Skip to content

Dr Emily Ryall

Reader in Applied Philosophy

Dr Emily Ryall is a world-renowned philosopher on issues related to sports, games and play.


She has written and lectured on a number of topics over the past 25 years from good governance in sport, the implementation of technology in officiating, the value of games and play as part of a good life, and critical thinking.

She is author of Philosophy of Sport: Key Questions and Critical Thinking for Sports Students, and co-author of a series of books on the philosophy of play, and is associate editor for the Journal of the Philosophy of Sport. She is also on the Rules, Standards and Ethics advisory committee for UK Athletics, and on the Integrity Advisory Board of the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES).

As a philosopher by training, Emily teaches across a range of sports courses and on a range of issues, from sports ethics, to the philosophy of science, to critical thinking and the logic of arguments.

Emily enjoys wrestling with the deep and difficult questions about sport. What is good sport? What do we want it to look like? How do we ensure it is fair and competitive? What part does it play in a good life?


  • PhD: Moral Philosophy, De Montfort University, 2005
  • MA: Social Philosophy, UEA, 1999
  • PGCE: Physical Education, UWIC, 2002
  • BA (Hons): Philosophy and Linguistics, UEA, 1998

Teaching & Research


Dr Emily Ryall researches on philosophical issues in sport, games and play. She has previously lead on a EU funded research project developing good governance resources in sport and has worked with the world-leading arbitration body, Sports Resolutions. She is currently working on projects related to the ethical inclusion of trans athletes in sport and has helped to develop sporting policy in this area. She has successfully supervised and examined research students at Masters and Doctoral across a range of areas relating to sport, games and play.


More publications from Dr Emily Ryall can be found in the Research Repository.

External responsibilities

Subject for media interview

Ethical issues in sport

Philosophical issues in sport

Professional positions

Associate Editor for Journal of the Philosophy of Sport

Former Book Reviews editor for Sport, Ethics and Philosophy

Former Chair of the British Philosophy of Sport Association (2013-15)