PhD, MPhil, MRes Physical activity for health

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Research opportunities

Our research is focused on the development and testing of interventions that encourage people to participate in more physical activity and less sedentary behaviour throughout life.

We accept applications for postgraduate research study at any point throughout the year.

You can study an MPhil/ MRes over one year or a PhD over the course of three years, or part-time equivalents.

PhD involves at least three years of independent research study supported by a number of members of academic staff. You'll complete a minimum of 60 credits of the Postgraduate Certificate in Research development programme (PgCert RPD) over the course of your PhD studies.

MPhil involves at least one year of independent research study with academic supervision. As part of your MPhil, you'll participate in the PgCert RPD and will complete a minimum of 20 credits over the course of your studies.

MRes involves a minimum of 20 credits of taught element and 160 credits of independent research study supported by members of the academic research team.   

You can study either degree in any of our research areas:

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Dean's International Excellence Awards: Humanities and Social Science

To recognise academic achievement, the Dean's International Excellence Award - Postgraduate Taught offers all qualified international postgraduate students pursuing a Masters a merit based scholarship of £4,000 towards the first year of tuition fees of a full-time Masters, EdD Education or 1 year MRes programme in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Apply for the International Excellence Award
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Fees & funding

All fees quoted are per academic year unless otherwise stated.

Entrants may be subject to a small fee during the writing up period.

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England, Wales & Northern Ireland




Additional costs

Course materials

Printing is provided free in the Graduate School.

Most books can be borrowed from the library or by inter-library loan. Students may decide to buy a limited number of key text which they may be able to purchase second hand. Students in years one and two may spend £150-£200. Years three and four are writing years, so less so.

Placements & field trips

When required, from £50 to £300 per year, though some assistance is provided from the Faculty's Research Support Fund.

Other costs

  • thesis binding - approx. £30
  • pen drives - approx. £20
  • depending on access to labs and equipment required - bench fees of up to £5,000 p.a. may be charged
Postgraduate research opportunities

Search for all funded and non-funded postgraduate research opportunities. If your suggested project has a digital health and care element you might be eligible for the Digital Health & Care Institute academic scholarships.


Have a look at our scholarship search for any current funding opportunities available.

Please note: the fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year.

Postgraduate research at the Strathclyde Doctoral School

The Strathclyde Doctoral School provides a vibrant and comprehensive student-centred research and training environment in order to grow and support current and future research talent. The School encompasses our four faculties and is committed to enriching the student experience, intensifying research outputs and opportunities, and ensuring training is at the highest level. As a postgraduate researcher, you'll automatically become a member of the Strathclyde Doctoral School.

Find out more about the Doctoral School

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NameAreas of expertise
Alexandra Mavroeidi
  • The role of physical activity and sedentary behaviour in bone mass, fractures and falls in older adults
  • Falls prevention in the over 65s with the use of technology assisted exercise programmes
  • Sunlight and dietary influence on vitamin D status in older adults
Adrienne Hughes 
  • Development and testing of health behaviour change interventions across the lifespan including pregnant/postnatal women and young children, and promoting active play in children
  • Measurement/surveillance of physical activity, sedentary behaviour and health outcomes in children and adolescents
  • Patterns of physical activity and growth, and their influence on health outcomes in childhood and adolescence 
Xanne Janssen 
  • 24-hour movement behaviours in the under 5s.
  • Patterns of physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep, their associations with health outcomes in under 5s, children and adolescents
  • Objective measurement of physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep.
Alison Kirk 
  • Physical activity and sedentary behaviour and behaviour change in individuals with diabetes (type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes)
  • Physical activity and sedentary behaviour in preventions and management of Non Communicable Disease (NCD)                                       
Fiona Mitchell 
  • Physical activity, dietary patterns and lifestyle interventions for youth with special needs
  • Physical activity interventions in youth with Type 1 diabetes, individuals with intellectual disabilities, adolescent girls, post-partum women
  • Smoking cessation interventions in vulnerable groups
John Reilly
  • Physical activity & sedentary behaviour in children and adolescents
  • Childhood obesity: aetiology, diagnosis, prevention, treatment, consequences
  • Objective measurement of physical activity and sedentary behaviour
  • Physical activity and childhood obesity in low-middle-income countries
The Times / The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021. University of the Year shortlisted.
The Times / The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021. University of the Year shortlisted.
Caera Grady, MRes in Physical Activity for Health
I have been extremely lucky to get a supervisor who has gone the extra mile to make me feel welcome into the Physical Activity for Health department. She has so much knowledge and experience with research and has reassured me and given me a sense of confidence in studying in a new area.
Caera Grady
MRes in Physical Activity for Health
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Support & development

The Graduate School

The Graduate School is a friendly and supportive study environment for research students studying subjects within Humanities & Social Sciences.

Our staff will support you through your studies and you'll become part of a community of students who get involved with our workshops, seminars and competitions.

Postgraduate Certificate in Researcher Professional Development (PgCert RPD) for MPhil/MRes

Our PgCert RPD programme aims to ensure you get the most out of your current research activities at Strathclyde and helps you prepare for your future career as a researcher.

We'll help you recognise and develop your transferrable skills that'll have a positive impact on your research, now and in the future.

Find out more about the PgCert RPD programme.


The University Careers Service can help you with everything from writing your CV to interview preparation. Take a look at our careers service pages to get more information.

Student support

From financial advice to our IT facilities, we have a wide range of support for all students here at Strathclyde. Get all the information you need at Strathlife.

Our research

Our research is focused on the development and testing of interventions that encourage people to participate in more physical activity and less sedentary behaviour across the lifespan.

The main focus of our research is to develop, evaluate and implement interventions that encourage people to do more physical activity and less sedentary behaviour across the lifespan. In line with WHO recommendations our research is targeted at prevention and management of chronic disease.

Find out more about our research

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International students

We've a thriving international community with students coming here to study from over 100 countries across the world. Find out all you need to know about studying in Glasgow at Strathclyde and hear from students about their experiences.

Visit our international students' section

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Interested in undertaking a postgraduate research degree at Strathclyde?

Read our step-by-step guide on how to submit your application.

How to apply
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Entry requirements

You require to have a first-class or upper second-class UK Honours degree, or overseas equivalent, in a related discipline.

Before you apply

We strongly advise you contact one or more potential supervisors or the Postgraduate Research Director, Dr Marc Obonsawin, before completing the online application. Please click on the ‘Supervisors’ tab above for further information.

The application

During the application you'll be asked for the following:

  • your full contact details
  • transcripts and certificates of all degrees
  • proof of English language proficiency if English isn't your first language
  • two references, one of which must be academic
  • funding or scholarship information
  • research proposal of 250 to 1,000 words in length, detailing the subject area and topic to be investigated

By filling these details out as fully as possible, you'll avoid any delay to your application being processed by the University.


You'll need to identify your research supervisor before you finalise your application, preferably as soon as possible. When you've identified a potential supervisor, based on how well your research interests match theirs, drop them an email to introduce yourself. In the email, make sure you attach a draft of your research proposal along with a copy of your CV. Don't worry about how rough your research proposal may be at this stage – you'll have help from our School of Psychological Sciences and Health to refine it.

If your chosen supervisor if available to work with you, they'll confirm this and nominate a potential second supervisor. As soon as a second supervisor is confirmed, an offer of study will be sent to you through Pegasus, our online application system.

When you accept our offer, you'll receive a full offer in writing via the email address you provide.

Accepting an offer

When you've accepted our offer, we'll need you to fulfil any academic, administrative or financial conditions that we ask.

UK or EU students

If you're applying as a UK or EU student, you'll then be issued with your registration documentation.

Apply now

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Contact us

Humanities & Social Sciences Graduate School

Telephone: +44 (0)141 548 8400


Lord Hope Building, Level 1
141 St James Road
G1 0LT