We are a top 25 UK University for Sport Exercise Science (The Guardian GUG 2020).
School of Applied Sciences students and graduates share their experiences and pass on tips to help you succeed.
"I wanted to be productive in my professional development outside of rugby and I saw an opportunity to get into higher education. Edinburgh Napier offered an entirely online degree, which was tailored for professional or ex professional athletes.
The university has been more than supportive with my sporting ambitions and was flexible around my profession. I have been granted extensions during tough periods, for example the World Cup or 6 Nations campaigns, when the requirements become much more intense regarding my rugby schedule. I have also had support from tutors helping me with 1-1 sessions if I have struggled with any learning online. I live in Edinburgh, so I can also use the campus for extra resource if need be.
Some of the highlights have been the leadership and psychology modules within the degree. I have done a lot of learning about myself and also how to manage leadership styles which I think will Be invaluable in my future. The degree has also highlighted the transferable skills from sports which are so relevant to business. These skills are ones I have learned subconsciously and will without doubt put me in good stead for a career after sport."
"I chose to study at Edinburgh Napier University as they offered an excellent programme that was tailored to fit the needs of my learning. The university are very supportive of Rugby in general and their collaboration with Scottish Rugby is excellent. They help develop coaches and players in Scotland via the Edinburgh Academy partnership, the UKSS Level 4 coaching course and also Super 6 teams.
The degree has made a significant difference to me and my career. It opened the door to many employment opportunities and contributed to the role I now have at New Zealand Rugby team. I am able to refer to theory of topics in my current role and have the confidence to challenge current practice based on what I learned on the course and the experience I gained in my research.
My advice to recent graduates would be to gain as much experience as possible through working but also volunteering in your community. Learning doesn’t stop so listen, read, watch and most of all ask people about what they do and why. Don’t be afraid to share your ideas. The more you share, the more the ideas will grow & develop and refine.”
Carmen Miravet Zaragozá
"Within a couple of weeks, I saw how well the Immunology modules in third and fourth year had prepared me, especially in immunology, and this put me in a very good position for the MSc. They gave a very strong and in-depth immunological background, which has made my life so much easier than it might have been!
I went to school in Spain, and when I came to apply for undergraduate courses, Edinburgh Napier stood out for the way the course was set up and the modules I would study. The lecturers at Edinburgh Napier were all really good, and compared to the other UK students on our MSc group, I had good notes and slides to help me settle into the Masters material.
Take advantage of the opportunities that are available to you. It’s a very supportive environment and the teaching at Edinburgh Napier is excellent and can put you in a great position for the next step after graduation."
A sponsored rider in the Enduro World Series, Geraint Florida-James sees Edinburgh Napier as a key player in the global mountain biking industry and that means great opportunities for students.
“We need to inspire the next generation as they’re the people that will be doing all the work. They are the ones with the energy, the new ideas, and a better grasp of new technology.
Scotland is a recognised world leader in mountain biking – a “global superstar” is what the International Mountain Biking Association has called us. That’s why we’ve built the Mountain Biking Centre for Scotland down at Glentress in the Scottish Borders. This centre is just going to get bigger, which in turn creates opportunities for our undergraduates.
The thing that sets Edinburgh Napier apart at undergraduate level is that it is applied. All the equipment and kit we use for research and commercially, our students can use for their projects. You can go down into our lab now and there will be undergraduate students using equipment worth hundreds of thousands of pounds. There is a strong theory basis to the course but you must be able to practically apply those theories.”
Having completed an undergraduate degree in Animal Biology at Edinburgh Napier, Asier from Vitoria in Spain had no doubts about studying his MSc here.
“The lecturers are here because they believe in what they are teaching and they want to get people excited about biology and conservation, which are important things right now in the world.
I knew the quality of the teaching would be good and that you count as a person and not just as a number or a face. The science facilities here are also good – the labs are amazing."
Dr Tony Westbury
Tony Westbury has been at the heart of the MSc Sport Performance Enhancement programme since it started, and the key to its success is hands-on, day-to-day practice with top athletes.
“We have a very, very hands-on ethos. Students spend a lot of time in the lab learning how to do useful stuff. They’re not reading about it, they’re actually doing it. They’re experiencing the day-to-day realities of what it’s like to work with professional athletes.
Particularly in physiology and biomechanics, this is so critical because it’s not just the collecting of data, it’s having a feel for the data so you can explain it to the layperson. You need to be a good scientist but you also need to be a good communicator so that you’re in a position to make a difference with your client.”