BSc/BSc (Hons) Physical Activity, Health and Wellbeing

What is physical activity, health and wellbeing?

Physical activity is an overlooked and fundamental component of human health and wellbeing. Supporting others to make healthy choices such as increasing their physical activity requires a broad range of knowledge and skills. The study of health and wellbeing for this programme draws on many different topics including anatomy and physiology for exercise prescription, professional communication, working with others, health promotion, and sustainable community development.


Please note that the content of this course has been updated since publication of our prospectus for 2018 entry. The description on this web page reflects the updated course content.

About the Course

This new course aims to develop the skills, knowledge and attitudes you will need for working with others to improve their health and wellbeing. You will study the theory and practice of promoting healthy behaviours such as physical activity, and understand and experience community development in different environments with a wide range of service users.

In Year One, the emphasis is on the use of physical activity to improve people’s lives; such as supervised exercise for general fitness, weight loss or other health gain, helping someone go for a walk, or attend a dance class, or simply give advice. You will study anatomy, physiology and nutrition to gain an understanding of human movement and exercise. Studying skills in communication for working with others will create a foundation for developing as a coach and mentor in later years of the programme.

Year Two further develops your understanding and practice of working with others. You will study determinants of health, and person centred team working together with other health care professional students. Exploring health issues with input from community groups will give you practical experience of working with others. Community engagement opportunities will expand your practical skills as you begin the process of developing a community based project related to physical activity, health and wellbeing. All the skills and knowledge for working as a personal trainer, and in exercise referral will be covered, and you will be able to apply to for external assessment of these REPS awards.

Years 3 and 4 build on the first two years which are primarily focused on working with individuals. These final two years of the programme have a broader scope looking at service provision, developing an understanding of working with community groups and organisations such as charities and care homes. Studying entrepreneurship, leadership, management and sustainable community development, you will cover the essential knowledge and skills required for working in a wide variety of health and social care settings. You will learn how to explore and identify community or organisational needs related to health and wellbeing and design a sustainable solution. This solution could be developing a new service, or simply identifying a missing resource. The process and solution you develop will draw on experience from the community engagement opportunities and will form a significant part of the work required for your final year dissertation.

At different times throughout the four years, you will be in class with students studying life sciences, food and nutrition, nursing and health professions, business and creative industries, and you will be taught by experts from across the University. This will give you a unique opportunity to meet and learn with lots of different people at QMU.

This course aligns with industry standards for exercise professionals, and professional body recognition is being applied for.


You can opt to study for an honours degree over four years or an ordinary degree over three years. You will complete a range of modules, as outlined below.

Entry Requirements

Scottish Higher: BBB

A Level: BB

Irish Leaving Certificate: H2 H2 H3

International Baccalaureate: 26 points

Required Subjects: Normally English, Maths and Biol at Higher/A Level or equivalent AND Biol, Maths and Eng at S/Int2/N5/GCSE level.

Mature/Access: SWAP Access to Science. We also welcome applications from mature students with relevant qualifications in Health and Social Care, Fitness,  Health and Exercise and related vocational experience.

Direct Entry: HNC/D Fitness, Health and Exercise, Sports Therapy, Sports Coaching or similar qualification and vocational experience are considered. Each application is assessed on its individual merits and prospective students are encouraged to call the Programme Leader to discuss options.

Other: Students enrolled on the QMU Heath and Social Care Academy will be considered for entry. Please check our website for further details. A satisfactory criminal records check is required.

A satisfactory criminal records check is required.

International: IELTS of 6.0 with no element lower than 5.5.


Year 1    

Introduction to physical activity (gym instructor)/ Physical activity through the lifespan/ Practical introduction to health and wellbeing / Cell biology & human physiology/ Interprofessional Education 1: teams and team working/  Key investigative skills 1/ Communication for professional and personal development

Year 2    

Exercise prescription for health and wellbeing / Interprofessional education 2: Professional roles and Interprofessional teamwork/ Sustainable health behaviour change / Determinants of health / Health issues in the community  

Year 3

Dissertation / Interprofessional rducation 3: Interprofessional working and person-centred care/ Public health practice  /  Health education and promotion/   Health entrepreneurship /  Integrating module 3 – Contemporary practice in physical activity, health and wellbeing /  Psychosocial aspects of health behaviour change/  Volunteering and community engagement year 3  

Year 4    

Sustainable consumption/ Honours project /  Research process/  Volunteering and community engagement year 4/  Understanding leadership /  Integrating module 4 - employability in physical activity, health and wellbeing       

NB The modules listed here may differ slightly to those offered in 2018. Please check the website for any updates.


You will have access to careers within communities and voluntary organisations, the NHS, and local authorities, as a physical activity champion, community support or development worker, or personal trainer for example. Opportunities exist within the sports and leisure industries for you to develop as an activity and lifestyle consultant, or certified exercise practitioner. Postgraduate study opportunities include pre-registration MSc Physiotherapy or Occupational Therapy, or studying other areas such as community development or management.

Quick Facts

-The new course will give you opportunities to learn from professionals and service users from the voluntary, statutory and private health and social care sectors.

-The programme will be aligned with industry standards for exercise practitioners.

- In Year One you will attend QMU on average 15 hours per week to participate in a mixture of lectures, seminars and practical classes. Attendance will reduce slightly in later years where there is more independent study.

Learning and Teaching

In Year One you will attend QMU on average 15 hours per week to participate in a mixture of lectures, seminars and practical classes. Attendance will reduce slightly in later years where there is more independent study.

>>Click for more information on 'Learning, Teaching and Assessment'


In every year of this programme, you will have opportunity to participate in community based activities in a variety of settings. These could include running exercise classes in public and private organisations, providing exercise for rehabilitation after illness or injury, working with people with learning disabilities, and with organisations providing services to children or older adults. You will be expected to demonstrate that you can communicate effectively with people of all ages, with a wide range of physical and mental health capacity.

Please Note:
 The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2018/19 Entry - Terms and Conditions (Undergraduate).

Special Information for EU Applicants:   The Scottish Government has confirmed that undergraduate EU students enrolling in the 2017/8 and 2018/9 academic years will be entitled to free tuition fees in Scotland for the duration of their course. Those assessed as eligible will remain so for the duration of their course. You must apply to the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for funding. For guidance on eligibility and funding please visit the SAAS website.


Course Overview

3/4 years
Start Date
September 2018
Study Abroad
School of Health Sciences
Subject Area
Fees & Funding