Careers advice for future students in sport
Let us help you get started on your employability journey!
A degree in sport can lead to many different and exciting career options. At Ulster University we have many successful graduates from the School of Sport who are top in their fields. Our teaching along with our world class facilities will help put you ahead of the rest!
Explore what the School of Sport has to offer you
Here in the School of Sport our mission is to “lead, inspire and shape the future of sport.”
Our students ability to secure an exciting career is very important to us and we will support you as you embark on your career planning journey with us! We are proud to say that,
- 73% of our students progress into employment or further study within six months of graduation
- 90% is our overall student satisfaction score in the National Student Survey 2016
- we deliver research-inspired teaching with academic collaborations with industry and professional athletes
- we teach and research in dedicated laboratories for sport and exercise physiology, sports biomechanics, performance analysis and sport and exercise nutrition
- we offer advantages for elite athletes through Ulster’s Elite Athlete scheme
Explore our Undergraduate Courses
Ulster University has been one of the major providers of undergraduate courses in sport in Northern Ireland for the last 40 years. Our BASES endorsed BSc (Hons) in Sport and Exercise Sciences, BSc (Hons) Sports Studies, BSc (Hons) Sports Coaching and BSc (Hons) Sport, Physical Activity and Health undergraduate degrees all allow our students to equip themselves for careers in a range of sports specific or graduate level opportunities in other sectors or even postgraduate study (PGCE, MSc and PhD).
We have a range of courses to choose from that will provide the basis for your career.
These courses include:
Explore our Postgraduate Courses
As well as our impressive undergraduate courses we also have a range of postgraduate courses if you wish to enhance your knowledge and skill set within a particular subject area.
2017-2018 online applications opening soon! For details of this year's course please see below:
- MSc Sport And Exercise Nutrition
- MSc Health Promotion and Public Health
- MSc Sport and Exercise Psychology
- MSc Sport and Exercise Medicine
- Post Graduate Certificate of Education (Physical Education)
Exciting research and consultancy within the School of Sport also is undertaken within the Sport & Exercise Research Institute (SESRI)
Explore the option of becoming a PE teacher with us
As well as being given the opportunity to study modules in physical education students are able to volunteer on short and long term sports outreach programmes to better prepare their profile for selection onto teacher training courses after completion of an undergraduate degree.
Application to the PGCE (PE) course on our Coleraine campus is completed online and is normally open for application from September each year.
The closing date varies annually so students need to check this and complete their application in good time.
Applications to PGCE courses in the England and Wales are through UCAS. These courses fill up very quickly so students are advised to apply early in semester 1 in their final year.
Explore coaching courses available to you within the School of Sport
Level 1 sports coaching qualification
In the first year of your undergraduate degree you will have the opportunity within the SLS170 Coaching Award module to acquire a recognised qualification at Level 1 in one of the following sports: gymnastics, athletics, basketball, Gaelic football, rugby, football and cricket. Many of these awards will only cost a fraction of what it would cost if you weren’t a student with us!
Active IQ Fitness Qualifications
The School of Sport also offers a range of Active IQ courses.
These qualifications look great on your CV and can help you gain employment in the fitness industry as well a potential placement in your placement year.
Please contact Rachael Telford for further details of upcoming courses
Explore Coaching Opportunities with Galaxy Coaching
Galaxy Coaching is a sport and activity coaching company that run after-school course in Primary schools across Northern Ireland who are looking for Level 1 or equivalent coaches to deliver our coaching programmes mainly in the Belfast/Lisburn and Newry & Mourne areas.
Coaches should have relevant qualifications and also experience in coaching children aged 4-11 years.
The programmes include football, Tag Rugby, Unihoc, Tennis, Basketball, Athletics, Netball, Dodgeball, Gymnastics, Dance and Drama.
Please contact Galaxy Coaching Head Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or
02890 605605 to request a Coach Application Form.
Explore coaching opportunities in America with UK International Soccer
UK International Soccer was established in 1990 and are one of the largest providers of professional soccer coaching in the USA. The opportunities we offer (including placement roles for university students) and the logistics of working for us are all detailed for you.
Please also see our latest recruitment flyer and Job Spec to give you some information on working for us. If you would like to go ahead and apply for a position immediately with UK International Soccer please click here or visit our website.
To discuss this please contact
Explore Work Based Learning (WBL) activities
1st year undergraduate
- SLS115 Principles of Teaching and Coaching provides students with an opportunity to plan, deliver and reflect on a short sports coaching/PE teaching session.
- SLS170 Introductory Coaching Award provides students with an opportunity to gain a coaching qualification in the sports of gymnastics, basketball or rugby with students undertaking four weeks of coaching local primary school children as part of this module.
2nd year undergraduate
- SLS315 PE Theory & Practice provides students with the opportunity to plan, prepare and run a Teaching Styles trade show showcasing the application of theory to practice for their peers in an Exhibition type environment.
2nd year and final year PE Modules
As part of the assessment in the PE modules students are required to plan, prepare, teach and reflect upon a PE lesson based on the national curriculum for PE - primary (2nd year) and post-primary curriculum (final year).
Please see your individual module handbooks or ask your course director about work-based learning opportunities and events linked to your specialist subject area.
Explore how to do performance analysis
Second and final year modules in performance analysis in the Jordanstown undergraduate degree courses will show you how to use performance analysis software and its practical implementation in the sports field.
Explore how you can get involved with GymFun
The GymFun employability and teacher training programme have been developed in the School of Sport to help address the workforce gaps experienced in clubs and schools across Northern Ireland.
School of Sport students often aspire to work in school and community settings where gymnastics provision/services are in high demand.
Through the provision of quality training, work-based learning experiences, formal qualifications and employment opportunities the GymFun programme helps increase the quality of gymnastics and fundamental movement skills teaching/coaching in Northern Ireland.
GymFun provides our students and teachers with opportunities to grow in confidence teaching and coaching gymnastics skills so that they can provide increased opportunities and help grow the sport during their time at university and after they graduate.
GymFun students are currently working in over 12 Gymnastics clubs throughout the province
Students who get involved in the programme will have:
- Have increased knowledge and confidence to deliver gymnastics and fundamental movement activities in a club setting or as part of the PE Curriculum.
- Have specific knowledge and understanding of how to introduce and develop a range of gymnastics/fundamental skills in a safe and progressive manner.
- Hold a recognised British Gymnastics Qualification.
- Be familiar with and have explored the use of a range of resources and how to use these to enhance the delivery of gymnastics activities.
- Gain quality voluntary and paid work experiences in one of the many partner clubs.
Explore how you can get credit for your extracurricular activities while studying in the School of Sport
The Ulster EDGE Award allows you to gain credit and gain an additional qualification for your extra-curricular activities to help you get the edge over other graduates when it comes to applying for jobs!
You will have the opportunity to complete elements of the Ulster EDGE award throughout your degree programme with some opportunities only open to School of Sport students! Examples of these programmes include:
Sports Outreach Education Induction Training programme
Sports Outreach School Sport Legacy programme
Sports Outreach Sport for LIFE programme
Sport for LIFE All Island Programme: Tutor Team
Sport for LIFE All Island Programme: Physical Activity & Health Research Training
Sport Changes Life & Sports Outreach 'e-hoops' programme
Youth Engagement in Sport (YES) Programme
GymFun (gymnastics) in2 coaching programme
GymFun Leadership programme
GymFun Mentoring programme
Please see the careers section below for more details about the Ulster EDGE Award.
Explore your course options at our Insight Night!
Explore some of the Universities our students have studied abroad at
The key findings from the British Council’s Broadening Horizons 2016 research document addressing the impact of study abroad found that 91% were likely to recommend study abroad to other students and would emphasise positive value to their social, personal and professional lives with better degree outcomes, higher levels of employment and higher salaries for those who have had international study experiences.
School of Sport students are currently studying at the following universities:
For details regarding modules and subjects areas which can be studied abroad please contact Rachael Telford.
The Student Study Abroad Guide gives you full details of all of the study abroad programmes available and how to apply for them.
The Staff Study Abroad Guide gives staff full details of all of the study abroad programmes available and how to advise students about how to apply for the right one for them.
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Explore the opportunities to help you develop your career at Ulster University
Ways to kickstart your career at Ulster University
Here at Ulster University, we want to give you the best possible chance of getting the job you want. Achieving a good degree is important, but taking advantage of the extra activities on offer will enhance your skills and help you stand out to a future employer.
‘Employability skills’ is a term you will hear and see often at Ulster. They are the attributes that employers look for when recruiting graduates and give you a real advantage over other candidates – and we support you every step of the way, helping you to decide how to gain the right experience, acquire key skills and plan your future.
Students who throw themselves into the total student experience (academic, co-curricular, extra-curricular, including work experience) benefit from a well-rounded education, contribute to university life and have lots of fun in the process. There are many ways to develop your personal attributes and experience while you study – through sports, clubs, volunteering, internships, work experience and international opportunities. Make sure you make the most of every opportunity as soon as you begin your degree.
So, What are these skills?
- A positive attitude: a can-do approach and a willingness to learn – what’s called ‘a good work ethic’.
- Reliability: Woody Allen said, “80% of success is showing up”. Seems simple, but it’s true.
- Good personal presentation: a clean shirt or blouse (ironed if possible) and a neat, concise CV.
- Honesty and integrity: all employers appreciate want to trust their employees to do the right thing, even when no one is looking.
- Initiative: ask everyone’s name, ask questions.
- Time keeping and personal organisation: get those travel apps.
- Customer focus: what does the other person want/need; how will they benefit?
- Communication skills: make eye contact, show interest, ask questions, smile, offer the occasional opinion.
- Leadership and teamwork skills: accept new challenges and learn about yourself and others.
- Computer skills: if you’re not already a wizard, put in the hours, go boldly, youth is on your side here.
Start putting your plans into action!
It’s time to start planning how you will enhance your employment prospects in the future!
In the School of Sport our commitments to work based learning and the optional placement year leading to the award of a Diploma in Professional Practice (DPP or DPPi) or a Diploma in International Academic Studies (DIAS) are unique aspects of our programmes and ensures that our graduates are well-equipped for employment.
Plan which undergraduate courses you will apply for
- BSc Hons Sports Studies
- BSC Hons Sport and Exercise Sciences
- BSc Hons Sport, Physical Activity and Health
- BSc Hons Sports Coaching
- BSc Football Coaching and Business Management
Plan which postgraduate course you will apply for
Are you planning on becoming a PE teacher?
Plan what Active IQ courses you would like to complete
Plan what you can do with your sports degree
Investigate what career your skills would be best suited to
Complete your UCAS application
Start planning what you will do with your degree and how the Employability and Careers Hub can help you
Your passport to a bright and successful future
Before you start your degree, you can begin planning the activities that will appeal to you while you are here. Employers and recruiters want to see that you have made the most of your time at university and can offer something above and beyond your qualifications.
What you can do with your degree
Make sure you know your career options and keep focused on achieving good results as well as optimising skills, qualities and experience relating to your future graduate career.
Now is a great time to discover what it takes to be successful in your future career. Then, when you start your degree you can make the most of every opportunity at university to put you in a wining position.
How our Employability and Careers Hub can help
Our Employability and Careers Hub provide friendly and impartial support on these questions and all aspects of career planning and employability while at Ulster University. You will have the support of a dedicated Employability and Careers Consultant who works with your degree area and has access to relevant careers information, resources and services when you begin your degree.
How you can help yourself
- Get practical work experience to help develop your employability skills and learn about the realities of the world of work.
Take positive action
The first thing you can do, is join Ulster University. Explore our courses and apply by making a great UCAS application and writing a standout personal statement. From the moment you arrive, you’ll be invited to join societies, sports clubs, art, music and belong to a college life that is vibrant, active and inclusive.
When you get to Ulster
There are no magic wands or shortcuts. It takes time to explore, plan, action and accomplish. But there is a lot of information and support available, so use it.
When you come to Ulster University, you will have access to the Employability and Careers Hub. They offer one to one support and a range of online information and advice services.
What the School of Sport would expect you to have accomplished by this stage of your career development
- Explored a range of career options within the School of Sport’s Graduate Destinations diagram.
- Carried out the sports careers skills audit.
- Taken a look at a range of our graduates profiles and reflected on their experiences and advice to you in terms of how they have gained successful employment.
- Attended the School of Sport Insight Night.
- Attended the Student Advice Day.
- Attended the STEM event in the SSE Arena on Monday 19th November 2018.
- Explored the range of courses available to study in the School of Sport to see which is right for you.
- Completed a UCAS personal statement which demonstrates your focus and desire to achieve a career in sport.
- Sought careers advice from your careers teacher or the Career Development Centre at Ulster University.
What the Career Development Centre would expect you to have accomplished by this stage of your career development
Check your progress so far
- First of all, have you explored careers that interest you? Do you know what skills are needed to succeed?
Here are some useful links that offer practical advice on choosing a career and exploring your different pathways.