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Sports science courses

Does helping athletes maximize their potential, becoming a personal trainer or promoting sport in the community appeal? If so - and you have an aptitude for science - sport or exercise science could be for you. You'll learn how the healthy human body works during exercise, how exercise promotes health and the psychology of sport, opening up opportunities to work in the rapidly expanding sports industry.

Studying sports science at university

Example course modules

  • Applied anatomy and biomechanics
  • Research methods
  • Nutrition for phsyical activity
  • Introduction to the science of sport and exercise
  • The coaching process
  • Lifestyle behaviour change
  • Managing community sport
  • Life span, motor development and impairment
  • Sport, exercise and health pedagogies
  • Applying teaching and coaching

Teaching hours / week

Average for this subject


Average for all subjects

The time you'll spend in lectures and seminars each week will vary from university to university, so use this as a guide.

More on studying and contact hours at uni

Who studies this subject

  • Female : 33%
    Male : 67%
  • Mature : 17%
    School leaver : 83%
  • Full-time : 92%
    Part-time : 8%

What students say about sports science

What you need to get on a course

Subjects you need

A-levels (or equivalent) usually required

  • Biology or another science / maths

Useful to have

  • Psychology
  • Physical education

Application checklist

Here's a guide to what to expect from the application process - also check individual university entry requirements, as these may differ.

  • January application
  • October application
  • Personal statement
  • Portfolio
  • Interview
  • Entry test
  • Work experience
  • Audition

Personal statement advice

Your personal statement is a core part of your university application, and getting it just right takes time. Before you start work on yours, take a look at our five quick tips on writing a personal statement. We'll help you past that writer's block!

Career prospects

Sources: HECSU & KIS
One of the fastest growing subjects in the country, the number of sports science graduates has gone from under 3,000 in 2003 to nearly 9,500 in 2012. However, the good news is the country's appetite for good health and fitness means that sports science grads are less likely than average to be out of work. Sports science graduates, not surprisingly, tend to get jobs in sport and fitness, coaching and teaching especially, but they're found all over the economy. Management is also a popular option for graduates from this subject – after all, this is a degree for people who want to motivate others!
Professional and accrediting bodies:

Six months after graduating

Typical graduate job areas
  • Sports and fitness occupations

Longer term career paths

Jobs where this degree is useful

  • Fitness instructor
  • Teacher
  • Sports coaches

Other real-life job examples

  • Marketing executive
  • Sports officials
  • Gym or leisure centre management

What employers like about this subject

A degree in sports science will get you subject-specific skills in areas such as physiology, psychology, nutrition and biomechanics. You will also learn transferable skills including communication, team-working, time management, customer focus and the ability to motivate yourself and others. Employers that recruit sports scientists include gyms, fitness centres and sports clubs, and schools and hospitals.