MSc Sport, Health and Exercise Science

Would you like to further your career in sport, health and exercise science? Would you like to offer sports science support to professional teams? Or does working in the field of physical activity and exercise in your community drive your ambition? The MSc Sport, Health and Exercise Science course represents the academic and research interests of exercise and health scientists at the University.

During your studies, you will conduct supervised and independent research work at our Sports Park and at our state-of-the-art environmental, exercise physiology and body composition laboratories on Glyntaff campus. The University of South Wales is 15th overall in the UK for world leading research in sports and exercise science – there is a strong research culture and our students are encouraged to engage with this from the beginning of their studies.

Study Mode 2017 Duration Start Date Location
Full-time 1 Years September Pontypridd
Part-time 3 Years September Pontypridd
Study Mode 2018 Duration Start Date Location
Full-time 1 Years September Pontypridd
Part-time 3 Years September Pontypridd
  • Exercise Physiology and Biochemistry
  • Nutrition for Health and Performance
  • Movement Analysis
  • Physical Activity and Health
  • Sport Psychology
  • Strength and Conditioning
  • The High Performance Environment
  • Research Methods
  • Research Project
  • Professional Work Based development*


Teaching methods include small group workshops, seminars, lectures, video analysis, practical laboratory investigations and practicals; some of which will be student-led. All teaching material is supported by the latest research information and national and local policy drivers. Interactive, e-learning platforms are used to support your learning throughout the course, as well as the excellent library facilities.


A wide variety of applied, academic and vocational assessment is used on this modern and innovative course. You will be assessed by oral and poster presentations, laboratory write-ups and case studies, critical essays and in some modules, examinations. The assessments are continually updated to reflect contemporary policy and practice to provide graduates with the most up-to-date professional knowledge and experiences.


A higher level degree such as an MSc, MPhil or PhD is becoming increasingly essential if you want to pursue a professional and/or academic career in sport and exercise science or physical activity/nutrition related to public health or the fitness industry. During your course, you’ll have the opportunity to complete a professional work placement module, using the experience to further develop your vocational skills in a specific sport or exercise area. We will work with you to secure the most relevant placement for your future career aspirations. Future employment opportunities include areas such as the public health sector, sport national governing bodies, fitness industry as well as supporting those of you already in employment such as teachers, community sport and health officers, physical activity and fitness leaders.


USW Sport Park is our purpose-built site, designed to train and develop our students to their highest potential. Our sports hall includes a national-standard six badminton court with sprung floor. This complements our excellent outdoor facilities. We have 11 pitches including five floodlit pitches, an artificial training pitch and a 3G rubber crumb floodlit football pitch. The notational analysis suite features cutting-edge technology. This allows students to analyse coaching effectiveness and performance, in both a laboratory and a field-based environment.

The Park is a five minute drive from Pontypridd Campus, which is made up of two sites; Treforest and Glyntaff. There is even a free bus to take you between all three. Continued investment in our Sport Park means we will have new facilities from autumn 2017. This will include a specialist centre for strength and conditioning, with 12 lifting platforms designed to provide a high performance environment for aspiring athletes. We’ll also have a specially designed facility for sporting performance for rugby and football coaching students. Our brand-new, full-sized 4G indoor football pitch will be the only one in Wales, and one of only five in the UK.

The labs at Glyntaff provide a strong, scientific background to learning, and complement the specialist equipment available at USW Sport Park. They cover health and human performance, muscle strength and power, anatomy and biomechanics, body composition and environmental physiology. Students use the biomechanics lab to measure the internal and external forces involved when performing sporting actions.

Our students will have access to the best equipment, including a unique underwater weighing system and wholebody Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). These measure whole and regional body fat and muscle.We also have an environmental chamber to simulate temperature, humidity and altitude conditions. Those undergoing treatment spend time in the chamber to acclimatise; their bodies gradually adjust, and they are able to perform successfully in new environments.


Melanie Tuckwell, course leader

Usually an Honours degree at class 2:2 or above in a relevant science subject such as Sports Science, Biomedical Science or Physiology, although experience can sometimes be taken into account.

Equivalent international qualifications are acceptable. Those without such qualifications will be considered on an individual basis and a wide range of prior professional experience may be taken into account.

All fees are per year. Once you have started your course, your fee will remain the same for each year of study.

August 2017 - July 2018 Fees

  • Full-time UK and EU: TBC
  • Full-time International: £12600
  • Part-time UK and EU: TBC
  • Part-time International: TBC

August 2018 - July 2019 Fees

  • Full-time UK and EU: TBC
  • Full-time International: TBC
  • Part-time UK and EU: TBC
  • Part-time International: TBC

Additional Costs

Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are significant additional costs either obligatory or optional these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.

Apply directly to the University if you are applying for a part-time, professional or postgraduate course, an Erasmus/Exchange programme, the Legal Practice (part-time) course, to top up your Foundation Degree or HND, or to transfer to USW from another institution.    

Apply now 

Admissions statement 

A higher level degree such as an MSc, MPhil or PhD is becoming increasingly essential if you want to pursue a professional and/or academic career in sport and exercise science or physical activity/nutrition related to public health.

Our Careers and Employability Service

As a USW student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate.

This includes: one-to-one appointments from faculty based Career Advisers, in person, over the phone or even on Skype and through email via the "Ask a Question" service. We also have extensive online resources for help with considering your career options and presenting yourself well to employers. Resources include psychometric tests, career assessments, a CV builder, interview simulator and application help. Our employer database has over 2,000 registered employers targeting USW students, you can receive weekly email alerts for jobs.

Our Careers service has dedicated teams: A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements; an employability development team which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge; and an Enterprise team focused on new business ideas and entrepreneurship.

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