School of Biomedical Sciences

BSc (Hons) Nutrition, Exercise and Health

Lack of physical activity and poor diet increasingly contribute to obesity and chronic diseases. This course will give you an insight into the key disciplines that relate exercise and nutrition to health. You’ll also develop the practical skills, critical awareness and proficiencies required for professional competence. You’ll graduate ready for employment in the food or fitness industries, health promotion, lifestyle education or public health.

You will benefit from a course accredited by the Association for Nutrition which allows graduates to apply for direct entry onto the register of Associate Nutritionists. You’ll develop practical skills, critical awareness and proficiencies required for professional competence. You can enhance your career prospects by taking an optional placement year. You will also have the opportunity to earn a Level 3 Personal Training award.

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First choice for health

Delivered by professional experts, our programmes are tailored to you and your career. Together, we address today's most challenging healthcare issues, through research-informed teaching and active, real-world learning.

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Call our Clearing hotline: 0333 241 6929

Contact us today to discuss your options and secure your place on one of our courses with vacancies this September.

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Careers with this subject

This degree is accredited with the Association for Nutrition which allows graduates direct entry onto the register of Associate Nutritionists. Nutritionists work with clients to improve their health, control their weight or to improve their sports performance. They may work in public health to provide lifestyle education to individuals and groups and develop public health policy. Nutritionists also work in the food industry advising on nutrition labelling, composition of food products and devising menus for schools, prisons, weight loss companies and hospitals. Also offered, as part of this programme, is a Level 3  personal Training award. This allows graduates to work in the leisure or fitness industries as a personal trainer and advise on appropriate exercise for clients. Further postgraduate study is possible for careers in dietetics, physiotherapy, cardiac rehabilitation, exercise physiology, physician associate studies and other health and sports related careers.

Understanding where your degree subject could take you is an important first step in career planning. Due to the transferrable nature of the skills you gain from your studies, you may discover that there is a much wider range of opportunities open to you within this profession that you may first appreciate. Find out more about where your degree could take you.

Key features
  • Study with the Faculty of Health and benefit from strong links with nursing, health professions and psychology.
  • Benefit from accreditation by the Association for Nutrition which allows graduates  to apply for direct entry onto the register of Associate Nutritionists.
  • Boost your employability by taking the option to complete a professional work placement.
  • Develop practical skills, critical awareness and proficiencies required for professional competence.
  • Gain a strong foundation in the major disciplines underpinning exercise and nutritional sciences.
  • Experience interdisciplinary teaching that addresses contemporary issues in lifestyle-related health.
  • Gain a positive learning experience within a work setting that will support your studies and future employability – the school offers 12 work placements between Stage 2 and the final year of your programme.
  • Further your learning to postgraduate level and set yourself up for careers in dietetics, physiotherapy, cardiac rehabilitation, exercise physiology and other health and sports related careers.
  • Take the opportunity to earn a Level 3 Personal Training award.
  • The school typically offers a limited number of research summer placements – these are available at the end of Stage 1 and at the end of Stage 2. These competitive placements are available for students who demonstrate excellent performance in their studies and allow students to gain valuable research experience within the Biomedical Research Group.

Progression options

This course has a progression route onto medicine and dentistry for graduates who meet the following requirements:

  • On track to gain 1st Class (>70%) or already holds a 1st Class Biomedical Science degree with us achieved in the two years prior to applying.
  • GAMSAT requirement waived.
  • Satisfactory performance in interview.
  • Satisfactory DBS check and occupational health screening.

For further information regarding admissions and interviews, please contact us at meddent-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.

Course details
  • Year 1

  • In your first year, you'll be introduced to the core sciences underpinning nutrition and exercise science: human physiology, biochemistry, infection and immunity, psychology and nutrition. You'll develop skills in communication, data manipulation and IT.   You will experience a mixture of learning opportunities: lectures with other students in the School of Biomedical Sciences; small group tutorials; practical classes in the biomedical laboratories, nutrition unit and IT suite, self-directed study and group work.

    Core modules

    • Biomedical Investigation and Experimentation (BHCS1001ZA)

      To introduce the learner to key elements of investigation and experimentation within the biomedical sciences and to support the development of the basic skills and knowledge required for effective practice in these discipline areas

    • Human Anatomy and Physiology: Cells to Systems (BHCS1002Z)

      This module offers an introduction to the key anatomical features of the body and how physiological function is controlled to maintain homeostasis and health. It will commence with an exploration of cell and tissue biology and the founding principles of genetics, embryology and human development. The module will conclude with an exposition of anatomy and physiology of the major human organ systems.

    • Human Metabolism (BHCS1003Z)

      This module offers an introduction to the biochemistry underlying human metabolism. In particular, the module explores the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which the human body extracts energy from nutrients to sustain life. The significance of metabolic dysfunction in relation to human disease pathology and diagnosis is emphasised.

    • Infection and Immunity (BHCS1006Z)

      This module introduces the student to infection & immunity and the study of microorganisms with a particular emphasis on food-borne pathogens. It explores concepts of food safety, gut organisms, infectious disease and the body's ability to resist and repel such disease via a range of immune responses.

    • Introduction to Human Nutrition (BHCS1010)

      This module will introduce learners to the science, application and consequences of food choice and lifestyle on human nutritional health.

    • Study skills and personal development (BHCS1011)

      This module supports the development of key study and learning skills. Timetabled tutorials will help promote self-reflection and provide a framework for personal development planning and careers.

    • Psychobiological and Cognitive Aspects of Health Behaviour (PSYC108PP)

      This module introduces the psychology of choices and behaviour, with an emphasis on health. We will examine health behaviours, choices, and risks with a particular consideration of how these are influenced by biological and social factors. Students will have the opportunity to design and conduct a small research project in groups, with presentation of this project forming the assessment for the module

  • Year 2

  • In your second year, learning becomes more focused on the applied and practical aspects of nutrition and exercise. You will develop skills for professional practice and research.   There will be a variety of different teaching approaches such as interactive lectures, small group tutorials, practical work in the exercise physiology laboratory, student led seminars and workshops.

    Core modules

    • Nutritional and Exercise Epidemiology (BHCS2021)

      This module focuses on approaches to the study of and the relationships between diet, physical activity and health-related outcomes

    • Nutritional Science 1 (BHCS2022)

      This module focuses on core skills and techniques required by nutritionists including assessment of body composition, generation of data, statistical analysis of findings, interpretation and application of findings. It also explores the physiological and metabolic background to nutrition through the lifecycle.

    • Exercise Physiology (BHCS2023)

      This module explores how the cardiovascular, pulmonary, and muscular systems respond to support the increased energy requirements during exercise and how each of these physiological systems adapt to longer-term exercise training in humans. The laboratory practical element is focused on the development of skills in the collection and interpretation of physiological data related to measuring different fitness components.

    • Applied Exercise Science (BHCS2024)

      This module explores calorimetric methods for estimating human energy expenditure and the principles associated with programming exercise for the development of fitness.

    • Nutritional Science 2 (BHCS2025)

      This module explores the physiological and metabolic background to diet related diseases, the role of nutrition in immune function, and the influence of nutrients and exercise on the maintenance of optimal health.

    • Placements and Employability (BHCS2027)

    • Psychology of Health and Well-being (PSYC518)

      This module draws upon concepts and theories in health psychology, clinical psychology and forensic psychology. It sets out to evaluate how these applied areas of psychology address a range of societal problems associated with health and wellbeing. Key concepts and theories which have been used to address these problems and develop relevant interventions will be also be covered.

  • Optional placement year

  • You have the option to take up a work placement as part of your degree course for a minimum six months full time (or part-time equivalent). If you successfully complete your placement, you'll be awarded a Certificate of Work Experience.

    Core modules

    • Biomedical Sciences: Placement (BHCS3030)

      This module provides an opportunity for professional training of at least 26 weeks duration with an approved placement provider or host organisation between Stage 2 and 4. While on placement, students will gain work experience related to their degree programme, be able to apply their knowledge and expertise, and learn further skills and relevant techniques.

  • Final year

  • In your final year, you will study the interacting contributions of nutrition and exercise to public health and their roles in the prevention and treatment of lifestyle related disease. Other topics include sports nutrition and applied psychology. You'll also have a choice of research project to suit your career aspirations.  The final year entails more self-directed study and you will spend time on your own research project and reading current research to discuss during interactive lectures.

    Core modules

    • Personal Research Project (BHCS3001ZA)

      The module requires students to perform a self-directed research study project that includes the design, implementation, collection, analysis and interpretation of scientific data. It also involves the evaluation and interpretation of scientific literature, evaluation of current issues and concepts and the ability to reflect upon continuing professional and personal development.

    • Athletic Performance, Sport and Nutrition (BHCS3023Z)

      This module is designed to enable learners to provide advice to individuals engaged in exercise, sport or other activities requiring sustained effort. It will provide opportunities to assess nutrition and food impact on performance and health of those engaged in regular exercise programmes.

    • Diet, Exercise and Chronic Disease (BHCS3024Z)

      This module examines the roles of diet and exercise in the development and management of chronic disease states. The focus is on the major chronic diseases - obesity, CVD, type2 diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis.

    • Physical Activity, Nutrition and Public Health (BHCS3025Z)

      This module examines the roles of physical activity and nutrition in the promotion of health throughout the lifecycle. It reviews epidemiological and experimental evidence for the development of intervention strategies and policy aimed at promoting healthier lifestyles.

    • Personal Development and Employability (BHCS3031)

      The module aims to provide personal academic support and careers guidance. It will provide a forum for students to discuss their achievements and develop plans to address potential areas of weakness and achieve future career and professional goals.

    Optional modules

    • Contemporary Issues in Human Health (BHCS3022)

      Rapid developments in the biomedical sciences are affecting many aspects of human health, and there are profound economic, social, legal and ethical implications of many recent advances. This module allows students to select topics of personal interest for in-depth study and encourages effective communication to peers and other audiences, providing good skills for future career development

    • Applications of Psychological Theory (PSYC606)

      This module is designed to develop an advanced critical understanding of the application of psychological approaches where there have been recent advances in theory and research. Material will be drawn principally from the areas of cognitive psychology and neuropsychology We will examine how these approaches advance our understanding of people's behaviour, thoughts and feelings in different applied settings.

Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest course structure and may be subject to change:

BSc Hons Nutrition Exercise and Health programme specification 4455

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

In light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the changeable nature of the situation and any updates to government guidance, we may need to make further, last minute adjustments to how we deliver our teaching and learning on some or all of our programmes, at any time during the academic year. We want to reassure you that even if we do have to adjust the way in which we teach our programmes, we will be working to maintain the quality of the student learning experience and learning outcomes at all times.
Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

104 - 120

GCSE: Grade C/4 or above in Mathematics and English. Consideration may be given to equivalent qualifications such as Functional Skills.

Plus one of the following:

A level: 104-120 tariff points to include a minimum of 3 A levels, including grade B in Biology/Human Biology and grade C in second science. Excluding General Studies.

Relevant second sciences: Chemistry, Physics, Maths, Applied Science, Environmental Science, Environmental Studies, Geology, Geography, Psychology, Physical Education, and Food/Nutrition Technology.

Access to HE Diploma: Pass an Access to HE Diploma with 33 Level 3 credits at merit or distinction, including 15 Level 3 credits in Biology and 18 Level 3 credits in Chemistry, Maths, or Physics.

BTEC RQF National Extended Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma: DDM – depending on the BTEC and units studied. If you hold a BTEC qualification it is vital that you provide our Admissions team with details of the exact modules you have studied as part of the BTEC. Without this information we may be unable to process your application quickly and you could experience significant delays in the progress of your application to study with us. Please explicitly state the full list of modules within your qualification at the time of application or contact Admissions for further advice.

International Baccalaureate: 26–29 points overall to include Grade 5 in Higher Level Biology and Grade 5 in a second relevant science. English and Mathematics accepted within as GCSE equivalent at higher level = 4, standard level = 5

International qualifications: We welcome applicants offering a wide range of international qualifications. Applications are considered on an individual basis, depending on the subjects studied.

English language requirements

IELTS: Overall average score of at least 6.5, with a score of at least 6.0 in all elements.

Other qualifications: Applicants with other qualifications should contact the Admissions Office for advice.

Fees, costs and funding

The UK is no longer part of the European Union. EU applicants should refer to our Brexit information to understand the implications.

New Student 2021-2022 2022-2023
Home £9,250 £9,250
International £14,200 £14,600
Part time (Home) £770 £770
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances. For more information about fees and funding please visit www.plymouth.ac.uk/money.

Additional costs

This course is delivered by the Faculty of Health and more details of any additional costs associated with the faculty's courses are listed on the following page: Faculty of Health additional costs.

How to apply
All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). 

UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code. 

To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email international-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.

Progression routes

International progression routes

The University of Plymouth International College (UPIC) offers foundation, first-year and pre-masters programmes that lead to University of Plymouth degrees. Courses are specially designed for EU and international students who are missing the grades for direct entry to the University, and include full duration visa sponsorship. You can start in January, May or September, benefitting from small class sizes, top-quality tuition and 24/7 student support.


Find out more at plymouth.ac.uk/upic or contact our team at info@upic.plymouth.ac.uk

Gain a positive learning experience within a work setting that will support your studies and future employability

We offer work placements, an optional placement year and research summer placements

Find out more about the options available

Nutrition, exercise and health student Luke Solomi leads research

New research shows that artificially-sweetened cola could be a suitable substitute for people who want to reduce their sugar consumption as it does not cause a spike in blood glucose levels

Third-year nutrition, exercise and health student Luke Solomi conducted the research on a summer studentship funded by the Nutrition Society.

Read more about Luke's research

Nutrition, Exercise and Health Laboratories

We have several laboratories specifically designed and equipped for the study of nutrition and exercise:

  • Nutrition Unit consisting of a product development laboratory, a general teaching laboratory, a nutritional analysis laboratory and a clinical room for venepuncture and blood glucose monitoring
  • Exercise Physiology Laboratory

Discover more about the facilities you will be using throughout your degree

Let our graduates inspire you

Rachel Hine – BSc (Hons) Nutrition, Exercise and Health graduate

"Since studying nutrition, exercise and health at the University of Plymouth, I have been provided with numerous opportunities from the course and supportive members of staff.”

"My scientific skills and understanding have progressed and I have been grateful to receive a prize for my academic performance. I have undertaken a project awarded by the Nutrition Society addressing whether sleeping patterns alongside other maternal lifestyle factors affect weight gain during pregnancy. This has given me confidence and invaluable skills to carry out research."  

"My involvement in projects outside of the course have included promoting healthy eating to children through helping develop recipes for a story book and leading presentations on sport-related nutrition. Overall, my experience has been both exciting and challenging and I look forward to applying what I have learnt in the future."

Could sleep affect weight gain in pregnancy?

Rachel won a studentship worth £2,500 to engage in an eight-week research project to address this question.

Find out more about the research