Careers and Employability Service
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Sports and Exercise Science

Two students playing badminton

A first degree in sports science or a masters in sport and exercise science can lead to a diverse range of employment and postgraduate study opportunities.

We expect the majority of students to commit to careers in the sports and wellbeing sector undertaking roles such as:

  • a sport scientist in educational institutions
  • team analyst within professional and amateur sports clubs
  • strength and conditioning coaching
  • sport scientist within professional and amateur sports clubs and organisations
  • fitness and wellbeing advisory work
  • health screening
  • research in sport science

Others may decide to look at jobs outside of science and enter a diverse range of roles ranging from law, finance, public relations, teaching, and charity work.

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Examples of job vacancies for sports science graduates 

These are just a few examples of job titles advertised in 2018. 

  • First Team Analyst
  • Health Advisor
  • Health and Wellbeing Coach
  • Health Screening Specialist
  • High Performance Sports Assistant
  • Junior Physiologist
  • Performance Sport and Fitness Officer
  • Research Assistant – developing a home-based exercise programme and app
  • Sports Scientist - professional football club academy

Further study options


You may decide that a job on graduation is not for you and consider undertaking a masters or PhD in sport science.

For some PhDs a masters degree might be preferred.

Examples of PHDs advertised in 2019

  • Improving cardiometabolic health and driving performance in UK and Australian truck drivers
  • Optimising the Parent-Coach Relationship in Youth Tennis
  • 'Custom Made Compression Garments: A New Tool for Optimising Sporting Performance and Recovery'
  • Measures of robustness in rugby union academy players
  • Do dietary interventions aid in the recovery from physical activity and improve fatigue symptoms in people with Parkinson's (PwP) and is this due to altered substrate utilisation and improved mitochondrial functioning.
  • PREHAB: PRe-operative Exercise Has Abundant Benefits: Evaluating the role of prehabilitation to improve surgical outcomes in patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis undergoing arthroplasty
  • Towards a vision of Clean Sport: Investigating anti-doping roles of Sport and Exercise Scientists
 

Enhancing your employability during your studies

Strength and conditioning

Strength and conditioning is prevalent within the sports sector and in particular professional sport. You might want to consider acquiring UKSCA accreditation – a professional standard of practice that employers use when employing and developing staff. UKSCA state that:

 ...having a degree does not make you exempt from completing the UKSCA’s accreditation process but of course the knowledge and skills you have obtained should support you in your assessment. 
 

 

Topics they will include:

  • foundation in strength and conditioning
  • applied coaching science
  • weight lifting for sport performance
  • plyometrics
  • agility and speed
  • planning effective programmes

Current jobs at the time of writing included opportunities at:

  • Manchester United
  • Millfield School
  • University of Strathclyde
  • Scottish Gymnastics
  • Surrey Sports Parks 

UKSCA website

Coaching skills

You may also want to acquire coaching qualifications within a particular sport or acquire multi-sport coaching skills.  is worth looking at for more information. 

Alternatively, choose a sport and acquire specific coaching qualifications such as The Football Association coaching programme.

UK Coaching 

Get involved in the community

Away from sport, you could be active in the community or student societies and make a positive contribution to the communities you live within.

Develop the skills employers look for

To secure employment and remain employable you will need to develop a range of skills while at university. Skills you will have to develop in and outside of the curriculum include:

  • communicating with people from diverse backgrounds and experience
  • listening to people and interpreting what they say and feel
  • working as part of a multidisciplinary team
  • accuracy and attention to detail
  • IT skills 
  • analysing and understanding data
  • using pivot tables
  • problem solving
  • research and investigation
  • time management
  • planning.

Explore more...

Listed below are some useful sites for you to look at to assess the current job market (including possible internships) and further study opportunities.

 
 
 

 

Careers and Employability Service

University of Nottingham
Portland Building, Level D
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 3680
fax: +44 (0) 115 951 3679
email: careers-team@nottingham.ac.uk