Natalie Wrenn

Sport and Exercise for Health BSc

The lecturers are excellent – very easy to talk to, quick to respond to emails and there is an ‘open door’ policy, so you can drop in for a chat.

Why did you choose Kent?

First, I was attracted to the course because it allowed me to study the science and the therapy sides of sport, which not many other degrees offered. Also, I loved the campus when I visited and it’s not too far from Essex where I am from.

How is the course going?

I love it – I don’t want to leave. I had a clear idea of what I wanted to do and the course is definitely living up to my expectations. It’s quite a new course and I quite enjoy being part of its development, it is definitely growing. It is a broad course with a very good practical side; I think studying therapy and science could give me an edge, career wise.

The facilities are great too, we have labs and therapy rooms and the library is wonderful, it has a real sense of history as well as all the up-to-date technology.

Do you have a favourite module?

Exercise, Prescription, Referral and Rehabilitation. I hope to go into cardiac rehabilitation when I graduate and this module is about disease and how you prevent it or overcome it through exercise and lifestyle changes as well as with medication.

What about the lecturers?

The lecturers are excellent – very easy to talk to, quick to respond to emails and there is an ‘open door’ policy, so you can drop in for a chat when they are in their offices. Or, if you prefer, you can book a tutorial.

And your fellow students?

There’s a good mix of nationalities, we all have shared interests, get on well and are quite laid back. I am working on creating a society for all sports students, hopefully lots of fun and also some mentoring between the students. It’s been quite hard work but it would be a nice legacy.

What attracted you to a career in cardiac rehabilitation?

When I came to the Open Day I heard about it and thought it sounded interesting, I did some more research and my interest grew. I am very lucky because one of the lecturers here, Steve Meadows, has a lot of connections in the area and he was able to help me get work experience in cardiac rehabilitation. I have been working in the area at exercise classes all over Medway for a year now and really enjoy the work. My dissertation is also on this subject.

Tell me about your dissertation.

In the classes I work in, when a patient arrives we ask them to do a walking test to see how fit they are and then, after the classes, we test the patient to see how much they have improved. My dissertation assesses how beneficial the walking test is, and asks whether different tests should be used. It will have a very practical application and it will help the people I am doing my work experience with – they are very interested in anything I find out. It’s good to be doing a piece of academic research, which could have an immediate application.

Do you need to do a Master’s for this career?

You don’t, but I would like to continue my studies for a bit longer and hope to do a Master’s in cardiac rehabilitation. Unfortunately, Kent doesn’t offer one at the moment, so I will look elsewhere. It’s a big decision and I haven’t made my mind up yet.

What about Kent’s social life?

I think it is good, the student bar on campus has events every night, Cargo is a good place to eat and there is a cinema just across the road. There are lots of societies, and you can start your own – my housemates and I started a society called Get Crafty.

What advice would you give to somebody considering studying sport?

If you love sport, go for it, whether or not you have studied sport before. Work hard, even in your first year; it’s a good foundation for the rest of the course. Also, if you live in shared accommodation, create a cleaning rota! Seriously, if you have any problems whatsoever just talk to someone, everyone is always happy to help.