Male student training on stationary bike in front of class

School of Sport, Health and 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.

Teaching

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

Sport science courses

A career in the sport and exercise industry – in whatever field you are aiming for – starts with one of our courses in sport and exercise science.

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Sport and Exercise Science Short Courses

Explore the short courses and continuing professional development (CPD) programmes we offer in sport and exercise science.

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Research

In our submission to the Research Excellence Framework 2021 (REF 2021), 95% of our overall research quality was rated as world-leading or internationally excellent in terms of originality, significance and rigour (REF 2021) and 100% of our research impact case studies were rated as outstanding in terms of their reach and significance. This included research in improving water safety, protecting workers in arduous conditions, and research improving athlete safety and enhancing sports performance in extreme environments.

Our areas of research expertise

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

Extreme environments

We investigate the physiological and psychological responses to some of the harshest environments on Earth, and our research informs the selection, preparation and protection of individuals required to perform in these conditions.

Choppy waters with floating life ring buoy
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Individual occupational and organisational performance

We investigate the factors influencing the effective function of organisations, and provide the evidence needed to develop safe and fair policies and standards for people working in arduous or physically-demanding occupations.

RNLI lifeboat crew in a boat on the water
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Physical Activity, Health and Rehabilitation

We're investigating ways to increase physical activity, how to rehabilitate individuals from conditions that prevent them from being active, and exploring the positive benefits of physical activity in a variety of clinical and non-clinical contexts.

stopwatch being held by female professor
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Research in the School of Sport, Health and Exercise Science

Watch School of Sport, Health & Exercise Science Research Areas at University of Portsmouth on YouTube.

Learn more about the research being carried out at the School of Sport, Health and Exercise Science.

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

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Richard Charles Thelwell Portrait

Professor Richard Thelwell

Head of Department

Richard.Thelwell@port.ac.uk

School of Sport, Health and Exercise Science

Faculty of Science and Health

PhD Supervisor

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Jennifer Louise Burbage Portrait

Dr Jenny Burbage

Associate Head (Students)

Jenny.Burbage@port.ac.uk

School of Sport, Health and Exercise Science

Faculty of Science and Health

PhD Supervisor

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Chris Mills Portrait

Dr Chris Mills

Associate Head (Academic)

Chris.Mills@port.ac.uk

School of Sport, Health and Exercise Science

Faculty of Science and Health

PhD Supervisor

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Timothy Exell Portrait

Dr Timothy Exell

Associate Head (Employability and Placements)

tim.exell@port.ac.uk

School of Sport, Health and Exercise Science

Faculty of Science and Health

PhD Supervisor

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Michael Rayner Portrait

Dr Mike Rayner

Associate Head (Global Engagement and Education Partnerships)

Mike.Rayner@port.ac.uk

School of Sport, Health and Exercise Science

Faculty of Science and Health

PhD Supervisor

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Joseph Costello Portrait

Dr Joe Costello

Associate Head (Research and Innovation)

joe.costello@port.ac.uk

PhD Supervisor

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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

Explore our faculty

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

School of Biological Sciences

In the School of Biological Sciences, we're addressing the most pressing issues impacting people's quality of life around the world.

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Dental Academy

The Dental Academy is a modern, primary-care based school that trains General Dental Council-registered and qualified dental care professionals, and offers comprehensive oral and dental healthcare to the public.

Dental Academy photoshoot, 14th November 2018
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School of Health and Care Professions

The School of Health and Care Professions offers exceptional health and social care education to meet the current and future needs of the health and social care sectors.

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School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences

Through our teaching and research, the School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences strives to find new ways to help those with debilitating illnesses and diseases.

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Department of Psychology

Explore the Department of Psychology at the University of Portsmouth, and learn more about the teaching and research activities happening within the department.

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Faculty of Science and Health

Explore the Faculty of Science and Health at the University of Portsmouth, and learn more about the teaching and research activities that take place within the Faculty's different departments and schools.

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Pulse newsletter 

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Contact us

To get in touch, please contact our Faculty office.

+44 (0)23 9284 2994

sci-enquiries@port.ac.uk

 

Email Faculty office