About This Course
Elite athletes are taking an increasingly scientific approach in search of precious marginal gains. Recreational exercisers and patients living with disease are turning to science too, using sport science techniques to better manage their health and wellbeing, rehabilitation and physical activity. This modern, hands-on, research-led one year intercalated degree will equip the medical student with a critical understanding of the science of human function, providing the skills and experience needed to develop innovative psychological and physiological interventions to promote sport performance, exercise and health.
- Top 20 for Course Satisfaction (Guardian Good University Guide 2022).
- Top 10 for Research Quality (Complete University Guide 2022).
- Excellent Laboratories including £1m exercise physiology lab, environmental and high altitude chambers, motion analysis, biochemistry, cell biology and sports psychology labs.
From the marginal gains philosophy of elite sport to the increasing number of patients living with chronic lifestyle diseases, it is clear that the sport and exercise scientist plays a key role in society. The Sport Science intercalated degree at Bangor University will enable you to apply sport and exercise Science principles within your medical career.
In addition to covering the core areas of psychology, physiology, biomechanics and skill learning, a modern innovation of our degree is the inclusion of the latest psychophysiological and neuroscientific research in sport and exercise. This allows you to bridge the traditional boundaries between disciplines and graduate with an appreciation of how the many areas of sport and exercise science and medicine inter-relate. This skillset is exactly what the modern, forward-thinking, clinician needs for a successful and varied medical professional career, be that providing medical support in elite sport, or providing exercise is medicine to patients living with chronic disease.
You’ll be taught by staff who are recognised internationally for their cutting-edge scientific research. Our staff are also applied practitioners and they will share their experiences of working as sport and exercise scientists in high-profile organizations (e.g., NHS, military, UK Sport, Sport Wales, Premier League football teams, England and Wales Cricket Board) and with world-leading athletes and teams. North Wales offers a stunning natural environment for your studies, and our department, which was established in 1978, is proud to call itself one of the original and longest serving Sport and Exercise Science providers in the world.
Video: What is studying a degree in sports science like?
As an intercalated student you’ll find your year with us rewarding yet challenging, as you’ll be required to hit the ground running and immerse yourself in lectures from the final year of our degree, and in your research project. However, you’ll be well supported; our approach allows our students to have close contact with lecturers and tutors, and all our students have access to regular one-to-one meetings with staff.
On the BSc Sport Science intercalated degree you’ll learn via a blend of lectures, seminars, laboratory practicals, workshops, case studies, group assignments and independent study. Each module typically involves one lecture per week, followed up (where appropriate), with lab classes, discussion groups and tutorials. This means that a typical week on this degree will contain six lectures, two or three practicals or seminars, advertised time for tutorials with module leaders / personal tutors and protected time for independent study. Your independent study time is expected to involve reading scientific research, writing essays and reports, practicing vocational competencies, gathering information and data, working on group projects and preparing verbal and poster presentations. These activities form the basis of authentic assessment opportunities to help you prepare for future employment e.g., practical examinations, presentations, case studies, written reports and critiques of research.
Modules for the current academic year
Module listings are for guide purposes only and are subject to change. Find out what our students are currently studying on the Sport Science (intercalated) Modules page.
Course content is for guidance purposes only and may be subject to change.
As well as the facilities below, as an intercalated student you will also have access to our postgraduate collaborative learning spaces and computing facilities.
Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences facilities
- £1M teaching lab
- an altitude (hypoxia) chamber
- multiple 3D motion analysis labs
- a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) whole body scanner
- exercise testing and rehabilitation labs
- an environmental chamber
- psychology, psychomotor and psychophysiology testing suites
- biochemistry and cell biology labs
- 3 x Psychomotor control/testing labs
- Psychology testing labs
- 1 x Driving simulator lab
- 1 x Live-in/Social Psychology lab
- 1 x Water immersion testing lab
Physiology Research Labs
Testing takes place with external clients e.g., we have tested members of the Welsh National Kayaking and Sailing Squads, patients suffering from various conditions – breast cancer, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, renal, diabetes, obesity, members of the fire service, elite athletes, military personnel, and mountaineers to name but a few. The equipment in these labs includes:
- Online Breath by Breath analysers – measure maximal aerobic fitness, energy expenditure, ventilation. They are more a sophisticated version of the Douglas bag system also seen in this lab and the teaching lab.
- Electrocardiogram (ECG) machine – 12 lead suitable for monitoring during exercise or rest.
- YSI lactate/glucose analyser
- Treadmill with 30km speed, reverse belt to allow downhill running, safety arch for downhill and sprint running.
- GEM - Blood Gas Analyser - measures gas concentrations in blood e.g. oxygen and carbon dioxide and acids e.g., lactic acid.
- Osmometer: for measuring salt content in urine (hydration status).
- Reflatron – photometer that allows measurement of capillary blood, cholesterol, uric acid, glucose, HDL (high density lipoproteins i.e., good cholesterol).
- Temperature can be varied up to 40º and down to -20º, plus 5-95% variations in humidity.
- Used to measure reactions when body going through extreme stress, for example dehydration. Psychological testing can also take place when exercising under stress conditions, for example cognitive functioning when dehydrated.
- Recent testing involved a new method of recording temperatures using sensors/data loggers taped to the skin of subjects which feed data directly to a computer. We also have the capacity to take skin and rectal temperatures while subjects are undergoing testing in the chamber.
The chamber allows manipulation of the environment from 21% oxygen (0 m) to 7% oxygen (8,900 m, summit of Everest) using a unit which acts as a molecular sieve to remove oxygen from the air. It controls temperature and humidity accurate to 0.1 oC and 1%, respectively. The School also has two portable units with a tent system to allow at home altitude training, sleeping and acclimatisation. By using this chamber in combination with the fMRI scanner (based within Psychology), it is possible to image the brain and determine why people get serious and often life threatening mountain sickness and headaches. Studies combining the use of the chamber with exercise have helped to determine if simulated altitude can help people lose weight.
- Keystone - more sophisticated version of the lung volume machine (spirometer) in the teaching lab. It measures most lung capacity and volume functions e.g. residual volume (the volume left in the lungs after normal expiration) – measured by re-breathing helium mixed gas, and measures strength of respiratory muscles and efficiency of gas exchange in the lung.
- Haemocue – photometer that measures haemoglobin from capillary blood.
- Physio Flow – stoke volume and cardiac output i.e., how much blood is being pumped by the heart with each beat and each minute.
- Tango - automated blood pressure during exercise.
- + RPE (Ratings of Perceived Exertion) cards – used to assess effort during exercise. Important because perceived exertion controls exercise intensity in athletes and normal people exercising.
DXA LAB (Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry Scanner)
We were the first Sports Science School in the UK to install a DXA scanner and use it for research. It is able to measure bone density and provide measurements of tissue – fat; lean and mass/muscle composition. Other equipment within the department such as electrical impedance measurement instruments, the underwater weighing tank and skin fold callipers can also assess body composition.
£1m Canolfan PAWB* Centre (*Physical Activity for Health and Wellbeing) Teaching Lab
This state of the art physiology teaching lab (costing in excess of £1 million) is designed to allow students to effectively develop their practical skills and includes equipment such as:
- Lung volume machine.
- Douglas Bags for collecting gas during various exercises and a machine to analyse these gases for Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide content which is used to determine aerobic fitness levels and energy expenditure.
- Wingate machine – tests maximal anaerobic capacity. Most people who use this will get a build-up of the by-product of exercise (lactic acid).
- Bikes and treadmills – these are used to induce an exercise situation to measure physiological, biochemical and psychological parameters.
- Two rowing machines – standard rower and kayak machine.
- Blood pressure machines.
- Back/leg dynamometer.
- Skin-fold callipers.
- Teaching ECG system.
Exercise Testing & Rehabilitation Labs
- Isokinetic/Isometric Dynamometer – measures all kinds of joint action and muscular strength. The dynamometer can also be used for rehabilitation from injuries and can be used in conjunction with Trunk Flexion Extension.
- Trunk Flexion Extension – added to the dynamometer to measure back strength and related muscles groups.
- Electromyography (EMG) machine – 19 channels plus conduction velocity. Measures electrical signals in the muscle, looking at the firing rate of muscles and if they fatigue during exercise.
- Ultrasound – looks at what goes on in muscles while exercising and will show scar tissue and can measure blood flow in vessels and heart as well can investigate heart function and morphology.
- Ergometers – Monarch bikes (patient testing bikes), Concept rower.
- Lode Corival.
Psychology and Psychophysiology Laboratories
- Electroencephalography (EEG) systems to measure brain activity via recording of the electrical activity on the scalp.
- Biofeedback machines and software to display psychophysiological signals (e.g. brainwaves, heart rate variability) in real-time and help individuals learn how to take control of their psychophysiological state.
- Mobile eye-trackers to measure eye movements during sport and exercise participation.
- Force and accelerometery sensors to measure movement profiles and develop understanding of how technique develops with learning and is impacted by psychological stress.
- High-definition video cameras and high specification computers to monitor human responses in psychology experiments and to allow the completion of online questionnaires about psychological state.
Psychomotor and Motor Control and Learning Laboratories
- There are 5 of these in total and the housed equipment is used to monitor, measure, and understand human movement and action control from simple fine motor skills to full body explosive sports actions; under unlimited psychological, physiological, and environmental manipulations.
- 12 Camera Vicon 3D motion analysis laboratory.
- Optotrack motion analysis laboratory.
- Upper limb Manipulandum's complete with accelerometers.
- High resolution 2D Graphics tablets.
- Mobile eye tracking system to measure eye movements during sport and exercise.
- Occlusion goggles to directly manipulate field of vision in real time during human movement.
- High definition video camera and high specification computers to monitor and analyse skill movement.
General University Facilities
Library and Archive Services
Our four libraries provide a range of attractive study environments including collaborative work areas, meeting rooms and silent study spaces.
We have an extensive collection of books and journals and many of the journals are available online in full-text format.
We house one of the largest university-based archives not only in Wales, but also the UK. Allied to the Archives is the Special Collections of rare printed books.
There is a range of learning resources available, supported by experienced staff, to help you in your studies.
The University’s IT Services provides computing, media and reprographics facilities and services including:
- Over 1,150 computers for students, with some PC rooms open 24 hours a day
- Blackboard, a commercial Virtual Learning Environment, that makes learning materials available on-line.
General University Costs
Home (UK) students
- The cost of a full-time undergraduate course is £9,000 per year (2021/22 entry and 2022/23 entry).
- The fee for all placement, international, and sandwich years is £1,350 (2021/22 and 2022/23).
- More information on fees and finance for Home (UK) students.
International (including EU) students
There are also some common additional costs that are likely to arise for students on all courses, for example:
- If you choose to study abroad or take the International Experience Year as part of your course.
- If you attend your Graduation Ceremony, there will be a cost for gown hire (£25-£75) and cost for additional guest tickets (c.£12 each).
Course-specific additional costs
Depending on the course you are studying, there may be additional course-specific costs that you will be required to meet. These fall into three categories:
- Mandatory Costs: these are related to a particular core or compulsory module that you’ll be required to complete to achieve your qualification e.g. compulsory field trips, uniforms for students on placement, DBS Check.
- Necessarily Incurred Costs: these may not be experienced by all students, and will vary depending on the course e.g. professional body membership, travel to placements, specialist software, personal safety equipment.
- Optional Costs: these depend on your choice of modules or activity and they are shown to give you an indication of the optional costs that may arise to make sure your choice is as informed as possible. These can include graduation events for your course, optional field trips, Welcome Week trips.
- This degree is aimed at medical students who have successfully completed the requisite number of years in Medical School and wish to gain a BSc to specialise or gain experience in the field of Sport Science.
- Specific criteria are set between your Medical School and Bangor University. Please refer to your Medical School for further details.
How to apply
Our BSc (Hons) Sport Science intercalated degree will equip the medical student with the necessary skills to apply their medical training to specific situations within the sport and exercise sector. For example, graduates may work in sports medicine, exercise rehabilitation, education (of patients, athletes and other medical professionals), or research (e.g., progress to PhD / Research Fellow careers). Development of transferable skills will ensure the student is better equipped to use evidence-based practice in their general medical practice.
Opportunities at Bangor
The University’s Skills and Employability Service provides a wide range of resources to help you achieve your graduate ambitions.
The Bangor Employability Award (BEA)
The BEA is a comprehensive online course that you can work through at your own pace, taking you through all the steps you need to take to explore, prepare and apply for your dream career.
Bangor University runs a paid internship scheme within the university’s academic and service departments.
Volunteering widens your experience and improves your employability. Find out more about volunteering on the Students’ Union’s website.