The Role of Schools and Physical Education in Addressing Childhood Obesity PhD

Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences
Entry requirements:
3 years
6 years
Reference number:
Start date:
1 April or 1 October 2018
UK/EU fees:
International fees:
Application deadline:
1 March 2018



in the world for sport-related subjects

QS World University Rankings by subject 2017


in the UK for Sports Science

The Complete University Guide 2018


Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014) and an outstanding 66% of the work of Loughborough’s academic staff who were eligible to be submitted to the REF was judged as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, compared to a national average figure of 43%.

In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral College, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career. 

Project detail

The prevalence of childhood obesity has increased in most developed societies over past decades and obesity prevention is now firmly on the agendas of most governments. Given the serious implications of childhood obesity for the current and future health of many young people coupled with the acceptance of physical activity as a key feature in its prevention, it is perhaps not surpsising that the role of schools and physical education (PE) in promoting health and tackling obesity has been increasingly recognized. This is evidenced by various policies, strategies and responses from governments which have highlighted schools to be instrumental in addressing both health broadly, and obesity specifically. However, concerns have been expressed that the discourse surrounding obesity and some of the policies and practices being implemented to tackle the issue in schools and PE may be overly narrow, simplistic and misguided, and that they could even be harmful to young people’s health. Despite this, very little is known about school and PE policies and practices in this regard and of how teachers, students and others experience and are influenced by these. It is clearly imperative that policies and practices avoid ‘doing harm’ and that schools and PE adopt a research-informed and pedagogically sound approach to the issue. This project will therefore investigate and aim to establish the above with a view to informing government, school and PE policy and practice in this area.


Primary supervisor: Professor Lorraine Cale

Secondary supervisor: Dr Jo Harris

Find out more

For further project details email Professor Lorraine Cale or register your interest and ask us a question.

Further information about the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences can be found on our website.

Entry requirements

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in a physical education and/or sport and exercise science-related degree.

A relevant Master's degree and/or experience of working and/or researching in schools and physical education will be an advantage.

All students must also meet the minimum English Language requirements.

Fees and funding


Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. University fees and charges can be paid in advance and there are several methods of payment, including online payments and payment by instalment. Special arrangements are made for payments by part-time students.

This is an open call for candidates who are sponsored or who have their own funding. If you do not have funding, you may still apply, however Institutional funding is not guaranteed. Outstanding candidates (UK/EU/International) without funding will be considered for funding opportunities which may become available in the School.

How to apply

All applications should be made online. Under programme name, select Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences. Please quote reference number: SSEHS/LAC