Sport, Exercise and Health Science
A rigorous programme of advanced study and research
Why take this course?
The Professional Doctorate is an alternative pathway to a doctorate qualification. It is a rigorous programme of advanced study and research, designed specifically to meet the needs of commerce, industry and professional groups and is the professionally oriented counterpart to the more theoretical PhD. It enables you to study a specific subject to the same depth as PhD students, but also to apply learning to your professional practice.
What will I experience?
The Faculty of Science offers a suite of Professional Doctorates. You will be supervised by experienced researcher-practitioners with extensive applied experience.
On this course you will:
- Gain advanced research skills through the completion of a doctoral level programme of research
- Be supervised by staff who have a wealth of experience in research and applied practice in sport, exercise and health science
- Develop advanced ethical, communication, and consultancy competencies in applied sport, exercise and health science practice
What opportunities might it lead to?
On a personal level, successful completion of the Professional Doctorate will offer personal fulfilment, professional development, career enhancement and encourage reflective practice.
The programme enhances personal development planning for continuing professional development. It encourages an advanced level of critical, analytical, debating and publishing skills, plus knowledge of the range of different research methods encountered in professional practice. Further to this, you will have the opportunity to research, with appropriate supervision, a professional issue/topic to generate findings and/or implications for the improvement of you own, or others delivery of that profession. As such, the benefits of the qualification extend to the broader organisation and profession.
Across many organisations (e.g. professional bodies for sport, exercise and health; NHS), a Professional Doctorate is now viewed as a necessary academic qualification for attaining higher level posts.
- Up to 6 years part time. Start: October 2017.
- 2018 entry requirements
- A master's degree in an appropriate subject and a suitable workplace environment to support the professional research and development project. Applicants are subject to interview. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 7.0 with no component score below 6.5.
UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students
2017/18 entry: part time: £2,570 p/a*
Course is not eligible for Government Postgraduate Loan
*Tuition fee is subject to annual increase.
+44 (0)23 9284 5550
- Department of Sport and Exercise Science
- Programme specification
Structure & Teaching
This is a part-time course, which has been specifically designed so that it can be available to sport, exercise and health professionals from all over the country, to fit with the demands of full-time employment. The course structure is only offered in a part-time mode and would require you to achieve 540 credits. These credit would be made up from three core units (420 credits), the remaining 120 credits would come from a compatible MSc, professional qualification and or experience that could be accredited through the University’s Recognition of Prior Learning process. Claims will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Years 1 to 2 would comprise of two taught units (Unit 1 - Publication and Dissemination; Unit 2 - Proposal for Professional Research and Development) these will equip you with the skills that you will need in preparation for years 2 to 6. Attendance of these units will be taught in blocks spread over two academic years. Typically, you will be required to attend the University for up to 56 hours to complete both units. Assessments will be through a presentation and course work.
Years 2 to 6 are dedicated to the Professional Research and Development Project unit, with attendance for consisting of tutorials, seminars and oral presentations. This unit comprises one or two pieces of practice-based research, linked with a commentary demonstrating the relevance of the research to both practice and the practitioner. The nature of this study may include pure basic research or applied research related, for example, to a management or educational setting. This should normally take between 24 and 48 months to complete. Assessment will be by a thesis, an oral presentation and a viva voce examination.
Core and optional units include:
- Proposal for Professional Research and Development Project
- Publication and Dissemination
- Professional Research and Development Project
Teaching and Assessment
You will be assigned one or more university supervisors, depending on the area of research and professional development. Access to specialist advisors in the workplace will be required for Part 2 of the programme and will vary according to the area of investigation. We have excellent support systems for our Professional Doctorate students and you will be assigned a Personal Tutor for Part 1 as well as two Supervisors for Part 2 of the course.
There are further opportunities to attend Research Seminars and Workshops organised by the University's Graduate School.
How are you assessed?
The Professional Doctorate consists of coursework and research and is credit based. The coursework component will build on professional expertise by exposing you to challenging and innovative ideas in your field.
Assessment is by coursework including preparation of an article for publication, a research proposal, and oral presentations. This should normally take 24 months to complete.
Facilities & Features
The Biomechanics Laboratory
Facilities and equipment in the biomechanics laboratory include:
- An 11 camera Oqus automated tracking system incorporating 3 high speed (1000 Hz, full resolution) cameras (Qualysis, Sweden)
- Two Kistler 9281C force plates that can be mounted in different configurations in the laboratory, with additional floor mountings in the sports hall and dance studio also available
- Tekscan - portable pressure plate and software
- An eight channel online or eight channel wireless EMG system (Biometrics Ltd, UK) for measuring muscle activity
- Timing gates
- 50 Hz camcorders
- Force transducers and accelerometers (1000 Hz)
- Visual 3D software is used to analyse motion, force and EMG data to estimate joint moments and create musculoskeletal models
Learning Environments and Specialist Equipment
We are one of the leading departments offering sports science-based programmes in the UK according to the National Student Survey (NSS), the Times Good University Guide, the Independent University Guide, and the Guardian University Guide league tables. You will learn in a several different environments including our biomechanics, physiology and kinanthropometry labs, plus plenty of indoor space for practical activities, all located at the heart of the University. These house some of the country’s finest facilities, including:
- 3 climatic chambers for manipulating temperature, humidity and altitude
- an immersion pool
- a swimming flume
- an automated tracking system
- visual 3D software
Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.
The facilities in Spinnaker Building are excellent, all brand new, state-of-the-art technology which really facilitates understanding of subjects studied.
Brendan Maccaoilte, BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science student
Budgeting for your studies
There may be extra costs arising from your studies which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.
Some are common costs to all courses of study. These may include the cost of study texts, reference books, photocopying and computer supplies. Others relate to specific courses and may include field trips, materials and specialist equipment.
Careers & Opportunities
The programme is predominantly work-based and the activities will benefit your workplace/profession. The decision to support an individual on this programme recognises their importance to the organisation and the projects undertaken should allow your organisation to develop new processes and procedures that will be of benefit to the workplace. We would also expect this course to be appealing to those interested in pursuing a career in academia (i.e. research, lecturing) in addition to, or as a potential option, to applied practice in the domain of sport, exercise and health science.
One of the benefits of studying at Portsmouth is the support that we provide to our Master's and Research Degree students in career planning. Our careers and recruitment service can assist you in career research and finding employment opportunities. Help is also available if you wish to find a part-time job while studying your degree.
We offer our postgraduate students and alumni one-to-one appointments with a careers adviser, or an online service for those not able to travel back to the University. Our alumni can call on our career services for five years after graduation.
In addition, regular employability events offer you the chance to meet employers, find out about different career sectors and improve your applications or CV. The Graduate Summer Programme provides a range of guidance and employability seminars and workshops.
Benefits of Postgraduate Study
Regardless of whether you are seeking to build on your studies, further your career or pursue a career change, a postgraduate qualification adds to your achievement record.
- Postgraduate study may greatly improve your chances of getting that first break.
- Many graduate employers prefer the higher intellectual rigour displayed in postgraduate students.
- Recruiters for roles requiring specialist knowledge or research particularly target those with higher level qualifications.
- Postgraduate study shows you can take the challenge of in-depth study; acquiring transferable skills in team working and problem solving techniques.
- If you have a passion for a particular subject, postgraduate study can also be something undertaken as part of your own development at an appropriate time in your life.
Visit us or apply now
Online application form
Apply direct using our online form
Your application will be received by the University Admissions Centre for consideration.
Postgraduate Information Days
We will confirm the dates of events related to 2018 entry soon. Visit the link below to get a reminder when booking opens.
Other opportunities to visit
Download our free walking tour PDF for a self-guided tour of the University. You can visit Monday to Friday between 8.30am and 4pm.
We have an open-door policy so you will be able to take a look in our buildings, speak to some of our support services and get a feel for the campus.
Can't get to Portsmouth?
If you can’t make it to Portsmouth, come and speak with us about the courses we offer and life and study in Portsmouth at one of the events we attend around the UK.
Staff from our International Office also regularly attend overseas exhibitions. To find out more about these and our visits to your region see our International Office exhibitions page.
If you would like to speak with a member of staff about any courses you are interested in, please email email@example.com and we will arrange this for you.
Fees and Funding
Find out more about fees and funding available to you at Portsmouth.