Taught course

Sports Performance

University of Portsmouth · Department of Sport and Exercise Science

Entry requirements

A minimum of a 2:1 honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject. Applicants who hold a non-related degree will be considered on a case-by-case basis. For those who do not hold a degree or relevant professional qualification, extensive experience together with evidence of scholarly ability will be required. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

Months of entry


Course content

Why take this course?

On this course you will gain a thorough grounding in the science underpinning performance enhancement through the key areas of biomechanics, physiology and psychology. This will complement the practical skills and research expertise you will develop in applied settings, providing an insight into the way that scientific support is integrated into the real world of top-level sport.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

  • Develop an interdisciplinary applied approach to enhancing and maintaining sports performance
  • Learn laboratory and field-based skills for assessing and evaluating sports performance
  • Develop the ability to communicate with clients in a professional and approachable style

What opportunities might it lead to?

With an estimated worth in excess of £110 billion, the global sports industry is growing rapidly. You can expect to find a career in many specific areas such as teaching, research, sport science support, and the health and fitness sectors.

Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:

  • health and fitness companies
  • coaching and training
  • management roles
  • sports science roles
  • teaching
  • PhD study

Module Details

You can choose to take this course in either full-time or part-time mode, with a mixture of core and compulsory units providing good flexibility for part-time students. You will study several key topics; however these are subject to innovation and progression within the field and may therefore change slightly over the years.

Here are the units you will study:

  • Applied Research Methods: This unit comprehensively prepares you for research in your chosen field. You will cover a range of research designs and approaches and will prepare you to undertake your MSc Research Project.
  • Research Project: Your final project will enable you to carry out an individual study in the area of sports/exercise performance.

Optional units include:

  • Applied Sports Physiology: On this unit you will examine various physiological factors that affect sports performance and learn to carry our physiological tests and measures of sports performance.
  • Applied Sports Psychology: You will examine various approaches to sport psychology delivery and ethical issues that might affect them in order to identify and develop a range of professional skills associated with applied practice (e.g. counselling, service evaluation and effectiveness, reflective practice).
  • Environmental Factors Affecting Sports Performance: This unit trains you to critically review various environmental factors that affect sports performance and links theory to practical applications for maintaining and enhancing performance in adverse environmental conditions.
  • Applied Sports Biomechanics: This unit provides an applied experience of biomechanics and conditioning, and encourages a focused understanding of the practical advantages and limitations of various biomechanical systems.
  • MSc Professional Development: This is a unit for students who secure a graduate level placement that meets the requirements of their course of study and will allow students to gain academic credit for a structured work based experience/independent study period
  • Strength and Conditioning Practice: This Unit examines a broad base of research theory and applied methodologies that currently form the basis of contemporary strength and conditioning practice. Additional content will focus on developing proficiency in the fundamental performance aspects of strength training.

Programme Assessment

You will be taught mainly in practical workshop sessions in which you directly apply the skills and strategies you have learnt working with athletes or each other.

You will be assessed in a variety of ways with a focus on self-assessment and problem-based assignments. Here’s how we assess you:

  • Practical and written exams
  • Laboratory reports
  • Role plays
  • Presentations
  • Projects

Student Destinations

This course provides the skills necessary for range of careers in the sport industry, as well as providing opportunities to work toward BASES accreditation as a sport and exercise scientist, and the theoretical basis for further specialised study.

Given the range of general employability skills developed throughout the programme, you could go on to a variety of careers in other sectors, for example, business, the police and the armed services.

Roles our graduates have taken on include:

  • strength and conditioning coach
  • sports scientist
  • high performance sports coach
  • personal trainer
  • exercise specialist
  • corporate fitness manager
  • university/college lecturer
  • sports facility manager
  • PhD study
  • clinical trials manager

Fees and funding

UK students
Full time: £6,500 Part time: £2,170 in year 1 and £4,330* in year 2 *Tuition fee is subject to annual increase.
International students
Full time: £13,200 Part time: £4,400 in year 1 and £8,800* in year 2 *Tuition fee is subject to annual increase.

Qualification and course duration


part time
24 months
full time
12 months

Course contact details

Admissions Team
023 9284 5566