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All colleagues within the Chester Centre for Research into Sport and Society (CCRSS), which offers the MSc in the Sociology of Sport and Exercise, are research active and publish on a range of issues in the sociology of sport, youth, leisure and education. The Programme Team make a deliberate attempt to inform all aspects of teaching on the course with their own, and others’, research to provide students with a high-quality learning experience that enables them to pursue an MSc programme that is specific to their current and future career interests. This was recognised by the current External Examiner who in commented that ‘there is clear evidence that the research, scholarship and publications of staff members inform the curriculum’, and that, as part of the MSc experience, students are ‘encouraged to engage themselves with the wider community of scholars through involvement in professional associations and conference presentations’.

An indication of the quality of research undertaken by staff from the CCRSS staff can also be usefully gleaned from the results of the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 2008 and Research Exercise Framework (REF) 2014. Members of the CCRSS were submitted to the Sports Studies Panel of the RAE2008 and 25% of the overall quality profile and research output was designated “internationally excellent” or “world leading” whole the esteem indicators noted 70% of staff were designated “internationally excellent or “world leading”. In REF2014 (combining with the Applied Sport and Exercise Sciences Research Group), a 20% improvement on research rating from RAE2008 was observed with a proportion of our research remaining as ‘world-leading/internationally excellent’. Collectively, these indicators confirm the impression that the CCRSS is one of the leading sociology of sport and exercise research centres currently in existence.

In addition to its MSc programme, the CCRSS offers an expanding doctoral programme and there are currently eight PhD students registered in the Centre who are undertaking doctoral research in the sociology of sport, youth, leisure and education. All informal enquiries to study for an MPhil/PhD in the CCRSS should be directed to Dr Daniel Bloyce, tel: 01244 513421.