Sport and Exercise Science

SPORT AND EXERCISE SCIENCE

Key Stage 5

What does this qualification cover?
The content of this qualification has been developed in consultation with academics to ensure that it supports progression to higher education. Employers and professional bodies have also been involved and consulted to confirm that the content is appropriate and consistent with current practice for learners choosing to enter employment in the sport and exercise science sector. The qualification gives learners the knowledge, understanding and skills that underpin study of the sport and exercise science sector, and gives learners additional breadth and depth to prepare them fully for further study or training. This includes the opportunity for learners to choose several topics from a selection of options reflecting progression in sport and exercise science.
Learners will study seven mandatory content areas:
• Applied Research Methods in Sport and Exercise Science
• Applied Sport and Exercise Psychology
• Coaching for Performance and Fitness
• Field and Laboratory-based Fitness Testing
• Functional Anatomy
• Nutrition for Sport and Exercise Performance
• Sport and Exercise Physiology.
As the mandatory content is equivalent in size to two A Levels, higher education representatives have confirmed that it is appropriate to allow learners to choose from a wide range of optional units in the final third of the qualification, so that they can explore their own choice of areas for further study. The optional units have been designed to support progression to sport and exercise science courses in higher education.
The optional content areas include:
• Biomechanics in Sport and Exercise Science
• Research Project in Sport and Exercise Science
• Physical Activity for Individual and Group-based Exercise
• Sociocultural Issues in Sport and Exercise
• Specialised Fitness Training
• Sports Injury and Assessment
• Sports Massage
• Technology in Sport and Exercise Science.

Course: BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sport and Exercise Science
Exam Board: Edexcel
Exam Specification Code: 601/7422/5

Specification

Unit (number and title) Unit size (GLH) Extended Diploma (1080 GLH)
1. Sport and Exercise Physiology 120 M
2. Functional Anatomy 90 M
3. Applied Sport and Exercise Psychology 120 M
4. Field and Laboratory-based Fitness Testing 90 M
5. Applied Research Methods in Sport and Exercise Science 90 M
6. Coaching for Performance and Fitness 90 M
7. Biomechanics in Sport and Exercise Science 60 O
8. Specialised Fitness Training 60 O
9. Research Project in Sport and Exercise Science 60 O
10. Physical Activity for Individual and Group-based Exercise 60 O
11. Sports Massage 60 O
12. Sociocultural Issues in Sport and Exercise 60 O
13. Nutrition for Sport and Exercise Performance 120 M
14. Technology in Sport and Exercise Science 60 O
15. Sports Injury and Assessment 60 O

Understanding the skeletal, muscular, cardiovascular, respiratory, neural and energy systems is essential in the sport and exercise science sector. You will learn how these systems work together to enable participants to take part in a huge variety of sport and exercise activities in normal conditions, in hot conditions and at altitude. This knowledge will enable sport and exercise professionals to help improve athlete performance for specific events and also when performing in different environmental conditions.
To understand how each of these body systems function, you will explore how each system functions on its own and also in combination with the other body systems. The responses of each system will depend on the stage of the physical activity and the exercise history of the individual. Exercise cannot continue indefinitely so this unit will also cover the effects of fatigue and ways to improve recovery rate. You will also explore the effects of different environmental conditions on the body’s systems and on athletic performance. You will gain a full appreciation of how a person can take part in a range of different sport and exercise activities through understanding the interrelationships between each of the body’s systems. In this unit, you will draw on your learning from across your programme to complete the assessment task. This unit will provide you with the detailed core knowledge required to progress to employment in the sport and exercise science industry or further study.
AO1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of body systems and how they respond and adapt to exercise in different environments.
AO2 Apply knowledge and understanding of body systems and how they respond and adapt to exercise in different environments in context.
AO3 Analyse sports performance data to interpret the body’s responses and adaptations to exercise and evaluate their impact on sport and exercise performance.
AO4 Make connections between how the body systems work together in response to the demands of sport and exercise and to enhance performance.

The human body is made up of different systems that work together to enable us to take part in sport and exercise. The respiratory system enables our bodies to extract oxygen from the air around us and to dispose of waste products, such as carbon dioxide, that would otherwise poison us if allowed to build up. The cardiovascular system plays a key role in delivering oxygen to working muscles. When the oxygen is used, it gives us the energy to enable the musculoskeletal system to bring about the movement that allows us to take part in sport and exercise. In order to appreciate how each of these systems function, you will explore how the anatomical structure and physiology of each system contributes to the production of movement of the human body in sport and exercise. In addition, you will analyse the effectiveness of each anatomical system in producing sport and exercise movements, and explore what impact each system has on performing movements successfully.
This unit will develop your knowledge and understanding of how the human body produces movement as well as the factors that can contribute to making the performance of movement more effective. It will prepare you for progression to higher education or a career in sport science, coaching, or the fitness industry.
AO1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the language, structure, characteristics and function of each anatomical system.
AO2 Apply knowledge and understanding of the structure, characteristics and function of the anatomical systems in context.
AO3 Analyse the anatomical systems’ effectiveness in producing sport and exercise movements and evaluate their impact on performing movements successfully.
AO4 Make connections between anatomical systems and how they interrelate in order to carry out different exercise and sporting movements in context.

Success in sport is dependent on a series of scientific factors. Performers need to be prepared physically, have the correct technique and follow an appropriate nutritional strategy. Performers must also approach performance with the correct mindset and be able to manage their thoughts and feelings during competition and training sessions.
In this unit, you will develop an understanding of the major psychological factors that impact on sports performers. You will examine the predominant theories that help us to understand these factors, how they can affect sports performers positively and negatively, and the interventions that can be used to control psychological state. You will start by examining motivation, which is the force that underpins all the thoughts and feelings of an individual, and look at the different ways to motivate people. You will examine stress, arousal and anxiety which can result from performing in highly pressurised, competitive environments, and the relationship of each one to optimal performance. You will explore other key concepts, such as self-confidence and mindset, and develop an understanding of how they can impact on performance. You will also focus on the functioning of sports groups and teams and how their outcomes can be influenced by cohesion and styles of leadership. Finally, you will be introduced to a range of psychological interventions and how they can be applied to support sports performers in achieving optimal outcomes.
This unit will give you a sound foundation for progression to higher education and employment. The application of sports psychology knowledge is invaluable for sports performers and for a range of sporting careers such as sports coaching, sports leadership and fitness training.
AO1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of psychological factors, concepts, interventions and theories in sport and exercise activities.
AO2 Apply knowledge and understanding of psychological factors, concepts, interventions and theories, and their influence in sport and exercise activities on real-life sporting contexts.
AO3 Analyse and evaluate information related to individuals or teams to determine appropriate psychological interventions.
AO4 Be able to recommend psychological interventions underpinned by theory and in context with appropriate justification.

Understanding the role of a sports scientist or allied health practitioner is paramount in monitoring and evaluating an individual’s sport and exercise performance. Using a range of assessment methods, this unit will apply testing protocols commonly used by the sports scientist and health professional in both field- and laboratory-based settings. The unit will explore the use of clinical assessments to enable you to appreciate the stages involved when planning, administering and interpreting the outcome of testing protocols.
You will develop the understanding and practical skills necessary to accurately conduct anthropometric and fitness assessment protocols that establish body composition and density, identify somatotype body types and profile a performer’s fitness capacity. You will become familiar with a variety of testing procedures and will be able to replicate them under scientific conditions. You will gain clinical skills in order to be proficient in the preparation, testing, data handling and critical analysis of applied assessment methods. From the data produced through practical field and laboratory-based testing, you will profile a selected sports performer.
This unit focuses specifically on the practical aspects used by both the sports scientist and allied practitioner. These skills and methods will enable you to expand on your understanding of safe and ethical working practice, testing protocols and data evaluation skills that are essential for the sports scientist. These activities will prepare you for a variety of careers, and form a good basis for higher education study in sport and further sport and exercise science qualifications, such as sport and exercise science.

There has long been an appreciation of the role of research in sport and exercise sciences. Research has been central to the growth and development of each of the different disciplines in sport and exercise sciences, with sport and exercise scientists recognising the need for a strong evidence base behind their day-to-day work with clients. This evidence base helps sport and exercise scientists offer their clients the best quality of support. The first step towards this is having a clear understanding of and skill set in the area of research methods.
In this unit, you will develop a clear grasp of research methods, the different types of research, how to search for and read different examples of research, and the importance of this for emerging sport and exercise scientists. Following on from this, you will gain an understanding of the different factors that can affect the quality of research and the importance of ethical research practices. You will finish the unit by developing practical skills in the use of different research methods. This combination of knowledge, understanding and skills will help prepare you for a range of careers or higher education courses in the sport and exercise sector.

National governing bodies (NGBs) in sport are pursuing international and other major competition success. There is, therefore, a demand for sports coaches who can develop the performance and competition fitness of athletes to produce elite performers.
In this unit, you will develop coaching skills, knowledge, qualities and best practices, allowing for sessions to incorporate progression over time. You will develop your planning, delivery and reflection skills, as well as your ability to use a variety of coaching practices. You will explore different practices and measures that could be used to develop sports performance. You will demonstrate your ability to coach a session to improve the performance of the athletes through enhancement of techniques, their application and the improvement of fitness. Finally, you will learn how to effectively evaluate the impact of your own coaching for the future development of athletes and of you as a coach.
This combination of knowledge, understanding and skills will help to prepare you for a range of careers, such as sports coach or physical education teacher, or for higher education courses in the sport, fitness and active leisure sector.

An understanding of biomechanics is essential for coaches who need to analyse the forces in action in a sport or exercise activity, and how they impact on performers and affect their performance. You will be able to answer questions such as, ‘Why do tennis balls and cricket balls spin?’, ‘What is the optimal angle to release a javelin?’ and ‘What clothing and footwear are most appropriate to prevent injury?’. Biomechanics is one of the central subjects in sport science because all sport and exercise activities involve movement. Biomechanics seeks to describe and analyse human movement and to apply scientific principles in order to improve sporting performance.
In this unit, you will gain an understanding of the types of motion that the human body undertakes in sport and the forces that impact on the human body, such as reaction forces, friction and buoyancy. You will examine concepts that explain what happens when the body or sporting objects move through air – for example, principles of aerodynamics, drag and lift – and the key role that centre of mass plays in maintaining the stability of the body. The application of this knowledge to practical situations is particularly important, as it will enable you to become a more effective coach, instructor or sports performer.
This combination of knowledge, understanding and skills will help to prepare you for higher education courses in the sport and exercise science sector, and for supporting individual athletes or teams.

The fitness training industry is booming with both sporting and non-sporting people going to gyms and engaging with trainers or fitness coaches. Sports coaches and athletes are always striving for the marginal gains that will lead to improved performance and success. Specialised fitness training provides the tools and framework to identify the key performance factors and target fitness training programmes for an athlete’s improvement.
You will explore the fitness requirements, physical characteristics and demands of sports that contribute to effective training and sports performance. You will then investigate methods of training for physical and skill-related fitness that will improve this performance. You will then examine the principles that underpin the design of periodised training programmes and training sessions. Finally, you will carry out the planning of programmes and training sessions for a chosen sport.
This unit will prepare you for progression to higher education or a career in sport coaching or the fitness industry, by developing your skills of interpretation and presentation of information, as well as the analysis and understanding of sports training and performance.

Have you ever sat and thought how we can help to enhance coach-athlete relationships? What about why childhood obesity is a rising public concern and how we might be able to slow this down? These are questions that people who conduct sport-based research ask, and which can have a significant impact on the work of many professionals who work in sports environments, such as coaches, fitness instructors and teachers.
As a member of the sport and exercise science workforce, research is an important part of your studies. There is an increasing requirement for members of that workforce to become evidence-based practitioners who know what they are doing with their clients and why they are doing it and can support it with evidence. In doing so, this will ensure that practitioners can provide the best quality of service to their clients. By completing your own research project, you will start on the road to fully immersing yourself in the process of becoming an evidence-based practitioner.
Throughout this unit, you will learn the skills required to successfully research a project in sport and exercise science. This will help you to develop your subject-specific knowledge, understanding and skill set in your chosen area. It will also help you to develop wider skills of time management, problem solving and creative thinking. This blend of skill sets will be important for you whatever your preferred progression route, be it higher education or employment.

For many years, the health and fitness industry has included individual exercise sessions as well as group exercise classes as methods of helping people to participate in regular physical activity. To work as a physical activity instructor a range of planning and practical skills are required.
In this unit, you will gain an understanding of how to establish effective working relationships with individuals and groups of participants, which is essential in order to ensure that participants trust you and come back for business. You will also explore ways in which to help to support participants to encourage regular participation in physical activity. You will explore the types of exercises that can be used for both individual exercise sessions and group-based classes. You will then plan and instruct an individual and a group-based exercise session before carrying out a review of your sessions, allowing you to identify your strengths and areas for improvement in planning and instructing.
The knowledge and skills this unit gives you are an exciting combination of theory and applied aspects to help you gain an improved understanding and practical experience of instructing individual and group-based exercise sessions. These activities will prepare you for a variety of fitness instructing and sports coaching careers, and form a good basis for higher education study in sport and further qualifications such as sport and exercise science.

Participation of individuals at various ages and levels in sport and exercise continues to increase in the UK. Participating in regular exercise has many benefits, but also unwanted effects on the soft and connective tissues of the body. These can have a profound effect on the individual’s performance, including increasing the risk of injury and affecting their ability to carry out daily living tasks. In order for individuals to train, perform or compete at their best, sports massage is administered for physical, mechanical and psychological effects. The sports massage professional bodies continue to support the growth of the profession and define the industry standards.
In this unit, you will explore the sports massage profession, including the standards of industry practice, professional associations and the role of the sports massage practitioner. You will explore all components of consultation, assessment and sports massage, in order to safely and effectively plan and conduct a treatment plan for two contrasting sports performers. Finally, you will explore the importance of sports massage to the sport and exercise performer, considering the physical, mechanical and psychological benefits.
These activities will prepare you for a variety of careers in the sports science sector. Although this unit is not designed to help develop you into an accomplished sports massage practitioner, you will be able to confidently develop your studies at university in related sports science, sports therapy or sport and exercise science-related qualifications.

You will gain an appreciation that sport is not just about fun, health and fitness, but that there is a political and commercial agenda that continues to manipulate sport for the advantages it can bring. Studying this unit will give you an insight into the reasons for the development of sport and why sport continues to hold such an important role in our society. You will learn about the sociological theories which underpin the study of sport and society, how sport can be used to address social and cultural issues and the relationships between sport, commercialism and the media. This unit will give you a broad understanding of sport and its importance and forms a good basis for progression to higher education for further study of the role of sport in our society.

In this unit, you will understand how nutrition can positively or negatively affect a sports participant’s performance, the importance of hydration, and how to apply the nutritional principles needed to meet a specific athlete’s nutritional requirements. You will focus on the concepts of nutrition and digestion and the components of a balanced diet. You will explore the importance of micronutrients and macronutrients, hydration and the factors affecting digestion and absorption of water.
You will investigate the sporting demands of performers and how nutritional requirements will vary for each individual. Rigorous training and competition schedules linked to the recovery process can have a considerable effect on performance. This will develop your understanding of energy requirements and expenditure for a variety of different sports and events.
Learners will identify the influencing factors directly linked to energy input and output, including gender, age, climate and physical activity. Learners will be able to apply knowledge and understanding by adapting a realistic diet and hydration plan for selected athletes or sports performers, including justifications for their nutritional guidance.

Technology is used by sports performers of all levels to maximise their potential and enhance their experience. Therefore, understanding the use and impact of technology in sport and exercise is extremely important to any sports scientist, coach or performer.
In this unit, you will examine the impact of technology on sport and exercise. You will explore the types of technology and personal equipment available to sport and exercise performers and investigate how technology aids sport and exercise performance. You will then explore how technology is used to measure and analyse sport and exercise performance. Finally, you will examine the ethical considerations that impact on the use of technology in sport and exercise.
These studies will help you gain knowledge and understanding of the appropriate technologies used across a range of sporting activities, preparing you for a variety of careers in the sports industry and forming a good basis for higher education study in sport and further qualifications in sport and exercise science.

For personnel involved in any aspect of sport science, the incidence of experiencing or witnessing an injury is common. Depending on your role in the sporting environment, an appreciation and understanding of sports injuries and their symptoms is essential to ensure appropriate treatment is administered. Injury prevention is vital to reduce the risk of injury and can be achieved by understanding the mechanism of injury, the role of biomechanics and effective preventative measures. For those participants who are suffering an injury, effective treatment may result in a quicker return to their chosen activity or onto rehabilitation.
In this unit, you will learn how to differentiate between acute and chronic injuries, understanding injury mechanisms, appreciating the types of injury that may be experienced in each classification, and gaining an awareness of the aetiology and symptoms that can present for each injury. You will recognise the symptoms of injury and understand the physiological and psychological responses to injury and rehabilitation. This will assist your ability to make an informed decision regarding treatment at the time of injury, including necessary assistance that needs to be summoned. You will be able to confidently and effectively apply first-aid techniques and common treatment methods such as PRICE and SALTAPS and develop a functional rehabilitation programme. Finally, you will be able to minimise the risk of injury and remove any factors which may predispose a person to injury. You will understand gait analysis and the components of the sequence of prevention model, and introduce preventative measures in order to reduce risk and prevent injury occurrence.
These activities will prepare you for a variety of careers in the sport and exercise science sector. Although this unit is not designed to develop you into an accomplished sports therapist, you will be able to act appropriately in response to sports injuries. This unit will form a good basis for aspects of higher education study in sport science and sport and exercise science-related qualifications.