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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 over 80% of Department staff submitted, Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 results identified a 20% improvement on research rating from RAE2008 and a proportion of our research remaining as ‘world-leading/internationally excellent’. The applied nature of the Department’s research and its impact on informing sporting practice was recognised as internationally excellent.

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 decade. 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, The Rugby Football League, the England Touch Association, The Rugby Football Union, St Helens Rugby League Club, Warrington Wolves Rugby League Club, England Handball Association, The English Institute of Sport, GB cycling, GB squash, GB water polo, GB swimming and GB Taekwondo.


The sports science laboratories based at the Chester campus 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, 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 influence of carbohydrate and protein ingestion on recovery of performance after intermittent high intensity running; the development of a novel rugby league match simulation protocol; the effects of exercise-induced muscle damage on exercise performance; a longitudinal analysis of performance, growth and maturation in youth rugby league players: implications for talent identification and development; young people, sport and leisure: a sociological study of youth lifestyles, education and welfare provisions in professional football academies in England; The 2012 London Olympics Sporting Legacy: A case study of Birmingham; and a sociological analysis of the impact of money on the development of relationships in the working lives of professional football players.

Entry Months

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


Please contact the Department’s Research Officer, Professor Craig Twist 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