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

If you are seeking a career drawing on your interests in physical activity, health and wellbeing, this course will equip you with the skills you need to succeed in a wide range of relevant roles within different settings. Equally as important, it will kindle your passion to go out into the world and make a real difference in a field you truly care about.

Everyone knows that being physically active is good for health. So why do some people find it hard to make positive choices? How can we use science and creativity to support more people to be active and healthy? This is a fascinating and empowering subject that needs a broad range of knowledge and skills, including anatomy and physiology, professional communication, health promotion and sustainable community development.

See the foot of the page for some student case studies/ staff profiles


Why QMU?

  • Learn how to use scientific knowledge, creative thinking and your personal passion to make a positive difference in the world.
  • You’ll learn first-hand from professionals and service users from the voluntary, statutory and private health and social care sectors.
  • You’ll enjoy becoming an expert in this field – we think the course should be called ‘Fun, Health and Wellbeing’…
  • Gain practical expertise in our on-campus sports centre and physiology labs, and indoor and outdoor exercise groups.


About the course

Everyone knows that being physically active is good for health. So why do some people find it hard to make positive choices? How can we use science and creativity to support more people to be active and healthy? This is a fascinating and empowering subject that needs a broad range of knowledge and skills, including anatomy and physiology, professional communication, health promotion and sustainable community development.

You’ll study the theory and practice of promoting healthy behaviours such as physical activity, and participate in community engagement activities in different environments with a wide range of service users. This is a course that will make you think differently about the world and the community around you. For example, did you know that if you teach a primary school child the very simple skill of catching a ball, they are more likely to be coordinated, to enjoy team sports in high school and to be active throughout their whole life and so less likely to be overweight and unhealthy?

In Year One, the emphasis is on the use of physical activity to improve people’s lives. You will study physiology and anatomy, and apply this knowledge in practical work in fitness settings both indoors and outside. You will lead groups to develop your personal skills in working with others, which will create a foundation for developing as a coach and mentor in later years of the course.

In Year Two you will study health issues in the community. Exploring issues together with input from community groups will expand your understanding of real-world problems related to health and inequalities. All the skills and knowledge for working as a personal trainer and in exercise referral will be covered, including an introduction to healthy eating, food and nutrition.

Years Three and Four 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 and sustainable community development, you will learn how to identify community and organisational needs related to health and wellbeing, and design a sustainable solution to a particular issue. 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.



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 each year as outlined.


Teaching, learning and assessment

You will be taught in lectures, seminars, practical workshops and laboratories. Outside these timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning through self-study. You will be assessed by a combination of written exams, practical demonstrations, oral presentations and assignments at the end of each module or semester. >>Click for more information on 'Teaching, Learning and Assessment'


Year One

  • Introduction to Physical Activity (Gym Instructor)
  • Physical Activity Through the Lifespan
  • Practical Introduction to Health and Wellbeing
  • Physiology
  • Communication for Professional and Personal Development
  • IPE 1: Teams and Team Working
  • Key Investigative Skills1

Year Two

  • Determinants of Health
  • Exercise Prescription in Physical Activity, Health and Wellbeing
  • Sustainable Health Behaviour Change
  • IPE 2; Professional Roles and Interprofessional Teamwork
  • Health Issues in the Community


Year Three

  • Public Health Practice
  • Health Promotion and Education
  • Dissertation
  • Integrating Module 3 – Contemporary Practice in Health and Wellbeing
  • IPE 3 – Interprofessional Working and Person Centred Care
  • Health Entrepreneurship
  • Psychosocial Aspects of Health Behaviour Change
  • Volunteering & Community Engagement Year Threee


Year Four

  • Sustainable Consumption
  • Understanding Leadership
  • Honours Project
  • Volunteering & Community Engagement Year 4
  • Integrating Module 4 – Employability in Health and Wellbeing


The modules listed here are correct at time of posting (May 2019) but may differ slightly to those offered in 2020 following revalidation in December 2019. Please check back here for any updates.





You’ll be able to get involved in community-based activities in a variety of settings. These could include: running exercise classes in public and private organisations; 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.



Exchange opportunities

We plan to introduce international exchange opportunities in the next year. Please check back here for updates.



Where do you want to make a difference to the lives of the people in your community? Look there, and that’s where you’ll make the first steps on the road to a successful career. Recent graduates are putting their passion into action in voluntary organisations, the NHS, charities, local authorities and the sports and leisure industries. You could also develop your studies further at QMU on our MSc Physiotherapy (Pre-Reg) or MSc Occupational Therapy (Pre-Reg). You may also study other areas such as community development or management.


Entry requirements

Scottish Higher: Standard BBBC, Minimum: BCCC

A Level: BB

Irish Leaving Certificate: H2 H3 H3 H3

International Baccalaureate: 26 points

International: IELTS of 6.0 with no element lower than 5.5

Required subjects:Normally English, Maths and Biology at Higher/A Level or equivalent AND Biology, Maths and Eng at Nat 5/GCSE.

Mature/Access: Related Access course — www.qmu.ac.uk/college-qualifications. 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:

Year Two

  • HNC in a related subject with B in the graded unit

 Year Three

  • HND in a related subject with CB in the graded units

 For details of related HNC and HND courses, see www.qmu.ac.uk/college-qualifications. We will also consider BTEC qualifications in a related subject.

Other: A satisfactory criminal records check is required.

Associate student places

You can study this course as an associate student completing your first year at Edinburgh College. For more information, see www.qmu.ac.uk/study-here/access-to-higher-education/associate-student-scheme/


Professional registration/ accreditation


Teaching staff, class sizes and timetables

For more information, please see ‘How we teach and how you’ll learn’.

Awarding body

QMU. For more information, please see ‘External Review’ section on the ‘How we teach and how you’ll learn’ page.

Please Note:

The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2020/21 Entry - Terms and Conditions (Undergraduate).

EU students starting their studies up to and including academic year 2020/21 will have the costs of their tuition fees met by the Scottish Government for the duration of their course. For more information, see https://www.qmu.ac.uk/brexiteu-student-funding-update/

Teaching staff may be subject to change.



Course Overview

2/3 years
Start Date
September 2020
On campus
Study Abroad
School of Health Sciences
Subject Area
Fees & Funding

A Student Story - more at foot of page

Scott Mulhearn - BSc/BSc (Hons) Physical Activity, Health and Wellbeing "The lecturers are great, very knowledgeable and they pass on all they know onto you. In terms of teaching, there is not one thing that has been above the rest as everything is explained and taught to the next level." Read my sto