Applying principles of science to exercise and sport, sports science explains and improves health, fitness and physical performance. Sports science studies a range of sciences, including nutrition, physiology, bio mechanics and psychology. Those that study sports science help individuals to achieve their full potential and the subject appeals to those who have a passion for sports, physical activity, human science and overall well being.
Highlighted courses and degrees in Sports Science
A significant number of institutions have general education requirements for most bachelor degree programs. General education courses include basic or introductory topics on history, mathematics, humanities and economics.
Most degree programs in sports science focus on topics related to physiology, anatomy, bio mechanics, sports nutrition, exercise, psychology, physical education and athletic training and conditioning.
In the latter years of the program, students may be required to work on a major project or thesis involving extensive research to develop not only research skills but practical and hands-on knowledge as well.
Most universities provide specialisation options for their students, either through optional electives or as a mandatory part of the degree program. Availability of specialisations would also depend on the offerings of each university and the level of study.
Below is a short list of some specialisations offered by institutions:
The accreditation of a degree usually depends on the country where the degree is awarded. In most cases, countries have their own accrediting systems for universities, students and graduates.
Graduates of sports science degree programs can end up in different professional positions. As such, there is no universal licensing or certification that sports science graduates must obtain to be able to find a job in the field, although some of the jobs that can be pursued require a license in some states or countries. It is always recommended to look into licensing requirements of the state or country wherein a career or position will be pursued.
A degree in sports science can typically take around three to four years of full-time study. The exact period of time would depend on the university of your choice and the country wherein it is located.
There are also various degrees available for sports science graduates at the master’s level, taking one to two years for completion as well as doctoral programs that focus on exercise and sports science. These graduate courses usually involve intensive research and require relevant experience.
Sports science degree program entry requirements vary from institution to institution. For applicants going into their first year, some universities may arrange an entrance exam, while some will take into consideration national or standard exams. A number of universities also take into consideration advanced placement exams, while some consider transfer credits for post-secondary students or applicants.
Some sports science degree programs have a grade requirement, either from the entrance or standard exam, from previous courses taken in secondary school or sometimes even both. High marks in subjects such as biology, chemistry, physics and PE may help an application. Various community-based and/or leadership experiences are also often taken into consideration. Some institutions also require a letter of intent or an application essay in addition to an interview.
For a complete list of requirements, you are advised to check out or contact the institution you are interested in applying to.
If you do not meet the entry requirements you may want to consider a pathway course.
Graduates of sports science programs can choose from a variety of career options. One of which include that of personal trainer or fitness instructor. In this line of work, progressing to a fitness centre or gym manager may also be an option. Those who have specialised knowledge and experience in a specific sport may consider sports coaching. Another career opportunity is sports therapy where individuals can apply their knowledge on human anatomy and sports injury rehabilitation. Those who want to work with children, teenagers and young adults can explore opportunities in physical education as PE teachers.
Those who choose to work in other fields can do so using the transferable skills that can be gained throughout sports science degree programs such as communication skills, specifically in dealing and working with different types of people as customers or team mates.
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