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Sport and conditioning science into practice

This module is aimed at sports coaches, exercise professionals and sports enthusiasts wanting to develop their scientific knowledge and observational skills in sport and exercise. By investigating and applying aspects of sports science, including physiology, movement analysis, training methods and conditioning theory you will enhance your understanding of human movement and performance. Throughout the module, you will be considering work-related perspectives so you come back to the principle of applying theory to practice. Some optional choices will allow you to explore areas of interest in greater depth.  

What you will study

This module is based on studying elements of sport and exercise science and applying them to the practices of coaching and exercise instruction. Within each study theme you will have the opportunity to apply the knowledge gained to your work role or interests for some of the assessments.

In the first part of the module there are five main study themes:

The body in sport and exercise; a systems approach – investigates four of the main systems that influence human performance (skeletal, muscular, cardio-respiratory and nervous systems).

Making sense of movement – considers the analysis of movement in sport and exercise and how biomechanical principles can help us to understand movement and inform training practice.

Exploring core stability, strength and conditioning – considers the methods by which effective training programmes are designed to meet complex individual needs with a theory into practice focus.

Working with special population groups – examines selected medical conditions or life stages (e.g. children, older adults), their effect on the anatomy and physiology of the individual and the implications they have for sport and exercise participation. There is an element of study choice in this theme.

Your personal investigation – you will undertake a personal investigation in a field of interest to you. This will include a search for relevant literature and, with carefully structured tasks and the support of your tutor, you’ll independently prepare a summary of the literature in your chosen field.

All the above study themes will be supported by a printed and online study guide, two text books and a module reader. The module also makes full use of a website where you will be able to access electronic materials and keep in touch with fellow students.

Entry requirements

This is an OU level 2 module and you need to have a good knowledge of the subject area, obtained either through OU level 1 study or by doing equivalent work at another university.

If you are working towards a Sport and Fitness qualification we recommend that you have first studied the OU level 1 modules Introduction to sport, fitness and management (E112) (now discontinued) and Working and learning in sport and fitness (E113).

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

What's included

A study guide, module reader, two text books, online audio-visual material and website.

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 be assigned a tutor who will help you understand the study material and mark and your assignment work. You can ask your tutor for advice and guidance during your studies. You will have contact with your tutor in the following ways:

  • online tutorials, which are arranged to help you with the module materials and assignment work
  • an online tutor group forum 
  • email or telephone.

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


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

You will be expected to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) online through the eTMA system unless there are some difficulties which prevent you from doing so. In these circumstances, you must negotiate with your tutor to get their agreement to submit your assignment on paper.

If you have a disability

The OU strives to make all aspects of study accessible to everyone and this Accessibility Statement outlines what studying E217 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

Sport and conditioning science into practice (E217) 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 2019.

Course work includes:

4 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
End-of-module assessment
No residential school