Do you wish you could combine your love of sport with a professional career in science?
Sports science brings work and play together in the sporting field. It is slightly different to exercise physiology, which is focused on human health and exercise. Sports science is about higher, enhanced performance, particularly in athletes, sportsmen and sportswomen and others seeking specific fitness goals. It looks at the overall well-being of the body through exercise, physical education, strength and training, nutrition and performance. Contrary to myth, sports science is a real scientific field, and you don’t have to be an elite sportsperson or a physical education teacher to get involved.
Demand for sports science
In recent years, there has been tremendous investment in sport, especially in the UK. Governments see the real benefits of the population being engaged in physical activity throughout their lives. There are now many schemes in place to encourage people to take up sport. Professional sportsmen and sportswomen too rely on a team of coaches, trainers, nutritionists, psychologists, biomechanists and physiotherapists to help them perform better. Generally as well, fitness has become cooler. There are more people going to gyms and other sporting and exercise facilities. All of this means that there is a greater demand for expertise in the area of sports science. This expertise will therefore allow you to positively impact the lives of many people.
How do I get involved in sports science?
A degree in the life sciences such as physiology will set you up very well to pursue jobs in sports science, some of which are listed below. Some universities offer specific Bachelor of Science (BSc) and Masters of Science (MSc) in Sports Science. You also have the flexibility of going into research in exercise physiology if you want to advance the academic knowledge of sports science. Bradley Elliott (see video above) did a sports science degree and is now a researcher in exercise physiology at the University of Westminster.
Examples of jobs in sports science
- Sports coach
- Personal trainer
- Sports development officer
- Sports administrator
- Sports therapist
- Fitness centre manager
- Hospital-based cardiovascular rehabilitation specialist
- Event manager
- Graduate roles in schools
- Exercise physiologist