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Reach the top of your game on this pioneering course where you can undertake original research tailored to your personal career goals.

  • Build the skills and knowledge to develop your potential and profile as a successful researcher
  • Gain first-hand experience by conducting a substantial research project in the sport and exercise discipline of your choice
  • Achieve a stand-alone research qualification to enhance your employability or take the next step towards a doctoral degree
  • Structure your studies to suit your individual needs: full time or part time
  • Draw on our partnerships with leading sports teams and sports organisations, including internship opportunities to advance your research
  • Take the chance to work as a teaching assistant within the University’s sports department
  • Benefit from the expert supervision of influential researchers whose work is breaking new ground in the world of sport and exercise
  • Make the most of our high-specification laboratories and our £10.8m sport centre 

Are you a sport and exercise graduate or professional keen to accelerate your career? Would you like to progress to doctoral level studies? This challenging and stimulating MRes puts you on a fast track to success. 

A research theme of your choice

Our MRes differs from traditional masters programmes because it places such a strong emphasis on research skills combined with an extensive independent research project. 

You’ll work with our academic team and harness our state-of-the-art facilities to produce groundbreaking research into the sport and exercise discipline of your choice. Your findings could make a real difference to the lives of those who take part in sport and exercise – whether at a recreational or elite professional level.

We firmly believe that your studies should support your current and future career aspirations. That’s why you’re encouraged to develop your own learning objectives and to match your studies to an area of interest that you feel passionate about.

Real-world experience

Each year we advertise a number of internship opportunities where you can work towards your MRes while gaining hands-on experience and industry insights with one of our partners. 

You could secure a place with a wide range of sports organisations – from professional football, cricket and rugby clubs to local authority departments promoting public health initiatives. Among the latest opportunities offered were performance analysis and strength and conditioning internships with 2016 Premiership champions Leicester City FC.

There is also the chance to work as a teaching assistant within our sports department, supporting students on our undergraduate programmes. 

Support from an expert team

Our academic team has excellent research and teaching credentials, as well as experience of working in applied settings. Their expertise spans everything from sport psychology and physiology to performance analysis, coaching and rehabilitation. It means you will be able to access in-depth knowledge – and latest research findings – in a wide range of subjects.

We pride ourselves on providing exceptional levels of academic and pastoral support within a friendly and encouraging setting. While the course makes use of online learning to help you fit your studies around your other commitments, this is combined with face-to-face contact to ensure you receive guidance throughout.

Outstanding facilities

You’ll conduct your research in our exceptional sport and exercise facilities boasting the latest equipment and software. Our laboratories include technologies such as specialist strength and conditioning equipment and physiological analysis resources. A new 3D motion analysis system and multiple force platforms enable highly accurate and reliable biomechanical analyses to be made.

You can also take full advantage of our award-winning £10.8m multi-purpose sports centre which opened in autumn 2015 to become one of the region’s most iconic sporting venues. It features an impressive sports hall, badminton and squash courts, a 70-station fitness suite with associated strength and conditioning area, a dedicated fitness studio, climbing wall and indoor sprint track. Our outdoor facilities include a 3G all-weather pitch, tennis courts and a rugby pitch.

How you will learn

We pride ourselves on our student-centered approach; you will be fully supported by our expert team throughout your studies. Teaching combines online and face-to-face contact.

Sport and Exercise team members have excellent teaching credentials, many are actively involved in research and will share their latest findings with you. For example, Dr Andy Hooton is an expert in sport and exercise psychology and Dr Stuart Mourton focuses on motor control and learning. We have experts in sport and exercise psychology, physiology, nutrition, physical activity and health, strength and conditioning, injury and rehabilitation, biomechanics, performance analysis, coaching, and motor control, to enable you to access guidance in a field of your choice. 

Other interests include sports management, and the history and philosophy of sport.

Each year a number of internship opportunities are advertised. These opportunities allow students to complete their MRes whilst gaining real-world experience at a sport organisation. Past MRes internship providers include:

  • Derby City Council
  • Derby County Community Trust
  • Derby County Football Club
  • Derbyshire County Cricket Club
  • Leicester City Football Club
  • Perform at St George’s Park
  • West Bromwich Albion Football Club


You'll be assessed through a variety of methods allowing you to show your individual strengths and abilities. These include essays, portfolios, a dissertation, blogs, presentations, and a viva voce.

Visit the Sport and Exercise (MRes) page on the University of Derby website for more details!





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Recipient: University of Derby

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