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Dr Philip Hurst

Course Director of the Psychology (Sport & Exercise) degree and Senior Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Psychology.

I joined CCCU in 2018 as a psychologist in sport and exercise. I am Course Director of the Psychology (Sport & Exercise) degree and Senior Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Psychology. I am Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and deputy chair of the Science, Engineering and Social Sciences Ethics Panel.

My areas of expertise relate to sport performance and athlete behaviour. I examine the placebo effect on sport outcomes and how the mind can significantly influence the effectiveness of ergogenic aids used by athletes, such as dietary supplements, medications and doping substances. I also have strong interests in safeguarding and protecting athletes’ well-being from abuse and harassment in sport and have expertise with intellectual impairments. With a background in psychology, alongside strong interests in both physiology and neurobiology, I examine my research from an interdisciplinary perspective. 


I teach across the suit of courses in the department of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences. I am the lead for research methods at Level 5 and teach Sport and Exercise Psychology across both undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

I have been teaching for over 10 years, where I aim to use the research that I have conducted into the curriculum to help students refine their practice and challenge understanding of psychology in sport and exercise. I am external examiner at other higher education institutions and supervise doctoral, masters and undergraduate research project students. 

I have a growing trajectory of recognised, high-quality research in sport performance and athlete well-being. I take an interdisciplinary approach to my research by considering the psychological physiological, sociological and political perspectives. My PhD focused on the development of a large-scale controlled design to examine the mediators and moderators of the placebo effect and its impact in preventing drug use.

I co-edited the book “Placebo Effects in Sport and Exercise”, which brings together world leading placebo effect researchers to provide critical understanding of research findings from within sports and exercise science as well as sport and exercise-related contributions. I have been commissioned to conduct research for international and national organisations, including the International Olympic Committee, ukactive & Sport England and Partnership in Clean Competition.

I am currently undertaking research commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to examine athletes with intellectual impairments understanding and experience of anti-doping in sport.

Research Projects

  • Athletes First: Building up the future of Safe Sport from research to practice. Researcher(s): Miss Alexia Tam. Supervisor(s): Dr Philip Hurst, Dr Laura Gubby, Dr Dikaia Chatziefstathiou. [Postgraduate Research Project]
  • Designing, implementing and evaluating the Safe Sport Regional Hub Initiative of the International Olympic Committee. Researcher(s): Miss Kirsty Burrows. Supervisor(s): Dr Philip Hurst, Dr Dikaia Chatziefstathiou. [Postgraduate Research Project]
  • Isometric Exercise Training. Researcher(s): Mr Sean Machak. Supervisor(s): Dr Philip Hurst, Dr Jim Wiles. [Postgraduate Research Project]
  • Placebo effects and cycling performance in virtual-reality and laboratory environments. Researcher(s): Mr Gui Garcia Matta. Supervisor(s): Dr Philip Hurst, Professor Andrew Edwards. [Postgraduate Research Project]
  • Safeguarding Sports: Respecting Differences in Conceptualising Safeguarding’s Legal Culture. Researcher(s): Mrs Yvette Kearns. Supervisor(s): Dr Dikaia Chatziefstathiou, Dr Philip Hurst, Professor Shane Blackman. [Postgraduate Research Project]
  • The influence of nocebo on sports performance - what drives nocebo effects and how to minimise them; a multi-study design. Researcher(s): Ms Janina Hanssen. Supervisor(s): Dr Philip Hurst, Dr Damian Coleman, Dr James Cane. [Postgraduate Research Project]
  • The Prevalence and Impacts of Physical Abuse on athletes during their pathway to elite: A Multidisciplinary Approach. Researcher(s): Mrs Michelle Murray. Supervisor(s): Dr Philip Hurst, Dr Dikaia Chatziefstathiou. [Postgraduate Research Project]
  • Towards an International Safeguarding Policy. Athletes’ Human Rights and Safe Sport. Researcher(s): Mrs Catalina Melendro Blanco. Supervisor(s): Dr Philip Hurst, Dr Dikaia Chatziefstathiou. [Postgraduate Research Project]