What’s it like studying Sport and Exercise Sciences?

Michael Berendt

What exactly is Sport and Exercise Sciences?

Sport and Exercise Sciences is a fascinating field of study that investigates how sport and physical activity impacts society and the individual. It branches across many exciting and diverse academic disciplines including anatomy and physiology, psychology, sociology, as well as business studies and economics, just to name a few. Sport and exercise make up so much of today’s society and are quickly growing into one of the biggest markets out there!

What made Durham the right choice?

For many students looking into higher education, choosing what to study can seem impossible. As a matter of fact, I didn’t even apply to study Sport and Exercise Sciences at Durham! I initially started my journey here studying Politics and International Relations. After finishing a year in Politics, I realised that although I have great interest in all things politics, my passions really lie in the sport and health sector. And the best part was that I didn’t have to leave my Durham family behind changing courses because Durham University is an incredible place to study sport! The Complete University Guide ranks Durham second in the UK for Sport Science and has been awarded Sports University of the Year 2023 by the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide. So I could rest assured that Durham was the place to be for Sport and Exercise Sciences!

Is Sport and Exercise Sciences any fun?

What I enjoy most out of this course is definitely how applicable it is to my everyday life. As an avid sportsman, all our lectures and seminars tackle issues that I face both as an athlete and a sports fan; one day we’ll be looking at the psychological dynamics of teamwork and I’ll dash off to host an impromptu psychology session with my sports team while riding Watt bikes and attaching electrodes to our friends in our lab practicals the day after. Something exciting is always happening and I can’t count how many times my friends wish they were studying what I was!

Thoughts on your department?

The Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences at Durham is very supportive of their students. They go out of their way to help new students settle into university life by running different workshops and activities for freshers to dive into such as running an awesome scavenger hunt to help us get used to the town and university, and organise annual staff and student dinners! They also work alongside students to help improve their university experience by listening and swiftly working through student feedback. At this department, I always feel comfortable asking all kinds of questions I can think of and they’re always more than willing to help!

What is there outside of classes?


Outside of classes, there are so many opportunities to get into Sport and Exercise. Durham boasts over 18 sports and 700 different teams to get involved with if you’re looking for something competitive or just to have some fun with your friends. I was intrigued by the university’s Lifesaving team for example and ever since I gave that a go, I’ve attended over 10 university competitions around the country and made so many different friends! 

The DU Lifesaving team and I on our way to compete in Birmingham!

The bottom line is this:

Studying Sport and Exercise Sciences at Durham is one of the most thrilling and rewarding rollercoaster rides to experience. It’s the perfect course for anyone looking to get their foot into the sport and health sphere and for any student seeking to pursue competitive and recreational sport alongside their degree.

Discover more:

Our Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences is a welcoming, collegiate, and vibrant community. When you join the department, you’ll receive a cutting-edge curriculum delivered by world-leading academics. 

We are ranked in the top 100 in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022. We are an outstanding place for excellence in teaching and research, and our students are highly employable.  

Feeling inspired? Visit our Sport and Exercise Sciences webpages to learn more about studying with us. 

Create your own personalised prospectus here

Follow our students on Instagram, TikTok and YouTube

Michael Berendt


Hi there! I’m Michael, an international student from South Africa at Collingwood College. I’m a fresher studying Sport and Exercise Sciences. I love getting involved in different societies and sports like Disney Society and the university’s Triathlon and Lifesaving team. Give me a shout if you see me around!


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