The British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences

Postgraduate Students

Types of Postgraduate Programmes

Taught Programmes

Masters Programme – this usually runs over 12 months full-time but some institutions offer part-time courses that are completed over two years. A Masters degree may involve a more in-depth study of a particular sub-discipline of sport and exercise science e.g., MSc Exercise Physiology or Sports Biomechanics, or a more in-depth study of sport and exercise science as a whole.

A Postgraduate Certificate/Diploma – this type of course is likely to run for up to 9 months full-time and will probably provide a basis for you to move on to a more specialised Masters course. Most Masters degrees in the UK now have ‘interim awards’ that involve the completion of a PG Certificate and a PG Diploma.

Click here for BASES Course Finder

Research Programmes

MPhil and Doctoral Degrees (PhD, MPhil) – a doctoral degree can be started immediately after an undergraduate degree or following a Masters course. Most PhDs take three years to complete in full-time study but may take longer. In many Universities, students are required to complete some form of ‘transfer document’ that takes them from the MPhil stage of study to the PhD stage. This can also provide an end point of study leading to the award of an MPhil.

Masters Degree (by Research) (Including MRes, MA, MSc) – on average, these degrees take 12 months full-time to complete but may take longer. There may be an option to transfer to a PhD at a later date. These typically involve independent research with very few taught elements included in these degrees. Why Undertake Postgraduate Study in Sport and Exercise Sciences? Q1. Do I really want to do a postgraduate qualification?

A1. This may seem an obvious and important question to ask yourself. You’d be surprised how many students undertake a postgraduate qualification because they are not sure what else to do! This is not necessarily a problem, but do try to research the available courses carefully and choose the one best suited to you likely career aims. You’re far more likely to enjoy the course if it is something that you really want to do.

Q2. Do I really need a postgraduate qualification? 

A2. It is important to research your career options to see if a postgraduate qualification is necessary. Some employers view postgraduate qualifications as highly desirable, whereas others prefer employees with more practical skills that can be gained from different sorts of postgraduate experience.

Q3. Can I afford a postgraduate qualification?

A3. Funding postgraduate study can be a problem for thousands of students who are motivated to continue their studies. There is no comprehensive funding plan for postgraduate study in this country, and most Masters students fund their course fees and living costs themselves. The average course fee for full-time study on a Masters degree in Sport and Exercise Science is likely to be in the range of £3,000 - £3,500 (as of September 2003). Fees increase dramatically for overseas students. An exception to this is the Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) for which grants are available and which leads to school-based, teaching qualification. Funding for PhD study is more likely to involve grant-aided support or a bursary, but will involve at least 3 years of study and can be a long haul! Individuals looking for financial support to undertake courses of further study are advised to utilise the publications on the following funding link, click for more

Q4. Will I earn more money if I have a postgraduate degree?

A4. It is difficult to generalise, however, postgraduate degrees are becoming more valuable in the job market. It has also been shown that in most areas of employment those with postgraduate qualifications end up earning on average 20 - 30% more than their undergraduate counterparts. So a longer-term view may suggest that the initial financial and intellectual investment is worth it in the long run.

Useful Postgraduate Websites
National centre for chronic diseases - Surgeon Generals Report.
BASES studentships - lists studentships in sport and exercise sciences.
The one-stop shop for students looking for a postgraduate masters qualification.
As the title states!
The site advertises post-doctoral positions.
The Association for Physical Education.
MEDLINE - A database relating to clinical medicine, health care, veterinary medicine, pharmacology and the biosciences such as genetics, physiology and immunology. The database covers over 3,800 journal titles.
Find a UK degree course.
Web of Knowledge/Web of Science: The full Web of Science from MIMAS covers 1981 to date. You may search all three indexes simultaneously, or select searching in one index (Science/Social Sciences/Arts) only. Web of science offers enhanced citation searching, including citation searches for all authors, not only the first named, as well as ‘related records’ option which can be used to widen your search results.
Find a postgraduate course.

The first dedicated website in the UK to bring together all the different types of funding opportunities open to potential postgraduates, at both taught and research level.

Specialist Fair held in London in December. Free to students, bringing together some of the UK’s leading Universities, all with substantial PhD funding to promote, plus meet current PhD students.

Much more than just a listing website - compare up to 4 courses on-screen and save your comparisons and individual course info for future reference.

Free online tool specifically designed to make it easier for students to apply and manage their postgraduate applications.

The British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences

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The British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences
The British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences