module specification

ST7P06 - Sport and Exercise Science Research Dissertation (2022/23)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2022/23, but may be subject to modification
Module title Sport and Exercise Science Research Dissertation
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 60
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 600
586 hours Guided independent study
14 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 5%   1000 Word Proposal
Coursework 10%   Supervisor's Mark for Process
Dissertation 65%   10000 Word Dissertation *FC*
Oral Examination 20%   40 Minute Viva Voce
Running in 2022/23

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Not applicable -
Autumn semester North Not applicable -
Summer studies North Not applicable -

Module summary

This module provides an opportunity for the student to undertake a substantial piece of research in one area of Sports & Exercise Science.  The intention is to allow a thorough analysis and synthesis of theory and practice in relation to sports or exercise science. The research will require either the empirical collection of data or an original secondary analysis of existing data.

Prior learning requirements


Module aims

1. To provide an opportunity for the student to undertake a substantial piece of research in one area of their subject field.
2. To integrate knowledge and skills developed throughout the course and previously at undergraduate level.
3. To allow a thorough analysis and synthesis of theory and practice in relation to sports or exercise science. The research will require either the empirical collection of data or an original secondary analysis of existing data.
4. To provide an opportunity for critical reflection of the research topic and self-reflection of learning, studying and research skills and knowledge.


The dissertation project and structure:-
The maximum required length of the dissertation is 10,000 words exclusive of title page, contents, figures, tables, bibliography and appendices. The content should be of sufficient depth to be appropriate for a Masters level award, but broad enough to demonstrate an informed overview of the subject area. The structure of the dissertation will depend upon the nature of the research. Details will be included in the Module booklet.

Learning and teaching

On completion of this module students’ provide an evaluation of how that module allowed them to develop skills such as information technology, organisational skills, team building, communication time management, and working under pressure.

This Module will require the student to self-direct and manage his/her own independent learning experience. The area of research will be matched, as far as is possible with the research interest, expertise and existing research projects of the supervisor.  Research topics will be identified during the earlier part of the course through formal discussions in tutorials between the students, the Module convenor and a supervisor who has suitable research interests.  The supervisor may be a member of academic teaching or research staff within the University, or from outside in appropriate organisations where the supervisor is of sufficient academic standing.

Topics will be chosen that give the opportunity for high-level research that advances the boundaries of current knowledge but gives the student a realistic opportunity of completion. A total of 600 hours self-directed study would be typical for this Module.

Upon arrangement by the student, the project supervisor will initially assist in the following processes:
1. clarifying the terms of the research project
2. establishing a timetable for the research and dates for subsequent student/supervisor meetings
3. directed background reading
4. study design, methodology, ethical approval (where necessary) and statistical analysis

Supervisory support will form a key part of the teaching method, but ultimately, most of the learning will be student-centred. Supervisor meetings will continue periodically through the Project. A typical amount of contact time the student can expect is between eight and ten hours with the supervisor. Each meeting will be logged and a summary of the outcome should be signed by both parties using the appropriate proforma. Comments on the draft of the dissertation can be expected. Records of the meetings will be used as a basis for the Supervisor's mark for process accounting for 20% of the total.

PDP: students complete a ‘personal statement’, the style of which would be appropriate to a job application and address questions such as - Where do you see yourself in 5-years time? What are your goals? What skills do you have to expand to meet these?

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
1. plan and execute a piece of original research relevant to an area in sport or exercise science
2. demonstrate innovation and originality of thought with respect to basic or applied research
3. select, execute and interpret appropriate statistical tests at an advanced level of capability using statistical software at a high level of competency
4. demonstrate an ability for self-managed time in the area of research
5. place the research appropriately within the existing context of knowledge
6. present a report that is written clearly in the prescribed style with correct use of English
7. demonstrate knowledge of the role of research in the academic and professional development of the discipline, the philosophy of research and the function of process of scientific writing and publication

Assessment strategy

Assessment instruments consist of a project proposal, a supervisor's mark for process, a dissertation and a viva examination. To pass the module an aggregate mark of at least 50% must be obtained.


Bland, M. (1998) An Introduction to Medical Statistics, 2nd ed.  Oxford Medical Publications.

Higgins, R (1996) Approaches to Research: A Handbook for Those Writing a Dissertation. London: Taylor & Francis.

Walliman, N (2000) Your Research Project: a Step by Step Guide for the First-time Researcher. London: SAGE.

Berry, R (2000) The Research Project: How to Write it, 4th ed. London: Routledge.

Thomas, JR & Nelson, JK (2001) Research Methods in Physical Activity, 4th ed., Human Kinetics

Vincent, WJ  (1999) Statistics in Kinesiology. Human Kinetics

Denscombe, M (1998) The Good Research Guide. Milton Keynes: Open University Press 300.72

Hoffman, J. (2006) Norms for Fitness, Performance and Health, Human Kinetics; Champaign, IL.

Field, A. (2009) Discovering Statistics Using SPSS, Sage Publications; London, UK