Top Sports Science Universities in the UK

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Allaa Ashraf

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27 December, 2022

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5 mins read

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University Life

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When thinking about fields of study that deal with the human body, most people’s minds instantly and instinctively go to the fields of medicine and pharmacy, which is not wrong, you know? But other fields are just as significant when it comes to the human body, ones like physiotherapy and sports sciences.

Sports sciences is a field of study that combines physiology, psychology, biomechanics, and nutrition. It is comprehending how exercise and sport relate to social policy, morality, and philosophy. So yeah, see those medical teams at sports events that rush to the pitch when a player is injured? This is what sports scientists do. 

The UK is home to a plethora of top-ranked educational institutions, so it's no surprise that they have produced some of the brightest stars in the sports science world. Intrigued, yes? Come on, let’s dive in and explore the UK’s top sports science universities.

Sports Science Universities

University of Edinburgh

The University of Edinburgh is the sixth-oldest university in the English-speaking world and one of Scotland's ancient universities. It is also the UK's second most popular university by volume. In a competition against 144 other UK-based institutions of higher learning, the University of Edinburgh previously placed third, demonstrating the value of its reputation.

Thanks to its numerous facilities, including a cutting-edge sports centre in the Pleasance where the All-Blacks train, the University of Edinburgh is one of the top sports universities in the UK.

Durham University

Durham University, which was established in 1832, welcomes more than 17,000 students each year. A total of 13 trophies were won by university teams in various sports at the prestigious BUCS championship finals in Nottingham in 2018. Each of the university's 11 sports teams is coached by industry experts.

Durham University has some of the most impressive sporting facilities in the UK. At these facilities, British rowing, county cricket, lacrosse, and fencing teams have improved their techniques and enhanced the prestige of British sports. The university was ranked as the best university in the world in 2015 for its multidisciplinary BA (Hons) in sport, exercise, and physical activity (SEPA).

There are numerous options for sports courses at Durham. Some of them are:

  • Sociology and Anthropology

  • Sociology

  • Sociology with Foundation

  • Sport and Exercise Sciences

  • Sport, Exercise and Physical Activity

  • Sport, Exercise and Physical Activity with Foundation

University of Glasgow

The University of Glasgow's physiology and sports science degree will equip students for research, teaching, and counselling positions across a wide range of fields, making it the top-ranked university in the UK for sports science. It offers an excellent bachelor’s programme in physiology and sports science.

Glasgow, one of the top 100 universities in the world according to the Times Higher Education World Rankings, attracts 29,000 students from over 140 different nations to study there because of its top-notch faculty and facilities.

University of Bath

The University of Bath is renowned for its top-notch research and instruction. International students can enjoy outstanding sporting, social, and cultural experiences at the university, one of the top 10 in the UK.

The University of Bath won the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) in 2017, was ranked 158 by the QS World University Rankings in 2019, and was placed 6th overall in The Guardian University Guide 2019. 

Students in the BSc Sport and Exercise Science programme will take advantage of cutting-edge exercise physiology lab facilities while studying courses, including Sport and Exercise Psychology, The Science and Practice of Coaching, and Research Methods in Exercise Science.

You can participate in more than 50 different student-led sports at the University of Bath, including:

  • American Football

  • Dodgeball

  • Gliding

  • Judo

  • Latin Ballroom Dancing

Loughborough University

Loughborough University is incredibly proud of its accomplishments as one of the oldest and most well-known universities in the UK.

In addition to being one of the top universities in the UK for sports science, it also has top-notch facilities. Loughborough is the perfect location for sporting events thanks to its sports facilities. The institution has hosted numerous high-profile events, including the UEFA European Under-17 Championships, BUCS Super Rugby Showcase matches, and others.

The QS World University Rankings have consistently ranked Loughborough University as the top university in the world for sports-related courses, and the school's School of Sport, Exercise, and Health Sciences provides extensive laboratories for the best learning environment for international students.

At Loughborough, you can study the following subjects:

  • Sports and Exercise Science

  • Sport and Exercise Psychology

  • Sport Management

  • Sports, Coaching, and Physical Education

  • Sports Technology

Anglia Ruskin University

With two main campuses in Chelmsford and Cambridge, each less than an hour's drive from London, Anglia Ruskin University is one of the biggest educational institutions in the East of England. The student body at Anglia Ruskin is made up of individuals from more than 100 different nations.

The university offers a plethora of state-of-the-art facilities and an excellent sports sciences programme. Some of the facilities include:

  • Package for 3D motion capture

  • A variety of cycle, rowing, and high-speed treadmills

  • Assessment of cardiorespiratory responses using metabolic carts

  • Force plates

  • Tank for hydrostatic weighing that measures body composition

  • Full haematology suite

  • GPS systems for field work

  • Eye-tracking glasses

University of Exeter

Exeter University is one of the top sports universities in the UK, and it also enjoys a solid international reputation. It has received numerous honours, including the "What University?" Student Choice Awards, the "Green Flag Awards," a place in the "Times Top 150 in the World," and awards for research excellence.

Students can take a number of sports courses at Exeter University, which are all taught by professionals. The courses themselves are what have given Exeter its enviable reputation. Exeter was ranked first for studying sports science in 2019 by The Complete University Guide, The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, and U.S. News & World Report. It tries to meet all of the needs of student-athletes and offers some of the greatest sports facilities in the UK.

For this reason, Exeter University has spent more than £20 million on sports facilities during the past ten years.

The athletic facilities include:

  • Russell Seal Fitness Centre (Sports Park): a training facility worth £6.5 million that features the newest technical advancements to maximise exercises at all levels.

  • The St. Luke's Fitness Suite, a £50,000 personal training facility with the best cardio, resistance, and free weights equipment, is available for use.

And there you have it!

That was your guide to the UK’s top sports science universities. So, which one is it going to be for you?

Whatever you choose, you’re up for an amazing learning experience!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What do you study in Sports Science?

Among many other relevant topics, you will study the biomechanics of movement, the physiology of the body in response to exercise, and sports psychology.

2. What is the top university for Sports Science in the UK?

According to the 2022 rankings, it’s the University of Glasgow.

3. What are the entry requirements for sports science degrees in the UK?

English language examinations, criminal background disclosures, health checks, admission interviews, and the submission of a personal statement are typical entry criteria for studying sports science in the UK.

4. How much does it cost to study Sports Science in the UK?

Depending on the university, international students must pay between £14,000 and £24,000 in tuition per year to pursue a degree in sports science in the UK. The cost of tuition may also depend on a university's standing and location.


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