University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : Moray House School of Education : Sport

Undergraduate Course: Sport Science 1A: Physiology & Skill Acquisition (SPRT08021)

Course Outline
SchoolMoray House School of Education CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis is a 2-part course covering two key disciplines within Sport Science: Exercise Physiology and Skill Acquisition. Both parts of the course have their own teaching, learning and assessment.

Course description PART 1 - Exercise Physiology

Exercise Physiology is defined as the branch of the biological sciences that is concerned with the way that the body responds to exercise and training (BASES definition). This part of the course will examine how the different physiological systems respond and adapt to muscular activity. Muscular activity can range from gentle day to day activity to the highest intensity efforts in performance sport. Knowledge and understanding of exercise physiology can help improve health and benefit human performance. This part of the course will combine class and practical work to examine the function of the cardiovascular, respiratory, and energy systems and how these systems coordinate their functions during exercise and training.

PART 2 - Skill Acquisition

Skill Acquisition is the branch of movement science that examines how movement skills are learned (or re-learned after injury or disease) and how coaches, PE teachers and physical therapists can facilitate this process. This is an inter-disciplinary area, where psychology, physiology, anatomy and neurology come together to explain human motor function. To understand motor learning, students will first examine two conflicting theories of how movements are controlled. Students will then look at motor learning and various teaching techniques. This part of the course will combine class and practical work investigating skill definition and classification, motor coordination, the degrees of freedom problem, constraints-led and information-processing approaches to motor control, motor learning and teaching/coaching of motor skills in applied contexts.

Student Learning Experience

The course will be taught using a combination of lectures and supporting tutorial/practical sessions. Students are expected to engage in their students by attending all scheduled sessions, asking questions, taking part in discussions, and being active in practical sessions. Students will be given formative assessment and feedback designed to enable self-evaluation of progress on the course, which will support the students efforts in their summative assessments, which is where demonstration of achievement of the learning outcomes will be evaluated.

This teaching and learning is research-led. Members of academic staff the Institute for Sport, Physical Education and Health Science (ISPEHS) who contribute to this course are all members of one or more of the following research groups hosted by ISPEHS: (1) Physical Activity for Health Research Centre (PAHRC), (2) Edinburgh Sports Research, (3) Human Performance Science and (4) Physical Education Research Forum (PERF).
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements All non BSc Applied Sport Science or non MA Physical Education students should contact the Course Organiser before enrolling on the course. Entry to the course is at the discretion of the Course Organiser.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 26, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 6, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 5, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 5, Formative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 152 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 60 %, Coursework 40 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGY:

A 90 min class test (40%) assessing learning outcomes 1, 2, and 5.


1 x 2hr examination (60%) assessing learning outcomes 3-5.

To pass the course an overall mark of 40% or over is required. A lower mark in one assessment can be compensated (by a higher mark in the other assessment item) providing it is not below 35%.
Feedback Feedback is an integral part of all Applied Sport Science courses and takes many forms. Students are encouraged to see learning and teaching as a partnership: staff will provide helpful feedback on work, and students are expected to make the best use of that feedback. If students are unsure of how to make good use of feedback, they should contact the course tutor. Students will also find a wealth of information on feedback, including information about what to expect and how to make use of it, on the University's Enhancing Feedback website, available at:

Informal Feedback

Informal, formative feedback takes place during teaching, seminars and practicals throughout the semester. Tutors will comment on understanding of the ideas covered in the course, and may give specific advice regarding progress. Such feedback is intended to help students understand their strengths and development points, and to enable them to take informed responsibility for their learning and progression.

Discussion forum

There is a discussion forum link in the teaching folder in LEARN. Any questions posted by students about teaching, learning and assessment can be responded to by the course tutor for everyone to see.

Class Test Briefing and Practice

A class test briefing session will be run, where guidance on the test will be provided. Mock/practice questions using the software that will be used in the exam will also be made available to students.

Exam Briefing and Practice

An exam briefing provided in tutorials, where information will be given about the examinable course content and exam structure. Students will be given the opportunity to complete mock exam questions to familiarise themselves with the exam structure and assess their progress in the course.

Formal Feedback

Marks will be released via LEARN within 15 working days of the assessment submission deadline / exam date, factoring in university holidays where appropriate.

Cohort Feedback

A detailed cohort feedback document discussing the assignment / exam and some common problems will be available in LEARN.

Individual Feedback

All students will receive individualised comments in a class test feedback session (physiology) and in an exam feedback session (skill acquisition).
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)2:00
Resit Exam Diet (August)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand the defining features and functions of the major physiological systems involved in exercise.
  2. Evaluate the responses of the major physiological systems to exercise/training in order to synthesize this knowledge and appreciate the coordinated nature of the physiological response.
  3. Demonstrate understanding of the information-processing and constrains-led/dynamic systems approaches to motor coordination and motor learning.
  4. Use information-processing and constraints-led/dynamic systems approaches to evaluate teaching techniques used in the teaching and coaching of motor skills.
  5. Apply knowledge and understanding of exercise physiology and skill acquisition by undertaking basic experimental investigation of key physiological responses to exercise and designing a teaching session in relation to a given skill learning problem.
Reading List

The two main texts used in this wing of the course are:

Kenney, W.L., Wilmore, J.H. and Costill, D.L. (2012) Physiology of Sport and Exercise, (5th Edition), Human Kinetics, Champaign, Illinois.

McArdle, W.D., Katch, F.I. and Katch, V.L. (2010) Exercise Physiology: Nutrition, Energy and Human Performance (7th Edition), Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins, Philadelphia.

Additional readings and learning resources will be signposted during the course.


The two main texts used in this wing of the course are:

Davids, K., Button, C., & Bennett, S. (2008). Dynamics of Skill Acquisition; A Constraints-Led Approach. Leeds: Human Kinetics.

Magill, R. A. (2007 or other edition) Motor Learning: Concepts and Applications. Boston: McGraw-Hill.

Additional readings and learning resources will be signposted during the course.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills This course addresses 12 of the 20 graduate attributes developed on the BSc Applied Sport Science degree:

Research and Enquiry:

(2) Search for, access, critically analyse, evaluate and synthesize information from literature in order to answer research questions in sport and exercise sciences.
(4) Interpret data collected or reported in sport, physical activity and exercise studies.
(6) Develop logical arguments surrounding issues within sport science, physical activity and exercise.

Personal and Intellectual Autonomy:

(7) Be independent learners who can take responsibility for their own learning.
(8) Be able to respond to unfamiliar problems by extrapolating their existing knowledge and understanding.

Communication Skills:

(9) Be able to communicate clearly using oral and written methods, including posters, presentations, essays, web pages, in order to critique, negotiate, create or communicate understanding.
(10) Be able to use communication as a means for collaborating with and relating to others including staff, other students and research participants.

Personal Effectiveness:

(15) Be able to work effectively in a team; overcoming and discussing problems. and recognising the diversity of contributions different individuals can make to collaborative work.
(16) Be able to transfer knowledge and ideas between different contexts within sport, exercise and health.

Technical/Practical Skills:

(18) Be able to use the test, measurement and analysis tools appropriate to sport, physical activity and exercise, including for example laboratory or field tests.
(19) Be able to design, deliver and analyse the effects of training interventions in sport, physical activity and exercise.
(21) Be able to present data and report research findings according to standard scientific conventions.
Keywordsexercise,sport,health,science,cardiovascular,metabolism,training,energy systems,pulmonary,s
Course organiserDr Shaun Phillips
Tel: (0131 6)51 4110
Course secretaryMiss Lorraine Nolan
Tel: (0131 6)51 6571
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information