Sport and Exercise Research Centre


About the Programme

The Sport and Exercise Research Centre (SERC) at the University of Winchester is a dynamic hub of academics and researchers working together to identify and address pertinent issues in sport and exercise at a local, national, and international level.

Members collaborate with public and private stakeholders, industry groups, policy makers and funding agencies when undertaking research and disseminating findings, to maximise evidence-based impact from our sport and exercise research.

Research Strands

Physical Activity, Health, and Wellbeing

We undertake research that aims to identify and solve pertinent health challenges by improving our understanding and knowledge of the relationships between physical activity and health across the lifespan.

Current Research

  • examining associations between physical activity, mental health, and wellbeing during COVID-19
  • the effect of early exercise engagement on quality-of-life post-stroke
  • the effect of interrupting sitting time on vascular and cognitive health in various clinical populations

Strand Leader: Professor James Faulkner ()

Please click here to visit the Physical Activity, Health, and Wellbeing strand webpage.

Sport Performance

Through an interdisciplinary research approach, we aim to examine and provide interventions to enhance the sporting performance of athletes and teams.

Using a range of qualitative and quantitative methodologies, ongoing research avenues include:

  • psychological climate of team sport practice
  • representative learning designs within sport coaching environments
  • developmental experiences of elite youth athletes

Strand Leader: Dr Steve Smith ()

Please click here to visit the Sport Performance research strand webpage.

Brain Injury in Sport

We undertake interdisciplinary research that examines the short- and long-term outcomes of brain injury for individuals, athletes, military veterans, families, caregivers, and more.

Using a range of qualitative and quantitative methodologies, ongoing research avenues include:

  • caregiver experiences of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) from sport participation
  • concussion knowledge and attitudes and athlete reporting intentions
  • efficacy of concussion education programmes
  • media narratives around sport-related concussion

Strand Leader: Dr Matt Smith ()

Please click here to visit the Brain Injury in Sport research strand webpage.

Inclusivity in Sport

We examine national and international relationships between students, athletes and various levels of organised, competitive sports and physical education.

Using a range of qualitative and quantitative measures, ongoing research activities include:

  • the experiences of North American LGBT athletes in high school and collegiate sports
  • the experiences of British athletes in school-based and recreational based sports
  • examination of social media campaigns related to LGBT athletes in professional sport
  • evaluating school-based physical activity initiatives, physical education, and teacher training

Strand Leader: Professor Eric Anderson ()

Please click here to visit the Inclusivity in Sport research strand webpage.

Research Excellence

In our inaugural submission to REF2021, 78% of our research outputs were rated as 3* (internationally excellent) and 4* (world-leading).

Research Programme

Students may register for an MPhil or an MPhil/PhD.

Mode: Full-Time (4 years max.) or Part-Time (7 years max.)

Start Dates: January and September

Location: Winchester

Entry Requirements

Applicants will normally hold a first-class or high upper second-class undergraduate Honours degree and/or a Masters degree (or equivalent) in a related discipline.

If English is not your first language: an Academic IELTS of an average of 6.5 (with a minimum of 7 for writing) is required or equivalent.

Research Proposals

Our academic staff are happy to help prospective students develop their research proposals as part of the application process.

For any enquiries, please contact the SERC Convenor, Dr John Batten ()

Application Process

All applications are processed through the Research and Knowledge Exchange Centre at the University of Winchester.

For more information about the application process, including application deadlines, please click here.

Course costs


MPhil/PhD - Full-Time - £4,400

MPhil/PhD - Part-Time - £2,200


MPhil/PhD - Full-Time - £14,100

MPhil/PhD - Part-Time - £7,050

Contact SERC

For any enquires about SERC, please contact the Convenor, Dr John Batten.


Tel: (+44) 01962 827289

Funding Notes

The UK Government has introduced Doctoral Student Loans (View Website: View Website) for eligible students. Part-time study is also possible, enabling you to work and study at the same time. You can also apply to study on a self-funded basis. International students may benefit from funding provided by their government or employers.

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