Sport and Exercise Physiology

Professional Doctorate in Applied Sport and Exercise Science

Course fees (2018/19 entry)

Option / fee Value
Home/EU full-time annual tuition fee: £6,825
Home/EU part-time tuition fee: £3,425 per annum
International full time annual tuition fee: £13,360

Course type



Sport and Exercise Sciences

Study mode

Full Time & Part Time

About your course

This Professional Doctorate in Applied Sport and Exercise Science at Liverpool John Moores University enables you to create and interpret new knowledge associated with your own professional practice in Applied Sport and Exercise Science. The course provides quality supervision and is underpinned by high-grade research.

  • Designed to support the creation and interpretation of new professional practice in your own area
  • Career opportunities available in a range of areas associated with Applied Sport and Exercise Science professional practice, such as working with elite athletes, physical activity, education, teaching and research
  • Available to study full time (2 years) and part time (4 years)

The course is focused around the competences of research, consultancy, teaching and training, and generic professional skills and standards, including ethics of applied practice relevant to Applied Sport Science.

The programme is designed around individual professional requirements to ensure trainees receive the tailored, specific support that best facilitates their own professional development. The staff who deliver the programme have significant experience in helping trainees create and interpret a range of professional skills, specifically those associated with applied research.

Professor Barry Drust, Programme Leader

Introduction to the School

The School of Sport and Exercise Sciences delivers innovative, research-led and employability-focused postgraduate programmes that are supported by world-class academics and state-of-the-art laboratory facilities.

The School is proud of its long-standing tradition in innovation and excellence in the field of Sport Science. We initiated the first undergraduate honours degree course in the UK for Sport Science in 1975, and have since developed a world-wide reputation for leading edge sport science teaching and research.

Our five taught postgraduate degrees in Sport Psychology, Sport and Clinical Biomechanics, Sport Physiology, Clinical Exercise Physiology and Sport Nutrition offer excellent career prospects within elite sport, the health sector, education and other areas.

We also offer opportunities to complete MPhil and PhD research across a wide range of sport science disciplines, where you would be working alongside nationally and internationally respected academics based in our acclaimed research groups.

Research excellence

The Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences (RISES) was established in 1997 and continues to be a cutting-edge and vibrant home for research activity within the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences. The success of RISES staff since its inception in 1997 is demonstrated by our high-profile international reputation for Research Training and Research Outputs.

In the 2014 REF, 97% of research submitted by LJMU’s School of Sport and Exercise Sciences was either considered world- leading, or as internationally excellent. This research helps ensure that our postgraduate courses are positioned at the vanguard of developments in the field and that you have an opportunity to study alongside leading experts.

The currency of our postgraduate programmes is achieved through the national and international standing and expertise of our academic staff for both research and applied work. The enables us to deliver high quality teaching and supervision to our students, built around research-informed and vocationally-relevant curricula and supported by world leading ‘state-of-the-art’ facilities.

Our internationally recognised research activity, long-standing commitment to high quality teaching and active role in the public engagement and promotion of the subject areas with our key external partners makes us the perfect choice for anyone looking to forge a career in this exciting field.

A supportive postgraduate community

We offer you a fantastic and supportive environment in which to study a sport and exercise science-related postgraduate course. Our postgraduate community is thriving and fully integrated into wider School activities. That’s why we are so highly rated by our postgraduate students. We hope that you too will soon be joining our dynamic team of staff, students and researchers.

Why study this course at LJMU?

This professional doctorate at LJMU represents a unique opportunity to create and interpret new professional knowledge at doctoral level.

You will work closely with academic staff who are leaders in their research field and experts in training. This course group at LMJU offers a supportive and friendly environment to progress your training and career.

In the recent Research Excellence Framework (REF2014), the Research Institute of Sport and Exercise Sciences achieved an exceptional grade point average (GPA) of 3.57, with 62% of all research activity being ranked as 4* (world-leading, the highest possible score). This placed us second nationally for GPA, 0.01 points behind a small postgraduate unit at a Russell Group University.

Tellingly, we had the highest volume of world leading research outputs of all submissions in our unit of assessment, with 90% of our impact work and 100% of our environment rated as world leading.

Indeed if all 1,911 university REF submissions, across all subject areas, were placed in order of GPA achieved we would rank 11th nationally - the highest score in any subject amongst post 1992 universities.

Programme outline and structure

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

Opportunities for professional training at doctoral level are increasingly important for vocational careers within both sport and exercise. The professional 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 professional skills, interventions, consultancy, research, and teaching and training (as facilitated through this course).

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

The programme can be studied full time or part time. Full time students must be enrolled for a minimum of two years, and for part-time students this is adjusted pro rata.

You will be developing your skills in teaching and training (education and dissemination), research, consultancy and demonstrating that you have the generic professional skills needed as an Applied Sport and Exercise Scientist. This is achieved through your own work-based learning experiences, taught sessions on the programme and extensive supervision. 

What you will study on this degree

Please see guidance below on core and option modules for further information on what you will study.

  • Professional Planning and Training for Applied Sport and Exercise Sciences
    Introduces important concepts related to the development, planning and implementation of research programmes, supported by the delivery of information associated with important principles of professional training. Learning outcomes inform an individual training plan which guides study across the remainder of the programme.
  • Professional Practice in Applied Sport and Exercise Sciences
    Focuses on the completion of professional and academic projects, which represent the contents of the research programme developed in the training plan. Focuses on the completion of self-directed learning tasks relevant to an individual’s area of professional expertise.
  • Reflection in Applied Sport and Exercise Sciences
    Students reflect on their individual learning journey for both professional and academic orientated activities – specifically the completion of a designated programme of research. Also includes a viva voce on the theoretical and practical knowledge and skill base of each candidate.

Further guidance on modules

The information listed in the section entitled ‘What you will study’ is an overview of the academic content of the programme that will take the form of either core or option modules. Modules are designated as core or option in accordance with professional body requirements and internal Academic Framework review, so may be subject to change. Students will be required to undertake modules that the University designates as core and will have a choice of designated option modules. Additionally, option modules may be offered subject to meeting minimum student numbers.

Please email if you require further guidance or clarification.

How will I be assessed?

There are various assessments, including a professional training audit, scientific and professional reports, reflections and a viva voce exam at the end of the programme.

For research you will be expected to produce a systematic review, two publishable papers (and will need to submit them to peer-reviewed journals) and a consultancy report.

Staff research interests

The programme staff have extensive research experience in the education, training and professional development of Applied Sport and Exercise Science for effective service delivery.

    There is particular interest in exploring all elements of Applied Sport Science including elite performance, biomechanics, exercise physiology, nutrition and exercise, health and physical activity, social science and performance/lifestyle.

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

    Entry requirements (Home)

    You will need: a Sport Science related Masters or an appropriate MPhil award in a sport science related area.

    Entry requirements (International)

    LJMU welcomes applications from international students. In addition to normal entry requirements, you will be expected to demonstrate a very good level of English language competence, for example an IELTS score of 7.0 or equivalent. Please note: specific courses may require higher levels of English language competence. 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. It can take four to six weeks to receive an ATAS certificate, so please make sure you apply as early as possible. You can find out more on the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website. Alternatively, contact LJMU’s International Admissions Team for guidance. Please note: international students entering on a Tier 4 visa cannot study part time. Students entering the UK on alternate types of visa may be in a position to study part time. Please contact LJMU’s International Admissions Team for further details before making your application.  In order to obtain a visa you will also need to show evidence that the money required to cover your tuition fees and living expenses has been in your bank account for at least 28 days prior to submitting your visa application. So please make sure that your finances are in place before applying. For more details, go to our international website

    For advice on any aspect of the application process, please contact LJMU’s International Admissions Team.

    Will I be interviewed?



    7.0 (Minimum of 6.5 in each component)


    58-64 (Min. 51 in each component for UKVI Purposes)

    Is RPL accepted on this programme?


    Please Note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check via NARIC.

    Financial support

    Tuition fees

    All students enrolled on postgraduate taught programmes at LJMU are liable to pay an annual tuition fee. You can opt to pay your tuition fees in full at the start of each academic year or in instalments. If you need advice about how to pay your tuition fees, please email LJMU’s Student Funding Team.

    Funding sources

    There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students. From Postgraduate Masters Loans and Professional and Career Development Loans (PCDLs) to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you’ll find all of the information you need on our specialist postgraduate funding pages.

    Graduate employment

    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.

    International Study

    International applicants are required to demonstrate equivalent qualifications to the standard requirements for entry when applying for courses at LJMU.

    Students must also demonstrate a proficiency in communicating through English, for example via an IELTS tests or equivalent.

    Please note: UK visa restrictions mean that international students are only permitted to study on a full-time basis.

    Please contact LJMU’s International Team by visiting for more information and advice.


    LJMU has launched a range of generous international scholarships for students enrolling at the University.

    These prestigious scholarships take the form of tuition fee waivers and are available for outstanding international students applying for taught postgraduate programmes and research degrees.

    You will need to complete an additional application form in order to be considered for these scholarships. Full eligibility criteria and the online application form are available here:

    Applications for these scholarships are welcomed from:

    • new international applicants
    • current LJMU international students hoping to progress onto postgraduate study at the University
    • LJMU international alumni

    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.

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