MSc Sports Biomechanics Degree

MSc Sports Biomechanics

1. Overview

This full time course is aimed at those whose role is to scientifically analyse musculoskeletal mechanical function (and dysfunction) through fundamental and advanced concepts of motion analysis.

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The first module is designed to level the playing field for those coming from diverse backgrounds and different disciplines from mechanical engineering to healthcare practitioners. You will then progress to the principles of biomechanics and subsequent application to the analysis of human movement.

You will gain hands on experience of using a range of biomechanical instruments within our Human Performance Laboratory as well as critically evaluating the validity, reliability and repeatability of the tools.

You will then be introduced to the concepts and mathematics of three dimensional modelling with utilisation of software packages before following the study route of Sports Biomechanics. You will have large practical and laboratory components applying underpinning theory and concepts to complex analysis of real life scenarios/case studies.

You will then follow a research methods module, which will provide you with the necessary knowledge to complete an original piece of research.

2. What you will study

Semester 1:

Core Modules (60 credits)

1. Fundamental Principles (30 credits)

  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Mathematical principles (analytical geometry, trigonometry, linear algebra)
  • Basic statics and dynamics (force, moments, velocity, acceleration, levers, friction, gravity, free body diagrams, Newton's laws, work-energy)

2. Biomechanical Principles (15 credits)

  • Application of principles in Module 1 to movement, joint forces, moments and powers, muscle force
  • Introduction to kinematics and kinetics

3. Biomechanical Instrumentation/Measurement (15 credits)

  • Measurement of motion, force, pressure, muscle activity, physiological, 3-D optical and magnetic motion capture systems, force plates, foot switches, electromyography, physiological cost index, VO2max analyser.
  • Measurement protocols, validity, reliability, repeatability and reproducibility.

Exit Award: PgCert Sports Biomechanics

Semester 2:

Specialist modules (60 credits)

4. 3-D Biomechanical Modelling (15 credits)

  • Link segment, kinematic and kinetic modelling, Euler angles, Euclidean geometry
  • Marker sets
  • 3D modelling software and programming languages

5. Sports Biomechanics (30 credits)

  • 2-D and 3-D human motion data
  • muscle recruitment and Electromyography (EMG)
  • force analysis during sporting movements
  • muscle performance
  • contemporary assessment techniques employed by sport biomechanists

6. Research methods and Statistics (15 credits)

  • Qualitative research
  • Quantative research
  • Literature review
  • Descriptive statistics
  • Inferential statistics
  • Research proposal

Exit Award: PgDip Sports Biomechanics

Semester 3:

Research project (60 credits)

Award: MSc Sports Biomechanics

The University regularly reviews its courses. Course content and structure may change over time. See our Course Disclaimer for more information.

3. How you will learn

The methodology presented in any specific module will allow flexibility of teaching and recognise your pre-existing graduate skills and learning strategies. There will be a high emphasis on your participation, with a self directed approach to learning being essential. In the early stages of the course you will gain an in depth understanding of the fundamental biomechanical, mathematical and engineering principles. You will apply the underpinning theoretical knowledge to the scientific analysis of human movement.

Teaching methods will include lectures, laboratory sessions, practical sessions, tutorials and seminars, all supported with on line material and activities. Introductory lectures and seminars will be closely linked to problem based laboratory sessions. All laboratory sessions will contain guided hands on experience underpinned by scientific concepts.

The course assessment strategy is driven by a philosophy that is student centred, progressive and focused at the practical application of biomechanical theory. A multi-faceted range of assessment tasks across all modules has been ensured, including examination based on the design of a biomechanical model, short answered questions, literature review which will involve critical analysis, professional communication and report writing, poster and oral presentations and laboratory reports.

4. Entry requirements

2:1 honours degree (or international equivalent) in a related discipline e.g. a sport or health related subject or mechanical engineering.

If you are an international student, you will also need an English Language Qualification i.e. IELTS 6.5 overall (with a minimum score of 6.5 in each component), TOEFL iBT 90 (with a minimum score of Listening 21, Reading 22, Speaking 23 and Writing 24) or other equivalent recognised language qualification.

English language requirements

5. Course Fees

For Academic Year 2015/2016

UK/EU Students

  • £6,500 entire course

International Students

  • £10,300 entire course

For Academic Year 2014/2015

UK/EU Students

  • £6,500 entire course

International Students

  • £10,300 entire course

For Academic Year 2013/2014

UK/EU Students

  • £6,050 entire course

International Students

  • £9,350 entire course

For Academic Year 2012/2013

UK/EU Students

  • £7,500 entire course

International Students

  • £9,000 entire course

For Academic Year 2011/2012

UK/EU Students

  • £7,330 per academic year

International Students

  • £8,795 per academic year

All course fees are reviewed annually and subject to change. Published fees apply to the course's mode of delivery. You will also be liable to pay a graduation fee of £40 before receiving a University award.

For further information see Student Finance pages


6. How to apply

If you have any queries, please contact our Admissions Office on +44 (0) 1224 262209 or email

7. Prospects

There is an increasing demand for trained Biomechanics professionals, and this course will provide you with a sought after range of practical, athlete handling and decision-making skills.

The course aims to promote performance enhancement through scientific analysis of musculoskeletal mechanical function through the fundamental and more advanced concepts of motion analysis. It also seeks to encourage those with an interest in the physical nature of sport science to pursue their goal of working in elite performance enhancement. It is anticipated that graduates with this qualification will contribute through their professional careers, to the design, implementation and evaluation of new technologies in the area of Sports Science.

This course will also offer opportunities to move into rehabilitation engineering or bioengineering in the design of prosthetic or orthotic devices and development of biomechanical models. You may choose to continue in education as lecturer or teacher while there will be the opportunity to continue onto Doctoral research programmes.

8. Meet your course leader

Ioannis AgourisIoannis completed his first degree in Athens, Greece, in Mechanical Engineering. After working as teacher and engineering designer, he joined Aberdeen University, department of Bio-Medical Physics & Bioengineering. He obtained a Postgraduate Diploma in Information Technology for Medical Physics and then a Doctorate for an investigation of the reliability of 3D motion analysis measurements in normal and cerebral palsy gait. Ioannis was employed by the NHS and Aberdeen University as research assistant/consultant for various biomechanics projects.

He joined RGU in 2002. His duties within the School include leading the MSc Clinical/Sports Biomechanics courses and developing projects to attract research grants, consultancy contracts, and studentships. He plans and undertakes research projects within the University by co-ordinating the activities of staff and research students, and aims to publicise research activity through journals and conferences. His research interests include 3D motion analysis, mathematical modelling of human movement, clinical & sports biomechanics, gait analysis, low back pain, manual handling, motion capture animation & computer generated virtual characters. Ioannis is also involved in the development of the Human Performance Laboratory commercial service and collaborations with the NHS and private clinics.

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Course length

1 Year

Mode of Attendance


Academic school
School of Health Sciences

Postgraduate Guide

Robert Gordon University, Garthdee House, Garthdee Road, Aberdeen, AB10 7QB, Scotland, UK: a Scottish charity, registration No. SC013781