Research course

Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences

Brunel University, London · Health and Life Sciences

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Entry requirements

The general University entrance requirement for registration for a research degree is normally a First or Upper Second Class Honours degree.

Months of entry


Course content

The Division of Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences at Brunel is internationally recognised as an environment for research excellence.

Placed fifth in the UK for research power in REF2014, our sport and exercise research is the highest ranked in London, with 73% of our research outputs and 100% of the research environment and impact classed as world-leading or internationally excellent. Our vibrant community of researchers span the natural and social sciences, equipping them to address the complex multidisciplinary challenges surrounding sport, exercise, health and wellbeing today.

Our research is conducted across two expert research centres and a research group which collaborate to apply innovative disciplinary and multidisciplinary perspectives to sport, health and exercise research.

A list of research areas is included below according to the research centres and research institute theme:

Centre for Human Performance, Exercise and Rehabilitation:

  • Human performance, cardiovascular, respiratory and musculoskeletal health research.
  • Mechanisms regulating muscle blood flow and the role of muscle mechanisms and breathing in cardiovascular control.
  • Respiratory physiology and pathophysiology as applied to exercise, hypoxia and chronic disease states; role of the respiratory system (gas exchange, airway mechanics and respiratory muscle work/fatigue) and its cardiovascular interactions (mechanical and reflex) as significant contributors to oxygen transport and exercise performance limitations in healthy endurance athletes as well as in COPD and asthma.
  • Dysfunctional breathing, breathing retraining and exercise in the management of dysfunctional breathing, physiotherapy management of breathing conditions.
  • Mechanisms of in vivo muscle-tendon and joint function during maturation in children, young athletes and across the lifespan.
  • Reduction of musculoskeletal loading and prevention of injuries in athletes and among people with neuromuscular or musculoskeletal pathologies.
  • Movement and coordination in children and the effects of acquired and developmental disorders in children and young adults.

Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience:

Three main research strands, and encouragement for research that integrates two or more of these strands:

  • Vision – visual attention, visual perception, face perception, visual language.
  • Action – motor control, executive control, performance (e.g. dance/sport).
  • Plasticity – lifespan changes, acquisition of expertise (e.g. in areas above such as vision, action and performance), neurodegeneration/rehabilitation.

Sport , health and exercise research in the Welfare, Health and Wellbeing theme:

  • Sport, health and physical activity
  • Sport, culture and wellbeing
  • Community sport development
  • Understanding inactivity
  • Sport and physical education
  • Child safeguarding in sport
  • Athlete welfare and wellbeing
  • Health and wellbeing in the workplace

Information for international students

English language requirements

  • IELTS: 7 (min 6 in all areas)
  • Pearson: 64 (51 in all subscores)
  • BrunELT: 70% (min 60% in all areas)

Fees and funding

UK students

We offer a range of PhD studentships, partial scholarships, and academic prizes, to help with your research fees. Explore external funding, particularly the Research Councils, as well as other support.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PhD
    part time
    72 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    36 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
  • MPhil
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

+44 (0)1895 265599