Physiology & Sports Science BSc/MSci

Cardiometabolic Health & Physical Activity 4B option BIOL4098

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Cardiovascular and Metabolic
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

Epidemiological research with data from over 2 million participants has clearly established associations between level of physical activity, cardiorespiratory fitness and muscular strength and risk of a range of adverse health outcomes. There is also a large body of evidence describing the biological mechanisms underpinning these associations and data from intervention studies examining the effects of intervention which change levels of physical activity on health outcomes and biomarkers of disease risk. This course will examine the evidence that physical activity (and related factors) influences health outcomes, considering evidence from epidemiology, mechanistic studies, and intervention trials. We will examine the strengths and limitations of the available evidence base, the data underpinning physical activity guidelines, whether one size fits all for physical activity and health, and discuss challenges and opportunities in the field going forwards. 


This option is assigned to block S2-B. There is normally one 3-hour session on Tuesdays, which may be split over more than one session.

Excluded Courses



The course will be assessed by a 2-hour examination (75%) and in-course assessment consisting of a take home written assignment (25%). 

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

The aims of the course are to:

■ examine the relationship between physical activity, fitness and metabolic health;

■ evaluate the biological mechanisms underpinning the beneficial effects of physical activity and fitness on metabolic health;

■ recognise how the quality and quantity of physical activity influences metabolic health benefits.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course, students will be able to: 

■ critically discuss and evaluate the epidemiology demonstrating the relationship between physical activity and health outcomes;

■ critically discuss and evaluate the effects of physical activity on lipid metabolism, insulin resistance and other aspects of vascular and metabolic risk;

■ critically discuss and evaluate how physical activity and dietary factors influence adiposity and the health risks associated with overweight and obesity;

■ critically discuss and evaluate the efficacy and effectiveness of physical activity and wider lifestyle interventions on health outcomes;

■ critically discuss and evaluate the strengths and limitations of both individual studies and the body of research evidence in the current physical activity for health literature;

■ critically discuss and evaluate areas of uncertainty and gaps of knowledge in the current physical activity for health literature and design future research studies to address these issues.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.