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Gaining experience

Sport and leisure

It can be very helpful to gain related work experience to complement your degree.

The more experience across different areas you can gain, the stronger your applications will be. As well as providing you with more knowledge, gaining experience will also help you to decide which specific direction you wish to take.

Think broadly what kind of sector you want to get into and where you enjoy working; what group of people you want to work with and then research the sector you want to try to get into.

The key to success is to prepare thoroughly, do your research and organise your experience in good time. 


Types of Opportunities

Below are some examples of the different types of opportunities to gain experience while you study.

Placements will give you a long-term look at an organisation, and help you to build contacts and experience.

On some degrees, work placements are part of the programme, whilst on others you can choose to complete a placement as one of your modules. Should you choose to undertake either your first point of contact is your placement office in your Faculty.

Learn more about taking a placement

Internships and volunteering are valuable ways of gaining experience.

Try youth sport work experience if you are interested in coaching, or find an opportunity to staff a sports event if you want to pursue a management role. It may also be possible to gain marketing or events management experience, perhaps through University societies or through voluntary work. It is also worth considering the voluntary sector for work experience.

The Careers and Employability service offers current students and graduates access to a Virtual Volunteering Bank which provides local opportunities to undertake alongside your studies. Similarly you can access these opportunities through the paper-based bank located in the Careers and Employability Centre.

Learn more about our Volunteering Team

Places to gain experience could include summer vacation coaching positions. The University of Portsmouth Sports and Recreation offers a range of opportunities for students to get involved in coaching and officiating, developing their skills and work in the local community.

 University of Portsmouth’s Sports Volunteering Hub

This is an opportunity for you to spend time with an experienced professional and learn about what they do and their role.

Whatever experience you gain will help your understanding of the skills required in the sport and leisure field. 

Tips to build experience

  • Join one of the many university societies to gain new skills, boost your CV and improve your job opportunities when you graduate.
  • Seize opportunities to work with a different variety of clients and customers as this will help you to understand the target group you would like to work with in the future.
  • Volunteer in local sports community projects during your summer vacation.
  • Sign-up with coaching and refereeing opportunities with the University of Portsmouth Sports and Recreation Department.


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