The home of sport science
At the forefront of innovation and development in sport science since 1975.
The School of Sport and Exercise Sciences was the first institution in the world to host a single honours degree programme in sport science back in 1975. We were also the first academic department to offer a single honours degree programme in science and football in 1998. The School continues to be at the forefront of development and innovation in sport and exercise sciences and is truly recognised as a world-leading department. In 2015 we celebrated 40 years of such innovation and development in teaching, learning, research and applied practice.
In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 (the system that assesses the quality of research in UK higher education institutions), of the 1,911 departmental submissions, we were ranked equal 11th and designated as the top ranked academic department outside of the Russell Group Universities (an association of 24 British public research universities).
6th best department in the world
In the first ever Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) for the sports sciences subject area released in December 2016, the School was named the sixth best department in the world amongst 400 worldwide sport-related units that actively engage in research in this field. The School is also ranked the third best in Europe, highlighting our global research influence. Through ShanghaiRanking, the official publisher of the ARWU, this was the first ranking system designed to discover world-class research within institutions with a subject focus on sport sciences.
Students entering the School are taught first to understand and then challenge and enhance existing theory, research and practice aligned to, or influenced by, sport, physical activity, exercise and health. We are proud of our ability to deliver an innovative, research-led and employability-focused experience where students are challenged yet thoroughly supported. The philosophy of the School is guided by the following principle:
We provide opportunities for students to develop high levels of critical thinking and to be equipped with the practical skills to make improvements to professional practice, to performance and, ultimately to improve lives.
We aim to make a difference. We aim to make things better.
The School operates across a range of domains that include a cellular, molecular and medical orientation, through to an understanding of more behavioural, personal and humanistic existence; from early years through to later years and from health through to performance environments. In all of these domains we are committed to making a difference by enhancing the lives of others.
The School of Sport and Exercise Sciences is a world leading School where students are exposed to an innovative, research-led and applied curriculum; students are continually encouraged to challenge the status quo and subsequently seek to make a difference to professional practice, performance and the wider society
Explore the School
Top ranked for research in the UK*
The School is a research-informed department and houses its own Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences (RISES). 97% of our research activity is rated world-leading or internationally excellent, making us the top ranked institution in the UK for Research Quality in Sport and Exercise Sciences at the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014*
Our REF 2014 highlights:
- Of the 1,911 submissions to the REF2014, we were ranked as the top ranked department in post-92 institutions
- A grade point average of 3.57 was calculated from 62% of research activity at a score of 4* (world leading) and 35% of research activity at 3* (internationally excellent)
- A total of 60 research papers rated at 4* was the largest volume of research papers at that level in the Unit of Assessment
- A fantastic 90% of impact (or translation) activity was rated at 4* and 100% of our research environment was rated at 4*
All members of the School are members of RISES and are subsequently encouraged to engage in research within their appropriate field. Fundamentally, the role of an academic in the School is to align to the School’s philosophy to challenge and enhance existing research and practice. Staff research embraces cellular, molecular and medical aspects of sport, exercise and health through to an understanding of a more person centred and contextual appreciation of humanistic existence; from early years through to later years and from health through to performance environments. RISES adopts a multidisciplinary, fundamental and applied research perspective to the following areas:
- Brain and Behaviour
- Cardiovascular Health Sciences
- Exercise Metabolism and Adaptation
- Physical Activity Exchange
- Football Exchange
- Psychology and Development
We collaborate with key partners on award-winning public engagement projects including CBBC, Commonwealth Games, National History Museum, Comic Relief and Sport Relief through our Face2Face with Sport Science programme. The School also holds partnerships and collaborations with industry partners focused on exercise, health and physical activity, including local and national hospitals and schools, and organisations committed to health promotion and positive behavior change.
£35 million has recently been invested into state-of-the-art laboratory facilities for our current and future sport scientists. If you take a stroll through the Tom Reilly Building and the Life Sciences Building, you’ll be amazed at the range of high-tech equipment available to sport and science students and research staff.
* Research Quality Index data provided by Research Professional and available via Research Fortnight.
Who we work with
We have strong links with an array of sporting governing bodies both locally, nationally and internationally.
- Local Authorities
- Merseyside Fire and Rescue
- Mersey Forest
- Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital
- UK Sport
- Sport England
- The Football Association
- The Welsh Football Association
- England and Wales Cricket Board
- Rugby Football Union
- British Cycling
- Team Sky
- The British Horseracing Authority
- The Rugby Football League and clubs including Widnes Vikings and St Helens
- Qatari FA and the Aspire Academy
- The English Premier League and a host of professional football clubs such as Liverpool, Everton, Tranmere Rovers, Manchester United and Real Madrid
- Red Bull
- Destination Youth
- The NHS
- British Heart Foundation
- International Olympic Committee
of recent graduates were in jobs or further study 6 months after graduating
Top sport and exercise science department in the country (REF 2014)*
of research activity is rated world-leading or internationally excellent