The School of Sport and Exercise Sciences provides an excellent environment for undertaking your PhD. We have an active group of both full-time and part-time postgraduate research students in the School and staff with expertise in a number of areas in sports science and therapy, including exercise physiology, nutrition, biomechanics, injury, rehabilitation and psychology.
The breadth of staff research interests enables us to supervise research degrees in a number of areas, in the sport and exercise sciences and in sports therapy. These areas include: exercise physiology, nutrition, biomechanics, injury, rehabilitation, psychology. More specifically, we can offer research in the areas of: mental fatigue; perceived effort and exercise capacity; training and sports performance; cycling efficiency, mega sporting events and their legacy; rehabilitation; physical activity in various populations; threat and challenge in sports psychology; sports nutrition; exercise immunology, pre-habilitation and rehabilitation from injury or surgery; and manual therapy in sport and lower back pain.
If you have private or other funding you are welcome to apply for a PhD at any time, provided that your research interests are in line with the interests and capabilities of one of our research groups. In order to apply, you need to complete the following steps:
The School of Sport and Exercise Sciences is one of the most exciting and innovative sports schools in the UK.
Based on our Canterbury campus, we have well-equipped, state-of the-art sports science laboratories, a sports therapy clinic, sports rehabilitation gymnasium and respiratory clinic. Our laboratories include the latest equipment, such as:
You'll also have access to some top-class leisure and study facilities. For example, the Sports Centre/Pavilion provides:
An MSc, or a first or upper-second class honours degree in a relevant subject.
All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, professional qualifications and relevant experience may also be taken into account when considering applications.
Please see our International Student website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information. Due to visa restrictions, students who require a student visa to study cannot study part-time unless undertaking a distance or blended-learning programme with no on-campus provision.
The University requires all non-native speakers of English to reach a minimum standard of proficiency in written and spoken English before beginning a postgraduate degree. Certain subjects require a higher level.
For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages.
Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.
Duration: 3 to 4 years full-time, 5 to 6 years part-time
The fees for the 2024/25 year have not yet been set. As a guide, the tuition fees for postgraduate study in 2023/24 are shown below.
For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.
For students continuing on this programme fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* If you are uncertain about your fee status please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.
Find out more about general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.
Please note that, due to the technical requirements of certain laboratory-based research projects, some projects incur additional research costs to support consumable requirements.
Search our scholarships finder for possible funding opportunities. You may find it helpful to look at both:
In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021, 100% of our Sport and Exercise Sciences research was classified as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ for impact.
As a School we engage with local, national and international partners to produce high-quality research that is academically rigorous and has a positive impact in the wider community. By combining laboratory research with practical work in our clinics, academic staff and students are able to test a variety of hypotheses from basic mechanistic science to applied work with patient populations as well as elite athletes.
The breadth of our research makes the School an attractive and dynamic place to study. Areas of expertise include:
The reputation and expertise of our academic staff has attracted substantial research funding over the last 10 years from bodies such as the World Anti-Doping Agency and the Ministry of Defence, as well as from charitable foundations such as the Leverhulme Trust.
Our staff have used their research to benefit elite athletes including Olympic swimmers and cyclists, and the England football team; soldiers in the British army; and specific clinical populations. They have sought to challenge perceptions of disability through a ground-breaking project run in collaboration with the Brazilian Paralympic Committee.
Kent’s world-class academics provide research students with excellent supervision. The academic staff in this school and their research interests are shown below. You are strongly encouraged to contact the school to discuss your proposed research and potential supervision prior to making an application. Please note, it is possible for students to be supervised by a member of academic staff from any of Kent’s schools, providing their expertise matches your research interests. Use our ‘find a supervisor’ search to search by staff member or keyword.
Full details of staff research interests can be found on the School's website.
Our programmes have been developed and designed to provide students with the required knowledge and skills to work autonomously in the field of sport science and sports therapy. The programmes provide opportunities for you to develop and demonstrate both specialist academic and transferable skills such as good communication, problem solving, critical analysis and the ability to work independently to a high standard. The programmes also aim to give you the opportunity to build long-term careers within your chosen field.
As a research student at Kent, you are provided with training in research-specific and broader ‘transferable skills’, including academic writing, career management and presentation skills. Doctoral students also have the opportunity to train for an advanced teaching qualification (ATAP). During term time, the research groups hold weekly meetings to discuss ongoing work, and there are also weekly seminars featuring external speakers. If you do not have any postgraduate experience of statistical analysis, you can take our MSc module in Research Methods.
The School of Sport and Exercise Sciences has recently invested heavily in its equipment and other resources, and has world-class sports therapy and sport science facilities. Campus facilities include a 12-couch teaching clinic and state-of-the-art sports science laboratories. There is a wide range of equipment, including motorised and non-motorised treadmills, cycle ergometers, an isokinetic dynamometer, and blood and gas analysis equipment. In addition, the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences has a cutting-edge sports therapy clinic, rehabilitation gymnasium, sports science laboratories, performance analysis suite and a respiratory clinic.
There is also a hypoxic environmental chamber, and analytical chemistry, respiratory testing and psychobiology laboratories. These specialist rooms have been set up with over £700,000 of new equipment, including an anti-gravity treadmill, a 3D video analysis system, 2D force pedals, ultra-sound imaging, near-infrared spectroscopy and a gait analysis system.
The School operates a commercial sports injury and rehabilitation clinic, respiratory clinic and sports performance services to support elite athletes, regional squads and local residents. As a postgraduate student, you have the opportunity to develop your professional skills as you work with clients in the clinic and laboratory under staff supervision.
Staff publish regularly and widely in leading scientific journals. Among others, they have recently contributed to: Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise; American Journal of Sports Medicine; Journal of Applied Physiology; and British Journal of Sports Medicine.
Kent's Graduate School co-ordinates the Researcher Development Programme for research students, which includes workshops focused on research, specialist and transferable skills. The programme is mapped to the national Researcher Development Framework and covers a diverse range of topics, including subject-specific research skills, research management, personal effectiveness, communication skills, networking and teamworking, and career management skills.
Learn more about the application process or begin your application by clicking on a link below.
You will be able to choose your preferred year of entry once you have started your application. You can also save and return to your application at any time.