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Exercise Science, Physical and Health Education

Exercise, sport and physical education transforms lives and enriches communities. Our programs follow an inquiry-based approach to education, emphasizing the student’s role in learning. You’ll gain the knowledge and confidence to become a leader in exercise science and health education. Your degree will give you a competitive edge in teaching, administration or sports medicine.

Degree programs offered

In this MSc program, you’ll study physical activity and its impact on health, society and quality of life. You'll gain pre-professional training for physical and occupational therapy, medicine and health-related fields. You’ll pursue classwork and research under faculty supervision. You’ll complete either a thesis or a non-thesis-based research project.

This program will teach you how to help others live healthy, active lives. You’ll learn skills that will let you teach in public or private schools at the K-12 levels. You’ll perform online coursework and research a thesis, which you’ll defend in an oral exam.

This project-based degree will teach you the science behind coaching. You’ll learn about techniques and current issues that will make you a more effective coach. This program begins with intensive summer-based coursework. From there it continues with online coursework and project work. You’ll also get hands-on experience through two cooperative work terms.

In this degree, you’ll learn the administration and management of recreation and leisure service organizations. You’ll take courses and create a research thesis or a non-thesis based research project.

The MALSA program is currently under review. Contact Dr. John Meldrum for more information about this program.

This PhD is a research-intensive program that will prepare you for careers in higher education, government ministries and other organizations. You’ll supplement your advanced knowledge with coursework and candidacy exams. You'll conduct original research in the area of physical activity and health. This research will result in the creation of a dissertation that you’ll defend in an oral exam.

Program Expected length Project and/or thesis Course-based
MA, MSc 2 years Yes No
MALSA 2 years Yes No
Coaching MEd 2-2 ½ years No Yes
PhD 2-4 years Yes No

Quick facts

Program options:
Masters, Doctorate
Program delivery:
Other: On-campus for Kinesiology; blended for Coaching Studies; online for Physical Education
Dynamic learning:
Other: Co-op optional for Kinesiology (MA, MSc and PhD); mandatory for Coaching studies (MEd)

Areas of focus

  • Coaching
  • Exercise science
  • Fitness leadership
  • Kinesiology
  • Leisure service administration
  • Physical education
  • Sociocultural analyses of sports
  • Sport and exercise psychology
  • Sports management
  • Sports medicine

Find a supervisor

All graduate students in this program must have a faculty member who serves as their academic supervisor. When you apply:

  • you must list a potential supervisor on your application
  • this faculty member must agree to be your supervisor and recommend your admission

To find a supervisor, review the faculty contacts. When you've found a faculty member whose research complements your own, contact them by email.

Catherine Gaul

Professor Exercise physiology; pediatric sport performance; women and exercise; health benefits of exercise in cancer patients; occupational physiology; fitness and testing

Doug Nichols

Professor Inclusion of people with disabilities in leisure pursuits

E. Paul Zehr

Professor Neural control of rhythmic human movement; co-ordination of the arms and legs during locomotion; neuromuscular plasticity and motor recovery after stroke

Jean Buckler

Assistant Professor Gender inclusive physical activity, recreational physical activity, health promotion

John Meldrum

Assistant professor Management, marketing, and service quality; understanding human relationships and the attachment to people, places and activities in a health, leisure, sport or community context

Kirstin Lane

Assistant Teaching Professor; Kinesiology program leader Effects of exercise on health and disease outcomes in cancer patients; exercise assessment and prescription; clinical exercise physiology

Kurt Smith

Associate Professor Exercise and environmental mechanisms that influence cerebral and cardiovascular health.

Lara Lauzon

Associate professor Teacher wellness; college and university student health and wellness; worklife balance; leadership

Lynneth Stuart-Hill

Associate Professor Exercise hematology and immunology; occupational physiology; development of pre-employment physical abilities tests; children and exercise; exercise prescription

Marc Klimstra

Associate professor Biomechanics and motor control of human movement in sport; exercise and rehabilitation

Olav Krigolson

Professor Neuroeconomics, learning, decision-making, motor learning and control

Patti-Jean (PJ) Naylor

Emeritus Professor and Scientist Socio-ecological and setting-based approaches to health promotion; obesity and chronic disease prevention; dissemination, knowledge translation/exchange; implementation and organizational capacity

Paul Whitinui

Professor; Acting Associate Dean of Graduate Programs and Research (July 2021-June 2022) Indigenous community health and development with a focus on the social and cultural determinants associated with resilience, sport, leisure, education, wellbeing and healing.

Ryan Rhodes

Professor; Graduate advisor Psychology of physical activity and sedentary behaviour; health promotion during life transitions (e.g., early-stage family development, retirement); application of technology to health behaviour change; bridging the intention-behaviour gap; the role of affect in health behaviour; self-regulation of behaviour; physical activity habit and identity formation.

Sam Liu

Associate Professor Chronic disease prevention and management; eHealth/mHealth; big data and health surveillance; physical activity; health promotion

Sandra Gibbons

Professor Girl-friendly physical education; team building in physical education; authentic assessment in physical educations

Sandra Hundza

Associate professor; Director Neural control of human movement and motor rehabilitation with aging and after injury and disease (e.g., stroke or Parkinson’s disease); neural control of balance during walking and coordination of limbs and trunk during rhythmic movement; assistive devices and technologies related to mobility and mobility measurement

Tim Hopper

Professor; Physical Education Teacher Education programs leader School integrated teaching education; teacher games for understanding and electronic portfolios; action research and qualitative research genres; social constructivism and complexity theories

Viviene Temple

Professor; Recreation and Health Education Program Leader Physical activity among individuals with special needs and young children; motor skills

Funding & aid

Graduate students registered in full-time programs are automatically considered for a fellowship. This is based on a qualifying GPA.

Individual award amounts may vary depending on the program.

UVic Fellowship Awards

  • Up to $17,500 per year (master's)
  • Up to $20,000 per year (PhD)

UVic Graduate Awards

  • Up to $10,000 per year (master's and PhD)


  • The minimum requirement for funding consideration is a A- average on the last two years of course work
  • Full-time registration (3.0 units) for UVic Fellowship holders and at least part-time registration (1.5 units) for UVic Graduate Award holders
  • Full-time registration for students registered with the Centre for Accessible Learning (CAL) is 1.5 units

You can also join the co-op program or work as a research or teaching assistant.

Funding opportunities

Tuition & fees

Visit our tuition calculator to determine the tuition and fees for your program.

When you apply you will be charged an application fee. Your application will not be processed until this payment has been received.

  • Application fee for documents from within Canada: $131.50
  • Application fee if any documents originate outside Canada: $169

Application deadlines

There are three entry points: the September, January and May terms.

Our MSc and MA programs begin in September, but we accept applications year-round.

  • Domestic students should apply before May 31 for September entry
  • International students should apply before December 15 for September entry

The MEd Coaching Studies program begins in the May term.

  • Domestic students should apply before March 31 for May entry
  • International students should apply before October 15 for May entry

The PhD Kinesiology program accepts applications year-round.

Domestic students should apply any time before their desired entry point.

International students or people with post-secondary documents from non-Canadian schools, follow these deadlines:

  • Apply by December 15 for September entry
  • Apply by April 15 for January entry
  • Apply by October 15 for May entry

For funding consideration, you must accept an offer to join one of our programs by July 31.

Admission & program requirements

You must meet the minimum graduate school admission requirements.

Review the graduate admission requirements and this program's admission requirements in the Graduate calendar.

If your first language is not English you must provide proof of language proficiency. Learn more about language requirements, including what exemptions and tests are allowed.

Ready to apply?

You can start your online application to UVic by creating a new profile or using an existing one.

Apply now    How to apply

Need help?

Contact the graduate secretary or 250-721-6682.

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