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Durham University

Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences

Links with the Sport Industry


Our ethos in the Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences is to be at the forefront of ensuring that our research, our current students and graduates all have significant influence across the wide scope of sport and exercise industries.
To do so, we work closely with key international, national and local organisations that are leaders in areas spanning youth sport and physical activity; health, well-being and development; the sport media and cultural industries; and high-performance sport.

Specific examples of work with partner organisations include:

The Commonwealth Secretariat has played a lead role globally in enhancing the use of sport as a tool in advancing sustainable development amongst governments and other stakeholders, including the Commonwealth sports movement.

Staff from Durham have worked with the Commonwealth Secretariat to provide guidance on sport policy that is being utilised in countries around the world.This guidance is links closely to our ongoing research in this area, which is then fed back into teaching on specific modules on our courses.

We are very proud that one of our sport and exercise graduates, Gav Arnold, is CEO of the Great Britain Luge Association. It was, therefore, a great occasion when Gav returned to Durham in 2017 – luge in tow – to deliver the inaugural sport and exercise annual lecture to students and staff from across the department.

We continue to work with Gav and GB Luge, providing expertise to help develop a relatively under-resourced sport and undertaking staff and student research that seeks to help realise their potential into the future.

Durham and Chester-le-Street School Sport Partnership (SSP) provides a comprehensive programme of coaching, competitions and training activities within local schools. Through our link with them, opportunities for our students to undertake placements and dissertations with the SSP, and to hear from their staff about working in the sport industry, have been very beneficial.

So much so that, after graduating from our degree in 2017, Beth Wilson went straight into her first job in the sport industry working as part of the SSP Competition Team.

Our research pages provide further examples of the industry partners that we work with and the beneficial impact of these links in a variety of contexts.

Our students also benefit from links with links with sport and exercise industry partners in a variety of ways. Bringing in guest lecturers from organisations such as Sport England, Sported and the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme allows students to hear directly from policy makers and practitioners who are working on some of the most prominent sport and exercise issues in the field.


Students also have opportunities to work directly with industry partners, whether that be on placements, through dissertation projects or even as part of staff-led research projects.
Most importantly, our ongoing engagement with industry partners helps us ensure that our students are as well-positioned as possible to gain employment across different sport and exercise professions.