Undergraduate student Tom talks about his experiences on the BSc Sport and Exercise Sciences course.
Well, I've been studying Sport and Exercise Sciences at the University of Birmingham the best part about the course, the thing that attracted me to it anyway is the fact that in first year you get a really broad basis of everything that’s happening. You go into general sport psychology, metabolism, exercise physiology - you end up figuring out what kind of route you want to go down. There are a lot of different universities to have a look around and I based my decision on the course itself. I mean, I enjoyed Biology and P.E. so it kind of made sense, and I did psychology, so it all fitted into this course which was perfect.
The first lectures are very much based about introducing you to uni life. Obviously, it's a big step from college to university. So they wanted to get you into what you are going to be doing so you weren't just thrown in at the deep end. They do kind of introduce you to it all so you know what to expect. When I first came to university I moved into my halls and the first thing I heard about the sport here was that they have their intraleagues. So that's between your halls and your societies, they've got all different teams. Within your first two weeks here you go to a Sports Fair where all the different teams at the uni have a stand and you can sign up for a trial.
A kind of out-of-the-ordinary event that happened here was when Vernon Kay brought his American Allstars team. Obviously, he's big into his American Football and he used to play as a kid and he got all his old friends together and, even though they are all about 40, they wanted to take on our American Football team which is the best in the country, especially at university level. It was all televised by ITV, they made a big deal out of it. They had all the cheerleaders going on, they had a few fireworks - it was a pretty big event. They got everyone together, everyone wanted to go down and watch.
Flickr gallery for the Vernon Kay Manchester Allstars vs Birmingham Lions match
I think student life in general is all about that kind of balance between the social and the academic side and I think the uni here helps you get that balance really nicely.
Throughout the first and second years for the lab practical modules that you take part in you kind of get an overall view of all the different facilities here. For the third year you really get hands-on, especially for your third year project which gets you into the whole idea of a laboratory and the research that goes on. You can tailor the course towards your third year to be more specialised. I thoroughly enjoyed helping out with the labs that the lecturers do here. It's made me see that I want to go down that route. I want to hopefully get in to some postdoctoral research, hopefully doing a PhD. So the course itself has set me up quite nicely for that.