Masters Program

Kinesiology offers 4 different Masters Degree options:

Master of Arts in Kinesiology

The Master of Arts in Kinesiology (MA) is a thesis-based degree which provides advanced education and research training in the social, behavioural, and/or managerial sciences. In particular, students pursue studies in areas such as exercise and sport psychology, the sociology of health, physical activity, and/or sport, and sport history. The MA program affords students an opportunity to learn in a vibrant, supportive, and multidisciplinary research environment. Students work closely with individual faculty members who provide exceptional training and focused supervision using a mentorship model. The MA program prepares graduates for a broad range of careers. Our former students have gone on to pursue training in doctoral and post-doctoral degrees as well as to pursue careers in health promotion, governmental and non-governmental work, research, and teaching.

Master of Science in Kinesiology

The Master of Science in Kinesiology (MSc) is a thesis-based degree. Areas of study can include topics broadly related to the natural health and physical sciences. Graduate students are drawn to the School to work with specific research faculty members and benefit from their expertise in specific content areas. The MSc program operates using a mentor model. The benefits of a mentor model are numerous including clarification of research and other funding support at time of application and focused supervision from the time of registration. The MSc program prepares graduates for a broad range of careers. Former MSc students have pursued additional training including doctoral and post-doctoral degrees. Many former Kinesiology graduates have become successful academics. Other students have pursued careers in Medicine, Physical Therapy, industry, and governmental and non-governmental work.

Master of Kinesiology

The Master of Kinesiology (MKin) is a non-thesis, course-based degree with potential areas of study, including Socio-Managerial, Natural/Physical Science, Behavioural Science and Coaching Science.  No research is involved: This is the main difference between the MKin and MA/MSc programs. The most popular stream is Coaching Science and the program contains approximately 18-20 graduate students each year. The average time to completion is 1 year (30-credit program). For more than 20 years, the Coaching Science program has supported the coaching careers of many different sport coaches by enhancing their theoretical development and practical growth. The internship program allows the students to exploit their coaching philosophy and challenge their skills.

The Coaching Science stream in the MKIN program prepares students for employment in coaching at various levels (high school, club, varsity, strength and conditioning) or in some specific cases to pursue further studies in a PhD program. Recent graduates have taken positions as head or assistant coaches in varsity programs, community programs, and the private sector as strength and conditioning coaches. Graduates from this program have also become Program Managers/Directors of Athletics and Recreation in their respective institutions.

No student is admitted to the MKin program without a supervisor being assigned at the time of admission. A supervisor is required for the course-based MKIN program as he/she will provide guidance on course requirements and registration.  For example, the MKIN supervisor will guide and evaluate the following courses: KIN 530 (Directed Studies), KIN 598 (Directed Field Studies), KIN 595 (Major Paper Presentation). Please see below for more info.

Master of High Performance Coaching & Technical Leadership (MHPCTL)

** Students interested in the MHPCTL must apply to the HPCTL Graduate Certificate and successfully complete this program before being recommended for admission to the MHPCTL program. For more info and how to apply to the HPCTL Graduate Certificate, please see:

Description of the Program
The Master of High Performance Coaching and Technical Leadership is a two to three year, 30 credit specialized program for experienced sport coaches and technical leaders who are looking to advance in their careers and engage in professional development.  Through a partnership with the leading national agencies in high performance sport (Own The Podium (OTP), Coaching Association of Canada (CAC), Canadian Sport Institute (CSI) and National Sport Organizations) an exemplary program will be offered using a blended delivery model.

Aims/goals and objectives:
1. To develop coaches with the competence to contribute to medal performances in international competition at the developmental level.
2. To develop technical leaders with the competence to collaborate in strategic and operational leadership of a high performance sport program.

Delivery methods and duration of program
The program will include two one-week face-to-face residential periods: one at the start of year 1 and one at the start of year 2. All courses will primarily be delivered asynchronously online with added synchronous online classes scheduled throughout the fall and winter terms.

Target Learners
The target learners are coaches working with athletes on the “Podium Pathway”, that is, those affiliated with provincial and national sport organizations, Provincial/Canada Games, Sport Institutes, elite clubs, and Canadian Interuniversity Sport programs. These coaches are working in full- or part-time coaching positions and are likely to focus on self-directed Professional Development that includes:

  • A highly flexible approach to delivery to fit with occupational demands.
  • Opportunities to transition to a future technical leadership role.
  • Ability to expand on current practice by having access to world leading research and innovation in high performance sport.

Also targeted for the program are technical sport leaders such as high performance directors, current technical leaders, managers, executive directors and coordinators at the national and provincial levels and high performance coaches not currently working with high performance athletes. Other candidates for the program include retiring high performance athletes. The program provides them the opportunity to move into high performance coaching after being a successful athlete.

Financial Assistance
Please see External Funding for more info.

Overview of the Master’s Programs

Master of Arts
Master of Science
Master of Kinesiology
Master of High Performance Coaching & Technical Leadership (MHPCTL)
Orientation Thesis Degree Research Orientation Course-based, Non-Thesis Degree
Course-based, Non-Thesis Degree,
(ONLINE PROGRAM with residential components)
Areas of Study Socio-Managerial
Natural/Physical Science
Socio-Managerial, Natural/Physical Science, Behavioural,  Coaching Science  Coaching Science
Admission Requirements (Applicable to all master degree programs)
  • Four (4) Year Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education, Kinesiology, or other related fields of study.
  • Minimum of 76% overall in upper division courses (excluding activity courses in Kinesiology or Physical Education).
  • 12 upper division course credits with a minimum grade of 80% (A-) in each course credit.
  • For International Students, the admission criteria will vary for different countries. Therefore, select the country your academic credentials were acquired from on the international MAR page to see the admission criteria.
  • All students must have an individual faculty member who agrees during the application process to serve as the student’s supervisor. Select a potential supervisor by reviewing the School’s faculty and their research interests. Complete the student-faculty contact form  and email the form directly to the potential supervisor. This form provides important background information and will help determine your suitability in a research partnership. **No student will be admitted to any graduate programs (MKin, MA, MSc, PhD) without a supervisor being assigned at the time of admission. Therefore, please confirm the proposed faculty member’s interest and availability before proceeding with the formal application procedure.
  • For the MHPCTL program only – Students interested in the MHPCTL must apply to the HPCTL Graduate Certificate and successfully complete this program before being recommended for admission to the MHPCTL program. For more info and how to apply to the HPCTL Graduate Certificate, please see:
Admission Requirements (Applicable to MHPCTL degree program only) In addition to the above, candidates for the MHPCTL will normally have:

  • 5 years of coaching experience, including coaching athletes at the national team or Canada Games level, or 5 years as a carded National Team athlete
  • National Coaching Certification Program qualification at level 3 or “Competition Development”
  • recommendation of the National Sport Organization

Special admission into graduate studies will be considered for candidates who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership potential and impact in their coaching careers, but may lack formal academic (undergraduate) training or credential. These candidates will need to demonstrate the drive to excel and the intellectual capability required to succeed, where ability to progress in the program will be assessed within the Graduate Certificate for High Performance Coaching & Technical Leadership.


Degree Master of Arts and Master of Science
 Master of Kinesiology Master of High Performance Coaching Technical Leadership
Thesis or Major Paper KIN 599 – Thesis (12 Credits) KIN 595 – Graduating Paper (3 Credits)  KIN 596 (6 Credits)
General Course Work (500/600 Level) A minimum of an additional 12 course credits related to the student’s program of study determined in consultation with his/her Graduate Faculty Supervisor A minimum of an additional 18 course credits related to the student’s program of study determined in consultation with his/her Graduate Faculty Supervisor KIN 515, KIN 585, KIN 586, KIN 598, KIN 516, KIN 517, KIN 530 (3 credits each)
Course Work
A maximum of 6 course credits related to the student’s program of study may be taken at the 300/400 undergraduate level for application to MA, MSc, and MKin degrees Only coursework listed in the program will be counted towards the MHPCTL
Required KIN
Course Work
KIN 570 or KIN 571 - Research Methods (3 credits) or approved alternative KIN 572 - Research Methods in Sports Coaching (3 credits)

The required course work for MA/MSc takes about two to three terms to complete with a minimum additional year (three terms) to complete the research thesis.  The required course work for MKin takes about three terms (1 year) of study to complete. Students are expected to complete all requirements for the Master's degree within three academic years of full-time study.

MA: Based on 10 graduations between 2009 - 2012 the minimum time to completion is 2.00 years and the maximum time is 5.33 years with an average of 3.00 years of study.

MSc: Based on 21 graduations between 2009 - 2012 the minimum time to completion is 1.66 years and the maximum time is 4.83 years with an average of 2.83 years of study.

MKIN: Based on 5 graduations between 2010 - 2013 the minimum time to completion is 0.99 years and the maximum time is 1.00 years with an average of 0.99 years of study.

MHPCTL: Program to start in January 2017.

The UBC Calendar provides information regarding current tuition fees for the School’s master’s degree programs. Masters students are assessed fees as full-time students. Students pursuing part-time study are ineligible to receive government loans, interest-free status and University Fellowships or Scholarships. Students holding UBC scholarships will have their tuition fees deducted directly from scholarship payments. The first installment of tuition fees for new students must be paid by the beginning of the first month of the term for which the student is registering. Additional tuition fee information is available at the above Website.

Although it is strongly recommended for all students to undertake full-time study, the Master's program may also be undertaken on a part-time basis, if the proposed supervisor is in agreement with this arrangement.

Applicants with an undergraduate degree other than Kinesiology will receive serious consideration, particularly if undergraduate program or other experiences provide a strong relationship to Kinesiology. These students may be asked to take additional Kinesiology and/or Kinesiology related courses as part of the graduate degree, in addition to required courses. Course of study is decided in consultation with the proposed supervisor and committee.

Below are graduate courses that may be offered by the School. For current graduate course offerings, please see course scheduling.

# Course Title (# of credits) Description
500 Aging, Health and Physical Activity: Socio-cultural Perspectives The purpose of this course is to examine the socio-cultural research and theorizing around aging, health, and physical activity. In particular, we will consider how older adults’ experiences of health and physical activity in later life are shaped and constrained by a variety of socio-cultural factors. As such, we will examine ageism and ageist stereotypes, the biomedical model of successful aging and its critiques, experiences of leisure and elite sport in later life, gender norms and gendered understandings of optimal aging and body image, intercultural perspectives on later life health and physical activity, the impact of consumer culture, chronic illness, the social experience of falls and fear of falling, as well as disability, technology, and the built environment.
515 Gap Analysis Using analytics to obtain, describe and visualize data to create sport profile. Determine optimal programming decisions for coached athletes based on performance pathway and gold medal profile. Apply research methods and principles of scientific inquiry, performance analysis, descriptive, prescriptive and predictive analytics to improve athlete development and performance.
516 The Psychology of Leadership and Group Processes in Sport This course examines contemporary theory, research, and application with regard to leadership and group processes in the context of sport and exercise. The course provides a broad overview of major topics in the area.
517 Business of High Performance Sport in Canada Examination of Canada’s sport system, its governance and stakeholders; financial management for high performance sport; communications, marketing, and sponsorship of high performance sport.
530 Directed Studies Topics selected by the student, with the approval of the Program Supervisor and Graduate Advisor before the start of the course. A KIN 530 Directed Studies contract must be completed and signed.
562 Bioenergetics of Physical Activity Basic energy systems of the human body; primarily concentrating on the bioenergetics of the skeletal muscle cell, recovery from muscular work, substrate utilization, muscle fiber types, strength, endurance and the physiological assessment of maximal performance.
563 Measurement of Human Motion A critical evaluation of research tools used to measure and assess human motor performance including electromyography, anthropometry, ergometers, indirect calorimetry, cinematography, and indirect dynamics.
564 Psycho-Social Aspects of Physical Activity Selected psycho-social considerations in sport: initial and continuing involvement in the competitive sport environment.
565 Physiological Aspects of Physical Activity Survey of research regarding the physiological aspects of activity; the effects of altitude and environmental temperature on man’s performance in exercise and sports.
567 Human Motor Performance Processes underlying the ability to learn and perform motor skills.
568 Seminar in Human Sensorimotor Control Reports and discussions of research literature concerning theories and findings in human sensorimotor control. Emphasis is given to understanding the basic mechanisms underlying sensorimotor control, utilizing frameworks drawn from motor behaviour, cognitive neuroscience, and neurophysiology.
570 Research Methods in Kinesiology Research methods applied to the study of sport and physical activity, the nature of scientific inquiry, the design of experiments, the survey as a research medium, the historical and philosophical methods of inquiry, the writing of the research report.
571 Qualitative Methods in Sport, Leisure, and Health Studies Theoretical, methodological, and ethical debates about and approaches to qualitative methods; issues in and approaches to qualitative inquiry.
572 Research Methods in Sports Coaching Interpretation and evaluation of research methods and scientific findings related to coaching sciences.
574 Graduate Seminar in Health Promotion Through Physical Activity The relationship of new concepts in health to the promotion of health through physical activity; the application of research findings from a number of disciplines to the identification, selection, and targeting of health promotion/education strategies related to physical activity.
580 Graduate Seminar on Body, Exercise and Society Personal, social, and cultural significance of the body in sport, exercise, and phsyical culture.
581 Sport, Leisure, and Popular Culture Sport and leisure are viewed in the context of theoretical debates about mass society and consumer culture.
583 Physical Education, Sport and Exercise Programs The development of curricula, implementation and evaluation techniques in physical education, sport and exercise programs; relationships of programs in schools, community centres and other institutions.
585 Performance Planning (formerly Coaching Science I) Application of findings from sport profile and gap analysis to the planning and design of high performance training and coaching programs. Focuses on quadrennial, annual, meso and microcycle planning to integrate key factors that impact athlete performance and progression along the athlete development pathway.
586 Coaching Effectiveness (formerly Coaching Science II) Analysis of athlete performance and appropriate design and application of coaching intervention and skill acquisition for athlete and coach development.
591 Seminar in the Organizational Analysis of Leisure and Sport Selected topics in organizational theory as applied to the analysis of leisure and sport organizations.
595 Masters Graduating Paper Required Course for MKin program only. Students usually register for this course in their final term to present their Final Paper.
596 High Performance Sport Inquiry This course is designed to strengthen student research knowledge and research skills. A blended learning approach is taken and applied in a problem-based setting, so that students complete tasks to support their own research interests within the high performance sport arena. Topics are selected by the student, and approval must be granted by the Program Supervisor.
598 Directed Field Study

For MHPCTL - Directed Field Studies in Sport and Physical Activity Agencies (Practicum) requires a placement in a practical coaching or technical leadership position for a minimum of 40 hours. National Sport Organization and Canadian Sport Institute will provide mentoring opportunities to align this practicum with the sport specific technical requirements under the supervision. A School of Kinesiology faculty member will be involved in the practicum and will provide feedback to the student, and assessment.

* For other Master's Programs, the directed field study may vary. Please consult with supervisor.

The deadline for the annual Program Outline & Progress Report is January 31 of each year. The goal is to encourage reflections on how the year is going so far, assess progress on goals, and raise/address any issues or concerns -- and support our attempts to generally track student progress through the program. Students and their supervisors are required to fill out the Progress Report form on an annual basis as mandated by the Faculty of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies.

MA/MSc Program Outline & Progress Report
Mkin Program Outline & Progress Report