Traditionally sport science has been based on three foundational scientific disciplines - physiology, biomechanics and psychology. You’ll either study two disciplines in breadth or a single discipline in depth with a negotiated independent study.
This course provides a contemporary, interdisciplinary and applied approach to the science of sport performance enhancement. You'll have the opportunity to advance your knowledge and understanding of scientific principles in this context. You'll learn how to apply theoretical concepts and to develop practical professional skills for situations that sports scientists encounter on a daily basis.
You’ll also study research methods and data analysis and will work on an interdisciplinary team providing support services for an athlete client, which will expose you to a range of practical and ethical issues associated with support work.
You’ll be able employ advanced investigative, analytical and practical techniques in your field and increase your employability in an academic or applied setting.
You’ll also develop as a reflective practitioner, taking responsibility for your own learning and on-going professional development.
This is a one year full-time course and is split up into three trimesters.
You'll learn by a variety of teaching methods including lectures, tutorials, laboratory sessions and through independent study. There may also be some opportunities to study abroad.
- scientific methods
- biomechanics and performance enhancement
- psychological interventions for sport performance enhancement
- applied physiology and sport performance
- independent study module
- sport science support of performance athletes
- contemporary issues in sport performance
- Independent study module
- independent research project
Study modules mentioned above are indicative only. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.
Full information on this is available in our disclaimer.
Sport science support is a growing field. Many professional sporting bodies now employ sport scientists in a performance support role and this course is ideal if you have an interest in this area.
The alignment of course content to the requirements of supervised experience (SE) with the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) will help you achieve accreditation if SE is continued after graduation.
The emphasis on research skills also equips you to continue on to possible PhD study and a research or teaching career.
The entry requirement for this course is a Bachelor (Honours) Degree at a 2:2 or above, or equivalent. We look for candidates to have a background in Sport Science, Sport and Exercise Science, Coaching Science and Physiotherapy in order to be eligible for this programme.
We may also consider backgrounds in Physiology, Psychology, Physical Education, Sport Science, Sport & Exercise Science if the candidate can demonstrate a background in coaching/performance.
We may also consider lesser qualifications if you have sufficient relevant work experience within the industry.
English language requirements
If your first language isn't English, you'll normally need to undertake an approved English language test and our minimum English language requirements will apply.
This may not apply if you have completed all your school qualifications in English, or your undergraduate degree was taught and examined in English (within two years of starting your postgraduate course). Check our country pages to find out if this applies to you.
Our entry requirements indicate the minimum qualifications with which we normally accept students. Competition for places varies from year to year and you aren't guaranteed a place if you meet the minimum qualifications.
If your qualifications aren't listed above, visit our country pages to get entry requirements for your country.
Please note that non-EU international students are unable to enrol onto the following courses:
BN Nursing/MN Nursing (Adult, Child, Mental Health or Learning Disability)
BM Midwifery/MM Midwifery
We are committed to being as accessible as possible to anyone who wants to achieve higher education.
Our admissions policies will help you understand our admissions procedures and how decisions are made.
Modules that you will study* as part of this course
* These are indicative only and reflect the course structure in the current academic year. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.
Applied Biomechanics - Performance Enhancement
Biomechanical analysis of movement plays a major role in improving technique and, consequently, performance in all sporting situations. For the purposes of this module, the students will be introduced to qualitative and quantitative approaches in sports biomechanics and will be taught how to adjust the analysis priorities and feedback provision according to the activity and athlete. Current performance-related research in biomechanics will be explored for a range of sports, such as swimming, athletics and golf. Laboratory sessions will enable the students to deal with advance methodological issues and provide them experience in the use of data collection and analysis equipment in areas such as: force analysis, 2- and 3-dimensional video analysis and electromyography. Future directions in performance analysis will also be explored.
Contemporary Issues in Sport and Exercise Science
In this module you will gain a comprehensive understanding of a number of contemporary issues within sport and exercise science. The module will be delivered as a series of specialist seminars conducted by different members of the academic team within their own area of expertise. Contemporary issues from both a research and an applied perspective will be delivered. You will be given the opportunity to research a contemporary issue of your choice within the field of sport and exercise science and present a short seminar to your peers. You will also produce a critical review in a contemporary area of sport and exercise science. This module will allow you to see the expertise available to you within the academic team and help you to select a suitable topic and supervisor for your MSc project.
Description of module content includes: Injury/Illness Epidemiology; Return to play decisions; Exercise Immunology; Sports Biomechanics; Team resilience; Supplements in Sport; Doping in Sport; Talent Identification and Development in Sport.
Independent Study (20 credits)
The independent study module is a personalised study package tailored to suit your individual learning requirements. The syllabus entails a flexible approach to learning comprising of a negotiated programme of study designed by you in conjunction with a member of academic staff. The module takes place over the course of a single trimester. The flexible approach to learning enables a ‘made to measure’ course which will engage you in areas of academic interest that encourage you to reflect on your professional knowledge and the practical application of underpinning/relevant theory with the aim of developing the knowledge, skills and attitudes which promote professional development
You cannot undertake both Independent study modules (20 credits/40 credits).
The content can include a learning agreement, exploration of the concept of reflection, a variety of different frameworks and models; activities to facilitate a deeper understanding of the processes involved in thinking more critically. With your academic tutor you will be required to negotiate a learning agreement equivalent to 200 hours of study.
Independent Study (40 Credits)
The module promotes reflection and critical thinking in relation to your own learning in line with your personal, professional and/or academic interests and needs. The content includes a learning agreement: exploration of the concept of reflection, a variety of different frameworks and models; activities to facilitate a deeper understanding of the processes involved in thinking more critically. With your academic tutor you will be required to negotiate a learning agreement equivalent to 400 hours of study.
Physiological Factors Affecting Sporting Performance
The aim of this module is to expose the student to a range of the most commonly used tests used in the physiological assessment of an athlete. These would include tests of strength, power, aerobic and anaerobic capacity, body composition analysis and importantly in the field testing of a number of these variables. The module also examines the theory underpinning the physiological limits to performance and how this links to the available physiological tests. The content of the module is specifically designed to enable a student to develop key practical competencies in sport science support when working with athletes in a broad range of sports and in various environmental settings.
Psychological Interventions for Sport Performance Enhancement
This module will explore the relationship between performance enhancement psychology and other forms of personal centred therapies, such as counselling and occupation psychology. You will investigate the critical importance of extra-therapeutic variables in effective applied sport psychology. You will evaluate recent theoretical developments in the main psychological factors influencing sport performance; self –efficacy / sport confidence, motivation, stress and performance, mental rehearsal and attention. You will examine the role of emerging concepts in positive psychology; mental toughness, hardiness and dispositional optimism. The emphasis in the module is application so you will develop your knowledge and understanding in a broad performance enhancement context. This will be achieved through the use of case study material, role play and extensive practical experience. You will gain an insight into the role of the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) and the British Psychology Society (BPS) in the training and accreditation of professional sport psychologists.
Research Methods in Sport and Exercise Science
12. Module Content
In this module you will learn about the process of knowledge construction and evaluation in contemporary sport and exercise science. You will examine a range of epistemological approaches and explore the philosophical implications of adopting different methods of constructing knowledge. You will look at issues around research design, including an examination of ethical and governance issues. You will critically examine the methods by which research is conducted, looking at the internationally accepted guidelines for randomised controlled trials and other prominent methodologies in the sport and exercise science literature. You will examine the contemporary debates around null-hypothesis significance testing (NHST) and magnitude based statistics and also examine the anticipated development of data synthesis techniques.
Sport and exercise science is also an applied endeavour and students need to be capable of effectively disseminating complex technical data to a lay audience.
At the successful completion of this module you will be comfortable with the Statistical Package for Social Scientists (SPSS) and learn how to make decisions about the use of appropriate statistical tests and interpret the analysis outputs.
The module has two strands, one strand is a lecture / workshop programme covering the conceptual basis of scientific knowledge construction. The second strand is practical and will give students an opportunity to work through the design of studies, discuss ethical and practical issues in research and work through increasingly complex data sets using SPSS.
In strand one, the content will cover, the philosophical basis of scientific knowledge construction, the debates around NHST and magnitude based statistics. Mid-module, there will be scope to give the module more specific depth, with the exercise and health students looking at epidemiology in more depth whilst the sport performance students will focus more on the research in the specific disciplines of physiology, biomechanics and sport psychology. The final theme common to both route ways will focus on applied research and the dissemination of research and assessment data to the lay audience.
In the practical workshops students will use SPSS to describe data and conduct inferential tests common in the discipline areas. This will cover tests of difference and association, using univariate, multivariate data sets. There will also be opportunities to examine data synthesis techniques.
Research Project [60 credit]
In this module you will conduct an independent piece of research, either as a practical laboratory-based project, or a piece of qualitative research (e.g. interviews, focus groups, surveys). This involves design, development and implementation of a programme of research in a particular field of study relevant to your programme of study. You will critically analyse data/information generated, and communicate the outcomes in a written report, which will develop your skills in scientific writing. This will give you experience in summarising information and presentation skills.
This module includes: Structured on-line literature searches. Literature review. Project formulation. Hypothesis generation. Experimental design. Development of practical skills/research technique. Data generation/collection and analysis. Use of appropriate statistical analysis. Evaluation of findings, critical analysis, synthesis and conclusions, with reference to supporting literature. Communication of original research results in a report written in the style of a scientific paper.
Scientific Support in Sport
In this module you will be provided with an understanding of the philosophical basis of science and how scientific knowledge is constructed. Building on this, the core theoretical and applied skills in the discipline areas within sport science will be contextualised in relation to performance enhancement in sport. This will be achieved by you learning about the perspectives of different disciplines within sport science and also the perspectives of specialists from the broader sport science support team, such as strength and conditioning coaches, technical coaches, video analysts and sports medicine specialists. This module will help you develop competencies that will enable you to apply for BASES supervised experience and ultimately accreditation.
Work Based Learning Portfolio in Sport Coaching
The module acknowledges that learners can recognise their own learning needs and bring their own resources and knowledge to their academic and professional development. It promotes information gathering and evaluation, reflection and critical thinking in relation to the student's own learning in line with their personal, professional and/or academic interests / needs. Content includes Learning Agreement; reflection on practice by use of different models and frameworks; how to write learning outcomes at level 11; examples of different types of evidence that may be used in their portfolio; a deeper understanding of the processes involved in thinking critically. The outcome of this work should inform further professional development work or the resolution of a practical problem in the work place.