MA by Research Physical Education and Physical Activity

MA  Physical Education and Physical Activity by Research

Year of entry

The MA by Research (Physical Education and Physical Activity) is a brand new and exciting opportunity for you to undertake a supervised programme of independent study and practice in a structured and supportive environment within the field of Physical Education, and or Physical Activity.

The Masters by Research sits within the Directorate of Physical Education, within the School of Childhood and Education Sciences, which forms part of the Faculty of Education.

To support your independent study, there are research methods sessions run by the Graduate School throughout the year, and you will also be invited to research theme group meetings and events that are held within the Faculty of Education.  It is possible to complete the MA by Research either part ­time (two years) or full ­time (one year).

The title of the MA by Research (Physical Education and Physical Activity), is intentionally very broad to allow you to specialise in an area in which you are particularly interested.

Previous student studies include:

  •  An investigation into place meanings of recreational climbers at an indoor rock climbing venue.
  • What is the impact of wellbeing on the physical activities of occupational therapy for a child with dyspraxia? 
  • Negotiating Sexuality within a Female University Football Team: A qualitative study
  • The effective use of competition as a pedagogical tool to develop confidence and competence in physical education lessons at primary school.
  • What does competition mean to children and how can we prepare and ensure that they enjoy competitive sport?

Your project may develop from your recent undergraduate work or from an aspect of your current employment which you wish to unpick, extend or challenge, for example in the areas of Physical Education, Physical Education and Sport Sciences, Physical Activity, or Primary Physical Education or Coaching.

You will be supported through regular tutorials from your specialist supervisor, as well as by a second supervisor, who will bring knowledge and expertise in research methodologies.  The supervisory team includes experts in both quantitative and qualitative methodologies, data collection methods and analysis.

Our specialist supervisors’ areas of expertise include, but are not limited to: early years movement; physical development; physical curiosity; self-esteem; outcomes of physical education; gender in sport and physical education; critical understandings of social groups within physical education, physical activity and sport; the influence of social structures and discourses on participation in physical activities; the use of sociological theories as analytical tools in order to explain experiences and perceptions of participants; leadership and management in physical education; physical education as a practical activity; skill development.

Please contact the programme leader with any questions regarding supervisory topics not listed.  The supervisor's role would be to help you select the appropriate research methods, to support you in devising and producing the project and to aid you in setting this within the critical framework of Physical Education, and or Physical Activity.

Further support, training and facilities are provided by The Graduate School.

The programme leads to the award of an MA by Research, which is a significant qualification in its own right, but you could also continue ultimately on to PhD or EdD programmes. The research and writing skills you will gain, and the expert knowledge you will develop in your research area, will enhance your employability and can provide invaluable grounding for continuing and extending your careers in Physical Education and Physical Activity settings.

Please email us with your questions and enquiries.

The programme is assessed through the submission of a piece of academic writing between 25,000 and 30,000 words in length.

There are no examinations, including oral examinations.

You will meet regularly with first supervisor, virtually or physically and will present your work in progress to the full Supervisory Panel half way through your registration period. Following advice from the Panel you will complete your final dissertation submission.


2018/19 tuition fees for this course

Full-time  TBC £11,750
Part-time  TBC N/A

Tuition fees for all courses which last more than one academic year are payable on an annual basis, except where stated.

There will be an annual inflationary increase in tuition fees for this course. The fees for this course are set in line with the Research Councils UK Indicative fee level for Doctoral courses, which usually increases year on year in line with the GDP deflator (in recent years this has resulted in year on year tuition fee increases of approximately 1.5-2.0%). The tuition fees for the following academic year are usually confirmed in the preceding December.

Government loans of up to £10,280 are available for some postgraduate Master’s courses for students starting their course from 1 August 2018. Loans are subject to both personal and course eligibility criteria.

The rules around course eligibility mean that in some cases it may depend on how you are studying (full-time or part-time) as to whether you can apply for a postgraduate loan. To check whether your course is eligible, you can email the Student Fees Team or call 01227 923 948

Read more about postgraduate masters student loans.

Students may self-fund their course or a sponsor may fund or part-fund. Bursaries, scholarships and fee discounts may also be available.

Further information

Additional course costs

Although we aim to minimise any additional costs to students over and above the course tuition fee, there will be some additional costs which students are expected to meet.

Costs applicable to all students

Text books Own purchase text books
Travel to other sites Where travel to other sites is required, this will be payable by the student
Library Fees and Fines Where students fail to return loaned items within the required time they will be responsible for the cost of any library fees and fines applicable
Printing & Photocopying The cost of printing and photocopying undertaken by students to support their individual learning are payable by the student
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire / photography are additional costs payable by the student

General principle policy

The University’s general principles policy for additional course fees are set out here

CategoryIncluded in the tuition feeAdditional cost to student
Field trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc) No, if the trip contributes to the course as an optional module. Yes if the trip is optional.
Travel and accommodation costs for placements  No

Travel and accommodation costs for professional placements within the Education and Health & Wellbeing Faculties.

Travel and accommodation costs for other work placements. 
Text books No Own purchase text books.
DBS / Health checks No Yes
Professional Body registration No Yes
Travel to other sites (e.g. travel to swimming pool for lessons) No Yes
Clothing / Kit Yes, where the clothing / kit is essential for Health & Safety reasons. Yes, where the clothing is kept by the student and not essential for health and safety reasons.
Learning materials Essential learning materials (excluding text books) in connection with the course. Additional materials beyond the standard provision essential for the course or where the costs are determined by the student’s area of interest and the outputs are retained by the student.
Library fees and fines No Yes
Printing and photocopying No Yes
Social events No, unless the event forms an essential part of the course. Yes, unless the event forms an essential part of the course.
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire/ photography are additional costs payable by the student.

Fact file


  • 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time

Entry requirements

  • Evidence that you have a good bachelor degree (or equivalent) where your dissertation is written in English (NB some subjects require a higher entry qualification).



Last edited 09/02/2018 12:15:00

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Last edited: 09/02/2018 12:15:00