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Department Funding Opportunities 

Funded studentships within the department are listed here when available. We encourage all potential applicants to liaise with their intended supervisory team to identify and submit for relevant internal or external funding.


Masters by Research Studentships 

Young People, Physical Activity & Sport


Qualification type: MA by Research

Location: Durham University

Funding: Subject to be meeting eligibility criteria (including being eligible for home/UK student fees), studentships cover one-year MA by Research tuition fees. Reasonable travel costs for undertaking research will also be covered.

Hours: Full time

Deadline for applications: 5pm Wednesday 10th August 2022

Interviews: Tuesday 22nd August 2022

Start Date: By October 2022 at latest (earlier starts advantageous, if possible)

Applications are invited for Masters by Research studentships (covering university fees only) in the Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences (DSES) to undertake one of two available projects associated with young people, sport and physical activity in North East England.

Masters by Research students in DSES are embedded within a growing and vibrant multi-disciplined postgraduate research community, and students will be supported through their studies by specific academic supervisors. Opportunities for both wider professional and academic development will be available through the course of study. Applications are especially welcome from prospective students for whom the Masters by Research may be a stepping stone to PhD study in a similar area.

Prospective Projects

Evaluation of Whole School Approaches to Physical Literacy (studentship funded by and linked to County Durham Sport)

County Durham Sport’s ambition is to provide all schools in County Durham with the training and support necessary to adopt the County Durham Active Schools Policy. However, to enable the successful adoption and implementation across the county, there is a requirement to evaluate the approach in a small number of pilot schools. We will measure the impact of the initial pilot and capture learning and best practice to build a structure from which we can ‘scale up’.

This Masters by Research project will contribute to and compliment the wider evaluation of the pilot by County Durham Sport. In particular, the project will involve the student using qualitative research methods in a small number of schools to investigate how the policy pilot has led to changes in the school environment in relation to physical activity.

Young People and place-based understandings of physical activity and sport

Recently, there has been substantial interest and funding given to place-based approaches to improving physical activity. The purpose of this project would be to develop understanding of how young people’s engagement in physical activity and sport may be affected by features and their perspectives of the places in which they live. A case study approach, focusing on a locality to be selected in the North East of England, may be appropriate for this project and it is envisaged that qualitative data collection would include eliciting perspectives from young people themselves. The project has a high degree of flexibility, so candidates could bring existing experience from studying in any relevant discipline (such as sociology, anthropology as well as sport and exercise) and previous work with young people would be an advantage.     


Applications should be made via the Durham University online application system: with funding entered as ‘DSES Young People MRes 2022’ and program code of: B6A107

The following documents should be uploaded with your application or emailed directly to :

  • Project proposal (max two sides, A4): indicate prospective research approach for one of the projects listed above.
  • CV (max two sides, A4): to include statement of academic and practical experience and expertise, relevant to the project.
  • Evidence of previous study – Transcripts and Certificates showing a first class or upper second class honours degree (or evidence this will be achieved by September 2022).
  • References – letters of support from two sources, of which one should be from an academic educator.
  • Evidence of competence in English if English is not your first language. Refer to website for further details and section on acceptable evidence of achievement.


Students must be eligible for ‘home’ fee status. See here for further details:

Applications are welcome from candidates with varied academic and/or practitioner backgrounds across sport, physical activity or community development. At Durham University, our aim is to create an open and inclusive environment where everyone can reach their full potential. We welcome and encourage applications from members of groups who are under-represented in academic positions in the University, including people with disabilities, women and black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.

As both studies involve research in locations in the North East of England, students are required to live within a reasonable distance to travel for meetings with partners and undertake research. The Evaluation of Whole School Approaches to Physical Literacy project will require travel for research and meetings specifically within County Durham.

Essential Criteria

Applicants must:

  • Have, or be expected to achieve, a first or upper-second class honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject area.
  • Have an existing understanding of the sport and physical activity landscape
  • Have existing interest and experience in research and/or work in the areas related to young people, physical activity and sport
  • Provide evidence of skills in using qualitative research methods, either in academic or practice environments.
  • Have excellent planning and organisational skills and be able to work independently through their own initiative.

Desirable Criteria:

  • Experience of engagement in research or practice with young people, physical activity and sport, and of working with or in educational settings.
  • Interest in pursuing further research opportunities, potentially through applications for PhD scholarships

Selection will be based on application documents and interview.


Initial enquiries about the project should be directed to Dr Iain Lindsey ( )

Queries regarding requirements and submission of applications should be directed to

University Funding Opportunities

The following scholarships are either funded by Durham University through partnerships with external organisations, or through generous donations from alumni and friends of Durham. The following opportunities are avaliable to apply for when submitting an application to Sport and Exercise Sciences. 

Scholar-Athlete Performance Scholarships

We have a great track record of supporting elite scholar-athletes to complete both our Masters by Research and PhD programmes.
Athletes racing

Postgraduate Student Support Scholarships

For our Masters by Research pathway, applicants may wish to explore our student support scholarship, offering up to £2000.
Two students talking on campus

North East and Northern Ireland Doctoral Training Partnership

We are part of The North East and Northern Ireland Doctoral Training Partnership (NINEDTP).

Durham Doctoral Studentship (DDS)

A number of prestigious Doctoral Studentships are available to PhD students who will be commencing their studies in the academic year 2022/2023.
Student sat studying on campus

Further Scholarship Opportunities

More information about a wide range of funders for postgraduate study please visit the postgraduate scholarship page.