Graduate profile
Mike Goulden, BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science

Mike Goulden

"I’m the Lead Academy Strength and Conditioning Coach at Burnley Football Club and love the relationships and rapport I get to build with staff and players."

Graduation year
2017

Why I chose Surrey

When I was younger, I had ambitions to work within elite sport but decided to pursue a career change in a related field, leading me to sport and exercise science.

Looking at universities, I was impressed with Surrey’s campus and facilities, specifically Surrey Sports Park, which was used for practical lectures and coaching. The BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science course had a small cohort, so I felt that I’d be given a high level of support and I wasn’t disappointed!

My course

The course had a variety of modules that gave me a good understanding of all the fundamental areas of sports science and potential career pathways. I particularly enjoyed the strength and conditioning module as it looked at ways of improving performance in sport.

The course lecturers, Julie, Ralph and James, all gave great support throughout the course. They were always available and happy to help.

The facilities were excellent and included human movement and physiology laboratories, and Surrey Human Performance Institute, a commercial sport and exercise science facility offering body composition analysis, health assessments, nutrition advice and much more.

"During my time at Surrey, I took on a paid coaching role with the University men’s football team and a part-time coaching role at A.F.C. Bournemouth."

My life at Surrey

During my time at Surrey, I took on a paid coaching role with the University men’s football team and a part-time coaching role at A.F.C. Bournemouth. Both allowed me to improve my coaching skills and use knowledge from the degree in an applied setting. Through these, I also obtained a UEFA B Coaching Licence.

Outside of lectures and work, I could usually be found at the Library or the Sports Park, in the gym, having a coffee in Starbucks or grabbing a drink at the bar.

My career and development

My time at Surrey made me realise what career pathway I wanted to follow. It helped improve my confidence and my ability to communicate more effectively when coaching. Balancing my degree with part-time work made me more organised, which has paid dividends since.

I’m now the Lead Academy Strength and Conditioning Coach at Burnley Football Club. I love my job so much and never count the hours down before the end of the day. One of my personal highlights are the relationships and rapport that I get to build with staff and players of all ages. I get to see how my work supports player development, both on and off the pitch. I also really enjoy the opportunity to research scientific literature and learn about other people’s experiences, applying these to the real world.  

My advice

Make sure you do your background research on the career first before applying. It’s a highly competitive field that takes time, hard work and patience to get into, and salary progression can be slow initially. But, if you’re dedicated, it’s an extremely rewarding career with lots of different opportunities!

Find out more about our sport and exercise science course

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