MSc Sports Performance students put toes on race start line

Applied Sport and Exercise Performance MSc

Explore current concepts in performance enhancement and the physiological determinants of human performance in thermoneutral and extreme environments.

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Overview

Gain the skills you need to analyse and optimise sport and exercise performance in either individual or team sports and in arduous occupations such as defence or firefighting on this Applied Sport and Exercise Performance Master's. 

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

Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021

Read more about our amazing sports science research

On this MSc course, you'll learn what it takes to win and perform at an elite level in both sporting and professional environments. You’ll develop applied monitoring and testing techniques, practical skills,research expertise and grasp various scientific concepts for improving performance, while also learning to integrate contemporary issues like inclusion and ethical practice into your skillset.

You’ll learn to assess and use new innovation and technology to enhance human performance, and understand how environmental factors affect work and sports performance – discovering ways to mitigate against them in a changing climate. You’ll explore current concepts relating to human performance and discover current research in sport and exercise performance.

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

On this Master's, you'll focus on applied performance in both sports and occupational settings. If you're looking for a clinical course, try our Master's in Clinical Exercise Physiology or Physiotherapy (Pre-registration). Please note that Physiotherapy (Pre-registration) is for UK nationals only.

Eligibility

This course accepts UK, EU, and international students.

Course highlights

  • Develop an interdisciplinary approach to enhancing and maintaining human performance and understanding the techniques used to measure team and individual performance in sporting or occupational environments
  • Hear from, and network with, industry insiders like UK Sports Institute and Defence Science and Technology Laboratory
  • Use your laboratory and field-based skills to conduct multidisciplinary analysis of human performance in a range of environments, including performance profiling and assessing physiological determinants of performance
  • Develop your interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence to communicate with clients in a professional and approachable style
  • Undertake professional development opportunities to gain a variety of new skills
  • Use our professional facilities in biomechanics, physiology, psychology and performance testing
  • Access our new Ravelin Sports Centre, designed to be one of the UK’s most sustainable sports facilities

Contact information

Admissions

+44 (0) 23 9284 5566

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Entry requirements

Eligibility

This course accepts UK, EU, and international students.

September 2024 / January 2025 start

  • A minimum of a second-class 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 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.

Course costs and funding

Tuition fees (September 2024 / January 2025 start)

  • Full time: £10,400
  • Part time: £3,470 in year 1 and £6,930 in year 2

(including Transition Scholarship)

  • Full-time: £10,400
  • Part-time: £3,470 in year 1 and £6,930 in year 2

  • Full time: £17,200
  • Part time: £5,730 in year 1 and £11,470 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.

A University of Portsmouth Sports Scholarship student

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

Loans, scholarships and bursaries

Browse funding such as the Government Postgraduate Loan, our scholarships for new and returning students, and subject specific loans.

Female Master's student
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Funding for international students

Learn more about sponsorships, scholarships and loans for students applying from outside of the UK.

international business students
Discover your options

Fees and funding for Master's courses

Explore Master's funding options, including loans, scholarships, bursaries and more.

Explore funding

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: If you choose to study on-campus, 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.

Modules

Full-time

All modules on this course are core.

Using your awareness on conducting physiological tests in sports performance, you'll design appropriate testing protocols and analyse data built on a problem-based learning scenario. You'll demonstrate how to safely conduct these tests and interpret feedback from assessing athletes. You'll write a report on a topic relating to sports performance, discussing the concepts that relate to physiological testing and sports performance.

Rigorously evaluate contemporary and future scientific concepts to practically enhance performance in sport and occupational arenas. You’ll reflect how issues such as inclusion and ethical practices can be incorporated into applied practice and develop persuasive communication and teamwork skills to clearly present new ideas.

Link theory to practice for maintaining and enhancing performance in adverse environmental conditions, demonstrating your ability to administer a variety of methods used in the study of environmental physiology. Discuss how environmental extremes affect physiological responses to exercise, training, and competitive performance. Identify the factors that maintain, enhance, or impair performance in sport, exercise, and work.

Develop a scientifically and ethically sound outline research proposal and conduct a project that will enhance your knowledge in your chosen area. Apply appropriate research philosophy and design as you use qualitative and quantitative analysis tools to produce a written report and poster that reports on your research findings.

Employing problem-based learning, you'll critique technology usage across occupational and sports domains. You'll master data management techniques to handle, process and visually interpret datasets. Combining knowledge with hands-on experience, you'll discern strengths and limitations of emerging technologies, learning to select, implement and adapt technology that optimises human performance.

Part-time

All modules on this course are core.

Using your awareness on conducting physiological tests in sports performance, you'll design appropriate testing protocols and analyse data built on a problem-based learning scenario. You'll demonstrate how to safely conduct these tests and interpret feedback from assessing athletes. You'll write a report on a topic relating to sports performance, discussing the concepts that relate to physiological testing and sports performance.

Link theory to practice for maintaining and enhancing performance in adverse environmental conditions, demonstrating your ability to administer a variety of methods used in the study of environmental physiology. Discuss how environmental extremes affect physiological responses to exercise, training, and competitive performance. Identify the factors that maintain, enhance, or impair performance in sport, exercise, and work.

All modules on this course are core.

Rigorously evaluate contemporary and future scientific concepts to practically enhance performance in sport and occupational arenas. You’ll reflect how issues such as inclusion and ethical practices can be incorporated into applied practice and develop persuasive communication and teamwork skills to clearly present new ideas.

Develop a scientifically and ethically sound outline research proposal and conduct a project that will enhance your knowledge in your chosen area. Apply appropriate research philosophy and design as you use qualitative analysis tools to produce a written report and poster that reports on your research findings.

Employing problem-based learning, you'll critique technology usage across occupational and sports domains. You'll master data management techniques to handle, process and visually interpret datasets. Combining knowledge with hands-on experience, you'll discern strengths and limitations of emerging technologies, learning to select, implement and adapt technology that optimises human performance.

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.

Facilities

Ravelin Sports Centre

Introducing our new sports centre for our students, staff, and the local community – featuring a swimming pool, climbing wall, ski simulator, squash courts, and more.

External shots of Ravelin Building, new sports facility
Learn more about Ravelin Sports Centre

Physiology Laboratory

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

Person exercising on a treadmill in the Physiology Laboratory
Explore 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.

A man in a harness being submerged in water
Learn more

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.

Female runner on treadmill with motion capture cameras
Explore lab

Sports and Human Performance Testing

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

Male and female ultramarathon competitors crossing finish line
Learn more

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 spend in on-campus or in online lectures and seminars and how many hours you can expect to spend in self-directed study, but please note that these indications are always subject to change.

However, we aim to condense our teaching on this course within the working week.

This course involves hands-on practical components. You’ll be asked to participate in laboratory practicals which include submaximal and maximal physical exercise. You’ll also be using information technology, including software packages such as Word, Powerpoint, Excel and the coding platform ‘R’  throughout your studies.

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
  • Teaching is on-campus and in person over two teaching blocks (September to January and January to May)
  • Your Research Development and Practice project will typically be developed and realised across both teaching blocks, with an increasing emphasis on this project towards the end of your studies

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 and the majority of your teaching time will be in-person and face-to-face.

Assessment

You'll be assessed through:

  • practical assessments
  • client reports
  • posters and presentations
  • projects

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

You can also 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

Graduation Class of 2021

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

Career development

Careers this Master’s prepares you for

When you graduate, you'll be qualified for a career in areas such as research, 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 could go onto roles such as:

  • Fitness and Health Manager
  • Sports Physiologist
  • Personal Trainer
  • Sports Coach
  • Wellbeing Personal Trainer
  • Scientific Researcher

Graduates of this course could go on to work for companies such as:

  • Lotus Strength and Fitness
  • Nuffield Health
  • English Institute of Sport
  • Qinetiq
  • Defence Science and Technology Laboratory

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.

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

Female student standing at careers and employability help desk

Career support

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

On this MSc course, you’ll access a range of professional development opportunities depending on your needs and interests. Some of our students organise work experience through our local partners and professional contacts at organisations like Portsmouth Football Club and Defence Science and Technology Laboratory.

You’ll also benefit from our regular visiting speakers who are industry experts and can provide their own advice and insights on professional and career development.

Supporting you

Master's study is more focused on independent learning than undergraduate study, but by studying on campus, you'll get lots of face-to-face support from teaching and support staff to enhance your learning experience and help you succeed. You’ll also get support via video and phone, but the majority of your studies will be in-person and face-to-face. 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).

ASK provides 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 a librarian who specialises in your subject area.

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 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.

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?

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 2023, 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.