School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

PhD opportunities

Robert Townsend

Photo of  Robert Townsend

PhD Student


Having graduated from Sheffield Hallam University in 2012 with an undergraduate degree in Physical Education and Youth Sport, Rob took on an MSc in Sport Coaching at Loughborough University- graduating with merit. A keen runner, surfer, touch rugby player and cricketer, Rob has spent some time in Australia and New Zealand coaching and playing cricket before returning to Loughborough to take up a PhD with Dr. Brett Smith and Dr. Chris Cushion.

Project information

Understanding Learning & Development in Disability Sport: The Case of Autism

Under the supervision of Dr. Brett Smith and Dr. Chris Cushion, Rob’s work sits at the intersection of disability studies, coaching, sociology and learning theory. His PhD, in collaboration with the National Autistic Society, explores coach learning and development in disability sport, with a specific focus on Autistic Spectrum Disorder. Importantly, the project begins to address the issue of rigorously evaluating coach education and the broader impact on coaching practice within disability sport.