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University of Gloucestershire
Postgraduate research

Professional Doctorate in Sport and Exercise DSaE

Course options

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Study type
Part Time
Course length
6 Years
Distance Learning (UoG delivery)

Course overview

The Professional Doctorate has been designed for sport and exercise professionals who are interested in engaging with major projects within or beyond their organisation. You’ll be able to lead and respond innovatively to the rapidly changing sports, physical activity and wellbeing environment. It’s aimed at professionals who may not have studied for some time but are experts in their area – providing a higher degree programme specifically structured to support change within professional practice and/or within your organisation.

You’ll be able to maintain your professional commitments – the programme integrates doctoral level study with continuing professional practice. We develop leaders who can improve practice within sport and physical activity realms, by addressing local, regional, national and international concerns, and who have the ability to build evidence bases that inform policy and practice development.

The unique structure of the award supports you to ensure your academic research skills match your professional knowledge. During your Professional Doctorate, the changes you propose, plan and, potentially, implement are designed to have a positive influence on your professional practice/facets of your organisation.

How to apply

If you’re interested in applying or submitting your own proposal for your Professional Doctorate project, please contact us at to discuss your application before applying. Applications are accepted throughout the year, with cohorts developed carefully to start in Autumn or Spring each year. You should indicate your preferred start on your application.

Study style

The DSE is typically 4-6 years and wholly delivered online. It’s a structured route to doctoral level achievement, delivered in two phases.

The initial phase is a pre-thesis element, comprising two taught modules over a period of 18 months. These modules are delivered via a blended learning model of online delivery, webinars and remotely supervised and guided study. You will develop advanced skills in critical thinking and working with leading academics, you can engage with a wide range of topics, and undertake in-depth study of some of the complex issues facing sport today, for example those based on applied sport performance, clinical practice, health promotion, applied sports coaching and community engagement. The programme provides a focus for ’embedded scholarship’ within a range of sport and exercise professions.

In phase two, you present and undertake your formal research plan. Having completed your research project, you submit and defend a thesis in a viva voce. Linked to the real-world relevance and original nature of the project, the DSE provides an understanding of issues in the sport and exercise professions that it is difficult to attain through other means. The acquired knowledge and understanding gained through the research journey can then be integrated directly into the organisations and systems in which you work.

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Entry requirements

    • A master’s degree or equivalent in a subject area relevant to the proposed research topic

    • EU and international students need IELTS 6.5 overall (with a minimum of 6.0 in writing and 5.5 in any other component) or equivalent.

    • Please provide a copy of your research proposal. This should be 1,000 words (excluding references and appendices) following the structure outlined in this research proposal guide.

      Please note; we’re unable to process applications without a proposal for the School’s consideration. Not supplying one will delay the processing of applications.

Course modules


Fees and costs

You're viewing fees for the course option. Choose a different course option to see corresponding course fees.

Start date Course code Fee (UK)
Fee per year
Fee (international)
Fee per year
October 2024 £3,900 £3,900
February 2025 £3,900 £3,900
October 2025 TBC TBC
February 2026 TBC TBC

Ready to apply?

Connect with governing bodies and organisations worldwide

With candidates working across the breadth of the sport sector, from leadership to risk, to rehabilitation, the Doctorate in Sport and Exercise (DSE) programme is one of the most exciting of its kind.

Study in the UK or from your location

2020 sees us launch the successful UK model to being accessible for our international colleagues across the sport world. If you’re interested in studying the taught element of this course online, please apply.

Benefit from additional training opportunities

We run a number of additional training sessions on subjects such as developing a research proposal, doctoral authoring, and preparation for the viva. It also organises an annual Doctoral Colloquium, where research papers are presented to a scholarly audience.

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