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What can you do with a sports science degree?


The field of sports science is a multidisciplinary area, encompassing various aspects of human performance, exercise physiology, biomechanics, nutrition, and psychology to enhance athletic performance and promote overall health.

In recent years, there has been a growing interest in pursuing a degree in sport science, as it provides students with a unique understanding of the complex relationship between physical activity and the human body. With an increasing understanding of better treatment of our health, sports science graduates possess valuable knowledge and skills that can open doors to numerous exciting career opportunities. 

This guide from the University of Wolverhampton explores the diverse range of professions available to those with a sports science degree, while shedding light on the unique skill set required for each role.

Table of contents

  • Sports science careers
  • Career paths in sports science
  • Careers where sports science would be useful
  • The value of sports science work experience
  • Types of sports science degrees: undergraduate and postgraduate
  • Accreditation considerations for sports science degrees
  • Final thoughts on what you can do with a sports science degree

Sports science careers

As the study of sports science covers such a broad range of topics, including physical, technical and theoretical, that a degree can open up a wide range of interesting career paths. 

Find out more about what's involved with a sports science degree

Careers using sports science often explore the intersection of athletics and scientific inquiry and involve working with elite athletes to conduct groundbreaking research in performance enhancement. A career in sports science provides an avenue for professionals to contribute significantly to the ever-evolving world of sports.

Furthermore, the demand for sports scientists is growing across various industries, including professional sports teams, fitness centres, sports equipment manufacturers, and research institutions. This opens up exciting prospects for employment and advancement in a dynamic field that continues to shape the future of sports.

Career paths in sports science

Not only do sports science degrees provide a wide range of career options, a high percentage of students find work after graduation. 

A study by Prospects (2023) into the Higher Education Statistics Agency’s (HESA) annual Graduate Outcomes survey, showed that 15 months after graduation, 49.6% of sports science graduates were working in full-time employment, 11% were in full-time education, 14.4% working whilst studying and 13.7% were working part-time. The top three professional jobs were secondary education teaching professionals, sports coaches and primary education teachers.

Graduates with sports science degrees can pursue a wide variety of careers. Some of these include:

  • Personal trainer
  • Physical education teacher
  • Exercise physiologist
  • Sports therapist
  • Sports coach

Personal trainer

Personal trainers play a crucial role in helping individuals achieve their fitness goals. They are highly trained professionals who specialise in designing and implementing personalised exercise programmes tailored to meet the specific needs and abilities of their clients. Beyond just instructing exercises, personal trainers also educate and motivate individuals to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Physical education teacher

Physical education (PE) is a compulsory subject under the national curriculum at all key stages. PE teachers play a critical role in the development and wellbeing of students. Their primary responsibility is to teach students about the importance of physical activity, fitness, and healthy lifestyle choices. They design and implement an age-appropriate physical education curriculum that includes various activities such as team sports, individual exercises, and recreational games.

Exercise physiologist

Exercise physiologists specialise in understanding the body's physiological response to exercise and physical activity. They use their knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and biomechanics to help individuals improve their overall health and fitness levels. These experts work with a wide range of clients, from athletes looking to enhance performance to individuals recovering from injuries or managing chronic conditions.

Sports therapist

The main responsibility of a sports therapist is to focus on the prevention and rehabilitation of injuries. They work with athletes to develop personalised training programmes that help reduce the risk of injuries during practices and competitions. By analysing an athlete's movements and techniques, they can identify potential areas for improvement and provide guidance on proper form and exercise technique.

Sports coach

A sports coach plays a crucial role in guiding and training athletes to reach their full potential. They are responsible for developing game strategies, organising practice sessions, and providing feedback and support to athletes. A coach's primary objective is to enhance the skills and performance of individuals or teams in various sports disciplines.

Careers where sports science would be useful

As the field of sports science is broad, there are a variety of career paths that even though aren’t directly related to sports science, a degree would be useful. Some of these career opportunities include:

  • Nutritionist
  • Choreographer
  • Sports psychologist
  • Health education lecturer


Nutritionists specialise in helping individuals achieve optimal health through proper nutrition. They play a crucial role in promoting healthy eating habits and preventing chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. These experts assess nutritional needs, develop personalised meal plans, and educate clients on the importance of balanced diets.


Choreographers are the creative minds behind the movements and dance sequences in various forms of entertainment, such as stage shows, music videos, and films. They play a crucial role in bringing a vision to life through carefully crafted choreography that enhances storytelling and captivates audiences. Their work involves collaborating with directors, producers, and performers to create dynamic dance routines that align with the overall artistic concept of the production.

Sports psychologist

Sports psychologists work closely with athletes to help them improve their mental skills, cope with pressure and stress, and enhance their overall performance. These professionals are trained in psychology and specialise in understanding how psychological factors can impact an athlete's performance.

Health education lecturer

A health education lecturer is an expert in the field of public health who delivers educational sessions to individuals, communities, and organisations. They play a crucial role in raising awareness about various health issues and teaching people how to adopt healthy behaviours.

The value of sports science work experience

Work experience is a valuable asset for anyone pursuing a career in sports science. If you’re an aspiring professional you may wonder whether investing time and effort in work placements is worth it, considering the competitiveness of the field. However, engaging in work experience can provide numerous advantages that outweigh any initial hesitation. 

Firstly, practical exposure to the real-world demands of sports science allows individuals to apply theoretical knowledge gained through academic study. Working alongside experienced practitioners and  witnessing how scientific principles are applied in practice can provide  insight into the challenges faced by practitioners daily. 

Work experience also provides an opportunity to develop essential skills required for success in sports science careers. This hands-on approach enables individuals to enhance their problem-solving abilities, critical thinking skills, and decision-making capabilities within a professional environment.

Types of sports science degrees: undergraduate and postgraduate

A wide range of sports science or degrees related to sports science are available. Undergraduate degrees tend to be Bachelor of Science degrees (BSc), which provide students with a comprehensive foundation in the scientific principles underlying human movement, physiology, biomechanics, and psychology. 

Postgraduate sports science degrees tend to be Master of Science degrees (MSc). These postgraduate programmes delve deeper into the scientific aspects of sports performance and allow students to specialise in areas such as exercise physiology, sports nutrition, or sports psychology.

Below are the undergraduate and postgraduate sports science degrees offered at the University of Wolverhampton:

BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science

The BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science is a thorough entrance into the world of sports science. Throughout this three-year programme, students will delve into various aspects of sport and exercise science, including anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, psychology, nutrition, and research methods. The curriculum is carefully crafted to provide a solid foundation in both theoretical principles and practical skills. 

BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Therapy

The BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Therapy degree offers aspiring professionals an outstanding opportunity to delve into the dynamic field of sports rehabilitation. This programme equips students with a solid foundation in both theoretical knowledge and practical skills that are essential for working effectively in this demanding domain.

MSc Strength and Conditioning 

The MSc Strength and Conditioning course covers a wide range of topics, including exercise physiology, biomechanics, sports nutrition, and strength training techniques. Students will also have the opportunity to gain practical experience through placements with professional sports teams or local sporting organisations.

Accreditation considerations for sports science degrees

Accreditation is an important consideration as it ensures that the programme meets specific standards set by relevant professional bodies. It is important that Sports Science degrees are accredited by the British Association of Sport and Exercise Science (BASES). Sports science degrees at the University of Wolverhampton are accredited by this body, ensuring your qualification is relevant to work in the aforementioned industries.

Final thoughts

Obtaining a sports science degree opens up a wide range of career opportunities in the field of sports and exercise. With a degree in sports science, individuals can pursue careers as sports scientists, strength and conditioning coaches, athletic trainers, or even sports psychologists. 

The knowledge and skills gained through this programme provide a solid foundation for understanding the science behind human performance and optimising athletic training programmes. Additionally, the demand for professionals in this field is growing as more emphasis is placed on evidence-based approaches to sports performance and injury prevention. 

Therefore, those with a passion for both sports and science should consider pursuing a sports science degree and embark on an exciting career where they can make a significant impact on athletes’ or potential athletes’ lives.

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