SP6004 - Physiological basis of training and performance

What will I learn on this module?

This module covers the prescription of exercise to improve sport specific fitness and sporting performance. The focus of this module is on evidence based practice. Throughout the module you will investigate the most appropriate method(s) of training to enhance a range of components of fitness. To do this, you will be required to gather and evaluate the scientific literature that exists for different components of fitness. Furthermore, you will be required to explained the physiological adaptations that arise from different training methods and the causal mechanism improving performance arising from the identified adaptations. In addition to the critical understanding of physiological adaptations, you will examine the principles of training programme design and factors that influence training programmes.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through lectures, seminars, practicals and workshops. The main concepts on each topic will be delivered through formal but interactive lectures. Seminars are used for you to examine and discuss topics in more detail, while practicals and workshops provide you with an opportunity to develop the skills and understanding required to become a practitioner. Seminars will either require you to either read and prepare work ahead of the session to discuss in greater detail in the session (research-tutored approach) or will require you to find information to questions posed for in-class discussion (research-based approach); in both approaches the onus is upon you to complete the preparatory work. The seminars will evaluate the task you have completed and focus on the application of the knowledge to working with athletes. Practical sessions will either be experimental data collection to investigate a particular issue or the development of skills required as a practitioner.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Support materials for sessions will be available to you on BlackBoard; including the lecture slides, Panopto recordings of lectures, seminar tasks, suggested reading, access to interactive digital resources and websites, and other useful resources such as discussion boards and invitations to attend lectures by guest speakers. Some of the lectures and seminars have supporting video clips on YouTube. For further support on taught sessions, you can access the tutors for one-to-one discussions and tutorials via the online tutorial booking system.

Formative preparation for the assessment will take place in both a dedicated lecture and seminar on the assessment; there are also seminars where you will be able to discuss the evidence base of different training methods and optimal strategies for different sports. In addition, there is a specific workshop on prescribing training and training intensities based on physiological test data.

Transcripts from a sample previous year’s examinations will also be made available on BlackBoard.

You will receive formative and summative feedback on the assessments and within preparatory sessions. Furthermore, you have the opportunity to discuss any concerns you may have with the module tutor.

There is also comprehensive help available in the university library on a wide range of generic academic topics such as: academic writing, statistics, report writing, referencing, and how to hone your presentation skills.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
On successful completion of this module, you will be able to:
1. Critically evaluate the physiological adaptations, both structural and functional, that arise from training various components of fitness;
2. Evaluate the demands of a sport and design periodised training programmes;
3. Critically discuss considerations that can influence the training programme;

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
On successful completion of the module you will be able to:

1 analyse the training programme and physiological test data of an athlete and make recommendations for improvement
2 design and defend a training programme

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
On successful completion of the module you will be able to:
1. demonstrate an understanding of the need for an ethical and sensitive approach when working with clients from diverse cultural and clinical groups.

How will I be assessed?

You will undertake one piece of assessment in this module.

1) Viva voce (worth 100%)
You are required to produce and defend an annual training plan for an athlete. You will be expected to create a twelve month training programme for an athlete selected from a range of sports. You will then have a 15 minute viva voce exam where you will be expected to answer questions on the underpinning rationale, design and expected physiological adaptations of your training programme. (MLOs KU 1, 2, 3; IPSA 1, 2; PVA 1)

Formative preparation for the assessment will take place in seminars where you will be able to discuss the evidence base of different training methods, optimal strategies for different sports and approaches to planning and a constructing training programme


SP0470 Fundamentals of human physiology



Module abstract

A coach to numerous Olympic gold medallists once said ‘Successful training is intelligent training. Intelligent training is about knowing the why of training as well as the how and what’. This module is about the why of training for sports performance. It covers the physiological changes that occur with different training methods and why this improves performance. In addition to training induced physiological adaptations, it also investigates training programme design to optimise. A module similar to this has run for over 20 years and has consistently received excellent student feedback. Former students who have gone on to careers as sport scientist or fitness coach in professional sport have commented on how well it prepared them. This module has a number problem based learning tasks that require you to prepare work prior to the taught sessions, this preparation is an integral part to the successful running of this module.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years Full Time

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2022

Fee Information

Module Information

All information on this course page is accurate at the time of viewing.

Courses starting in 2021 are offered as a mix of face to face and online learning. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with additional restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors, potentially to a full online offer, should further restrictions be deemed necessary in future.

Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.


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