Sport and Exercise Science postgraduate research degrees

female lab participant running on treadmill

Postgraduate research in sport & Exercise science

Ready to start your research career? Explore our postgraduate research degrees in Sport & Exercise Science

If you're ready to take your knowledge and expertise in Sport and Exercise Science into a postgraduate research degree, Portsmouth is the perfect place to realise your ambitions.

Our Sport and Exercise Science research is enhancing human performance and health. We're helping elite athletes win Olympic medals, developing safety guidelines for sporting bodies, improving the quality of life of individuals with chronic disease, helping global brands develop more supportive sports bras, and protecting employees required to work in extreme conditions. Our research directly benefits athletes, patients and workers across various sporting groups, clinical conditions, industries and organisations.

Our research is making international impact, with 100% of our research impact in the area of sport and exercise sciences, leisure and tourism was rated outstanding or very considerable in terms of reach and significance in the Research Excellence Framework 2014 – and when you do a postgraduate research degree with us, you'll be playing your part in turning knowledge into action.

Research degrees

Find out about our PhD, MPhil, Professional Doctorate and PhD by Publication opportunities in Sport and Exercise Science below, including how to apply, entry requirements and funding your degree. For more detailed information about the application process, visit our How to Apply pages.

Sport & Exercise Science PhDs and MPhils

Explore our pre-approved funded and self-funded PhD projects in Sport and Exercise Science, or submit your own research idea.

PhD and MPhil projects

There are currently no funded PhD projects available in this area – for more information on funding your own research project, visit our pages on funding your research degree.

Submit your own idea

If you already have a research idea, find a supervisor whose research interests match yours by searching our Find a PhD Supervisor page. Once you've identified someone suitable, contact them to discuss your idea.

Professional Doctorates

If you're a working professional interested in pursuing work-based research in the field of Sport and Exercise Science, find out more about our Professional Doctorate in Sport, Exercise and Health Science, and our Professional Doctorate in Sport and Exercise Psychology.

PhD by Publication

A PhD by publication is a postgraduate research degree based on research you've already undertaken and had published (excluding self-publishing) before registering with us.

Eligible research outputs include peer-reviewed academic papers, complete books or chapters in anthologies, and other materials accepted for publication, exhibited or performed. You'll have to submit these materials for examination between 6-12 months after registering with us.

For more information, please visit our PhD by Publication page.

Duration, fees and funding 

What do my tuition fees cover?

If you're self-funding your PhD, you'll pay tuition fees to the University to cover course and university costs.

Your tuition fees cover:

  • The cost of your postgraduate research programme* at the University as well as charges for registration, tuition, supervision, and examinations
  • Bespoke training, professional development courses, networking, and research support through The Graduate School
  • Research seminars and workshops (university-wide and faculty-specific)
  • A contribution to funding to attend a conference or development activity in your research field
  • Tailor-made weekly and monthly events, including weekly, themed experienced researcher-led talks and workshops
  • Helping you become part of our thriving research community, including Research and Innovation services where 78% of our research impact was rated as world-leading or internationally excellent in REF 2014
  • Your graduation ceremony
  • Viva examination and administration costs
  • The facilities and equipment you need to complete your studies, such as computer rooms, access to laptops, the Library, and laboratories
  • Access to resources including electronic journals, alternative guide to funding, and thousands of hours of educational videos on LinkedIn Learning
  • University support services including academic, financial, careers and wellbeing support and personal tutors
  • Membership of the Students' Union (giving you the right to vote in elections, join clubs and societies, and get free independent advice)
  • Access to software such as Microsoft Office, SPSS and Adobe Creative Suite (this includes Photoshop, InDesign, and Adobe Premiere Pro)

*Please note that some research programmes may come with additional bench fees.

How long will my research degree take?

  • MPhil: 2 years full-time, 4 years part-time
  • PhD: 3 years full-time, 6 years part-time
  • PhD by Publication: 1 year part-time

How much will my research degree cost?

2021/2022 fees (applicable for October 2021, February and April 2022 start)

PhD and MPhil

UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man students 

  • Full-time: £4,500 (may be subject to annual increase)
  • Part-time and part-time distance learning: £2,250 (may be subject to annual increase)

EU students

(including Transition Scholarship)

  • Full-time: £4,500 (may be subject to annual increase)
  • Part-time and part-time distance learning: £2,250 (may be subject to annual increase)

International students

  • Full-time: £15,500 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • Part-time and part-time distance learning: £7,750 per year (may be subject to annual increase)

PhD by Publication

  • External candidates: £4,500
  • Members of University of Portsmouth staff: £1,720

All fees are subject to annual increase. If you are an EU student starting a programme in 2021/22 please visit this page.

Bench fees

Some PhD projects may include additional fees – known as bench fees – for equipment and other consumables, and these will be added to your standard tuition fee. Speak to the supervisory team during your interview about any additional fees you may have to pay. Please note, bench fees are not eligible for discounts and are non-refundable.  

Funding support

MPhil full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the Government Postgraduate Loan.

PhD full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the Government Doctoral Loan.

For information on other sources of funding, visit our funding your postgraduate research degree page.

Entry requirements

The entry requirements for a PhD, MPhil or Professional Doctorate include a good honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject, or a master’s degree in an appropriate subject. Equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications may be considered. All applicants are subject to interview.

If English is not your first language, you'll need English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Support and facilities

When you join us, you'll be supported by our Graduate School, alongside your assigned supervisory team, who'll help you get the most from our facilities. The Graduate School will help you become part of our thriving, collaborative research community, and help grow your skills as a researcher through the Graduate School Development Programme, which offers training, workshops and events.

We have excellent facilities for sport and exercise science research, including Biomechanics, Physiology and Psychology laboratories.

The Biomechanics Lab is fully fitted with equipment for researching biomechanics including a 16 camera Oqus automated tracking system, a portable pressure plate, force transducers and visual 3D software.

The Extreme Environments Lab includes 3 environmental chambers with an adjustable temperature range from -20°C to 50°C with humidity control, an immersion pool and swimming flume, and testing and monitoring equipment to assess human performance and survival in a safe, controlled environment.

What can a postgraduate research degree do for my career?

Once you complete your postgraduate research degree, you'll be a highly-skilled researcher with the knowledge and skills to make an impact in many different industries.

Your postgraduate research qualification demonstrates to potential employers that you're an intelligent, capable and motivated person, with provable abilities and experience in critical thinking, problem-solving, project management, communication, leadership and creativity.

Apply

Apply for a research degree in Sport and Exercise Science by completing our online form. 

February (2022 start)

April (2022 start)

October (2022 start)

Current research

Explore the work we're doing across the 3 areas of expertise within our Sport and Exercise Science research.

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