What can I do with a Sports Science Degree?

What can I do with a sports science degree?

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. 

Career options

Natural career paths following a sports science degree:

  • Sports Coach
  • Fitness Trainer
  • Strength and Conditioning Specialist
  • Exercise Physiologist
  • Sports Performance Analyst
  • Sports Rehabilitation Specialist
  • Sports Scientist
  • Athletic Trainer
  • Physical Education Teacher
  • Sports Nutritionist

Transferable skills career paths:

  • Health and Wellness Coaching
  • Corporate Wellness Program Management
  • Personal Training and Fitness Instruction
  • Sports Management
  • Physical Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Exercise Physiology
  • Sports Psychology
  • Research and Academia
  • Performance Analysis and Sports Technology

Many employers will accept applications from students that have studied various degrees. 

Work experience

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.  

Typical employers

As a sports science graduate, you can find employment in private, public and not-for-profit organisations such as:

  • Sports Teams
  • Fitness Centers
  • Rehabilitation Centers
  • Sports Medicine Clinics
  • Schools
  • Universities
  • Government Agencies
  • Non-profit Organizations
  • Research Institutes
  • Sports Performance Companies
  • NHS

Below are some of the areas of work you can go into with a sports science degree:

  • Coaching
  • Fitness
  • Rehabilitation
  • Research
  • Sports Medicine
  • Performance Analysis
  • Teaching
  • Sports Psychology
  • Exercise Physiology
  • Sports Management

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:

  • Knowledge of Exercise Science
  • Data Analysis and Research Skills
  • Fitness Assessment and Testing
  • Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation
  • Strength and Conditioning Techniques
  • Sports Performance Analysis
  • Coaching and Instruction
  • Exercise Prescription and Programming
  • Teamwork and Collaboration
  • Communication and Interpersonal Skills
  • Problem-solving and Critical Thinking
  • Time Management and Organisation
  • Adaptability and Flexibility
  • Proficiency in relevant software and technology
  • Ethical and Professional Conduct

Further study

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 sports science graduates doing?

  • Conducting research on exercise physiology and sports performance.
  • Providing fitness training and coaching to athletes and individuals.
  • Performing fitness assessments and developing exercise programs.
  • Working in sports medicine clinics and assisting with injury rehabilitation.
  • Analyzing sports performance data and providing insights for improvement.
  • Teaching physical education or sports science courses.
  • Working in sports management and administration.
  • Providing sports psychology support to athletes and teams.
  • Conducting fitness and wellness programs in corporate settings.
  • Pursuing further education or research in sports science.

Related Courses

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.