioscience & Society: Public engagement, policy and funding
  • Nutrition and Metabolism II

Compulsory module(s)

  • Principles of Tissue Injury, Healing and Rehabilitation
  • Exercise Medicine
  • Sports Nutrition
  • Sports Injuries I
  • Sports Injuries II
  • Research Project

Your learning

A wide range 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.


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 peer-reviewed academic publication.

Detailed module descriptions are available on the department website: Sport and Exercise Medical Sciences BSc.


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


The prestige of UCL and our allied sports institutes, stand SEMS graduates in good stead to progress to a host of careers that require a sound understanding of medicine and science, from patient 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 an MSc, PhD and NHS scientist programmes, or vocational graduate programmes in medicine or physiotherapy.


This programme differs from traditional sports science or sport and exercise science programmes offered in the UK, in that it provides an in-depth medical and clinical grounding to sport and exercise performance, equipping students for broader career choices, including patient-facing careers that serve to improve health, longevity and quality of life.

UCL is committed 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

Tuition fees

The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2022/23 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 2022/23 entrants for each year of study on the programme, unless otherwise indicated below.

UK students
£9,250 (2022/23)
Overseas students
£29,400 (2022/23)

Full details of UCL's tuition fees, tuition fee policy and potential increases to fees can be found on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

Additional costs

The core textbooks for all modules are available in UCL Libraries (including the Royal Free library), and journal articles in your reading lists are available to download electronically. Some students may wish to purchase their own text books or print course documents and if you would like to do this, then we suggest allowing approximately £200 per year for this. In addition students will be required to pay for their own travel costs to placements or project locations, depending upon the project/placement that they choose.

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).


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.

Departmental scholarships

Funding opportunities relevant to the department may appear in this section when they are available. Please check carefully or confirm with the programme contact to ensure they apply to this degree programme.

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

Your application

Prospective students will be academically able, and also demonstrate excellent interpersonal skills and professional behaviours that future public- or patient-facing careers would require. We will be looking for examplesof these skills in personal statements and in 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: 26 January 2022


We will use your predicted or achieved academic qualifications, your personal statement and your reference to decide whether to offer you a place.

You can find our personal statement advice here.

For further information on UCL's selection process see: Selection of students.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.

Page last modified on 13 January 2022