Professional Doctorate in Sport, Exercise and Health Science - SportD

    About This Professional Doctorate

    Course Description

    The Professional Doctorate in Sport, Exercise and Health Science is a specialist programme designed for experienced sport, exercise and health practitioners who would like to undertake research that is relevant and applied to their area of professional practice.


    Through a combination of individually tutored modules and your own research, you develop your academic and professional knowledge and acquire a range of advanced research skills. The professional doctorate programme culminates with the submission of your doctoral thesis or portfolio on a topic that advances your area of professional knowledge or practice.

    About the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences

    The School of Sport and Exercise Sciences is one of the most exciting and innovative sports schools in the UK.

    The School will be based on the University’s main Canterbury campus from September 2021. We have well-equipped, state-of the-art sports science laboratories, sports therapy clinic, sports rehabilitation gymnasium and respiratory clinic. Our laboratories include the latest equipment, such as our:

    • anti-gravity treadmill, originally developed to help NASA astronauts to exercise in space
    • cycling and rowing ergometers to measure anaerobic capacity
    • isokinetic dynamometer to measure muscle and joint function
    • brain and muscle stimulators
    • 3D motion video analysis
    • imaging and treatment ultrasound
    • gait analysis and force pedals
    • blood testing and gas analysis equipment
    • rehabilitation gymnasium.

    Our environmental chamber, which can recreate the atmosphere in the Brazilian jungle or at the top of Everest, is based on the Medway campus.

    Our move to the Canterbury campus will give you access to some top-class leisure and study facilities. For example, the Sports Centre/Pavilion provides:  

    • an air-conditioned fitness suite across two floors 
    • dance and fitness studios with numerous classes 
    • indoor courts for badminton, basketball, netball, volleyball and squash 
    • training facilities for martial arts, boxing and combat sports 
    • outdoor pitches for rugby, football and American football.

    Research areas

    The School of Sport and Exercise Sciences has a strong and vibrant research culture. It is quickly establishing the University of Kent as one of the leading places in the UK for the study of sport. The School’s research interests focus on two broad themes: endurance performance and exercise, sports therapy and injury rehabilitation.

    In endurance performance, the School has one of the largest groups of research excellence within Europe lead by Professors Samuele Marcora and Louis Passfield. Professor Samuele Marcora is the School’s Research Director and a prolific researcher. He has published many studies on a range of topics. Professor Louis Passfield has been conducting sports science research for over 20 years and has published many papers on training and cycling. He has also worked as a sports scientist with British Cycling, helping Britain’s leading riders prepare for four Olympic Games, including the highly successful Beijing Olympic team. We have a strong team of prolific, leading researchers within this group, and many are involved in a range of projects. For further details, see:

    In sports therapy and injury rehabilitation, Dr Karen Hambly has established a world-wide reputation for her work in this area, and other staff within the School are involved in ground-breaking studies within this field. For further details, see:

    Staff research interests

    Kent’s world-class academics provide research students with excellent supervision. The academic staff in this school and their research interests are shown below. You are strongly encouraged to contact the school to discuss your proposed research and potential supervision prior to making an application. Please note, it is possible for students to be supervised by a member of academic staff from any of Kent’s schools, providing their expertise matches your research interests. Use our ‘find a supervisor’ search to search by staff member or keyword.

    Visit the Sport, Exercise and Health Science - SportD page on the University of Kent website for more details!

    (Student Profile)

    Christina Blair Carroll

    2317.jpg Why did you choose to study at the University of Kent?
    It is highly rated for post graduation employment prospects and student satisfaction. It is also one of the few schools in the UK that offer the degree that I was looking for (MSc Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation). When I toured the University, I instantly knew that I wanted to come here, it was a perfect mix of everything that I was looking for in a University.

    What do you enjoy most about being at the University of Kent?
    I love the classes and my classmates. We get along very well and work well with each other in classroom discussions.

    What do you enjoy most about the University of Kent course that you are attending?
    The classes are stimulating and enjoyable.

    What do you enjoy about living and studying at the Medway campus?
    I live off campus, but I like the proximity to London and historic towns, such as Rochester. It's nice to be so close to so many things to be able to visit them on the weekends.

    How do you think your experience at the University of Kent will help you after graduation?
    I think that with the experience of my lecturers and their contacts, this networking will help me to accomplish my goal.

    How would you recommend the University of Kent to other students in your home country?
    I would recommend it by explaining the class sizes are small, so you get a lot of one on one attention from your lecturers. There's a lot of equipment at the MSc students disposal to be able to learn many new skills.

    How did you first find out about the University of Kent?
    I looked on the SST website to find school accredited by the society, and started my search from there.

    (Student Profile)

    Louise Holden

    2318.jpg Why did you choose to study at the University of Kent?
    The reputation of University of Kent as well as offering a unique course combining my interests in sport, health and fitness. I felt the course met my interests more than a typical sports science degree.

    What did you enjoy most about being at the University of Kent?
    I particularly valued the close-knit community that the Medway campus offered, access to top of the range science and lab equipment and a well-equipped Drill Hall library and knowledge resources.

    What did you enjoy most about the University of Kent course that you are attending?
    The open door policy of the lecturers and the support they provided. Lessons were well-structured and stimulating and the staff highly knowledgeable and passionate. Smaller class sizes were an added bonus as you had more 1.1 contact time. The lecturers often went that extra mile e.g. Steve Meadows for allowing us to attend a Phase IV cardiac rehabilitation class.

    What did you enjoy about living and studying at the Medway campus?
    I lived off campus – and had an hour commute. It was only an hour journey and this made it more convenient to attend and cost efficient as I did not need to relocate during my studies

    How do you think your experience at the University of Kent will help you after graduation?
    The encouragement from the lecturers and push to excel has certainly helped me.

    How would you recommend the University of Kent to other students?
    Smaller class sizes, knowledgeable, hands-on lecturers, great resources

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    Entry Requirements

    Candidates must normally be experienced sport, exercise or health practitioners. Candidates will be required to write a brief proposal and will be invited to attend an informal interview with the programme director and potential supervisor.

    All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, professional qualifications and relevant experience may also be taken into account when considering applications.

    Please see International Student website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information. Due to visa restrictions, students who require a student visa to study cannot study part-time unless undertaking a distance or blended-learning programme with no on-campus provision.

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