Sport science student

Careers

School of Sport and Exercise Sciences

Ready for a career in sport and exercise sciences?

Do you have an interest in sport, exercise and physical activity?

Or perhaps you are curious how science can enhance human performance or impact positively on behaviour and personal lifestyle? Then why not consider sport and exercise sciences as a career? Our programmes can offer a pathway into many career destinations spanning high performance sport, exercise, health, education and clinical settings including:

  • Athlete Development Co-ordinator
  • Performance Analyst
  • Health Advisor
  • Strength and Conditioning Coach
  • Sport and Exercise Psychologist
  • Performance and Lifestyle Advisor
  • Teacher 
  • Physiologist
  • Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialist
  • Sports Nutritionist

Sport and exercise scientists typically work as part of a team and in synergy with athletes, sport teams, coaches, allied health professionals and governing bodies/organisations. The sport scientist, in particular, can be critical in seeking out the marginal performance gains that are required for the elite athlete. The pursuit of such ‘fine’ or ‘small’ performance enhancing margins can ultimately be the difference between winning and losing or achieving gold or silver medals.

Studying specialist areas of study on one of the courses in the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences will enable you to work with organisations that are aligned and committed to positive behaviour change; promoting active and healthy lifestyles; or within a more clinical understanding of human form and function from a cellular and molecular perspective. Students will be encouraged to translate theoretical understanding to make a positive impact in the sport, exercise, health, education and clinical communities.

Search and apply for your course today

Deciding to study Sports Science at LJMU was definitely the best decision I have made in my career. The staff offer world renowned academic excellence as well as exceptional applied experience and expertise. I have no doubt that I would not be in the position that I am in now if I hadn't chosen to study at LJMU. 

Naomi Datson -
Sport and Exercise science graduate, now Head of Exercise Science (Women's) at The Football Association

Find out more about the careers on offer:

Potential job areas open to you following a degree in Nutrition

Career prospects by subject

Take a look at the specific subject areas that interest you below to find out about possible career paths.

Nutrition

Opportunities in the nutrition sector are diverse and interesting and popularity has increased over recent years. A number of career pathways are available in a commercial environment or a community or healthcare-related setting. BSc (Hons) Nutrition is accredited by the Association for Nutrition – this means that graduates from this course are automatically entitled to apply for associate membership of the UK Voluntary Register of Nutritionists following graduation). BSc (Hons) Sport Nutrition is taught by research active staff who are professionally registered by the Association for Nutrition (AfN) and/or Sport and Exercise Nutrition Register.

Typical roles include:

  • Working as a qualified, registered Nutritionist in both the public and private sector
  • Varied roles in the food industry linked to nutritional food product development, food marketing, food quality and safety management and technical support
  • Further study in dietetics, public health nutrition, health promotion or teaching
  • Many students continue their studies with a Postgraduate course. For those who wish to specialise in sports nutrition, the School’s MSc Sport Nutrition is accredited by the SENr and allows graduates direct entry onto the SENr

“Nutrition is such a wide-ranging degree, you can do research, marketing, food technology, regulatory advisory roles, work in public health in hospitals or in the community. The course exposes you to all these different job opportunities and helps you with any you might want to explore.”

Catherine Baungaard, Nutrition graduate, currently working as a Junior Manager at the European Food Information Council (EUFIC)

Physical Education

Graduates from BA (Hons) Physical Education have a diverse and wide range of career options.

Typical roles include:

  • Teacher training following the completion of relevant Initial Teacher Training programmes, such as PGDE or School Direct primary and secondary courses
  • Working for the armed and emergency services
  • Community-based occupations, such as Sport Development and Sport Coaching roles
  • Public service occupations, including children’s services and educational management
  • Many students continue their studies with a Postgraduate course

View our Physical Education career sheet

“Before completing university, we had a meeting with the Careers Team who delivered a session around what was available to us in terms of career opportunities, training, and resources to help us succeed within our future careers. Before this, I was completely unaware of what they offered and the fact these resources would always be available to us even after we graduate. As a result of this session, I found online platforms such as Linkedin really useful. By connecting with the Careers Team and people on Linkedin within the field of policing I am now well on my way to beginning a career within the police force."

Danii Stevens, Physical Education graduate

Science and Football

A number of our BSc (Hons) Science and Football graduates are now employed in the football industry in the UK, Europe and further afield in sports science support, player development and community programmes. Our graduates work for a number of elite organisations including – among others – Manchester United Football Club, Liverpool Football Club, Everton Football Club and the Football Association.

The majority of the job options which are listed for sport and exercise science graduates are also open to those who study science and football. Typical roles include:

View our Science and Football career sheet

I benefitted from the opportunity be an intern at Everton Football Club for a full season. This was during my final year of study. I also was the manager of Liverpool John Moores Football Club which gave me some good experience of leading and developing sessions.”

Joshua Rice, BSc (Hons) Science and Football graduate, currently completing a PhD funded by Liverpool Football Club.

Sport Coaching

Graduates from BSc Sport Coaching can pursue employment related to coaching in schools, working abroad, teacher training, coaching elite sport, managerial positions, fast-track graduate schemes and setting up their own coaching businesses. Graduates have all of the necessary skills to progress in a sport coaching domain. They can use their attributes along with the knowledge of coaching principles gained from the programme, resulting in rapid career progression and development.

Typical roles include:

  • Outdoor education management
  • Sports development
  • Sports therapy
  • Armed and emergency services
  • Youth and community work
  • Teaching in primary, secondary or tertiary education
  • Many students continue their studies with a Postgraduate course

View our Sport Coaching career sheet

“During my time at university I developed many key skills which allowed me to approach the career and employment process with confidence. From designing and delivering high quality presentations to adapting my CV to my specific career goals. Additional aspects of the course and work within LJMU helped me with my overall understanding of the process and how to engage and connect on an intellectual level with other professionals within my field.”

Joshua Wesselby, Sport Coaching graduate, Liverpool Football Club Lead Under 10s Coach

Sport Nutrition

BSc (Hons) Sport Nutrition is taught by research active staff who are professionally registered by the Association for Nutrition (AfN) and/or Sport and Exercise Nutrition Register. The course offers excellent employment opportunities in a wide field of careers associated with sports nutrition.

Typical roles include:

  • A career in the health sector as a fully qualified, registered Nutritionist
  • In the community promoting health and physical activity
  • In a clinical setting as an assistant dietetic practitioner
  • Within the food industry and specifically the sports nutrition market in research and the development of new products
  • Many students continue their studies with a Postgraduate course. For those who wish to specialise in sports nutrition, the School offers MSc Sport Nutrition, which is accredited by the SENr and allows graduates direct entry onto the SENr

View our career Sport Nutrition sheet

“The research skills I learned at university will be useful for my entire career, as well as during the selection process. Verbal and written communication skills within a professional setting were also vital. These were developed over time through regular contact with lecturers.”

Josh Kirby, graduate, currently working as a New Product Development Executive for Protein Partners

Sport and Exercise Science

Graduates from BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science gain employment in a diverse range of roles.

Typical roles include:

  • Various roles within professional sports clubs such as football, rugby or athletics or sports governing bodies and national sporting associations, such as the FA, Sport England or English Institute of Sport
  • Working as a Sports Scientist in roles such as a Biomechanist, Performance Analyst, Strength and Conditioning Coach, Sport and Exercise Psychologist (though further postgraduate training is needed for  these roles)
  • Athlete lifestyle roles within universities/colleges national governing bodies or schemes such as TASS
  • Working within community and disability sports
  • Roles promoting physical activity for a healthy lifestyle
  • Opportunities within exercise physiology and health promotion
  • Careers within the allied health professions: sport and exercise science graduates can (with further study) continue to train in areas such as physiotherapy and dietetics or pursue other roles within the NHS such as cardiac rehabilitation
  • With further study and training, sport and exercise science graduates can also pursue a career in primary, secondary or further education teaching
  • Many graduate job opportunities, for example in business or finance, are open to those who have studied any degree discipline
  • Many students continue their studies with a Postgraduate course. The School also has two Professional Doctorates: Professional Doctorate in Applied Sport and Exercise Science and Professional Doctorate in Sport and Exercise Psychology

View our Sport and Exercise Science career sheet

“During my Sport and Exercise Science degree at LJMU, the applied modules enabled me to gain some real first-hand experience with athletes”

James Morehen, Performance Nutritionist at England Football, who studied a BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science, followed by MSc Sports Physiology and a PhD in Sports Nutrition.

Sport Pyschology

Further training is required after a degree in BSc (Hons) Sport Psychology in order to become a sport and exercise psychologist. This involves completing a postgraduate qualification, such as an accredited masters in sport psychology and a period of supervised practice. A British Psychological Society (BPS) accredited MSc Sport Psychology can be undertaken at LJMU.

Post masters level qualification, there are two independent routes to HCPC Registration – the BPS Stage 2 Qualification in Sport and Exercise Psychology (QSEP) and BASES Sport and Exercise Psychology Accreditation Route (SEPAR). In addition, there are a number of university-based Professional Doctorate Programmes available for study. LJMU offers a BPS accredited Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) approved Professional Doctorate in Sport and Exercise Psychology that also confers a Doctoral level qualification. All these routes will enable trainees, on completion, to apply for HCPC registration as a sport and exercise psychologist.

Typical roles include:

  • Working with sports teams and athletes – either as an independent consultant or employed by professional teams or sporting bodies
  • Exercise Psychologist – you could work in GP referral, public health or private companies including workplace health and exercise providers
  • Sport and exercise psychologist – you could pursue consultancy work and/or university/college lecturing
  • Upon obtaining BPS graduate membership, you could consider further study and training in other fields of psychology such as clinical, counselling, educational, forensic, health and occupational
  • Many students continue their studies with a Postgraduate course. The School offers further study on MSc Sport Psychology and the Professional Doctorate in Sport and Exercise Psychology

View our Sport Psychology career sheet

“The lecturers themselves were fantastic and really taught us the skills and fundamental psychological science needed to operate in elite sport. A range of guest lecturers also provided great insight into what it takes to work in a variety of different settings.  A visit to Saracens Football Club and the Lawn Tennis Association in London really reaffirmed what we had been taught in classes and how it transfers into the real world.”

Sam Porter, Sport Psychology graduate, currently enrolled on the Professional Doctorate in Sport and Exercise Psychology at LJMU

The knowledge that LJMU provides you with in terms of physiology, biomechanics, nutrition and psychology gives you tools that not many other courses can boast to offer. Therefore, you feel confident that you know your stuff to carry out an effective job and that gives you confidence to try for any job regardless of the difficulty.

Scott McGuire -
BSc Sport and Exercise Science/MSc Sport Nutrition graduate now works as a Nutritionist at Manchester United

How we'll help you achieve your dream career

Here are just a few ways we can help you reach your goals:

We will ensure our courses are professionally relevant

The School’s internationally recognised research activity, commitment to high-quality teaching and active role in external engagement with research, consultancy and education partners makes us the perfect choice for anyone looking to forge a career in sport and exercise sciences.

Our programmes are delivered by world-leading experts and are informed by extensive links with key industry partners, such as the Football Association, Premier League football clubs, Rugby Football League, Team Ineos Cycling, Olympic sports and UK Institutes of Sport. Partners also include governing bodies of sport, sports professionals and teams, local councils, hospitals, charities, schools, community organisations and primary care.

We ensure our programmes are current and relevant by working closely with these partners and engaging in extensive research to identify the skills and knowledge that organisations look for in graduates.

Our reputation as a world-leading research institute ensures we attract high-level professionals to give talks to our students about working in industry.

We will help you find career-enhancing placements

The School has extensive networks with numerous elite sport and exercise sciences organisations, providing you with exciting research and placement opportunities. Some of our undergraduate programmes have the opportunity to take part in a work placement so you can apply your knowledge and skills to the real-world, giving you a head start when you enter the graduate job market. In fact, many of our students gain permanent employment – directly or indirectly – as a result of their placement. By working closely with placement providers, we are also able to ensure our curriculum is relevant to prospective employers and our students gain the desired employment skills.

Example undergraduate placement opportunities

  • BA (Hons) Physical Education students apply their learning in practical physical education sessions, through assignments such as research projects and work placements in industry. They have the opportunity to work with people in a variety of settings, such as schools, clubs and leisure centres. Vital elements of the placements are to encourage students to apply theoretical concepts in practice.
  • BSc (Hons) Nutrition placements are within the nutrition and food related sectors, working for both private and public sector organisations. Students have also gained experience with School Sport Partnerships, local health organisations, Everton Football in the Community and LJMU’s in-house Sport Start scheme.
  • Students on BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science and BSc (Hons) Science and Football have the opportunity to take part in internships at Everton Football Club. As an intern, this involves working in the professional football environment for a full season with the Youth Academy teams on training days, home matches and travelling to away games. BSc (Hons) Science and Football students also undertake sandwich year placements at a range of organisations, such as the Football Association, FIFA, various Premier League football clubs and the Professional Footballers' Association.

“The students gain a variety of skills from applying their degree knowledge to a practical setting and this instils the confidence for them to progress into different careers from performance analysis to sport psychology.”

Dr Martin Littlewood, Reader in Performance Psychology and Head of The Football Exchange

  • BSc (Hons) Sports and Exercise Science students will also have the option to formulate an applied placement in areas such as: performance analysis, nutrition, strength and conditioning, biomechanics, physiology, psychology and physical activity and exercise and health.
  • BSc (Hons) Sport Coaching students take part in applied coaching on work placements in a variety of settings, such as schools, universities and professional sport organisations. This helps you to develop professional skills relevant to the coaching field.
  • Students on BSc (Hons) Sport Psychology undertake a core, pre-established placement in small groups at professional organisations. Students have completed placements with a number of external partners, including Warrington Rowing, Autism Together, Leaps & Bounds, The Mersey Forest and GP Referral Schemes.
  • BSc (Hons) Sport Nutrition students can complete placements within sports/performance nutrition, working with national governing bodies, with professional and/or amateur sports clubs or with individual athletes.

Example postgraduate placement opportunities

  • MSc Sport Nutrition is accredited by the Sport and Exercise Nutrition Register (SENr), which means students qualify for SENr graduate status upon successful completion of the programme. Students experience a unique blend of theoretical science and applied skills taught by world-leading academics engaged in nutritional consultancy with high-profile sports organisations. Students have completed sport nutrition placements at a number of organisations, including professional sports clubs and/or national institutes of sport.
  • MSc Sport Psychology students gain essential experience through a 140 hour clinical placement, based in a hospital clinical exercise physiology department or related department in the NHS or private healthcare sector. Previous students have gained their experience at Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital, Harley Street clinics and a range of NHS Royal Trust clinics.
  • Largely observational placements on MSc Clinical Exercise Physiology aim to give students experience and understanding of what is involved in working in the clinical field. They will be given the opportunity to further develop their theoretical, research, practical and communication skills. Previous students have gained their experience at Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital, Harley Street clinics and a range of NHS Royal Trust clinics.
  • The aim of the MSc Strength and Conditioning placement is to provide students with the knowledge and technical skills required to work as an effective strength and conditioning practitioner, while using research to inform their practice. Students have benefited from an applied strength and conditioning placement at a range of sporting institutions, such as clubs within the English Premier League/Championship/Women’s Super League Football and Rugby League Super League/Championship.

Practical learning is a key part of your course

The School places a strong emphasis on active learning and practical training in its programmes. Not only will you have the opportunity to take part in work experience to further your professional development and prepare you for the workplace, but you will have extensive hands-on experience with state-of-the-art equipment in our modern laboratories and facilities. You will learn from and work alongside world-leading experts in your chosen field.

We will maintain our accreditation by professional bodies

  • BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science and BSc (Hons) Science and Football are endorsed by the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES).
  • BSc (Hons) Nutrition is accredited by the Association for Nutrition. This means that graduates from this course are automatically entitled to apply for associate membership of the UK Voluntary Register of Nutritionists following graduation.
  • LJMU is one of a limited number of UK universities to provide a complete training route to become a BPS (British Psychological Society) Chartered Psychologist and Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) Registered Sport Psychologist via our sports psychology programmes: BSc (Hons) Sport Psychology, MSc Sport Psychology and Professional Doctorate in Sport and Exercise Psychology
  • MSc Sport Nutrition is accredited by the Sport and Exercise Nutrition Register (SENr) which means that upon successful completion of the course you will qualify for SENr graduate status. To boost your employability after completing the course, you will be trained in anthropometry by ISAK allowing you to become an ISAK Level 1 anthropometry.
  • Some components of MSc Sport and Clinical Biomechanics have been designed to align with the Department of Health Knowledge and Skills Framework (KSF).

You will have access to careers support

Our Careers, Employability and Enterprise Team offers a wide range of resources to help you plan your next step, both while you are at university and after you graduate.  Our careers and employability advisers offer in-depth, one-to-one careers advice and guidance. Our Careers Zone 24-7 digital careers tools also enable you to work on vitally important employability and transition skills at your own pace, in your own time, both on or off campus. Your School Careers Advisers (Laura Aldridge and Keren Coney) also deliver careers and employability workshops as part of certain modules.

We offer opportunities to meet and engage with employers and an extensive programme of careers and employability webinars, all designed to help you get the job you want.

Find out more about how our Careers Employability and Enterprise Teamcan help you.

As student at LJMU, you will also be able to access the services of the Unitemps team who provide recruitment services to departments within the university and the surrounding Liverpool City Region. Unitemps are keen to source talented staff from our pool of students from a range of degree specialisations and backgrounds.

We can help you start your own business

LJMU’s Centre for Entrepreneurship can help students to develop an idea for a product, work as a freelancer or start up a consultancy business linked to your studies. The team can support students to build up personal confidence and a better understanding of business tools you will need to get set u, and connect you with Merseyside business communities.

Find out more about how the Centre for Entrepreneurship can support you.

“The MSc in Sport Nutrition gave me the confidence in my own ability to go and start a business, take what I had learnt in the classroom and apply it out there into the real world. A big contributor to this was the placement that I did, and the chance to work within elite sport whilst studying was invaluable. I also received valuable support from the Centre for Entrepreneurship as I took part in their Start-up training programme.”

Angela Clucas, MSc Sport Nutrition graduate

My work experience at Blackburn Rovers gave me a greater knowledge of how a professional football club operates.

Christopher Mullen -
BSc Science and Football graduate now is the Sports Development Officer at Accrington Stanley Community Trust