Sport and Exercise Science BSc (Hons)View the course
Course studied: Sport and Exercise Science BSc (Hons)
Year of graduation: 2017
Current job title: First Team Strength and Rehabilitation Coach
Current employer: Northampton Town Football Club
Industry sector: Professional sport
I chose to study this course at the University of Northampton because I have a love for sport and a passion for improving physical functionality within a professional environment.
I really enjoyed both the practical and theory aspects of the course. The lecturers put a good deal of thought into the course content that they delivered and ensured it was always highly relevant to the techniques that would be used in the real world. This exposed me to a way of thinking and understanding I didn’t have before, preparing me to ask well thought out direct questions, critically assess findings, and correctly structure practical assessments.
The skills and knowledge I gained on my degree that are most useful in my current role are critical thinking, laboratory and field-based protocol in testing, and various exposures to testing software.
As part of my degree, I completed a work placement at Northampton Town Football Club, as a Sports Scientist Intern. This was of great benefit to my future career as it enabled me to build contacts and gain exposure within the industry, as well as experience real life application of what I’d been learning in class.
The main employability skill I gained was the ability to work in a multidisciplinary environment, which was like group projects I’d been involved in during my studies. Above all, the placement allowed me to get a foot in the door – I just had to demonstrate what I’d learnt during my course.
My tips on applying for a placement would be to tap into the contacts your lecturers have, as these connections will give you the greatest chance of success. Also, vary the sports you apply for placements in, as a lot of the skills can transfer to other areas.
When you’re about to begin a placement year, ask in advance what you’ll need so that you arrive fully prepared. Remember that this is your first opportunity to show you’re a forward thinker and that you value preparation.
The advice I’d give to undergraduates interested in this career path would be to take every opportunity you can and volunteer where possible. Use the contacts your lecturers have gathered, as these contacts will be your go-to once you graduate.
My time at the University of Northampton was a great experience, enabling me to develop myself as a well-rounded professional.