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Study information

Paediatric Exercise and Health

Module titlePaediatric Exercise and Health
Module codeSHSM014
Academic year2024/5
Module staff

Professor Alan Barker (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

It is well known that the first two decades of life represents an important window of opportunity to not only improve the health and wellbeing of young people, but also their health status into adult life. The role that physical activity and fitness can play in improving markers of health and wellbeing in young people is an important area of study, especially given concerns of declining fitness and increasing obesity in today’s children and adolescents. The module will provide you with a detailed insight into the immediate and possible future benefits of physical activity and exercise training for health in normal individuals, young athletes and select disease states. The module is suitable for both specialist and non-specialist students.

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module aims to develop your understanding of the relationships between fitness, physical activity, exercise training and health during growth and maturation. The module will be research-driven and will benefit from recent and ongoing research in Sport and Health Sciences and the Children’s Health and Exercise Research Centre.

The module content and the practical skills learnt are crucial for those looking towards a career in working with children or adolescents in either a sports performance, educational or health domain. You will develop the following specific skills / knowledge of how to:

  • Understand the distinction between physical fitness and physical activity with respect to health-related outcomes
  • Evaluate the measurement of physical activity in children,
  • Evaluate the benefits and risk of physical activity and exercise training during health and disease

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Examine the relationships between physical activity, fitness and health-related outcomes in children and adolescents
  • 2. Evaluate the benefits and potential risks of exercise training young people both in health and disease
  • 3. Develop contemporary research questions in relation to physical activity, fitness, nutrition and health-related outcomes in children and adolescents

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 4. Critically analyse and evaluate research data
  • 5. Develop and present detailed evidence-based arguments

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 6. Discuss and present information
  • 7. Work co-operatively and effectively with others
  • 8. Digest, select and organise material to produce, to a deadline, a coherent and cogent written argument

Syllabus plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, it is envisaged that the syllabus will cover some or all of the following topics:

  • Introduction to the module, rationale and key concepts
  • Exercise and cystic fibrosis
  • Exercise and congenital heart disease
  • Exercise and type I diabetes
  • Exercise and arrhythmias
  • Assessment and interpretation of physical activity in young people
  • Physical activity, fitness and cardiovascular health in young people
  • High-intensity interval exercise for health promotion in young people
  • Physical activity and musculoskeletal health
  • Interventions to increase physical activity

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching48Lead lectures, seminars, presentations and discussion groups
Guided Independent Study177Preparation for weekly lecturers through reading and ELE tasks
Guided Independent Study75Coursework/exam preparation

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Oral presentation2 x 15 minute tutorials1-7Oral and peer
Written report750 words extract of the literature review 1-8Oral and peer

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Literature review502,750 words2-5, 7,8Written
Oral presentation (to be given in pairs)5020 minutes + 5 minutes questions1-8Written

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Literature review Literature review 2-5, 7, 8August/September assessment period
Oral presentation (to be given in pairs)Oral presentation (individual)1-8August/September assessment period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 50%) you will be required to sit a further examination. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 50%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

The following text books provide an excellent overview of the material covered in this module. In addition, key texts will be provided throughout the module to extend your understanding.

  •  Armstrong, N. and Van Mechelen, W. (2023). Oxford Textbook of Children’s Sport and Exercise Medicine(4th edition). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Armstrong, N. and McManus, A.M. (2011). The Elite Young Athlete (volume 56). In: Medicine and Sport Science (edited by J. Borms, M. Hebbelinck, A.P. Hills and T. Noakes). Basel: Karger.
  • Bar-Or, O. and Rowland, T.W. (2004). Pediatric Exercise Medicine. Champaign, Illinois: Human Kinetics.
  • Goldberg, B. (Ed). (1995). Sports and Exercise for Children with Chronic Health Conditions. Champaign, Illinois: Human Kinetics.
  • Khan, K., McKay, H., Kannus, P., Bailey, D., Wark, J. and Bennell, K. (2001). Physical Activity and Bone Health. Champaign, Illinois: Human Kinetics.
  • Malina, R.M., Bouchard, C. and Bar Or, O. Growth, Maturation, and Physical Activity (2nd edition). Champaign, Illinois: Human Kinetics.
  • Rowland, T.W. (2005). Children’s Exercise Physiology (2nd edition). Champaign, Illinois: Human Kinetics.

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Key words search

Exercise, young people, well-being, health, fitness, training, disease, medicine, children

Credit value30
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date