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Contemporary sport and exercise issues

In this engaging module you’ll explore the research behind a range of contemporary sport and exercise issues. Through critical analysis of the interaction between academic and media sources you will investigate fascinating questions within topics such as nutrition, gender, recovery and youth sport. You’ll also undertake a detailed investigation on one contemporary issue that you will select from a range of options. This module is suitable if you have a broad interest and an inquisitive nature regarding contemporary issues in sport, or work practices in the sector.

Modules count towards OU qualifications

OU qualifications are modular in structure; the credits from this undergraduate module could count towards a certificate of higher education, diploma of higher education, foundation degree or honours degree.

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Module

Module code

E315

Credits

Credits

  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
60

Study level

Across the UK, there are two parallel frameworks for higher education qualifications, the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Northern Ireland and Wales (FHEQ) and the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). These define a hierarchy of levels and describe the achievement expected at each level. The information provided shows how OU module levels correspond to these frameworks.
Level of Study
OU SCQF FHEQ
3 10 6

Study method

Module cost

Entry requirements

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What you will study

The module comprises seven study topics:

Setting the scene using the doping issue – This introduction to the module explains the module framework and you begin to see how a contemporary issue can be explored. You'll focus on the example of doping in sport to better understand how to approach discussing an issue and how it can be argued from different perspectives.

Chasing the evidence: nutrition for health and performance – You’ll explore the evidence and arguments relating to the development of healthy eating guidelines, common diets and myths, and the advances in personalised nutrition. An introductory nutrition ‘primer’ chapter is used for those new to this subject.

Inequality in sport: what’s gender got to do with it? –  You'll investigate how gender inequalities across sport arise both in the past and the present. You’ll explore how inequality can be viewed through a feminist lens and how this is applied to issues such as media coverage, power relations and your own experiences within sport and exercise.

You’ll also have the choice to investigate either:

  • Option A: Beyond rest: the science of recovery. You’ll investigate the evidence behind a range of commonly used recovery strategies in sport and exercise including cooling strategies (e.g. ice baths), compression garments and sports massage.
  • Option B: Whose game is it? Rethinking youth sport. You’ll discuss evidence that a lack of enjoyment causes children to quit sport and explore many factors that may contribute to this. You'll also consider issues such as developing talent, early specialisation in a single sport and how much say young players should have in training. Overall, you’ll consider whether the culture of youth sports needs to change.

Choosing your final Project – You’ll now begin working on your independent Project of a specific contemporary issue, which could focus on a topic such as high-intensity interval training, concussion, nutrition or sleep. This study topic introduces you to a range of contemporary topics and helps you to respond to an intriguing question using academic and media sources.

Preparing for presentation – This will help you develop your presentation skills in preparation for a one-to-one presentation with your tutor about your independent Project. The skills you learn will also be useful in a wide range of professional roles in sport and fitness.

Refining and shaping your final Project – This final study topic is designed to help you complete your independent Project. Whilst this largely involves independent study, you’ll be supported by activities to keep you on track and online tutorials from subject specialists.

Vocational relevance

The content of this module will help build your knowledge of contemporary issues in sport and exercise that are relevant to practitioners in the field and will help you to develop your critical analysis skills.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

Throughout your module studies, you’ll get help and support from your assigned module tutor. They’ll help you by:

  • marking your assignments (TMAs) and providing detailed feedback for you to improve
  • guiding you to additional learning resources
  • providing individual guidance, whether that’s for general study skills or specific module content
  • facilitating online discussions between your fellow students, in the dedicated module and tutor group forums.

Module tutors also run online tutorials throughout the module. Where possible, recordings of online tutorials will be made available to students. While these tutorials won’t be compulsory for you to complete the module, you’re strongly encouraged to take part.

Assessment

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

Future availability

Contemporary sport and exercise issues (E315) starts once a year – in October.

This page describes the module that will start in October 2024.

We expect it to start for the last time in October 2031.

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the academic regulations which are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website.

Course work includes:

3 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
2 Interactive computer-marked assignments (iCMAs)
End-of-module assessment


Entry requirements

There are no formal qualification requirements for this module. However, as it is a OU level 3 module it is recommended that you have completed at least one sport and fitness module before embarking on study in this area.

You will be required to read and interpret detailed research articles so your academic skills should reflect these expectations.

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

Register

Start End England fee Register
05 Oct 2024 Jun 2025 £3636.00

Registration closes 05/09/24 (places subject to availability)

Register
This module is expected to start for the last time in October 2031.

Additional Costs

Study costs

There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as set books, a computer and internet access.

If your income is not more than £25,000 or you receive a qualifying benefit, you might be eligible for help with some of these costs after your module has started.

Ways to pay for this module

Open University Student Budget Account

The Open University Student Budget Accounts Ltd (OUSBA) offers a convenient 'pay as you go' option to pay your OU fees, which is a secure, quick and easy way to pay. Please note that The Open University works exclusively with OUSBA and is not able to offer you credit facilities from any other provider. All credit is subject to status and proof that you can afford the repayments.

You pay the OU through OUSBA in one of the following ways:

  • Register now, pay later – OUSBA pays your module fee direct to the OU. You then repay OUSBA interest-free and in full just before your module starts. 0% APR representative. This option could give you the extra time you may need to secure the funding to repay OUSBA.
  • Pay by instalments – OUSBA calculates your monthly fee and number of instalments based on the cost of the module you are studying. APR 5.1% representative.

Joint loan applications

If you feel you would be unable to obtain an OUSBA loan on your own due to credit history or affordability issues, OUSBA offers the option to apply for a joint loan application with a third party. For example, your husband, wife, partner, parent, sibling or friend. In such cases, OUSBA will be required to carry out additional affordability checks separately and/or collectively for both joint applicants who will be jointly and severally liable for loan repayments.

As additional affordability checks are required when processing joint loan applications, unfortunately, an instant decision cannot be given. On average the processing time for a joint loan application is five working days from receipt of the required documentation.

Read more about Open University Student Budget Accounts (OUSBA).

Employer sponsorship

Studying with The Open University can boost your employability. OU courses are recognised and respected by employers for their excellence and the commitment they take to complete. They also value the skills that students learn and can apply in the workplace.

More than one in ten OU students are sponsored by their employer, and over 30,000 employers have used the OU to develop staff so far. If the module you’ve chosen is geared towards your job or developing your career, you could approach your employer to see if they will sponsor you by paying some or all of the fees. 

  • Your employer just needs to complete a simple form to confirm how much they will be paying and we will invoice them.
  • You won’t need to get your employer to complete the form until after you’ve chosen your module.  

Credit/debit card

You can pay part or all of your tuition fees upfront with a debit or credit card when you register for each module. 

We accept American Express, Mastercard, Visa and Visa Electron. 

Mixed payments

We know that sometimes you may want to combine payment options. For example, you may wish to pay part of your tuition fee with a debit card and pay the remainder in instalments through an Open University Student Budget Account (OUSBA).


Please note: your permanent address/domicile will affect your fee status and, therefore, the fees you are charged and any financial support available to you. The fee information provided here is valid for modules starting before 31 July 2025. Fees typically increase annually. For further information about the University's fee policy, visit our Fee Rules

This information was provided on 18/06/2024.

Can you study an Access module for free?

Depending on eligibility and availability of places, you could apply to study your Access module for free.

To qualify, you must:

  1. be resident in England
  2. have a household income of less than £25,000 (or be in receipt of a qualifying benefit)
  3. have not completed one year or more on any full-time undergraduate programme at FHEQ level 4 or above or successfully completed 30 credits or more of OU study within the last 10 years

How to apply to study an Access module for free

Once you've started the registration process, either online or over the phone, we'll contact you about your payment options. This will include instructions on how you can apply to study for free if you are eligible and funded places are still available.

If you're unsure if you meet the criteria to study for free, you can check with one of our friendly advisers on +44 (0)300 303 0069, or you can request a call back.

Not eligible to study for free?

Don't worry! We offer a choice of flexible ways to help spread the cost of your Access module. The most popular options include:

  • monthly payments through OUSBA
  • part-time tuition fee loan (you'll need to be registered on a qualification for this option)

To explore all the options available to you, visit Fees and Funding.

What's included

You’ll have access to a module website, which includes:

  • a week-by-week study planner
  • course-specific module materials
  • audio and video content
  • assignment details and submission section
  • online tutorial access

Computing requirements

You’ll need broadband internet access and a desktop or laptop computer with an up-to-date version of Windows (10 or 11) or macOS Ventura or higher.

Any additional software will be provided or is generally freely available.

To join in spoken conversations in tutorials, we recommend a wired headset (headphones/earphones with a built-in microphone).

Our module websites comply with web standards, and any modern browser is suitable for most activities.

Our OU Study mobile app will operate on all current, supported versions of Android and iOS. It’s not available on Kindle.

It’s also possible to access some module materials on a mobile phone, tablet device or Chromebook. However, as you may be asked to install additional software or use certain applications, you’ll also require a desktop or laptop, as described above.

If you have a disability

The OU strives to make all aspects of study accessible to everyone and this Accessibility Statement outlines what studying E315 involves. You should use this information to inform your study preparations and any discussions with us about how we can meet your needs.

To find out more about what kind of support and adjustments might be available, contact us or visit our disability support pages.