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Helping you find a career in the Exercise science industry

If you want to get fit and healthy, you’ll need to exercise, and the exercise industry is all about helping people achieve their physical health and wellbeing goals. Whether you’re interested in sports therapy, psychology or scientific research, the exercise industry needs bright individuals to push the field in new and exciting directions.

If you want to go into sport and exercise psychology or science, you’ll likely need to pursue a Master’s following your undergraduate degree and potentially a PhD, although this will vary depending on your position.

Exercise science presents lots of different work environments. You may be more comfortable working in a research position with other exercise scientists, or you might prefer a more hands-on, customer-facing role. All these and more are available within the exercise science industry.

You’ll spend most of your time thinking about the human body and the influence of different sports and exercise on it. You’ll think about how to help people exercise effectively and the best ways to support them.


Skills & interests required for a career in Exercise science
If you’re in exercise science, then science will be your bread and butter. You’ll also need to keep up your own level of physical fitness, especially if you’re working with clients.

Obviously, you should also have a real passion for sports. Exercise scientists spend all day studying, considering and analysing the human body and the influence of different kinds of exercise on the body, so it’s important you are enthusiastic about sports and physical activities.

Usually, you’ll be working as part of a team and/or with clients, so you’ll need to be personable and able to communicate ideas and instructions effectively.

If you’re working with clients, you’ll also need to be motivating and supportive, so empathy and detailed awareness of the client’s physical condition are essential.
- Problem Solving
Graduate schemes & other typical career progression routes in Exercise science
Sports therapists are likely to start off doing part-time work. This will allow you to develop a strong portfolio of work to demonstrate your skills and value as a therapist. You’ll need to keep up to date with the latest developments as you rise through the industry, building on your existing experience by attending relevant short-courses or conferences, especially those accredited by The Society of Sports Therapists. Most sports therapists are members of the Society of Sports Therapists.

For sport and exercise scientists and psychologists, you’ll likely need to join a practice after you’ve achieved the relevant qualifications and garner experience.

In all three areas, you’ll be able to choose whether to work in the private or the public sector. As you gain experience, you’ll be able to rise through the ranks and maybe even start your own business!
Tips for getting into the field
At university, join some sports societies to demonstrate your commitment to sport, learn new techniques and forms of exercise, and develop your ability to work as part of a team.

You may also want to get some evening or holiday work at a local exercise centre which will help you get a feel for the industry. You could also contact someone already working in the field and ask for some work experience or if you could shadow them for a number of days.
How much can graduates earn in Exercise science?
Here are the salaries of members of the exercise science industry, ranging from starting salaries to experienced senior members of the industry.

Sport Therapists: £17,000 - £35,000
Sport and Exercise Psychologists: £20,000 - £48,000+
Sport and Exercise Scientists: £18,000 - £60,000
What qualifications do I need for a career in Exercise science?
To become a sports therapist, you won’t necessarily need a degree in sports science or a related field, but it can help you get your foot in the door. At the very least, you’ll need to have studied a course that is accredited by the Society of Sports Therapists.

To pursue sports psychology, you’ll need a psychology degree that is recognised by the British Psychological Society (BPS). You’ll then need to study a Master’s degree that is recognised by the BPS. Master’s courses are competitive and you’ll likely need at least a 2:1 or a 2:2 with relevant experience. After this, you’ll need two years supervised practice with will give you a stage 2 BPS qualification in Sport and Exercise Science. After that, you’ll officially be a qualified Sport and Exercise Psychologist! Congratulations!

Sport and exercise scientists could join the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences after studying their degree and mostly likely a masters of sports science. Once achieved, this may lead to more senior positions and the chance of becoming a chartered doctor.
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