module specification

ST4001 - Essential Principles in Sports Science (2019/20)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2019/20
Module title Essential Principles in Sports Science
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 300
94 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
206 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 20%   Lab Questions (1000 words)
Coursework 30%   Practical Report (1400 words)
In-Course Test 25%   In Class Test (45 minutes)
Group Presentation 25%   Group presentation (15 minutes)
Attendance Requirement 0%   Practical Attendance
Attendance Requirement 0%   Tutorial Attendance
Running in 2019/20

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
No instances running in the year

Module summary

This module provides an introduction to the various sub-disciplines that constitute sports science.

Module aims

The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s Framework for Higher Educations Qualifications. This module aims to provide students with a fundamental grounding in essential sports science principles. Students are made familiar with the major sub-disciplines associated with sports science including psychology, physiology, sociology and biomechanics. The module encourages an appreciation of how focused scientific study can impact the wider world of sport. The knowledge gained in this module holds relevance for a variety of employment opportunities, particularly those within sports science, coaching and personal training.


Professionalism in sports science.
Sports science sub-disciplines: Key concepts pertaining to physiology, psychology, biomechanics, sociology and training principles.
Data interpretation.
Performance enhancement: Skill acquisition, mental skills training, video analysis, nutritional supplements, facility provision, elite sports funding.
Training techniques: Plyometrics, weight training, PNF stretching, interval training, circuit training.
Training principles: Frequency, duration, intensity, mode, specificity, periodisation.

Learning and teaching

The basic structure to teaching and learning will involve a theory driven lecture supported by either an interactive seminar or a practical session. Lectures will provide the essential theoretical base, whereas seminars/practicals offer students an opportunity to apply this knowledge to practice.

Assessments are equally weighted and dispersed evenly across the year enabling students to gain early feedback and reflect on progress in an ongoing basis, as well as manage the workload.  Two written assignments allow students the opportunity to gain feedback on writing style, grammar and structure from the first assignment to apply to a second, heavier weighted, assignment.

Key strategies:
Lectures; Workshops/Seminars/Practicals (discussion/interaction/experiential learning); WebLearn (blended learning/information point/discussion board); Self-directed learning

Students’ study responsibilities are articulated in the FLS Staff/Student Agreement which is available via the Faculty Web site.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
1. Identify the key concepts underpinning the core sub-disciplines of sport science
2. Interpret basic scientific data in relation to relevant theory
3. Describe how sports science contributes to the enhancement of athletic performance
4. Effectively demonstrate and instruct correct training techniques
5. Recall factual knowledge related to training principles
6. Apply appropriate exercise training principles to specific fitness goals

Assessment strategy

Assessments are dispersed evenly across the year enabling students to gain early and continued feedback and to reflect on this on an ongoing basis.

Lab Questions (LO 2, 3, assessment tariff 1000 words): Assess ability to produce coherent answers on specific output from a lab practical.  Provides early opportunity for feedback to implement in Lab Report.
Lab Report (LO 2, 3, 4, assessment tariff 1200 words):  Assesses basic principles in sports science research.
In class test (LO 1, 5, assessment tariff: 45 minutes): Assesses fundamental concepts knowledge in sports science.
Group Presentation: Assesses ability to present and discus key techniques in sports training. (LO 4, 6, assessment tariff: 15 minutes).
There is an attendance requirement for the practical sessions.


American College of Sports Medicine (2013) ACSM's health-related physical fitness assessment manual. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
American College of Sports Medicine (2000) ACSM's Resources for the Personal Trainer. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
American College of Sports Medicine (2013) ACSM's guidelines for exercise testing and prescription. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Ansell, M. (2008) Personal Training. Learning Matters.
Baechle, T.R., and Earle, R.W. (2000) Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning, 2nd edn. Champaign Il: Human Kinetics. [core]
Barlett, R.M. (1997) Introduction to Sport Biomechanics. E & FN Spon: London.
American College of Sports Medicine, and Ehrman, J. K. (2010) ACSM's resource manual for guidelines for exercise testing and prescription. Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Coackley, J., and Pike, E. (2009). Sports in Society: Issues and Controversies. McGraw-Hill.
Moir, G. L. (2015) Strength and Conditioning: A Biomechanical approach, Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Hall, J. (2007) Basic Biomechancs , 6th edn.  McGrawHill, New York.
Ratamess, N. A. (2012) ACSM's foundations of strength training and conditioning. Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Schmidt, R.A., and Wrisberg, C.A. (2004). Motor Learning and Performance: A Problem-Based Learning Approach. Champaign Il: Human Kinetics.
Weinberg, and Gould, D. (2007). Foundations of Sport and Exercise Psychology. Champaign Il: Human Kinetics.
Wilmore, J. and Costill, D. (1999) Physiology of Sport and Exercise. Champaign Il: Human Kinetics.