Male student training on stationary bike in front of class

School of sport, health & Exercise

Discover the teaching and research activities taking place within our School of Sport, Health and Exercise

The School of Sport, Health and Exercise Science is a vibrant interdisciplinary School within the Faculty of Science and Health. We study the physiology, psychology and biomechanics of the human body during exercise and its application to sports performance and health as well as development and management of sport and the role of sport in society. 

We examine the role of physical activity in health and disease, strategies for increasing participation in sport and physical activity, and approaches to optimising human performance. Our discipline covers the entire lifespan, from childhood to master athletes and we study individuals across the performance spectrum, from Olympic athletes to those undertaking physically demanding occupations, or individuals with chronic diseases where exercise is medicine. 

Our outstanding educational, research and innovation activities are supported by our laboratories – such as the Extreme Environments Laboratory – and our unique testing facilities including the sports and human performance testing unit and sports bra testing unit. The School has received funding for its excellent research from many notable organisations, including charities, governing bodies, health groups, industry, defence and research funding bodies.



We offer a wide range of professionally accredited and research informed courses in the sport, health and Exercise science domain. Both our undergraduate and postgraduate degree pathways reflect the thematic strengths of the school providing an educational platform that bridges the gap between science and application, creating a diverse and comprehensive educational experience for our students.

A degree through our School is more than just a stepping stone – we offer experience in the field of applied science, sports management and collaborative research in the commercial industry and the international community.

Our teaching areas

To see all of our undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, visit our sport science subject area page. We also offer short courses and continuing professional development courses that cover all aspects of sport and exercise science.


In submissions to the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) our impact cases studies did very well – notable submissions included our 'Improving understanding and changing protocols for the rescue and resuscitation of immersion victims', and 'Improving sports bra design and breast health through biomechanics' research. We're proud that 100% of our research impacts are rated as either outstanding or very considerable in terms of its reach and significance. Our school environment for research is rated as either internationally excellent or internationally recognised in terms of its quality, significance and rigour.

Our areas of research expertise

Explore the work we're doing across our three areas of expertise in Sport & Exercise Science research.

Our staff

We’re an ambitious, collegiate, innovative and caring School. We trust, empower and support individuals to work effectively, either independently or collaboratively.

We strive for a gender balance in our staff, and 40% of our academics are female.

We strive for professional excellence in all that we do within a community that endorses equality, diversity and an authentic sense of belonging.

View all staff

Image of Professor Richard Thelwell

Professor Richard Thelwell

  • Job Title Head of School
  • Email Address
  • Department School of Sport Health and Exercise Science
  • Faculty Faculty of Science and Health
  • PhD Supervisor PhD Supervisor
Image of Dr Jo Corbett

Dr Jo Corbett

  • Job Title Deputy Associate Dean (and Reader in Environmental Physiology)
  • Email Address
  • Department School of Sport Health and Exercise Science
  • Faculty Faculty of Science and Health
  • PhD Supervisor PhD Supervisor
Image of Dr Mike Rayner

Dr Mike Rayner

  • Job Title Associate Head (Global Engagement and Education Partnerships)
  • Email Address
  • Department School of Sport Health and Exercise Science
  • Faculty Faculty of Science and Health
  • PhD Supervisor PhD Supervisor

Gender equality commitment

At the School of Sport, Health and Exercise Science we hold the Athena SWAN Bronze Award. This represents our commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) in higher education and research.

Athena SWAN principles are central to the development of our School. They encourage, support and reinforce our evaluation process. This helps us identify areas of equality and inclusivity to work on. We perform annual culture surveys of our staff and research students to monitor how our gender equality aims impact them.

Our aims for gender equality

  • Investigate the factors that influence females’ choice of degree and university to increase our recruitment of female students to our undergraduate courses
  • Give part-time PhD students a better work-life balance through online support
  • Consult our staff on committee membership and career development
  • Implement transparent allocation of committee membership
  • Make sure, where possible, there's an even gender split for invited speakers at events hosted by our School
  • Develop and maintain a school-based Athena SWAN e-learning site to inform our staff of Athena SWAN issues
  • Increase the support we give staff returning from parental leave
Athena Swan Bronze Award logo

Explore our faculty

Explore the other Schools and Departments that make up our Faculty of Science and Health.

Contact us

To get in touch, please contact our Faculty office.

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