Research and knowledge exchange in the Department of Sport Science, Tourism & Leisure includes the work of the Centre for Sport, Physical Education & Activity Research (SPEAR|), which collaborates on funded projects across and outside the University, and SportsLab, which provides research-informed scientific services to sportspeople and organisations. Work is organised across 3 themes:

Clinical Exercise Science includes research into the role of isometric and/or ambulatory exercise in reducing blood pressure, in cardiac rehabilitation, and in preventing cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome.

Human Performance includes research into efficiency and economy in cycling and running performance, swimming ergometry, and psychological factors that regulate or control performance (including placebo effects).

Policy, Politics and Education

includes research into Olympic and event legacy policy and education, public health and physical activity and sport policy in adults and children (including issues of sport, gender and the body), and tourism behaviours and life politics.


While the work of SPEAR| and SportsLab connects research across the Department, SPEAR|’s work has largely been in the area of Policy, Politics and Education, with some interests in Clinical Exercise Science, whilst SportsLab services are largely focused on the development of aspects of Human Performance.

Full and part-time doctoral study takes place across the three themes, and in SPEAR and SportsLab. Please visit the PhD Research Opportunities| page for details of current and previous PhD studies in the Department, and to find out about opportunities for PhD study.