Division of Sport and Exercise Sciences

Division of Sport and Exercise Sciences

About us

We teach a range of Sport and Exercise Sciences degrees, all grounded in research and consultancy.

You will explore physiology, psychology and biomechanics, as well as social policy and sport development. This gives you a deeper understanding of how the body works and responds.

We cover coaching, development, management, as well as sport and exercise science. For everything we teach, we try to give you practical work experience when we can.

You will undertake extensive practical work as part of your time with us. This may include working in our state-of-the-art laboratories. We also arrange visits from professional sportsmen and sportswomen, and health and social care organisations. They all work with our academic staff to enrich your experience.

Our alumni become coaches, personal trainers, PE teachers, and exercise/wellbeing practitioners. Some have even set up their own businesses. Or your role may be in sports administration, development or management positions, or a sports performance analyst.

There are a huge variety of career options for sport and exercise graduates, especially as this field is growing all the time.

Head of Division

Dr Scott Hardie

Study with us

The Division of Sport and Exercise offers:

Postgraduate Taught Degrees

We currently do not offer any postgraduate taught programmes.

If you are interested in postgraduate study in Sport and Exercise sciences, why not review the areas of Postgraduate Research as a way to gain a postgraduate qualification?

Postgraduate Research Areas

Many of the Division staff are either actively involved in research or work with schools and employers as a collaborative process.

A number of local secondary schools visit the Performance Laboratory to provide pupils with additional support for their PE studies. Staff members also visit primary schools as part of a science, technology, engineering and maths project.

Research interests that staff have recently presented on or received grants for:

  • The art and science of coaching
  • Coaching in the international context
  • Health professionals and exercise information
  • Adherence to exercise
  • Emotion-cognition link in sports performance
  • Adolescents’ health behaviours
  • High intensity training
  • Exercise and ageing
  • Diversity in sport


We have two designated Human Performance Laboratories and a Strength and Conditioning Laboratory for physiological measurement.  There is also a biomechanics laboratory, all of which support teaching, research, elite athlete training and community partnership activity.

These facilities include:

  • EMG and ECG equipment
  • Upper and lower body cycle ergometers
  • Concept 2 rowing ergometer
  • Treadmills
  • Thought Tech Biofeedback systems
  • Accelerometry
  • Force Transducers
  • Electronic Timing systems
  • Metamax 3B Gas Analyser
  • Servomex Analyser, four sets of Douglas Bags, a dry gas meter and a gas extractor
  • Blood Analysis Equipment for lactate, glucose, haemoglobin, haematocrit and lipid profiles
  • GSR Equipment and software
  • BioHarness Telemetry System with LabChart
  • Vicon 3D motion analysis system (high-quality video capture and full 3D-kinematic analysis)
  • Force platform
  • Jump mats
  • Segmental bio-impedance body composition analysis
  • Linear position transducers

There is also ready access to more specialist biochemical and molecular physiology equipment. 


Group of people wearing sports clothes, standing in a gym hall

Our Research

Our research contributes to the University research themes of Society and Environment.

We have two areas of complimentary research in the Division: Biomechanics and Physiology; and the Social Science of Sport.  This research explores:

  • Women’s sport equity
  • Sedentary lifestyle risk factors,
  • Exercise and health training interventions
  • High-intensity exercise
  • Elite sports performance
  • Healthy ageing 

Much of our research has a special emphasis on populations with protected characteristics (e.g. age, gender, and disability) in order to contribute to the duty of care in sport agenda, which has growing salience as an issue in contemporary society.  Our research contributes to the University’s Society and Environment research themes.

We work with a range of Sports clubs; the video about Dundee United Football Club (DUFC) is one example.

Our work with DUFC covers analysing players’ body fat, sprint speeds, flexibility and endurance capacity. SES academics tie the sessions into ongoing research projects. 


Biomechanics and Physiology

Our work in this area explores the physiology and biomechanics of sports and exercise, particularly in relation to performance and injury.  Research includes: the use of Omega-3 supplementation to improve joint stability and promote recovery from exercise; performance analysis of speed, flexibility and endurance capacity in elite footballers; the effect of high intensity interval training on physical health and mood in women; the effect of rapid weight loss on physical performance measures; the development of high intensity training exercise protocols to determine the minimum frequency of exercise required to promote meaningful adaptations in the body for health and performance; the use of neuromuscular electrical stimulation in a home-based setting for elderly populations; the impact of fatigue on lower limb kinetics; quantifying how different biomechanical factors influence sports performance; and exploring neurophysiology including motor control and disorders of movement.

Social Science of Sport

Our work in this area focuses on exploring the significance of sport to society and examines the psychology and sociology of sport.  Research includes: the duty of care in sport agenda; improving health and physical functioning and promoting engagement in physical activity among older adults; body image and social physique anxiety on adolescents’ psychosocial health; exercise adherence and mental health; cognitive and emotional processes in sport; how individual differences influence behaviour in sport, health, mental health and wellbeing; inequity, inequality and discrimination in sport and exercise subcultures; gender equity for sports coaches; interpersonal perceptions and factors that influence sports coaching and coach education;  youth sport; exploring how athletes narratively construct their identities.

We work closely with a range of stakeholders including Police Scotland, Active Schools, national governing bodies (e.g. SportScotland, Scottish Karate, Mountaineering Council for Scotland), sporting bodies (Scottish Rugby Union, Dundee United Football Club), charities (e.g. Age Concern and the Diabetes Research and Wellness Foundation) and SMEs (e.g. Edinburgh Biotech).

Job Opportunities


For Job Openings, including Research Fellowships in our School, view the job search section on our website.

For PhD Studentships in any of our Subject areas, check out the Funded research projects and Postgraduate Research Funding sections.

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