Skip to main content


Paediatric Exercise Physiology

Module titlePaediatric Exercise Physiology
Module codeESS3703
Academic year2019/0
Module staff

Professor Alan Barker (Convenor)

Professor Craig Williams (Lecturer)

Dr Bert Bond (Lecturer)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

Children and adolescents are not simply ‘mini-adults’. They are growing and maturing at their own rate, and consequently their physiological responses to exercise are profoundly different from adults. This module will explore the impact that growth and maturation has on physiological function and exercise performance, and equip you with the necessary skills to interpret data independent of body size. The benefits (e.g. improved physical fitness) and risks (e.g. impaired growth) of participating in physical activity will also be explored. The module benefits from past and on-going research from the Children’s Health and Exercise Research Centre (CHERC). The Stage 2 module, Exercise Physiology (ESS2001) is a pre-requisite.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The aim of this module is to develop your understanding of the unique physiological responses of children and adolescents to exercise and enable you to discuss this in relation to age, sex and biological maturity. The module will be underpinned from past and ongoing research in the Children's Health and Exercise Research Centre (CHERC), meaning the learning experience will not only be research informed, but you will be challenged to act and think like researchers.

The module content and the practical skills learnt are crucial for those looking towards a career aligned with working with child and adolescent populations (e.g. PE teacher, sports coach).  In particular you will develop the following specific skills / knowledge of how to:

  • Detail how age, sex and maturation impacts fitness¬†
  • Control for performance differences due to biological maturation and size
  • Outline the evidence base for the role of physical activity and fitness in promoting health and wellbeing
  • Understand the risks (e.g. on growth and maturation) and benefits (e.g. fitness conditioning) of long-term training ¬†

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

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

  • 1. Explain the physiological responses to exercise in relation to growth, maturation and sex
  • 2. Evaluate the benefits and risks of young peoples participation in physical activity

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

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

  • 3. Analyse and evaluate research papers
  • 4. Comprehend, evaluate and interpret data
  • 5. Develop and present evidence based arguments

ILO: Personal and key skills

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

  • 6. Learn co-operatively and effectively with others
  • 7. Present information and ideas competently

Syllabus plan

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, rationale and considerations
  • Growth and maturation: measurement and definitions
  • Growth and maturation: effect of exercise
  • Scaling for body size
  • Aerobic fitness
  • Oxygen uptake kinetics
  • Cardiovascular function
  • Anaerobic fitness
  • Muscle strength
  • Physical activity, fitness and health
  • Exercise training and young people
  • The young athlete: development models

Learning and teaching

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 Teaching24Lectures
Scheduled Learning and Teaching18Seminar and practical sessions
Guided Independent Study41Weekly reading and tasks
Guided Independent Study10Preparation for formative assessments
Guided Independent Study57Preparation for summative assessments


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Practice exam question covering exam expectations, a practice question and feedback2 hours1-5, 7Written and oral
Oral presentation15-minute tutorialAllWritten and oral

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
Written examination702 hours and 15 minutes1-5, 7 Written
Group oral presentation3020 minutes + 5 minutes questions AllWritten


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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Written examinationWritten examination1-5, 7August/September assessment period
Group oral presentationIndividual oral presentation Individual oral presentationAllAugust/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 40%) you will be required to sit a further examination. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Armstrong, N. (2007). Paediatric Exercise Physiology. In Advances in Sport and Exercise Sciences Series (edited by N. Spurway and D. MacLaren). London: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier.
  • Armstrong, N. and Welsman, J.R. (1997). Young People and Physical Activity. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Armstrong, N. and Van Mechelen, W. (2008). Paediatric Exercise Science and Medicine (2nd edition). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Malina, R.M., Bouchard, C. and Bar Or, O. (2004).(2nd edition). Champaign, Ill: Human Kinetics.
  • Rowland, T.W. (2005). Children’s Exercise Physiology (2nd edition). Champaign, Ill: Human Kinetics

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Exercise, physical activity, training, health, fitness, performance, children

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites

ESS2001 Exercise Physiology

Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date