Sports Data Science as new Master specialization

| Michaela Nesvarova

The UT will soon offer a new study specialization: Sports Data Science. Organized in collaboration with the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU), the track will be a part of the Data Science Master’s programme from spring 2021.

Photo by: Gijs van Ouwerkerk

‘There is a lot happening in sports data science and research is needed in the domain,’ says programme director, Alma Schaafstal who is in charge of designing the new master specialization. ‘If you want to do sports well, you need to understand movement, how a body works, how it reacts to stress and training. For that you need data, otherwise you will never know what goes wrong or how to optimize. If you deliver pure data scientists, they lack a certain understanding of what performing in sports requires, while sport experts don’t know much about data science. If we combine it, we get a really useful expertise.’

A good track record

The Sports Data Science specialization will include courses from both the University of Twente and the Vrije Universiteit. Students who follow it will also get the opportunity to do a thesis supervised by both UT and VU staff. ‘The VU has a good track record in movement sciences and we can add our expertise in data science. Joining forces will offer something really interesting to students,’ says Schaafstal. ‘Students will be able to acquire knowledge of data science, but also how to apply it to sports.’  

Exciting projects

‘The specialization fits into the infrastructure that we already have in Twente,’ continues Schaafstal. ‘We have good connections with sports events, such as the Enschede marathon and the Military Boekelo, but also with the E-sports lab and with Roessingh Research and Revalidation. We have good facilities like the instrumented football fields and nice spin-offs, such as SciSports. So I think we can look forward to some really exciting projects. If the specialization is successful, we might even start a full Master programme focused on sports data science.’

Stay tuned

Sign up for our weekly newsletter.