In the modern world, sport has become extremely big business. From the multi-billion dollar elite world of professional sport to the equally significant personal fitness sector, the impact of sport on both individual lives and the global economy cannot be understated. As long as civilization has existed, we’ve looked for ways to increase sports performance, raise levels of physical fitness and wellbeing, reduce the risk of injury, speed up recovery, and bring communities together through this shared celebration of the human body and its capabilities.
Sports science careers range from roles in sports management and marketing through to personal training, physiotherapy and nutritional consultancy. Whether you like the idea of being involved in the world of international sports celebrities, or want to help all kinds of people improve their lives through sports participation, a sports science degree could provide the professional knowledge and training you need.
What do sports science degrees cover?
A relatively young discipline, gaining popularity in the last quarter of the 20th century, sports science reflects the seriousness with which sports and fitness are approached today. This is a relatively multidisciplinary subject, drawing on fields such as physiology and biomechanics to measure what is happening in a sportsperson’s body; psychology to analyze the role of the mind in performance; nutrition to help athletes fuel their bodies correctly; and business and sports management to understand the financial and operational sides of the sports industry.
Entry requirements for sports science degrees
As for all subjects, entry requirements will vary depending on the institution. Typically, applicants will be expected to show strong aptitude in the sciences, particularly areas such as human biology and psychology, and of course a keen interest in sport is essential. The most popular sports science courses can be fairly competitive, and not all universities cover this subject, so you may need to look beyond the most familiar names to find a course that’s right for you.
Course structure and assessment methods
Sport science degrees usually last for three or four years at undergraduate (bachelor’s) level and one or two years at master’s level. Teaching will typically be conducted via lectures and seminars, but you can also expect laboratory sessions (when studying exercise physiology and biomechanics); practical sessions (in gyms, sports halls, fitness rooms, swimming pools, courts and on sport fields); and independent research and study. Students are expected to develop theoretical knowledge alongside applied practical skills. Assessment is based on coursework; written, oral or practical exams; and laboratory reports. Towards the end of the course, you may be required to write a dissertation and/or conduct a piece of independent research.
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