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The University of Chester welcomes students to undertake research towards MPhil and PhD in Sport and Exercise Sciences. This is an exciting department with an eager and innovative research base.

The Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences (SES) divides its research into two distinct groups – the Sociology of Sport and Exercise, and Applied Sport and Exercise Science. With 85% of eligible Department staff submitted, Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 results identified 51% of our overall research profile as ‘world-leading/internationally excellent’ and 100% of our impact case studies were deemed to be very considerable in terms of their reach and significance. These results reflect the strong applied nature of the Department’s research and its impact on informing practice in sport.

The Department provides a resource room and a regular Research Seminar Programme to support postgraduate research students as standard. The Department has well qualified, research-active staff who are committed to nurturing the strong and energetic research culture they have developed over the last two decades. In addition, the Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences has strong links with many UK and European universities, whereby staff and postgraduate students are able to participate in intensive collaborative exchanges, should they wish. The Department also has strong research links with several external partners, including: Active Cheshire, Birkebeiner (Norway), the English Institute of Sport, St Helens Rugby League Club, Warrington Wolves Rugby League Club, the England Touch Association, GB cycling, GB squash, GB water polo, GB swimming and GB taekwondo, Premiership Rugby Union clubs, Premiership and Championship Football clubs.


The sports science laboratories based at the Chester learning site are available throughout the academic year for students’ use. State-of-the-art research resources include well-equipped laboratories in the following areas: Physiology (two), Biomechanics, Performance Analysis, Strength and Conditioning and Sports. Other facilities include: floodlit 3G synthetic grass pitch, floodlit AstroTurf pitch, 60m running track, 25m heated swimming pool, fitness suite, dance studio/gymnasium, a six-badminton court sports hall, two squash courts, and rugby, hockey and soccer pitches.

Research Areas

We are particularly keen to hear from students who would like to research any of the following areas:

  • The applied science of rugby (league and union)
  • The physiology of intermittent exercise
  • Monitoring of training load in athletes
  • Pacing in team sports
  • Exercise-induced muscle damage and its effect on human performance
  • Physical activity and health
  • Physical education
  • Young people, sport and leisure
  • Sport policy and development

Recent Projects

Recent successful research projects in the area have included: the development of national testing battery for professional rugby league players; physical education and mental health in Norway; muscle damage and recovery in older athletes; the efficacy of simulated team game match-play; high speed running and repeated sprinting in male academy football players; fatigue in team sports and implications for injury; a sociological analysis of active travel as health promotion policy; a sociological analysis of organisational change within sporting organisations.

Entry Months

These Research Degrees usually commence annually in October, February and May.


Please contact the Department’s Research Officer, Professor Jamie Highton to discuss the availability of appropriate supervision before you start to construct an application.

More information about the Department and staff profiles are available via the Department web pages