Opportunities for your students to discover LJMU
At Liverpool John Moores University we are committed to offering the best possible advice and guidance to you and your students. The Outreach Team are pleased to be able to offer a range of workshops, presentations and campus visits to encourage progression to higher education and to help provide transparency surrounding the university admissions process for students and their schools/colleges. We are dedicated to providing a professional service to schools and colleges, free of charge, to help support your students in making informed higher education choices.
We offer a range of subject-based taster days, throughout the year, as well as more individual student shadowing opportunities, enabling prospective students to spend ‘a day in the life’ of one our current undergraduates. Our large team of student advocates are also able to deliver workshops and presentations in schools, providing more information about the course they are studying as well as student life in general. See below for some of the great events that we have run over the years.
Due to the current COVID-19 situation, we are currently unable to offer any ‘on-site’ outreach events. However, as a team we are committed to offering the best possible opportunities for students interested in sport and exercise science. Therefore, we are looking at running a number of exciting and interactive online sessions that are both discipline (e.g. biomechanics, physiology) and multidisciplinary (e.g. Tokyo Olympics, women in football) that will be open to all schools across the United Kingdom. More information will be available soon.
To keep up to date, please visit our Outreach Twitter page: @LJMUOutreach.
Here Come the Girls 2020…The future of Sport and Exercise Sciences
The School of Sport and Exercise Sciences invited 60 female pupils to attend an event to celebrate international Women’s Day 2020. The 'Here Come the Girls: The Future of Sport and Exercise Science' is now in its second year and is led by female academic staff and supported by wider academic staff, technicians and Postgraduate Research Students as a whole.
The pupils were treated to an introductory session from Professor Zoe Knowles, before workshops on performance analysis in women’s team sports from the Football Exchange team, performance psychology and motivation for exercise participation (Psychology and Development Research Group) and cellular science (Exercise Metabolism and Adaptation Research group). All sessions were held in the state-of-the-art facilities of the Tom Reilly Building. A lunch was hosted by female staff and Postgraduate Research Students to allow the pupils to ask questions of the staff and students about their study, day-to-day working, career progression and challenges they have overcome.
In the afternoon Dr Tori Sprung delivered a key-note session entitled “It’s harder to crack a prejudice, than an atom”. This explored historic oppression of Women in Science. Tori went on to discuss the specific needs of Women in Sport and explain that only recently has it been more widely accepted that women are physiologically distinct from men, and require specific training and performance support. Lastly, Tori invited a Sports Science intern she supports to speak with the girls.
Kapil Tyagi, a level 5 student on the BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science programme, was recruited to help with the Faculty of Science ‘EDIpedia’ project, which aims to capture the legacy of individuals historically underrepresented in Science. Kapil shared two profiles he had created of Women in Sports Science and presented himself as a young male advocate for equality.
Alison Hughes of Oldershaw Academy, Wirral, attended their second event with LJMU’s School of Sport and Exercise Sciences after previously working with Professor Zoe Knowles on the new Eureka Mersey exhibits relating to sport and exercise sciences. On attending the event on March 6th, Alison said "Thank you for organising the event, the girls really enjoyed it". Other schools in attendance included Wirral Grammar School for Girls, Archbishop Beck and Essa Academy from Bolton.
Discovery Day - November
Dr Matt Cocks dicussing different HITT training approaches and their influence on health.
On Monday 6 November, 48 students from Fowler Education Football Academy (Liverpool), Ormiston Bollingbroke Academy (Halton), Calderstones School (Liverpool), Warrington and Vale College (Warrington), Formby High School (Sefton), and Upton Girls School (Wirral) visited the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences as part of the University's ‘Discovery Day’, where high school children can get hands-on experience in what it is like to be a Sport and Exercise Scientist. The theme of the day was centred around the influence of sport science on health and exercise.
Dr Tori Sprung chatting to a student from the Fowler Education Football Academy.
These students were treated to practical workshops for world leaders in their field, including the influence of HITT training on health and exercise by Drs Matt Cocks, Sam Shepard and Juliette Strauss from the Physiology Health and Exercise team. Dr Tori Sprung, Dr Benjamin Buckley and Dr Lawrence Foweather from the Physical Activity Exchange illustrated methods of measuring physical activity and sedentary behaviours in children. Professor Costis Maganaris from Biomechanics Research Group demonstrated the biomechanics behind running.
Professor Costis Maganaris chatting to students.
Pupils enjoyed the day, commenting on how they enjoyed the ‘hands on’ activities and understanding how the simple changes we make to become healthier are underpinned by science.
Discovery Day - March
On Wednesday 27 March, 54 students from St Margaret’s C of E High School (Liverpool), Flint High School (Flint) and Calderstones School (Liverpool) visited the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences as part of the University's ‘Discovery Day’, where high school children can get a hands-on experience in what it is like to be a Sport and Exercise Scientist.
Students were treated to seminars from world leaders in Sport and Exercise Science, Professors James Morton and Graeme Close (both EMARG). These seminars focused on practical sport science including their personal experience of how to fuel international Rugby Union players (Close) and a Tour de France Champion (Morton).
These seminars were followed up with practical workshops including methods of measuring physical activity and sedentary behaviours in children with Dr Lynne Boddy and Dr Lawrence Foweather from the Physical Activity Exchange. Dr Thomas O’Brien and Dr Richard Foster (Biomechanics) illustrated the role of muscle strength for sports performance and how a virtual reality game can be used to train postural control. Dr Allistair McRobert and Dr Paul Bradley of the Football Exchange allowed students the opportunity to be a performance analyst in soccer.
These sessions allowed the students to get hands-on experience in our world-leading laboratories. Overall the day was a great success, with a number of pupils and staff alike highlighting the fact that they never knew how many career opportunities there were in sport science.
Here Come the Girls...The Future of Sport and Exercise Science
On Wednesday 26 June, the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences were delighted to invite 26 female pupils from ESSA Academy (Bolton), St Margaret’s C of E High School and Birkenhead High School Academy (both Liverpool) for our inaugural all-female outreach day. The notion of the event was to promote and inspire girls from the local area to think about roles with STEM and sport and exercise science.
In a full day, the girls and accompanying teachers were involved in various events hosted by Sport and Exercise Sciences staff on some of the current issues around females. They started off the day with a welcome talk by host Prof Zoe Knowles (Physical Activity Exchange) which was followed up by a seminar with Dr Tori Sprung (Physical Activity and Cardiovascular Physiology) on current issues within women in sport and gained the thoughts and idea from the pupils of the schools.
Students engaged in two interactive workshops examining fitness, physical activity and sedentary behaviours in females with Dr Lynne Boddy. Similar to the seminar by Dr Sprung, second workshop by Dr Laura Thomas (Psychology and Development) focused on current issues of women in sport, and the psychological impact these may cause and what support a sport and exercise psychologist could offer.
This event was viewed as a success by both students and teachers. For example, Physical Education Teacher Nuala Dunne provided feedback on the day highlighting:
"The girls really enjoyed the talks and thought that they were very relevant and thought provoking."
…ESSA Academy added:
This was the first event of its kind organised by the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences and based on the success will be rolled out to next year on beyond. It is hoped a teacher CPD event will run in parallel to that of a pupil programme.
Dowdales School visit
On Friday 25 September, sport students from Dowdales School (Cumbria) visited the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences. The students were extremely engaged with the presentations on the history of the School and tours of our world-leading Sport and Exercise Science laboratories. They completed different activities such as the ‘How Healthy Are You?’ practical session ran by PhD student Katie Hesketh (from the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences).
The day was a great success and engaging for staff and pupils alike. One of the teachers said:
“These sessions were great as they not only provide context to what we teach at the school, but they show the students what job opportunities there were available in sport and exercise science.”
Girls Go Gold Conference
On Thursday 13 September, Dr Matthew Andrew (Sport and Exercise Sciences) attended the ‘Girls Go Gold’ Conference at Bolton School. This conference focused on 200 high performance pupils attending from 19 schools across the country who have specialisms in a broad range of sports including athletics, hockey, swimming and netball. Alongside colleagues from the School of Sport Studies, Leisure and Nutrition the focus of the discussions focused on the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, degree programmes within the School as well as studies in general.
Sports Science Radiotherapy and Physiotherapy event
Ben Brown explaining physiology based data
On the 6 October 2016, as part of the Merseyside Network for Collaborative Outreach (MNCO), the University of Liverpool organised a visit day surrounding the subject of Sports Science, Radiotherapy and Physiotherapy. This event was directed towards providing boys (year 10-11) with a taste of university life. Three PhD students Katie Hesketh, Katie Whytock and Benjamin Brown (all from the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences) delivered three exciting presentations on the different aspects of being a sport scientist. Firstly Katie Hesketh presented on ‘What is a Sport Scientist?’ explaining the different roles that a sport scientist undertakes. Following this talk Katie Whytock described the health benefits of exercise, especially the increasingly popular high intensity training (HIT). Finally, Benjamin Brown gave the students an insight into how an elite team has support from sport scientists. The students were extremely engaged with the presentations, they completed different activities such as ‘Guess the job title’ from the support staff of Liverpool Football Club and watching a live HIT demonstration on a Watt Bike.
Pupils take part in the bone workshop with Professor Gabor Barton from LJMU.
The School of Sport and Exercise Sciences hosted three events as part of the Annual International Meeting of the Bone Research Society (BRS) which took place 29 June - 1 July 2016 in Liverpool, for which Professor Jonathan Jarvis was on the local scientific committee.
The BRS has a commitment to public engagement and worked with the LJMU Widening Participation Office to invite an audience of year 8 pupils from local schools targeted to encourage participation in higher education. Thirty pupils arrived with their teachers on Wednesday 29 June for lunch and an introductory welcome to Sport and Exercise Science and a brief lecture on ‘Bones: the basics’. They then enjoyed an interactive workshop with four activities prepared by our own Professor Gabor Barton (video tracking of movement); Dr Alistair Bond (University of Liverpool) who explained some impressive bones including a hippopotamus skull and an elephant femur; Dr Alison Gartland (University of Sheffield) who led hands-on loading of chicken bones to illustrate their material properties, and Emma Morris (University of Oxford) the winner of a competition among the BRS young investigators to design an activity for the workshop. Emma demonstrated the internal structure of bones with balloons.
The workshop was a great success and great fun for staff and pupils alike. One of our visitors said:
“I recently participated in the visit to learn about bones in the University. I thoroughly enjoyed it and it has succeeded in making me have an interest for anatomy. The best thing about the trip was being able to hold all the bones and conducting an experiment to see the effect certain drinks had on bones. There aren’t many things you can do to improve the great afternoon, except from make it a WHOLE day! Thanks for the amazing opportunity that we were given, but you can have my bones over my dead body!”
At the same time, Dr Zoe Knowles (Face to Face with Sports Science Lead) presented on the principles and practice of public engagement to the BRS young investigators group. They were able to meet the School's presenters and observe the workshop to get ideas for their own future events.
Sport and exercise psychology talk at University of York
Dr Paula Watson, right, and Ellie Whitaker, left, with two University of York alumni at the University of York's psychology careers day.
Dr Paula Watson and Miss Ellie Whitaker (MSc Sport Psychology student) were invited to the University of York on 8 February to deliver a talk on sport and exercise psychology on their psychology careers day. Dr Watson and Ellie followed a similar pathway with both studying psychology at University of York, both president of the women’s football team whilst there, then both came to LJMU to study MSc Sports Psychology. Dr Elizabeth Kirk from the University of York said:
‘I have received very positive feedback from students who have been inspired by what they have learnt. My hope is always that these careers days will open up the minds of students to different career possibilities and I’m delighted to have people like you willing to come and give up your time to help inspire and motivate the next generation of psychology graduates. I really liked the double-act format with Ellie, I think that worked really well.’
Dr Watson and Ellie Whitaker have been invited to act as mentors for University of York students who may wish to enter into sport and exercise psychology as a career.
World Museum Liverpool was selected as the only venue in the UK to host a live educational in-flight call with Tim Peake during his mission on board the International Space Station. Tim video called the Museum on 2 February 2016 for a question and answer session with schoolchildren, hosted by TV presenter Kevin Fong. The event was organised by TES Global, the UK Space Agency and the European Space Agency. Prior to the call, children from all over the UK took part in workshops and activities with our Face to Face with Sport Science staff delivering Mission X once again by invitation of the World Museum following the success of the workshop on the launch date in December 2015.
On both of these significant dates, LJMU’s sports scientists were on hand to deliver expert scientific knowledge and interactive workshops based on ‘Mission X’ so that children could learn how to ‘train like an astronaut’. This international learning challenge focused on fitness and nutrition in preparation for the demands of space travel. This included pre-flight medical checks like heart rate monitoring and hydration, gravity, balance and resistance games.
Prof Keith George inspires pupils at Sandbach School
Prof Keith George gave an inspirational talk to the year 9 pupils of Sandbach School in January. His talk focused on sport and exercise science including the current portfolio of degree programmes at LJMU, university studies in general and his world leading research. Prof George is as a cardiovascular physiologist interested in the health and well-being of different human populations from elite athletes to clinical groups.
Royal Society Partnership Grant inspires young sports scientists
Pupils from St Margaret's Church of England Academy had the chance to work in a hands-on environment at the state-of-the art facilities in the Tom Reilly Building in December 2014 and March 2015, thanks to a third Royal Society Partnership Grant. A mixture of lectures and interactive activities including sports nutrition, stroboscopic vision and biomechanics were designed to inspire the pupils and raise awareness of STEM subjects and how they are applied to elite sport.
See our Events page for an event report.
As hundreds of schoolchildren gathered to watch Tim Peake’s launch into space on 15 December at World Museum, Liverpool John Moores University’s sports scientists were on hand to deliver expert scientific knowledge and interactive workshops based on ‘Mission X’ so that children could learn how to ‘train like an astronaut’. This international learning challenge focused on fitness and nutrition in preparation for the demands of space travel. This included pre-flight medical checks like heart rate monitoring and hydration, gravity, balance and resistance games.
Children who attended the Mission X event wrote to the museum afterwards and said:
"I am writing to you because I want to thank you for letting us look at the museum. It was a lovely day at the fantastic and brilliant museum. Thanks for showing us how to be fit in space. I learnt you have to be fit before going to space. Also I learnt when you're in space you have to eat dry and spicy food. I enjoyed the fitness bit the most because it is good to be fit."
- Christ Church Primary School, Bootle, Liverpool - Age 9-10
"I am writing to tell you that I had the best time in the museum. My favourite activity was the stretch test to test how supple you are."
- Christ Church Primary School, Bootle, Liverpool - Age 9-10
"I am writing to tell you thank you about the wonderful day you gave us on Tuesday. Thank you very much...What I enjoyed the most was when we did the jump exercises which was fun but tiring."
- Christ Church Primary School, Bootle, Liverpool - Age 9-10
Royal Society Partnership Grant inspires young sports scientists
Pupils from St Margaret's Church of England Academy, Years 8, 9, 12 and 13, had the chance to work in a hands-on environment at the state-of-the art facilities in the Tom Reilly Building in December 2014 and March 2015, thanks to a third Royal Society Partnership Grant. This included a session looking at how muscles function using specialist ultrasound equipment, a sports nutrition workshop to learn about the sports drinks that are used by elite athletes, and stroboscopic vision techniques. The pupils were also introduced to the specialist Match Analysis Suite with a talk and demonstration from Chris McCready, who is a former professional footballer and current MPhil student, and Jordan Whelen, PhD student and match analyst for Liverpool Football Club. Greg Whyte OBE, delivered a keynote lecture on the ‘Limits of Human Performance’ and discussed the principles of training behind his work with celebrities for Sport and Comic Relief challenges.
The mixture of lectures and interactive activities was designed to inspire the pupils and raise awareness of STEM subjects and how they are applied to elite sport. Nuala Dunne Head of PE from St Margaret’s CofE Academy said:
"Students were enthused and inspired by the different workshops provided by LJMU with regards to future careers and university course options. The talk from Professor Greg Whyte was exceptional, especially in his ability to engage and maintain the interest of the range of different aged students from Years 8 and 9 to Years 12 and 13. All of the STEM (Science, Technology, English and Maths) students from Years 8 and 9 that attended the day came away with a more positive attitude to Sports and Science and the potential benefits and enjoyment that they could gain from studying the STEM subjects further."
Professor Dame Julia Higgins FRS FREng, Chair of the Royal Society’s Education Committee, said:
"We’re pleased to hear that pupils at St Margaret’s Church of England Academy are benefiting from their Partnership Grant in such an exciting way. Science and engineering are exhilarating and dynamic subjects. We hope that by giving schools the opportunity to introduce innovative science we can help show young people how much fun in real-life these subjects can be, and inspire them to become the inventors, explorers and innovators of the future."
STEM day with Bloodhound at Reaseheath College
On Monday 19 May Professor Claire Stewart from the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences spend the day at Reaseheath College, Cheshire as a STEM ambassador, supporting activities involving the Bloodhound Supersonic Car (SSC). This vehicle will attempt the 1,000mph land speed record in South Africa in 2016. Up to 120 key stage 2 and 3 pupils visited the facility each day to learn about the development of Bloodhound as it progresses towards its supersonic challenge. The project is being supported by some of the world's leading engineering companies including Rolls Royce. The visiting children had an opportunity to watch a movie about previous land speed records and the demands of the current design and attempt. They were able to look at the replica car (pictures in the background of the photo) and had a chance to drive a simulator in an attempt to better the 100mph record. Other activities including building and testing air driven Kinex cars, 3D printing and designing a desert base for the car and its support teams, when in South Africa. Excellent insight regarding nutritional and exercise needs featured in the last session.
Cardinal Heenan Industry Day
School of Sport and Exercise Sciences Research student Chris Dowling and BSc (Hons) Science and Football programme leader Dr Martin Littlewood attended Cardinal Heenan Catholic High School's Industry Day on 14 February 2014 to present to pupils the degrees available within the School of Sport and Exercise Science at Liverpool John Moores University. This was SES second annual event with the school. The aim of the workshop was to inspire young people, in the run up to their options at school, interested in sport and physical activity to pursue a career within the field. Dr Martin Littlewood spoke of his career within elite level football as a sports scientist and the different pathways of working within high performance environments. Chris Dowling, local to the area of the school, spoke of his experiences through school, college and university and the pathway he took and further spoke of his research with a number of Premier League clubs. The workshops sparked discussion from a number of pupils who took a great interest in the opportunities available working within Sports Science whilst the Head of PE at the school deemed the workshops a success in inspiring a number of young people within the schools.
PhD student Sam Impey talks to Knowsley Community College on nutrition to aid recovery from injury
Sam was invited to talk to the level 4 sports therapy students about current concepts of sports nutrition in January 2014. The aim of the session was to give a general overview of how different nutritional strategies can be used to aid different types of injuries commonly seen by sports therapists. Tammy Lennon, Lecturer in Sport and Public Services said:
"The L4 learners thought the information about nutrition for healing and repair was just what they needed to help them".
The talk formed the basis for further research by the group to complete modules on their Sports Therapy course.
Prof. Claire Stewart delivers a talk on the 'controversial world of stem cells' at Merchant Taylors' Girls' School
Professor Stewart was invited to deliver the Autumn Term 'Keynote Lecture' on 14 October 2013 to the Senior Harrison Group at Merchant Taylors' Girls' School by invitation of the Headmistress, Louise Robinson. Many of the sixth former girls study science subjects and aim to pursue a related career and it was thought that there would be great interest in the scientific and ethical issues involved in this field. The Senior Harrison Group provides academic enrichment opportunities for the Sixth Form students and any Year 11 students who were interested in the keynote presentation were also invited to attend. Professor Stewart designed the sessions in such a way as to not only develop a stem cell story from an educational perspective, but to also challenge the audience in terms of their perceptions regarding stem cells and their applications. Ethical, medical and religious issues were raised in an attempt to provoke thought and discussion. The notion of hope vs. hype generated by media portrayal of stem cells was also presented. The audience (both students and teachers) thoroughly enjoyed the presentations and feedback and questions were both very good, with pupils asking about the potential of biomedical careers and the best way to progress in the stem cell field.
Professor Stewart also delivered a 'Stem cells: Fact or Fiction' session as part of the Royal Society grant programme with Chesterfield School earlier in 2013.
Girls Go Gold Annual Conference (North) - September 2013
The school of Sport and Exercise Sciences teamed up with Merchant Taylors' Girls' School, the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA) and the Girls' Schools Association (GSA) to encourage young female athletes to reach their full potential and show just how many different career opportunities there are in elite sport. The 'Girls Go Gold' event, hosted by Merchant Taylors', was supported by LJMU graduate and fellow Beth Tweddle MBE, LJMU sports scholar Abi Fitzpatrick and Jamie Burdekin, who worked with LJMU's Sports Science team prior to London 2012 Paralympics. Over 200 students from 20 girls' schools throughout the UK in Years 10 to 13 and all elite athletes, representing their school, county, region, country in their chosen specialist sport, Radio Merseyside and Bay TV were in attendance at the event. The mixture of lectures and interactive activities were designed to inspire the girls and raise awareness of all aspects of sport from industry to competition as well as the academic angle. The final session of the day was a panel interview with the athletes, hosted by Professor Greg Whyte who has trained celebrities like Cheryl Cole and John Bishop for endurance events through Sport Relief and Comic Relief projects.
Royal Society Grant with Chesterfield High School - January 2013
Students from Chesterfield High School visited the state-of-the-art facilities at the Tom Reilly Building in the city centre campus, for two afternoons of lectures and practical workshops on topics linked to training and developing elite athletes and world-leading research. Students attended lectures by Professor Greg Whyte and Professor Claire Stewart, on the limits of human performance and stem cells respectively before workshops on sports physiology, match analysis, nutrition/supplementation and cardiovascular science. Students then completed tasks set by LJMU staff who are to visit Chesterfield to view the products and projects the students have completed.
Royal Society Grant with Childwall Sports and Science College
Over 120 students engaged with a range of activities, exposing them to the science involved with the most advanced training methods, techniques and equipment used by the world's leading athletes and coaches, including those taking part in the London 2012 Olympic Games. Students also investigate their own and their parent/carer's physical activity levels, and their families' eating and activity habits by taking surveys home and therefore have the opportunity to change their own and their family's lifestyles.
Scientists in Sport - July 2011
More than 90 children from schools across the region were invited to LJMU to see how science was to be used during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. 'Scientists in Sport' was a nationwide schools outreach programme run by London 2012 partner GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and devised with King's College London, a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) accredited laboratory. The event was held in the Tom Reilly Building and hosted by the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, which provided pupils with a unique university experience, inspiring them to study science and pursue a science-related career. This ranged from anti-doping drug tests to a hands-on physiology experience where students were able to compare themselves to Olympic athletes.
Each 'Scientists in Sport' event offered local schoolchildren the opportunity to experience a day at university and through a series of sport science themed lectures and interactive workshops, aimed to inspire 11-14 year old students to study science and pursue a science related career. The programme launch followed GSK's commitment to encourage the very best graduates, including science graduates, into careers at the company by reimbursing 100 per cent of uncapped tuition fees for all undergraduates recruited in the UK from September 2012.