Our programme provides graduates with a platform to progress into a variety of roles.

During his time at UCLan, Adam Crossley completed a BSc in Personal Fitness Training, before advancing onto an MSc in Sport and Exercise Science. He also gained experience in both professional football and rugby league, eventually securing a role with West Ham United FC in 2012.

He commented: "My whole time at UCLan helped me develop considerably into the role I'm currently working in at West Ham United's Academy. Before I undertook my Master's I was offered an opportunity at another University, but I felt the opportunity to continue to learn off staff like Dr Steve Atkins and Dr Howard Hurst was an excellent one.

"Not only did it develop me academically, but there were also numerous opportunities to gain experience in the field. These could include testing elite athletes coming into the University or gaining part-time placements with professional clubs. These opportunities were vital in my development and ultimately helped me decide on my career path."

During his third year at UCLan, Adam worked once a week with Wigan Warriors in their Academy Strength & Conditioning Department. He also gained further experience, shadowing the Lead Sport Scientist at Preston North End Football Club and also completed a work placement at a local primary school.

Adam said this was crucial in his personal development: "I initially worked with a number of different year groups, once every week for half a year. When I completed my placement I was given the opportunity to stay there, running the after-school football club. I did this for two more years and it was vital for me in developing key skills such as organisation, group speaking and time-keeping skills."

After finishing his Master's, Adam was offered a year-long placement at West Ham United. His main role was leading the GPS analysis at their Academy: "It was the start of the EPPP (Elite Player Performance Plan) and the Academy had never had their own GPS set-up, so I came in to develop that area," said Adam.

"Fortunately for me this placement turned into a full-time role and the position has developed considerably. I'm now in my third year at the club and my job includes leading on the analysis of the GPS (matches and training), filming and analysis of training sessions and the monitoring of training load. The introduction of the EPPP definitely helped me get a placement and I think its introduction will help newly-graduated students get more opportunities too.

"The Sport Science Department at the Academy have developed an excellent student placement programme, and I’m glad to say I've been able to work with Dr Atkins again to give UCLan students the opportunity to learn at West Ham United Academy on a year-long placement. Working with our excellent department I know will have a significant positive impact on their development."

UCLan SENS graduate Sam Marsh received national exposure for his invention which turned a tyre into a high intensity interval training device. The Jigsaw Flipper was subsequently incorporated into Wigan Warriors Academy teams' training sessions.

He said: "UCLan is fantastic - big enough to feel like it's a great institution, but small enough that you seem to know everyone. I graduated with a 2:1 in Sport and Exercise Science, and enjoyed a placement at McLaren's Formula 1 team in the health and wellbeing centre during my studies which inspired my dissertation topic.

"My course was fantastic and gave me the knowledge I needed to go off on my own and start my company. I've never heard of lecturers who will happily meet with you outside of lectures and are generally happy to help with any problems you may face - plus their knowledge is incredible.

"I'm currently the Managing Director of Jigsaw Fitness Ltd. We design and build innovative fitness equipment for anyone from athletes to inactive people. We aim to engage through competition and by generating scores during functional training sessions.

"I started the company during my 2nd year at UCLan in 2012 and have since taken three products to market. We currently have some very exciting clients including the English institute of Sport.

"I'd like to be successful with what I've done, by building some truly remarkable products and experiences for people to enjoy. I have so many ideas of things I want to do across such a wide selection of markets. It's a very exciting time and I'd like to thank UCLan for its input along my journey."

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