Sport and Exercise


UCLan staff and students work in collaboration with partners around the world on a wide range of research activity within areas of sport and exercise. Research in this field has been classed as ‘world-leading’ and ‘internationally excellent’ in the 2014 Excellence Framework (REF).

UCLan is highly-active within research in the field of sport and exercise sciences, collaborating with key industry bodies and academic institutions from around the world. Much of this research relates to the practice, education, coaching, science, history and management of sport, and the sociological and cultural study of sport.

Sport and exercise research has experienced tremendous growth in recent years. We currently have five professors/readers and over 50 research students, as well as a number of research fellows, research associates, research assistants, and many research active teaching staff. We work alongside world-leading organisations such as the International Olympic Committee, the Football Association, the Federation Equestré Internationale and the UK’s Rugby Football League. Working closely with global academic institutions, industry bodies and private and public sector organisations, ensures that sport and exercise research activities are internationally-oriented, highly applied in nature and focused on achieving quantifiable impact and outcomes.

To find out more about research in Sport and Exercise, please contact one of our Sport and Exercise Professors/Readers:


Volunteering in sport

This impact case study is led by the Centre for Volunteering and Community Leadership (CVCL), which exists to co-create research and practice in socially just positive change through peer to peer knowledge exchange. Projects in the CVCL include: Mega Sports Volunteering in Russia, Sport for International Development in Zambia and Morocco, Global Youth Solutions in Lancashire, Oman and Pakistan, and Barrier Football, which utilises student led peer mentoring and football coaching skills to break down barriers to further and higher education.

Football and War

This impact case study is underpinned by research associated with UCLan’s International Football Institute. Research includes challenging existing myths on football on the front line, which has informed exhibitions and public education. In addition, research providing new insights into the history of organised women’s football during WWI has informed the Channel 4 documentary 'When football banned women'.

Improving horse health, welfare and performance

Research in equestrian sports has been a part of the Centre for Applied Sport and Exercise Sciences for more than a decade. This impact case study was developed following London 2012 scientific testing of the main arena and includes improving knowledge, understanding and testing methods for surfaces, evaluation of movements in dressage and structural and functional changes in hoof conformation.

Improving coaching and performance in elite sporting environments

This impact case study involves applied research developed by the Institute of Coaching and Performance (ICaP), which has influenced practice both nationally and internationally. Major impacts are apparent in talent development (TD), on coach development, and on specific performance issues such as technical refinement in high level adventure and sport environments.

Improvements in non-surgical treatments of orthopaedic conditions of the lower limb

This impact case study is led by the Allied Health Research Unit. Through their research they have developed a method of identifying subgroups of patients with patellofemoral pain and improved patient outcomes using targeted rehabilitation methods.  In addition, they have developed evidence to support more effective treatment for the management of ankle injuries.