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BSc (Hons) Sport Performance Analysis

Clearing

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UCAS code: 
C603
Institution code: 
S82
Location: 
Ipswich

Duration: 

Three years full-time

Four and a half years part-time.

Typical Offer: 

104 UCAS tariff points (or above), BCC (A-Level), DMM (BTEC).

 

If you don’t meet the above entry requirements, we may still be able to consider you. If you’re interested in applying, call our Clearing Hotline to discuss your suitability for study. 

Introduction

BSc (Hons) Sport Performance Analysis is based around providing objective feedback to athletes, team sport players and coaches, helping to develop performance, as well as the tactical and technical development of players and teams. Other specialist roles in performance analysis include player scouting and opposition analysis. The degree will first teach you the fundamental principles of the career, leading to the most advanced, research informed practice currently used in professional sport – from creating statistical data driven reports and presentations, to individual athlete, player and team performance profiles.  

 

Using video and data analysis, a sport performance analyst needs to tell athletes, players and coaches what actually happened during a performance, instead of relying on the memories of those athletes, players, coaches and sports science staff alone. You will learn to work with world-leading technologies during the course, which are used extensively in the football Premier League, international and Premiership Rugby union, other leading European sport leagues, as well as other global professional sports. 

 

It is also vitally important that you possess a sound understanding of the founding disciplines of sport and exercise science: physiology, biomechanics and psychology. This is because our work as performance analysts is often based in at least one of those core disciples. For example, sport psychology will help you understand how to best work with athletes, players and coaches, and physiology will help you understand the physical performance metrics often used in team sports. And some performance analysis is based on highly specialist analysis of movement and/or technique, so an understanding of biomechanics will be vital. 

Course modules

By studying with us, you benefit from our enviable industry connections with elite sport and exercise science companies such as STATSports and Qualisys. We are a global university partner of both brands. We have outstanding specialist facilities in our Human Performance Laboratories and Performance Analysis Suite, where you can develop employment-ready practical skills, and apply the knowledge you learn on the degree.  

 

Throughout your degree we support you as an individual, to make sure you make the right choices for your learning and eventual graduate career. Since our state-of-the-art facilities mirror the settings found in the best professional environments, you leave our university with valuable skills demanded by both elite sport performance science. Some of our recent graduates have secured work for specialist, high-profile organisations, thanks to the expertise attained during their studies. These include a number of Premier League football teams, international hockey, and elite sport science support roles in the USA. 

Full downloadable information regarding all University of Suffolk courses, including Key Facts, Course Aims, Course Structure and Assessment, is available in the Definitive Course Record.

Introduction to Performance Analysis in Sport

“Performance analysis is an objective way of recording performance so that key elements of that performance can be quantified in a valid and consistent manner” (International Society of Performance Analysis in Sport). Performance analysis is used in a variety of ways, in a variety of professional sporting environments. Performance analysis enables athletes, coaches and exercise professionals to objectively appraise performance characteristics and tactics of sporting play/activity. In order to achieve this valuable insight into the effectiveness of sports performance, the professional analyst must possess knowledge of the tactical and technical requirements of that sport, as well as understanding the methods and tools used to record, measure and analyze performance. 

Introduction to Sport and Exercise Physiology

To understand why exercise can benefit both health and physical performance, one must first understand how the body responds to exercise. Sport and exercise scientists of many professional disciplines are often required to investigate cell, tissue, organ and system physiology, drawing rational and objective conclusions from a variety of tests, measurements and data. Where you eventually apply this knowledge can be incredibly varied, ranging from laboratory research of molecular or cell physiology, clinical settings of cardiac or respiratory physiology, strength and conditioning of athletes, or analyzing data for talent identification and team sport performance analysis. Therefore, it is not only necessary to understand how a person’s physiology responds and adapts to exercise, but to also understand how we make valid and reliable measurements of performance, as these provide the foundation of sport and exercise physiology practice.    

Introduction to Sport and Exercise Psychology

Psychological variables contribute to people's engagement in sport, exercise, and physical activity, their enjoyment in these contexts, and their success in achieving their individual goals by performing these tasks. It is therefore not surprising that sport and exercise psychology (SEP) is an equal partner compared to other disciplines in sport sciences.  

 

In this module, students learn to identify SEP as a scientific field and familiarize themselves with SEP as a potential future work specialization. Since this is an introductory module, students will learn to understand how sports and exercise experiences can be analysed from a psychological point of view, which important variable clusters are examined in SEP and how these clusters are largely related to one another.  

 

Two sets of variables that students will study in more detail are motivational and emotional concepts. Both types of concepts are important to understand why, and to what end people practice sport, exercise, and physical activity, and how enjoyable these tasks are for them. 

Introduction to Sport and Exercise Biomechanics

This module will provide students with a thorough understanding of the critical principles of sports and exercise biomechanics. Students will explore the core principles of mechanics and employ this knowledge in sports and exercise motion analysis. Students will investigate how the abstract principles of mechanics are used to quantify human motion. Furthermore, the module will introduce students to the many applications of biomechanics in sports and exercise, such as enhancing performance, developing sporting technique and sports equipment design. 

Practical Skills for Exercise Testing and Prescription

A successful career in a sport sciences-based discipline requires the individual to demonstrate a range of core competencies, including the application of scientific knowledge and technical skills; an understanding of research; self-evaluation and professional development; communication; problem-solving and impact; management of self, others and practice; an understanding of the delivery environment, and professional relationships and behaviours. Being able to recognise and start to develop their abilities in these core competencies, will allow students to begin their trajectory towards becoming employable graduates.  

Science in Sport

All sports science students must possess a thorough understanding of the principles of scientific enquiry. The scientific method and logic, research and analysis techniques, questioning and communication, form the foundation of all science-based disciplines. It is also vitally important that a student identify and acknowledge ethical issues in scientific enquiry. Students must demonstrate an understanding of the value of critical thinking; a thorough comprehension of the scientific method and how it is applied to their disciplines, and potential graduate professions. 

Delivering Effective Performance Analysis

Once a student has a comprehensive awareness of the methodological principles of performance analysis, and a sound skillset with computing technologies used to collect, process, analyse and present their work, they then face a critically important set of challenges. Great performance analysis work ensures that every stage of the work is both efficient and effective for the performer, their coach, or a team’s understanding of enhanced performance. This requires the performance analyst to understand the differences between analysis that is performed to provide information for information sake, and analysis that may meaningfully contribute to the performance aims of an athlete or team. This demands that the student develops both a critically analytical mind when deciding on their methods of performance analysis, and a critical awareness of the rules, demands and opportunities of the sport they support. 

Elite Performance Analysis Software

Computer based software solutions form the fundamental toolset of the contemporary performance analyst working in elite sport. The main tasks of an elite performance analyst involve the utilisation of specific software solutions for video editing, coding, collecting bespoke data, analysing and managing datasets, alongside combining subjective and objective information into engaging and interactive documents and presentations. All tasks must be completed in an unpredictable and time-pressured environment. To be an effective sports performance analyst at the elite level, competency across all of these tasks is required in conjunction with an ability to problem solve and develop bespoke solutions when necessary. This module delivers the training required to achieve a high level of competency when using elite sports performance analysis software and effectively apply software-based skills in an elite sporting environment.

Sport and Exercise Physiology

A sound understanding of exercise physiology is essential to explain the reasons why exercise may be beneficial for health and sports performance. This module develops the fundamental human and exercise physiology knowledge gained during Level 4. In Sport and Exercise Physiology, content focuses on developments in research-derived evidence, detailing how molecular, cellular, tissue, organ and system levels of human physiology respond and adapt to sport and exercise stimuli. The ability to learn from contemporary research evidence is vitally important to those wanting to further advance specialist knowledge and apply research-informed practice in the field of exercise or sports physiology.  

Sport and Exercise Psychology

Psychological variables contribute to people's engagement in sport, exercise, and physical activity, their enjoyment in these contexts, and their success in achieving their individual goals by performing these tasks. It is therefore not surprising that sport and exercise psychology (SEP) is an equal partner compared to other disciplines in sport sciences. 

 

In this module, students learn how important aspects that define psychological experiences are related. This will help them better understand concepts related to performance and social behaviour, the impact coach leadership has on athletes, and self-regulation. Students will appreciate that psychological variables interact with one another in a dynamic network that, when combined with other physical and physiological variables, explains athletic experiences and performance. 

Sport and Exercise Biomechanics

Biomechanics is the study of movement, which necessitates its practice as an applied science. The aim of this module is to further students’ theoretical knowledge of human motion analysis and apply this in an even more hands-on learning environment. Students will explore the practical aspects of kinetic and kinematic motion analyses, and consider how these techniques are used to define movement analysis in sports and exercise. Students will go on to explore other laboratory research techniques essential to the real-world study of biomechanics. This will also involve introductory considerations of the interaction between the exercise/sports performer, their equipment, and the environment. Students will explore the neural determinants of motor learning, how new movement patterns are developed and performed with greater efficiency to facilitate improved sporting performance. 

Research Methods and Statistics

Graduates of the sports sciences need to understand how research, experimentation and numerical analysis of data drive their professions forward. This module prepares students for further study and employment by providing an understanding of what science is and how it works, and of the importance of inferential statistical analysis of scientific data. It also prepares students for the Dissertation modules in later years of study. This module will develop students’ working knowledge of the principles of scientific research, the planning and design of experiments and various methodologies, and the interpretation and application of statistical techniques. Students will refine skills for literature searching, and the preparation of papers for publication and/or oral presentation to the scientific, sports and general public communities. 

Dissertation for Sport Performance Analysis

The Dissertation will provide an opportunity for individuals to develop an area of scientific interest arising from their sport performance analysis discipline. It will enable students to further develop skills learnt throughout the programme such as enquiry-based learning, problem solving, critical thinking and reflection. Students will engage with the principles of primary research and/or literature review to further their understanding of the evidence base. This module will enable students to utilise intellectual, decision-making, and possibly practical skills in novel situations, and provide a mechanism by which students can demonstrate autonomy and self-direction, whilst undertaking a real problem-solving approach to a research topic. The focus of the Dissertation will be a research-based study, which will either be original research (including data collection and hypothesis testing) or a review of the scientific literature. 

Pre, Live and Post Game Analysis

Pre, live and post-match analysis forms the foundational elements of an elite performance analyst’s workflow. In elite sporting environments analysts provide players and staff with detailed information on the upcoming opposition team prior to a match so that effective pre-match preparation and strategizing can be conducted. Live analysis can provide coaches and staff with contextual information to support decision making in-game. While post-match analysis provides an in-depth evaluation of a team’s performance. A typical workflow for an elite performance analyst will involve cycling through the pre, live and post-match analysis tasks on a weekly basis, therefore workflows need to pre-planned and executed with a high degree of accuracy and efficiency.  

Talent Identification and Recruitment

An emerging role of the contemporary performance analyst is the dedicated undertaking of talent identification and recruitment to support coaches and management staff. The principal responsibility of the talent identification and recruitment process is to identify athletes with the potential to develop and excel. In team sports the process of talent identification is complexified due to the numerous different attributes that contribute to the overall measurement of performance, these attributes can be derived from a number of broad categories including physiological, psychological, technical and tactical performance. To inform the talent identification and recruitment process performance analysts need to apply effective data management and analytical skills alongside compiling statistical and visual reports to discover patterns and generate insights. This module is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills to undertake analysis tasks that can support the talent identification and recruitment process in elite sporting environments. 

Psychosocial Performance Analysis

Psychological variables contribute to people's engagement in sport, exercise, and physical activity, their enjoyment in these contexts, and their success in achieving their individual goals by performing these tasks. It is therefore not surprising that sport and exercise psychology (SEP) is an equal partner compared to other disciplines in sport sciences.  

 

In this module, students learn to analyse sports contexts and practices from a psychological point of view. They will learn to use different tools like interviews, questionnaires, and observations. Students will learn where to find information, how materials are adapted to different contexts, how information is collected, how data is analysed, and how results are presented. In addition, students will learn to analyse psychological challenges in sport exercises and develop basic procedures to adapt these challenges and facilitate the strengthening of psychological skills.

Physical Conditioning for Elite Athletes and Team Sports

Achieving success in sport requires athletes to be conditioned to cope with the rigours of training and competition. Strength and conditioning specialists need to prepare athletes to compete in peak condition, which is a complex task, and so it is vitally important that they understand relevant physiology to enable effective design and implementation of testing, training and recovery programmes. This module will develop sport and exercise physiology, and strength and conditioning content that we have learned at earlier levels of study. We need to explore why we respond and adapt to training stimuli, at a slightly deeper level including advanced physiology, and importantly learn how to apply that knowledge so we can better support athletes in a variety of sports.  

 

Therefore, we will need to review how we can test/monitor our athlete/player performance, and when we should test/monitor them. In order to design effective training programmes we must understand the time-course of a number of physiological adaptations, as performance will only improve if the training stimuli is able to produce the adaptations that enable performance to improve. We do this by revisiting the fundamental principles of frequency, intensity, time and type, and ensure they are utilized in a way that evidence tells us should lead to improvement for the specific performance requirements of the athlete’s/player’s sport. And finally, we need to review how we avoid ‘overtraining’ athletes/players, by making sure that training load is managed, and recovery is as well planned for as the exercise training sessions.  

Career opportunities

Your employability is boosted due to our blend of education, research-based learning and applied experience of elite performance analysis techniques.

Our current students benefit from placement opportunities with football clubs in the Premier League and Football League, within the Netball Super League, Olympic Sports and other local organisations. Graduates have also secured fantastic careers, with former students currently working at Arsenal FC, Manchester United FC, Ipswich Town and Minnesota United FC.

Although you focus on performance analysis during the course, your skills are transferrable, opening up a whole spectrum of opportunities across the sport and exercise sciences. Your exposure to elite performance analysis, coaching and cutting-edge research environments will ensure you and your CV are ‘career ready’.

Fees and finance

2021-22   

  • Full-time Tuition fee: £9,250 p.a.
  • Part-time Tuition fee: £1,454 per 20 credit module (Please contact the Infozone for further information).
  • International Tuition fee: £12,150 p.a. (plus a Lab fee of £1,575) 

2022-23*

  • Full-time tuition fee: £9,250 p.a
  • Part-time tuition fee: £1,454 per 20 credits (please contact the Infozone for further information)
  • Full-time International tuition fee: £14,000 p.a

Further Information

At University of Suffolk, your tuition fees provide access to all the usual teaching and learning facilities that you would expect. However, there may be additional costs associated with you course that you will need to budget for. 

* 2022-23 tuition fees are subject to change in line with inflation, or a government change in the fee cap.

Entry requirements

Staff

Lecturer in Sport Performance Analysis

Senior Lecturer in Sport Performance Analysis

Associate Professor in Sport and Exercise Science

Lecturer In Strength & Conditioning

Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Psychology

Associate Dean for Research and Head of Sports and Performance

Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Biomechanics; Course Leader for BSc (Hons) Sport & Exercise Science

Senior Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Physiology

Senior Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Biomechanics

Sport Science Technician

Facilities and Resources

Our students enjoy brilliant access to world-leading research and professional practice equipment. As well as performance analysis and coaching field based sessions, you will also learn in our modern Performance Analysis Suite and Human Performance Laboratory, based right on the waterfront in the James Hehir Building. As well as being a global university partner for both STATSports and Qualisys, for sports global positioning systems and human motion capture technologies, you will enjoy full use of Sportscode and ChyronHego Coach Paint performance analysis software (to analyse training and game performance), and highly specialist camera and filming hardware.

There are many other types of specialist equipment, and we pride ourselves on giving you access to all of our specialist equipment. You get to personally use everything in our Human Performance Laboratory during your studies (not just watch us demonstrate it). You will learn by doing!

 

View the below video to find out more about our brand new Health and Wellbeing building, opening early 2022.