Sports Performance

MSc Sports Performance

  • Study Mode: Full Time
  • Location: High Wycombe
  • Duration: One Year
  • Start Date: September 2023

You can also study this course:

Sports coaching and sports science have become vital components of sports performance. Working in sport requires a combination of theoretical and practical knowledge, interpersonal skills and understanding of the sporting environment.

This course will equip you with all the practitioner knowledge and experience to succeed and help you secure employment in the competitive sports industry.

Why study this subject?

With the demands placed on high performance athletes and wider sports teams, new research has been undertaken in the field of human performance and endurance. The need for professionals who understand high performance sport, training, nutrition, and sport science has grown exponentially with new developments in this area.

With this growth, so too comes opportunity for graduates who specialise in this subject. Sports performance is an exciting topic to study, with a range of different career options available to you in the wider sport industry after graduation.

A typical day as a sports performance professional could see you working together with athletes at the top of their game and renowned sports teams, or in the lab testing and developing new research in the field of sports science.

This field is primarily focused on the science behind sport, pushing new boundaries and testing new theories, but it also requires great collaborative skills between athletes, coaches and other sporting professionals, so a degree of networking and collaborative skills is essential to succeed.

Why study at Buckinghamshire New University?

The University has strong links with local and national sporting organisations including the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme, Wycombe Wanderers F.C., local football academies and Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre. The teaching staff have many years applied experience in elite sports including The British Rowing Team, The English Institute of Sport, British Swimming, British Sailing, and Reading Ladies FC, and Reading Rockets Basketball team.

As part of your studies, you’ll use The Human Performance, Exercise and Wellbeing Centre, a professional and inspiring multi million pound facility for our sport courses and it contains industry standard equipment which is a part of your degree.

Working within a Multi-disciplinary team, you will benefit from the extensive experience that the teaching team have of working with coaches, athletes and support staff. You will be able to develop an understanding of the key principles of effective communication, managing conflict, having difficult conversations, and influencing – amongst others.

Through authentic assessment, you will be given opportunities to practice real-life scenarios and hone skills with appropriate feedback in a safe environment. In addition to this, you will be able to see how what we teach you at BNU can help you in the world of work. With a focus on practical learning and applying theory to practice, you can see your knowledge come to life and benefit you in real time.

What facilities can I use?

As part of your studies, you’ll use The Human Performance, Exercise and Wellbeing Centre, a professional and inspiring multi million pound facility for our sport courses and it contains industry standard equipment which is a part of your degree.

You’ll have the opportunity to blend academic study with use of our state-of-the-art Human Performance Laboratory. Equipped with a range of equipment for testing and measuring the human body, as well as testing theories of your own.

In addition to this facility you have access to the Sports and Wellbeing Clinic which is a sports therapy clinic within the University and offers various treatments to students and members of the public, including injury rehabilitation, massages, therapy and body analysis.

Thanks to our investment into these facilities, we can provide the equipment that is needed to fully develop your skills to the highest level.

In addition, our library is open 24/7 and packed with all the information you need for your assessments – you’ll have access to hundreds of specialist books, scientific research, articles and online journals. Not to mention there’s plenty of room to knuckle down for some quiet study time.

Since I graduated from BNU in 2006 it has undergone many positive changes. The Human Performance, Exercise and Wellbeing Centre is probably the most important step in taking the University to the next level in this arena. I'm excited about making use of the facilities on offer myself!
Naomi Riches MBE London 2012 Olympic Games Rower

What will I study?

This is a full-time course consisting of 1 year of study, however a part time option is also available.

Our Sports Performance MSc will enable you to build on the technical underpinnings of an undergraduate degree and give you an opportunity to gain the applied experience that employers demand.

You will develop problem solving skills and the creativity to thrive in a competitive sporting environment, while learning about the current practice and future direction of applied sports science.

Our course will help you gain the essential skills to work with and communicate effectively with athletes, coaches, support staff or independent clients for maximum impact. You will be encouraged to further your understanding of sports performance by exploring the factors behind high performance in several sports. These can be physiological, technical or psychological or other reasons.

Employers in sport are primarily concerned with experience of working with athletes. Gaining appropriate experience is therefore vital to any programme at this level.  The Performance Sport Placement module will require you to undertake extensive hours of supervised experience in a combination of applicable workplaces.

You will be involved in managing the commercial arm of the Human Performance Laboratory and maintaining equipment, finances, customer correspondence, marketing, testing delivery and feedback in order to build this crucial working experience.

Through a final year research project, you will have the opportunity to focus on producing research about a topic you are interested in. You will be able to plan, research, execute and disseminate this document.  

How will I be taught and assessed?

The assessments used in this programme are novel, varied, and reflective of the competitive sporting world. For example, you might be challenged to design and implement a sports science support package for an athlete, conduct a challenging conversation with a disgruntled coach during a role play, and plan an MDT to support a team travelling to a major championship. 

The assessments are designed to be reflective of a true situation you might face in the world of work, and to test your understanding of the modules taught materials.

Useful Documents

MSc Sports Performance Programme Specification

What are the course entry requirements?

Potential students will normally hold a minimum of a second class honours undergraduate degree in sport and exercise science or a related subject, including discipline specific awards (e.g. physiology, strength and conditioning etc).

Applications from athletes, coaches and support staff who have extensive experience of the competitive sport environment are welcomed and will be considered on a case by case basis.

For further details of our international English entry requirements, please visit our international pages.


This provides a guide of the modules that make up your course. You can find more information about how your course is structured on our Academic Advice section.

What are the tuition fees


Home, Academic Year 2023 - 2024

£10,400 per year


Overseas/International, Academic Year 2023 - 2024

£15,400 per year

Most courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees.

You could benefit from financial support through a bursary or scholarship during your time as a student. For more details visit our financial support, bursaries and scholarships section.

Questions about fees?

Contact our Enquiries Team:

0330 123 2023

What are my career prospects? 

At Buckinghamshire New University, we are dedicated to helping you develop the technical skills and abilities to expand your career prospects and work in a multi-disciplinary team.

We have designed this course to prepare you for working with athletes and teams at any level and will have the opportunity to pursue a career in coaching, sports development, exercise and fitness, strength and conditioning, sports academy support, teaching, and more.


Course leader

Head shot of a smiling Mark Homer wearing a polo top stood face on and looking directly into the camera
Dr Mark Homer
  • Senior Lecturer
Read full profile
Fiona McCormack staff profile photo
Dr Fiona McCormack
  • Associate Professor
Read full profile
Jade Hewitt staff profile photo
Jade Hewitt
  • Lecturer
Read full profile
The silhouette of a white head and shoulders of a person against a grey background
Dr Ben Clayton
  • Associate Professor
Read full profile