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Please note: this degree is only accepting applications to transfer directly on to the third year of the programme.

Health and exercise science addresses the causes, prevention and management of chronic diseases using physical activity and health promotion strategies as tools to improve health and wellbeing.

  • The degree will explore in-depth issues relating to health promotion through lifestyle and behavioural changes.
  • Two pathways are offered on this programme: Community pathway & Clinical Exercise pathway (Single Honours only).
  • You will be assessed through continuous coursework assessment, timed essays, research and laboratory reports, and more.
Health and Exercise Science video

Why study Health and Exercise Science?

The importance of maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle is increasingly calling for highly-skilled and practically adept graduates in the health sector.

The degree's emphasis on practical learning will prepare you to enter a wide range of vocational careers. It will explore in-depth issues relating to health promotion through lifestyle and behavioural changes, distinguishing it from more traditional sport science programmes that focus on sport performance.

In recent BBC news headlines, the NHS announced that 1,000 more “social prescribers” are to be trained to prescribe social activities like exercise classes to support GP’s and help reduce their workload. Read the full blog post...

Why St Mary's?

Our staff are student-centred and interested in your holistic development. The programme is a relatively new innovation, addressing the growing need to improve the health of an increasingly sedentary population.

There are currently two pathways offered on this programme:

Community pathway

The Community pathway focuses on health and exercise promotion in community settings.

There are external vocational qualifications integrated into the pathway that are recognised by employers in the health and fitness industry, including:

  • REPs Level 2 with the category of Gym-Based Exercise (after Year 1)
  • Royal Society for Public Health Level 2; Understanding Health Improvement Award examination (after Year 1)

Clinical Exercise pathway (Single Honours only)

The Clinical Exercise pathway focuses on the assessment and application of health and exercise promotion for people with chronic conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

As well as the vocational qualifications available on the Community pathway, the Clinical Exercise pathway also includes the following industry-recognised awards:

  • REPs Level 3 with the category of Exercise Referral (after Year 3)

Combine Health and Exercise Science with another degree

Health and Exercise Science can be combined with any of the following courses to create a joint honours degree programme:

Entry requirements

N/A UCAS points required

View alternative requirements

Health and Exercise Science is only accepting applications to transfer directly into the third year of the programme for 2020 entry.

To transfer directly into the third year (level six) you must have achieved at least 120 UK credits at level four and 120 UK credits at level five at another institution.

The modules you have previously studied must match the content and learning outcomes of the modules on the degree you are interested in studying at St Mary's.

For more information please email

International requirements

International students should check our country-specific pages for equivalents. If English is not your first language you will need to achieve an IELTS score of 6.0 overall with no less than 5.5 in any section (or equivalent).

We now accept IELTS Indicator test results as proof of your English language level.

Course content

Year one

  • Introduction to Research Core
  • Introduction to Nutrition 1 Core
  • Physical Activity Instructor Core
  • Physiology and Anatomy Core
  • Introduction to Nutrition 2 Core
  • Introduction to Health and Professional Skills Core

Year two

  • Research Methods 2 Core
  • Nutrition for Health and Disease Core
  • Aetiology of Chronic Disease Core
  • Exercise Physiology and Physical Activity Across Lifespan Core
  • Health Psychology Core
  • Personal Trainer Optional
  • Health Promotion Optional

Year three

  • Research Project Core
  • Directed Study Core
  • Behaviour Change Optional
  • Nutrition and Genetics Optional
  • Weight Management Optional
  • Applied Health Promotion Optional
  • Managing in the Workplace Optional
  • The Enterprising Workplace Optional
  • Exercise Referral Optional
  • Clinical Exercise Physiology Optional
  • Clinical Observation Placement Optional

Please note: it is possible that a module listed on the website will not be able to run due to reasons beyond our control. For more information please refer to our course information disclaimer.

Career opportunities

The Health and Exercise Science degree provides you with knowledge and skills that will prepare you for a range of employment opportunities within the health and exercise sector and the wider job market, including:

  • Physical activity and health promotion specialist
  • GP exercise referral consultant
  • Health and fitness industry
  • NHS physical activities advisor
  • Workplace health improvement
  • Health and wellbeing physiologist
  • Postgraduate study

The Careers Service has more information on careers and postgraduate study options available to Health and Exercise Science students who have started their studies at St Mary’s.

How the degree is taught

Teaching methods

You'll be taught on our beautiful and historic campus located in Twickenham, London.

A range of traditional -  as well as more innovative - teaching methods are used on the programme including lectures, seminars, student-led presentations, work-based learning and workshops and tutorials.

Teaching breakdown

Learning on the course is made up through a combination of:

  • Contact time: 20%
  • Work-based learning: 2%
  • Guided learning: 14%
  • Independent study: 64%

Independent study is a key feature of your degree and is crucial to furthering your knowledge.

You will receive your timetable a week before teaching is due to start at the latest.

Assessment methods

Modules are assessed in a variety of ways, including continuous coursework assessment, timed essays, research and laboratory reports, oral and poster presentations and written examinations.


We adhere to the university’s policy of providing feedback on assessments within three weeks.

See how your final degree mark is calculated...

Compensated passes

Please refer to the information on compensated passes throughout your degree as outlined in the academic regulations.

Fees and funding

2020/21 fees

  • Home/EU: £9,250*
  • International: £12,250

* Please note: These fees are annual and may increase in line with inflation each year subject to the Governments review of Higher Education Funding.

Information about tuition fees, student loans and funding your studies can be found within our fees and funding section.

The UK Government has confirmed that EU applicants starting in 2020 remain eligible for 'home fee status' and can access financial support.

Additional costs

Your tuition fees will cover the cost of all mandatory elements of your programme.

Additional costs could be incurred depending on optional modules chosen and other projects undertaken. For further information about additional costs please contact


A range of scholarships and bursaries are available to new undergraduate students. This includes:

Living costs

A guide to your living costs has been created by our Student Funding Team.

Accommodation costs vary depending on whether you opt for an en suite room and on-site catering. Take a look at our accommodation options and the prices you can expect to pay.


View all facilities

Further information

Visit the campus

Open days

Attending an open day is a fantastic opportunity to get an insight into what life is like as a St Mary's student. During the day you'll have the chance to:

  • Speak to current students to hear about their experiences so far
  • Meet your future academics to put a name and a face to who you'll be learning from
  • Take a tour of the University and the on-campus accommodation options
  • Get involved with activities going on across campus as you explore new surroundings

Book your place now

Campus tours

There are plenty of opportunities for you to explore the campus, even if you can't make it to an Open Day.

We run campus tours every Wednesday at 12pm. If you'd like to join us for one of these tours please register your place for your preferred day.

Health and Exercise Science video

Virtual tour

We know that for it's important to you to see where you'll be living and studying before you make your decision. However, we also know that for many people it's not always easy to make it to the campus.

That's why we've developed a virtual tour of campus, allowing you to explore that facilities and the beautiful views that we have to offer.

Launch the virtual tour

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