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 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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Careers with this subject

Career options

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 and other health and sports related careers. 

There are also 10 ring-fenced places for our graduates onto the Physician Associate programme.

Key features

  • Study with Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry (PU PSMD) and benefit from strong links with Faculty of Health and Human Sciences and School of Psychology.
  • Benefit from accreditation by the Association for Nutrition which allows graduates 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.
  • Ten research summer placements are available between the first and second year and 20 between the second and final year. 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.

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
    • BHCS1001 Biomedical Investigation and Experimentation

      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

    • BHCS1002 Human Anatomy and Physiology: Cells to Systems

      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.

    • BHCS1003 Human Metabolism

      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.

    • BHCS1006 Infection and Immunity

      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.

    • BHCS1010 Introduction to Human Nutrition

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

    • BHCS1011 Study skills and personal development

      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.

    • PSYC108PP Psychobiological and Cognitive Aspects of Health Behaviour

      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
    • BHCS2021 Nutritional and Exercise Epidemiology

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

    • BHCS2022 Nutritional Science 1

      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.

    • BHCS2023 Exercise Physiology

      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.

    • BHCS2024 Applied Exercise Science

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

    • BHCS2025 Nutritional Science 2

      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.

    • BHCS2027 Placements and Employability

    • PSYC204 Applied Topics in Health and Cognition

      This module explores applications of basic research and psychological theory in two areas: health psychology and cognitive psychology. (This module is subject to availability)

  • 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
    • BHCS3030 Biomedical Sciences: Placement

      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
    • BHCS3001 Personal Research Project

      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.

    • BHCS3023 Athletic Performance, Sport and Nutrition

      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.

    • BHCS3024 Diet, Exercise and Chronic Disease

      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.

    • BHCS3025 Physical Activity, Nutrition and Public Health

      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

    • BHCS3031 Personal Development and Employability

      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 goals.

    Optional modules
    • BHCS3022 Contemporary Issues in Human Health

      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

    • PSYC392 Current Topics in Applied Psychology

      This module allows students to develop a critical appreciation of recent research in applied psychology. Students study four topics in depth. These are introduced by staff teaching in their specialist research area. (This module is subject to availability)

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.

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

104 - 120

A level: Typical offer of 104-120 points from a minimum 3 A Levels, including grade B in Biology OR Human Biology and grade C in second science. Excluding General Studies.

Note: 104 points offer maybe given if student has relevant work experience or other study.

BTEC: DDM with at least 6 specialist units in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Nutrition or Sports Science. Applied Science acceptable provided they have at least 6 specialist units in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Nutrition or Sports Science. Please contact the admissions team if you require further advice.

International Baccalaureate: 27 overall to include 5 in Biology at Higher Level and 5 in a second science subject at Higher Level.

IELTS: Overall average score of at least 6.5, with a score of at least 6.5 in the listening and reading sections and at least 6.5 in the writing and speaking sections.

Access Courses: Pass Access (e.g. science, combined science, medicine) with at least 45 credits at level 3, 30 must be at distinction level and come from at least two specialisms such as: maths, physics, chemistry, biology, psychology. The remaining 15 level 3 credits must be at merit from environmental science, psychology, science related subject. Must have GCSE English and Mathematics at grade C / 4 or above.

For a full list of all acceptable qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary

Fees, costs and funding

New Student 2018 2019
Home/EU £9,250 £9,250
International £13,000 £13,400
Part time (Home/EU) To be confirmed To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of 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.

Additional costs 

  • The tuition fees do not cover the costs of purchasing books or stationery, printing, thesis branding, or photocopying costs.
  • If/when you are on placement there may be additional costs incurred for subsistence and travel.
  • Failure to attend the requisite immunisation clinics at the times stated would result in you having to self-fund your immunisation schedule.

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

Bradley Morton: BSc (Hons) Nutrition, Exercise and Health graduate

Bradley Morton had been a Royal Navy chef for 11 years when he had a moment of realisation. Always a keen learner on the subject of health and wellbeing, and someone who would proactively assist servicemen and women with meal plans, he realised that he simply did not know enough about the ‘science of nutrition’.

Bradley is now working for Devon and Somerset Fire Service as a Nutrition and Health Advisor, working closely with the occupational health team.

Read more about his journey

Studying here at Plymouth

Recently graduated Nutrition, Exercise and Health student Nils Swindell talks about his course and his placement monitoring runners in the Dragon's Back Race.

Watch Nils talk about studying Nutrition, Exercise and Health at the University of Plymouth.

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

"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.

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

Our facilities

The School of Biomedical Sciences is based in purpose-built building linked to the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry.

You will find some of the best undergraduate laboratories in the country.

Find out more about our facilities