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Sport Science with a focus on Prevention and Rehabilitation

Course: Sport Science with a focus on Prevention and Rehabilitation (to be discontinued) Sport (to be discontinued) Sport (to be discontinued)
Degree: Bachelor of Science State Examination, Teaching Degree Supplementary Examination, Teaching Degree
Application: mandatory (for main subject = 75%) mandatory up to intermediate examination mandatory up to intermediate examination
Course commences: winter semester only winter semester only winter semester only
Standard course duration: 6 semesters 10 semesters 3 semesters
Focus option: 75%; 25%    
Language requirements: none none none
Other features: entrance examination (sport aptitude)
Language of instruction: German and English

Faculty of Behavioural and Cultural Studies

Note for prospective students interested in coming to Heidelberg University to take the Teaching Degree course qualifying its graduates to teach at higher secondary (grammar) schools (Gymnasien) in Germany:

In accordance with the statutory provisions laid down by the State of Baden-Württemberg, students wishing to embark as of winter semester 2015/2016 on a Teaching Degree qualifying them to teach at higher secondary (grammar) schools (Gymnasien) in Germany can only do so by enrolling in two-tier courses with a Bachelor/Master structure (polyvalent two-subject (50%) Bachelor programme with a Teaching Degree option; Master of Education course scheduled to start in winter semester 2018/2019).

As of winter semester 2015/2016, the subject described on this page can be studied in a polyvalent two-subject (50%) Bachelor course with a Teaching Degree option. It has to be combined with another 50% subject of relevance for secondary-school education.

For more information, go to

Note for students already enrolled in a Teaching Degree course in the framework of the Examination Regulations for Teachers at Higher Secondary Schools (GymPO I):

In the winter semester 2015/2016 and later, students enrolled by 31 July 2015 in a Teaching Degree course regulated by the provisions of GymPO I (2009) are entitled to switch to a different main subject under the conditions set out in said GymPO provided that the change is in accordance with the statutory provisions.

In this case, the following transitional regulations apply:

For more information, go to

Course outline

Sport science is a relatively young higher-education subject. The Institute at Heidelberg University was established approx. 30 years ago. Previously, sport and physical education instructors were trained at a central college designed specifically for the purpose.

Sport science is a discipline in which work with and for people is the central concern. Accordingly, research in the subject is strongly application-oriented. Central research topics focus on the different sectors of sport in society, school sport, amateur/leisure-time sport, competitive/professional sport, sport and health, etc. School sport, for example, encompasses physical education and specific training, effects of sporting activity on health, institutional parameters, conditions for physical instruction in groups. The amateur or leisure-time sport sector, by contrast, focuses on the pleasure involved in sporting activity, health preservation and performance enhancement, conditions for organised sport, the dynamics and stability of sport-related motives, and changing value systems.

Sport scientists either coordinate and integrate insights and findings from various sciences or develop interdisciplinary approaches of their own to relevant fields. Sport science encompasses sectors like sport pedagogy, sport psychology, sport sociology, sport history, motion and training, sport orthopaedics, and sport physiology.

The courses

Undergraduates studying at the Institute of Sport and Sport Science (ISSW) can choose between two different pathways:

In the Teaching Degree option, Sport can be studied as a main subject or as a “third” subject (supplementary subject at a main- or subsidiary-subject level). Students must take at least two main subjects. At Heidelberg University, students can combine the Sport programme with the study of any other school subjects (except Catholic Religion). In the framework of a cooperation agreement with Mannheim University, the ISSW also offers Sport as an elective option for students on the Business Education course.

As of winter semester 2015/2016, the only option for first-year students intending to teach at higher German secondary schools is the Bachelor Sport Science (50%) course.

Graduates from the B.Sc. programme Sport Science with a focus on Prevention and Rehabilitation will be in possession of an initial degree enabling them to branch out into various sectors of sport science. These can be scientific, educational, supervisory, organisational or administrative in nature, providing career opportunities with clubs, associations and other institutions/enterprises dedicated to sport, sport science and health promotion, and also extending to (sport-related) business and the media.

The emphasis in the course on Prevention and Rehabilitation also qualifies students for professional activity in various health care sectors, e.g. health promotion institutions or rehabilitation clinics (inpatient or outpatient). Demographic and societal change has an obvious bearing on individual attitudes towards health, sport and exercise. This in its turn has implications for the demands made on health care systems. Career opportunities are legion, ranging from the specific requirements of children and adolescents to those of the elderly and the very old and extending from amateur/leisure-time sport all the way up to the care of front-line sport performers.

Graduates from the B.Sc. programme can also go on to take a related M.Sc. course in which they can deepen and diversify the knowledge and skills they have acquired.

Course content


The major concerns of the B.Sc. course are fourfold:

  • Sport and Education (Sport Pedagogy, Sport Didactics)
  • Sport, the Individual and Society (Psychology, Sociology and History of Sport)
  • Movement and Training (Kinesiology, Training Science)
  • Body, Performance, Health (Sport Orthopaedics, Sport Physiology)

Students also receive sound training in empirical working methods and statistics.

Sport in Theory and Practice

Classes in this sector centre on practical and theoretical engagement with individual disciplines, kinds of sport or sectors of sport (e.g. water sport, winter sport, small-scale games). Central concerns are the enhancement of the students’ own sporting prowess and, more important still, their didactic/methodological teaching and communication skills.

Training for Teaching Degree students is meant to be broad. Eight kinds of sport are an obligatory part of the course for them: athletics, swimming, apparatus gymnastics, gymnastics/dance, football, basketball, handball and volleyball. They also attend cross-disciplinary classes and select elective subjects like rowing, tennis, badminton, cycling, surfing, sailing, skiing/snowboard. The availability of these classes depends on the staff structure of the ISSW at any given time. Finally, the students engage with two special-interest subjects calling for more profound knowledge and a higher degree of skill. A good showing in individual sports will qualify students for parts of the sport-instructor training courses of the various sport associations (so-called C licence).

B.Sc. students have wider scope in terms of career options. They can specialise in a smaller number of sports. In addition, they can acquire qualifications enabling them to operate professionally in the preventive and therapeutic sector for cardiac, osteoporosis and asthma patients, in Back Education (physical behaviour training) and company health promotion.

Future business-college teachers receive much the same kind of training as the Teaching Degree students (for grammar schools). There is less emphasis on theory in the special-interest and elective subjects.

Course structure

All courses in Sport Science cover three essential features of the subject:

  1. Theory (lectures, seminars)
  2. Sport in Theory and Practice (practical seminars, practical classes, elective subjects, excursions, special-interest subjects)
  3. Research Methods (practical classes)

Additionally, Teaching Degree students have to take classes in Sport Didactics and for them there is also greater emphasis on practice and methodology in the Sport in Theory and Practice sector. In the B.Sc. programme there is greater emphasis on the application side with respect to later professional activity.

The Teaching Degree programme divides into Preparatory and Advanced Studies, each lasting four semesters. The Preparatory Studies part closes with an intermediate examination. As in the B.Sc. programme, students need to have passed an orientation examination by their third semester latest. Unsuccessful students can repeat the examination once only.

The B.Sc. course is modular and comprises either

  1. Sport Science with a focus on Prevention and Rehabilitation as a main (75%) subject (113 credit points (CP)), plus a subsidiary subject (35 CP) and professionally oriented cross-disciplinary skills (20 CP) or
  2. Sport Science with a focus on Prevention and Rehabilitation as a subsidiary (25%) subject (35 CP), plus a main subject (113 CP) and professionally oriented cross-disciplinary skills (20 CP).

The B.Sc. thesis (12 CP) has to be written on a topic taken from the main subject.
See also:

In the Teaching Degree programme, the fifth semester is dedicated to practical work at school. This is followed by the Advanced Studies part of the course, so that the Teaching Degree course has a standard duration of 10 semesters altogether, including an additional examination semester. The standard course duration for the B.Sc. programme is six semesters (five semesters + one examination semester).

Main research interests

Alongside teaching, research in sport science is one of the core concerns of the ISSW. At present research focuses on

  • Kinesiology/Training Science: biomechanical motility analyses, motoric learning, motoric development, technique/tactics/creativity training, training for the young, talent promotion, sport play research
  • Sport Psychology: judging and deciding in sport, optimising competition and referee performance, social motivation and sporting performance, psychology of intuition, mindfulness
  • Sport Pedagogy: research on childhood and adolescence, research on school sport, pedagogical aspects of high-performance sport, pedagogical potential of sport in the CV
  • Sport in Prevention and Rehabilitation: health education and promotion, sport with special groups, sport in old age, evaluation of health programmes, corporate health management

General University Sport

The Institute of Sport and Sport Science is also responsible for the planning, organisation and conduct of the General University Sport programme for all students at the University (and other partner universities/colleges). Its three pillars are Competitive Sport, Amateur/Leisure-Time Sport and Sport for Health Purposes.

In the competitive sector, Heidelberg has long been one of the most successful German universities. In the leisure-time sector, the Institute provides a programme encompassing 34 different kinds of sport for approx. 8,000 participants per week. Sport for Health Purposes revolves around a varied, high-quality course system jointly organised with the Techniker-Krankenkasse health insurance institution.

Formal requirements


The course is admission-restricted (limited intake). The current Selection Regulations are available here. Application online. There are no admission restrictions for the 25% B.Sc. course. Click here for information on the entrance examination (sport aptitude).

Supplementary Examination/Teaching Degree: After passing (at least) the Orientation Examination, inclusion of the Supplementary Subject is possible in both main subjects

  • subsidiary-subject requirements: There is a University admission restriction.
  • main-subject requirements: There is a University admission restriction.

The entrance examination (sport aptitude) is decisive for the 25% Bachelor’s degree programme.

International applicants:

There are special regulations for international applicants. For more information, apply to the International Relations Office of Heidelberg University (Seminarstraße 2).

Subject combinations

Possible subject combinations are listed in the Catalogue of Subjects.

Study and examination regulations

Intermediate Examination Regulations: Teaching Degree for State Examination (29 April 2010; in accordance with GymPO)
Study and Examination Regulations for the Teaching Degree (higher secondary schools), State Examination – General Part (29 April 2010)
Examination Regulations for Teaching Degree, State Examination (WPO, GymPO)

Examination Regulations B.Sc. 75%/25% (11 November 2011, amended 07 February 2013)

Module Handbook

Please click here to find the latest Module Handbook.

Module Handbooks for Teaching Degree, State Examination (GymPO)
Module Handbook: B.Sc. 75%/25%

Examinations board

Issues arising in connection with examinations, credit transfer and academic credential recognition are dealt with by the relevant examinations board/office. For more information, consult the academic advisor(s) indicated below.


Tuition fees at Heidelberg University are payable at the beginning of each semester.

M.Sc. course

Heidelberg University offers a consecutive M.Sc. course in Sport and Exercise in Childhood and Adolescence.

Academic Advisors

All inquiries on the entrance examination (sport aptitude) should be addressed to

You will also find more information on the entrance examination on the website of the Institute of Sport and Sport Science.

B.Sc. Sport Science 75%/25%

Dr. Markus Buchner
Im Neuenheimer Feld 720, Office 104
Mondays 12 noon – 1 pm
phone: +49 (0)6221 544340

Dr. Christina Roth
Im Neuenheimer Feld 720, Office 105
Office hours by arrangement
phone: +49 (0)6221 544632

Prof. Dr. Gerhard Huber
Im Neuenheimer Feld 700, Office 01.07
Mondays 10.30 – 12.30 am
phone: +49 (0)6221 544211

Teaching Degree

Teaching Degree in accordance with WPO (2001), Business Pedagogy

Gerhard Hamsen
Im Neuenheimer Feld 700, Office 1.10
Wednesdays from 11 am and by arrangement
phone: +49 (0)6221 544216

Teaching Degree in accordance with GymPO (2009), Teaching Degree Vocational College (Care)

Dr. Jan Sohnsmeyer
Im Neuenheimer Feld 720, Office 106
Tuesdays 9.30 – 11.30 am and by arrangement
phone: +49 (0)6221 544672


Institute of Sport and Sport Science
Im Neuenheimer Feld 700/720
D-69120 Heidelberg

Secretaries' office:
phone: +49 (0)6221-54-8622
fax: +49 (0)6221-54-4387

Student representation:
Im Neuenheimer Feld 700

E-Mail: Seitenbearbeiter
Letzte Änderung: 2018-07-10
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