I am currently in my third year of the BSc (Hons) Sports Science. I am studying the Sports Science pathway, with a focus on sport/performance psychology. I am studying this pathway as I have a genuine interest in the role of psychology in maximising not only sporting performance but the mental health of athletes and performers. A big part of it for me is that it is applicable outside of sporting contexts – performance psychology can help anyone who may be dealing with adversity and pressure in their everyday life.
I was attracted to the course at Salford as it offers a placement opportunity in the 3rd year, which not a lot of Universities do. The lecturers also have a wealth of experience working in the field and so are able to offer not only connections but invaluable advice for when you are working in an applied setting.
The support for students is great, both academically and non-academically. There are lots of opportunities to engage with lecturers on a one-to-one basis, and the practical side of the course means that often you are being shown what to do and how to do it first-hand. I haven’t utilised much of the extra-curricular support, however, there’s always an email or poster on campus you can refer to if you have any issues.
Why You Should Study Sports Science
The best part of the course is that you genuinely feel like you’re a valued member of the course and that it isn’t just a case of “bums on seats”. The examination periods are spread out to take the pressure off, and you are given every opportunity to succeed.
Sports Science Placements
So far, I have completed one placement through the university and have just begun a second for my final year. My first placement was with a local EFL club doing performance data analysis for the first team. Here, I learned the value of data in modern football performance and recruitment and the pressures surrounding a lower-league football club.
Through my first placement and recommendation for an interview through a lecturer, I was also able to obtain paid work at a local elite football academy as a performance analyst which I continue to do on a part-time basis.
My second placement is due to take place in a school setting, working with student-athletes in a sport psychology support role. This placement will be invaluable as not only will it provide experience working within a multitude of disciplines, most importantly I will be working with young people who are experiencing the ups and downs of life outside of sport.
Sports Science Postgraduate Courses
Following my graduation, I plan to undertake a Master’s in Clinical Psychology. Although sports psychology is not the main focus of the degree programme, I feel that with the support of my tutors and the knowledge I will gain in my final year through studies and placements, I will be in an advantageous position to take the next step with my career upon graduation.