Sport science is the study of how the healthy human body works during exercise, and how sport and physical activity promotes health – physically, mentally and socially. The study of sport science calls upon and uses many other academic studies and areas, like physiology, psychology, engineering, chemistry and anatomy.
It is a relatively new subject and has gained popularity in the final quarter of the 20th century, as sports and fitness are approached more and more seriously in the modern world. There are groundbreaking advances in technology and medicine that affect the world of sport science daily and it receives significant funding.
Topics covered include what is happening in a sports person's body, the role of the mind in performance, nutrition, and business and sports management, to help understand the financial and operational sides of the sports industry.
Teaching is conducted through lectures, seminars, laboratory sessions (to study exercise physiology and biomechanics), practical sessions (in gyms, fitness rooms, swimming pools and outdoor pitches) and independent research and study. Assessment is based on coursework (written, oral or practical exams) and laboratory reports.
Transferable skills gained include presentation, research and communication, as well as a deeper academic understanding of sport and how athletes reach their peak.
Sports scientists are in high demand and there are rapidly increasing jobs, as the demand for athletes to have that extra edge grows and technology grows too. There is an abundance of career options and paths for sports science graduates, including becoming a coach, psychologist, agent, personal trainer, sports therapist, analyst, teacher or work in sports government.