July 11, 2016

I haven’t looked back since choosing to study Biomedical Sciences (Health, Exercise and Nutrition)* at Cardiff Met. The variety of modules, and the opportunities to complete practical work, make the course ideal for those with an overall interest in health, exercise and nutrition. Personally, as someone coming to university without a clear idea of the exact field in which I would like to work, I have valued the wide range of topics covered during this course.

A highlight from my third year was being given the opportunity to complete a case study with a player from the Cardiff City Football Academy, as part of my Sports Nutrition module. A group of us were selected to meet with players from the club, with the aim of assessing their diets initially, and then offering feedback and advice to help them achieve their goals.

Prior to meeting the players, we designed food diaries which could be used to collect the information that we needed. We travelled to the football ground as a group, and each of us was assigned an individual player to work with. Our initial meeting was focussed on finding out what specific goals and needs our players had, and then explaining how we proposed to collect information using the food diaries. We had plenty of time to find out what their training schedule involves, and how their lifestyle influences their nutritional choices. The completed food diaries were returned to us a few weeks later; we then spent time analysing the diets of the players and forming feedback sheets.

On our return visit to the club, we met with our assigned players to discuss what we’d found. We gave feedback which was orientated around their goals, and provided practical advice. We also managed to bag ourselves a tour of the pitch before we left!

The work with Cardiff City Football Academy was a fantastic way to experience the sports nutrition consultation process for real. It gave us the chance to see if we could translate our nutritional knowledge into practical advice for athletes, a skill that could put us ahead of the game when it comes to employment following university. Since completing the case study, I have been offered the chance to return to the club to shadow the sports nutritionist during the summer.

Image credit: www.facebook.com/cardiffcityfc

Image credit: www.facebook.com/cardiffcityfc

I would definitely recommend the Biomedical Sciences course to anyone with an interest in the science of health. I have found that as a relatively small cohort of students our experience has been greatly enhanced by our lecturers knowing us as individual students, not just as a large group. I was recently invited by my dissertation supervisor to attend a research presentation about dietary fat and cardiovascular disease, purely based on the fact that he knew I would be interested. Other opportunities that we have been given include trips to relevant conferences, placement years, and the chance to work for a sports nutrition company at the Cardiff Half Marathon.

During my time at Cardiff Met I have also built my own website – cleanfoodqueen.co.uk – which I have used as a platform to share health and nutrition related blog posts. This is something that I would not have had the confidence to do before I started studying the course at Cardiff Met. I would advise anyone who enrols on this course to grasp every opportunity given, and make the most of their university experience.

*This course was formerly called ‘Sports, Biomed & Nutrition’.