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Undergraduate course

Sport and Exercise Therapy BSc (Hons)

Engage with cutting-edge ideas as you explore the physical, social and mental impact that injuries can have.

Student in sport lab

Sports therapists work with everyone from elite athletes recovering from injury to older people keeping active through exercise. At York St John University our approach to sport prioritises the health of an athlete over their performance. You will develop as a responsible, skilled practitioner informed by our commitment to putting health and wellbeing first.

91% of Sport and Exercise Therapy students thought that their course was intellectually stimulating. (National Student Survey 2020)

97% of Sport and Exercise Science students were happy with the opportunities they had to provide feedback on their course. (National Student Survey 2020)

York campus

  • UCAS Code – C6C3 | With Foundation Year C7C3
  • Duration – 3 years full-time | 6 years part-time
  • Start date – September 2021
  • School – School of Science, Technology and Health

Minimum Entry Requirements

    96 UCAS points

    3 GCSEs Graded C/4 or above (or equivalent) including English Language and Maths

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2021 entry £9,250 per year full time

    International 2021 entry £12,750 per year full time

Discover why York St John is The One

Course overview

An important focus of the course is understanding when an athlete is ready to return to play after an injury - an issue which is hotly debated by players, coaches, medical professionals and the media. Taught by staff who have both professional and research experience, you will be engaging with ideas and debates at the cutting-edge of Sport & Exercise Therapy.

A lot of our research explores the social and mental impact injuries can have on athletes, and the links between the physiological and psychological aspects of injury. Through a combination of academic study and practical investigation you will learn to prevent, treat and rehabilitate soft tissue injuries, as well as building the ethical and social awareness needed to work in this field.

We work with an extensive network of sports clubs and organisations, giving you the opportunity to gain work experience and carry out research in real-world sport settings. Many local and university sports teams use our Nestlé Rowntree Park Sports Campus. This site, which includes 3G and grass pitches, a sports barn, teaching and social spaces, human performance laboratories and our new sport and exercise therapy suite is a great place to learn and work.

Throughout the course your learning, both practical and theoretical, will be highly relevant to the world of work. You will leave us ready for a career in sports therapy, sports massage or one of many other roles across the sport and health industries.

This course is also available with a foundation Year.

View Foundation Year Courses 


Course Structure

Level 1


Fundamentals of Practice in Sport, Exercise, and Physical Education
Effective practice in sport, exercise, and physical education is complex and demanding, requiring high levels of knowledge and skill. The aim of this module is to introduce you to a number of concepts across the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domains of learning in sport, exercise, and physical education. In developing an understanding of these areas, you will be encouraged to start your journey towards becoming  a reflective, value led practitioner.

Fundamentals of Sport and Exercise Physiology
The aim of this module is to provide students with the fundamental knowledge required to understand the importance of human physiological systems for health, exercise and sport. Students will be provided with the necessary skills to correctly perform a range of physiological measures that can be used to evaluate an individual’s health status and acute physiological responses to exercise.

Fundamentals of Sport and Exercise Psychology
The aim of the module is to introduce students to basic methodological approaches, theories, and concepts that are used to study the thoughts, emotions, and behaviours of participants in sport and exercise. The module provides foundational knowledge required to begin to understand and explain the psychology of sport and exercise.

Introduction to Research Methods in Sport
Research is a key form of learning and this module focusses upon the development of fundamental research skills enabling students to become informed consumers who have the capacity to recognise and evaluate research evidence and make sense of the literature that contributes to the body of knowledge in sport.

Fundamentals of Sport and Exercise Biomechanics
This module provides an introduction to the fundamental aspects of mechanics that underpin all elements of human movement for performance and health.  The module adopts a multidisciplinary approach, which will provide a vital foundation for the theoretical and applied work covered across the remainder of the programme.

Fundamental Sociological Issues in Sport, Culture and Society
As future practitioners in a range of sports-related fields, it is important for all students to understand the increasingly complex and diverse nature of modern society. This module introduces students to a range of social issues in sport from a sociological perspective. Through the adoption of a sociological perspective, students will be encouraged to develop a more critical and detached understanding of long-term power-struggles surrounding issues of equity, diversity and inclusion in sport.

All modules are 20 credits

Level 2


Research Design and Analysis
The specific aims of the module are to: (1) introduce students to a range of quantitative and qualitative research designs commonly employed in sport research, (2) enable the critique of research through identifying the strengths and weaknesses of different designs, and (3) equip students with more advanced analytical skills to interpret and report both quantitative and qualitative data.

Biomechanics of Sport and Exercise
This module will examine the mechanical principles that limit, control and explain human movement, allowing technique analysis for applied sport and exercise. An enquiry based learning approach to the module will ensure a strong link between practical data collection and analysis of subject specific movements and analytical skills. 

Sport and Exercise Therapy Skills
This module will take a biopsychosocial approach to the teaching of sport and exercise therapy skills. Well-developed sport and exercise therapy skills underpin how a sport and exercise therapist thinks, acts, and evaluate their interactions with injured athletes. This module introduces students to key sports injury concepts, assessment, reasoning, and treatment skills across clinic based and sports field based environments. 

Applied Research Methods and Design
Students will work with an academic supervisor to identify a research question and plan a piece of empirical research to answer the question. Students will have the opportunity to share their proposed research at a student research conference and receive formative feedback from staff and invited guests.

Social Justice in Sport: Ethical Perspectives
The aim of this module is to produce graduates that have a passion for critical inquiry, as well as a confidence for challenging social injustices, students will examine a broad range of ethical dilemmas, theories and interventions in the field of sport. To this end, the module’s central aim is to develop students understanding of ethical thinking and practice in light of social justice issues in sport. 

Sports Injury Prevention
The content of this module is applied in nature and encourages both theoretical and practical experiential engagement in the topic. The prevention of sports injury is a core competency of professional bodies in sport and exercise therapy e.g. prevention, and education and professional practice issue. Students are expected to reflect on the sport and exercise therapy competencies developed in this module and how these have been experienced and achieved through work related learning. 

All modules are 20 credits

Level 3


Research Paper (40 credits)
Students develop a research topic of their choice, reflective of their personal passion interest and programme of study.  Once the area of inquiry is chosen students exhibit a detailed comprehension of the topic of interest, applying a range of research skills and demonstrating informed critical thinking through synthesis of the wider literature, analysis of data and evaluation of empirical findings. 

Applied Sport and Exercise Biomechanics (20 credits)
This module aims to provide an opportunity for students to deepen their understanding of applied biomechanics in sport and exercise, incorporating the analysis of complex technical performances in human movements. This module aims to offer a transformative learning experience that is research informed, allowing the students an opportunity to be challenged in an applied and academic manner while addressing contemporary subject-specific areas of applied sport and exercise 

Advanced Sport and Exercise Therapy Skills (20 credits)
This module will concentrate on sports injury problems that are more complex requiring greater evaluation and reasoning in sports field, reconditioning and clinic based settings. Developing a critical understanding and application of advanced assessment and treatment skills are core competencies for a sport and exercise therapist e.g. recognition and evaluation, and management, and treatment and referral. 

Social Justice in Sport: Sociological Perspectives (20 credits)
This module aims to consolidate and develop students understanding of Social Justice through the theoretical prisms of classical and contemporary social thought. The development of such critical insight is designed to enable students to become analytical thinkers, providing them with the skills to inform and shape decisions relating to sports provision through a prism that emphasises fairness and equality. 

Sports Injury Reconditioning and Return to Sport (20 credits)
This module has a critical theoretical and applied practical skills development focus, and meets a number of core competencies of a sport and exercise therapist e.g. rehabilitation and education and professional practice issues. The module will be heavily applied and uses a problem based learning (PBL) to develop informed clinical reasoning skills drawing from previous knowledge, experience and contemporary literature. 

Teaching & Assessment

The School of Sport boasts fully-accredited members of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) demonstrating sustained excellence to teaching, learning and assessment, resulting in research-informed contemporary practice. This puts us at the forefront of numerous teaching, learning and assessment initiatives, which have embedded technology enhanced learning into the curriculum. As a result, you will benefit from our use of video feedback in coach development, flipped classrooms, e-polling, engaging students through tablet technology, blended delivery approaches and audio feedback on written work and examinations. 

To reflect developing knowledge, ability and competence within the field of Sport & Exercise Therapy the assessment portfolio changes in nature, becoming more diverse and challenging over the course of the programme. Level 1 for example, utilises continuous assessment allowing in semester review and evaluation of performance as well as presenting the opportunity to employ interventions aimed at improving success within the semester.

Levels 2 and 3 present additional opportunities to demonstrate skills of analysis, synthesis and critical review through a variety of assessment approaches that seek to embed research design, engagement and interpretation into the curriculum.

Typically a standard student week will consist of:

  • Three lectures
  • Smaller ancillary classes to support the theory delivered in lectures (for example seminars and workshops)
  • Time-tabled supported open learning (for example journal club and supervised laboratory and practical activities)
  • Sports Scholarship sessions designed to facilitate your success as a University student and enhance your career development
  • Frequent time-tabled personal and academic tutorial sessions

All of this is underpinned by completing your own independent self-directed study, which often involves laboratory of field-based practical work, data collection and presentations.

The teaching and assessment strategies employed across sport are engaging, student-centred and learning orientated. Examples include, 'real world' applied practical work  which develop career-orientated skills and competencies.

To improve the quality of the student learning experiences the programme will use formative assessment, i.e. regular opportunities to recieve feedback on your practical and academic development that does not count toward final degree marks. To facilitate the development of assessment literacy and reduce student confusion and anxiety, assessment modality has been streamlined alongside reducing the range of learning outcomes and assessment criteria employed.

The School of Sport offers a vibrant research culture for students. Students will read research, learn about the latest research techniques, and eventually conduct their own research as part of their programme. Students will also be taught by staff members who conduct research at the forefront of the study of sport and exercise. This means that students are able to learn about the most up-to-date issues in their areas of interest on our programmes.  The Motivation, Performance and Well-Being (MPaW) research group, for example, is among the largest and most productive in the world with regards to examining the consequences of being perfectionistic in sport and exercise. Other work within the school focuses on the physiological and biomechanical aspects of athlete development. This work is conducted in collaboration with professional sports clubs and our other community partners. There is also exciting research taking place examining socio-cultural aspects of sport participation including gambling in football and the experience of bullying in Physical Education (PE). We are proud to say that much of the research in the School of Sport was identified as “internationally excellent” and “world-leading” in the last assessment of the quality of research in UK higher education institutions (REF 2014).

Entry Requirements


The minimum entry requirements for this course are:

96 UCAS Tariff points

3 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent) including English Language

Foundation Year

This course is available with a foundation year. This option is ideal if you do not yet meet the minimum requirements for entry straight onto a degree course, or feel you are not quite ready for the transition to Higher Education. A foundation year prepares you for degree level study, giving you the confidence and skills needed to make the most of your course. Passing it guarantees you a place on this degree course the following academic year.

Foundation courses

International Students

If you are an international student you will need to show that your qualifications match our entry requirements. Information about international qualifications and entry requirements can be found on our international pages.

If your first language is not English you must show evidence of English language competence at IELTS level 6.0 (with no skill below 5.5) or equivalent.

International entry requirements

Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. These can be accessed through our Admissions webpages.

Fees and funding

To study for an undergraduate degree with us, you will need to pay tuition fees for your course. How much you pay depends on whether you live inside the UK or EU, or internationally (outside the UK/EU). Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

UK and EU 2021 entry

The tuition fee for 202 entry onto this course is

  • £9,250 per year for full time study
  • £6,935 per year for the first 4 years if you study part time.

These prices apply to all UK/EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

You can find out more about funding your degree by visiting our funding opportunities page.

Funding Opportunities

Placement year funding

If you choose to take a placement year, and your course offers it, you can apply for the Tuition Fee and Maintenance Loan for your placement year. How much you are awarded is based on the type of placement being undertaken and whether it is a paid or unpaid placement. The tuition fee for your placement year will be reduced.

International 2021 entry

The tuition fee for 2021 entry to this course is £12,750 per year for full time study.

This price applies to all students living outside the UK/EU.

Due to immigration laws, if you are an international student on a student visa, you must study full time. For more information about visa requirements and short-term study visas, please visit the International Visa and Immigration pages.

Find out more about funding your degree.

International Fees and Funding

Additional costs and financial support

There may also be some additional costs to take into account throughout your studies, including the cost of accommodation.

Course-related costs

While studying for your degree, there may be additional costs related to your course. This may include purchasing personal equipment and stationery, books and optional field trips.

Study Abroad

For more information on tuition fee reductions and additional costs for studying abroad, please visit our study abroad pages.

Accommodation and living costs

View our accommodation pages for detailed information on accommodation and living costs.

Financial help and support

Our Funding Advice team are here to help you with your finances throughout your degree. They offer a personal service that can help you with funding your studies and budgeting for living expenses. 

All undergraduates receive financial support through the York St John Aspire card. Find out more about the Aspire scheme and how it can be used to help you purchase equipment you need for your course. 

Aspire Card

Amy Carr

Amy Carr

Sport and Exercise Science BSc (Hons)

Moving to university was a really challenging year for me, but looking back now I’ve learnt and developed as a person. Being such a small university there was a great community bond between academics and students. There’s such a good vibe around campus. Everyone here at the University and the Union has helped me in balancing all of my academic study whilst still working around my training as well, and I’m so proud of everything I’ve achieved over my time here.

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