Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024 (archived)


Department: Sport and Exercise Sciences


Type Tied Level 2 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2023/24 Module Cap 110 Location Durham
Tied to C606
Tied to C607
Tied to C608
Tied to CFG0
Tied to CFG1
Tied to CFG2


  • Introduction to Exercise Physiology.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To develop the understanding of the current methods used to enhance athletic performance in an applied setting. This will be achieved through the more detailed use of relevant sport examples within taught sessions and the continuation of laboratory work.
  • Develop a broader and deeper understanding of the role of sports physiology in enhancing athletic performance.


  • The module will develop on the introductory information provided in the Introduction to Exercise Physiology. The module will focus on how athletic performance can be enhanced and assessed.
  • Topics covered will include: Hydration status; the validity and reliability of laboratory and field based testing; Lactate threshold testing; Maximal and sub-maximal exercise and Power and strength adaptations through training.
  • The module will primarily focus on what effect these interventions will have on an athletic population at the elite level. This is due to the fact that minor changes at this level may have a more pronounced outcome than with the general population.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Understand factors that can affect the physiological responses to exercise.
  • Display a knowledge of the limitations and/or benefits of both laboratory and field based physiological assessments.
  • To develop an understanding of the current issues in exercise physiology.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Competently use a range of laboratory equipment and techniques to assess physiological parameters at rest and during exercise.
  • Undertake and evaluate laboratory and field-based fitness tests in relation to sports performance.
  • Conduct a needs analysis to enhance the physiological profile of an athlete.
Key Skills:
  • Undertake empirical research to produce an accurate and concise appraisal of the demands of a given sport.
  • Manage their time appropriately in order to meet the requirements of independent study.
  • Use library and IT facilities to source and integrate information from a range of empirical resources.
  • Demonstrate verbal communication skills.

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

  • Teaching and learning will be centred on lectures and practical laboratory sessions. The lectures will provide students with the opportunity to enhance their underpinning knowledge and understanding of key content areas as identified. These taught sessions will also permit the student to place their theoretical knowledge into a more applied environment.
  • In practical laboratory sessions, students will be provided with further opportunities to develop their lab skills in planning, undertaking and reporting on experiments that have explicit relevance for enhancing practical sport performance.
  • Formative: assessment will be a 1,000 word Literature Review (non-compulsory).
  • Summative: assessment will be a 2,000 word laboratory report and a 15 minute individual oral presentation which will appropriately assess the learning outcomes of the module.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 20 10 in terms 1 and 2 (1 per week) 1 hour 20
Practical sessions (*) 7 3 in term 1 and 4 in term 2 2 hours 14
Preparation and Reading 166
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Lab Report Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Lab Report 2,000 words 100%
Component: Presentation Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Individual Oral Presentation 15 minutes 100%

Formative Assessment:

Non-compulsory 1,000 word literature review.

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