female lab participant running on treadmill

Postgraduate research in sport & Exercise science

Ready to start your research career? Explore our postgraduate research degrees in Sport & Exercise Science

If you're ready to take your knowledge and expertise in Sport and Exercise Science into a postgraduate research degree, Portsmouth is the perfect place to realise your ambitions.

Our Sport and Exercise Science research is enhancing human performance and health. We're helping elite athletes win Olympic medals, developing safety guidelines for sporting bodies, improving the quality of life of individuals with chronic disease, helping global brands develop more supportive sports bras, and protecting employees required to work in extreme conditions. Our research directly benefits athletes, patients and workers across various sporting groups, clinical conditions, industries and organisations.

Our research is making international impact, with 100% of our research impact in the area of sport and exercise sciences, leisure and tourism was rated outstanding or very considerable in terms of reach and significance in the Research Excellence Framework 2014 – and when you do a postgraduate research degree with us, you'll be playing your part in turning knowledge into action.

Research degrees

Find out about our PhD, MPhil, Professional Doctorate and PhD by Publication opportunities in Sport and Exercise Science below, including how to apply, entry requirements and funding your degree. For more detailed information about the application process, visit our How to Apply pages.

Sport & Exercise Science PhDs and MPhils

Explore our pre-approved funded and self-funded PhD projects in Sport and Exercise Science, or submit your own research idea. 

PhD and MPhil projects

Fully-funded projects

There are currently no funded PhD projects available in this area – for more information on funding your own research project, visit our pages on funding your research degree.

Submit your own idea

If you already have a research idea, find a supervisor whose research interests match yours using the Portsmouth Research Portal. Once you've identified someone suitable, contact them to discuss your idea. You'll find their contact details on their profile on the portal.

Professional Doctorates

If you're a working professional interested in pursuing work-based research in the field of Sport and Exercise Science, find out more about our Professional Doctorate in Sport, Exercise and Health Science, and our Professional Doctorate in Sport and Exercise Psychology.

PhD by Publication

A PhD by publication is a postgraduate research degree based on research you've already undertaken and had published (excluding self-publishing) before registering with us.

Eligible research outputs include peer-reviewed academic papers, complete books or chapters in anthologies, and other materials accepted for publication, exhibited or performed. You'll have to submit these materials for examination between 6-12 months after registering with us.

For more information, please visit our PhD by Publication page.

Duration, fees and funding

How long will my research degree take?

  • MPhil: 2 years full-time, 4 years part-time
  • PhD: 3 years full-time, 6 years part-time
  • PhD by Publication: 1 year part-time

How much will my research degree cost?

PhD and MPhil

  • Home/EU/CI full-time students: £4,260 p/a*
  • Home/EU/CI part-time students: £2,130 p/a*
  • International full-time students: £13,200 p/a*
  • International part-time students: £6,600 p/a*

PhD by Publication

  • External candidates: £4,260 p/a
  • Members of University of Portsmouth staff: £1,550 p/a

*All fees are subject to annual increase

Funding support

MPhil full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the Government Postgraduate Loan.

PhD full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the Government Doctoral Loan.

For information on other sources of funding, visit our funding your postgraduate research degree page.

Entry requirements

The entry requirements for a PhD, MPhil or Professional Doctorate include a good honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject, or a master’s degree in an appropriate subject. Equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications may be considered. All applicants are subject to interview.

If English is not your first language, you'll need English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

Support and facilities

When you join us, you'll be supported by our Graduate School, alongside your assigned supervisory team, who'll help you get the most from our facilities. The Graduate School will help you become part of our thriving, collaborative research community, and help grow your skills as a researcher through the Graduate School Development Programme, which offers training, workshops and events.

We have excellent facilities for sport and exercise science research, including Biomechanics, Physiology and Psychology laboratories.

The Biomechanics Lab is fully fitted with equipment for researching biomechanics including a 16 camera Oqus automated tracking system, a portable pressure plate, force transducers and visual 3D software.

The Extreme Environments Lab includes 3 environmental chambers with an adjustable temperature range from -20°C to 50°C with humidity control, an immersion pool and swimming flume, and testing and monitoring equipment to assess human performance and survival in a safe, controlled environment.

What can a postgraduate research degree do for my career?

Once you complete your postgraduate research degree, you'll be a highly-skilled researcher with the knowledge and skills to make an impact in many different industries.

Your postgraduate research qualification demonstrates to potential employers that you're an intelligent, capable and motivated person, with provable abilities and experience in critical thinking, problem-solving, project management, communication, leadership and creativity.

Current research

Explore the work we're doing across the 3 areas of expertise within our Sport and Exercise Science research.

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