Sport Science: Fully Funded MSc by Research at Swansea: Head impact telemetry in Rugby Union

  • Master
  • Full cost of UK/EU tuition fees, plus a stipend
  • 21 June 2019

Fully Funded KESS II MSc by Research Scholarship: Head Impact Telemetry in Rugby Union using the PROTECHT instrument mouthguard: investigating differences in anthropometric characteristics and head impact dynamics between professional development and University male players to inform specific strength and conditioning training protocols

This scholarships is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) convergence programme for West Wales and the Valleys.

Start date: October 2019

Philtronics Ltd. are an industrial partner of SWA Ltd. and Swansea University (the Look A-Head project, led by Dr Williams and Dr Brown) in the development of the PROTECHT™ instrumented mouthguard (iMG) system. The PROTECHT™ iMG system is a real-time head impact telemetry system with secure sensor-skull coupling to give accurate and reliable head impact values in contact sports in real time. The system uses a bespoke instrumented mouthguard (iMG), for which Philtronics Ltd. are the manufacturer of the electronic componentry. The iMG has now developed to a stage where it is being employed in competitive matches in the Pro14 by Welsh professional clubs.

The next stage in this development process is to expand the capabilities of the PROTECHT system, towards a holistic brain injury management tool. This includes studying head impact telemetry data in conjunction with other measurable quantities of rugby players. A crucial aspect of this is to include data from different levels of the game. This project will involve the collection of iMG data from professional, development and university level male players for comparison. It will also include the measurement of a number of anthropometric factors, including head and neck circumference, height, weight, age, playing experience and playing position(s). The student will also collect training data including specific S&C exercises from all participants.

The outputs of this research will include data-driven insights regarding head impact loading patterns in training and competition and increasingly individualised brain injury risk metrics. These analytics will be invaluable to the club in managing players’ activity but will also benefit the wider rugby community, as results will be transferable to all levels of the game.

Scholarships are collaborative awards with external partners including SMEs and micro companies, as well as public and third sector organisations. The scholarship provides 1 year funding with a 3 month period to complete the thesis. The achievement of a postgraduate skills development award, PSDA, is compulsory for each KESS II scholar and is based on a 40 credit award.

Eligibility

Candidates should have a 2.1 or above in their undergraduate degree in Sports and Exercise Science or a related subject. They should also be eligible for UK/EU Fees.

We would normally expect the academic and English Language requirements to be met by point of application. For details on the University’s English Language entry requirements, please visit – http://www.swansea.ac.uk/admissions/englishlanguagerequirements/

Benefits

The studentship covers the full cost of UK/EU tuition fees, plus a stipend. The bursary will be limited to a maximum of £11,702 p.a. dependent upon the applicant's financial circumstances.

There will also be additional funds available for research expenses.

Please note that students receiving KESS II support are not eligible for Postgraduate Master's Degree loan.

Application

Please visit our website for more information.

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