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Top Universities for Sports Science in 2022-2023

Apr 19, 2022

Best global Colleges and Universities to study Sports Science

About Sports Science 

Sport science is a branch of health science that analyses the functions of the human body and how they perform during various sports activities. It deals with the scientific theories and principles involved in sporting activities. There are four key areas in sports science:

  1. Psychology-  It is concerned with the psychological aspects of sports performance, such as the role of thoughts, behavior, and feelings, and how they influence athletic performance.
  2. Physiology- It involves the study of how the human body performs through exercise and physical training. 
  3. Biomechanics- It is the study of biological data in response to exercise and movement, such as hormone levels, glucose levels, and so on.
  4. Motor control/learning- It addresses the motor skills required to conduct physical activities in order to improve performance and endurance in preparation for events and competitions while reducing injury risk.

A degree in sports science is perfect for students who are passionate about sports, exercise, and fitness. This article walks you through the process of earning a sports science degree and provides information on top universities that offer a variety of sports science degree options.

Duties of a Sports Scientist 

Sports science is utilized to evaluate strengths and limitations so that a training program can be adapted to each individual. Following are some of the duties of a sports scientist:

  • Work with athletes, researchers, and health care providers to enhance health via exercise and fitness
  • Conduct research on exercise and health 
  • Assist athletes with scientific advice in preparation for competition
  • Create plans and approaches that help athletes perform better
  • Adapt programs and training to target certain muscles in the body in order to cope with a variety of environmental situations
  • Provide knowledge, technical, and practical advice on training, injury prevention, technique analysis, nutrition, and performance optimization, as well as psychological support

Skills required for Sports Science 

A degree in sports science teaches how to assist individuals, notably athletes and sports staff, in training for various sports as mentors, trainers, coaches, dieticians/nutritionists, therapists, and so on. The following are the essential skills necessary for it:

  • Research and data collection
  • Leadership and problem-solving abilities 
  • Written and oral communication skills
  • Time management and organization skills
  • Inter-personal skills
  • Analytical and critical thinking skills
  • Basic IT and technical skills

Popular degrees for pursuing a career in Sports Science

Sports science is progressively coming into prominence in countries around the world, and as a result, several colleges are now offering degrees in the field. The following is a list of popular degrees offered by top universities for sports science around the world.

Bachelor’s programs

An individual can opt for either a bachelor of arts (B.A.) or bachelor of science (B.S.) degree as their undergraduate degree in sports science. Some popular bachelor’s degrees offered by top universities for sports science are:

  • Sports Science and Nutrition
  • Sports Management
  • Physical Education
  • Applied Sports Science
  • Kinesiology
  • Physiotherapy

Master’s programs

Because sports science is an interdisciplinary profession, a master’s degree can be completed in a variety of specialties. A master’s degree offers more employment opportunities and teaches important skills required in the field of sports science. The following are some of the most popular specializations:

  • M.Sc. in Sports Science
  • M.S. in Sports Science, Exercise, and Rehabilitation 
  • M.S. in Exercise and Nutrition
  • M.Sc. in Exercise and Sports Science
  • M.Sc. in Kinesiology
  • M.Sc. in Human Kinetics
  • M.S. in Kinesiology and Sports Management
  • M.Sc. in Humanities and Social Sports Sciences
  • M.S. in Physiology and Sports Science

Doctoral programs

The terminal degrees are often preferred by students who wish to enter research or academics. A dissertation is required to get a Ph.D. in sports science. Some doctoral degrees in sports science are: 

  • P.hD. in Kinesiology
  • P.hD. in Exercise and Sports Science
  • P.hD. in Sport, Physical Education, and Health Sciences
  • P.hD. in Sports Therapy
  • P.hD. in Exercise, Nutrition and Health

Specializations in Sports Science

A sports science specialty will give prospects a greater grasp of how science may be applied to sport and physical activity, which will help to improve coaching and/or teaching skills. They can specialize in one or more of the following areas in sports science:

  • Sports physiology
  • Sports management
  • Sports psychology
  • Sports biomechanics
  • Sports physiotherapy
  • Physical and sports education
  • Sports nutrition
  • Sport and exercise science
  • Nutrition and metabolism
  • Sports journalism
  • Physical therapy
  • Athletic training
  • Sports medicine

Duration of programs in Sports Science

The length of sports science degrees varies by country; for example, in the USA and Canada, a normal bachelor’s degree takes four years to finish, whereas, in the UK and other European countries, it takes three years.

Country Bachelor’s Degree Master’s Degree Doctoral Degree
USA and Canada 4 years 2 years 4-7 years
UK and Europe  3-4 years 1-2 years 4-7 years
Australia 3-4 years 1-2 years 4-7 years
Others 4 years 1-2 years 4-7 years

Career opportunities in Sports Science

Students might work in a public or private hospital, a sports field, a research facility, an office, or a fitness center. Potential job options in the field of sports science include

  • Fitness coach
  • Sports and fitness administrator
  • Fitness manager 
  • Exercise physiologist
  • Sports scientist
  • Sports teacher or professor
  • Performance analyst
  • Nutritionist
  • Personal trainer 
  • Sports therapist
  • Sport and exercise psychologist
  • Outdoor activity manager
  • Fitness expert 
  • Sports journalist
  • Healthcare consultant
  • Sports medicine physician

Average salaries in Sports Science

The average pay in sports science varies depending on the field of specialization and the type of job. The salary ranges in sports science are summarised in the table below.

Country Average salary in USD*/year
USA 53,000 (Source: 6fig.com)
Australia 51,292 (Source: Payscale)
UK 44,721 (Source: Glassdoor)
Canada 41,403 (Source: Talent)

*Note: All prices mentioned in USD are for reference only. Exchange rates may vary from time to time and country to country.

Top 50 Universities in the world for Sports Science based on ranking (QS/Shanghai/THE):

QS Ranking Shanghai Ranking THE Ranking University Country Bachelor Programs Master Programs
1 5 351-400 Loughborough University UK Click Here Click Here
2 6 54 The University of Queensland Australia Click Here Click Here
3 51-100 58 The University of Sydney Australia Click Here Click Here
4 14 37 University of British Columbia Canada Click Here Click Here
5 41 18 University of Toronto Canada Click Here Click Here
6 3 251-300 Deakin University Australia Click Here Click Here
7 51-100 51-100 The University of Melbourne Australia Click Here Click Here
8 NA 201-250 University of Bath UK Click Here Click Here
9 27 125 University of Alberta Canada Click Here Click Here
10 20 154 University of Florida USA Click Here Click Here
11 1 96 University of Copenhagen Denmark Click Here Click Here
12 15 105 University of Birmingham UK Click Here Click Here
13 51-100 143 The University of Exeter UK Click Here Click Here
14 101-150 201-250 University of Otago New Zealand Click Here Click Here
15 12 401-500 Liverpool John Moores University UK Click Here Click Here
16 201-300 54 Seoul National University South Korea Click Here Click Here
17 51-100 119 Pennsylvania State University USA Click Here Click Here
18 44 24 University of Michigan-Ann Arbor USA Click Here Click Here
19 35 80 McMaster University Canada Click Here Click Here
20 101-150 NA University College London UK Click Here Click Here
21 51-100 85 The Ohio State University USA Click Here Click Here
22 51-100 30 The University of Edinburgh UK Click Here Click Here
23 27 42 KU Leuven Belgium Click Here Click Here
24 51-100 201–250 Griffith University Australia Click Here Click Here
25 11 201–250 University of Calgary Canada Click Here Click Here
26 101-150 201–250 University of Massachusetts Amherst USA Click Here Click Here
27 39 201–250 Auckland University of Technology (AUT) New Zealand Click Here Click Here
28 25 132 The University of Western Australia Australia Click Here Click Here
29 51-100 143 University of Technology Sydney Australia Click Here Click Here
30 23 401-500 Edith Cowan University Australia Click Here Click Here
31 101-150 201–250 Western University Canada Click Here Click Here
32 51-100 46 Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU) Singapore Click Here Click Here
33 9 401-500 Victoria University Australia Click Here Click Here
34 45 201–250 University College Dublin Ireland Click Here Click Here
35 NA NA The University of Manchester UK Click Here Click Here
36 NA NA The University of Hong Kong Hong Kong Click Here Click Here
37 36 201-250 La Trobe University Australia Click Here Click Here
38 NA 70 The University of New South Wales (UNSW Sydney) Australia Click Here Click Here
39 38 52 University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill USA Click Here Click Here
40 51-100 162 University of Ottawa Canada Click Here Click Here
41 NA 21 National University of Singapore (NUS) Singapore Click Here Click Here
42 101-150 801-1000 Waseda University Japan Click Here Click Here
43 NA 137 The University of Auckland New Zealand Click Here Click Here
44 51-100 193 Texas A&M University USA Click Here Click Here
45 101-150 44 McGill University Canada Click Here Click Here
46 9 NA University of Jyväskylä Finland Click Here Click Here
47 15 96 Ghent University Belgium Click Here Click Here
48 51-100 63 University of Southern California USA Click Here Click Here
49 22 251-300 Australian Catholic University Australia Click Here Click Here
50 NA 113 National Taiwan University (NTU) Taiwan Click Here Click Here

Top Universities in the USA for Sports Science

QS Ranking Shanghai Ranking THE Ranking University Country Bachelor Programs Master Programs
10 20 154 University of Florida USA Click Here Click Here
17 51-100 119 Pennsylvania State University USA Click Here Click Here
18 44 24 University of Michigan-Ann Arbor USA Click Here Click Here
21 51-100 85 The Ohio State University USA Click Here Click Here
26 101-150 201–250 University of Massachusetts Amherst USA Click Here Click Here

Top Universities in the UK for Sports Science

QS Ranking Shanghai Ranking THE Ranking University Country Bachelor Programs Master Programs
35 NA NA The University of Manchester UK Click Here Click Here
1 5 351-400 Loughborough University UK Click Here Click Here
8 NA 201-250 University of Bath UK Click Here Click Here
12 15 105 University of Birmingham UK Click Here Click Here
13 51-100 143 The University of Exeter UK Click Here Click Here

Top Universities in Australia for Sports Science

QS Ranking Shanghai Ranking THE Ranking University Country Bachelor Programs Master Programs
3 51-100 58 The University of Sydney Australia Click Here Click Here
6 3 251-300 Deakin University Australia Click Here Click Here
7 51-100 51-100 The University of Melbourne Australia Click Here Click Here
24 51-100 201–250 Griffith University Australia Click Here Click Here
28 25 132 The University of Western Australia Australia Click Here Click Here

Top Universities in Canada for Sports Science

QS Ranking Shanghai Ranking THE Ranking University Country Bachelor Programs Master Programs
4 14 37 University of British Columbia Canada Click Here Click Here
5 41 18 University of Toronto Canada Click Here Click Here
9 27 125 University of Alberta Canada Click Here Click Here
19 35 80 McMaster University Canada Click Here Click Here
25 11 201–250 University of Calgary Canada Click Here Click Here

Top Universities in New Zealand for Sports Science

QS Ranking Shanghai Ranking THE Ranking University Country Bachelor Programs Master Programs
14 101-150 201-250 University of Otago New Zealand Click Here Click Here
27 39 201–250 Auckland University of Technology (AUT) New Zealand Click Here Click Here
43 NA 137 The University of Auckland New Zealand Click Here Click Here

Academic requirements for studying Sports Science

The academic requirements for pursuing a degree in sports science vary from one specialization to another, but typically involve all or some of the following:

Bachelor’s level

Undergraduate admissions criteria include some combination of the following:

  • A high school diploma with a GPA 3.0 or greater (on a scale of 4.0 GPA) with science and mathematics (or psychology) as compulsory subjects 
  • Academic transcripts
  • SAT and/or ACT scores (varies from university to university)
  • Personal statement 
  • Letter of recommendation
  • A valid passport
  • English proficiency test scores such as TOEFL (90 and above) or IELTS (varies from 5.5 to 6.5)

Master’s level

  • A bachelor’s degree in sports science or related field with a GPA of 3.0 or greater (on a scale of 4.0 GPA) 
  • Academic transcripts
  • MCAT and/or GRE scores (varies from university to university)
  • Personal statement 
  • Letters of recommendations
  • A valid passport
  • Work experience (preferable)
  • English proficiency test scores such as TOEFL (90 and above) or IELTS (varies from 5.5 to 6.5)
Frequently Asked Questions

Accreditation is typically required for certain specializations in sports science. It is beneficial to acquire accreditations with the following associations in the field of sports science to boost credibility and networking opportunities:

  • The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
  • Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA)
  • Sports Medicine Australia (SMA)
  • British Association of Sports and Exercise Sciences (BASES)

The USA pays the most to sports science majors, with an average salary of 53,000 USD per year (Source: 6fig.com). 

The USA, UK, Canada, and Australia, are among the top countries offering great sports science degree programs for international students. 

Yes, definitely if you are a fitness freak and want to motivate others. A sports degree has a wealth of career options such as sports scientists, coaches, psychologists, personal trainers, etc., making it one of the best career options out there.

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