2024/25 entry Applications also open for 2025/26

DSportExSci Professional Doctorate in Applied Sport and Exercise Science

Start date(s):
Study mode:
Course duration:
2 years

Tuition fees

Home full-time per year
International full-time per year
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About this course

LJMU's Professional Doctorate in Applied Sport and Exercise Science enables you to create and interpret new knowledge associated with your own professional practice.

  • The School of Sport and Exercise Sciences is ranked 6th for Sports Science (QS World University Rankings 2024)
  • Designed to support the creation and interpretation of new professional practice in your own area
  • Enjoy high quality supervision on this programme which is underpinned by high-grade research
  • Go on to work with elite athletes or take up a position in physical activity promotion, education, teaching or research
  • Work closely with academic staff who are leaders in their research field and experts in training

Applied Sport and Exercise Science is an established discipline with growing possibilities for qualified professionals.

Opportunities for professional training at doctoral level are increasingly important for vocational careers within sport and exercise. This doctorate facilitates the creation and interpretation of new professional knowledge.

To obtain the award you will need to complete a related Masters programme or MPhil and spend two or more years acquiring a range of supervised skills connected with applied research.

The programme is underpinned by a strong focus on equipping future Applied Sport and Exercise Scientists for a range of professional scenarios associated with problem solving.

You will develop your skills as a research practitioner, more specifically the ability to complete research projects in the real world. You will also demonstrate that you have the generic professional skills required to be an Applied Sport and Exercise Scientist through your own work-based learning experiences, taught sessions on the programme and extensive supervision.

Fees and funding

There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students


The fees quoted at the top of this page cover registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examinations as well as:

  • library membership with access to printed, multimedia and digital resources
  • access to programme-appropriate software
  • library and student IT support
  • free on-campus wifi via eduroam

Additional costs

Although not all of the following are compulsory/relevant, you should keep in mind the costs of:

  • accommodation and living expenditure
  • books (should you wish to have your own copies)
  • printing, photocopying and stationery
  • PC/laptop (should you prefer to purchase your own for independent study and online learning activities)
  • mobile phone/tablet (to access online services)
  • field trips (travel and activity costs)
  • placements (travel expenses and living costs)
  • student visas (international students only)
  • study abroad opportunities (travel costs, accommodation, visas and immunisations)
  • academic conferences (travel costs)
  • professional-body membership
  • graduation (gown hire etc)


There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students. From loans to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you’ll find all of the information you need on our specialist postgraduate funding pages.

Please be aware that the UK’s departure from the EU may affect your tuition fees. Learn more about your fee status and which tuition fees are relevant to you.


Further your career prospects

LJMU has an excellent employability record with 96% (HESA 2018) of our postgraduates in work or further study six months after graduation. Our applied learning techniques and strong industry connections ensure our students are fully prepared for the workplace on graduation and understand how to apply their knowledge in a real world context.

Employment opportunities in Applied Sport and Exercise Science have become increasingly professionalised in recent years. As a consequence there is a need for individuals to demonstrate high level professional and personal skills. A growing number of Applied Sport and Exercise Science graduates work in applied settings as practitioners and promoters, as well as taking employment in Applied Sport and Exercise Science education, teaching and research positions.

Staff on the course have existing experience of supervised trainees working in the Applied Sport and Exercise Science service domain.

The student experience

Discover life as a postgraduate student at LJMU.

Course modules

Discover the building blocks of your programme

Your programme is made up of a number of core modules which are part of the course framework. Some programmes also have optional modules that can be selected to enhance your learning in certain areas and many feature a dissertation, extended report or research project to demonstrate your advanced learning.

Core modules

Professional Planning Training in Sport and Exercise Science
30 credits

This short module is intended to introduce the programme and support you in self audit and planning professional research activity. It aims to:

  • enable you to critically evaluate your current status with respect to relevant competencies for Applied Sport and Exercise Scientists
  • provide evidence of a systematic plan for your own development, more specifically a plan relating to the development of your professional practice

Sport and Exercise Science Professional Practice
270 credits

This module comprises 2,100 of the course's 2,700 work-based activity hours. It aims to capture the competencies associated with applied research:

• professional skills and standards important for research • strategies to support the completion of independent research projects • key themes in disseminating applied research

Reflection in Sport and Exercise Science
60 credits

This module prepares you for the future by closing the loop on your research training, reflecting on your original plan and experiences and looking towards future practice. The module lets you demonstrate your:

  • overall professional skills development
  • ability to critically analyse, reflect and meta-reflect on your development and the decisions and choices you have made during training


An insight into teaching on your course

Study hours

You will be required to attend the University for five days of staff-supported learning in the first five months of the course (January to May). A development day following this initial period will be held approximately every eight weeks. The remaining delivery will largely be focused upon individually negotiated contact sessions with your supervisor.

Teaching methods

The programme is designed around individual professional requirements to ensure all students receive the tailored, specific support that best facilitates their own professional development.

Applied learning

Staff have extensive networks with numerous elite and professional sporting and exercise organisations providing our students with research and placement opportunities. We have contacts in: professional UK and European football, cricket and rugby teams; Olympic sports and UK institutes of sport; local councils; hospitals and clinics.


How learning is monitored on your programme

To cater for the wide-ranging content of our courses and the varied learning preferences of our students, we offer a range of assessment methods on each programme.

Assessment on this course includes: a professional training audit, a systematic review, scientific and professional reports, reflections and a viva voce exam at the end of the programme.

Course tutors

Our staff are committed to the highest standards of teaching and learning

The most enjoyable aspect of my role is watching how emergent postgraduate student research ideas translate into credible, applied solutions that make a real difference in practice.

School facilities

What you can expect from your School

The programme is delivered in the City Campus, in the £28 million Tom Reilly Building, which provides world-class sport and exercise science facilities. These include: 12-lead ECG and cardiopulmonary stress exercise testing equipment, ultrasound machines, echocardiography and vascular physiology. The School also houses 800m2 of exercise physiology laboratory space and 100 m2 of molecular/biochemistry laboratory space.

Entry requirements

You will need:

Qualification requirements

Postgraduate degree (required for research programmes)

  • a sport science related Masters or an appropriate MPhil award in a sport science related area

International requirements


    • IELTS 7.0 (minimum of 6.5 in each component)

  • Other international requirements

    • If you have applied to study a full-time taught Masters, MRes, MPhil or PhD at LJMU, you should check if you require an Academic Technology Approval Scheme or ATAS certificate
    • International students entering on a Tier 4 visa cannot study part-time

Further information

  • Extra Requirements

    The Professional Doctorate in Applied Sport and Exercise Science is not eligible for the LJMU Alumni Award if the 20% discount has already been used for an alternative LJMU programme

  • RPL

    • RPL is accepted on this course

Application and selection

Securing your place at LJMU

To apply for this programme, you are required to complete an LJMU online application form. You will need to provide details of previous qualifications and a personal statement outlining why you wish to study this programme.

You should also provide two programme relevant references, at least one of which must be an academic reference.

The University reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University. Where this does happen, the University operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.

Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.