Rebecca Dennis

Sport and Exercise Science BSc (Hons)

I've most enjoyed having the room to grow as a person and learn my way.

What attracted you to studying at Kent?

I came to an Open Day and the lecturers were very welcoming and interested in us. The facilities were impressive too. I’m from Colchester, so Kent is far enough away to give me my independence but it’s still easy to get home when I want to.

Had you always wanted to study sport?

Originally, I was thinking of studying to become a teacher but then I decided taking a subject-specific degree would give me more options. My Sport and Exercise Science degree has opened up a lot of opportunities and, if I want to, I can still go into teaching further down the line.

How is your course going?

Very well. Having been impressed by the facilities, it’s great now to be able to use them! There’re seven or eight Douglas bag machines, stadiometers, rowing machines, cycling machines and lots more. When you walk into the lab, it’s so impressive. I’m working on my dissertation so regularly use the equipment; it feels good to be trusted to do that on my own. My academic adviser is great too. She organises meetings with me to check on my progress and make sure I’m OK.

In your first and second years, you take mainly compulsory modules, but in your final year you can choose the areas you’re most interested in. I had thought I would focus on the science-based modules but actually I've steered away from science and am concentrating on more applied practice.

Do you have a favourite module?

I have two! I really enjoy psychology; the lecturer explains things really well. At the moment, we're doing mock interviews, where you are the practitioner and have to explain the situation to a ‘client’. I’m also taking an industry placement module this year. I’m working at the gym on campus as a strength and conditioning coach for all the scholarship students. It’s fantastic because I get to apply everything I’ve learnt and gain valuable practical experience. 

What about the other facilities on campus?

The most impressive facility is definitely the library. There are multiple floors with different zones depending on your learning style, as well as group study rooms and there’s a café for when you need a break.

What about your social life?

I live with friends just five-minutes’ walk from campus and we go out together to the Venue on campus or into the city. When I first arrived in Canterbury, a friend and I went exploring, walking around the city’s old, narrow streets and seeing the cathedral, it’s lovely. There are also fields and woods nearby, good for running or walks.

I’m in the netball club and play in the first team. It takes up a lot of time with training and playing games but I really enjoy it, even if we lose! We also have social events and when we play at other universities we have a look around the area together.

Have you got a favourite place on campus?

I’m still exploring. When the weather’s nice I like just sitting on Eliot Hill and enjoying the amazing view. I also like the library café and definitely recommend the banana and salted caramel muffins.

What career do you hope to follow?

I want to travel so plan to take a year out and go to Australia with my housemates. When I come back, I’ll consider taking a Master’s to help me in my goal of working with athletes.

My dream job would be working with netball athletes in Australia, but if not, I’d stay local but aim to do the same kind of role. I've also had experience coaching young adults and children, so that's another area I could go into. I am interested in strength and conditioning, so could seek UKSCA (the professional body for strength and conditioning) accreditation and could then work independently or as part of a coaching team at a club.

What have you most enjoyed about studying at Kent?

I think having the room to grow as a person and learn my way. Lecturers give you a task but encourage you to complete it in the way you think best, so that you can show off your knowledge and skills. It's not that they they just leave you to get on with it, they work with you every step of the way, give you feedback on drafts and answer any questions that you have. They’re very supportive.

What advice would you give to someone coming to Kent to study Sport and Exercise Science?

Definitely make sure that you love sport, not just a single sport, because you have to be able to adapt to learn different things.