Careers and Employability


Action After Stroke (AAS) could not exist without the input from student volunteers. AAS benefits from their energy and enthusiasm for helping others and making a difference to the local community. Chris was no exception to this, and was eager to assist the members of AAS. Chris was not afraid to help those who were more disabled and always knew what he was doing. Chris used his initiative well and would begin work as soon as he arrived without needing to be asked. He built up a good relationship with a few of the members that he worked with regularly. This meant he knew their exercise regime and the members felt comfortable around him. Chris worked well, one-on-one with members. Chris encouraged the members to push themselves, whilst ensuring they were safe at all times. (Find out more about AAS).

Stacey Windeatt, Action After Stroke.

There has never been a better time to study Sport and Health Sciences here at the University of Exeter. We have an excellent reputation with graduate recruiters and our students and graduates are extremely competitive in the employment market.

Whatever path you want to follow after graduation, we’re here to help and support you with all your career and employability needs. You can also be sure that we will provide you with a challenging, vibrant and rewarding environment to study and enhance your careers choice.

Further information about careers destinations and areas of further study of Sports and Health Sciences graduates can be found on the Careers and Further Study section of the programme pages.

Achieve your ambitions

Our Sport and Health Science degrees have high academic standing and are designed to give you the very best preparations for future employment or further training in a wide variety of professional careers. Employability skills are embedded into the curriculum and specialised careers initiatives help maximise students’ career prospects.

We also promote the development of employability skills through modules in leadership and business, sports law, physical education, and employability and career development.

Work experience

Having a student on a work placement offered us a new and objectivepair of eyes to our work practice. We were impressed with the overall professionalism and the performance levels, as well as the consistency of attendance and how they built relationships with players over time. We really enjoyed the whole process.

Paul Tweddle, Academy Assistant Coach, Somerset County Cricket Club.

Freya was very confident and a good lateral thinker, and demonstrated a great level of enthusiasm. Freya devised some project suggestions and campaign ideas that we may implement and offer to clients. Having someone with a fresh pair of eyes to objectively look at what we do was very beneficial.

Simon Beer, Big Wave Media.

The Employability and Career Development module provides a valuable insight into a number of important careers topics such as ‘writing a CV’ and enables students to develop essential skills such as presentation skills and interview techniques. Through my work experience as an Assistant Researcher within CHERC I have been able to develop the vocational skills taught in laboratory classes within an applied research context. This has functioned to enhance my competencies, which has been greatly beneficial when undertaking data collection for the Dissertation module. The experience has also enabled me to sample postgraduate study and a potential career pathway. I would encourage others to take advantage of this fantastic opportunity.

Stuart Cocksedge, BSc Sport and Exercise Sciences student.

This module provided us with a fantastic opportunity to gain work experience within our chosen career market. As a nutrition intern with Exeter City FC I was presented with a wealth of responsibility within a typical nutritionist’s job role, which has helped direct and shape my future plans.

Sean Buxton, BSc Sport and Exercise Sciences student.

Work experience can include shadowing, project placements, industrial placements, vacation work and internships. Employability Officers work with alumni and academics to build networks with local, regional, national and international organisations to establish avenues for student work experience. During year 3, Sports and Health Science students have the option to take a Employability and Career Development module which includes work experience. The placement will assist you in developing the skills and knowledge gained during your studies, and apply them in a real-life environment. Our dedicated team will help you apply for and secure a placement, and then offer you support throughout your time with the employer. You will be expected to complete 40 hours of work during the placement, which must be relevant to your degree, and you will be assessed on your work and commitment.

Employability modules and learning

First year students receive practical advice about searching for the right career as part of the Learning and Personal Development module. Second year students also have a dedicated Employability and Career Development module, where you learn about CV writing, entrepreneurship and presentation skills, amongst others. You are also required to complete 40 hours of experience as part of the module, carried out over a number of weeks convenient to both you and the employer, and often features projects or pieces of work that will be your sole responsibility. You will be supported and guided both through the application process and during your time in the workplace to ensure that it meets your requirements and expectations

Skills development

Employers are looking for you to demonstrate numerous key skills, most of which fall into two categories: subject knowledge and exceptional communication skills. The skills acquired in any degree – for example, being literate and articulate, well organised, clear headed and with plenty of initiative – are clearly desirable. The particular skills acquired in sport and health science programmes are also highly sought after by employers, for example:

  • analyse, critically assess and evaluate evidence
  • interpret data and text
  • apply problem solving skills
  • research and assess subject specific facts, theories and concepts
  • understand the performance of sport and its enhancement, monitoring and analysis
  • take responsibility for your own learning and continuing professional development
  • plan, design, execute and communicate a sustained piece of independent, intellectual work.

The British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES)

BASES is the professional body for sport and exercise sciences in the UK. The BASES website features a range of information about careers and progression within Sport and Health Sciences and also offers very good guide Careers Guide that offers advice on choosing a careers and the sorts of skills you will gain through a degree.

Enhancing your employability

Exeter gave me the education to support my existing strengths and skills, and helped me to realize my potential and achieve my goal of setting up my own business.

Rob Dawson, BSc Psychology with Sport and Exercise (2011).

With an increasingly competitive job market, planning for your future career should begin the moment that you arrive at University.

At the University of Exeter, we understand how important it is to not only make the most of your time studying with us, but also make the most of your full potential once you have graduated.

We therefore run a number of initiatives throughout the course of the year to offer practical advice and tips to ensure you are competitive in the job market. Some examples are featured below:

Workshops and further events

  • The CareerZone organises a series of pivotal events throughout the year, including careers fairs, forums and workshops
  • Widen Your Options is a fortnight of events, which takes place during the spring term, to give students access to industry professionals from a range of sectors
  • The Exeter Award is designed to enhance the employability of University of Exeter graduates by providing official recognition and evidence of extra-curricular activities and achievements
  • eXfactor is the employability and professional development day that aims to encourage you to consider what motivates you; where your interests and values lie; what skills you may already have; and which skills you need to develop in preparation for graduate level employment or further study.
  • The Career Mentor Scheme is a unique opportunity for all current students to be matched with an experienced professional to gain one-to-one careers advice, support and guidance into their profession and sector for 6-months.
  • eXepert Scheme provides students and recent graduates the opportunity to contact University alumni to gain advice on how to enter their chosen sector, work for a certain company, become self-employed or benefit from possible networking opportunities and contacts.

Employability events

'Careers in Sports Marketing' event

'Teaching opportunities in the Army' event

'A Career in Coaching' event

Throughout the year we hold a number of employability events which have included:

Graduate futures event

There is no better way to find out more about your chosen career path than to speak to people who are already involved in the sector. First-hand knowledge of the key issues, choices, challenges and successes that you may face can go a long way towards making that all-important career choice once you leave university Life. The event commenced with an inspiring keynote speech from University of Exeter alumnus, Performance Director for UK Sport, Simon Timson. After this, students were given the chance to network with representatives from regional sport related businesses such as Precision Fitness and Performance, Army Careers and Mindsport Consulting at an employer stand event.

In the afternoon a total of eight talks took place from speakers including alumnus Luke Davis (Global Football Marketing at IMG), Dai Carpenter (Devon FA), alumna Hannah Diamond (Team GB Sailing), alumnus David Smith (Equestrian Personal Trainer), alumna Marcia Stefani (Sponsorship at IMG) and alumnus Rob Dawson (Mindsport Consulting). The talks were extremely well received and earned very positive feedback from students.

UK Anti-Doping – An overview

All Sport and Health Sciences students were invited to attend a seminar given by alumna Anne Sargent (BSc Exercise & Sport Sciences, 2007;  MSc Sports & Exercise Medicine, 2008), who works as the Education Officer at UK Anti-Doping (UKAD).  Students took the opportunity to ask questions throughout the seminar, gaining knowledge about the many Anti-Doping Rule Violations (ADRVs) and what it is like working for UKAD. Anne also provided information on how students could become UKAD anti-doping advisors by doing a simple online course. This can be found here: A student commented that “The event was very interesting to me as my dissertation is looking into the attitudes and intentions people have towards doping. The information was very interesting and very detailed and I only wish I could have stayed to ask more questions!”

Careers in Sports Marketing

All Sport and Health Sciences students were invited to an employability event at which two alumni speakers shared their experiences of the sports marketing and hospitality sector.

Chris Travers (BSc Exercise & Sport Sciences, 2009) spoke about his role as a Sale Manager at Rugby Travel and Hospitality Ltd, the worldwide provider for the Travel and Hospitality programmes for the Rugby World Cup 2015 and 2019. Luke Davis (BSc Exercise & Sport Sciences, 2009) career path to date and his current role within the Client Services department of Essentially Group.

Both Chris and Luke recommended that students undertake placements, network, volunteer, and generally seek out every opportunity which may grant them some skills or experience that may further their CV. They also encouraged student to do their research before undertaking interviews and applications.

Teaching opportunities in the Army

Alumnus Lieutenant Berry delivered a session on teaching careers in the Army, both as a Regular (full time) or Reservist (part time). He discussed the process involved as well as the benefits available. Students were delighted to hear about his career path and of the roles available within the Army that are not so widely known. A student commented that is was an “eye opening talk that has changed my insight into the forces”.

A Career in Coaching

Nye Levett, (BSc Exercise & Sport Sciences, 2011) and David Court (BSc Exercise & Sport Sciences, 2002) presented on their career paths to date within sports coaching, explained their current roles and provided insight into professional coaching. Students also took the opportunity to ask questions and network with our speakers, gaining advice and tips about ways of getting experience to help them enter this field. A student commented that “I thought the session was really useful today and offered good insight into a range of jobs and the required steps to take once out of University.”