Exercise, Nutrition and Health

Find a programme
Run by Faculty of Social Sciences and Law
Awards available PhD
Programme length Four years full-time;
seven years part-time
Location of programme Clifton campus
Part-time study available Yes
Start date Most students will start in September each year, however other dates can be considered. Please contact the senior postgraduate admissions administrator to discuss the options available.

Programme overview

The School for Policy Studies links theory, policy and practice in a multidisciplinary, research-intensive environment. Our research engages with and influences national and international policy. Our policy experts come from a wide variety of backgrounds in social policy research, social work, sociology, gender violence, disability studies, health and social care, childhood studies, history, human geography, economics, psychology, physical activity, nutrition and health sciences, based within seven specialist research centres.

The Centre for Exercise, Nutrition and Health Sciences conducts research that focuses on physical activity, nutrition and their associations with health across the life span. The research centre has an international reputation for teaching in physical activity, nutrition and community health.

The School for Policy Studies research examines policy areas that affect us all in day-to-day life, influences and challenges policies implemented by governments and institutions, and investigates the issues, factors and attitudes underlying the social concerns that make the headlines every day.

The school is an exciting environment for graduate studies; we welcome graduate students from the UK and around the world to join our diverse and highly-rated research team. We particularly welcome applications on topics with direct relevance to national and international policy and social work concerns.

Fees for 2021/22

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2021/22 are as follows:

UK: full-time
UK: part-time
Overseas (including EU): full-time
Channel Islands/Isle of Man: full-time

Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to a five per cent increase in fees each year. Find out more about tuition fees.

Alumni scholarship

University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a ten per cent reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni scholarship.

Funding for 2021/22

The Faculty of Social Sciences and Law has an allocation of 1+3 and +3 ESRC scholarships. Applicants may also be interested in applying for funding from the University of Bristol scholarship fund and alumni PhD scholarship fund.

Further information on funding for prospective UK, EU and international postgraduate students.

Entry requirements

An upper second-class honours degree and a pass at MSc/MA level (or equivalent experience/qualification).

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you need to meet this profile level:
Profile C
Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.

Admissions statement

Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.

Admissions statement

Research groups

Staff in the Centre for Exercise, Nutrition and Health Sciences conduct research that focuses on physical activity and nutrition, and their associations with health across the lifespan. The primary areas of focus include biomedical, psychosocial and socio-environmental aspects of physical activity, sedentary behaviour and nutrition.


The PhD in Exercise, Nutrition and Health Sciences establishes a sound research training base and provides practical experience, preparing you for different types of employment, including research, policy and intervention implementation.

Many of our students have continued with academic careers, either as post-doctoral researchers or as research associates in UK and international universities. Other students have been successful in a range of fields, including government policy and health promotion at a local, national and international level.

Staff profiles

Dr Miranda Armstrong, (Lecturer), adult cohorts; associations between physical activity and body size with disease outcomes such as coronary heart disease, stroke, bone health; big data; health record linkage; physical activity epidemiology; physical activity profiles

Professor Ashley Cooper, (Professor), Active travel; children' s health and fitness; environment and physical activity; measurement of physical activity; Type 2 diabetes

Dr Charlie Foster BEd Hons, MSc, PhD, (Reader in Physical Activity and Public Health)

Professor Russ Jago, (Professor), Determinants of physical activity and eating behaviour; measurement of physical activity and sedentary behaviour; physical activity and obesity interventions in youth.

Dr Laura Johnson, (Senior Lecturer), Child and adult cohorts; measurement of diet; nutritional epidemiology; the role of overall dietary and eating patterns in the prevention and treatment of obesity, diabetes and coronary heart disease, and understanding the factors that influence food intake and appetite control.

Professor Angie Page, (Professor), Childhood obesity; clustering of health behaviours; developmental aspects of eating and exercise behaviour; exercise and self-esteem; measurement of physical activity.

Dr Angeliki Papadaki, (Senior Lecturer), Dietary habits and socio-economic and psychological factors; intervention studies promoting the Mediterranean diet and its components; modern-technology nutrition intervention studies; primary nutrition interventions in work settings; students' dietary habits and health; the effect of the economic recession on health status and dietary behaviour.

Ms Zoi Toumpakari BSc, MSc (Bristol), PhD, (Lecturer)

How to apply
Application deadline:

We welcome applications at any time of year; early application is advised. The deadline for funded applications has not yet been confirmed.

Open days and visits

Find out how to attend one of our upcoming online events.

Get in touch

Emma Western Senior Postgraduate Admissions Administrator Phone: +44 (0) 117 954 6785 Email: sps-pgadmissions@bristol.ac.uk

PhD Admissions Tutor Phone: +44 (0) 117 954 6785 Email: sps-pgadmissions@bristol.ac.uk

School for Policy Studies
University of Bristol
8 Priory Road
School website: School for Policy Studies

International students

Find out more about becoming a student at Bristol, applying for a visa and the support we offer to international students.

Bristol Doctoral College

The Bristol Doctoral College facilitates and supports doctoral training and researcher development across the University.

REF 2014 results

  • Sport and Exercise Sciences, Leisure and Tourism:
  • 58% of research is world-leading (4*)
  • 42% of research is internationally excellent (3*)

Results are from the most recent UK-wide assessment of research quality, conducted by HEFCE. More about REF 2014 results.


Important disclaimer information about our programmes.

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