Where your sports sciences degree can take you

Friday 20 March 2020, UCAS advice

by Ella Hendrix

Where your sports sciences degree can take you

Ella Hendrix

Sports science is a subject that has become more and more popular over the last few years. To be able to have an in-depth understanding of the science around sport and the way that the body moves, allows us to get the best performances out of our sportsmen and women, help them to prevent and recover from injuries, and also help other people who aren’t necessarily sportsmen or women to deal with injuries that they have sustained.

By studying for a degree in sports science you have many career options open to you – from directly working with athletes, to teaching, or working in the background. Some people also go on to use what they have learned in their degree as a platform to study sports psychology, teaching, sports journalism, or other careers.

Although there are many careers open to you – some more obvious than others – here are just some that you could consider if you have a sports science degree:

Sports equipment developer
The area of sports technology uses the skills that you would have learned in your sports science degree to design and produce sports equipment such as footwear, which can be highly effective for sportsmen and women. According to tennis equipment specialists at Wigmore, ‘The fit and comfort of footwear is a vital but often overlooked factor for ensuring optimal performance on the court.’

Working in the development of sports equipment you will use your knowledge of how athletes perform, their needs, and their limits, to create the equipment that would boost their performance – be it tennis rackets, sportswear, or footballs.

Sports coach
Perhaps the most obvious career – and of course, a very popular one – for those with a sports science degree is to be a sports coach. You would help to guide professional sportsmen and women in their field to help them to improve their performance. As a sports coach, you could also work with amateur sportspeople, in leisure centres, gyms, or schools.

Although a lot of your job would be about using your scientific knowledge, working as a sports coach also requires strong motivational and personal communication skills.

Personal trainer
As a personal trainer, there are a variety of different places where you could work. Some work at gyms, some at leisure centres, and many work privately. This can be a highly rewarding job as you help people to work towards their health and fitness goals, and completely changing their lives.

Some of the people who might come to you include injured sportsmen and women, people who are facing a health crisis such as obesity, people who are recovering from illness or injury, mothers who have just had a baby, and people who are just wanting to get fitter and healthier.

In your job, you would be required to assess and monitor the progress of your client as well as devise ways to help them to get to their goal – whatever it may be.

Sport psychology
Sports psychology looks at the links between sport and the brain. Most sports psychologists look at one of two areas – the impact of the brain on how sportsmen and women perform, and how participating in sporting activities can impact psychological and physical factors.

So much in our life is related to our brain – and sporting performance is no different. Half of the battle is about the psychological aspects and working as a sports psychologist you can really make a difference in people’s lives.

To become a sport psychologist, you will need to go on to study extra qualifications after your sports science degree.

Sport nutritionist
As time goes on, the more we are understanding about how what we eat affects the way that our bodies behave. As a sports nutritionist, you will look at this relationship between food and sports performance to be able to help your clients improve by changing the way that they eat.

Sports nutritionists can work in several locations – for a football club, for professional and amateur athletes in a private capacity, or for sports clubs, for example.

Depending on your degree course, you might need to do some additional study after you have completed your sports science degree to focus more specifically on nutrition but the qualification that you have should give you a good basis to work as a sports nutritionist.

Having gained a degree in sports science, there is a wealth of career options open to you. You should also remember that you will have learned a great number of transferable skills that could get you off to a good footing in many other careers.