Masters by Research or PhD Sport and Exercise (Postgraduate)

Team of male rowers

Study mode

Full-Time or Part-Time


Oxstalls, Gloucester

The School of Sport and Exercise is one of the largest providers of higher education in sport and exercise in the UK. The school has research rated as internationally excellent, with much of its work being applied and carried out in close collaboration with a wide range of stakeholders and partners. The school hosts two active research centres: the Exercise & Sport Research Centre (ESRC), and the Centre for Sport, Spirituality and Religion (CSSR). A well-established research culture greets incoming students who join a large community of postgraduate scholars and a vibrant research environment. Students are encouraged to present their research findings at local, national and international conferences and via internal events. The school is located at the purpose-built Oxstalls campus on the outskirts of the city of Gloucester and provides outstanding facilities for research, networking and professional development. Research students benefit from dedicated workspace and excellent learning resources.

For all higher degrees by research (MRes, MA or MSc by Research, MPhil and PhD), you are required to investigate an approved topic that will result in an independent and original contribution to knowledge, and to demonstrate by thesis an understanding of research methods appropriate to the chosen topic.

As a research student, you may audit other postgraduate modules in line with your specific programmes of study and developing expertise. Some areas include:

  • Physical activity and well-being
  • Pre/rehabilitation through sport and exercise
  • Communities, pedagogy and participation
  • Sport performance
  • Sport, spirituality and religion

* Subject to validation

Entry requirements

  • MA or MSc by Research/MRes/MPhil: you will need at least a 2.1 Honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject area
  • PhD: you will need a Masters degree or equivalent, in a subject area relevant to the proposed research topic
  • Professional Doctorate: you should normally have at least two years professional practice, or demonstrate professional competence of high standing in the research area, plus an appropriate postgraduate degree
  • We normally consider applications from candidates from different backgrounds who demonstrate appropriate research experience and achievement
  • International students need IELTS 6.5 overall (no less than 6.0 in writing and 5.5 in any other band) or equivalent


See the further details of tuition fees when studying a course at the University of Gloucestershire.

Dr. Malcolm MacLean

Staff Profile

Dr. Malcolm MacLean

Reader in the Culture and History of Sport

"Malcolm's teaching and research interests are based on his background in history and anthropology. He is interested in ordinary experiences of cultural and social life and also has a particular interest in research design and ethics. He is also research degree's lead for the Schools of Sport & Exercise, Natural & Social Sciences and Health & Social Care."


Develop advanced research skills with specialist training

Research students who have not already completed a relevant Masters degree or other appropriate postgraduate research methods training will benefit from the university's research methods training modules: Philosophy and Approaches to Research and Methodologies and Methods.

Benefit from excellent links with major sporting agencies

We have recently carried out applied research for organisations including: Sports Leaders UK, Play England, Active Gloucestershire, Foundation Degree Forward, the Football Association, the Laureus Foundation, Vinspired, NHS Gloucestershire, South Staffordshire Primary Care Trust, Greenwich Primary Care Trust and Greenwich Leisure Ltd, Tewkesbury Borough Council, Gloucester City Council and Cheltenham Borough Council.

Contact us

Find out more about our courses

Call +44 (0)3330 141414