Why I chose to study Sport

Matt Keogh

For me, choosing to study at Durham was almost a no-brainer having had my sister study there and seeing the brilliant time that she had and the opportunities she was exposed to. Although, unlike her, a keen geographer, I knew that I wanted to study something else and I decided it best to follow my passion and study the topic of sport. One of the big draws was how the course was structured to help develop skills that would make me become a more rounded and employable individual upon its completion.

It’s not all about writing essays

You may be wondering how spending three years writing essays and doing exams makes you more employable? Firstly, it is important to do some myth-busting about this course. The Sport and Exercise Sciences department is moving away from the ‘traditional’ methods of doing timed end-of-year exams and is favouring more creative and applicable assessments. Examples of this that I have completed include group and individual presentations, creating podcasts, and infographics, tackling real-world problems, creating nutrition plans for people, interviewing clients, and much more. Don’t get me wrong there are still essays to be written and maybe the odd exam but there are a whole host of skills to be developed through the assessments given to us. So much so that I went from someone petrified of presenting to my small seminar group of ten in the first year to confidently giving a talk to over 100 people in my final year. Such skills are so highly sought after in the world of work and the Sports department have recognised this and have built this into the course to leave us in the best possible place when it comes to our future careers.

Doing what I love most – playing football

Great career prospects

You may think that this all sounds great but what can I do in the future with my Sports degree? People go on to do a vast array of different jobs, both in and out of the sports industry. Within sports I am aware of people that have gone on to work in different roles within professional sports teams, become teachers, work for national governing bodies, go into journalism and play sports for a living, to name just a few. On the other hand, some go a different way and work in other industries by working in finance, business, management, HR, recruitment, the armed forces, and more. Personally, I have managed to secure a student sabbatical role as the sports clothing coordinator within Team Durham (the university sports set-up) and deferred a job on the Aldi Area Manager Graduate scheme for the following year. In my personal experience of securing these jobs I have been able to draw on numerous skills developed at Durham University and I am certain they will stand me in good stead when I start the roles and beyond.

Finally, I think it is important to add that it is not just what you do in your department that prepares you for working life. There are countless opportunities to gain leadership roles in the seemingly limitless sports clubs and societies here at Durham. Examples of such roles include presidents, social secretaries, treasurers, charity positions, kit secretaries, outreach, and more. These things have helped me so much. I am far more employable and, arguably more important, a much more well-rounded individual thanks to my time here at Durham University as a Sport and Exercise Sciences student.

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.

Download our latest prospectus and college guide here.

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Matt Keogh

My Name is Matt, I have just finished my third and final year of studying the Sport, Exercise and Physical Activity (BA) course at Durham and I am part of Collingwood College. Football has been a huge part of my university life as I have played for the Men’s First team and my college A team.

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