10 Best Universities for Sports Science in the World 

Want to know the best universities for Sports Science in the world?

Currently, in the world, sport is big business. From the multi-billion dollar elite world of professional sport to the important personal fitness sector.

We cannot underestimate the influence of sport on both individual lives and the global economy. In this article, you’ll discover the best universities for sports science training.

Sports science careers range from roles in sports management and marketing to personal training, physiotherapy, and nutritional consultancy.

However, whether you want to be included in the world of international sports celebrities or want to help people improve their lives by participating in sports, a sports science degree could give you the professional knowledge and training you need.

Hence, we have compiled a list of the 10 best universities for sports science in the World but first, look at the table of contents below to have an overview.

Brief History Of Sports Science

We can trace the origin of sports science back to ancient Greece. The famous ancient Greek physician Galen (131–201) penned 87 comprehensive essays about advancing health (proper nutrition), aerobic fitness, and strengthening muscles.[1]

New thoughts about the working and functioning of the human body arose during the Renaissance as anatomists and physicians challenged the earlier known theories. These spread with the implementation of the printed word, the result of Gutenberg’s printing press in the 15th century. Allied with this was a large increase in academia in general, universities were forming all around the world.

Importantly these new students went ahead of the simple ideas of the early Greek physicians, and shed light on the complexities of the circulatory, and digestive systems. Furthermore, by the middle of the 19th century, early medical schools (such as the Harvard Medical School, formed in 1782) began appearing in the United States, whose graduates went on to assume positions of importance in academia and allied medical research.

Medical journal publications grew significantly in number during this period. In 1898, three articles on physical activity emerged in the first volume of the American Journal of Physiology. Other articles and reviews subsequently appeared in prestigious journals. The German applied physiology publication, Internationale Zeitschrift fur Physiologie Einschliesslich Arbeitphysiologie (1929–1940; now known as the European Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology), became a significant journal in the area of research.

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What Is Sports Science?

Sports science (also sports and exercise science, sports medicine) is a discipline that studies how the healthy human body works during exercise, and how sport and physical activity improve health and performance from cellular to whole body perspectives.

The study of sports science traditionally incorporates areas of physiology (exercise physiology), psychology (sport psychology), anatomy, biomechanics, biochemistry, and biokinetics.

Sports scientists and performance consultants are growing in demand and employment numbers, with the ever-rising focus within the sporting world on accomplishing the best results possible. Through the study of science and sport, researchers have developed a greater understanding of how the human body reacts to exercise, training, different environments, and many other motives.

Who is a Sports scientist?

A Sports scientist is someone who assists sports people to achieve the best possible sporting performance, through the application of knowledge and techniques from the areas of medicine, physiology, biomechanics (the study of human movement), nutrition, psychology, and physiotherapy/massage.

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What do sports scientists do?

Sports scientists use knowledge of how the body works to help people improve their health or sporting ability.

Furthermore, Sports scientists help people who are into sports to accomplish the best possible sporting appearance, by employing knowledge and methods from the areas of medicine, physiology, biomechanics (the study of human movement), nutrition, psychology, and physiotherapy/massage.

How much does a sports scientist make?

A starting salary for sports scientists might be around £18,000 to £20,000, but it has the potential to increase considerably. However, experienced sports scientists can command salaries in excess of £60,000.

You can consider being a certified sports agent with your degree in sports science.

How can I become a sports scientist?

To become a sports scientist, You’ll need a degree in sports science, or a degree in a related subject like physical education, physiology, or psychology, followed by a postgraduate qualification. It’s becoming common for sports scientists to already have or be working towards postgraduate qualifications like MRes, MSc, or Ph.D.

How long does it take to become a sports scientist?

Personal requirements of sports Scientists

  • Must have great Interest in sports and fitness
  • Must be interested in physical and biomedical sciences
  • Should have good observation and problem-solving skills
  • Be able to work with accuracy and attention to detail

Education & Training for sports Scientists

To become an exercise scientist you have to acquire a degree in sport and exercise science or human movement. Alternatively, you may choose to finish a degree in a relevant area, such as nutrition, physiotherapy, or medicine, followed by a postgraduate qualification in exercise science or clinical exercise physiology.

Hence, to get into the degree courses you need to get your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. Essential subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English, mathematics, biology, chemistry, or physics are normally required.

In addition, admission to postgraduate courses usually requires the completion of an appropriate bachelor’s degree. However, Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry qualifications or offer external study. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information.

Furthermore, before commencing clinical placements expected by courses, students will need to get a National Police Certificate, Provide a First Aid Certificate and immunizations, and undergo a Working with Children Check.

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Can I study sports science online?

Though online bachelor’s degree programs in sports science are few, there are fully online programs available to students. These programs may join other disciplines, such as health sciences or sports management. Additionally, students may have the option of concentrating in a particular field, like sports coaching. Within the program, students examine ideas in sports security, sports management, and nutrition within asynchronous classes.

Finally, these bachelor’s degree programs are typically designed as degree completion programs for students that hold 60 credits or an associate degree, and they take about 2-3 years to complete.

List of 10 best universities for sports science in the World.

Here is a list of the 10 best universities for sports science in the world

  • Loughborough University
  • The University of Queensland
  • University of British Columbia
  • The University of Sydney
  • University of Toronto
  • University of Birmingham
  • University of Florida
  • The Ohio State University
  • University of Alberta
  • University of Bath

#1. Loughborough University

Loughborough University is based on a superb 440-acre single-site campus at the heart of the UK, with an international standing for distinction in teaching and research, strong links with industry, and an unusual reputation for sport. Importantly, over 17,000 students and staff from over 100 different countries help to create an exciting campus atmosphere and a strong sense of community.

Here are some of their major accolades:

  • University of the Year – Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2018
  • 1st in the Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey 2018
  • Top 7 in every national university league table, and top in the region.
  • A Five Stars Plus institution in the International QS Stars scheme 2017 – one of only 15 worldwide
  • Best sporting university in the world – QS World University Rankings by Subject 2018
  • 95% in work or further study within 6 months of graduation – DLHE 2016 graduates (full-time UK first degree students available for work or study)

Recognized globally as a top UK sporting university, Loughborough provides a unique opportunity to get involved with sport regardless of ability level and interest. Finally, whether you are performing at an elite level or a complete beginner, rest assured that you’ll have the opportunity to take part in sport at Loughborough.

#2. The University of Queensland

For over a century, The University of Queensland (UQ) has maintained a global reputation for creating positive change in the world.

UQ consistently ranks in the world’s top universities, is one of only three Australian members of the global Universitas 21, and is an establishing member of the prestigious Group of Eight (Go8) universities.

More than 53,600 students study across UQ’s three beautiful campuses in South-East Queensland. This includes about 18,000 international students who contribute to UQ’s distinct, supportive and inclusive campus community. 

UQ has won more Australian Awards for University Teaching than any other university and is bound to equip students with the best opportunities and practical experiences, empowering them with transferable knowledge and skills that will equip them to exceed expectations throughout their careers.

UQ’s greatest assets are its 268,000 successful graduates, who include more than 14,500 PhDs. Our successful alumni network spans 170 countries.

Their students have access to the latest and most exceptional disciplinary knowledge as a result of UQ research informing our programs. With international learning chances, partnerships that provide support and industry insight, and inspirational teaching staff, students are encouraged to ask the questions that create change.

Finally, UQ’s beautiful campus environment matches the best higher education settings in the world, including extensive recreation and sporting facilities and world-class buildings. 

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#3. University of British Columbia

Established in 1908, the University of British Columbia is an open research university. However, based on the founder of the university, Henry Marshall Tory, a medal of his name was brought into existence in 1941.

Recently, the university is recognized as the most international university in North America. It has a motto that says, “It is Yours”. This motto was declared in 1915 and commits to supporting the innovation of ideas, discovery, and learning.

The aim is to inspire the students and create new ideas that bring remarkable changes to the world. By the 20th century, the university started to offer a degree in the field of nursing, agriculture, and engineering. Also, it introduced the American model of specialization and a research thesis.

Ranked as the 51st best university in the world in the QS World University Rankings® 2018, the University of British Columbia has an excellent reputation with academics and employers alike and a particularly international faculty.

Furthermore, the University of British Columbia outshines in a number of subjects, as indicated by the QS World University Rankings by Subject, including: 

  • Geography
  • Mineral and mining engineering
  • Sports-related subjects

Finally, with beautiful green campuses in Vancouver and Okanagan, the University of British Columbia is home to a concert hall, a working farm, an Olympic ice hockey venue, Canada’s largest blue whale skeleton, world-class science labs for subatomic physics, and a center for interactive research in sustainability.

#4. The University of Sydney

The University of Sydney (USYD, or informally Sydney Uni) is an Australian public research university in Sydney, Australia. Established in 1850, it is Australia’s first university and is regarded as one of the world’s leading universities. The university is known as one of Australia’s 6 sandstone universities.

Moreso, its campus is ranked in the top 10 of the world’s most beautiful universities by the British Daily Telegraph and The Huffington Post, spreading across the inner-city suburbs of Camperdown and Darlington. The university comprises nine faculties and university schools, through which it offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees.

The University of Sydney was established on the principle of giving everyone the opportunity to recognize their potential through education and still holds that belief just as strongly today.

Currently, ranked 4th in the world, and 1st in Australia, for graduate employability, the University of Sydney is also consistently rated among the top 50 universities in the world. Hence, with an outstanding undergraduate curriculum, world-class facilities, inspirational academics, and a vibrant campus life, it is a place where students can attain widely recognized and respected qualifications.

Furthermore, the University offers Australia’s widest range of disciplines and its research focuses on finding solutions to society’s biggest challenges. With more than 400 areas of study to choose from, students have the flexibility to follow their interests, broaden their skills, and enjoy internship and global exchange opportunities.

Finally, outside the classroom, students can make lifetime friends and connections, and enjoy unforgettable experiences, with more than 200 student-run clubs and societies bringing the campus to life. Their community – which covers the world – includes more than 50,000 students, 3400 academic staff, and 320,000 alumni.

#5. University of Toronto

The University of Toronto (U of T or UToronto) is a public research university in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, located on the grounds that surround Queen’s Park. It was established by royal charter in 1827 as King’s College, the first institution of higher learning in the colony of Upper Canada. Formerly controlled by the Church of England, the university assumed its present name in 1850 upon becoming a secular institution.

As a collegiate university, it includes eleven colleges each with visible freedom on financial and institutional affairs and significant diversity in character and history. The university also operates two satellite campuses located in Scarborough and Mississauga.

Academically, the University of Toronto is noted for powerful movements and curricula in literary exposition and communication theory, known collectively as the Toronto School.

The university was the birthplace of insulin and stem cell research, and was the site of the first practical electron microscope, the development of deep learning, multi-touch technology, the description of the first black hole Cygnus X-1, and the development of the theory of NP-completeness.

It gets the most annual scientific research funding of any Canadian university and is one of two members of the Association of American Universities outside the United States, the other being McGill University.

Our students have the opportunity to learn from and work with preeminent thought leaders through our multidisciplinary network of teaching and research faculty, alumni, and partners. 

The ideas, innovations, and actions of more than 560,000 graduates continue to have a positive impact on the world.

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#6. University of Birmingham

Ranked 79th in the world in the QS World University Rankings 2019, the University of Birmingham is a red brick university. A term used to define a group of universities established in industrial cities in England in the 19th century. It is also a Russell Group university which means it belongs to a small set of research universities with credit for academic distinction. 

The University of Birmingham ranks among the top 50 universities across different disciplines in the QS World University Rankings by Subject: 

  • Dentistry (13th)
  • Development Studies (36th)
  • Education (36th)
  • English Language and Literature (34th)
  • Sports-Related Subjects (6th)
  • Theology, Divinity and Religious Studies (26th)

#7. University of Florida

The University of Florida (UF) is a major, public, comprehensive, land-grant, research university. The state’s oldest, largest, and most comprehensive university, Florida is among the nation’s most academically distinct public universities. Florida has a long history of founded programs in international education, research, and service.

It is one of only 17 public, land-grant universities that is owned by the Association of American Universities. In 1853, the state-funded East Florida Seminary took over the Kingsbury Academy in Ocala. The seminary moved to Gainesville in the 1860s and later was merged with the state’s land-grant Florida Agricultural College, then in Lake City.

In 1905, by legislative action, the college became a university and was relocated to Gainesville. Classes first met with 102 students on the modern site on Sept. 26, 1906. UF officially opened its doors to women in 1947. With more than 50,000 students, Florida is now one of the five largest universities in the nation.

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#8. The Ohio State University

The Ohio State University (OSU, commonly referred to as Ohio State) is a public research university in Columbus, Ohio. Established in 1870 as a land-grant university and the ninth university in Ohio with the Morrill Act of 1862. The university was originally known as the Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College.

The college originally focused on several agricultural and mechanical disciplines. Later, it advanced into a comprehensive university under the direction of then-Governor (later, U.S. president) Rutherford B. Hayes.

In 1878. the Ohio General Assembly passed a law renaming it to “The Ohio State University”. The main campus in Columbus, Ohio, has since developed into the third-largest university campus in the United States. The university also operates regional campuses in Lima, Mansfield, Marion, Newark, and Wooster.

The university has a comprehensive student life program, with over 1,000 student organizations; intercollegiate, club, and recreational sports programs; student media organizations and publications, fraternities and sororities; and three student governments.

Ohio State athletic teams compete in Division I of the NCAA and are known as the Ohio State Buckeyes. As of the 2016 Summer Olympics, athletes from Ohio State have won 104 Olympic medals. (46 gold, 35 silver, and 23 bronze). The university is a member of the Big Ten Conference for the majority of sports.

#9. University of Alberta

The University of Alberta is one of Canada’s top universities and among the world’s leading public research-intensive universities with credit for distinction across the humanities, sciences, creative arts, business, engineering, and health sciences.

Home to world-leading facilities such as Canada’s National Institute for Nanotechnology and the Li Ka Shing Institute of Virology. the U of A pulls the best and brightest minds from around the globe. Our students choose from 400 undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs in 18 faculties.

We lead the country with the most 3M national teaching fellowships (Canada’s highest award for undergraduate teaching excellence). With over 100 years of history and 250,000 alumni, the U of A is known worldwide for providing graduates with the knowledge and skills to be tomorrow’s leaders.”

The U of A is located in Edmonton, Alberta, a dynamic city with one million residents and the major hub for Alberta’s thriving energy industry. The main campus, in the center of Edmonton, is minutes from downtown with bus and subway access throughout the city. Home to over 39,000 students, including more than 7,000 international students from 152 countries, the U of A fosters a supportive and multicultural atmosphere within a vibrant research environment.

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#10. University of Bath

The University of Bath is a public university located in Bath, Somerset, United Kingdom. It gained its royal charter in 1966, along with a number of other institutions following the Robbins Report. Like the University of Bristol and the University of the West of England, Bath can trace its roots to the Merchant Venturers’ Technical College founded in Bristol as a school in 1595 by the Society of Merchant Venturers. The university’s main campus is located at Claverton Down, a site facing the city of Bath, and was purpose-built, constructed in 1964 in the modernist style of the time.

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, 32% of Bath’s submitted research activity gained the highest possible classification of 4, defined as world-leading in terms of innovation, significance, and rigor. The annual income of the institution for 2017–18 was £287.9 million of which £37.0 million was from research rewards and contracts, with an expenditure of £283.1 million.

As of 2019, in national rankings the university is currently placed 6th according to The Guardian, 9th in the Complete University Guide and 11th by the Times/Sunday Times. Universally it is placed in the top 400 by the 2016 ARWU and has highlighted in the top 300 in 2016, 2017 and 2018 THE World University Rankings.

In The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2014 the university was awarded the title of “Best Campus University in Britain”. and in 2012 the title of ‘University of the Year 2011/12’.

The university is a member of the Association of Commonwealth Universities, the Association of MBAs, the European Quality Improvement System, the European University Association, Universities UK, and GW4.

FAQs on the best universities for sports science in the World

What is Sports Science?

Sports science is the study of how the healthy human body works during exercise, and how sport and physical activity promote health, physically, mentally, and socially. The study of sports science incorporates many other academic studies and areas, like physiology, psychology, anatomy, engineering, and chemistry.

What subjects do I need to study Sports Science?

You will need a degree in Sports science, or a degree in a related subject followed by a postgraduate qualification in sports science. Related degree subjects include: physical education and physiology

Which is the best University for Sports Science?

The best university for sports science is Loughborough University located in the heart of the UK. It is recognized globally as a top UK sporting university, Loughborough provides a unique opportunity to get involved with sport regardless of ability level and interest.

Is playing sports worth it?

As a matter of fact, playing sports teaches life lessons like discipline, responsibility, self-confidence, accountability, and teamwork. In short, playing sports helps your brain grow and makes it work better.


In conclusion, Sports science careers range from roles in sports management and marketing through to personal training, physiotherapy, and nutritional consultancy. However, whether you want to be included in the world of international sports celebrities or want to help people improve their lives by participating in sports, a sports science degree could give you the professional knowledge and training you need. Hence, we have compiled a list of the 10 best universities for sports science in the World.

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