Sport and Exercise Science (by Research and Thesis) - MSc

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The School of Sport and Exercise Sciences provides an excellent environment in which to conduct postgraduate research. The breadth of staff research interests enables us to provide research degree supervision in a range of areas in the sport and exercise sciences and in sports therapy.


This degree requires you to undertake a substantial, original research project, under the supervision of one or more members of academic staff who act as supervisors (see our Master's by Research projects). Your supervisory team provides guidance both in terms of research project development and execution. Typically, you meet with your supervisors more frequently at the initial stages of research than during the phases of data collection and analysis.

Reasons to study Sport and Exercise Science at Kent

  • We offer a wide range of Master’s research projects for you to choose from.
  • Our academic staff are leading experts in Sport and Exercise Sciences, ensuring you receive the best possible supervision. Find out about the staff who are open to supervising research students, together with their research interests.
  • There's a wide range of training available to Master's students where you will gain traditional, transferable skills, plus research-specific training. This is either provided by Sport and Exercise Sciences staff or by the University's Graduate and Researcher College.
  • You are invited to attend the School’s postgraduate seminar series to develop subject-specific knowledge and research skills relevant to your field of interest.
  • Our world-leading research activity is divided into two main themes: Endurance Performance; and Sports Therapy, Physical Activity and Health; and spans the areas of physiology, psychology, nutrition, biomechanics, older people, clinical population, elite athletes, and members of the general population.

Find an MSc project and a supervisor

Choose an area that interests you from our wide range of Master’s research projects.

Once you have identified a project and a potential supervisor, please contact them directly by email to discuss the possibility of undertaking an MSc under their supervision. Please outline your interest in the research project, supply a CV including all relevant experience and details of how you will fund your study.

Apply for the course

After securing a project and a supervisor, you can proceed to make an online application for this course (click 'Apply now').

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. Based on the University’s 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 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
  • environmental chamber, which can recreate the atmosphere in the Brazilian jungle or at the top of Everest.

As a Kent student, you'll also have access to some top-class leisure and study facilities. For example, the Sports Centre and Pavilion provide:  

  • 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

Minimum entrance requirement is an Upper Second Class Honours (2.1) or equivalent in a related subject, though acceptance of any candidate is at the discretion of the 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 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.

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

Students taking an MSc by research do not undertake credit-bearing taught modules. Instead, they conduct a full-time research project in the area of their chosen specialisation. The degree therefore allows you the flexibility to shape your own research in an area of particular interest to you, while also enabling you to develop extensive subject expertise and independent research skills over an extended period. 

The MSc culminates in the submission of a written research dissertation which must be 'defended' in an oral viva voce examination. Additionally, students will be asked to produce a poster for presentation at the annual Postgraduate Symposium and a talk at the conclusion of their studies.


The 2024/25 annual tuition fees for this course are:

  • Home full-time TBC
  • EU full-time £22700
  • International full-time £22700
  • Home part-time TBC
  • EU part-time £11350
  • International part-time £11350

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

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

Please note that, due to the technical requirements of some laboratory-based research projects, some projects additionally incur additional research costs to support consumable requirements. Additional research costs are typically in the range of £500-£2,000, though exceptionally these can be as high as £5,000 for resource-intensive research projects. Additional expenses associated with a specific project will be highlighted on the School’s related web pages. 

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: 

Other funding

Students who have completed an undergraduate degree at the University of Kent can apply for 10% reduction in fees for their Masters programme. 

Students can also apply for a £1000 Graduate School Scholarship to help pay for their fess or apply for a Postgraduate Master’s Degree loan.

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

Search scholarships

Independent rankings

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.


Research areas

The School has a strong research culture with a focus in two broad themes: endurance performance and health. As a School we have a team of world-leading researchers in their respective fields.

The Endurance Research Group has quickly become world-leading for research excellence which is recognised globally. The group focuses on various aspects of endurance performance including: exercise tolerance and resistance to fatigue, exercise-induced asthma, training, individualised prescription of training, immune function and infection risk and the use psychological skills in endurance athletes.

The Health Research Group focuses on the use of exercise to enhance rehabilitation and promote healthy behaviours including: musculoskeletal rehabilitation, return to sports participation, psychobiology of physical activity, injury prevention and wearable technology in rehabilitation. Members of the group also have interests in the effects of exercise in cardiac and stroke patients, and the use of exercise to treat or manage chronic diseases (such as COPD, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, APS). The group also researches sport policy and management looking at the socio-cultural and well-being effects of participation in sport.


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 invests 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. 

There is also a hypoxic environmental chamber, and analytical chemistry, respiratory testing and psychobiology laboratories. These specialist rooms have been set up to include 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.

Apply now

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.

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Contact us


United Kingdom/EU enquiries

MSc at Canterbury

Admissions enquiries

T: +44 (0)1227 768896


Subject enquiries

T: +44 (0)1227 764000



International student enquiries

Enquire online

T: +44 (0)1227 823254