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Postgraduate research

Sports Leadership, Education and Society


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What is Sports Leadership, Education and Society PhD?

The impact of the research undertaken in the sport and exercise sciences on sports performance, people, policy and practice was rated as world-leading and internationally excellent in the most recent Research Excellence Framework (2014).

Our School of Sport & Exercise plays host to a vibrant academic community – where creative research comes together with cutting-edge scholarships to facilitate the needs of partners from business, community, education, government and voluntary organisations. We’re located at the university’s purpose-built Oxstalls Campus in Gloucester, providing excellent facilities for research, networking and professional development. Research students benefit from research laboratory spaces and dedicated learning resources.

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

Research areas

Research in the area includes nationally and internationally funded projects working with communities, governing bodies and international research teams – offering the opportunity to work with researchers embedded in global research communities.

A well-established research culture greets incoming students who join a large community of postgraduate scholars and a thriving research environment. Students are encouraged to present their research findings at local, national and international conferences and via internal events.

Research areas include:

  • physical activity and wellbeing
  • sport, spirituality and religion – communities, pedagogy and participation
  • sport philosophy and ethics.

Our research in sport and exercise sciences is a major contributor to the university’s research priority area of Sport, Exercise, Health and Wellbeing.

Get Sports Leadership, Education and Society PhD course updates and hear more about studying with us.

Entry requirements

    • MA or MSc by Research/MRes: at least a 2.1 honours degree or equivalent qualification in a relevant subject area

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

    • We actively encourage applications from students from a range of diverse backgrounds who demonstrate appropriate research experience and achievement

    • 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

Course modules


Fees and costs

See the further details of fees and potential extra costs when studying a course at the University of Gloucestershire.
Start date Location UCAS code Fee (UK)
per year
Fee (international)
per year
Oct 2021 Distance Learning £3,333 £6,667
Oct 2021 Oxstalls, Gloucester £3,333 £6,667
Feb 2022 Distance Learning £3,333 £6,667
Feb 2022 Oxstalls, Gloucester £3,333 £6,667
Oct 2022 Distance Learning
Oct 2022 Oxstalls, Gloucester
Feb 2023 Distance Learning
Feb 2023 Oxstalls, Gloucester

Industry links

We have excellent links with major national and international sports agencies – as well as supportive supervisors and strong peer support from the university community.

Work with expert academics and practitioners

Our research-active staff have wide and varied academic and industry experience. You’ll benefit from a well-established research culture with a range of opportunities – from working with elite teams to governing bodies

Students in sports clothing listening to lecturer

Access excellent lab spaces and cutting-edge equipment

Our School of Sport & Exercise is one of the largest providers of higher education in sport and exercise science in the UK.

Students weight training in a gym

Develop your research skills

All research students are required to complete the university’s Postgraduate Certificate in Research Methods. Research students may study other postgraduate modules in line with their specific programmes of study and develop areas of expertise.

Student in lab coat running experiment with another student conducting a breathalyser test

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