University of Chester

Programme Specification
Health and Exercise Science BSc (Hons) (Single Honours)
2016 - 2017

Bachelor of Science (Single Honours)

Health and Exercise Science

Health and Exercise Science (including Foundation Year)

University of Chester

University Centre Shrewsbury

Shrewsbury

Undergraduate Modular Programme

Full-time and Part-time

Classroom / Laboratory, Work-Based inc.(practice / placement)

4 years full-time; 7 years part-time

7 Years

Annual - September

H311

C600

Yes

17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Medicine, Dentistry and Life Sciences Institute of Medicine

Health studies (2008)

The course aligns itself with standards, values, knowledge and skills of the list of organisations below, many of which underpin the core criteria for students to pursue registration/membership/certification or accreditation either during or part of the course or on completion of the course:

Skills Active and/or Register of Exercise Professionals

British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) 

Learning and Teaching Institute (level 3)

Insitute of Medicine

Monday 18th January 2016

This is a professional oriented programme for students wishing to pursue careers in the promotion and delivery of health and well-being and/or disease prevention (primary and secondary prevention) of key chronic diseases through physical activity (activity in daily life, reducing sedentary behaviour, exercise and sport). The key ares of health studied include:

  • cardiovascular disease,
  • obesity and diabetes,
  • with options to also develop exercise skills in working with
    • people with cancer,
    • pulmonary disease,
    • musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction,
    • mental and cognitive health conditions and
    • active ageing.

Embedded in the programme are nationally and European recognised qualifications which meet the requirements for levels 2,3 and 4 of Skills active and National Occupational Standards (NOS) for Exercise Referral and Sport & Exercise Science and advanced instructors working in long-term maintenance and the secondary prevention of the chronic conditions listed above.

Student will gain knowledge and understanding within each of the four years studying modules that either include in their entirety or combining each of the key areas listed below for each of the years at Levels 3, 4, 5, and 6. Practical placements will be arranged with local Shropshire Health & Clinical Services, Sports and Health Clubs  or Volunteer health-related organisations. In the event the placement cannot be supported by their own expert and recognised tutor, then UCS will agree to have its own specialist staff or those contracted-in to provide tutoring at these placements. It will also be considered if students find for themselves an appropriate placement venue but only if the costs are minimal in meeting the requirements acceptable to UCS and UoC standards.

Level 3:

  • Demonstrate a knowledge of terms and concepts relevant to the subject-specific modules.
  • Use academic study skills at the required level for further study at the University.
  • Identify how theory can be applied to practice.
  • Be aware of how undergraduate study prepares students for a professional career.

Level 4

Physical activity in health; an historical public health and epidemiological perspective (MD4101)

Health and Human Behaviour (MD4102)

Practical skills in exercise assessment, coaching and instruction (National Occupational Standard (NOS) Skills Active Level 2 qualification) (MD4103, 4105, 4106)

Physiology and Human Movement (including laboratory sessions in physiology and biomechanics) (MD4103)

Practical placements I in exercise, sports and physical education settings (MD4106)

 

Level 5

Causes and aetiology of key chronic diseases (MD5101)

Physiology and Human Movement affected by key Chronic Diseases (including Laboratory sessions on clinical testing and prescription) (MD5101, 5103)

Professional Practice, processes and applications of patient referral pathways to physical activity (NOS; Skills Active Level 3 Exercise Referral) (5102, 5105, 5106)

Practical placements II in exercise, sports and physical education settings (MD5106)

Level 6

Students will pursue applied practice and learning in the following core areas

  • Applications of physical activity in Obesity & Metabolic Disorders (NOS, Skills Active Level 3/4) - will include work in a practical placement (MD6101, MD6102)
  • Applications of physical activity in Cardiovascular Disease (NOS, Skills Active Level 4) -- will include work in a practical placement (MD6101, MD6102)
  • Applications of physical activity in special Musculoskeletal and joint conditions (NOS, Skills Active 4) - will include work in a practical placement (MD6102)
  • Plus choose one of Applications of physical activity in either Pulmonary or Cancer or Falls Prevention or Mental Health - will include work in a practical placement (MD6102)

 Health Behaviour and physical activity counselling (MD6101, MD6102)

Core Project/Dissertation – Critical literature review and either a single case study or small empirical study with a group of participants that links the Core or Elective topics with one of their experiential practicums (MD6102, MD6103)

By the end of level 3 students should be able to:

  • Analyse, interpret and summarise information.
  • Write in an academic manner.
  • Begin to reflect on their own learning and use feedback as part of this process.
  • Demonstrate independent learning.
  • Integrate a variety of information sources to develop academically and professionally.

Making reasoned judgement (Levels 4-6) All Modules

Evaluating the basis upon which physical activity and exercise intervention rests (MD4103, 4105, 4106, 5102, 5103, 5104, 5106, MD6101, 6102 6103)

Evaluating the impact of physical activity, exercise and lifestyle on health, both with the individual client/patient and on the general public, society and the social environment in which people live; including understanding issues of how social equality affects the amount of physical activity people perform and their attitudes towards health improvement (Levels 4-6) MD4101, 4102, 4105, 4106,  MD5101, MD5102, 5103, 5104, 5105, 5106, MD6101, 6102, 6103

 

Practical and Transferable Skills

By the end of level 3 students should be able to:

  • Retrieve and collate information from a variety of sources.
  • Use proficient reading and writing skills in preparation for the next level of study.
  • Demonstrate ability in Life Sciences applications.
  • Present computing and numerical skill in the production of their assessed work.
  • Work with others for problem-solving activities

Levels 4 - 6

Numeracy and Literacy, Information Technology, Improving own learning and performance, Working with others, Problem solving (Across all modules)

Understanding safety in working with others, with equipment, elements of risk and risk assessment (MD4103, 4104, 4106; MD5103, 5104, 5105, 5106; MD6101-3)

Accountability and respect towards clients and patients, including confidentiality and empathy (MD4106, MD5106, MD6102)

 

Specific

Basic laboratory practical skills (MD4103, MD4105, MD5103, MD5104, MD5105)

Documenting, information formatting and report presentation and writing (All Modules Levels 4-6)

Oral and visual scientific evidence reporting (All Modules Levels 4-6)

Exercise instruction and coaching skills (MD4105, MD4106, MD5105, MD5106, MD6101, MD6102)

Making competent judgements based on evidence (All modules Levels 4-6)

Handling data and information effectively (All Modules Levels 4-6)

By the end of level 3 students should be able to:

  • Communicate the ideas of others and their own ideas in an academic format.
  • Use IT applications effectively for research and presentation purposes.
  • Discuss and debate relevant topics and ideas as part of the learning process.
  • Convert researched information to a summarised form.

Levels 4 - 6

Able to communicate with colleagues including collaborative discussion and debate

Presentation skills via various means, with and without AV technology

Respond professionally and objectively to questions from colleagues, clients and patients

Able to listen and employ techniques using such principles as "motivational interviewing" in both formal and informal settings

Understanding when to use different modes of communication and how modes of communication are perceived and understood (verbal, letter, via internet email and social media networks)

The importance of non-verbal or non-written communication in human relations between healthcare practitioner and client/patient

Module MD6101, specifically will focus on client interaction, counselling and motivational interviewing

Level 3

The foundation years in the Life Sciences are aligned to the Framework for Undergraduate Modular Programmes and offers foundation level study whereby modules are 20 credits and students study for 120 credits in total to progress to the next level of study.

The programme is designed to introduce students to topics within the Life Sciences undergraduate degrees offered by the University, in conjunction with an academic skills curriculum to support learning and preparation for progression to level 4. There are synergies between the foundation year and the level 4 curriculum that students progress to. This includes module topics and themes that relate to the transference of knowledge and skills to the workplace, and the relevance of differing modes of teaching, learning and assessment.

There is a 20 credit module within the foundation year, University Study Skills, which offers students skills-based learning in preparation for level 4-6 studies to support academic progression, and to provide an introduction to successful undergraduate studentship.    

Level 4

At Level 4, students are introduced to underpinning concepts of human exertional physiology and nutrition, functional anatomy and biomechanical movement, human behaviour and psychology. In parallel with this they will pursue core vocational skills and Nationally Recognised Level 2 Exercise Professional Certificates so that by the time they are 3/4 the way their first year they will have skills to work in real practical exercise settings.  

As part of the overall ethos of the University Centre Shrewsbury, students in the first year will have the option to participate in generic delivery covering Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship. This will feature inspired examples from Shropshire's rich historical and globally respected heritage in Science, Technology and Societal Development.

Level 5

At Level 5, students will learn about key chronic diseases aetiology and fundamental treatments. They will then link this understanding, to how physical (in)activity and physical fitness are related risk factors and/or how physical activity is applied in helping people manage better in life through increased physical activity. The physiology and nutrition, psychology, and biomechanical/movement knowledge and techniques of assessment (lab and field-based) will be further advanced from level 4. This will underpin the learning of skills and knowledge for students becoming trained in Exercise Referral schemes and professional client care principles and where NOS Skills and Techniques will result in parts of attaining Skills Active Level 3 qualifications. There will be relevant practical placements in centres where Exercise Referral takes place to apply this learning. Laboratory sessions will include inviting local members of the public into the University Centre for exercise health checks, or athletic assessments and learning how to give advice, all of which will be overseen by the specialist academics or related local specialist tutors.

Level 6

At Level 6, students will continue on developing Skills Active Level 3 knowledge and qualifications, along with preparation of more specialist knowledge in Diabetes, Obesity, Cardiovascular Disease, Musculoskeletal/Joint Pain that underpins ultimately the attainment of NOS Skills Active Level 4 qualifications along with the elective choice of an additional NOS Level 4 course in either mental health, pulmonary disease, cancer or falls prevention. Practical placements will be linked with local health services and rehabilitation programmes to gain related experience. The students final year project (research study or applied case studies), will be based around work either in clinical or community-based health settings.

Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
FP3002 0 University Study Skills 20 Comp
FP3003 0 Independent Project 20 Comp
FP3201 0 Chemistry 20 Comp
FP3202 0 Biology 20 Comp
FP3203 0 Health Studies 20 Comp
FP3204 0 Maths for Science 20 Comp
MD4101 4 Physical Activity in Health 20 Comp
MD4102 4 Health and Human Behviour 20 Comp
MD4103 4 Physiology and Human Movement 40 Comp
MD4105 4 Applied Practice I 20 Comp
MD4106 4 Professional practicum placement 20 Comp
MD5101 5 Causes and aetiology of key chronic diseases 20 Comp
MD5102 5 Personal and Professional Practice 20 Comp
MD5103 5 Physiology and Human Movement in Chronic Diseases 20 Comp
MD5104 5 Measurement, evaluation and research in human health and behaviour 20 Comp
MD5105 5 Applied Practice II 20 Comp
MD5106 5 Professional practicum placement II 20 Comp
MD6101 6 Applied Practice III 60 Comp
MD6102 6 Professional Practicum placement III: Physical Activity Counselling and Programming 20 Comp
MD6103 6 Project/Dissertation 40 Comp

For an Undergraduate first degree programme:

  • 120 credits at Level 3 entitles the student to a Foundation Certificate
  • 120 credits at Level 4 entitles the student to a Certificate of Higher Education
  • 240 credits at Level 5 entitles the student to a Diploma of Higher Education
  • 360 credits at Level 6 entitles the student to a Bachelor’s degree

The programme will be aimed to achieve the BASES Undegraduate Endorsement Scheme, which will then allow it to lead directly to the BASES Certified Exercise Practitioner Award upon graduation. Due to the nature of attaining this status, the process and procedures for this will need to be undertaken so as to be achieved by the end of 3 years, when the first cohort of students graduate 

Individual components of the course will lead to students being recognised at Skills Active/NOS Levels 2, 3, and 4.

It will be the students' choice to whether they wish to apply/purchase either or both memberships from BASES and the Register of Exercise Professionals. The former is required to become a BASES Certified Exercise Practitioner.  This is advantageous if they wish to have professional practice indemnity insurance.

 

BASES = British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences

  • A minimum of 180 UCAS points normally with 30% of these points from subjects such as Biology, Human Biology Applied Science, Physical Education and Sport Science
  • BTEC National Diploma: MM profile.
  • OCR National Extended Diploma / Diploma (Sport): MMP-MPP
  • Irish Highers/ Scottish Highers: a minimum of C in four subjects
  • International Baccalaureate: 24 points
  • European Baccalaureate: a minimum of 70%
  • QAA recognised Access to Science or Sports Sciences course, Open College Units or Open University Credits
  • The advanced diploma is acceptable in combination with a sport related A Level
  • From the above list of underpinning courses/learning, the applicant should normally demonstrate at least 30% of their UCAS points to be related to studied subjects from biological or human science or physical education/sport & exercise science, and
  • Within the remaining UCAS points there must be the inclusion of either another science (physics or chemistry) and/or a humanities, preferably psychology, or areas of human behaviour linked to humanities (e.g. sociology, business, economics)
  • Other vocational qualifications at Level 3 will also be considered, such as NVQs.

    Mature students (21 and over) that have been out of education for a while or do not have experience or qualifications at Level 3 (equivalent to A-levels) will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

At Level 4 students are expected to be able to:

(A) Study human health (physical, psychological and social) in relation to physical activity, exercise and sport

(i) Make effective use of knowledge and understanding of the disciplines underpinning human structure and function 

(ii) Appraise and evaluate the effects physical activity on the health of individual participants and the population

(iii) Display a critical insight into the organisations and structures responsible for health, sport, and the political ramifications arising from these

(ii) Demonstrate the application of the behavioural, social and cultural influences of physical activity and sport and their impact on participation and well-being

 

(B) In the study of the human health enhancement, monitoring and analysis:

(i) Monitor, analyse, diagnose and prescribe action to enhance the learning and performance of the component elements of physical activity as they relate to health promotion and well-being

(ii) Evidence the skills required to monitor and evaluate physical activity performance and health in laboratories and/ or field settings 

(iii) Display a critical appreciation of the integration of the variables involved in the delivery (teaching, instructing and coaching) of enhanced physical activity and exercise 

(iv) Demonstrate the impact of technology, innovation and entrepreneurship in relation to physical activity and human health

 

At Level 5 students are expected to be able to:

(A) Study human health (physical, psychological and social) in relation to physical activity, exercise and sport in those at higher risk of developing key chronic diseases

(i) Make effective use of knowledge and understanding of the disciplines underpinning human structure and function 

(ii) Appraise and evaluate the effects physical activity on the health of individual participants and the population in relation to various forms of scientific enquiry (quantitative, qualitative, observational and epidemiological)

 

(B) In the study of human health enhancement, monitoring and analysis:

(i) Monitor, analyse, diagnose and prescribe action to enhance the learning and performance of the component elements of physical activity as they relate to the prevention of key chronic diseases which challenge the health and productivity of the nation, and healthcare services

(ii) Evidence the skills required to monitor and evaluate physical activity performance and health in laboratories and/ or field settings in relation to those at high risk of developing key chronic diseases

(iii) Display a critical appreciation of the integration of the variables involved in the delivery (teaching, instructing and coaching) of enhanced physical activity and exercise in those at high risk of developing key chronic diseases

(iv) Display a critical insight into the organisations and structures responsible for health, sport, and the political ramifications arising from these

(iv) Demonstrate the application of the behavioural, social and cultural influences of physical activity and sport and their impact on participation and well-being, especially in those at high risk of developing key chronic diseases

 

At Level 6 students are expected to be able to:

(A) Study human health (physical, psychological and social) in relation to physical activity, exercise and sport in those living with key chronic diseases

(i) Make effective use of knowledge and understanding of the disciplines underpinning human structure and function in relation to chronic disease

(ii) Appraise and evaluate the effects physical activity on the health of individual participants and the population in relation to various forms of scientific enquiry (quantitaive, qualitative, observational and epidemiological) through the design and application of a evidence-based or research project

 

(B) In the study of human health enhancement, monitoring and analysis:

(i) Monitor, analyse, diagnose and prescribe action to enhance the learning and performance of the component elements of physical activity as they relate to the management of the key chronic diseases which challenge the health and productivity of the nation, and healthcare services

(ii) Evidence the skills required to monitor and evaluate physical activity performance and health in laboratories and/ or field settings in relation to those at high risk of developing key chronic diseases

(iii) Display a critical appreciation of the integration of the variables involved in the delivery (teaching, instructing and coaching) of enhanced physical activity and exercise and sport in those living with key chronic diseases

(iv) Display a critical insight into the organisations and structures responsible for health, sport, and the political ramifications arising from these

(iv) Demonstrate the application of the behavioural, social and cultural influences of physical activity and sport and their impact on participation and well-being, especially in those living with key chronic diseases.

Learning and Teaching

Achievement at level 3 reflects the ability to identify and use relevant understanding, methods and skills to complete tasks and address problems that, while well defined, have a measure of complexity. It includes taking responsibility for initiating and completing tasks and procedures as well as exercising autonomy and judgement within limited parameters. It also reflects awareness of different perspectives or approaches within an area of study or work.

There are a variety of learning and teaching methods, ranging through lectures in main topic areas, workbooks to support learning in all areas, lab-based and field-based practicals, IT based learning, independent student centred learning, practical projects, group-based seminar work across the areas (e.g. anatomy workshops, measuring change in physiological parameters in exercise, examination of efficacy of testing and exercise prescription). There are various opportunities to debate and critically appraise issues in health exercise and sport, developing intervention strategies (structured programmes and environmental changes) as an exercise professional. Students are also encouraged to evaluate their own performance as an exerciser or practitioner. Intellectual skills are developed through case studies, group seminars, worked examples to illustrate data gathering (e.g. Exercise Physiology, Movement Analyses Biomechanics/Health Analysis, Health Psychology), synthesis, evaluation, project planning and execution (e.g. Practical placements working as an exercise practitioner), experimental design, protocol, discussion and debate.

Students are also given the opportunity to develop report writing skills through individual guidance through project work, practical classes, fieldwork, e.g. workshops in fitness training, coaching/teaching placements in the University and in community and clinical health care settings. Students are encouraged to develop and maintain Progress Files as part of their learning. This can help in developing self-paced learning strategies with support material, lecture input, demonstrations, support group seminars, mini-presentations, peer group discussion and feedback e.g. in dissertations. Work-based or Experiential learning, research methods and support for dissertation work are specific types of learning methods students will also experience. Work-based learning opportunities in exercise, health, and related sports coaching/teaching areas are afforded throughout the programme. In addition, experiential learning opportunities in laboratory-based exercise science support are offered as an alternative to this, typically for assisting in research projects of final year students, postgraduate students or staff led research projects.

Presentation and group work in group projects is an aspect of learning across the disciplines. There are opportunities for involvement in extra-curricular opportunities, e.g. teams, volunteer work in the Shropshire Community, and extended work beyond the official practicum placements. Student Support and Guidance initiatives, which provide experience and examples to support learning in the curriculum. Students are taught and learn to develop IT skills in measurement/evaluation (research methods), presentations and corresponding support material. Access to IT for research and presentation is provided centrally. The use of specialist software is taught to students, and they learn to use it most notably in Exercise Physiology, Nutrition Biomechanics/Movement Analysis and Health Psychology. Key skills are developed through individual and group exercises, e.g. through reflection on learning in group and experiential settings. Teamwork is encouraged through group project work in sub-disciplines

Personal and professional behaviour underpins all learning and skills practice, whether in working with fellow students or with real clients/patients.

 Assessment Strategy and Methods

The programme utilises a diverse range of assessment methods, which include: multi-choice tests, unseen/seen examinations for introductory knowledge, coursework assignments and essays that require balanced and referenced argument and criticism, case studies examining effects of intervention strategies, self-evaluation and observation of practical exercise instruction and teaching situations. In addition, students on the programme can expect to engage in writing reports, assignments generated by practical classes (e.g. in Exercise Physiology), field work, project work (e.g. teaching and coaching), case studies (e.g. training programmes) and healthcare professionals' case studies.  Essay style questions in unseen examinations, oral presentations, poster presentations, reflective interviews for specific aspects (e.g. work-based learning in exercise and health) are also a feature of the assessment methods employed on the programme. There are also problem solving exercises on disease specific scenarios and cases, course-work assignments investigating and criticising current issues, dissertation seminars, presentations and final submission. There are also opportunities for students to engage in group-work projects on data handling collection, and individual discussion on validity and reliability in Exercise Science, Public Health, Clinical Health and Physical Activity. IT use is embedded in written submissions, formal and statistical and graphical presentations across the curriculum. There are also numerous opportunities to do coursework exercises e.g. report writing, presentations, reflective portfolios that are designed to evaluate key skills. The University Centre Shrewsbury has adapted the model of the long established University of Chester Teaching and Learning Strategy, which requires staff to provide extensive oral and written feedback opportunities. Extensive commentary on coursework is provided on feedback sheets and the assignments themselves, and oral feedback is offered through tutorials and seminars. Throughout the programme a variety of formative assessment methods are employed, utilising class discussions, presentations, mock essays, Moodle based multi-choice, interactive assessments and practical placement projects.

It is anticipated that students who successfully complete this programme will have have an extremely wide degree of prospective careers in sport, exercise, health and rehabilitation (secondary prevention) to focus upon, but it may be  assumed many may be interested in working for the national health service and in health promotion more generally. Whatever work environment, there is no doubt that students will be expected to work both autonomously or as part of a group, demonstrating effective management of time, and resources as befits a professional in this field. The core programme particularly emphasises the skills of synthesis, critical analysis and the development of reflective practice.

Graduates from this programme will exit with very specific exercise and secondary prevention industry/health-service recognised qualification increasingly being required by relevant employers. In addition, students will be able to demonstrate the capacity to transfer them to relevant situations. Also graduates from this pathway will also be expected to utilise these qualities further by demonstrating clear evidence of proficiency at communication skills, knowledge transference, independent initiative, theory to practice transition. Graduates from the programme will be well qualified to meet the growing demand for people with specialist qualifications in many areas of sports, leisure, exercise and health employment and specifically as national health exercise practitioners, health promotion professionals, fitness advisors and teachers and lecturers.

Additionally, this programme and pathway could provide an academic foundation for further study and research at masters or PhD level in human and health, sport, exercise and rehabilitative sciences, or further training in medicine or physiotherapy or other professions allied to medicine.

The University of Chester is committed to the active promotion of equality of opportunity both as an employer and an education institution, for this purpose it has an Equal Opportunities Policy and appropriate codes of practice. The University has four approved Equal Opportunities Policies relating to: Freedom of Speech; Multicultural Education; Gender; and Disability. It also has a code of practice and guidance notes on recruitment. The Equal Opportunities Committee is responsible for monitoring the operation of the policies. The aim of the policy is to ensure that all students and all members of staff at the University of Chester have equality of opportunity and are treated solely on the basis of their aptitude, ability and potential to pursue a course of study or to fulfill the requirements of a job. The policy also aims to eliminate unlawful or unfair discrimination. In particular, the University will ensure that no member of the community will be disadvantaged or discriminated against on the grounds of: sex; age (subject to University of Chester retirement policy); marital or parental status; sexual orientation; racial group (race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins); creed (religious, political or personal beliefs or principles); membership or non-membership of a trade union, or socio-economic background. It also aims to ensure that disabled people, or those with special needs, do not experience unfair discrimination and are able to achieve their full potential.

The objective of the policy is a University which is open to all sections of the community, where people from all groups in society are represented at all levels, and in whose activities all members of staff and all its students can participate fully and equally for the benefit of the University of Chester.

The programme, specifically, is designed to be open to all who are sufficiently qualified to engage within it. As such, there are support mechanisms in place for students from the moment they enter the programme. The Department instigates a well established system of support, most noticeably, though not exclusively, through the Personal Academic Tutor system. In addition, students are represented on the Undergraduate Programme Team, which meets twice per academic year, where issues regarding diversity and equality can be discussed. In addition, Teaching, Learning and Assessment strategies are deliberately varied in order to be as accessible as possible. Practical work can be appropriately altered to ensure that students of all physical abilities can engage appropriately with the intended learning outcomes. Aspects of the programme are also deliberately designed to discuss the myriad of ways in which race, gender, disability and age impact upon sporting involvement and performance.

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