Leading UK universities for the study of Sports Science

If you’re intrigued by what goes on behind-the-scenes in sports, a degree in Sports Science will prove to be ideal. Once you explore this area of study, you’ll understand the fundamental relationship between exercise and health and the realities of coaching and management.

As displayed by the Annual Sports England report, “long-term analysis shows that a third of the adult population, or 14.4 million people in the UK, already have a sport and physical activity habit.” This is great news for aspiring Sports Science students as their prospective professional field shows no sign of slowing down.

Since the launch of the ‘This Girl Can’ campaign in 2015, there’s been a significant rise in the number of women playing sports. With an extra 250,000 joining in with physical activity since the initiative launched, the figure is now above 7.2 million. This is just one project that exemplifies the UK’s efforts to promote sport in society. By striving to build an all-inclusive community, their continuous determination inspires many.

Image courtesy of University of Leeds, Faculty of Biological Sciences

It’s not just sponsored sports schemes that get the public motivated – it’s also the substantial use of social media slogans. Phrases such as ‘get fit’ and ‘be healthy’ are frequently circulated around the World Wide Web and constantly promote the ideals of a balanced diet and valuable fitness routine. No matter where in the world you go, this subject follows like a shadow.

To kick-start your career in Sports Science, it’s wise to be aware of the ways in which digitisation has shaped sports in the past few years. If you take a closer look at the statistics, you’ll find that 93.3 percent of global sports leaders believe that social media engagement of fans will grow in the next five-ten years, and that sports-based social media posts are rapidly increasing.

Unlike other subjects that have not embraced new-technologies and are still sitting on the bench, Sports Science is storming into the future. As the topic’s spotlight increases, the demand for confident and knowledgeable graduates is also on the rise.

With a degree in Sports Science under your belt, you’ll be able to take on and succeed in a range of roles. You could be a personal trainer, an exercise physiologist, a sports development officer or a fitness centre manager. The possibilities are endless, especially with the help of top-tier universities. After all, there’s no “I” in team…

Here are the leading UK universities for the study of Sports Science….


If you’re looking for a valuable academic experience, it’s well worth exploring what this university has to offer. This year the University of Leeds was ranked 3rd in the 2018 Guardian League Table for Sports Science, making it the top Russell Group university for the subject area.

Leeds received a 96% student satisfaction score in the latest National Student Survey, and is first in the UK for their ‘world-leading’ research in the field of sport and exercise sciences (REF, 2014). Students leave with great career prospects and the University featured in the UK’s top 10 for graduate employability (QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2017).

Studying on one of the faculty’s many courses – such as Sports and Exercise Science – will introduce you to core life sciences disciplines that are fundamental to body and mind functions. Just like BSc student Bilal, you’ll be using the latest technologies and specialist facilities to tackle subjects such as motor control and biomechanics.

Those interested in Masters-level study can choose the Sport and Exercise Medicine MSc, designed to provide professionals with practitioner-led training and specialised knowledge in the emerging discipline.


Based in Birmingham, this school specialises in supporting community needs. Regardless of age or background, this school treats everyone as an equal player, granting support to those recovering from an injury or living with a chronic disease. The institution boasts an extensive selection of undergraduate courses, granting students the chance to subscribe to its first-class Physiotherapy programme.

Vigorously working to improve the realm of rehabilitation, the university examines the way that diseases and traumas provoke the healing process. By connecting its work to musculoskeletal science, sensorimotor neuroscience and human motion analysis, the school seeks to improve educational rehabilitation strategies.

If you’re intrigued by the Sports Science research carried out by the University of Birmingham, why not virtually explore their human performance laboratory? This is where investigations about sports performances at elite and recreational levels, as well as the health effects of exercise in obese, ageing and diseased populations are conducted. What’s great about the centre is that anyone can participate; every contribution is worthwhile and helps the University of Birmingham build a bigger picture.


 Loughborough University loves looking into the complexities of sports, exercise and health sciences; so much so that the school has scored a gold medal in the QS World University Rankings (2017). By placing first in the world for sport-related subjects, the Loughborough team has a lot to offer potential applicants.

Managed by internationally-renowned academics, you’ll be able to tailor your studies to suit your personal goals. The BSc (Hons) Sports and Exercise Science scheme caters to the increasing demand for qualified sports and exercise scientists. As current Sports and Exercise student, Emily, states, “if you are looking for a career in the sport or healthcare industry or a job that requires data analysis, this course will be extremely valuable to you. The University and the Students’ Union will do everything they can to support you.”

Life as a Loughborough sports student is one filled with advantages and superb sports facilities. Taking time out of your studies and participating in extra-curricular activities is always an option with the EHB sports turf and powerbase gym. There’s also the Athletics Union Clubs to try out if you’re looking for fellow sports-loving friends.


The University of Bath defies the expectations of the Sports Science syllabus, providing an assortment of routes for students to choose. There’s the Sport and Social Sciences BA (Hons) course, for example, where the role of physical activity, health and sport within contemporary society is analysed. This curriculum also specifically looks into how society impacts the production of sport in the UK and global sphere.

Another approach is the Sport Performance FdSc course. At the beginning, you’ll dive straight into the deep end and glide through coaching, research and fundamental sports disciplines. Once you’ve got the hang of these concepts, you’ll progress to the one-year BSc Sport Performance course and benefit from work-based learning.

Due to the assortment of degrees and commitment of teachers, the university has been awarded 1st place for Sports Science by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide (2018). The department is quick to cover current issues within the fields of exercise and leisure, keeping its students on track to meet individual targets. Despite the competitive nature of sports, Bath aims to keep learners grounded and fixated on personal growth and success with one-to-one support from lecturers and acclaimed alumni.

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International

Liked this? Then you’ll love these…

University of Leeds: A winning destination for Sports Science

The new Life Sciences landscape: 5 UK leaders of higher education