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Sport management vs exercise and sports science or performance: Which one is right for me?

Have you ever heard the saying ‘do something you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life’? In the world of sport, this is a very real possibility. With countless opportunities available in coaching, managing, educating, and consulting, there are plenty of ways to turn your passion for sport into a lifelong career. Better yet, opportunities in South East Queensland’s sporting industry are set to continue growing with the advent of the Brisbane 2032 Summer Olympics.

In an industry where the sky’s the limit, you’re going to need to make some pretty strategic decisions to pave a pathway to your dream job. One important step is deciding what to study, and for sport lovers, this decision usually boils down to a Bachelor of Sport Management, a Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science, or a Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Performance. While these programs are often closely compared, they are quite different and present varied career paths for students after graduation.

In this blog, we're breaking down Bond’s Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science (CRICOS 080641D), and Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Performance (CRICOS 0100510), as well as the unique learning and career opportunities that can arise from each degree.

Explore the Bachelor of Sport Management

If you’re ready to dive into a career that applies contemporary business skills to the global sports industry, then the Bachelor of Sport Management is for you. Covering everything from sports law to marketing, public relations, and sport development, this program is designed to give you a well-rounded understanding of local, national, and international sports organisations and the fundamental skills required to succeed in this industry.

In some ways, the Bachelor of Sport Management is a specialised version of a business degree. You’ll study foundational business subjects like accounting, marketing, and business law, alongside sports-specific subjects that together, develop a detailed understanding of sport management.

It’s safe to say that if you have a zest for organising, marketing, advocating, or leading, and are looking to combine this with your love for sports, Bond’s Bachelor of Sport Management is an ideal choice.

Explore the Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science

If you’re less into business and more about science, the Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science might be a better fit for you. Delivered by the Faculty of Health Sciences & Medicine, this program is focused on human anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry. You will frequently find yourself in Bond’s state-of-the-art laboratories gaining a practical understanding of health and fitness. You’ll have the chance to observe and deliver athletic testing, performance analysis, and strength and conditioning coaching for elite athletes. In simple terms, this degree breaks down the scientific nitty-gritty of sports and shows you how to use this information to assist athletes in various corporate and community settings.

A standout feature of Bond’s Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science is that it is fully accredited with Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA). This means that our subjects align with nationally determined industry standards, and graduates are recognised as Accredited Exercise Scientists.

Explore the Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Performance

If you’re looking for a program that balances both the business and science of sport, then the Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Performance could be the one for you. The program teaches the basic and applied sciences relating to health, fitness, and sports performance at all levels. However, it also gives you the flexibility to tailor your studies to suit your own unique interests, by choosing electives in subdisciplines such as biomechanics, exercise testing, or physiology and biochemistry; or in complementary areas such as entrepreneurship and innovation, sport management, or tourism and events management. 

This program is an intensely hands-on and practical learning experience, and is delivered at the world-renowned Bond Institute of Health and Sport, where you’ll be working with elite athletes and professional sporting teams. You’ll also gain extensive industry experience through professional placements and internships with sporting, fitness, and education organisations. 

How are these degrees similar?

The most obvious similarity between these programs is their focus on sport. They all explore general principles from the health and business industries with a sporting lens to provide a unique and tailored insight into your chosen discipline.

Another crossover point between the programs is the internship opportunities accessible to students. Bond’s partnerships with large national and international sporting organisations such as the World Surf League, the Australian Institute of Sport, and Australian Rugby Union, are not program-specific. This means that regardless of whether your program is in business or health sciences, you’ll still benefit from these relationships, and will be eligible to apply for internships. Internships put your knowledge to the test and offer a true taste of working in the fast-paced sports industry.

One final similarity between the Bachelor of Sport Management, Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science and the Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Performance, is that all three programs are taught by industry experts. In sport management, you can expect to be taught by specialists in sport, law, business, and public relations. In exercise and sports science, you’ll learn from highly regarded scientists and exercise physiologists, ensuring that the content you learn is directly informed by current industry practice. Studying exercise and sports performance will give you access to real-world science, sport, entrepreneurship, and business experts. This means that all three of our programs provide the chance to network with leading professionals and develop industry-relevant skills.

How are these degrees different and what are some of the potential career outcomes?

The major difference between these degrees is that the Bachelor of Sport Management sits in the Bond Business School, given its focus on business and managerial principles in a sporting context. The Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science and Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Performance, however, sit in the Faculty of Health Sciences and Medicine because of their focus on the health and science-related aspects of athletic performance.

More broadly, these two faculties reflect the inherently different nature of these programs. While all three degrees essentially teach you how to support athletes in achieving peak performance, a sport management graduate will do so through activities like securing sponsorships for sporting clubs, marketing the performance of athletes, or managing the training schedules of sporting teams. Sport management alumni may find themselves in careers as sports consultants, commercial partnerships executives, or business development managers, with the scope to work across other diverse sport and communication positions.

On the other hand, exercise and sports science graduates work to optimise athletic performance using a scientific, research-led approach. Their day-to-day tasks may include drafting training schedules based on the latest industry knowledge, integrating new exercises in the lead-up to competitions, or evaluating datasets to determine trends and techniques for peak performance. Graduates in this field are constantly looking for ways to take their athletes to the next level using intricate scientific knowledge and industry experience. Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science alumni can anticipate finding work as accredited exercise scientists, strength and conditioning coaches, athletic program coordinators, or health and fitness consultants – just to name a few potential careers.

Many of these same careers are also available to Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Performance alumni, who can then use their electives and area of specialisation to pursue careers in community health and fitness, corporate health, aged care, disability, health education or strength and conditioning.

What now?

At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that the program you choose is completely up to you and should reflect your interests and goals. The Bachelor of Sport Management, Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science and Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Performance will all empower you with the right knowledge to succeed in the sports industry and excel in your area of choice.

If you need more help with your decision, your Regional Manager is always available to discuss your options.

Compare Bond’s range of sports degrees

Explore the Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science, the Bachelor of Sport Management, the Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Performance, and more.


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