Exercise and Sport Science – Bachelor of Science

The Exercise and Sport Science major is ideal for you if you have a passion for sport, exercise, and health. Learn how to optimise athletic performance and health through technology, nutrition, psychology, and exercise.

Where you can study

Auckland campus

International students

International students are not New Zealand citizens or residents.

Definition of New Zealand citizens and residents

Not open to international students

Specialise in Exercise and Sport Science for your Bachelor of Science at Massey

Expand and apply your sports knowledge

With the Exercise and Sport Science major, you’ll study the key sport and exercise subjects including:

  • biomechanics
  • exercise physiology
  • motor control
  • sport nutrition
  • sport psychology.

Complemented by a strong understanding of other biophysical sciences, you’ll gain an in-depth knowledge of factors that influence health and sports performance.

Our research-active staff will help you apply the latest knowledge to various sporting situations. You’ll gain an understanding of how to optimise athletic performance and health through technology, nutrition, psychology and exercise. Additionally, you’ll learn how training and performance are affected by different environments and the power of the mind.

Get the skills you need for a great career

You’ll learn theoretical material in lectures, and apply your new-found knowledge in laboratory or practical classes in a range of subjects relating to sport and exercise. You’ll develop critical thinking, problem-solving and communication skills relevant to this energy-fuelled and constantly progressing field. The main applications are sports performance, and the use of exercise to promote fitness and health.

You can combine exercise and sport science with other courses such as sport development, exercise prescription, or science programmes such as physiology and human nutrition.

A Bachelor of Science in Exercise and Sport Science is a good fit if you:

  • have a passion for sport, exercise and health
  • are fascinated by how the body moves, particularly during sport
  • want to learn more about how exercise influences health and performance.

Planning information

If you study full-time, in your first year, you’ll take eight 15-credit courses, making a total of 120 credits.

If you wish to study over two semesters, you should aim for 60 credits per semester. You may be able to take some courses at summer school. Make sure you include courses that are prerequisites for the next level of courses you wish to study.

The first year structure is designed to provide you with a broad knowledge and skill set which will equip you to go on to more advanced courses in the second and third years.

You must pass at least 90 credits from the BSc Schedule A, including any compulsory courses, in your first 120 credits of study towards the Bachelor of Science.

Exercise and Sport Science has similar first year core courses to several other majors available in the Bachelor of Science, allowing students to change their major before their second year. Changing your major may incur an increase in completion time.

100-level courses

Take these in any order:

Take these in the order shown:

  • 123104 Chemistry for Biological Systems
  • 122102 Biochemistry.

Plus choose two 100-level elective courses which may be from a subject area other than Science. Recommended electives are:

  • 162101 Cell Biology
  • 151131 Introduction to Food and Nutrition
  • 234111 Training Principles and Practice.
200-level courses in the major

*234242 is no longer offered and has been replaced with 234215 Fitness and Athletic Conditioning. Add this course using the special request function in Course Enrolment.

300-level courses in the major
  • 234360 Sport Psychology
  • 234327 Investigating Sports Performance 
  • 194348 Adaptive Human Physiology*
  • 151332 Nutrition for Sport and Performance.

*194348 is no longer offered and has been replaced with 234361 Exercise Psychology. Add this course using the special request function in Course Enrolment.


Completing a minor is optional. Minors increase the breadth of your degree. They give you extra knowledge, attributes and capabilities.

A minor must be in a different subject from your major.

A Bachelor of Science (Exercise and Sport Science) with a minor

You may choose a minor from any University undergraduate degree that has recognised minors. If the minor is from another undergraduate degree, the regulations of that qualification will apply.

Some BSc minors that are particularly compatible with exercise and sport science include those shown below. Timetabling will prioritise these combinations to minimise clashes.

An Exercise and Sport Science minor (for students who are studying a different degree)

If you are not studying a Bachelor of Science (Exercise and Sport Science) and wish to complete an Exercise and Sport Science minor see the BSc regulations for the requirements.  

Official regulations

To understand what you need to study and must complete to graduate read the official rules and regulations for this qualification.

You should read these together with all other relevant Statutes and Regulations of the University including the General Regulations for Undergraduate Degrees, Undergraduate Diplomas, Undergraduate Certificates, Graduate Diplomas and Graduate Certificates.

Returning students

For returning students, there may be changes to the majors and minors available and the courses you need to take. Go to the section called ‘Transitional Provisions’ in the Regulations to find out more.

In some cases the qualification or specialisation you enrolled in may no longer be taking new enrolments, so may not appear on these web pages. To find information on the regulations for these qualifications go to the Massey University Calendar.

Please contact us through the Get advice button on this page if you have any questions.

Courses you can enrol in

Course planning key

Courses that need to be completed before moving onto a course at the next level. For example, a lot of 200-level courses have 100-level prerequisite courses.
Courses that must be completed at the same time as another course are known as corequisite courses.
Some courses are restricted against each other because their content is similar. This means you can only choose one of the offered courses to study and credit to your qualification.

200-level courses

Choose 60 credits from
Course code: 122202 The Dynamic Cell 15 credits

Energy metabolism in higher eukaryotes from the perspective of life on earth and the necessary adaptation of living organisms from an anaerobic to aerobic environment. Carbohydrate, lipid and nitrogen metabolism in the context of health and disease. Integration and regulation of carbohydrate, lipid and amino acid metabolism. A lecture and problem-based tutorial course complemented by a hands-on project-based laboratory course.

Prerequisites: 122102 Restrictions: 122233

View full course details
Course code: 234222 Sport Biomechanics 15 credits

An introduction to the study of the kinematics and dynamics of the human body and the factors that influence skilful and efficient performance of bodily movements in sport and everyday life. Students will be introduced to the techniques and methods required for qualitative analysis of complex skills.

Prerequisites: 214170 or 234121 Restrictions: 234201

View full course details
Course code: 234223 Exercise Physiology 15 credits

A study of the function of human biological systems as they relate to sport and exercise. Acute responses and the chronic adaptations to sport and exercise, specifically in relation to the core topics of human energetics, muscular, cardiovascular and respiratory systems. A strong laboratory focus will reinforce the theory and develop laboratory skills relevant to exercise physiology.

Prerequisites: 234121 or 214101 or 194101 Restrictions: 234203

View full course details
Course code: 234242 Motor Learning and Control 15 credits

Students will study the principles and theories of motor control and their practical applications.

Restrictions: 274254, 234224

View full course details

300-level courses

Choose 60 credits from
Course code: 151332 Nutrition for Sport and Performance 15 credits

Nutritional aspects of exercise physiology and metabolism. Nutritional principles for enhancing performance in recreational and elite athletes Food and nutrition for specific sporting codes and specific groups (e.g. children, adolescent athletes, female athletes, elite athletes). Assessment of nutritional status of athletes.

Prerequisites: 151232 or 234223

View full course details
Course code: 194348 Adaptive Human Physiology 15 credits

An integrative study of the human physiological responses and adaptations to internal and external environmental stressors that challenge the normal homeostatic state and how these influence human health and performance.

Prerequisites: One of 122202, 122233, 194241, 194242 or 234223 Restrictions: 194347, 234304, 234328

View full course details
Course code: 234327 Investigating Sports Performance 15 credits

An introduction to research methods in sport and exercise including the research process, formulating a research question, data collection, analysis, and dissemination. Students will develop and undertake a project related to their area of interest within sports performance.

Prerequisites: Any 30 credits at 200-level from the 2342xx range of courses

View full course details
Course code: 234360 Sport Psychology 15 credits

This course examines theory, research and practice in aspects of sport psychology.

Restrictions: 152318

View full course details

Entry requirements

Admission to Massey

All students must meet university entrance requirements to be admitted to the University.

Specific requirements

There are no specific entry requirements for this qualification, outside of university admission regulations. However there is some expected background knowledge.

Expected high school preparation

Knowledge gained in the following NCEA subjects (or the equivalent in Cambridge International Examinations, International Baccalaureate, or similar) will give you the expected background knowledge to take this major.

  • At least 14 credits in NCEA Level 3 Biology.
  • At least 14 credits in NCEA Level 3 Chemistry.

If it’s some time since you studied mathematics at school you can find out if you have the required background by taking this maths quiz.

English language requirements

To study this qualification you must meet Massey University's English language standards.

English language skills

If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, see our English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses.

Can't meet the entry requirements?

Haven’t studied the right subjects at high school?

The following pathways will get you prepared to study this major. If you have not studied NCEA Level 3 Biology (or equivalent) take the following course first:

  • 162103 Introductory Biology.

If you have not studied NCEA Level 3 Chemistry (or equivalent) take the following course first:

  • 123103 Chemistry for Modern Sciences.

These courses are available in the summer semester and will count towards credits in your degree.

If you need to do a course before you start your qualification, there may be options for you in Summer School.

Fees and scholarships

Fees, student loans and free fees scheme

Your tuition fees may be different depending on the courses you choose. Your exact fees will show once you have chosen your courses.

There will also be some compulsory non-tuition fees and for some courses, there may also be charges for things such as study resources, software, trips and contact workshops.

Already know which courses you're going to choose?

You can view fees for the courses that make up your qualification on the course details pages.

Student loans (StudyLink) and Fees Free scheme

You may be eligible for a student loan to help towards paying your fees.

The New Zealand Government offers fees-free tertiary study for eligible domestic students. Find out more about the scheme and your eligibility on the Fees Free website. To use the site's eligibility checking tool, you will need your National Student Number.

Current and returning Massey students can find their National Student Number in the student portal.

Scholarship and award opportunities

Search our scholarships and awards

Fees disclaimer

This information is for estimation purposes only. Actual fees payable will be finalised on confirmation of enrolment. Unless otherwise stated, all fees shown are quoted in New Zealand dollars and include Goods and Services Tax, if any. Before relying on any information on these pages you should also read the University's Disclaimer Notice.

Careers and job opportunities

Massey’s exercise and sports science graduates have an excellent reputation throughout the sporting industry and are sought-after in a wide range of areas including sports, fitness and health.

Some examples are:

  • sport scientist working with individual athletes, sports teams, sports coaches and regional sporting bodies
  • providing exercise and health guidelines to clients
  • providing occupational health advice to companies and local bodies
  • teaching at secondary and tertiary level.

International students

New Zealand is a great place to study. Massey University’s reputation is supported by our international rankings, accreditations and associations. We are rated five star plus by the QS World University Rankings.

Massey University has small class sizes, and our lecturers and staff are friendly and approachable.

As an international student, there are entry requirements that will apply to you. We recommend that you apply at least three months before your anticipated start date so your application can be processed in time. There are additional steps you will need to take. These include obtaining a visa and travel bookings if your study is to be in New Zealand.

What our students say

“I’m grateful to be able to play hockey and study at the same time. Massey is so efficient and supportive with online learning. Despite being a busy workload, Massey provides the flexibility I need. I have the opportunity to set up my future by working towards a degree without having to wait.”
Massey student Katie Doar, playing Hockey. Image credit: Planet Hockey
Katie Doar

Ngāi Te Rangi

Bachelor of Science (Exercise and Sport Science)

“I have really enjoyed studying at Massey and the Sport Science staff have always been extremely supportive throughout my time here. Massey has also presented many opportunities for internships and work experience which have proved to be invaluable learning experiences for me.”
Joel Armstrong

Bachelor of Science (Exercise and Sport Science)

Accreditations and rankings

QS Ranking - Biological Sciences

Massey University is ranked by QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) as one of the top 450 universities in the world for biological sciences.

Learn more

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