Olyvia is in the third year of her degree, studying Sport and Exercise for Health.
Why did you choose Kent?
I liked the sound of the course, because it combines all the different areas of the subject that I’m interested in – rather than just sport or just biology, we study aspects of sports science and anatomy as applied to health. It has more to offer and I think it gives more possibilities for your future.
How is your course going?
It’s really good. There’s lots of practical work and it was fascinating learning how to assess people, monitoring heart rates, using a Douglas bag (which analyses exhaled breath) and so on. Then you learn how to use software to analyse data. Now I’m in my third year I find you have to work independently a lot more, as there isn’t such a regimented timetable. So you have to be a lot more disciplined, and read around the subject for yourself rather than be guided. But the staff are very supportive, and always make themselves available for you if you need clarification on anything.
Do you have a favourite module?
Last year I particularly enjoyed Applied Sport and Exercise Physiology, and this year my favourite is Exercise Prescription, Referral and Rehabilitation – so that covers things like treating at-risk populations such as people with Parkinson’s, stroke patients and so on. I also love that there are so many opportunities on this course – for instance if you want to help in the local community. I work every week in a stroke rehabilitation class and an exercise class for people with Parkinson’s, and it will make up part of my dissertation.
How would you describe your fellow students?
My course is quite a small group and we get on with each other very well; we all help each other out. A lot of the lectures are combined with the Sport Science and Sport Management degrees, so you get to know other students well. Plus you have to practice on other people on your course, which is an interesting way to break the ice at the beginning!
What are the facilities like on campus?
The facilities for the course are great. The sports labs are really well equipped – we do lots of practical work there, and there are clinics and gyms with amazing specialist equipment. For the social side of things, there’s a good variety of societies, and the campus may not be as big as the one at Canterbury, but there’s plenty going on.
What kind of career do you hope to follow?
I’d like to go into physiotherapy or clinical exercise physiology – using exercise to help people with chronic disease. But for my work placement module I worked with Medway Council’s service for childhood obesity and enjoyed that too.
What do you in your spare time?
I’m secretary of the University’s cheerleading society, which is based in Canterbury, so that takes up quite a bit of time.
Any advice for students coming to Kent?
Throw yourself into university life – you won’t regret it!