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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 05/10/2022 15:12:36

Title of Module: Physiological Adaptations to Exercise

Code: SPOR09024 SCQF Level: 9
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Health and Life Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:Mark  Sanderson

Summary of Module

This module aims to build on the knowledge and practical skills of physiological principles covered in previous exercise physiology modules. The plasticity of the human body means that regular exercise and training leads to range of physiological adaptations that result in both health benefits as well as increased physical performance. The module will evaluate the magnitude, rate of change and typical physiological adaptations that result from a range of different exercise modes in different populations. In addition, it will explore how these adaptations might be measured and monitored as part of a training programme.   

The module will take the basic principles and apply them to the typical adaptation that results from appropriate exercise.  

The module will equip students with the theoretical knowledge and practical skills needed for those who wish to have a career in sports coaching, applied sport and exercise scientist. 

This module will assist the student in the development of key 'I am UWS Graduate Attributes' to allow those that complete this module to be: 


  • Critical Thinker 

  • Emotionally Intelligent 

  • Collaborative 

Work Ready: 

  • Problem-solver 

  • Motivated 

  • Potential Leader 


  • Innovative 

  • Resilient 

  • Transformational 

Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
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Term used to describe the traditional classroom environment where the students and the lecturer meet synchronously in the same room for the whole provision.

A mode of delivery of a module or a programme that involves online and face-to-face delivery of learning, teaching and assessment activities, student support and feedback. A programme may be considered “blended” if it includes a combination of face-to-face, online and blended modules. If an online programme has any compulsory face-to-face and campus elements it must be described as blended with clearly articulated delivery information to manage student expectations

Fully Online
Instruction that is solely delivered by web-based or internet-based technologies. This term is used to describe the previously used terms distance learning and e learning.

Online with mandatory face-to-face learning on Campus

Online with optional face-to-face learning on Campus

Work-based Learning
Learning activities where the main location for the learning experience is in the workplace.

Campus(es) for Module Delivery
The module will normally be offered on the following campuses / or by Distance/Online Learning: (Provided viable student numbers permit)
Paisley:Ayr:Dumfries:Lanarkshire:London:Distance/Online Learning:Other:




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Term(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
Term 1


Term 2check markTerm 3


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Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

L1. Discuss the potential physiological adaptations which occur as a consequence of aerobic based exercise training

L2. Discuss the potential physiological adaptations which occur as a consequence of resistance and high intensity exercise training

L3. Undertake laboratory based investigations to analyse, interpret and evaluate adaptations to exercise using numerical data and communicate this to an academic audience

Employability Skills and Personal Development Planning (PDP) Skills
SCQF Headings During completion of this module, there will be an opportunity to achieve core skills in:
Knowledge and Understanding (K and U) SCQF Level 9.

Demonstrating a comprehensive knowledge of the of physiological adaptations to exercise training

Demonstrating a critical understanding of the factors that impact on the physiological adaptions to exercise training

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 9.

Using a significant range of laboratory tests to demonstrate and evaluate the physiological adaptation to exercise training

Designing testing strategies to monitor adaptation to exercise. Interpret results appropriately

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 9.

Identifying, conceptualisng, and analysing nuances in the potential adaptations to exercise

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 9.

Presenting or conveying, formally and informally, information about adaptations to exercise training.

Using a range of ICT applications to support and enhance work at this level and adjust features to suit purpose.

Interpreting, using, and evaluating a wide range of numerical and graphical data to set and achieve goals/targets

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 9.

Exercising autonomy and initiative in practical sessions but also work as part of a team.

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
The teaching and learning approach will be a combination of flexible hybrid model of delivery supported with both tutorials and practical laboratory experience. The core material will be delivered primarily via asynchronous delivery with dedicated tutorial sessions to compliment this material. Practical sessions will be specifically designed to bring to life the asynchronous material while also providing valuable practical skills. This will also give the students an opportunity to work together in groups developing important communication and collaboration skills.
Learning Activities
During completion of this module, the learning activities undertaken to achieve the module learning outcomes are stated below:
Student Learning Hours
(Normally totalling 200 hours):
(Note: Learning hours include both contact hours and hours spent on other learning activities)
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity12
Laboratory/Practical Demonstration/Workshop12
Asynchronous Class Activity12
Independent Study164
200 Hours Total

**Indicative Resources: (eg. Core text, journals, internet access)

The following materials form essential underpinning for the module content and ultimately for the learning outcomes:

Bouchard, Claude. 2015. Molecular and Cellular Regulation of Adaptation to Exercise. Academic Press.

Hughes, David C., Stian Ellefsen, and Keith Baar. 2018. “Adaptations to Endurance and Strength Training.” Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine 8 (6).

McGee, Sean L., and Mark Hargreaves. 2020. “Exercise Adaptations: Molecular Mechanisms and Potential Targets for Therapeutic Benefit.” Nature Reviews. Endocrinology 16 (9): 495–505.

Viru, A. (2017). Adaptation in Sports Training. United Kingdom: Taylor & Francis.

McArdle, W.D., Katch, F.I and Katch, V.L., (2015). Essentials of Exercise Physiology. 5th International Edition. Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins*. ISBN: 978-1496302090.

(**N.B. Although reading lists should include current publications, students are advised (particularly for material marked with an asterisk*) to wait until the start of session for confirmation of the most up-to-date material)

Engagement Requirements

In line with the Academic Engagement Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on the relevant learning platform, and complete assessments and submit these on time. Please refer to the Academic Engagement Procedure at the following link: Academic engagement procedure

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Supplemental Information

Programme BoardSport and Exercise
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelSport & Exercise L7-11
ModeratorNick Sculthorpe
External ExaminerA Tocknell
Accreditation DetailsN/A
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
The module will be assessed through two components, an unseen closed book written class test and a recorded presentation of findings from a laboratory practical

Assessment 1: Class Test (written)
Assessment 2: Presentation
(N.B. (i) Assessment Outcomes Grids for the module (one for each component) can be found below which clearly demonstrate how the learning outcomes of the module will be assessed.
(ii) An indicative schedule listing approximate times within the academic calendar when assessment is likely to feature will be provided within the Student Handbook.)

Assessment Outcome Grids (Footnote A.)

Component 1
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Class test (written)check markcheck mark 500

Component 2
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Presentation  check mark500
Combined Total For All Components100% 0 hours

A. Referred to within Assessment Section above
B. Identified in the Learning Outcome Section above

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  1. More than one assessment method can be used to assess individual learning outcomes.
  2. Schools are responsible for determining student contact hours. Please refer to University Policy on contact hours (extract contained within section 10 of the Module Descriptor guidance note).
    This will normally be variable across Schools, dependent on Programmes &/or Professional requirements.

Equality and Diversity
In line with current legislation (Equality Act, 2010) and the UWS Equality, Diversity, and Human Rights Code, our modules are accessible and inclusive, with reasonable adjustment for different needs where appropriate. Module materials comply with University guidance on inclusive learning and teaching, and specialist assistive equipment, support provision and adjustment to assessment practice will be made in accordance with UWS policy and regulations. Where modules require practical learning or assessment, alternative formats and/or roles will be provided for students with physical disabilities which impact participation.

Please refer to the UWS Equality and Diversity Policy at the following link:

UWS Equality and Diversity Policy
(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School)

2014 University of the West of Scotland

University of the West of Scotland is a Registered Scottish Charity.

Charity number SC002520.