What can I do with a sports science degree?
A sports science degree is perfect for anyone inquisitive about how the body and mind function during exercise. It will be a combination of both practical and laboratory work where you will learn theory which can then be applied to sports and exercise. It will provide you with the opportunity for various career paths within the sports industry, including working with children, athletes or the general public.
Natural career paths following a sports science degree:
- Exercise physiologist
- Fitness centre manager
- Personal trainer
- Primary school teacher
- Secondary school teacher
- Sports Administrator
- Sports coach
- Sports development officer
- Sports therapist
Transferable skills career paths:
- Clinical scientist, cardiac sciences
- Health improvement practitioner
- Higher education lecturer
- Outdoor activities/education manager
- Sport and exercise psychologist
These should only be used as a guide. Many employers will accept applications from students that have studied various degrees.
Those wanting to find a career within the sports industry should investigate doing an industry placement – pre-entry work is valued highly. Your careers department at your university should be able to help you identify these. If your university course does not offer a placement year, you may want to consider doing part-time or summer work as a youth sports volunteer or working as an assistant PE teacher within a school. You can also reach out to local leisure centres to see if they have any junior vacancies in admin, marketing, fitness instruction and pool work. This will help you gain experience and is a great way to advance your CV. The sports industry can be extremely competitive, so experience in any kind of experience will give your application an advantage. It will also help you to develop the essential skills needed to succeed in the industry. Employers highly value work experience and will allow you to network and build a list of contacts who may become useful in the future.
As a sports science graduate, you can find employment in private, public and not-for-profit organisations such as:
- Professional sports clubs
- National sporting associations, governing bodies and other related sporting agencies
- Private health and fitness clubs, spas and public sports and recreation facilities
- Local authorities
- Schools, further education and higher education institutions
- The health sector, including the NHS.
Below are some of the areas of work you can go into with a sports science degree:
- Academic research
- Personal training
- Professional coaching
- Sport management
- Sport nutrition
- Sport psychology
- Strength and conditioning
You may also choose to go down the non-scientific sport route, such as teaching, PE, sports journalism, marketing, advertising or youth work. Some may require some specific qualifications needed for that role. Other career paths chosen amongst sports science graduates include business, finance, public sector, charity, and retail.
Skills for your CV
Through your degree, you will learn various professional skills in three key areas: biomechanics, physiology and psychology. This will include areas such as coaching and teaching, sport management, the sociology of sport, physical activity and health, diet control, motor control and an introduction to anatomy. Alongside this, you will have developed additional skills which will be transferable.
Make sure the following skills are highlighted on your CV:
- Research and data analysis
- The ability to work on your own initiative and as part of a team
- Presentation and oral communication skills
- Written communication skills, including report writing
- Time management and planning
- Effective problem solving
- Professionalism and customer focus
- A good understanding of information technology.
The decision to go on to further study will very much depend on the career you have your eyes set on. Some sport-related careers will require further study. Those who want to secure a career as a sport and exercise psychologist will need to study for the relevant accredited psychology qualifications for this to be possible. In addition, those who want to coach other people will also be required to undertake various qualifications that are provided by the national governing body.
Many options are available for further study, and you can tailor them to the career you want to carve out for yourself. If you decide not to go down the non-psychical side of a career in sports, such as sports journalism, you may want to consider doing a Masters degree in this field.
What are marketing graduates doing?
The most popular jobs amongst sports science graduates include teaching professionals (13%), sports and fitness occupations (11%), teaching and childcare support occupations (5%), caring personal services (5%) and therapy professionals (3%).
UWS’s BSc (Hons) Sport & Exercise Science prepares you for a career where you will learn how to support athletes in maximising their performance. This degree focuses on the science behind high-performance sport and physical activity for the promotion of health. The teaching on the BSc (Hons) Sport & Exercise Science is research-led and promotes both health and performance elements of sport and exercise science. Lab-based and practical tuition and assessments are a key feature of this degree and will develop your hands-on skills and sport and exercise knowledge.
UWS’s BSc (Hons) Sport Coaching will help you develop the skills and expertise required to become a professional sports coach. This degree has been developed in partnership with sports governing bodies, sporting organisations and coaching professionals to ensure that you develop knowledge and hands-on practical experience relevant to the modern sports, health and fitness industries. Excellent industry connections provide work-based learning opportunities and offer links to attain coaching qualifications.
UWS’s BSc (Hons) Sport Development will focus on how to help people lead healthy, active lifestyles. You’ll learn both about the development of sport and development through sport by exploring sports contributions to health, communities, economies, and societies on global and local scales. This degree is unique in Scotland and was developed in consultation with partners from national sport organisations and governing bodies, NHS and the third sector, as well as senior sport development officers and expert coaches. These strong industry links are reflected in course design, work experience opportunities, and employment opportunities available to UWS students.