Love Sport? Why Not Study It at University?

This week, Facebook tells me, marks the tenth anniversary of my A-Level results. Depressing thoughts, much like hangovers, take days to dissipate these days but it has nudged my rusty noggin into remembering my fast and loose decisions with respect to University. My course preferences were as much based on whim as they were interest and my choice of institution was largely based on how nice the prospectus was.

Knowing now how vital these decisions are, I’d like to think that if I were to do it again I’d spend far greater energy in choosing the right course.

With such a bright spotlight shining on Sport in the UK since the 2012 Olympics, there has never been such support, respect and opportunity for people interested in pursuing a career in the sports industry. When the Queen applauds sport for having the potential to bring communities together and inspire generations into healthy living, you know you have the seal of approval to go forth and study. But if you’re looking for yet more reasons to dive into a sports degree, read on.

Sports related degrees have a wealth of options to suit your interests and can lead into varied and exciting careers. From developing extreme sports programmes to coaching teams, playing sport professionally, teaching, academic research or roles in the health sector, the career possibilities are as promising as your potential.

Professional Playing
Are you a talented sports person with hopes of a professional career in sport? Universities are courting the very best students across the country, tempting them to come and spend their student loans at their institution and become a success story. As such, Higher Education institutions are incentivised to invest in you and provide the best access to expert coaching, state of the art facilities and a wide network of contacts within the industry. As a platform for your career, it’s far from a false start.

Quality of Education
Sport Science degrees offer a combination of academic theory, practical application and research as a structure. Psychology, Physiology and Biomechanics make up the core of any sport degree, ensuring you have an academically challenging and respected degree to start your CV. In the later stages of your studies, you can tailor your course to specialise in your interests, giving you the best platform for launching your career.

Universities work hard to make sure they have a tempting offer for potential students. Sport departments spend years developing solid links in the industry to offer the best advice, experience and opportunities to their students. Southampton Solent University, for example, have excellent links with the Football Association, Premier League and League Managers Association, meaning that students have excellent access to an exceptional professional football network not easy to come by outside of education.

Practical Application
The course structure ensures you’re covering all the academic bases but universities heavily encourage and support practical application of your knowledge. They’ll identify opportunities for you to develop your coaching skills or help you find work experience in a related business, dependant on your preference of career path. If you’re unsure, University provides the perfect opportunity to try a variety of different specialisms to help you identify your perfect role.

Students are becoming ever- more savvy about the potential of a degree to help them find a job. Universities appreciate this as one of the most important factors in the decision making process, and as such they work hard to prove they can get you into work. For example, 86% of graduates studying sport at Solent University found themselves in work or further study six months after graduating last year. Proof that great links to the professional sports industry and a heavy emphasis on work experience mean that studying sport is likely to support you into work after graduating.

Whatever your sports interest, the culture of support for your studies in this country has never been stronger. Take advantage of the extra funding being channelled into creating jobs to improve the general health of the nation and jump headfirst into a degree guaranteed to raise your heart rate for a professional lifetime.
Love sport? Let us know how your degree helped you score your dream job!

Claire is a writer and blogger with her finger on the pulse of all things fitness, though she considers herself a happy amateur rather than a gym junkie. She has worked in higher education for two years and appreciates the importance of choosing a degree that’s right for you.

Image by stevendepolo

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