Sports Scientist


Sports scientists use knowledge of how the body works to help people improve their health or sporting ability.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course


You’ll need a degree in sport science, or a degree in a related subject followed by a postgraduate qualification in sports science.

Related degree subjects include:

  • physical education
  • physiology
  • psychology

It’s becoming more common for sports scientists to have or be working towards a postgraduate qualification.

Entry Requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study


You’ll need the following skills for this job:

  • customer service skills
  • knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • knowledge of biology
  • knowledge of psychology
  • the ability to read English
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device


Experience as fitness instructor, lifeguard, coach or through volunteering, for example with a sports club, may improve your career prospects.

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • work with sports coaches and sports therapists to improve the performance of individuals and teams
  • work with doctors to help people improve their health through exercise
  • work with hospitals and other health organisations in areas such as cardiac rehabilitation
  • take part in research projects
  • offer advice on the design and manufacture of sports equipment

The following salaries are a guide only:

  • Starter: £18,000 
  • Experienced: £60,000


Working Conditions

  • You could work in an NHS or private hospital, on a sports field, at a research facility, in an office, at a client’s business or at a fitness centre.
  • Your working environment may be outdoors some of the time.
  • You may work evenings, bank holidays or weekends.


You could find work with universities, schools and colleges, large sporting organisations, public and private enterprises and local authorities. It’s also possible to become self-employed or to work as a consultant.