Human Biology BSc/MSci

Performance Enhancing Techniques 4D option BIOL4214

  • Academic Session: 2020-21
  • School: School of Life Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

This course will examine how physiological and psychological processes can be manipulated to improve sports performance. It will assess the impact of novel training techniques, nutritional and drug interventions and the role for improved recovery from exercise to support better adaptation to training and competitive performance. 


This option is assigned to block S2-D. There are normally 3 hours of teaching on Fridays, which may be split over more than one session. 

Requirements of Entry

Normally, only available to final-year School of Life Sciences students in a Degree Group C (Human Life Sciences group) programme. Visiting students may be allowed to enrol, at the discretion of the School of Life Sciences Chief Adviser and the Course Coordinator. 

Excluded Courses



The course will be assessed by a 2-hour examination (70%) and a poster (30%).

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 aim of this course is to develop an advanced understanding of the physiological (and to a lesser extent psychological) processes that can be manipulated to improve human sporting performance with an emphasis on whole body research. 

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ Evaluate the influence of metabolic substrates on sporting performance and critically assess commonly employed strategies to enhance performance; 

■ Evaluate the physiological adaptations to established and novel training strategies and comment on the techniques used to assess their impact; 

■ Assess drug testing procedures in competitive sport and comment on the mechanisms of performance enhancement by 'doping'; 

■ Appraise psychological factors that influence sporting performance and comment on the techniques used to assess these factors and then to manipulate them. 

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.