Sport, Exercise and Health Science - SportD


The Professional Doctorate in Sport, Exercise and Health Science is a specialist programme designed for experienced sport, exercise and health practitioners who would like to undertake research that is relevant and applied to their area of professional practice.

Through a combination of individually tutored modules and your own research, you develop your academic and professional knowledge and acquire a range of advanced research skills. The professional doctorate programme culminates with the submission of your doctoral thesis or portfolio on a topic that advances your area of professional knowledge or practice.

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 is based on the University’s award-winning Medway campus and has well-equipped, state-of the-art sports science laboratories, sports therapy clinic, sports rehabilitation gymnasium and respiratory clinic. We will be relocating the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences to the Canterbury campus from September 2021. If you are due to start your course in September 2020, the first year of your degree will be taught in Medway. This exciting move will allow us to provide enhanced facilities, study and social space for you as well as helping you become part of a broader academic community.

The University of Kent benefits from Medway Park, an £11 million project to create a regional centre of sporting excellence that was an approved pre-Olympic training camp venue for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Medway Park has hosted a number of major sporting events, such as the Modern Pentathlon World Cup and European Championships.

The School of Sport and Exercise Sciences offers both taught and research postgraduate courses in Sport and Exercise Science and Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation.

Entry requirements

Candidates must normally be experienced sport, exercise or health practitioners. Candidates will be required to write a brief proposal and will be invited to attend an informal interview with the programme director and potential supervisor.

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. 

International students

Please see our International website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information. Due to visa restrictions, international fee-paying students cannot study part-time unless undertaking a distance or blended-learning programme with no on-campus provision.

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.


A group of postgraduates sit outside the Kennedy Building on the Canterbury campus

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Course structure

Duration: 3 years full-time, 5 years part-time


The 2020/21 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

  • Home/EU full-time £7900
  • International full-time £19800
  • Home/EU part-time £3950
  • International part-time £9900

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

Additional costs

General additional costs

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


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

The Complete University Guide

In The Complete University Guide 2020, 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 2020 for more information.

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:

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:

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.

Dr Mark Burnley : Senior Lecturer

Oxygen uptake kinetics; endurance performance; neuromuscular fatigue; applying control systems theory and non-linear dynamics to the physiology of exercise.

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Dr Glen Davison : Director of Research

Sports nutrition and supplements; immune system function in athletes and how the immune system responds to various types of training; endurance performance; interval training; nutrition and health.

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Kyra De Coninck : Lecturer

Anatomy and function of fascia, myofascial pain and adaptation of fascia to mechanical loading; interaction between chronic pain, physical activity and changes within the fascia network; ultrasound imaging of thoracolumbar fascia in a sedentary and athletic population, both with and without lower back pain.

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Dr John Dickinson : Reader

Exercise-induced asthma in athletes; inspiratory stridor and breathing technique; inspiratory muscle training; the respiratory system and athletic performance.

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Dr Chris Fullerton : Lecturer

Sport and performance psychology; self-regulation of athletic performance; the effects of exercise on psychological well-being and quality of life in Parkinson’s and Stroke populations.

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Lucy Hale : Lecturer

Nutritional interventions to improve sport and exercise performance; the effect of Omega 3 EPA/DHA on markers of inflammation; exercise induced asthma in athletes.

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Dr Karen Hambly : Senior Lecturer

Rehabilitation and outcome measures; rehabilitation after articular cartilage repair of the knee; return to sports after injury and patient perspectives of outcome measurement; development of exercise interventions for osteoarthritic populations.

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Dr James Hopker : Director of Graduate Studies

The physiological determinants of endurance performance and adaptations from exercise training; the use of pre-operative exercise training to increase patient fitness prior to major inter-cavity surgery; the use of Near Infrared Spectroscopy in the assessment of muscle and brain tissue oxygen consumption.

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Sadie Jones : Lecturer

Working in collaboration with the Rugby Football Union to identify current practice in the prevention, management and treatment of hamstring injuries; researching hamstring muscles and fatigue and return to play following hamstring injuries.

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Dr Lex Mauger : Senior Lecturer

How the body, as an integrative system, maintains a relative homeostasis during intense exercise through the anticipatory regulation of work rate; the role of the different afferents produced during exercise and how these may be responded to by systems of central control; models of endurance performance, particularly through self-paced exercise.

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Steve Meadows : Senior Lecturer

Energy expenditure differences in heart attack patients during walking and cycling; group exercise and exercise adherence; physical activity promotion to the general population.

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Dr Karthikeyan Muthumayandi : Lecturer

The use of digital devices, mobile technologies in objective quantification of physical ambulatory behaviour in individuals at macro (quantity- community ambulation) and micro level (quality- spatial and temporal gait parameters of gait) through machine learning approach.

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Dr Sakis Pappous : Reader

Social (eg, mass media, significant others) and psychological (eg, motivation, attitudes, self-efficacy) factors that influence participation in sport and physical activity; strategies aiming to increase participation of groups of society who are sedentary, including disabled people, people from minority ethnic groups and older people.

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Professor Claire Peppiatt-Wildman : Head of School

Urinary system physiology and regulation of blood flow; regulation of blood flow in organs and tissue in health and disease; regulation of blood flow in skeletal muscle and injured tissue; the side-effects of prophylactic agents used in the field of sports medicine.

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Dr Samantha Winter : Senior Lecturer

Clinical biomechanics with a particular focus on interventions to prevent falls in older people; steadiness in isometric force production including changes with ageing and strength training; mechanical models of muscle; the application of non-linear dynamics to movement, such as the effect of gait interventions on the fractal properties of the ground reaction force and joint moments; changes in postural stability with ageing.

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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, at Medway Park, the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences has its own cutting-edge sports therapy clinic, rehabilitation gymnasium, sports science laboratories 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 from Medway Park 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.

Apply now

Learn more about the applications process or begin your application by clicking on a link below.

Once started, you can save and return to your application at any time.

Apply for entry to:

Contact us


United Kingdom/EU enquiries

SportD at Medway

Admissions enquiries

T: +44 (0)1227 768896


Subject enquiries

T: +44 (0)1634 888858



International student enquiries

Enquire online

T: +44 (0)1227 823254