Sports studies is one of the subject areas which has seen a big increase in course provision since 1990. It is an increasingly popular career sector, with demand for higher level expertise in performance analysis, business management, and community engagement, as well as hands-on participation.
You can choose to study through vocational and academic routes, either through an apprenticeship or on more traditional higher education courses. Universities and colleges in the UK offer diplomas, foundation degrees, higher education diplomas, honours degrees, and postgraduate and professional qualifications in sport including the following:
- Activity leadership
- Sports administration and governance
- Sports coaching
- Leisure operations and management
- Spectator safety
- Sport and exercise science
- Sports journalism
- Sports performance
- Sports photography
Course options include:
- single, joint, and combined subject combinations
- full-time, and part-time (most offer professional placements)
- distance learning
Note: Courses may require Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) or Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) clearance.
Are you considering an accelerated degree? Click here to read more about the possibility of completing your undergraduate course in two years rather than three.
Higher Technical Qualifications (HTQs) are an alternative to apprenticeships or degrees.
They have been specifically designed with employers to ensure learners get the skills that employers have said they need. They are a quicker and cheaper alternative to a degree and can lead to higher wages early in a career.
Universities and colleges will be looking for evidence that you are passionate about sport, and well-informed about the sports sector with great interpersonal skills. Your personal statement should reflect:
- first-hand experience of participating in sports, either as an individual or in a team
- any volunteering, coaching, or sports leadership experience
- how you have pursued the subject outside of school or college
- particular modules you’re looking forward to studying related to your career ambitions, and why
- your personality, enthusiasm, and determination to succeed
If you want to combine work and study while earning a salary, you could consider an apprenticeship. Which apprenticeships are available, and how you apply, depends on where you live.
Each apprenticeship sets out occupational standards for specific job roles, designed by employers. The standards outline the skills, knowledge, and behaviours required to demonstrate that an apprentice is fully competent in the job role.
Higher apprenticeships (Level 4)
Degree apprenticeships (Levels 5 – 7)
- Academic professional
- Dietitian (degree)
- Learning and skills teacher
- Physiotherapist (integrated degree)
Discover more about apprenticeships in travel, leisure, sport and hospitality
Our guide has all the info you need to know about doing an apprenticeship in this industry. Find out what it's really like from current apprentices and decide if it's the right route for you.
Visit the websites of the following professional bodies to find out more about courses and careers in sport.