module specification

ST5F05 - Exercise Physiology (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Exercise Physiology
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 300
210 hours Guided independent study
90 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 25%   Practical report
Unseen Examination 25%   Unseen exam (1hr)
Coursework 25%   Practical report
Unseen Examination 25%   Unseen exam (1hr)
Running in 2017/18 No instances running in the year

Module summary

This module introduces students to the function and responses of tissues and organs to acute exercise and chronic exercise training. Students are also introduced to a variety of field and lab-based measures to evaluate physical performance and physical fitness – both to assess components of fitness and work capacity, as well as measures used to screen for risk of sports injuries.

Module aims

In this module students should gain an understanding of acute physiological responses to different types of exercise. They should also understand the residual responses and physiological and performance adaptations to chronic exercise. Practical experience with a broad range of techniques for measurement of human performance will be given. The practical skills they develop will also improve their employability in the sports and health areas. In addition, students will also develop both the ability to measure, analyse and report physiological test data in a scientific format as well as to clearly communicate data relevant to allied professionals such as coaches and trainers.


The syllabus will present to students the Fundamentals of Exercise Physiology including: Cardiovascular aspects of exercise and the effects of exercise on the dynamics of gas exchange and blood transport. An overview of muscle structure will be covered, as well as elements of exercise nutrition and its influence on sports performance. Endocrine control during exercise and thermoregulation, fluid balance, and acid base balance during exercise will also be covered at.

This module will also concentrate on Applied Exercise Physiology looking at: Principles of performance testing and injury risk screening.

Learning and teaching

The basic structure to teaching and learning will involve a theory driven seminar supported by either lab or field based practical sessions. Seminars will cover the acute and chronic physiological responses to exercise and the theoretical basis for test selection. The practicals will offer students an opportunity to perform physiological measurements during exercise and to develop the ability to implement a variety of performance tests.

Vocational skills and employability will be emphasised when performance evaluation skills are developed and assessed; specifically through - professionalism and effective communication with “client” both verbally by providing clear instructions during tests and with written presentation of data.

Guided independent study is supported by material on moodle as well as a variety of worksheets and journal articles for self-directed learning. During induction, students are shown how to use ProMonitor, available from MyCandi which allows them to monitor their progress, record their personalised learning goals, and reflect on their learning through the ability to record comments on their personalised learning plan page throughout the year.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module students will be able to:
1. Describe the acute and chronic responses to exercise of the major physiological systems and interactions between these responses.
2. Show an understanding of aspects of nutrition and metabolism relevant to sports and exercise.
3. Collect reliable physiological and performance measurements during exercise, and report the results appropriately.
4. Demonstrate an understanding of the appropriate application and the limitations of a number of performance tests and an ability to analyse their suitability
5. Correctly interpret empirical test data in the context of health profiling or exercise prescription and effectively communicate findings of performance assessment clearly and precisely either in the form of a scientific or coach-facing report.
6. Evaluate the use of physiological tests for monitoring sports performance.

Assessment strategy

Assessments are dispersed evenly across the year enabling students to gain formative as well as summative feedback and to enable students to reflect on their performance throughout the module.
Achievement of the learning outcomes is assessed through a combination of coursework (25% + 25%) and examination (25% + 25%). Summative coursework will consist of a practical report (1000 words; Learning Outcome 3) which will assess students’ ability to collect and present physiological data in a scientific manner. A further practical report (1000 words; Learning Outcomes 4 in part & 5), assessing ability for test selection and interpretation of empirical data. Written unseen exams will also be set with one  assessing acute and chronic responses to exercise and aspects of exercise nutrition (1 x 1 hour; Learning Outcomes 1&2)   and  the other assessing application and evaluation of appropriate physiological tests for sports performance (1 x1 hour; Learning Outcomes  4 in part and 6). The diversity of the assessments reflect the need to develop theoretical understanding as well as practical and communication skills within the discipline.  An aggregate mark of 40% or more is required to pass this module.


Essential Reading:
McArdle, WD, Katch, FI & Katch, VL (2014) Exercise Physiology. 8th ed. Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins.

Recommended reading:

Heyward, V.H. (2010) Advanced fitness assessment and exercise prescription. 6th ed. Champaign, IL : Human Kinetics.

Maud, P. J. and Foster, C. (2006) Physiological Assessment of Human Fitness. 2nd ed.  Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Morrow, J.R (2011) Measurement and evaluation in human performance 3rd ed. Champaign, Ill. ; Leeds : Human Kinetics.

Journal of Sports Science
Sports Medicine
Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercise
Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport