Student Sporting Insight #09 – Katie Martin

The United Kingdom has long been recognized as an exceptional destination to pursue a sport-related degree due to its rich sporting heritage, world-class academic institutions, and unparalleled industry connections.

In addition to more traditional sport related degrees such as Sport Management and Sport Science, many UK universities offer sport-specific programs that provide students with a unique opportunity to delve deeper into the intricacies of the sport they are truly passionate about.

With degrees such as Applied Golf Management, Football Coaching and Performance, and Cricket Coaching and Management, UK universities are at the forefront of offering diverse and specialized sport-related programs, making it an enticing choice for any aspiring sports enthusiast seeking an exceptional education.

In this Student Sport Insight, we speak to Katie, a passionate golfer who is currently enrolled on the Applied Golf Management Degree at the University of Birmingham. Katie provides an insight into her experiences with the program and the exciting opportunities that lie ahead in the world of golf.

Student Profile

Name: Katie Martin

Nationality: English

Institution: University of Birmingham

Degree(s): Applied Golf Management

Looking back to when you first applying to universities throughout the UK, what factors influenced your decision to apply to the University of Birmingham? Why did this university stand out above others?

I have always been passionate about sport and knew I wanted it to be an integral part of my day to day life, so attending a university that was ‘big on sport’ was very important to me.

I had attended The Golf College full time for 2 years but knew I didn’t want to pursue playing golf professionally and I was becoming increasingly interested in the business side of golf.

When I heard about the Applied Golf Management degree at the University of Birmingham, it felt as if it was tailor-made for me!

For those who are unfamiliar with the Applied Golf Management degree, could you provide some insights into the specific modules, practical experiences, and industry exposure that students can expect throughout the course? How does this program prepare students for a career in the golf industry?

The Applied Golf Management course is unique in what it offers. It is an academic degree incorporating sport science, business and golf-specific technical and industry knowledge.

There are a wide variety of modules which can open up a wide range of career or specialisation paths such as coaching, club fitting, sport psychology and club management as just a few examples.

Practical sessions are held at The Belfry – one of the top rated courses in the country with a long history of top level competition. We have access to the top professionals in their field and our lecturers are prolific authors ensuring we are continually challenged with up to date industry thinking.

The course also offers a path to full PGA status which can be a fantastic ‘door opener’ for launching careers.

Probably the most impactful part of the course are the industry placements. These are undertaken each summer during the three years of study and offer the opportunity for students to consider how their individual careers may progress. Last year I helped with Final Regional Qualifying held at the Fairmont as well as The Hero Cup where I organised volunteers and was responsible for registration and orientation of players and caddies.

The knowledge and experienced gained during these placements are invaluable and the contacts made often result in permanent offers of employment for graduates, offering a smooth transition into the industry.

Reflecting on your time studying Applied Golf Management, could you share a particular highlight or memorable experience from your course to date?

My personal highlight has been spending the summer up at St Andrews during the 150th Open! To be at the home of golf during at such a momentous time was a real privilege and an experience I will never forget.

I am currently on placement at Medinah Country Club in Illinois (home of a famous European Ryder Cup victory and future President’s cup venue) enjoying a different – but equally rewarding – experience. Neither of these would have been possible without the excellent contacts and networking opportunities as a result of the course.

As you near the completion of your degree in Applied Golf Management, what are your ambitions and career goals for the future? How do you believe this degree has equipped you with the necessary skills and knowledge to pursue these aspirations?

I feel the golf industry offers a huge range of opportunities and whilst there are particular areas I enjoy – such as the organisation of large scale tournaments – I am keeping my options open while I continue to find out more about the options available. I would love to work on one of the Tours, maybe with some travelling included.

Based on your experience, what advice would you give to future university applicants on what they should consider when selecting a course?

It is important to remember that Applied Golf Management is an academic degree aimed primarily at business pathways in the golf industry. UOB is a Russell group University and expectations are high so if it sounds like a ‘soft option’ – it most definitely isn’t!

It is a unique hybrid of sports science, golf-specific business management with technical modules on top. Having said that, it is a small, closely knit cohort so support is always available and some of the work is collaborative.

Want to study a sport-related degree at a UK university? We can help!

Renowned for its passion for sports, the UK offers a dynamic and immersive environment where students can combine their academic pursuits with their love for sports.

With a diverse range of specialized sport-related degrees on offer, including disciplines such as Sports Science, Sports Management, and Sports Psychology, aspiring students can tailor their education to suit their specific interests and career goals.

Through close ties with professional sports clubs, governing bodies, and sports organizations, students have unique opportunities for hands-on experience, internships, and networking, paving the way for a successful and rewarding career in the ever-evolving world of sports.

Learn more about the various sport-related degrees available at UK universities below.

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