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Introduction to sport and fitness

This key introductory module is for you if you have a general or professional interest in sport, recreation and fitness. It will provide you with a sound knowledge of some of the key underpinning concepts within sport and fitness, including: the organisation of sports/fitness provision in the UK; the benefits of physical activity; fitness training principles; nutrition; and a range of contemporary issues. You’ll be able to apply your understanding to your own participation in sport or exercise, or to careers in the field – such as exercise instruction, sports coaching or PE teaching.

What you will study

This module aims to allow you to engage and develop your knowledge and understanding of key sport and fitness topics alongside developing a range of cognitive and professional skills that will underpin future study. The module comprises six study topics each covering a different area of sport and fitness which will include: 

  • Exploring Sport and Fitness - introduces the module and the module materials as well as discussing key terms to be used throughout the module such as ‘sport’, ‘physical activity’ and ‘recreation’. This study topic will also introduce you to the different perspectives through which sport and fitness will be viewed throughout this module.
  • Participation and Development in Sport and Fitness – explores the globalisation of sport and fitness as well as what factors influence sport and fitness participation amongst different population groups. Potential barriers to participation are identified as well as a range of interventions that aim to increase participation. This topic will allow you to evaluate sport and fitness provision in your local area as well as gaining a knowledge of the key types of organisations that are responsible for sport and fitness provision. It will provide a useful introduction to the equality of sport provision.
  • Sport, Exercise, and Physical Activity: What are the benefits? - draws upon a range of research evidence to investigate the social, physiological and psychological benefits of participating in sport and exercise. This will provide you with a useful introduction to the sociological, psychological and physiological disciplines of sport and exercise. 
  • Contemporary Debates: Evaluating the Evidence - considers some of the topical debates in sport and fitness such as whether sport is always safe, cheating in sport, the impact of technology on children’s physical activity levels, the provision of disability sport, the role of practice and sports coaching as an art or a science. You will use a range of academic and media sources to navigate your way through these lively and interesting topics. 
  • Faster, Higher, Stronger: Training for Fitness and Sport - extends your understanding of physiology to examine the components of fitness and how these can be tested and developed using a variety of methods. This study topic will introduce you to core principles of anatomy and physiology such as the basic anatomy of the skeletal and muscular systems and energy systems. 
  • Eating to Win - considers the role of nutrition in sport and fitness and the application of nutrition to a variety of different sport and fitness situations. 

Running throughout all of the study topics will be a progressive structure of developing your study skills as well as links to employability through the use of case studies and AV resources. 

You will learn

By the end of this module you will be able to:

  • describe the beneficial effects of physical activity on an individual’s physical and mental health as well the wider benefits to society 
  • identify the key components of fitness and describe the principles and methods used in sport and fitness training to develop these components
  • demonstrate an understanding of the key concepts of nutrition and how they can be applied to sport and fitness performance
  • identify trends of participation among specific groups in sport and fitness and how these can be addressed 
  • demonstrate an understanding of selected debates in sport and fitness and their relevance to sport and fitness settings. 

Professional recognition

This module has been recognised by the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs), for continuing professional development (CPD) purposes. This means that if you are a member of REPs, you will be able to claim 16 CPD points on completion of the module.

Entry requirements

This module is a broad introduction to sport and fitness, and no assumptions are made about the knowledge or education you bring to it. As an OU level 1 module, it provides core subject knowledge and the study skills required for higher education and distance learning, to help you progress to modules at OU level 2 and beyond. 

There are no requirements concerning a person’s level of fitness to take the module. There are no activities that require any sort of strenuous exercise; even the activities that involve the fitness tracker may be carried out by a friend, with only the monitoring done by you.

If you have any doubt about the suitability of the module, please speak to an adviser.

What's included

Online Study Guide and online Reader, hard copy Module book, online assessment and module website as well as an Activity Tracker.

Computing requirements

A computing device with a browser and broadband internet access is required for this module. Any modern browser will be suitable for most computer activities. Functionality may be limited on mobile devices.

Any additional software will be provided, or is generally freely available. However, some activities may have more specific requirements. For this reason, you will need to be able to install and run additional software on a device that meets the requirements below.

A desktop or laptop computer with either:

  • Windows 7 or higher
  • Mac OS X 10.7 or higher

The screen of the device must have a resolution of at least 1024 pixels horizontally and 768 pixels vertically.

To participate in our online-discussion area you will need both a microphone and speakers/headphones.

Our Skills for OU study website has further information including computing skills for study, computer security, acquiring a computer and Microsoft software offers for students.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You will have a tutor who will help you with the study material and mark and comment on your assignments, and whom you can ask for advice and guidance. If you are new to the OU, you will find that your tutor will be particularly concerned to help you with your study methods. Contact with your tutor will be through the following methods:

  • online tutorials, which we strongly encourage you to participate in since most students find these extremely useful
  • online forum (email conference) within your tutor group
  • personal email or telephone.

Contact us if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.

Assessment

The assessment details for this module can be found in the facts box above.

You must use the online eTMA system to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs).

If you have a disability

The OU strives to make all aspects of study accessible to everyone and this Accessibility Statement outlines what studying E117 involves. You should use this information to inform your study preparations and any discussions with us about how we can meet your needs.

Future availability

Introduction to sport and fitness (E117) starts once a year – in October. This page describes the module that will start in October 2018. We expect it to start for the last time in October 2024.

Course work includes:

4 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
2 Interactive computer-marked assignments (iCMAs)
No examination
No residential school