Sport science and coaching

AGCAS editors
April, 2015

The sports industry is competitive but a sport science and coaching degree can set you up with key skills, which can help you to succeed in many careers

Job options

Jobs directly related to your degree include:

Jobs where your degree would be useful include:

Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here. If you haven't already done so, take a few minutes to answer the Job Match questions to find out what careers would suit you.

Work experience

Look for opportunities that match the career you would like to go into. Try youth-sport volunteering if you are interested in coaching or get work experience in a school if you would like to teach PE. Part-time work in a leisure centre is helpful either in the admin and marketing side or fitness instruction and pool attendant work.

Children's summer holiday schemes that have a strong sports section can give good experience. Work in health promotion with local communities or outdoor pursuit activities are also useful.

Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.

Typical employers

Jobs are available with a range of organisations in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors.

Employers include:

  • professional sports clubs;
  • national sporting associations, governing bodies and other related sporting agencies;
  • private health and fitness clubs, spas and public sports and recreation facilities;
  • local authorities;
  • schools, further education and higher education institutions;
  • the health sector, including the National Health Service.

As a sport science graduate you may also go on to set up your own business or consultancy.

Find information on employers in healthcare, leisure, sport and tourism, teaching and education, and other job sectors.

Skills for your CV

A degree in sport science gives you an understanding of sports performance and the factors that affect behaviour in sport. You gain subject-specific knowledge in areas such as physiology, psychology, biomechanics and nutrition.

The degree provides a large set of skills that can be used in lots of different careers. These transferable skills include:

  • research and data analysis;
  • ability to work on your own initiative and as part of a team;
  • presentation and oral communication skills;
  • written communication skills, including report writing;
  • time management and planning;
  • effective problem-solving;
  • professionalism and customer focus;
  • a good understanding of information technology.

Further study

Some sport-related careers require further study at postgraduate level. If you want to become a sport and exercise psychologist a certain pathway has to be followed, which includes postgraduate qualifications. To get a job as a sports coach you will need to gain the appropriate coaching qualifications.

If you want to become a PE teacher you can go on to complete a PGCE. It is also possible to study at Masters or PhD level to open up teaching and research opportunities in higher education.

You can also pursue further studies in a different area entirely. This could be marketing, finance, business, law, journalism or any other area open to those with a degree in any subject.

For more information on further study and to find a course that interests you, see teacher training, Masters degrees, and search postgraduate courses.

What do sport science graduates do?

Sports coaches, instructors and officials are the top jobs held by graduates in employment in the UK six months after graduation.

Further study17.4
Working and studying7.1
Graduate destinations for sport science and coaching
Type of workPercentage
Technicians and other professionals22.8
Retail, catering and bar work16
Childcare, health and education work9.9
Education professionals8.2
Types of work entered in the UK

For a detailed breakdown of what sport science graduates are doing six months after graduation, see What Do Graduates Do?

Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.

Find out more