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MSc Sport and Exercise Science

Develop your skills with professional athletes and sports teams and continue the journey towards becoming an accredited sport and exercise scientist. Study in BASES accredited sport science labs.

Sport science students use an anti-gravity treadmill in the physiology lab

Collaborative relationships with professional athletes and sports teams.

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Entry requirements

A degree at 2:1 or above in a subject related to sport and health sciences and/or relevant professional experience

Applicants with other qualifications and/or experience will be considered on an individual basis

UCAS code Apply to Marjon

UCAS institution code P63

Duration One year full-time or two years part-time

Course Summary

Our MSc Sport and Exercise Science has been designed to capture the sport and exercise science aspects of the sector in an immersive way, which explores how the sports sciences overlay and work together. For example, you might study the physiological and psychological effects for athletes travelling across time zones to compete in a hot environment, exploring this in the environmental chamber in our BASES accredited lab. Or you might undertake biomechanical analysis using our high speed cameras and force plates to predict injury before it happens and then prescribe conditioning to reduce the risk.

MSc Sport and Exercise Science is specifically focused towards providing students with an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the discipline through the inclusion of unique field based opportunities. You’ll join a high performance trip to St George's Park, home of England Football, where you’ll can gain an appreciation of sport science support at the highest level. You’ll also benefit from opportunities with our key partners, such as Plymouth Argyle FC and Plymouth Raiders, and the Womens FA High Performance Centre. Other opportunities include hands on experience with health checks and a range of patients in our on-site Health and Wellbeing clinics.

You’ll be given the opportunity to apply and develop knowledge, practical skills and values in applied sport and exercise science contexts to obtain professional and personal progression. It is anticipated that students will look to pursue a career in sport and exercise science and follow the route to become a BASES accredited sport and exercise scientist. The MSc programme is a crucial step towards achieving this because it enables students to achieve hours which count towards the Supervised Experience required to become a BASES accredited sport scientist.

Why this course at Marjon?

On completion of this degree you can go on to undertake the BASES Supervised Experience Process

Be immersed in a range of sport and exercise science contexts

Up to 75 hours of experience in the sector across a range of performance and health settings

Understand the multidisciplinary nature of the sector

Work as part of our sport and exercise science team to deliver support services to a range of athletes and clients

Manage health checks with and support a range of patients in our Health and Wellbeing clinics

Modules for this course

1st Year

Research methods for postgraduate study
You'll develop your understanding of contemporary methods of research, philosophies in research, and explore evaluation and evidence-based practice research.
Applied sport and exercise science: athlete profiling, intervention and monitoring
You'll learn how to synchronise state of the art sport and exercise science lab equipment to profile athletes and you'll design multidisciplinary interventions.
Applied professional practice
Understand how sport and exercise science is used in a specific workplace. You'll gain real life experience of the role of a sport and exercise scientist in practice.
Training and competitive environments
You'll understand the challenges faced by athletes transitioning from training to competitive environments and strategies to over come these.
Masters thesis
You'll develop a measurable and meaningful research question, specific research methodology and produce your research thesis.

This course is perfect if you're curious about

Can we help protect athletes and workers from extreme environments?

Does it really matter how much sleep an athlete gets the night before a competition?

Can I play a part in helping to prevent diabetes and other health conditions?

Does a sport and exercise scientist only work in professional sport?

Can you predict injury before it happens?

How does an athlete prepare to compete in a hot environment?

What might you become?

MSc Sport and Exercise Science is designed to help you progress within the sport and exercise science sector. This could be to help you secure an internship as a new graduate, or to allow you to apply for promotions if you are already an experienced practitioner in employment.

Two students track golf performance on the Trackman simulator in the biomechanics lab

How you’ll be taught and assessed?

How will you be taught?

You will be taught through a combination of intensive days, workshops, lectures, seminars, lab practicals, interactive group discussion and field work.

How will you be assessed?

Assessment methods are varied and include coursework such as essays, reports, portofolios and your research thesis. There are also many practical based assessments embedded within modules.

Joe Layden

Dr Joseph Layden

Course leader

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Joe has 20 years experience within the area of health and exercise physiology and researches health care interventions, physiology and metabolism. He previously worked as an Occupational Physiologist and Researcher for the UK Ministry of Defence and the Netherlands National Research Office.

Fees and funding

Fees UK students: £6,500

Fees for International students: £12,500

This fee covers your tuition and access to course-specific equipment and facilities, as well associated services including access to the library, study skills support, IT support, student support and wellbeing services and membership of the Student Union. There may be additional costs by course.

Funding available for this course

Our Student Funding Advisors offer confidential and impartial advice about your funding options.

Learn more


Melissa Coyle

Senior Lecturer

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Melissa has research interests that include increasing self-awareness and positive growth and mental health, developing confidence and emotional control, reducing anxiety, and facilitating communication.

John Downey


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John is an exercise specialist with an interest in lifestyle behaviour change and health services evaluation. He holds an MSc in Preventive Cardiology and REPS accredited qualifications in exercise referral and cardiac rehabilitation.

Ben Jane

Senior Lecturer

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Ben has more than twenty years of experience working in various health and fitness roles. In this time he has worked with more than a thousand participants and helped train hundreds of fitness professionals.

Dr Joseph Layden

Senior Lecturer

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Joe has 20 years experience within the area of health and exercise physiology and researches health care interventions, physiology and metabolism. He previously worked as an Occupational Physiologist and Researcher for the UK Ministry of Defence and the Netherlands National Research Office.

Dr Alister McCormick

Associate Professor

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Alister teaches psychology and its applications to sport, exercise, and health. His main research interest is how psychological interventions can be used to improve the performances of people who participate in endurance events, such as middle- and long-distance running, cycling, swimming, and triathlon events.

Chris Smietanka

Lecturer / Resident Life Tutor

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Chris has been involved in community football for over 20 years. He oversees the sport science support programme for Plymouth Argyle FC Youth Academy and the operational management for their Centre of Excellence. He helps students to gain volunteering and placement opportunities. He is a Coach Mentor for the FA and as part of the degree programme; students can apply to become part of the FA Young Coach Development Team to develop their theoretical understanding and coaching practice. His other interests include performance analysis, physiological testing and the development of football within the wider community.

The large biomechanics lab offers a variety of sport science equipment. It is an open space designed to enable a range of practical activities to take place.

Force analysis measures three dimensional force vectors to report the direction with which force is applied to the ground. It is often used by elite sprint athletes to analyse their technique.

3D motion cameras are used to provide a visual representation of movement. They are used to work with sport professionals or for patients with chronic pain conditions.

The golf simulator provides data on the golf club swing and the ball, how fast and how far it is travelling.

The EMG system enables students to track muscular activation and monitor that muscles are working as they should do.

The Physiology lab is an open space and in it students are using advanced sport and health science equipment.

The jump sensor pad works out flight times and calculates how high people can jump. It is used by athletes to monitor changes in performance.

The body composition analyser sends electrical signal through the body to calculate muscle and fat composition. It is used for general health checks and with professional athletes to monitor muscle mass.

The cortex gas analysis system measures respiratory gases, how much oxygen someone is breathing in and how much carbon dioxide is coming out. It measures someone’s maximum ability to take on board oxygen.

The anti gravity treadmill reduces body weight to as little as 20% to reduce impact forces while running, used for injury recovery.

There are several blood analysis options, this student is measuring blood lactate concentration which is a by-product of anaerobic exercise such as sprinting.

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