May 30, 2024

BSc Health, Physical Activity and Sport: Degree Programme Overview w/Dr David McKee

Published June 12, 2023, 3:20 p.m. by Jerald Waisoki

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hello my name is david mckee and i am

head of health and physical education at

stronghold university college

and i also head up the bsc in health

physical activity and sport

the program does basically what it says

on the 10

we have elements that cover health with

a particular focus on health promotion

across the life course

we do physical activity looking at its

interaction with health

and also looking at physical activity

and its rule within sport we're trying

to promote

physical activity for all sections of

the population

from the cradle to the grave and then

finally we look

at sport and we do students who

undertake the bsc program

will undertake a range of sports as they

make their way through from first

through to third year and we're


in folks who are trying to pursue a


in education in health promotion

in sports science sports development or

in coaching

the structure of the department has my

face up at the top there

i think that maybe was a more youthful

model but there we are

and we have melanie mckee as a program

leader and then we have a team of four

lectures in a natural fact

all of us all six of the academic style

teach on the program and that is the

program's greatest strength

and we are a small team who actually

really care about students and about

students welfare

and student outcome you will never be an

anonymous person

in a class of 200 in all likelihood in

first year

there are approximately 30 students come

on to the program

and in second year they're joined by a

further 10 who come from our foundation


in conjunction with belfast met

we have some fantastic facilities here

on stone millis

the stromella's campus itself is

absolutely beautiful

and sitting very close to the center of


and yet sitting in approximately 40

acres of parkland

many of our classes take place in the

orchard building here

which is approximately 10 years old it's

an award-winning

eco building um a lot of credit for the

steps that were taken during the design

phase to minimize its environmental


we also use the facilities at queen's

particularly the pec

for some of our swimming programs and

for 20 20

for 20 21 22

there we have planning permission for a

new 3g

pitch um at the back of the orchard

building and refurbished tennis court so

we're looking forward to getting those

floodlet facilities

developed and if you come and do this

program i am confident by the time you

come here those facilities will be

operational what might you actually


if you choose to do the bsc program well

in common

with most um uk university courses it's

three years full-time

you're going to do 18 modules

at the equivalent of six per year and

we've structured the course so that in

first year

all students must do all modules whereas

in second and third year

we have a mix of compulsory and optional

modules so

in first year you will undertake modules


health physical activity sport and some

on business as well and we'll have a

look at those

as i make my way through to the next


so what do you do in first year these

are the individual modules that a

student would actually take

in terms of health we look at

contemporary issues in health

which is a health promotion module we'd

look at body systems which is looking at

the anatomy and physiology of the body

with a particular focus on exercise

the introduction to nutrition which is

looking at nutrition for health

then in business students undertake a

half module in introduction to


and then in the sport and physical

activities section

folks do a practical module in

um practical studies one which looks at

how you would teach

and coach a range of practical sporting


swimming rugby etc to children and young


they also you will also do sport and

exercise psychology

and sociology of health and those who

are smart

will notice that i said you would do six

modules but there are seven modules

listed on the slide

and it's because the two modules


and sociology of health and sport are

half modules

first years we recognize that the

transition to higher education

is challenging for many students and we

offer a lot of support

to try and help students to make the

transition from being in a very highly


school-like environment and moving

towards the higher education environment

and to help with that we take students

on a year one residential team building

and you can see here students doing

these typical activities you might do if

you're team building

canoeing zip lining and then some less


then this would hear students had to

build their own burger and then cook it

and they were working in teams to try

and produce the best burger

the the point is the task doesn't really


the point is that it was an opportunity

for students to get together and get to

know each other and to form effective

working relationships with each other

in a non-academic setting and we found

that when we do the residential trip

generally the first year's gel better as

a result of that

in addition to that first years have

personal tutors to help them

and we run a series of events to try and

help first years manage the transition

from school

to higher education in second year

and there are a range of modules for

students and you'll notice that there

are far more than six

and that is because only these two


introduction to research methods and

work placement and health and safety are


and there are two half modules that are

compulsory the remainder of the modules

are optional and this is the start of

students deciding

what is their career aspiration and what

they want to do so if you're really keen

on going on to do a pgce and become a

teacher or go into sports development

you might well do practical studies too

and if you're interested in sports


you may do sport in the community and

sport in the community

is a module designed to help people

start to think about what actually

happens in sports development and what

are the purpose of sports development

and then the other various modules fall

under our strand of health

and management and there is also the

option in the second semester of second


to undertake a period of study in a

european university and this is a

fantastic opportunity there is some

funding available to help support it

and students who undertake of this they

finish with stron millis

um and at the end of the first semester

which is christmas and then in early

january they go to

a university which is typically um

either in austria or in

malta and you stay there for the

semester and please don't panic

the universities are chosen because they

teach their courses in english

and you do a course which is very

closely allied to ours

but you do it in a different country so

it gives you a different perspective on

what's going on

in terms of the work placement where

people go on in terms of the work


some folks have gone to work at sport ni

some folks are working in schools

under the auspices of the education

authority some folks go

to the health and social care trust to

work in health promotion

disability ni and then these are our two

partner universities that we work with

on the international programme so a lot

of opportunities for people

if they choose to engage with them

in third year oh my goodness it's hard

to believe you're in third year already

everybody has to do a dissertation which

is an 8 to 10

000 word research project and you get

allocated a tutor who will guide you

through that process

and the remainder of the modules are

optional and again you can see this is

to facilitate students

who have a particular interest in again

if you're interested in the practical

side of things you would do practical

studies three

if you're interested in health you would

do health promotion and professional


etc the project management is a

particular favorite of mine

in this module the students design

plan implement and evaluate

a range of health promotion activities

to try and encourage staff and students

on campus to be more active

to eat better etc to manage stress and

i think it's a great thing it's a great

showcase for the program

because it shows that the students are

actually applying what they've learned

in a real life situation

and they try and encourage other folks


college campus to be healthier

in the dissertation then this is the

final activity that these particular

students did as part of their degree

and they present their research to the

rest of their class

and to the academic team and we give

them some marks for that there but

really it's a fantastic event because

it's the final assessed element of the


and the students then when they're

finished with that all the assessment

all the teaching is over and generally

then they go out

and um have a bit of a party or whatever

assuming that covert isn't still with us

how do we assess students because

obviously you're thinking oh my goodness

what are we going to do am i going to be

able to study

at undergraduate level you can see from

the slide

we use a wide range of assessment and

we're routinely praised for that from

our external examiner who evaluates the

programme for us on a yearly basis

essays lab reports self-evaluation peer


peer teach teaching to your peers


presentations like this standing and


producing research informed webinars

research and form podcasts etc

there is a wide range of assessment used


you will do it on your own occasionally

you will do it in partners and

occasionally you'll do it in groups but

the goal is to try and give students the


to display their learning to the highest

level that they have

how did students do then in 2020

we had three percent of students go to

first 71 percent of students got a 2-1

26 percent of students got a 2-2 and

nobody got a third a pass or a feel

and all the students managed to get

through the numbers vary slightly year

on year

sometimes we get a few more first

sometimes we get a few last two ones

but in general that is the pattern that

students typically get

first two one two twos very occasionally

a third and somebody who gets a third

and the meehan has done very little work

on their way through their degree



what happens then 15 months after

graduation the employment starts

these are the most recent ones that are

currently available

for the cohort who graduated in 2017-18

and we're waiting for the next cohort to

come through but the data hasn't been

published yet

and they you think i had made the

numbers up because they're so rounded

the 75 are unemployment 25

are in further study and those are

publicly published statistics they're

not just

made up who we're quite positive about


those who choose to finish the program

and then go into employment they get


those who choose to go on to further

study to do a master's or to do

a pgce to qualify them to teach and

that they're successful in doing that

and we have a lot of support in college

to help people achieve that through our

career service

and the individual tutors who teach on

the program

what do you need if you want to get in

these are the current qualifications

and actually your best bet is to click

on the college website and there is a

link in the powerpoint to do that or if

you do a google search for

undergraduate admission strong millis

it'll bring you up what the


are at that point in time and these are

typical entry qualifications

to enable students to gain access to the


what do people do afterwards and


when students first come to us somewhere

in the region of a half

to two-thirds would say they want to

want to be a teacher

either a primary teacher or a

post-primary pe teacher

and somewhere in the region of a quarter

of the students actually go on to do


and that's not because they can't get a

place on a pgce course

it's because as a result of doing the

bsc program

they've decided that actually they don't

want to be a teacher anymore they'd like

to work in um

health promotion they'd like to work in

sports development

and some folks go on there and do msc


and health promotion sports psychology

strength conditioning

and even actually there's a

physiotherapy course there are a number

of physiotherapy courses in england

that you can transfer to as a master's

program and become a qualified

physiotherapist some folks go and work

in community health

some work in the fitness industry some

work with health charities promoting

health and well-being

some folks work with the in sports

development either with the

local councils or with the sports

governing bodies the ifa the gaa et


so there's a wide range of things and

normally when i'm talking to

prospective students i would say you the

greatest strength of this program is its


you could go all and end up working in

marketing if you really decided that's

what you wanted to do because you would

choose your modules and you would choose

your placement to support that

or you could end up being a primary

school teacher if that's what you wanted

to do

that is also its greatest limitation

because i cannot say to you

straight here in the box come and do

this course and you will definitely end

up being a primary school teacher

because that's not true

so you as you make your way through the

program would decide

what is the career that you want to do

and then we will help you to fulfill

your career aspirations

a lot of students said about us they

like that we supply

good learning resources they like the

orientation and induction week

they say we're good for pastoral support

they like the practical nature of many

of the learning activities both in

practical studies and indeed in the

academic modules

and they like the range of assessment

methods and they like the fact that it


well organized timetable we try our best

not to bring students in for a single r

small class sizes and they also like

that in common with all

queens undergraduate degrees first year

only accounts for 10 percent of the

degree classification so it's to help

students with that transition from


to higher education some students

thought maybe that they prefer not to

have exams and my response a lot is


there will be some exams as you make

your way through and that's where we're


and a minority of students said they

prefer not to breaks between classes but

the breaks between classes are important

for socialization

and for rest between the academic areas

but you know if you're looking at that

in the round

students are positive the areas for

development are

relatively modest relatively modest

what the national student survey say

there in the national student survey

is a series of questions that are sent

to every final year student in the uk

and it is the same questions for all

undergraduate programs and strong willis

traditionally has done incredibly well

on this program

as indeed has the bsc and you can see

that the overall satisfaction

is sitting at close to 95 percent

and then you can make your way down

through teaching on the course learning

opportunities assessment and feedback


and you can see that typically the

scores are all

above 80 in other words the vast

majority of students

are very happy with what's being

delivered to them as part of the program


that's their choice we have no input

into that it's a nationally organized


and the students fill in their answers

and then we get the results and we also

get some direct quotes from the students

those who choose to put them in and

these are quotes from the national

student survey

you look up on the top the student like

that there was a wide range of subjects

available for students to choose

according to the direction of career

they think and i couldn't put that sick


i couldn't put that better myself you

decide what career you want to

fulfill from this and then we will

support you with the modules and your


the tutors make you feel at home during

course they're very encouraging and

support is always there if it's

required and we would pride ourselves on

that we are actually interested in the

students that we teach

and we want them to do well very

interesting academic modules

covering a wide range of assessment

making it work for everyone

and the staff are friendly and easy to

approach and i promise you

i didn't make those up i actually cut

and paste them from the nss that is what

our the last cohort of students said and

if you're interested in the national

student survey and the powerpoint you

can click on this

link and it will take you through and

you can see what the students said about

the various elements

of the various programs at stronmillis

we also have a student's union this is

the current students union exec

you can see they're a little bit more

bright and colorful than i am and the

students union is here for everyone in


including students on the bsc and it's

there to provide

a voice for students and as i said at

the bottom of the tagline here

it's run by the students for the

students and

the students union have a wide range of

inputs into various elements of the

academic program

and including staff student consultative

committees where the staff and students

talk about the course and try and make

it as

good as we possibly can but the students

union is there for

everyone including the bsc students and


also give you uh help and advice in

terms of careers and

and give you opportunities to engage in

a range of extracurricular activities

and indeed students who are on the bsc

program here have the right to play

for queen's teams if you're a high

performer you're welcome to play for

queen's teams

does that mean that you have to be

sporty to do the program no because if

you've looked at the modules you'll see

a minority of the modules are actually

to do with practical sports

do you need to have an interest in young

people and well-being

yes you do

any more information we have a very

comprehensive website which has been

recently redesigned

and would encourage you to click on the

link and you'll find the bsc health

physical activity and sports section

and i am confident that it will answer

almost all queries that you have

thank you very much



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