Sport and Exercise Science Degree

Sport and exercise science is the overarching subject that studies a range of sciences, including nutrition, physiology, psychology and biomechanics, among others. The application of these sciences to exercise and sport can improve health, fitness and physical performance of an athlete.

Highlighted courses and degrees in Sport and Exercise Science


An undergraduate degree in sport and exercise science will give you a well-rounded understanding of its basic concepts. You will cover all areas of sport and exercise science, allowing you to develop your understanding of how your skills can be applied in the sports industry. You will likely study modules on exercise physiology, anatomy, sports nutrition and sport psychology.

Your degree will be delivered in a mixture of modes. These will include lectures and seminars, as well as practical sessions. You may also be required to take part in a placement module, which will give you the opportunity to develop the application of skills.


Depending on where you choose to study, you may be able to specialise towards the end of your degree. This specialisations can influence where you choose to work after you have graduated. Common specialisations include:

  • Sports Management
  • Physical Education
  • Strength and Conditioning
  • Sports Physiotherapy
  • Exercise Sciences
  • Sports Coaching
  • Sport and Exercise Psychology

If your degree course requires you to write a dissertation, this will give you the chance to further explore and research a favoured area of sports and exercise science.

Accreditation and Certification

The accreditation of a sport and exercise science degree can depend on where you choose to study. Different countries have their own accreditation systems, meaning that the title of your award could be different. You can typically expect to be awarded a Bachelor of Science (BSc) at undergraduate level.

Depending on which area you choose to work in, you may be required to gain additional academic or professional qualifications. These can include a masters degree, specific coaching qualifications and massage therapy qualifications, among many others. It is possible that your institution will offer these qualifications during your degree, either for free or at a discounted price.

Timeframe and Further Studies

Generally, an undergraduate degree in sport and exercise science will take three to four years. Foundation degrees, diplomas and certificates can last up to two years when studied full-time.

On successful completion of your degree, you can choose to either seek employment in your chosen area, or further your studies. Continuation of your studies could come in the form of a postgraduate degree, such as masters or PhD, or a graduate diploma or certificate.

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Entry Requirements for Degrees in Sport and Exercise Science

The entry requirements for a degree in sport and exercise science will depend on where you choose to study. Requirements can differ at each institution. Some universities might require you to sit an entrance exam, where others rely on previous exam results. Some universities may prefer you to have studied certain subjects, and others might consider previous relevant work experience.

You should check each institution to see what entry requirements they have for their sports science programmes.

If you do not meet the entry requirements you may want to consider a pathway course.

Typical entry requirements:

  • UK6.0 IELTS
  • USA2.5 GPA

Fund Your Studies

Tuition fees for international students are not fixed. This means that they can differ greatly from institution to institution. You should make sure that you are aware of how much your course will cost you.

You may be eligible for a scholarship or funding. This could be awarded by your institution, or by a separate funding body. For more information, visit our scholarships and funding section.

Typical course fees (per year):

  • UK£15,000
  • USA$30,000

Career Options

Sport and exercise science graduates will be able to choose from a variety of career options. Popular destinations include physical education teachers, personal trainers and physiotherapists. Other positions available are fitness instructor, strength and conditioning coach, and sport psychologist. Each of these roles are applicable in both general fitness and professional sport.

Your wide range of transferable skills will mean that your career could take many different paths. You will have gained skills such as effective communication, interaction with a variety of people and problem solving. These are all skills that are highly applicable in all fields, both in sports and fitness, and in unrelated areas.

Guides to related subjects

Learn about subjects similar to Sport and Exercise Science with these related StudyLink guides

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