Course details

Study options

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

UK/EU fee

£690 per 20 credits* (2018/19)

International fee

£13,500 for the full programme (2018/19)

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.

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:

  • Independent Research (80 credits) - A key component of your studies will be conducting your own research study. Under the supervision of an expert member of staff you will complete a project from start to finish; from the initial development of a research question through to write-up
  • Negotiated Module in Science (20 credits) - You will complete a critical review of the literature in an area of sport and exercise. You will negotiate a suitable topic with an expert member of staff. We have expertise in a range of subject areas, meaning you can choose a topic that is of interest to you

You’ll study these researcher development modules:

  • 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
  • Planning, Managing and Funding Research (10 credits) - Research design and methodology; approaches to strategy; scoping and phasing research; specification of aims and objectives; project management; critical review of literature sources; research with theory and practice elements; national and European funding bodies
  • Research Ethics (10 credits) - Students look at the implications of research ethics for their specific project; looking at the principles of ethics; codes and duties in research; resource allocation and justice in research; issues research governance; and through a literature review examine the impact of these on their research subject
  • Information Literacy (10 credits) - This module focuses on the methods which may be used to gather, store and harness information. Information and digital literacy is about identifying the data required and managing the data acquisition so that it can be used effectively in support of the research and looking at how social media can support researchers
  • Research Leadership, Risk and Enterprise (10 credits) - This module considers the role of the leader in research. This may be in respect of a project, a group or department. What are the skills and considerations involved? Through a series of learning activities students look at what research leadership means and reflect on their development over the module
  • The Art of Thesis Writing (10 credits) - Reading and using the University’s regulations; what is originality? What is a review of the literature? Writing an introduction; writing an abstract; writing the main body; writing styles; using a Reference System; writing a conclusion; proof reading
  • Getting Research Published and Exhibited (10 credits) - The motivations for getting published; the process of writing and different writing strategies; editing your drafts; writing for journals; the nature of rights and interests that arise from research; the scope of rights protection for researchers, authors and exhibitors; contemporary issues; open access; protection of third parties; infringement of copyright; patents and trademarks. This module uses an open access journal system to give students a real world view of submitting a paper to a journal

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.

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.

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

2018/19 Fees (August 2018 - July 2019)


£690 per 20 credits*

£690 per 20 credits*


£13,500 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.

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

Scholarships and bursaries

We also offer a number of funding opportunities for all International students, including discounts, scholarships and bursaries.

Find out about scholarships and bursariesFind out about scholarships and bursaries

How to apply

UK/EU students

Students should apply directly to the University.

Apply directly to the University

International students

Students should apply directly to the University.

Apply directly to the University

Information for international applicants

Applying for an postgraduate degree


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

Course: Dr Charlotte Chandler (Programme Leader) +44 (0)1332 593373

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.

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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