Unfortunately due to Coronavirus, we are closed to visitors. Fortunately though, you can still tour our facilities, read about our lecturers and learn about our achievements online.

Take a virtual tour

You can explore our sports laboratories, the Medway campus and our accommodation via our virtual tour.

Take a virtual tour

Meet the team

You can get to know our teaching staff and learn about the research they are passionate about by reading their staff profiles.

Meet the team

Learn about our courses

On our applicant days our programme directors present on each of their courses. So you don't miss out you can watch out presentations by following the links. 

Lucy Hale presents on our BSc Sport and Exercise Science (including Year in Industry)

Watch our Sport & Exercise Science presentation

Dr Steve Meadows presents on our BA Sport and Exercise for Health (including Year in Industry)

Watch our Sport & Exercise for Health presentation

Karthik Muthumayandi presents on our BSc Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation 

Watch our Sports Therapy & Rehab presentation

Discover what happens in our labs

The facilities and laboratories we have in the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences are full of high-quality equipment to help support our degree programmes. See the equipment in use in our video.

Close up of a cyclists hand on a bike in a laboratory

See our facilities and labs in action

Taster topics


Our lecturers have provided some short videos covering a variety of sports topics so you can learn about sport science from home.

Introduction to fatigue and pain

In this video Dr Mark Burnley, Senior lecturer in exercise physiology, introduces the research interests of the school in the areas of fatigue, perception of effort and exercise-induced pain. All of these have been shown to have a strong influence on performance in a range of sports activities and exercise situations. Attempting to reduce the effects of fatigue, effort and pain are a major focus of research and applied work in the school.

Measuring neuromuscular fatigue

Drs Mark Burnley and Jamie Pethick will demonstrate a time to task failure test, performed by Mark. We will see how to set up the equipment to measure the fatigue process, and how to analyse the data that is produced during the effort. This kind of test is often used in exercise physiology laboratories to measure fitness and performance.

Results of the time to task failure test

Dr Jamie Pethick explains what the time to task failure test shows about muscular performance, and what types of fatigue have occurred.

Peripheral and central fatigue

A short but detailed lecture on the mechanisms of fatigue. This is an advanced 3rd year undergraduate/Masters-level presentation, and provides a good example of the teaching performed in the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences.

Upper respiratory tract infections in endurance athletes

In this video SSES Reader (lecturer), and Director of Research, Dr Glen Davison explores issues around immunity and illness in athletes.

Topics covered include the relationship between training volume (or load), immune function and the risk of contracting infections vs being able to fight them off if an athlete should become exposed. Discussions include the risk factors, how training load may be important, and how to manage and/or reduce these risks in athletes (amongst other things, nutrition is of key importance and this is covered in more detail in a later lecture).

Introduction to nutrition, illness and immunity in athletes

Endurance athletes are known to pick up illnesses and infections more often than others, especially upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) such as the common cold or flu. In this presentation, SSES Reader (lecturer), and Director of Research, Dr Glen Davison explores ways that this can be avoided, with a focus on attempts to enhance immunity or decrease risk of infection through nutritional practices or supplements.

We examine the evidence for various nutritional practices and supplements. We show that, whilst there are certainly benefits to using these for correcting a dietary deficiency, there is no evidence of benefits from then taking extra supplements, beyond what’s needed for correction. We conclude that the best advice is simply to avoid dietary deficiency.

The pre-exercise meal

In this video SSES lecturer Dr Lucy Hale discusses pre-exercise nutrition and the importance of this to athlete performance. This includes simple aspects like providing a direct source of ‘fuel’ for muscular activity but also how food can affect our psychology.

The key points covered in the video are:

  • What are the goals of the pre-endurance event/exercise meal?
  • When should the meal be consumed?
  • What should the meal contain?
  • Do we need to be concerned about eating too close to exercise?

Carbohydrate loading

Carbohydrate loading has been practiced for many years, since the classic studies conducted in the 1960s showing that carbohydrate intake in the diet can influence muscle glycogen levels, and that higher levels allow athletes to exercise for longer at a given intensity. However, does this mean that carbohydrate-loading is always necessary or beneficial for all types of athlete all of the time? In this video, Dr Lucy Hale discusses the importance of carbohydrate in endurance exercise, and investigates how body stores can be manipulated. She also discusses how the optimal amounts needed will vary depending on the type of sport or activity, showing that some athletes need a lot, but others are fine with relatively ‘normal’ intake levels.

Carbohydrate intake during endurance exercise

In this video Dr Lucy Hale discusses carbohydrate intake during exercise and how this can affect fatigue and performance. She examines the importance of carbohydrate as a contributing fuel to exercise metabolism. As exercise intensity increases the reliance on carbohydrate (as the primary fuel for that exercise) increases. This sessions explores how carbohydrate can affect exercise performance; the difference between single and multiple transportable carbohydrates; and how using different types of sugars during exercise can increase the ability of the body to use carbohydrate as fuel.

What is Fascia?

This talk describes the different types of fascia. All our muscles, bones and organs are wrapped in fascia. This fascial network varies enormously in shape and function. It can be as thin as clingfilm surrounding muscles or it can form thick tendons. Understanding the function and dysfunction of fascia helps us to design and refine Sports Rehabilitation programmes.  

How muscles are connected

This talk explains specific connections between neighbouring muscles. Muscles do not function as isolated units, but are connected through a connective tissue network along functional kinetic chains. This is particularly important in Sports Rehabilitation, as a hamstring injury may affect the function of other muscles groups (for example the gastrocnemius muscle or back muscles) which needs to be assessed and addressed in the rehabilitation process.   

What are the main injuries in endurance sport and why?

If we look at different sports we can put them into categories based on the physiological requirements of each sport. If the main requirement of a sport is to maintain an activity level for a long period of time, often with repetitive movements, that is often called an endurance sport. Examples of endurance sports are marathon running, long-distance swimming and triathlons. In this video we will look at injuries and why particular types of injuries occur more often in endurance sports.  

Loading in practice the Alter G

When you sustain an injury the tissue that is damaged is much weaker than normal healthy tissue. As a result, one of the key principles in rehabilitation is to manage the amount of load that the tissue is exposed to but often this is difficult for an injury to the lower limbs. Anti-gravity treadmills, such as the Alter G, can be used to reduce the weight that is being placed on the injured area which means that clients can walk or run with reduced stress on the joints. In this video we will look at how the Alter G can be used in the rehabilitation programme of an endurance runner.   

What are the determinants of endurance performance?

Many sports scientists have attempted to identify the physiological determinants of endurance performance, whilst coaches and athletes have tried to identify appropriate training techniques to achieve the greatest improvements in performance. Dr. James Hopker examines these two aspects, by addressing the physiological demands, how they can be assessed, and the optimal training techniques. In this first video, James introduces some key concepts, including where our energy comes from when we exercise. We look at:

  • aerobic metabolism, the provision of energy from chemical reactions that require oxygen to break down food; and,
  • anaerobic metabolism, energy provision from chemical reactions that do not require oxygen.

Of particular interest is the maximal oxygen consumption, known as VO2max, which is the highest rate at which oxygen can be consumed and used to power exercise. These concepts will be studied in physiology related modules across all degree programmes, and to a greater extend within the Sport and Exercise Science degree.

How is endurance performance assessed?

In this video James considers how endurance performance can be assessed.

James focuses on laboratory-based testing in this video. We look at tests for various determinants of endurance performance:

  • VO2max
  • Lactate threshold
  • Efficiency
  • Anaerobic power and capacity

Modules across all degree programmes will look at exercise testing and undertake similar tests to those covered in this video.

What information can be obtained from testing?

In this video James explains what information can be obtained from the assessment of endurance performance. We examine the results from a variety of tests we’ve seen in previous steps:

  • VO2max
  • Lactate threshold
  • Efficiency
  • Anaerobic power and capacity
  • Critical power

In this step we’ve identified how an athlete’s laboratory and field data is analysed and interpreted following testing.

Introduction to training principles

In this step James introduces the basic principles that underpin the endurance training process.

Planning endurance training

In this video James looks at the basic principles of periodisaton and introduces traditional and block periodisation methods. The Fitness Training methods module in the 2nd year explores the application of these principles and latest training methods across a range of different sports.

How can endurance training be monitored?

In this video, James identifies different methods available to the endurance athlete to monitor their training. We’ll consider the importance of the coach-athlete relationship in the monitoring process and management of the training plan. We then concentrate on the role of heart rate monitoring. Heart rate monitoring is a useful tool but needs to be used in combination with power output or speed data to provide a rich source of information about an athlete’s performance, freshness or training status.

Stay in touch

There are lots of ways to learn more about the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences and to stay in contact with us.

Keep up to date via our News section - you'll find out about our students' successes and learn about the impact our research is having.

Follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @unikentsportsci

Chat to staff and students on Unibuddy 

Drop us an email at ssesadmissions@kent.ac.uk

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