Linking London | News | 19 October 2017: Event report - Sports event: Studying Sport in HE

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Studying Sport in Higher Education event

On the 19th October, Linking London held its first Sport event, designed to aid partners in providing useful advice to students progressing onto Sport HE courses. The event informed attendees about the current sports opportunities, employability for sports graduates and the forthcoming Pearson Higher National qualifications developments.

After a warm welcome and interactive quiz on sport hosted by Andrew Jones, Deputy Director of Linking London, delegates heard from Kirstie Hickson, Policy and Projects Officer at AoC Sport, who provided an overview of the sports sector including labour market developments and employment statistics.

AoC Sport work closely with CIMSPA (the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity) and employers. AoC Sport have lots of useful resources, including a Mental Health resource pack and are continually carrying out research tackling inequalities in sport. Kirstie offered a taste of the range of careers sports graduates can go into. Kirstie also highlighted the Raising the Bar report by UK Active and Future Fit as important research which discusses the emerging trends for the future of the UK.

Marianne Boyle, Head of Sports Strategy at the University of Greenwich, then presented to the group a University of Greenwich perspective on studying Sport and the increasing variety of graduate opportunities available. Marianne discussed Greenwich’s partnership with Charlton Athletic Football Club and the benefits for the wide range of students at Greenwich. Marianne highlighted ‘careers in sport’ as a useful resource.

Following on from a refreshment and networking break, Deirdre Nugent, Subject Lead Sport and Exercise at Pearson, updated the group on Sports Higher National qualifications. Deirdre informed the group about the format of the HNC/Ds for Sport, including the different modules students can take. Employability is embedded within the Higher Nationals and there is a major focus on balancing academic skills and key practical/employability skills. To find out more about Pearson’s HNs please click here.

The last input was delivered by Richard Buscombe, Programme Leader, BSc Sport and Exercise Science at the University of East London, who presented on how to support learners make informed choices and strong applications. For UEL, Sports and Exercise Science is one of their biggest courses and Richard provided an overview of their offer to students. 

Following the presentations, attendees had an opportunity to comment and pose questions as part of a panel Q+A session, composed of the speakers at the event. Discussion included:

  • how to address the gender imbalance in sports  and the perception that ‘women are less likely to participate in sports’. The group also mentioned the ‘This Girl Can’ campaign and the careers in sport conference;
  • the assessment process for the Pearson HNs;
  • admissions advice and clearing;
  • whether institutions accept accredited courses with UCAS points as part of their entry requirements;
  • the changing of perception and behaviour around sport and fitness in terms of inactivity.


To view the presentations from the day please click here. This link will take you to the Partners' Area of the Linking London website. You must be a Linking London member to access this section of the website and you will need your login name and password. If you do not know your username and password, please email To view the Linking London Sports guide (2017), please click here.


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