How can athletes optimise their training and performance? How can individuals and communities improve their physical activity, health and wellbeing? Our inter-disciplinary team of scientists and practitioners will help you understand the role of physiology, psychology, biomechanics and nutrition in sport and exercise science.
On our MSci Sport and Exercise Science (Integrated Masters), you develop the same key skills as on our BSc Sport and Exercise Science. These skills include:
- How and why different energy systems are deployed at different exercise intensities
- Biomechanical principles behind acute and chronic sporting injuries, and how these can be applied to prevent injuries
- The role of ergogenic aids in improving athletic performance
- How physical activity and nutrition can reduce the risk of cardio-metabolic disease
- The design and implementation of psychological skills training programmes
In addition, you achieve a Masters-level qualification and have the opportunity to investigate more advanced topics in sport and exercise science, specialising in one of the areas of research being undertaken within our School of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences, such as:
- The analysis of movement
- How extreme environments can affect human performance
- Paediatric exercise science
- Sport psychology
Our course allows you to gain practical hands-on experience in our specialist laboratory facilities, as well as learning the theoretical approaches. Alongside lectures, seminars, tutorials, and laboratory sessions, there are a range of online resources to support your learning.
The first two years provide you with the professional and scientific skills needed to conduct independent research projects in your final years. You also have the opportunity to work with our Human Performance Unit, which applies the latest science to analyse performance and help top athletes stay at the top of their game.
As such, the course provides you with the knowledge and experience of working with different client groups, and helps prepare you for a fulfilling career in a range of industries, especially sport, health and education.
Your education extends beyond the university campus. We support you in expanding your education through offering the opportunity to spend a year or a term studying abroad at one of our partner universities. The five-year version of our degree allows you to spend a year abroad or employed on a placement abroad, while otherwise remaining identical to the four-year Integrated Masters course.
Studying abroad allows you to experience other cultures and languages, to broaden your degree socially and academically, and to demonstrate to employers that you are mature, adaptable, and organised.
If you spend a full year abroad you’ll only pay 15% of your usual tuition fee to Essex for that year. You won’t pay any tuition fees to your host university.
Alternatively, you can undertake a placement year with an external organisation. This is usually focussed around your course, and enables you to learn about a particular sector, company or job role, apply your academic knowledge in a practical working environment, and receive inspiration for future career pathways.
Our expert staff
As one of the largest schools at our University, we offer a lively, friendly and supportive environment with research-led study and high quality teaching. Two-thirds of our research is rated “world-leading” or “internationally excellent” (REF 2014), and you learn from and work alongside our expert staff.
Our research covers a wide spectrum of sport and exercise science. Key academic staff for include Dr Valerie Gladwell, who is researching the autonomic nervous system in exercise bouts, Dr Jo Barton, who is leading the way in the specialist area of green exercise, Dr Paul Freeman, who works on social support in sports, Dr Matthew Taylor, who is a leading expert in a wide variety of research interests from exergaming to aging and gait analysis, and Dr Gavin Sandercock, who works on geographical and social interactions with exercise.
The University of Essex has a Women’s Network to support female staff and students and was awarded the Athena Swan Institutional Bronze Award in November 2013 in recognition of its continuing work to support women in STEM.
Our specialist facilities include our new £12 million Sport Arena, physiotherapy labs, six specialist sport and physiology labs, two dedicated sports therapy training labs, and an on-campus sports therapy clinic.
- Work in an open and friendly department, with shared staff-student social spaces
- Gain valuable experience working with elite athletes in our Human Performance Unit
- State-of-the-art research facilities, from state of the art treadmills, to 7-camera biomechanics systems, to gas and blood analysis systems
- Teaching facilities including new undergraduate laboratories
The sport, fitness, health and leisure sectors are booming and provide a variety of careers for sports and exercise science graduates.
Typical career destinations include sports performance, sports management and sports development, health care, teaching, the health and fitness industry and academic research. Our courses develop your skills in numeracy, information technology, communication and time management, which are important to all employers.
Our recent graduates have taken up a wide range of roles, including:
- Senior fitness instruction and personal training
- Coaches and performance analysts for football clubs including Southend United, West Ham United, Dagenham and Redbridge FC, and Derby County, and for rugby clubs including Colchester RFC
- Health and safety executive for HM Inspector of Health and Safety
- Essex netball development officer for England Netball
- Girls’ and women’s football development officer for a local council
- Health improvement facilitator for a primary care trust
Other graduates now work in the fields of sports performance, sports management and sports development, health care, teaching, and the health and fitness industry. Many also undertake research study.
We also work with our University’s Student Development Team to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.
Why we’re great
- Gain in-depth knowledge by using our cutting-edge advanced research equipment.
- Work with elite athletes and gain experience in our renowned Human Performance Unit.
- 94% of our School of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences students are in employment or further study (Graduate Outcomes 2021).
We offer a flexible course structure with a mixture of core/compulsory modules, and optional modules chosen from lists.
Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field. The course content is therefore reviewed on an annual basis to ensure our courses remain up-to-date so modules listed are subject to change.
Teaching and learning disclaimer
Following the impact of the pandemic, we made changes to our teaching and assessment to ensure our current students could continue with their studies uninterrupted and safely. These changes included courses being taught through blended delivery, normally including some face-to-face teaching, online provision, or a combination of both across the year.
The teaching and assessment methods listed show what is currently approved for 2022 entry; changes may be necessary if, by the beginning of this course, we need to adapt the way we’re delivering them due to the external environment, and to allow you to continue to receive the best education possible safely and seamlessly.