MSc Sports Performance students put toes on race start line
Mode of Study
Part-time, Full-time
Duration
1 year full-time, 2 years part-time
Start Date
January 2023, September 2023, January 2024

Overview

Whether you’re interested in analysing and optimising sports performance through individual and community engagement, or at international and elite-level, this course will give you the skills you need and will deepen your knowledge of the physiology, psychology, performance analysis and biomechanics of sport.

Sports science at the University of Portsmouth is ranked 3rd of all post-1992 universities for research quality

On this MSc course, you'll learn the biomechanics, physiology and psychology that underpins performance enhancement. You'll develop applied techniques, practical skills and research expertise which show how scientific support can be integrated into the world of top-level sport.

The UK is Europe’s leading market for sport and sports tech with sport and physical activity contributing £39 billion to the UK’s economy. The global sports market is expected to reach $707.84 billion in 2026. The UK’s globally renowned sporting events provide many career opportunities and we’ll provide the expertise and support that will enable you to pursue a career in sports performance with professional sports clubs, national sports organisations and private clinics, or develop your own professional practice.

During your studies, you can choose to work toward British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) accreditation as a sport and exercise scientist.

Scholarships for sports students

Eligibility

This course accepts UK, EU, and international students.

Course highlights

  • Develop an interdisciplinary approach to enhancing and maintaining sports performance and understanding the techniques used to measure team and individual performance
  • Hear from, and network with, industry insiders such as the English Institute of Sport 
  • Use your laboratory and field-based skills to conduct multidisciplinary analysis of athlete performance including notational systems, performance profiling, assessing physiological determinants of performance and motion capture
  • Learn to communicate with clients in a professional and approachable style
  • Study key topics in high-growth employment areas like sports biomechanics and performance analysis
  • Use our professional facilities in biomechanics, physiology, psychology and performance testing
  • Benefit from our outstanding new Ravelin Sports Centre, designed to be one of the UK’s most sustainable sports facilities

What you'll study on this MSc Sports Performance degree course

Full-time

Modules studied
All modules on this MSc Sports Performance are core.

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Demonstrate a systematic understanding of how to safely conduct a range of physiological assessments.
  • Analyse, interpret, and feed back data from an assessment of an athlete in a user-friendly format.
  • Critically discuss the concepts that relate to physiological testing and sports performance.

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Critically evaluate the professional skills, roles, responsibilities and competencies required of a performance analyst
  • Critically contextualise theory and research perspectives to optimise the delivery of performance analysis
  • Critically appraise the varying ways that performance analysis is used in practice

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Evaluate individual and synchronised biomechanical systems.
  • Understand the appropriate application of biomechanical tools to a practical sporting setting.
  • Appraise fundamental anatomical and mechanical principles that underpin sports biomechanics.
  • Demonstrate biomechanical protocols and apply these in appropriate situations.
  • Identify and apply various methodological approaches to biomechanical data collection; including critical analysis of various data processing, filtering and analysis procedures.

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Critically evaluate the professional skills, roles, responsibilities, and competencies required of a practicing sport psychologist
  • Critically evaluate the methods and techniques for performer assessment and develop experience of consultancy skills as a trainee practitioner
  • Critically appraise varying theoretical approaches for applying psychology to sporting performance
  • Critically evaluate the varying intervention strategies designed to provide support for the sports performer

Explore this module

Part-time

Year 1
Year 2
All modules on this MSc Sports Performance are core.

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Demonstrate a systematic understanding of how to safely conduct a range of physiological assessments.
  • Analyse, interpret, and feed back data from an assessment of an athlete in a user-friendly format.
  • Critically discuss the concepts that relate to physiological testing and sports performance.

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Critically evaluate the professional skills, roles, responsibilities, and competencies required of a practicing sport psychologist
  • Critically evaluate the methods and techniques for performer assessment and develop experience of consultancy skills as a trainee practitioner
  • Critically appraise varying theoretical approaches for applying psychology to sporting performance
  • Critically evaluate the varying intervention strategies designed to provide support for the sports performer

Explore this module

All modules on this MSc Sports Performance are core.

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Critically evaluate the professional skills, roles, responsibilities and competencies required of a performance analyst
  • Critically contextualise theory and research perspectives to optimise the delivery of performance analysis
  • Critically appraise the varying ways that performance analysis is used in practice

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Evaluate individual and synchronised biomechanical systems.
  • Understand the appropriate application of biomechanical tools to a practical sporting setting.
  • Appraise fundamental anatomical and mechanical principles that underpin sports biomechanics.
  • Demonstrate biomechanical protocols and apply these in appropriate situations.
  • Identify and apply various methodological approaches to biomechanical data collection; including critical analysis of various data processing, filtering and analysis procedures.

Explore this module

Changes to course content

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry. If a module doesn't run, we'll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

The course offered applied sports biomechanics, applied sports physiology and strength and conditioning practice, which was exactly what I wanted. In addition, the research project offered me an opportunity to combine these units with my sport of gymnastics in a practical research setting.

Matthew Dwornik, MSc Sports Performance

Facilities

An artist impression of the new swimming pool in Ravelin Sports Centre

Opening 2022: Our £50m sports centre

Train and play in one of the UK's greenest sports centres, including an 8-lane swimming pool, virtual skiing, climbing wall and more.

Learn more

Male student running on treadmill in Physiology lab

Physiology laboratory

This lab includes treadmills, a swim bench, ergometers and a physiological monitoring kit for analysing athletes' blood, heart rate and urine.

Learn more

Male student sits on swing in extreme environments lab

Extreme environments laboratories

See how altitude and humidity affect people's comfort, performance and survival. Features an immersion pool and swimming flume, which acts like a treadmill for swimmers.

Learn more

Woman running next to cameras in bra testing facility

Biomechanics laboratory

Use equipment including force plates, pressure plates and our electromyography system to explore the impact of exercise on the body in this lab, from the limits of human endurance to the effects of chronic health conditions.

Learn more

Elite athletes running on a track

Sports and human performance testing

Analyse sports performance and environmental physiology, and use some of the best extreme environments facilities in the UK.

Learn more

Careers and opportunities

Careers this Master’s prepares you for

When you graduate, you'll be qualified for a career in areas such as teaching, sports development, science support and the health and fitness sectors.

This course will also give you the theoretical basis for further academic research – you could go on to do a ProfDoc in Sport Exercise and Health Science or Sport and Exercise Psychology

Graduates of this course have gone onto roles such as:

  • Fitness and Health Manager
  • Sports Physiologist
  • Personal Trainer
  • Performance Analyst
  • Sports Coach
  • Sports Physiologist
  • Wellbeing Personal Trainer

Graduates of this course have gone on to work for companies such as:

  • Lotus Strength and Fitness
  • Nuffield Health
  • English Institute of Sport

Career outcomes shown are sourced from the latest available graduate outcome surveys. The data shows career outcomes at 15 months after graduation.

Career planning

During your course you'll have expert career support from your tutors and our Careers and Employability Centre – which you can access for up to 5 years after you graduate.

Female student standing at careers and employability help desk

You'll benefit from:

  • Networking events
  • Applied projects with employers
  • 1-to-1 appointments
  • CV and cover letter advice
  • Interview preparation and practice
  • Workshops to enhance your employability skills
  • Recruitment events including the Student and Graduate Opportunities Fair
  • Support starting your own business

Learn more about your career support

Placements and industry connections

There's no formal work placement component of this course, but our regular visiting speakers are industry experts who'll offer their own advice and insights in professional and career development.

We encourage and support our students to take any volunteer or work-shadowing opportunities that will support your learning and improve your career prospects. Some of our students organise work experience through our local partners and professional contacts at organisations such as Portsmouth Football Club.

" The University of Portsmouth has helped me take up opportunities and been there for me when I need assistance or have questions about something I’m unsure of. "

Charles Hervey, MSc Sports Performance

Read Charles’s story

How you'll spend your time

We recognise that you'll probably be juggling more demands when you do your Master's degree, as you may be working or you may have family responsibilities.

We'll give you as much indication here as we can of how much time you'll need to be on campus and how many hours you can expect to spend in self-directed study, but please note that these indications are always subject to change. You should receive your full timetable several weeks before you start with us.

It is our expectation that all international students will join us here on campus in Portsmouth.

Course structure

  • We recommend that full-time students allocate 37 hours per week to their studies – equivalent to a full-time job
  • We recommend that part-time students allocate around 18 hours per week to their studies – equivalent to a part-time job
  • Studies include teaching time (lectures, seminars and tutorials), course work, independent learning and assessments
  • On-campus, in-person teaching mostly takes place on Thursdays and Fridays over two teaching blocks (September to January and January to May)
  • From May onwards, you'll focus on the development and realisation of your Research Development and Practice project

Teaching

Master's study is deeper and more specialised than an undergraduate degree. This means you'll focus on something that really matters to you and your career as you work closely with academics committed to the subject.

You'll spend more time in independent study and research than you did for your undergraduate degree, but the majority of your teaching time will be in-person and face-to-face.

You'll mainly be taught in interactive workshop sessions.

Assessment

You'll be assessed through:

  • practical and written exams
  • laboratory reports
  • role plays
  • presentations
  • projects

You'll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You'll can get feedback on practise and formal assessments, which you can incorporate as you move through the modules to your final project.

Term dates

September start

The Master's academic year runs from September to the following September. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter. Over the summer you'll be writing your project / dissertation.

January start

Courses that start in January have the same amount of teaching as September-start courses, but they normally run over a longer time period.

January-start courses normally run between 14–18 months, beginning in January and ending in the spring / summer of the following year. There are breaks at Christmas, Easter and in the summer. In the last few months you’ll be writing your project / dissertation.

See key dates

Joining us as an international student

Joining us as an international student

You'll feel at home in our international community and our diverse city. You'll be joining over 5,000 international students from more than 150 countries who are studying with us.

Learn more about international student life and how we can help you with visas, applications, arrival and settling in. 

Information for international students

Supporting your learning

Master's study is more focused on independent learning than undergraduate study, but you'll get lots of support via video, phone and face-to-face from teaching and support staff to enhance your learning experience and help you succeed. You can build your personalised network of support from the following people and services:

Types of support

Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to postgraduate study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your Master's.

As well as regular scheduled meetings with your personal tutor, they're also available at set times during the week if you want to chat with them about anything that can't wait until your next meeting.

You'll have help from a team of faculty learning support tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study.

They can help with:

  • improving your academic writing (for example, essays, reports, dissertations)
  • understanding and using assignment feedback
  • managing your time and workload
  • revision and exam techniques

As well as support from faculty staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK) for one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • academic writing
  • note taking
  • time management
  • critical thinking
  • presentation skills
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques

Our online Learning Well mini-course will help you plan for managing the challenges of learning and student life, so you can fulfil your potential and have a great student experience.

You can get personal, emotional and mental health support from our Student Wellbeing Service, in person and online. This includes 1–2–1 support as well as courses and workshops that help you better manage stress, anxiety or depression.

If you require extra support because of a disability or additional learning need our specialist team can help you.

They'll help you to:

  • discuss and agree on reasonable adjustments
  • liaise with other University services and facilities, such as the library
  • access specialist study skills and strategies tutors, and assistive technology tutors, on a 1-to-1 basis or in groups
  • liaise with external services

Library staff are available in person or by email, phone or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from the faculty librarian for science.

The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.

If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.

The Maths Café offers free advice and assistance with mathematical skills in a friendly, informal environment. You can come to our daily drop-in sessions, develop your maths skills at a workshop or use our online resources.

​Course costs and funding

Tuition fees (September 2022 / January 2023 start)

  • Full time: £8,100
  • Part time: £2,700 in year 1 and £5,400 in year 2

(including Transition Scholarship)

  • Full-time: £8,100
  • Part-time: £2,700 in year 1 and £5,400 in year 2

  • Full time: £16,200
  • Part time: £5,400 in year 1 and £10,800 in year 2

University of Portsmouth graduates may receive a 20% alumni tuition fee discount

Fees are subject to annual increase. Read our tuition fees terms and conditions.

You'll be able to pay your fees in instalments. Find out how to pay your tuition fees.

Funding your studies

Explore how to fund your studies, including available scholarships and bursaries.

If you're a UK student, you may be eligible for a Government Postgraduate Master's Loan, which you can use to help with course fees and living costs.

If you're a UK student who achieved a first in your undergraduate degree you may be eligible for a £3,000 University of Portsmouth scholarship.

Sport scholarships of up to £3,000 for student athletes

If you're competing at national standard or above in your sport, you may be eligible for funding. Around 20 student-athletes are awarded bursaries between £500 and £3000 per year.

Find out if you're eligible

Additional costs

These course-related costs aren't included in the tuition fees, so you'll need to budget for them when you plan your spending. Additional costs could include:

  • Accommodation: Accommodation options and costs can be found on our accommodation pages.
  • Recommended reading: You can borrow key texts from the library and if you choose to purchase these texts they may cost up to £60 each.
  • General costs: such photocopying, memory sticks, printing charges, binding and specialist printing. We suggest budgeting £75 per year.
  • Final project transport or accommodation: where necessary, which related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.

Read more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover.

Entry requirements​

Eligibility

This course accepts UK, EU, and international students.

January 2023 / September 2023 / January 2024 start

  • A minimum of a 2:1 honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject.
  • Applicants who hold a non-related degree will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • For those who do not hold a degree or relevant professional qualification, extensive experience together with evidence of scholarly ability will be required.

Please get in touch if you're not sure if your undergraduate subject is relevant to this degree.

Equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications will also be considered, such as previous study, employment, voluntary work and training courses, including courses and qualifications you didn't complete. Learn more about our Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

If you're applying as an international student with a non-UK degree, you’ll need to show you meet the UK entry requirements listed above.

To find out if your non-UK degree or other qualification is accepted, please visit our page for your country and view the UK equivalent of your qualification. 

  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 (or equivalent) with no component score below 6.0.

You do not need an IELTS or equivalent certification if:

  • you have a UK degree
  • you have a degree from a majority English speaking country (not taught by Distance Learning)
  • you are a national of a majority English speaking country

Degrees taught solely in English from non-majority English speaking countries will be considered on a case by case basis. Find out more about our English language requirements.

If you do not meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

How to apply

Unlike undergraduate applications, which go through UCAS, applications for this Master's course are made directly to us.

There's no deadline for applications to this course. We accept applications right up until the start dates in September and January, as long as there are places available. If you wait until your start month to apply, you may find that the course is full. 

If you're applying as an international student, remember that you'll need to leave plenty of time to get your visa organised.

You can find more advice about applying in our Master's application checklist. International students and current students and recent graduates of the University of Portsmouth also have some different application options, which are detailed below.

Extra information for international students

If you're an international student, you can apply directly to us using the same application form as UK students.

You could also get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region. To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section.

If you don’t meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Ready to apply?

Standard applications

Start this course in September 2023

Apply now (Full-time) – 1 year

Apply now (Part-time) – 2 years

Standard applications

Start this course in January 2023

Apply now (Full-time) – 1 year

Apply now (Part-time) – 2 years

Start this course in January 2024

Apply now (Full-time) – 1 year

Apply now (Part-time) – 2 years

I'm a current Portsmouth student, or a recent Portsmouth graduate

If you're currently in your final year of study at Portsmouth, or you graduated since July 2021, you're eligible to make a fast track application. You'll have:

  • a shorter application form to complete
  • access to the 20% Alumni fee discount
  • a guaranteed conditional offer, for most Master's courses 

Learn more about fast track

After you apply

Once we receive your application, we may ask you for further information. We will then either make you an offer or suggest alternatives if your application is unsuccessful.

You'll usually get a decision within 10 working days, so you shouldn't have to wait too long. Some courses have an interview stage – we'll let you know if you need to prepare for one.

Learn more about how we assess your application.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.