By Careers & Welfare Team

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Close-up of seats in a stadium

Focus on the Sports industry

Are you interested in a career in sport?

Sport is a universal language. From a young age, people all over the world enjoy team sports, solo sports, water sports, snow sports, athletics, and more recently- Esports. With quadrennial events like the FIFA World Cup and The Olympic Games, as well as annual events such as The Tour De France, Wimbledon and The Masters, there is an almost constant opportunity to be inspired by sport, and to raise awareness of the wealth of possibilities it produces. A career in sport is certainly not limited to being in the starting 15 of Sale Sharks, or playing goal attack for England netball, but with the emergence of sport courses, and more recently sport universities, a career in one of the many avenues created by sport is now more accessible than ever. 

This blog aims to raise awareness of some of the courses available at university in the vast subject of area of sport, and give insight into some of the career opportunities they could lead to. 

The World Health Organisation identifies football, cricket and field hockey as the three biggest sports in the world. According to the FA’s State of the Game report, just over 8 million people aged 16 and over play football in England. This participation ranges from 11-a-side matches to kickabouts in the park- and everything in between. But you don’t have to be a football fanatic to study, or reap the possible career benefits of studying sport at a specialist sport university. To many, sports coaching, management and physical education are often believed to be the only options for sport-related study in Higher Education, but with the continuous development of business and marketing within sport, many universities offer opportunities for study in careers relating to the finance, marketing, media and journalism aspects of sport. 

Nearly a third of the EU’s 1.7 million sport employees employed in the UK.

As sport’s seemingly exponential reach continues to spread across the globe, the demand for written and visual media coverage, broadcasting deals, and physical and digital product branding grows each year. Alongside sport, a more modern phenomenon continues to grow. A 2019 Cognizant study reported that more than 90% of the average person’s daily visual exposure consists of their mobile phone screen, advertising, and other form of virtual/augmented reality. This, in conjunction with football’s constant growth, indicate the current, and future demand for marketing, media and journalistic jobs within football, and possibly careers in general. With the average salary across each of these sectors within sport estimated to be £32,000 per year, and nearly a third of the EU’s 1.7 million sport employees employed in the UK, the combination of a career offering exciting experiences and an above average salary is a distinct possibility with a degree in sport.

For those interested in what many would consider the more traditional aspect of sports study, such as coaching, talent development, psychology and management, many specialist sport universities offer a range of courses to cater. According to Strategic Market Research, the sports analytic market was worth £1.8bn in 2020, this is expected to rise to £14.5bn by the year 2030. An expansion in the use of data among managers, coaches and support staff, and the rise of technology for critiquing player performance, scouting and management, again demonstrates the expected demand for relevant qualifications leading to employment. This is supported by the Chartered Institute of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA), who report that since 2019, the demand for jobs across all sectors of the Sport and Physical Activity sector has increased by 98%.

The course you are currently studying will impact the level of course you could study at university. As with any other higher education course, there are entry requirements that must be met to secure a place. Generally speaking, if you are currently studying an extended diploma, depending on your overall grade, you could progress to studying a conventional undergraduate degree of three years. Alternatively, if you have studied only one year of a level 3 course, and you are now 18 years of age or older, you would likely need to study a foundation year, which would then be followed by an undergraduate degree. Many universities offer foundation degree options as part of their undergraduate degrees, designed to allow as much accessibility as possible for students. 

If you would like to know more information about any of these courses, or find out more about your suitability for them and how you could use them to work towards a career in sport, please contact a member of your campus’ Careers and Welfare team in person, or via or on 03333 222 444

Additionally, you can find out about upcoming open days and additional information via the below links: