BSc (Hons) in Health & Exercise Science

Bachelor of Science (Honours)Health & Exercise Science

Full Time
2019 CAO range:
        282 - 484
Cork Road
4 years
240 ECTS

What is the BSc (Hons) in Health & Exercise Science?

The BSc (Hons) in Health and Exercise Science is a full-time, four year, honours degree course of study that can be chosen within the Exercise Sciences Common Entry Route. It is the successor programme of the BA (Hons) in Exercise and Health Studies. The BSc (Hons) in Health and Exercise Science combines the disciplines of exercise science and physical activity.  The Health and Exercise Science programme will give graduates the knowledge and skills needed to assist the general population, distinct population groups and those with health problems as they engage in physical activity and structured exercise programmes.

The programme is built on a broad-based exercise science education in physiology, biomechanics, psychology, nutrition, physical activity, strength and conditioning and exercise programming.

At the end of the programme, graduates will be able to:

  • Evaluate physiological function, fitness, physical activity and well-being in a range of population groups including aged individuals and those with health problems

  • Develop and lead exercise programmes for these specialist groups

  • Apply psychological and behavioural change techniques to promote programme adherence and increase physical activity

  • Devise, implement and evaluate initiatives to increase physical activity and participation, targeting a variety of population groups in a variety of settings

  • Assist in distinguishing fact from fiction with reference to the fitness research literature

Programme features


REPS Ireland recognised fitness instructor awards are built into the programme, including Fitness Instruction, Group Fitness Instruction, Personal Training and Exercise for Health Specialist. Awards up to Personal Training can be obtained by the end of year 2.


Laboratories and apparatus available for practical classes and research projects include 3 human performance laboratories, dance studios, a high-performance gym, a DEXA body composition analyser and ActivPal physical activity motion sensors. A number of classes are delivered in the teaching and laboratory facilities of the WIT ARENA

Work Placement

A 16-week work placement offers supervised experience in a fitness, special needs or physical activity promotion environment. The Department has an extensive network of placement opportunities that include:

  • Physical Activity Officers for people with a disability, older adults or in community settings

  • Experiencing cardiac rehabilitation in regional hospitals

  • Sports Development Officers with Local Sports Partnerships to promote participation in physical activity

  • Personal Trainers in community and private enterprises

  • Health and Exercise Specialists in workplaces, charities and NGB’s of sport. 

Research and Project Work

Students in the programme have an opportunity to experience the full research process culminating in the completion of a dissertation in the final year of the programme.  Students will benefit from exposure to the health, physical activity and exercise PhD research ongoing in the Department including:

  • an exercise intervention for cancer survivors

  • high intensity interval exercise for cardiovascular and immune cells

  • Men on the Move, a gender-sensitised intervention for hard to reach inactive men

  • evaluation of the GAA healthy club initiative

Students are also recruited to take part in Departmental research and community related activities, which have included the evaluation and provision of a Smarter Travel programme in Kilkenny, collection of data at the Women’s Mini Marathon in Dublin, health screening at activity and community events, fitness assessments, and volunteering and assisting at local ventures to promote participation in physical activity.

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

The programme combines classroom teaching, tutorials with practical experience through exercise science laboratories and work experience. Assessment approaches utilise continuous assessment, practical examinations, group work and written examinations.

In order to facilitate the delivery of programmes during the Covid-19 pandemic, module outline and order may change slightly for the academic year 2020/2021.

Year 1
Semester 1Semester 2
Fitness and MovementSport & Exercise Biomechanics 1
Functional Anatomy & KinesiologyIntroduction to Exercise Psychology
Promoting Physical ActivityBiochemistry & Cell Physiology
Research & LearningStrength & Conditioning
Human PhysiologyData & Measurement
Introduction to Sport PsychologyBusiness for the Exercise Professional
Year 2
Semester 3Semester 4
Teaching for the Exercise ProfessionalExercise Physiology
Exercise Prescription for Program Design 1Research Methods & Statistics
Nutrition 1Nutrition 2
Motivational InterviewingGroup Fitness Instruction
Physical Activity InterventionsExercise Prescription for Program Design 2
Sport Psychology & Skill AcquisitionPositive Psychology
Year 3
Semester 5Semester 6
Applied Sport and Exercise PhysiologyAdapted Physical Activity
Child and Youth Physical ActivityExercise Psychology in Practice
Pathophysiology of DiseaseExercise as Medicine 1
Physical Activity Assessment & EvaluationMajor Project in Health and Exercise Science 1
Weight Management Physical Activity, Sport & Development
Choose 1
*Sports Medicine
*Nutrition for the Life Cycle
Year 4
Semester 7Semester 8
Work Placement in Health and Exercise ScienceActive Ageing
Advanced Sport & Exercise Physiology
Exercise as Medicine 2
Major Project in Health and Exercise Science 2
Professional Practice and Social Media

Leaving Cert: Minimum entry requirements for the BSc (Hons) in Health & Exercise Science:

2 subjects: H5
4 subjects: O6/H7
English or Irish: O6/H7
Mathematics: O6/H7

How to apply for the BSc (Hons) in Health & Exercise Science on the CAO:

The entry route for this programme is from WD006 BSc (Hons) in Exercise Sciences (Common Entry). Applicants who select degree option WD006 ESH (Health and Exercise Science) are guaranteed a place in that programme, subject to meeting the entry requirements and points. Applicants who are undecided about their degree option should choose WD006 GEN.

At the end of semester 3, students must confirm their degree option and may change their selection up to that date.

Advanced and Equivalent Entry for the BSc (Hons) in Health & Exercise Science:

Career Opportunities for BSc (Hons) in Health & Exercise Science graduates:



Follow on Study for BSc (Hons) in Health & Exercise Science graduates:

Opportunities exist within the Department of Sport and Exercise Science for post graduate study through either taught Masters programmes or research degrees at Masters and Doctoral level.

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