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Sports science students in a physical assignment

Sports science

Getting you fit for a future career in sports

This undergraduate pathway will provide students with the necessary skills to begin studying at level 4 in courses related to Sports and Sports Science.

Key information

Undergraduate course


  • Foundation (4 Years)
  • First Year (3 Years)


  • January
  • September


  • Cambridge

Sports science overview

ARU Sport & Exercise Science courses are ranked number 1 in the country by the Guardian League Table 2021

Students will be introduced to the core skills necessary to succeed in higher education, including researching and referencing appropriately, demonstrating appropriate ICT skills, and communicating effectively verbally and in writing.

In addition to these fundamental study skills, students will be introduced to the various scientific disciplines underpinning sports sciences. Fundamental mathematical skills will be covered in order to support students’ other subjects and give them confidence in manipulating data.

Students will be introduced to molecular and cellular biology, and how these fields are applied to real-world investigations. Students will also study the biology of micro and macro organisms, with reference to both human and animal structures.

Students will be introduced to the core concepts of chemistry, with a particular focus on organic chemistry, and will also be given a grounding in the core principles of physics, applied to living organisms.

Students will be introduced to the core principles of psychology and will explore various current applications of psychological theory.

Pathway progression

Successful completion of this pathway will lead to the award of the following from ARU:

Please see our International and UK course matrix for entry point, intake and study location information.

Course structure

Interactive Learning Skills and Communication (ILSC)

This Element has been designed to help students develop their academic literacy, and research and
communication skills in preparation for undergraduate study. The areas of reading, writing,
speaking, and listening will be covered. ILSC also helps students understand the institutional culture,
practices, norms and expectations of the UK higher education.

A subsidiary aim of this Element is to ensure that students develop transferable skills of effective and
professional communication to support ongoing study, as well as providing a basis to foster career
and life-building skills.

Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

No previous technical experience is required for this Element, which provides students with an
introduction to practical ICT skills. This foundation will be needed for academic success across many
areas of higher education. The students will use industry standard office productivity software and
techniques to produce presentations, written assignments, and charts and tables in spreadsheets.

Alongside practical skills, fundamental topics surrounding technology use will be discussed, together
with societal and ethical perspectives. The Element will enable students to discuss the main
challenges facing society and consider the implications of their technology use.

By the end of the Element, students should have sufficient mastery of the Microsoft Office
productivity suite to allow them to plan and produce presentations, use functions and write formula
to display, format and analyse quantitative data and produce written assignments to a standard
appropriate to higher education.

Cellular Biology

In this Element students will study the structure and function of cellular organelles, membranes and
transport systems, in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Eukaryotic cell diversity will focus on
mammalian blood composition, and the structure and function. In addition, cell metabolism – the
biochemical processes undertaken in living organisms – is a key focus of this Element. Cellular
respiration of glucose and the role of mitochondria will be discussed as well as the fundamental
principle of biology in the ability to renew (cells) and reproduce, both sexually and asexually; the
mechanisms of cell division via mitosis and meiosis.

The composition of cells, structure and function of the four groups of macromolecules – proteins,
carbohydrates, nucleic acids and lipids – will be studied. A specific focus will be the mechanism of
action of enzymes and factors such as pH and temperature that affect their function. This Element
will provide students with an introduction to key processes operating within living organisms,
including energy provision, transport, control and co-ordination alongside key ecological concepts.

Maths for Scientists

Foundation Maths for Science is a course that ensures students on the extended programmes for
degrees in the areas of Life Sciences, Biomedical and Forensic Sciences, and Vision and Hearing
Sciences have the necessary basic mathematical skills required for entry to level 4. By the end of the
course, students will be able to carry out basic mathematical manipulations and understand the
relevant key concepts required in order to progress to their chosen degree course. Each
mathematical concept is introduced by a lecture, in which examples of how to use and apply the
concept are demonstrated. Students practise problems in a tutorial for each topic, using worksheets
given out in advance of the sessions. The worksheets include problems applied to the various degree
pathways to which the students will progress, to indicate the importance and applicability of
mathematics to their future degrees. The subjects covered are a range of arithmetic skills, algebra,
areas and volumes, trigonometry and basic statistics.


This Element aims to introduce students from a broad range of degree programmes to psychology.
The main psychological approaches (cognitive and behavioural; psychodynamic; developmental, social, and biological) will be discussed in relation to current psychological theory. Current and real-world applications of these approaches will also be discussed. Student will be given an introduction to psychopathology through the discussion of mental health disorders. In addition to these approaches, discussion of the mind/brain separation will also be introduced via the psychological topics to provide students with knowledge of psychology as a humanities subject. Research methods and psychology as a social science will also be covered to provide students with an understanding of
scientific research.

Biology - Physiology

This element will study the science of body functions and their relation to the structure, or anatomy,
or the organism (physiology). In this element, main organ and regulatory systems that work to
enable the body to function and respond to change, whilst maintaining a constant internal
environment, will be studied. Although this element will focus mainly on the human body as an
example of a frequently studied organism, reference to other organisms will be made to illustrate
particular principles or to contrast different systems and mechanisms.

The structure and function of the major organ systems, including the cardiovascular, respiratory,
gastrointestinal, musculoskeletal, nervous, endocrine, reproductive, and immune systems will be
studied. To function, the human body is required to maintain its internal environment within narrow
limits. The homeostatic mechanisms needed to maintain homeostasis will be investigated and how
they respond to differing conditions examined, with particular emphasis on thermoregulation and
osmoregulation. Examples of negative feedback will be used throughout the course to illustrate the
importance of how homeostasis is maintained. Classification and the basic principles of genetic
inheritance will be introduced and considered in the context of Darwin’s theory of natural selection


This element provides an elementary introduction to chemical science. No prior knowledge of
chemistry is assumed. The study of materials and the undergoing chemical changes will be
discussed. These principles will then be developed further by exploring the periodic table, chemical
equations, calculating concentrations, quantitative chemical analysis such as colorimetry, chemical
equilibria and organic chemistry.

The practical element of the course will allow students to gain practice in some basic laboratory
techniques based on the concepts covered in the lectures. In addition, tutorials will be held for
students to ask questions and to practice exam-style questions from the relevant lectures.
Laboratory experience and exposure will also equip students with required transferable skills for
their University study. The focus will be on good laboratory practice and sustainable approaches to

Physics for Life Sciences

This element introduces the principles and laws of physics which underpin all life sciences. No prior
knowledge of physics is assumed, and the focus will be on those aspects which are specific to the
requirements of students for Level 4 and beyond. The element will be taught with a mixture of
lectures, workshops, tutorials and practicals.

The element will encompass aspects such as how organisms move in relation to their environment;
how organisms perceive their environment in terms of light and sound; how the physics of fluids and
gasses affect the anatomy and physiology of organisms; how electricity is used to allow
communication, how radioactivity impacts on organisms, and the applications of physics in modern
medicine. The practical aspect of this element will allow the students to develop an understanding of
how the theory they are taught in lectures is applied in practical situations.

Related links

For more information about intake semesters and campus location please see our course matrices.

Find out the academic entry requirements for our courses listed by country. Unless stated, requirements are standard across all courses.

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