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Reimagining physical education and school sport for inclusion


   School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences


About the Project

Project details

Research has consistently shown that Physical Education and school sport (PESS) provision does not adequately meet the needs of children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), with curriculum constraints and teacher knowledge/experience often cited as key barriers to inclusive provision.

PESS can be a site of exclusion for children and young people with SEND, and steps taken by schools to develop inclusive provision, often fall short and instead act to further isolate. This is especially true for children and young people with SEND attending mainstream education. Literature examining the experiences of children and young people with SEND in relation to PESS has, however, demonstrated the value of pupil voice for understanding such barriers and facilitators in relation to PESS engagement (Sharpe, Coates & Mason, 2022).

This PhD project will build on existing research by adopting a Participatory Action Research (PAR) approach to work closely with children and young people with (and without) SEND and their teachers to examine and co-construct a re-imagined, inclusive PE curriculum which better meets the needs of all learners. It will seek to understand what inclusion within the PESS context means to both young people and their teachers and develop practical measures to enact inclusion within their settings.

Through the use of creative, qualitative methodologies, the research will empower schools and their pupils to work together to address the specific barriers they may face in providing inclusive experiences within PESS. By evaluating this process, the research will identify key outcomes/guidelines which might inform policy and be applied beyond the specific research settings involved to promote inclusive PESS provision more broadly.

Entry requirements

Our entry requirements are listed using standard UK undergraduate degree classifications i.e. first-class honours, upper second-class honours and lower second-class honours. To learn the equivalent for your country, please choose it from the drop-down below.

Entry requirements for United Kingdom

2:1 degree (or equivalent) in Sport and Exercise Science, Sport Science, Physical Education and Coaching or a related subject. A relevant Master’s degree will be an advantage. Experience of work within a school/education context is desirable.

English language requirements

Applicants must meet the minimum English language requirements. Further details are available on the International website.

How to apply

All applications should be made online. Under programme name, select School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences. Please quote the advertised reference number: SSEHS/JC in your application.

To avoid delays in processing your application, please ensure that you submit the minimum supporting documents.


Funding Notes

UK fee - £4,596 full-time degree per annum
International fee - £25,100 full-time degree per annum
Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. University fees and charges can be paid in advance and there are several methods of payment, including online payments and payment by instalment. Fees are reviewed annually and are likely to increase to take into account inflationary pressures.

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