Centre for Sports and Exercise Science

Sports Performance

Students in the Human Performance Unit

Our Centre for Sports and Exercise Science has built a reputation for outstanding research, teaching and applied sports science. Our Human Performance Unit works with athletes to identify strengths and weaknesses.

Our Centre has a proven track record of excellence in teaching, research and applied sports science.

The majority of our research was rated as world-leading or internationally excellent in the most recent Research Assessment Framework (REF 2014).

We have five laboratories furnished with the latest sports science equipment and a team of experienced and highly dedicated academic and support staff. Our research, teaching and applied sports science activities are all closely linked, which enables us to maintain the very highest standards of university-based sports science in the UK.

We have offered a successful undergraduate degree in Sports and Exercise Science for 20 years. In 2016-2017 we added a new degree in Sports Performance and Coaching as part of the university’s commitment to developing new facilities and infrastructure for performance sport.

Research areas

Our research is divided into two themes:

Sports Performance and Fatigue (SPF)


Research includes: Hand-cycling and adapted sports; Hypoxic training methods; Monitoring of fatigue and exertion; Muscle oxygenation and blood flow; Talent identification and development in young athletes; Athletic pacing strategies; Social support, Performance enhancing drugs.

Health, Exercise and Active Lifestyle (HEAL)


Research includes: Cardiac rehabilitation and exercise prescription; Paediatric health and fitness; Green exercise; Physical activity for healthy ageing; Workplace health, Exergaming; Disability sport; Ageing, gait and falls prevention.

Research that makes a difference

Our research is not just about academic excellence. It has wide ranging societal impact in areas as diverse as sports performance, cardiac health and childhood wellbeing.

The Centre ran the East of England Healthy Hearts Study, the largest health fitness survey of 10-16 year old children with over 10,000 subjects. The impact of our research in Green Exercise – a term coined and developed at the University of Essex – was described as Outstanding by HEFCE in their REF2014 assessment.

Most recently we tested the efficacy of a new training regime for Team GB hockey. Research in the Centre is regularly reported through the national and international media.

Sports and Exercise Science

Students and academics talk about our BSc Sports and Exercise Science course and provide an insight into some of the practical work it involves.

Undergraduate study


Undergraduate study with us gives you the opportunity to learn from leading academics in the biological sciences. You can expect a supportive atmosphere and flexible course structure across a diverse range of BSc courses.

Find a course

Find a course

Search our courses and find the right course for you. At Essex you can show your academic potential in a research-intensive environment, and develop the knowledge and skills required for a successful career.

Postgraduate study


Postgraduate study with us gives you the chance to contribute to the research we are renowned for. You can expect specialist training in a research-intensive and supportive environment from top academics using state-of-the-art facilities.