Sport and Exercise offers a variety of areas to explore due to the variety of research topics and disciplines that can be investigated. This can include using your dissertation to research areas such as nutrition, performance enhancement, psychology, biomechanical adaptions of performance and physiology. If you’re composing a dissertation in Sport & Exercise Science, whether you’re an undergraduate or postgraduate, but are unsure of the route you wish to explore, some of the examples below can give you some ideas of what areas are trending in the literature and original areas for you to explore to help with an original piece of work or to extend recent research in new directions.
Understanding how to enhance athletic performance has long been a topic of interest in the literature due to its ability to enhance – or in some case decrease – sporting performance. Many nutrition dissertations tend to focus on various diets, supplements or the impact of nutrition and training and the outcome this has for an athlete. Studies can take the form of primary or secondary – also known as experimental or review studies – which can provide lots of great investigations. It’s important to be specific in the type of athlete or population you want to investigate – such as a powerlifter, football player or gymnast – so you can collect relevant evidence for your athlete and utilise guidelines for their nutritional needs. Here are some example titles if you’re interested in investigating Sports Nutrition for your dissertation topic:
- Is caffeine beneficial for use as a pre-workout agent in weight and powerlifters?
- Investigating the impact of protein supplementation intake on muscle growth and repair in trained athletes.
- What is the impact of CLA supplementation on reducing body fat in trained male participants?
- How does caffeine intake impact aerobic performance?
- Are fat burners effective in supporting trained athletes in reducing body fat percentage?
- Is eating a balanced diet enough to improve performance in team sport athletes?
Sport psychology opens a wealth of different avenues for exploration; whether it’s relating to imagery, choking or mental health in athletes. We are currently living in a world that has a large focus on encouraging positive mental health and ways to improve performance by improving ‘mental toughness’ in athletes. As such, here are some ideas of the different areas that you can investigate:
- Investigating the association between long-term sports injury and depression in semi-professional team sport athletes.
- What influence does racism in professional sport have on professional BAME athletes?
- ‘The Pressure Shot’: Examining pressure and choking in trained golf athletes in a tournament setting.
- Performance-enhancing drugs and Olympic-level athletes: Is the use of PEDs worth a shot at the grand stage?
- Homosexuality in professional sport: Understanding the experiences and thoughts of homosexuality in male and female athletes.
- What is the impact of repeated sports injury on mental wellbeing in professional athletes?
- Living sporting dreams through children: how parents utilise their children to relive their sporting dreams.
- Drug and alcohol abuse in semi-professional sport.
- ‘Strong is the new Sexy’: Understanding the shifting focus from diet to strong in female active participants.
- How does mental wellbeing influence performance amongst elite athletes?
- Understanding the association between culture and racial perceptions in football fans in England.
- Differences in quality of life amongst semi-professional team sport athletes.
Physiology dissertations can provide opportunities to understand how the body reacts to exercise as well as a way of understanding short- and long-term effects. However, physiology can allow a range of topics to be used in collaboration with other subjects such as psychology and nutrition. Below are some examples of some physiology specific and physiology combined topics that you could investigate as a dissertation topic:
- Exercise, muscle strength and triathlon: Investigating the effects of ultra-marathon exercise on professional triathlon athletes.
- Investigating the impact of ageing on muscular degeneration.
- Does biological age impact the likelihood of becoming a professional athlete?
- Muscular strength and gender: How does muscle transformation different in male and female athletes.
- Understanding the impact of asthma on trained endurance athletes.
- Achieving optimal performance through metabolic training.
- The impact of high-altitude training on aerobic capacity.
- How does music tempo impact physiological responses to exercise?
- What is the impact of smoking and vaping on recreational athlete performance?
Biomechanics can open up many avenues for investigation whether it’s relating to optimal movement in 100m sprint performance, or the use of prosthetic limbs to support Olympic level improve performance. It’s important to make sure you have an interest in biomechanics and are aware of some of the key data that can help you shape your topic. However, some of the most interesting parts of biomechanics topics are due to the potential repercussions that your research can have. Here are some potential topics that you might be interested in:
- Investigating the different types of prosthetics on sprint performance in Paralympians.
- Investigating differences in gait movement between barefoot and different forms of footwear.
- How can biomechanics facilitate improvements in Paralympic Sport?
- Understanding the role between sports biomechanics and sports injury prevention.
- Examining ACL injury differences between male and female professional football players.
- The role of artificial intelligence in sports biomechanics.
- How does VAR impact movement patterns in professional soccer players?
- Biomechanics of fencing: an investigatory review of techniques and injury preventative strategies.