Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024 (archived)

Module SPRT1311: Introduction to Physical Activity, Diet and Health

Department: Sport and Exercise Sciences

SPRT1311: Introduction to Physical Activity, Diet and Health

Type Open Level 1 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2023/24 Module Cap 125 Location Durham


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • Introduce the students to the key definitions, terminology, theories, research evidence base and classification systems of physical activity, physical inactivity, sedentary behaviour, health, diet, fitness and wellbeing;
  • Provide students with an understanding of current recommendations and prevalence data for physical activity and diet in the UK and associated challenges related to measurement and implementation in the field.


  • This module provides students with an introduction to the key theories, debates and issues for physical activity, diet and health in the UK.
  • Definitions and classification systems of physical activity are addressed, and the epidemiological relationship of physical activity and diet to health, well-being and physical fitness is explored.
  • The module covers the fundamentals of dietary components and the impact on the human body and examines the current recommendations for physical activity and dietary intake and how these are measured.
  • Physical activity and health promoting campaigns and initiatives targeted at different population groups are addressed.
  • The module will introduce students to a research and theoretical evidence base in physical activity and diet.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Explain how physical activity and diet relates to health, well-being and physical fitness;
  • Recognise key definitions, recommendations and issues in physical activity, diet and health.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Apply key theories and concepts in physical activity, diet and health;
  • Employ basic research methodologies to analyse, evaluate and interpret data related to physical activity, sedentary behaviour, diet and health;
  • Identify challenges related to measurement, interpretation and implementation in the field of physical activity, diet and health.
Key Skills:
  • Demonstrate written communication skills, contribute effectively to a group-based project and reflect on the process.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • staff-led and constructed content, including individual and group-based activities, independent study and assessed coursework will introduce students to the basic concepts and key theories underpinning physical activity, diet and health
  • students will discuss the theories, concepts, current issues and empirical research in physical activity, diet and health and will engage in small-group preparatory tasks for the dietary infographic summative
  • laboratory-based practical classes will introduce students to basic concepts in a practical setting and will enable development of basic laboratory skills.
  • independent study: in addition to timetabled contact, students will be required to invest time in directed reading, research activities, session preparation and study tasks;
  • a group-based summative infographic will test the breadth and range of understanding of diet and associated health parameters. Students will present their infographic and answer relevant questions, giving them additional opportunity to demonstrate understanding of their chosen topic.
  • formative verbal feedback during in-person activities (term 1) will guide students through infographic development and group-work processes. A formal formative written submission (term 2) will allow students to trial academic sourcing of material, interpretation and referencing prior to the summative essay.
  • a summative essay will allow students to critically consider current examples of initiatives to promote and enhance physical activity levels.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 20 Weekly 1 hour 20
Seminars 5 2 in term 1 & 3 in term 2 1 hour 5
Laboratory Practicals 3 2 in term 1 & 1 in term 2 1 hour 3
Directed independent learning tasks, reading and preparation for lectures and seminars 172
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Assignment Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Infographic Presentation (group presentation) A1 (or similar) poster size with text and graphics with 5 min presentation & questions 80% Individual leaflet (A4)
Written Reflection (individual submission) 300 words 20%
Component: Assignment Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 1500 words 100% 1500 word essay

Formative Assessment:

In relation to summative 1: Submission of 'progress check' for infographic development before seminar 4. Delivery of mini-presentation (5 min) on infographic topic. In relation to summative 2: submission of a 300-word written assignment plus references. The task will consist of identifying, interpreting, presenting and referencing content from a small number of academic sources.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University