Undergraduate study - 2019 entry

Subject area: Sport

Why choose Sport at the University of Edinburgh?

  • We're ranked in the world's top 20 universities for sports-related subjects in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2018.

  • Our BSc (Hons) in Applied Sports Science is endorsed by the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES). This recognises our teaching of core and interdisciplinary areas of sport science, and that students gain research experience in and outside the sport science laboratory.

  • Our BSc (Hons) Sport & Recreation Management provides excellent placement opportunities with major sports organisations and is highly regarded by the industry.

  • Many of our students have managed to combine studying with successful sporting careers. Olympic gold medallist Sir Chris Hoy, former Scotland Rugby Captain Kelly Brown, Commonwealth gold medallist Sarah Adlington and Olympic diver Grace Reid studied here.

  • You will be part of a community of researchers and academics involved in sport- and health-related activities such as advising government departments, supporting governance of sport at local, national and International levels, providing analyses to media outlets, organising international conferences and engaging in international development initiatives.

  • You will benefit from our excellent facilities, including a specialised building in the city centre with sports biomechanics and exercise physiology laboratories, and a research swimming pool, all with state-of-the-art research equipment.

Study abroad

Tutors not only give us a broad understanding of the business, management and sociological aspects of sport but also hands-on, on the job experience to put what we have learnt into practise.

Hugh Braidwood 3rd year BSc (Hons) Sports & Recreation Management
Hugh Braidwood 3rd year BSc (Hons) Sports & Recreation Management

We offer two separate sport-related programmes - BSc (Hons) Applied Sport Science and BSc (Hons) Sport & Recreation Management.

Applied sport science involves the application of scientific principles to the promotion, maintenance and enhancement of sport- and exercise-related behaviours. Our programme is centred on four key disciplines: physiology, biomechanics, psychology, and skill acquisition.

Sport and recreation management will help you develop an understanding of the principles of management, appreciate sport's cultural and economic importance, and focus on the business of sport and the importance of community sport, elite sport, and international development through sport.

In both our programmes you will develop an understanding of the factors that influence participation and performance in sport and exercise. In addition, you will learn the values and purposes of sport, exercise and physical activity in our changing world.

You will have opportunities to conduct research projects in collaboration with sports bodies, performance sport coaches and athletes at university, national and international level. Past student projects have analysed the performance of the Scotland rugby team in collaboration with Scottish Rugby Union, and worked with Scottish Hockey and Scottish Premier League clubs.

In Sport, what you will study varies between programmes.

Find specific year by year study information on your chosen programme page.

Are there additional costs?

You may incur additional costs depending on the programme and courses, and the type of research or placement, you choose.

Our facilities

The majority of teaching will take place within the School of Education at the centrally located Holyrood campus. The School provides its own IT labs and library, but you can also access all the University's other computer facilities and libraries.


Students of applied sport science do not have a compulsory placement but will have the opportunity to undertake a workplace or research attachment in collaboration with a body external to the University, such as sportscotland.

Students of sport and recreation management have a compulsory placement course in Year 2 that provides an invaluable opportunity for work-based learning, enabling you to further your understanding of sport management in practice and enhance your employability.

Placements have previously been with a wide range of organisations in the UK, such as community sports clubs, health and fitness clubs, football clubs (for example Celtic and Manchester United), golf courses (for example Gleneagles), sports marketing and media companies (for example Sky Sports, IMG, the Scotsman), governing bodies of sport (for example sportscotland, Scottish Hockey, jogscotland, Basketball Scotland, Rugby Football Union, Scottish Rugby Union), and local authority sports trusts, such as Edinburgh Leisure.

Study abroad

There are opportunities to study abroad during Year 3 through our international exchange programme. Depending on your programme, it is possible to study abroad in the US, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia or at a number of European universities.

How will I learn?

You will be taught by a combination of lectures, tutorials, site visits, practical work and laboratory-based experimental work and seminars.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed through written examinations and a wide range of coursework including but not limited to assignments, presentations, posters, web pages, reports and laboratory work. Coursework includes both individual and group work.

Graduates enter sport-related careers; such as working for elite sports clubs; performance sports centres; national or international sporting bodies; or the fitness industry. Graduates also enter health-related careers, for example local authority or NHS-funded exercise and health initiatives.

Others work in sports marketing, tourism or events; gain graduate management and business posts or begin postgraduate study to focus their career towards teaching, physiotherapy, sports nutrition or public health, for example.

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