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Guide to studying Sports Science

Sports scientists are in high demand, as technology evolves and the need for athletes to get an extra edge becomes more acute.

Medical monitor showing EKG reading of an athlete on a treadmill


  1. What's Sports Science?

  2. Why study Sports Science?

  3. What jobs can you get as a Sports Science graduate?

  4. What do graduates do and earn?
  5. What qualifications do you need?

  6. What degrees can you study?

  7. How will you be assessed?

  8. What are the postgraduate opportunities?

What's Sports Science?

Sports Science is the study of how the healthy human body works during exercise, and how sport and physical activity promote health physically, mentally and socially.

The study of sport incorporates many other academic studies and areas, like physiology, psychology, anatomy, engineering and chemistry.

Courses similar to Sports Science include:

  • Sport & Exercise Science

Why study Sports Science?

The UK is the home of modern sport. There's no better place to study sport than here, where there are expert courses in all areas, and a national obsession with sport.

Sports Science is a relatively new academic discipline, but one that is taken extremely seriously and which has received serious funding. Advances in technology and medicine are breaking ground every day.

This is a degree with a wealth of career options and paths. Sports Science grads may become coaches, psychologists, agents or personal trainers, or work in sports government.

If you're a sports fan, then working in it every day, no matter what sport it is, could be a dream job. Sports Science puts you right at the heart of it, with placement opportunities galore.

Athlete undergoing medical examination

What jobs can you get as a Sports Science graduate?

Sports Science degrees teach transferable skills, such as presentation, research and communication, as well as an academic understanding of sport, and how athletes reach the peak of their fitness and skill.

Particular job roles, as well as sports scientist, include physiologist, fitness centre manager, teacher and lecturer, sports administrator, coach, sports therapist, event manager, and activities manager.

Numerous companies offer graduate schemes in this subject, including schools, both in the UK and abroad.

What do graduates do and earn?

In the infographic below, the first table shows what graduates of Sports Science have gone on to do in the months after their graduation.

The second table shows the average salaries of undergraduate Sports Science students entering employment. The three skill levels – high, medium and low – reflect the UK's Standard Occupational Classification's major groups 1–3, 4–6 and 7–9 respectively.

Source: HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey 2017/18

What qualifications do you need?

For Sports Science courses, you'll usually need at least two A Levels (or equivalent) from the following subjects: Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physical Education, Physics, Psychology and Sports.

Grades and other requirements vary between institutions. Always confirm the entry requirements for the particular university/course you're interested in.

What degrees can you study?

  • BSc Psychology with Sports Science
  • BSc Sports Science with Management
  • BSc Sports Science and a modern foreign language
  • BSc Physiotherapy and Sports Science

How will you be assessed?

You're assessed principally through written and practical exams, practical reports, presentations, class tests and a final research dissertation.

What are the postgraduate opportunities?

Examples of taught MAs and research degrees at postgraduate level include straight MAs in Sport Science, as well as master's courses in Clinical Practice for Sports Injuries, Applied Sport Physiology, Sport Nutrition, Clinical Biomechanics, and Sports and Exercise Medicine.

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