module specification

ST4010 - Human Physiology and Training Principles (2023/24)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2023/24
Module title Human Physiology and Training Principles
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 300
98 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
196 hours Guided independent study
6 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 40%   Written laboratory report (1000 words)
Unseen Examination 30%   Unseen multiple choice examination (1 hour)
Practical Examination 30%   Group presentation
Running in 2023/24

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

Module summary

This module provides an introduction to exercise related physiology, the sub-discipline of sport and exercise science. This is accompanied by the principles of training and athletic preparation which ensures a bias towards the specific interests of those studying for sports-related degrees. 

The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s Framework for Higher Education Qualifications.

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 exercise physiology. Students are made familiar with physiology, biochemistry and cell biology.

The module encourages an appreciation of the contribution of Physiological Science to sports performance and exercise delivering both theory (the muscular, cardiovascular and respiratory systems) and practical skills (scientific methods of testing and data collection).

The knowledge gained is relevant for a variety of employment opportunities, particularly those within sports science, coaching, personal training and sports therapy.


Fundamentals of biochemistry: introduction to metabolism; biochemical reactions and catalysis; regulation of enzymes. LO1,LO3

Cell physiology: anatomy of the generalised cell; cell membrane, cytosol, organelles. Cell division, differentiation and specialisation. Tissues and their classification. LO1,LO3

Overview of essential concepts in physiology (e.g. biological organisation, control systems and homeostasis). Structure, function and regulation of major physiological systems in the human body.... all with a focus on Sport and Exercise performance outcomes. LO1,LO2,LO3,LO4
Training Principles
Focus on performance enhancement in resistance and endurance training including: components of fitness, periodization, principles of training, professionalism, nutrition and recovery. LO2,LO4,LO5

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

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 sport and exercise practice. Guided independent study is supported by material on Weblearn. Formative assessment will be used during the academic year to enhance self-reflection by students and to enable feedback on progress prior to summative assessments. Virtual learning and electronic media are used to support student development.

Three summative assessments are dispersed evenly across the year enabling students to gain regular feedback as well as manage the workload.   These assessments use written essays, multiple choice exam questions and group presentations so they encompass a range of learning elements and embed critical skills within this first year of study.

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 SHS Staff/Student Agreement which is available via the School Web site.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
1. Understand general principles of physiology, biochemistry and cell biology.
2. Apply relevant tests to gather and interpret basic scientific data and provide coherent written reports
3. Have a factual knowledge of structure and function in various physiological systems, with an emphasis on those important to exercise and sports performance
4. Describe how sport and exercise science contributes to the enhancement of athletic performance
5. Apply and communicate appropriate exercise training principles to specific sports and exercise goals

Assessment strategy

Achievement of the learning outcomes is assessed through a combination of coursework, written and oral examination:
1. Summative coursework will consist of one written laboratory report (1200 words (Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3) arising from experimental work carried out in the laboratory: Assesses fundamental concepts knowledge in sport and exercise science and written communication skills.
2. An unseen multiple choice examination (1 hour, Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4): Assesses basic principles in the sport and exercise sciences.
3. Group presentation: Assesses the ability to present and discuss key techniques in preparation for sports performance. This assessment is practical in orientation  (Learning outcomes 2, 3, 5;  15 minute assessment).

There is an attendance requirement for the practical sessions without which completion of the module learning outcomes is not possible.

An aggregate mark of 40% or more is required to pass this module. Formative assessment opportunities are provided both on-line and during lectures.


American College of Sports Medicine (2017) ACSM's guidelines for exercise testing and prescription, 10th edn. Wolters Kluwer.
Marieb, E. and Hoehn, K. (2015) Human Anatomy & Physiology, 10th edn. Pearson Education.
Kenney, W., Wilmore, J. and Costill, D. (2011). Physiology of Sport & Exercise, 6th edn. Human Kinetics

American College of Sports Medicine (2000) ACSM's Resources for the Personal Trainer, 4th edn. Wolters Kluwer.
Haff, T and Triplett, T. (2015). Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning 4th edn. National Strength & Conditioning Association.
McArdle, W, Katch, F & Katch, V (2014) Exercise Physiology. 8th ed. Wolters Kluwer.
Schmidt, R.A., & Wrisberg, C.A. (2007). Motor Learning and Performance: A Problem-Based Learning Approach, 4th edn. Champaign Il: Human Kinetics.
American College of Sports Medicine (2013) ACSM's health-related physical fitness assessment manual. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.