Learn the benefits of joining a UK University performance sport programme and how The Student Sport Company can help you identify the right one for you.

When choosing a university, student-athletes have much to consider. It’s essential to find an institution that supports their athletic development without compromising their academic goals. As they begin to explore UK university sports, they may come across terms like “performance” or “focus” sports. But what do these terms mean?

Understanding the significance of these performance or focus sports programs can be crucial for students in selecting the universities that best align with their academic and athletic aspirations.

So what are Performance Sports?

While the name of the programme may differ between “performance” or “focus” sports at different universities, the definition is the same.

Performance sports will be a select sport, or group of sports, that are given priority status within the athletic department of their university.

These performance sport programmes will then receive more resources, funding, and support in comparison to other sports at the same university.

This could mean that performance sport teams are led by experienced coaches, have access to specialist facilities and train more frequently that other programmes at the same university.

The benefits of joining a UK University Performance Sports Team

For student-athletes who want to compete at the highest possible level alongside their UK university degree, there are numerous benefits to joining a performance sport programme such as:

High Level Coaches

Many universities employ experienced, well qualified coaches to lead their sports teams who are dedicated to developing athletes’ skills and performance.


Many performance sport programme will provide their student-athletes with access to specialist on campus sport facilities, allowing them to train and compete in an elite environment alongside their degree.

Sport Scholarships

UK Universities performance sport teams are able to reward talented students with scholarships. These sport scholarships can reduce the overall cost of tuition and provide financial support to help cover the costs relating to training, travel, and competition.

Competitive Opportunities

Performance programmes will typically compete in the highest divisions of UK university sport and also offer student-athletes the opportunity to compete in additional external leagues and events alongside their studies.

How to choose the right UK University for your sport

When student-athletes are researching and shortlisting universities that best meet their athletic needs, they may wish to consider the following:

University’s Recent Performance in Their Sport

Understand the university’s recent achievements and standings in your sport so you can identify the competitiveness and success of their athletic programs.

Level of Coaching and Facilities Provided

Research the quality of coaching staff and university’s sporting facilities available to ensure you will have the resources and expertise to excel in your sport.

Scholarship Opportunities and Financial Support

Evaluate the scholarship options and financial support provided by the university to help you manage the costs associated with being a student-athlete.

The Balance Between Academic and Athletic Commitments

Assess the university’s ability to balance academic rigor and athletic training by reading testimonials and speaking with current and former students.

Performance sports programs at UK universities offer student-athletes the chance to pursue their sporting passions while receiving a top-quality education.

By choosing the right institution, students can benefit from excellent resources, support, and competitive opportunities, setting the stage for future success both on and off the field.

How The Student Sport Company can help you identify the right UK University performance sport programme for you!

With years of experience in working in UK university, The Student Sport Company are ideally equipped to help you on your journey in identifying the right university for your needs.

As part of our free service, we can help you discover the top ranked universities in your sport, connect with UK University Coaches and Apply for UK University Sport Scholarships.

Please follow our social media channels to keep up to date with all things sport related across the Higher Education sector!