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Studying Sports Sciences

Sports scientists both learn about the theory and practise sport.
An article by Katharina Wagner in collaboration with Cornelia Weber

Studying Sports Sciences
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Sports Sciences

That is what it’s about

Football in the morning, then a lecture about the anatomical basics of the human musculoskeletal system, statistics in the afternoon followed by swimming practice: theory and practice go hand in hand in the degree course in Sports! In lectures and seminars, students acquire scientific, medical, historical, educational, psychological and sociological knowledge and deal with the science of training and movement. They cover the theoretical principles of individual types of sports, learn statistics and scientific research methods. In practical courses, ball sports, track and field athletics, gymnastics and other disciplines – from endurance training through to rhythmic gymnastics – are learnt. Students do training on their own. In addition to examinations and extended essays, there are also practical tests. "Questions are not just asked about athletic performance," says the president of the Deutsche Vereinigung für Sportwissenschaft (German Society of Sport Science), Kuno Hottenrott. "In trial teaching, students also have to demonstrate how a specific sports technique can be taught systematically." The first semesters of the Bachelor's degree course are similar everywhere. They are different later on depending on what subjects the higher education institution has decided to focus on. Many degree courses in Sports focus on one or two topics, such as sports management, prevention, competitive sports or sports and leisure. At some universities, however, students choose their own specialisation in addition to a common basic degree course. Sports is often also a dual-subject Bachelor's degree course and can be combined with another subject like Business Administration. Degree courses that focus solely on Sports Science are increasingly rare – except for prospective teachers.

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suitability, obstacles, misconceptions

Sports students need to be jacks of all trades. They are tested in nearly every sport taught at the university. The more disciplines school pupils have tried out, the less stressful exam time is: the less time is needed for physical training, the more time can be spent on revising theory. Students should also have good English skills: the research literature is written mostly in English. A practical aptitude test generally has to be passed to get a place on the degree course. The sports tests at the higher education institutions are held once or twice a year. In part, students can apply at different locations with the test results, but not every higher education institution recognises every test. Applicants usually need to demonstrate that they are accomplished in different disciplines on one or two days. These are often: track and field athletics, gymnastics, swimming, a team sport and a racquet sport like tennis. Students should certainly practice sports that they are not so good at beforehand. "Sometimes students have to prepare and perform dance choreographies," says Hottenrott. Many universities have course entrance restrictions in addition to the aptitude test. Often a grade in the two range on the higher education entrance qualification is sufficient.

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