Course details

Study options

Full-time: 1 year, Part-time: 2 years

UK fee

£7,850 for the full course or £875 per 20 credits* (2022/23)

International fee

£14,700 for the full course (2022/23)

Course level




Start date



Kedleston Road, Derby Campus

Course description

Would you like to become an applied sport scientist working with professional athletes or promoting healthy lifestyles? This exciting new MSc is your route to a fulfilling career as a high-level sport and exercise professional. 

Exciting opportunities

Our aim in the School of Human Sciences is to help our students unlock their human potential, therefore the University of Derby is offering two exciting opportunities to students studying our MSc Applied Sport and Exercise Science course.

The first is a Professional Development Bursary worth £500, this is available to 10 successful students. Once awarded, the bursary can be used to fund additional professional development and career opportunities to supplement the curriculum and provide you with a rich skill, knowledge and experience profile upon completing the programme.

The second is the opportunity to gain hands-on experience as a paid Teaching Assistant. Successful candidates will provide support in timetabled seminar and practical sessions in Sport and Exercise Science and will work under the close supervision of academic staff and technicians.

Take a look at what's on offer and how to apply:

100%of our students agreed that staff are enthusiastic about what they teach**Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey 2021
100%of our students agreed that staff are good at explaining things**Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey 2021
100%of our students agreed that the course is intellectually stimulating**Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey 2021
100%of our students are satisfied with the overall quality of the course**Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey 2021
100%of our students stated they are happy with the learning support they received**Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey 2021

A masters degree to suit you

Offered on a full-time or part-time basis, this course can be tailored to match your personal interests and career development plans. You can choose from several different module options across sport and exercise disciplines, allowing you to tailor your interest within a specific area, or combine modules for a broader study programme.

The programme has been tailored to aid your preparation for applied practice and application for The British Association of Sport and Exercise (BASES) Supervised Experience programme.

Professional work placements

Our emphasis is on how theory can be applied to practice. You’ll gain first-hand experience through 150 hours on placement in a real-world workplace setting.

To organise your placement, you can draw on our wide-ranging partnerships in the sports world. Our network of contacts spans leading football, cricket, rugby and swimming clubs who regularly offer internship and placement opportunities to our students.

Our close liaison with Team Derby also gives you further chances to work directly with athletes. Team Derby is the focal point for the development of sport at the University and they currently work with external partners such as Derby County Community Trust and Derventio eXcel.

Male rugby player holding the ball on the pitch

Paul's internship with Team Derby part-funds his course

Paul Flemming has strong ambitions to become a Strength, Conditioning and Rehabilitation Coach. The chance to work with performance athletes from Team Derby has allowed him to enrol on our MSc Applied Sport and Exercise Science course, which has been part-funded due to this opportunity.

Find out more about Paul's experienceFind out more about Paul's experience

Support from an experienced team

Our academic team includes leading experts in sport and exercise psychology, physiology, exercise and health, strength and conditioning, biomechanics, performance analysis and nutrition.

When you enrol, you’ll be allocated an academic mentor who will act as your personal tutor. During your placement, you’ll also have a work-based mentor, an experienced practitioner who will help steer your progress and enhance your employability.

Research skills to take you far

Independent research is a cornerstone of this MSc. You’ll gain analytical and research skills as you undertake a substantial investigation into a theme of your choosing. The aim is to develop a realistic and worthwhile research project which will also improve your critical thinking, project management and decision-making skills – all qualities which are valued by employers.

You’ll benefit from being part of a dynamic research community at the University. Our staff are breaking new ground in areas ranging from professional practice in sport psychology to human balance control and injury risk reduction.

Currently, MSc Applied Sport and Exercise students are carrying out research into blood lactate and running performance for a local running company, Running with Jake, in collaboration with our Human Performance Unit team. 

undertaking research in the High Performance Unit
A blonde haired lady holding a smiling baby in the air

Human Sciences Research Centre

Our Human Sciences Research Centre conducts theoretical and applied research into the prevention and treatment of diseases and into improvements to the quality of life for people of all ages.

Find out more about our researchFind out more about our research

Outstanding facilities

You’ll hone your skills and conduct research in our exceptional sport and exercise facilities boasting the latest equipment and software for measuring performance, movement, health and fitness. Our laboratories are of such a high standard that they have even been used by Derby County FC for pre-season training programmes.

Our Sport and Exercise Physiology Laboratories are fully equipped for biomechanics and physiology analysis while our Strength and Conditioning Suite is the ideal setting for developing practical and coaching skills. We were one of the first universities to invest in a Vicon motion capture system and two Kistler force platforms.

You can also take full advantage of our award-winning £10.8m multi-purpose  which opened in autumn 2015 to become one of the region’s most iconic sporting venues.  It features an impressive sports hall, badminton and squash courts, a 70-station fitness suite, a dedicated fitness studio, climbing wall and indoor sprint track. Our outdoor facilities include a 3G all-weather pitch, tennis courts and a rugby pitch.

Scholar cycling in Derby Velodrome

The Human Performance Unit (HPU)

Our students benefit from working in a venue established to provide expert sport science services to sports clubs and individual athletes, from beginners to elite performers

Find out more about Derby's leading sports performance centreFind out more about Derby's leading sports performance centre
Multi-Faith Centre, Kedleston Road

Postgraduate Open Event

Join us at an upcoming Postgraduate Open Event, where you will get the opportunity to meet our expert academics and find out more about your course.

Book your Postgraduate Open EventBook your Postgraduate Open Event

What you will study

The programme consists of both core and optional modules which will help you further develop your applied and research skills, as well as your theoretical knowledge. 

  • Applied Practitioner Development *∆ - This module develops the skills and competencies required for sport science practice through theory and practical experience (including 150 hours of work placement). You will have the opportunity to reflect on your experience with support and guidance from staff
  • Advanced Research Methods - You’ll develop an advanced understanding of research approaches and methodologies, as well as practical research and critical analysis skills in preparation for the Independent Research project
  • Independent Research in Sport and Exercise - You'll undertake a piece of independent research to involve planning, designing and conducting a study using knowledge and skills developed in the Advanced Research Methods module. You will work with a supervisor in their area of interest to identify a research question and develop a study that can provide new insight and knowledge

Optional modules:

  • Advanced Sport Psychology - You will develop the applied skills required for sport psychology practice, as well as knowledge of their philosophical underpinning, and advance your ability to apply theory to practice
  • Advanced Sport and Exercise Physiology You will cover advanced physiological processes through lectures and lab-based delivery and build a comprehensive understanding of techniques used by applied practitioners. You will develop in-depth insight into the factors that can both enhance and limit human performance, with a specific focus on human performance
  • Sports Training Principles - You’ll develop an in-depth understanding of training theories that can be applied when creating training programmes to improve and/or maintain performance, with field-based activities to increase practical skill
  • Psychology of Exercise and Physical Activity - You will cover behaviour change theory and its application to psychological support for individuals in exercise and physical activity settings. You will develop insight into the promotion of exercise behaviour and mechanisms for monitoring and evaluating exercise psychology interventions
  • Strength and Conditioning Science - This module will cover the theoretical principles of physical adaptation and how these underpin physical training and performance. You will develop an advanced understanding of methods used to collect athlete data and how this can inform exercise prescription
  • Advanced Data Analysis for Performance - In this module, you will learn advanced data handling and analysis skills through the use of relevant software, and further enhance your understanding of how such data can be used to understand and enhance athletic performance
  • Biomechanical Analysis Techniques for Performance - You’ll develop an advanced understanding of biomechanical theory and fundamental movements present in sport and exercise. You will cover research methods for the collection of biomechanical data and how to analyse this data to understand human performance
  • Negotiated Module in Science – This module provides the opportunity for you to choose the focus of your work, as negotiated with a supervisor. This focus can be on any discipline within sport and exercise science and may either align with your main area of expertise, or allow you to explore a different area of interest

* Module includes Professional Development Activities

∆ Module includes Applied Experience

Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

How you will learn

A range of teaching and learning methods will be used to enhance advanced learning and skill development, which include lecture-seminar style sessions, guest lectures, computer-based sessions, practical laboratory sessions and field-based sessions.

Real world learning is an important element of our course, with applied placement and internship opportunities, as well as the chance to develop independent study skills.

Learning will take place in our £10.8m Sports Centre, specialist sport science laboratories, and in conjunction with multiple sports based partners in the region.


Students will complete both summative and formative assessment throughout the course to include written essays, reports and case studies, oral presentations, and viva-voce exams. Students’ will be assessed on their practical skills, their application of scientific knowledge to practitioner settings, and their ability to critically evaluate the role and requirements of an applied practitioner.

Learn from an expert teaching team

Who will teach you

Dr Charlotte Chandler
Programme leader

Charlotte is a Senior Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Psychology and leads the Advanced Research Methods and Advanced Sport Psychology modules on the programme. Her research areas include the personal qualities of effective sport psychology practitioners, education and training of sport psychologists, professional practice in sport and exercise and motivation and wellbeing in athletes.

View full staff profileView full staff profile

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for UK students: You will usually need an upper second class honours degree at undergraduate level, in a related subject.

Entry requirements for EU/international students: International students should have the above or an international equivalent. If English is not your first language, you will need to hold IELTS 6.0 or above.

An Enhanced Disclosure & Barring Service certificate cleared by the University is required for this course. We will contact you with information on how to complete this once you have applied. More information

Fees and funding

2022/23 Fees (August 2022 - July 2023)


£7,850 for the full course or £875 per 20 credits*

£875 per 20 credits


£14,700 for the full course


Please note fees normally increase in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees, which is reviewed on an annual basis. The total fee you pay may therefore increase after one year of study.

* UK full-time fees paid within one academic year are rounded down to the nearest £50 if applicable

Additional costs and optional extras

About postgraduate awards

Please note at postgraduate level, you’ll need to gain the following number of credits in total to obtain the respective awards. If you have any questions please contact us.

Postgraduate Certificate60 Credits
Postgraduate Diploma120 Credits
MA or MSc180 Credits

This means you will gain 180 credits in total to complete the full MA or MSc. If you are studying part time you will normally complete your studies over two or three years, depending on the course structure.

Funding your studies

Find out more about fees, postgraduate loans and support you may be entitled to.

Find out about funding your studiesFind out about funding your studies

Alumni discount for Derby graduates

We offer a discount on postgraduate course fees for all Derby alumni.

Find out about the Alumni discountFind out about the Alumni discount

Students chatting to each other

International student scholarship

We're offering a £2,000 scholarship for all eligible international students studying a full-time postgraduate taught programme (PGT). Terms and conditions apply.

Find out if you're eligible for an international scholarship Find out if you're eligible for an international scholarship

How to apply

Please look at our application deadlines before you apply


If you’re interested in pursuing a career centred on sport and exercise science, this MSc offers an excellent learning experience. You could work as an applied sport scientist with clients such as professional athletes or you could embark on broader roles in the community and health sectors where you can help encourage behaviour change and healthy lifestyles.

The course also acts as a platform if you want to continue on to complete a programme of Supervised Experience with BASES, which would enable you to gain accreditation as a Sport and Exercise Scientist. 

Having improved your research skills, you could think about taking your academic qualifications to the next level, by completing a doctoral programme such as a PhD. You could also consider progressing to a role in teaching. 

Contact us

If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.

Contact us Contact us

Additional information about your studies

Download programme specification

Teaching hours

Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.

Additional costs and optional extras

We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, excellent facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.

Please also note that due to the current Covid-19 situation, if your course offers fieldtrips, the location of these may change or be cancelled. If this happens, you will be communicated to in advance and we will do our very best to seek out other practical opportunities to ensure your experience is not affected.

The information below is correct for entry in the academic year September 2021 - August 2022 only. Entry for future academic years may be subject to change.

Included in your fees
Mandatory costs not included in your fees
Optional costs not included in your fees

Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.