Master of Sport Science


For students with an interest in pursuing a career in the sport field, this new coursework-based master’s degree allows students to specialise or broaden their expertise. 

Courses will draw on sport science research, as well as experts in the field from within and outside UC, to provide students with historically and culturally grounded knowledge and skills. Students will have flexibility to choose courses in biomechanics, exercise physiology, sport psychology, sport nutrition, strength and conditioning and performance analysis. 

This one-year master’s degree could lead to a career in high performance sport, or allow established professionals to upskill and update their sport science knowledge. 

Why study an MSS at UC? 

  • One year applied master’s degree.
  • Findings from the 2013 Sport and Recreation Sector Workforce to 2026 Survey indicate that in New Zealand up to 44,000 new staff will be required in the sector due to growth and retirements by 2026.
  • Lecturers are involved in sport science or health as active researchers and supervisors, as well as serving professional bodies in their discipline.
  • UC has the top ranked research department in New Zealand for ‘other health studies’ (the most recent Tertiary Education Commission 2012 PBRF Assessment).
  • The field of sports science is developing rapidly and so this degree will allow students to stand out in a competitive job market.  

Note that this qualification is only open to enrolments for study in 2018.

Entry requirements

Normally the minimum requirement is a three-year bachelor’s degree from a New Zealand university, or a qualification or combination of qualifications considered to be equivalent.

If you gained your qualifications overseas, these will need to be assessed to make sure they are of an equivalent standard.

Qualification specific requirements

You should have completed a sport and/or science-related New Zealand degree, or equivalent, and normally should have achieved at least a B average in 300-level courses in this degree. 

For the full entry requirements see the Regulations for the Master of Sport Science or use the admission requirements checker. 

You are also required to meet UC’s English language requirements.

Qualification structure and duration

The MSS requires 180 points of coursework, including a research project or dissertation. It would normally be completed full-time over one year. 

Students can start in February or July. 

Subjects and courses

MSS requires 180 points of coursework, with some compulsory courses. 

Compulsory courses:

  • SSCI 403 The Competitive Edge: Innovation in Sport Science (30 points)
  • HLTH 464 Research Approaches for Health (30 points)
  • SSCI 404 Advanced Internship for Sport Science (30 points).

Optional courses:

  • 90 points selected from a list of courses in Schedules A and B. Courses cover areas such as exercise science, biomechanics, sport psychology, nutrition or health behaviour change.

Project or dissertation

  • MSS project (30 points) or dissertation (60 points).

How to apply

Find out how to apply for graduate and postgraduate qualifications.

Further study

Students can go on to study a PhD in Health Sciences or Biological Sciences. 

Career opportunities

Graduates of this new applied master’s degree will have a well-rounded view of sport science. Potential roles for graduates include: 

  • Sports Scientist/Strength and Conditioning Specialist positions in professional sport, working with teams or individual athletes, or in national and international sporting organisations
  • Development officer for professional sporting and health orientated organisations
  • Corporate and community health and fitness consultant
  • Health promotion/lifestyle consultant
  • Athletic/sports programme coordinator.

Graduates from the MSS would be eligible for accreditation with Sport and Exercise Science New Zealand (SESNZ).  

More information

For full requirements see the Regulations for the Master of Sport Science.

For study planning help contact the School of Health Sciences or:

College of Education, Health and Human Development
University of Canterbury
Private Bag 4800
Ōrakipaoa Building
Christchurch 8140
New Zealand

Phone +64 3 343 7737
Email educationadvice@canterbury.ac.nz