Sport Science

Sport and Exercise Science - MSc


Gain the expertise required to work in the field of Sport and Exercise Science. You develop the required skills to work with athletes, or other clients, in an applied, real-life context.



This programme advances your specialist knowledge and understanding of the scientific principles underpinning sport and exercise. You develop professional skills in monitoring, analysing, evaluating and prescribing interventions for the optimisation of performance. Drawing on the expertise of Kent’s staff, many of whom are at the forefront of their fields, you have the opportunity to apply these skills in a real-world context by working with athletes or specialist client groups.

The programme is designed to develop the professional and academic skills of graduate sport scientists. Health and sport professionals who want to take modules on a stand-alone basis for continuing professional development are welcome to contact us.

About the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences

The School is based on the University’s award-winning Medway campus and has well-equipped, state-of-the-art sport and exercise science laboratories, sports therapy clinic, sports rehabilitation gymnasium and respiratory clinic.

The school also has world-class facilities at Medway Park, a regional centre of sporting excellence. Facilities includes a state-of-the-art physiology lab, respiratory clinic, hypoxic environmental chamber, and a student run sports therapy clinic and rehabilitation gym.

Sports Scholarships

If you are already competing at (or above) county level or equivalent, you can apply for a sports scholarship from the University. One of our best-known graduates is Olympic gold medallist Susannah Townsend. During her time at Kent she had a sports scholarship and played for Canterbury Hockey Club (where she continues to play midfield).

Teaching Excellence Framework 

Based on the evidence available, the TEF Panel judged that the University of Kent delivers consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It is of the highest quality found in the UK.

National ratings

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.

Course structure

This is a one-year taught programme, but can be studied on a part-time basis which usually takes two years to complete.  


The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year.  You will study 135 credits of compulsory modules and study 45 credits of optional modules.

Compulsory Modules 

SS833 - Laboratory Techniques in Exercise Physiology - 15 Credits

SS836 - Research Methods - 45 Credits

SS835 - Contemporary Perspectives in Sport Research - 15 Credits

SS806 - Dissertation - 60 Credits

Optional Modules 

SS832 - Sport and Exercise Nutrition - 15 Credits

SS834 - Physiology of Training - 15 Credits

SS831 - Applied Professional Practice - 15 Credits

Students can also pick relevant optional modules offered by other schools. Modules need to be agreed by programme director, module convener and fit within your timetable. 

For more information on the modules please contact

Teaching and Assessment

Assessment is typically by coursework and the final dissertation research project.

Programme aims

This programme aims to:

  • provide you with a foundation of scientific and evidence-based knowledge, essential for building a good sport scientist
  • enhance your understanding of the scientific principles underpinning preparation for, participation in, and recovery from sport and exercise
  • provide you with an interdisciplinary approach to the study of sport science
  • develop a systematic and critical understanding of the current theory, debates and research in sport science
  • give you the opportunity to undertake an in-depth enquiry in selected areas of interest
  • enhance your employability and career preparation by developing a range of both subject specific and key transferable skills.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You will gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • how to critically appraise techniques applicable to your own research or practice in sport science
  • methods of data collection in a research area and the critical analysis of previously published work in the area
  • how to recognise and manage any ethical issues in your work
  • the skills and competencies required to work in the field of sport science, including a practical understanding of, and competence in, the use of established methods and techniques to analyse, monitor and optimise performance
  • how to critically evaluate and synthesise theory and research in the field of sport science.

Intellectual skills

You develop intellectual skills in:

  • the ability to recognise and critically analyse existing methodologies employed in sport science
  • the ability to demonstrate autonomy and originality in tackling and solving research and practical problems within sport science
  • the ability to develop the ability to make informed decisions in complex and unpredictable situations with varying degrees of information
  • the ability to critically analyse, synthesise and evaluate evidence from a variety of sources and apply it to various contexts
  • the ability to use research methodologies to collect data that can be evaluated, interpreted, integrated and disseminated into relevant formats.

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in:

  • how to apply your theoretical knowledge of sport science to the investigation of performance and strategies to optimise performance
  • how to apply experimental, practical and analytical skills to sport science
  • how to produce critical scientific reports, training programmes and case studies in an appropriate format
  • how to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the sub-disciplines of sport science within the context of the programme.

Transferable skills

You will gain the following transferable skills:

  • how to prepare and communicate information on complex contemporary issues in sport science to specialist and non-specialist audiences
  • how to demonstrate IT skills, including the ability to search for, and critically evaluate, internet-based resources
  • how to be an independent and autonomous learner (using the library, note-taking, revision, time-constrained techniques, reading efficiently, problem-solving, action planning, self-motivation and time management)
  • how to demonstrate collaborative skills
  • how to develop a self-reflective element in your learning and evaluation.


You gain the required knowledge and skills for you to work autonomously in the field of sport and exercise science. Importantly, there are significant opportunities for you to gain real-life experience of working with athletes or other relevant clients; both as part of the programme and also through the School’s work with professional teams, elite athletes and other clients. Many of our graduates have gone on to further study such as a PhD, and/or work in high level professional sport and/or exercise industries as applied sport and exercise scientists. 

Study support

Postgraduate resources

The School of Sport and Exercise Sciences has excellent purpose-built facilities on campus, including multiple physiology laboratories, a psychobiology laboratory, and a biomechanics laboratory equipped with 3D motion capture cameras and force plates. There is also a sports therapy teaching clinic and rehabilitation gymnasium. We also have additional world-class facilities based in the £11 million Medway Park development, a regional centre of sporting excellence. They include the latest equipment, such as our:

  • environmental chambers, which can recreate the atmosphere in the Brazilian jungle or at the top of Everest
  • anti-gravity treadmill, originally developed to help NASA astronauts train and prepare
  • 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
  • force pedals
  • blood testing and gas analysis equipment
  • rehabilitation gymnasium.

Extra activities

There is a thriving sports scene for students. Sports clubs at the Medway campus include athletics, badminton, basketball, cricket, football, kickboxing, rowing, taekwondo, Thai boxing and volleyball, plus women’s netball and men’s futsal and rugby.

With our free shuttle bus, it’s also easy to join the sports clubs on the Canterbury campus. These include American football, archery, boxing, caving, canoeing, cycling, equestrian, cheerleading, fencing, floorball, golf, gymnastics, hockey, judo, karate, kendo, korfball, kung fu, lacrosse, mountaineering, sailing and windsurfing, skydiving, snooker and pool, snowsports, squash, swimming, surfing, tennis, trampolining, ultimate frisbee and women’s rugby.

Professional network

The School of Sport and Exercise Sciences has links to many sporting bodies. We have worked with companies such as Science in Sport and Team Sky, and with organisations such as:

  • The NHS
  • England Rugby
  • English Institute of Sport
  • British Cycling
  • UK Sport
  • World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)
  • UEFA
  • UK Sport
  • Ministry of Defence

Global Skills Award

All students registered for a taught Master's programme are eligible to apply for a place on our Global Skills Award Programme. The programme is designed to broaden your understanding of global issues and current affairs as well as to develop personal skills which will enhance your employability.  

Entry requirements

A good honours degree (at least a high 2.2) in sports science, exercise science or related subject. Alternatively, a relevant professional qualification with appropriate experience will be considered.

All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, professional qualifications and experience will also be taken into account. 

International students

Please see our International Student website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information for your country.  Please note that international fee-paying students cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.

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.

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. Staff conduct research on a host of topics in all areas of Sports Science. This ranges from high-performance sport, training physiology, sports nutrition, performance optimisation to health-related work and research in special populations. For example, staff have received research grants from organisations such as UEFA, WADA, the MoD, Sports Nutrition organisations, and health-related charities, such as Arthritis Action and Parkinson’s Equip.

See the Staff Research section for further details.

Staff research interests

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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Professor Samuele Marcora: Professor

Psychobiology of perception of effort and endurance performance; fatigue in chronic disease (eg, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, ME); psychobiology of exercise adherence.

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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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The 2019/20 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

Sport and Exercise Science - MSc at Medway:
UK/EU Overseas
Full-time £7500 £19000
Part-time £3750 £9500

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

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: