Catherine Tucker

PhD (2012)
BSc Sport and Exercise Sciences (1st class honours) (2008)
Current Position
Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Biomechanics, Leeds Metropolitan University, U.K.
Career Path
"I graduated from the Sport and Exercise Sciences programme in 2008. As I had a desire to research and specialise in an area that interested me greatly (Biomechanics), I started my doctoral studies in October of that year. For my PhD I researched the concept of movement variability and its link to movement outcome in the golf swing using 3D motion analysis and computer modelling."

Why did you choose to Study Sport and Exercise Science
"I chose Sport and Exercise Sciences as I had keen interest in sport and I was keen to learn how the application of science to analysing sport could help improve performance."

Where did you do your coop?
"I did my cooperative work placement in Quintic Consultancy in Coventry under the guidance of a Sports Biomechanist, Dr Paul Hurrion. It was a great experience and the cooperative education placements are fantastic within the Sport and Exercise Sciences programme in UL. In my placement, I got the opportunity to video UK Athletics meets, use specialised Biomechanics equipment (e.g. high-speed video, pressure plates, 3D motion analysis systems and force platforms) and observe a world-leading biomechanist in his dealings with some of the world’s best golfers. If you secure a good placement and make the most of it, this can enhance your employability once you graduate. I was offered a position with this company upon completion of the degree programme!"

What advice would you give to school goers considering choosing sport and exercise sciences?
"If you are considering choosing Sport and Exercise Sciences, I would advise that you have a strong interest, in sport, health and science. Whilst you may only be doing one science subject for your Leaving Certificate, an aptitude for science is desirable. It is a challenging but rewarding course. The staff here are enthusiastic and are leaders in their fields so you are learning from the best! The practical application (in labs and tutorials) of the theory taught in lectures is a great strength of the course."
What advice would you give to future graduates of Sport and Exercise Sciences
"In terms of future graduates, I advise getting as much experience throughout your degree in the application of the skills you’ve learned i.e. volunteering at local teams etc., getting relevant coaching qualifications, volunteering to help postgraduates with data collection . These extra-curricular endeavours are sure to improve your employability prospects after you graduate. There are opportunities for employment for those who do well academically and develop their skills in applied settings outside the degree programme. Also, make the most of your coop placement – you never know where it might lead!"