Sport and Exercise Science & Sports Therapy - PhD

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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.

Overview

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.

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.

About the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences

The School of Sport and Exercise Sciences is one of the most exciting and innovative sports schools in the UK.

The School will be based on the University’s main Canterbury campus from September 2021. We have well-equipped, state-of the-art sports science laboratories, sports therapy clinic, sports rehabilitation gymnasium and respiratory clinic. Our laboratories include the latest equipment, such as our:

  • anti-gravity treadmill, originally developed to help NASA astronauts to exercise in space
  • cycling and rowing ergometers to measure anaerobic capacity
  • isokinetic dynamometer to measure muscle and joint function
  • brain and muscle stimulators
  • 3D motion video analysis
  • imaging and treatment ultrasound
  • gait analysis and force pedals
  • blood testing and gas analysis equipment
  • rehabilitation gymnasium.

Our environmental chamber, which can recreate the atmosphere in the Brazilian jungle or at the top of Everest, is based on the Medway campus.

Our move to the Canterbury campus will give you access to some top-class leisure and study facilities. For example, the Sports Centre/Pavilion provides:  

  • an air-conditioned fitness suite across two floors 
  • dance and fitness studios with numerous classes 
  • indoor courts for badminton, basketball, netball, volleyball and squash 
  • training facilities for martial arts, boxing and combat sports 
  • outdoor pitches for rugby, football and American football.

Entry requirements

An MSc, or a first or upper-second class honours degree in a relevant subject.

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. Some typical requirements are listed below. Students offering alternative qualifications should contact us for further advice.

If you are an international student, visit our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country, including details of the International Foundation Programmes.

English language entry requirements

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. 

Need help with English?

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.

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Course structure

Duration: 3 to 4 years full-time, 5 to 6 years part-time

Fees

The 2021/22 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

  • Home full-time £4500
  • EU full-time £20500
  • International full-time £20500
  • Home part-time £2250
  • EU part-time £10250
  • International part-time £10250

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 information@kent.ac.uk.

Your fee status

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.

Additional costs

General additional costs

Find out more about general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent. 

Funding

Search our scholarships finder for possible funding opportunities. You may find it helpful to look at both:

We have a range of subject-specific awards and scholarships for academic, sporting and musical achievement.

Search scholarships

The Complete University Guide

In The Complete University Guide 2021, the University of Kent was ranked in the top 10 for research intensity. This is a measure of the proportion of staff involved in high-quality research in the university.

Please see the University League Tables 2021 for more information.

Complete University Guide Research Intensity

Independent rankings

In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, research by the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences was ranked 18th in the UK for research intensity.

An impressive 94% of our research was judged to be of international quality and the School’s environment was judged to be conducive to supporting the development of research of international excellence.

Research areas

The School of Sport and Exercise Sciences has a strong and vibrant research culture. It is quickly establishing the University of Kent as one of the leading places in the UK for the study of sport. The School’s research interests focus on two broad themes: endurance performance and exercise, sports therapy and injury rehabilitation.

In endurance performance, the School has one of the largest groups of research excellence within Europe lead by Professors Samuele Marcora and Louis Passfield. Professor Samuele Marcora is the School’s Research Director and a prolific researcher. He has published many studies on a range of topics. Professor Louis Passfield has been conducting sports science research for over 20 years and has published many papers on training and cycling. He has also worked as a sports scientist with British Cycling, helping Britain’s leading riders prepare for four Olympic Games, including the highly successful Beijing Olympic team. We have a strong team of prolific, leading researchers within this group, and many are involved in a range of projects. For further details, see: www.kent.ac.uk/sportsciences/research/endurance-research-group.html

In sports therapy and injury rehabilitation, Dr Karen Hambly has established a world-wide reputation for her work in this area, and other staff within the School are involved in ground-breaking studies within this field. For further details, see: www.kent.ac.uk/sportsciences/research/health-research-group.html

Staff research interests

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.

Careers

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.

Study support

Postgraduate resources

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 cutting-edge sports therapy clinic, rehabilitation gymnasium, sports science laboratories and a respiratory clinic.

There is also a hypoxic environmental chamber based on the Medway campus, 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.

Dynamic publishing culture

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.

Researcher Development Programme

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.

Contact us

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United Kingdom/EU enquiries

PhD at Medway

PhD at Canterbury

Admissions enquiries

T: +44 (0)1227 768896

E: information@kent.ac.uk

Subject enquiries

T: +44 (0)1634 888858

E: sportsciences@kent.ac.uk

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International student enquiries

Enquire online

T: +44 (0)1227 823254
E: internationalstudent@kent.ac.uk

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