Course details

Study options

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

UK/EU fee

£875 per 20 credits* (2020/21)

International fee

£14,700 for the full programme (2020/21)

Course level




Start date



Kedleston Road, Derby Campus

Course description

Reach the top of your game on this pioneering course where you can undertake original research tailored to your personal career goals.

Are you a sport and exercise graduate or professional keen to accelerate your career? Would you like to progress to doctoral level studies? This challenging and stimulating MRes puts you on a fast track to success. 

A research theme of your choice

Our MRes differs from traditional masters programmes because it places such a strong emphasis on research skills combined with an extensive independent research project. 

You’ll work with our academic team and harness our state-of-the-art facilities to produce groundbreaking research into the sport and exercise discipline of your choice. Your findings could make a real difference to the lives of those who take part in sport and exercise – whether at a recreational or elite professional level.

We firmly believe that your studies should support your current and future career aspirations. That’s why you’re encouraged to develop your own learning objectives and to match your studies to an area of interest that you feel passionate about.

Real-world experience

Each year we advertise a number of internship opportunities where you can work towards your MRes while gaining hands-on experience and industry insights with one of our partners. 

You could secure a place with a wide range of sports organisations – from professional football, cricket and rugby clubs to local authority departments promoting public health initiatives. Among the latest opportunities offered were performance analysis and strength and conditioning internships with 2016 Premiership champions Leicester City FC.

There is also the chance to work as a teaching assistant within our sports department, supporting students on our undergraduate programmes.

Support from an expert team

Our academic team has excellent research and teaching credentials, as well as experience of working in applied settings. Their expertise spans everything from sport psychology and physiology to performance analysis, coaching and rehabilitation. It means you will be able to access in-depth knowledge – and latest research findings – in a wide range of subjects.

We pride ourselves on providing exceptional levels of academic and pastoral support within a friendly and encouraging setting. While the course makes use of online learning to help you fit your studies around your other commitments, this is combined with face-to-face contact to ensure you receive guidance throughout.

Outstanding facilities

You’ll conduct your research in our exceptional sport and exercise facilities boasting the latest equipment and software. Our laboratories include technologies such as specialist strength and conditioning equipment and physiological analysis resources. A new 3D motion analysis system and multiple force platforms enable highly accurate and reliable biomechanical analyses to be made.

You can also take full advantage of our award-winning £10.8m multi-purpose sports centre 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 with associated strength and conditioning area, 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

What you will study

The course includes 100 credits focused on a discipline of your choice, which are then accompanied by 80 credits on researcher development, as detailed below:

You’ll be able to tailor these modules to the discipline of your choice:

You'll study core modules such as:

  • Advanced Research Methods (20 credits) - 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
  • Digital Scholarship and Research Skills Development (40 credits) - This module aims to develop a student’s ability to undertake research at master’s level and also prepare them for future research in the workplace, academia or through post-doctoral studies. It focuses on key research skills such as developing research questions, analysing literature, planning research, ethical considerations of their research, research design, through to writing up their research and presenting it to their peers, researchers and employers through papers, poster and oral presentations
  • Independent Research (80 credits) or Independent Study (20 credits - PGDip only) - An independent piece of research to involve planning, designing and conducting a study using knowledge and skills developed in the Advanced Research Methods module. Students 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
  • Negotiated Module in Science (20 credits) - This module will allow students to develop specialist knowledge on an individually negotiated subject area relevant to their specific discipline of interest. The module is delivered by either face-to-face, distance or work-based learning depending upon the negotiation of a learning contract. The assessment of this module includes a written report plus a method of dissemination of the knowledge gained e.g. via the preparation of an oral presentation or poster
  • Subject-specific Level 6 module of your choice (20 credits)

Optional modules:

  • Applied Sports Physiology - This module considers how we can use our understanding of the many integrated physiological systems in the context of sports performance. The module will firstly consider the factors that limit performance, before studying how adaptions due to physiological interventions can improve performance
  • Applied Sports Psychology – This module explores selected psychological factors related to sport and allows students to become familiar with theoretical frameworks and current sport and exercise literature related to chosen areas
  • Advanced Athlete Testing and Assessment – This module will allow students to design and implement a battery of tests appropriate to the needs of an individual and a sport. In addition, the module will introduce athletes to statistical analysis methods appropriate to working in an applied sports science environment and methods of dissemination of results
  • Advanced Performance Analysis - This module examines the role of performance analysis within sport and focuses on the applied application of performance analysis and how this supports the coaching cycle within a variety of sports
  • Advanced Sports Coaching - This module will investigate the development of coaching from its roots, critically examining its educational philosophies and consider what might be next in its ongoing dynamic development
  • Contemporary Issues in Sport Management Development – The aim of this module is to provide students with a critical understanding of contemporary issues, and address current and topical issues, associated with the sports management and sport development sectors, whilst establishing strong links between theory and practice
  • International Public Health Nutrition - This module aims to investigate how diet as a modifiable risk factor can affect the risk for chronic diseases, and how this relationship can affect public health policy across different population groups at a global level


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.

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Postgraduate Live Online Events

While we’re not able to welcome you in person to our campuses at the moment, we’re not going to let that stop us showing you all the great things about studying at Derby.

We’re currently planning our autumn Open Events to bring you the best possible online and on-campus experience.

Book your Live Online EventBook your Live Online Event

How you will learn

We pride ourselves on our student-centered approach; you will be fully supported by our expert team throughout your studies. Teaching combines online and face-to-face contact.

Sport and Exercise team members have excellent teaching credentials, many are actively involved in research and will share their latest findings with you. For example, Dr Andy Hooton is an expert in sport and exercise psychology and Dr Stuart Mourton focuses on motor control and learning. We have experts in sport and exercise psychology, physiology, nutrition, physical activity and health, strength and conditioning, injury and rehabilitation, biomechanics, performance analysis, coaching, and motor control, to enable you to access guidance in a field of your choice. 

Other interests include sports management, and the history and philosophy of sport.

Each year a number of internship opportunities are advertised. These opportunities allow students to complete their MRes whilst gaining real-world experience at a sport organisation. Past MRes internship providers include:


You'll be assessed through a variety of methods allowing you to show your individual strengths and abilities. These include essays, portfolios, a dissertation, blogs, presentations, and a viva voce.

Who will teach you

Programme leader

Dr Charlotte Chandler

Entry requirements

You’ll require an undergraduate honours degree (upper second or above) in a relevant discipline. Candidates with suitable work experience in the sport and exercise sector may also be considered.

Proposed research projects must reflect the expertise of staff within the department so that they can be properly supported. Project topics are usually discussed in detail as part of the application process to ensure that students can be sure that the project they undertake will be feasible and address novel areas of research. 

Please contact Programme Leader, Dr Charlotte Chandler, by emailing, to discuss your research interests before completing an application for this course.

Additionally, if English is not your first language, you'll need to provide evidence of your proficiency and you will need to hold IELTS 6.0 or above.

Fees and funding

2020/21 Fees (August 2020 - July 2021)


£875 per 20 credits*

£875 per 20 credits*


£14,700 for the full programme


*Note – at postgraduate level, you’ll need to gain the following number of credits in total to obtain the awards below.

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.

Please note that all fees may be subject to annual increase.

Additional costs and optional extras

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


After completing our MRes Sport and Exercise, you’ll be ideally placed to pursue a research career or any role which involves the planning, collection and analysis of data. This could be in an academic setting, the public sector or a commercial organisation – employers everywhere increasingly value high-level research skills.

As well as research careers, the course paves the way to broader roles within professional sports clubs, community or public health organisations.

In addition, the MRes provides an excellent platform if you would like to continue your learning beyond masters level. Our students often go on to undertake doctoral research to obtain a PhD and your experience on the MRes will smooth your transition to the next level of academic scholarship.

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.

The information below is correct for entry in the academic year September 2020 - August 2021 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.

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