Professional Pathways to Sport and Health

What is Pathways to Sport and Health?

With the Sports sector generating over £6 billion for the UK economy each year and policy makers understanding the benefits that public participation in sport bring both to our communities and public health, this sector has an increasingly important role in our world.

This pathway aims to explore the way public and private organisations within the sports sector collaborate to support the public health agenda, supporting healthy lifestyles, communities and the wider economy. From community initiatives in sport and sport infrastructure to marketing and media, there are a wide range of topics which will enhance your understanding of the sector with real world experience provided by professionals working within the industry. No matter what your academic background, if you have a strong interest in sport and public health, this pathway provides an invaluable opportunity to gain skills and experience in a competitive labour market.

The interactive programme comprises of 3 key elements:

  • Employer-led training - 4 days of intensive technical and employability training; Monday 17 June – Thursday 20 June 2019
  • Group project - You will work in small groups to apply your learning to a real life business project during the training period
  • Paid internship - You will be assigned an organisation where you will undertake a 1 week paid internship; Monday 24 - Friday 28 June 2019

Professional Pathways is closed for 2019 applications. To be added to the mailing list for 2020 please email

 If you are an employer please visit the employer facing Pathways to Sport and Health webpage

  • Gain an insight into different roles in the Sport and Health sector
  • Increase knowledge of sector specific activities
  • Learn in an interactive and experiential environment
  • Work with students from different year groups, subjects and levels of degree
  • Be inspired by experienced professionals
  • Gain confidence in your abilities
  • Develop your career plan
  • Apply newly acquired learning to a group project as part of the training
  • Culminates in an essential work experience, undertaking a paid internship
  • This activity counts towards the Exeter Award
  • Receive a certificate and reference

You must be a current University of Exeter student when you apply for the programme. We welcome applications from all disciplines and levels of study from first year to final year, undergraduate or postgraduate as long as you can demonstrate a keen interest in this subject area. Students from any campus can apply for this pathway.

You must have the right to work in the UK for the duration of the professional pathways i.e. it covers both the training and the internship week. If you are called to the selection assessment centre you will be asked to bring evidence of your right to work status.

Applications for 2018/19 are now closed. Please email to be added to the 2019/20 mailing list.

It is important to note that information you provide on your application form will be shared with the internship hosts as part of the internship matching process.

Successful applicants should demonstrate the following attributes: team working, communication and presentation skills, emotional intelligence, time management and organisational skills, creativity, project planning and project management.

Every application form will be reviewed once the programme advert closes in 24th February 2019. After application forms have been reviewed students will be shortlisted and then invited to an assessment session in the same month. An assessment session will be held on both the Streatham campus and the Penryn campus. You will be notified if you have been called to an assessment centre or not by mid-March 2019.

The assessment sessions will take place:

  • for Exeter - 25th-28th March 2019
  • and for Penryn - 29th March 2019

These will be the only sessions delivered so in order for you to be successfully chosen for the programme you will need to be able to commit to attending.

The application process is highly competitive and therefore only the best performing students will be selected for an assessment session and subsequently for inclusion on the programme.  Any students not successful in the application process will receive feedback for their performance, and will be signposted to resources and support available.

The University offers a wide range of employability support, training and advice that we would recommend you look into to make the most of your internship (click here for details). Here are some of the courses that we think may be useful for you to attend prior to starting your internship:

  • Team working – Click here for details
  • Communication and Presentation Skills – Click on any of the three links for the details; Course 1, Course 2 and Course 3
  • Emotional Intelligence – Click here for details
  • Time Management and Organisational Skills - Click on any of the three links for the details; Course 1, Course 2 and Course 3
  • Project Planning and Project Management - Click on any of the three links for the details; Course 1, Course 2 and Course 3

Training will take place the week after the end of the Summer term (Monday 17 – Thursday 20 June 2019).

The 20 successful students will undertake 4 days of intensive training delivered by local professionals who are experts in their chosen field. This will comprise a mix of presentations, hands-on activities and social events. Sessions may include (but not exclusively):

  • Sport and the Economy
  • Sports Marketing, Media & Communications
  • Public Health Agenda & Sport
  • Sport in the Community
  • Infrastructure for Activity
  • Sustainability & Sport
  • Education & Activity
  • Future Trends & Skills in the Sport & Health Sector
  • Volunteer Engagement in Sport
  • Sporting Analytics
  • Engaging Target Groups with Sport


Training will take place at the University of Exeter, Streatham Campus. Throughout your training you will work in groups linking what you learn to a real life business project provided on your first day of training. On the final day of the programme your group will deliver a presentation to a panel of judges.


If selected, you will undertake a week long internship provided by an organisation in the sport and health sectors. These internships will take place after your training has been completed - Monday 24 June until Friday 28 June 2019.

Past internship hosts in 2018 included:

  • Sportcal
  • The Exercise Clinic
  • Devon County Council
  • Big Wave Media
  • Wellity Active
  • Sportinspired

The salary of £10.08 per hour (inclusive of holiday pay) for this week long (35 hour) internship will be paid by the University of Exeter. You will need to fund the accommodation and travel expenses for the internship week.

If selected a range of internship projects will be sent to you and you will be required to identify which projects you are most interested in. You will need to consider your travel and accommodation arrangements when ranking your preferences.

A matching process will then be completed in late May based on your application form and identified preferences. No guarantee can be made that you will be matched to your preference. You will be expected to make contact with your internship host prior to starting your internship.

Elements of Pathways to Sports and Health align with the following UN Sustainable Development Goals: 


If you would like to ask any questions please contact the Pathways to Sport and Health team on