Master of Science Degree in Sports Science

This course aims at equipping students with the skills needed to conduct research using a variety of research methods and techniques. Students shall also be exposed to publications in the area of sport management with a view to increase their capacity to critically evaluate published information. Areas to be covered include: Research Purpose (exploratory, explanatory and descriptive research); Research Philosophy (Ontology, Epistemology and Axiology); Research Paradigms (Positivism, Interpretivism, Pragmatism); Research Approach (deduction, induction, and abduction); Research Designs (Survey, Case Study, Experimental Research, Ethnography, Grounded Theory, Action Research, Appreciative Enquiry, Mixed Methods (Convergent Parallel, Exploratory Sequential, Explanatory Sequential, Imbedded. Transformative, Multiphase); Population and Sampling; Data Collecting Procedures (Questionnaires, Interviews, Focus Group Discussions, Free Thought Listing, Experimental Procedures, Observation); Data Analysis (Quantitative data analysis procedures using SPSS, Starter etc., and Qualitative Data Analysis using NVivo, Atlas TI etc.); Ethical Considerations; Research idea and problem formulation (research topic, statement of the problem, research question, objectives, Research Proposal writing); Literature Review; and Academic writing (use of academic writing, editing and antiplagiarism software, Dissertation and Manuscript writing, referencing styles).

This course focuses on the biochemistry of sport and exercise focusing on changes in human metabolism such as chemical structures, enzyme regulation and chemical reactions in response to physical activity. Topics to be covered include; Biochemical concepts, Exercise Metabolism including; Carbohydrate Metabolism in Exercise Lipid Metabolism in Exercise, Protein Metabolism in Exercise, Energy production and metabolic regulation in high intensity exercise, Energy production and metabolic regulation in endurance exercise, Energy production in intermittent exercise, Compounds of High Phosphoryl Transfer Potential, Effects of Exercise on Gene Expression, Mechanisms for muscle fatigue, Integration of Exercise Metabolism, and Benchmarking on the extent to which the biochemistry principles are applied in sport and fitness training in Zimbabwe against the global best practices.

This course covers the process of psychological preparation in athletes. It focuses on the development of tactical thinking in high performance sport, psychological characteristics of competitive activities, emotional states related to performance before, during and after competitions. Also to be covered are psychosocial aspects mainly in collective sports, pointing out the role and characteristics of group cohesion and interpersonal relations in team dynamics as well as psychological climate and psychic tensions during training sessions and competitions. The role and basis of psychological diagnosis in sport is also included, emphasizing on the types, advantages and disadvantages of different methods used, as well as the different techniques and strategies of psychological intervention utilized to enhance athlete’s mental toughness. This will be achieved by exposing students to such topics as; Introduction to and history of Sport Psychology; Psychological factors effecting physical performance; the role of sports psychology in the field of physical activity and sport; the application of Sports Psychology in the various stages of human growth and development from infancy, later childhood, adolescence and adulthood; Role of exercise and sports in the development of personality; the relationship between Stress, Anxiety, Arousal, Concentration, Imagery, Self-confidence, Motivation, Aggression, Goal-setting and Audience effects and sports performance; Individual differences, group dynamics and sport cohesion-including factors affecting team cohesion and interventions to improve it; Psychological skills training and team building, procedures in sport; Cognitive and behavioural interventions to improve sports performance; Benchmarking how and the extent to which Sport and Exercise Psychology is applied in the process of identifying and developing athletic talent in the Zimbabweans sports industry against the global best practices.

This course is intended to provide students with an in depth understanding of Sport Exercise Physiology. Topics to be covered include: Meaning and Importance of exercise physiology in sport and exercise; Energy sources (Definition of energy, Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) Creative phosphate, Metabolism); Structure of skeletal muscle (Sliding filament theory of skeletal muscle, Effect of exercises of muscular system, Fatigue, Symptoms of fatigue, Factors responsible for fatigue); Effect of exercise on circulatory system; Effect of exercise on respiratory system; Effect of exercise on digestive system; Effect of exercise on; Cardiac output, heart rate, vital capacity, second wind, oxygen debt, dead space and tidal volume; Balance between heart loss and heat production (Radiation, Convection, Evaporation, Conduction); Effects of temperature on sports performance; Effects of high attitude on sports performance; Importance of Acclimatization with hot and cold temperature; Benchmarking how and the extent to which the principles of Sport and Exercise Physiology are applied in the process of identifying and developing athletic talent in the Zimbabwean sports industry against the global best practices.

This course seeks to examine the mechanics of human movement. Particular emphasis will be placed on applying the theoretical principles of biomechanics to sport and exercise and provide an opportunity to develop proficiency in the use of advanced quantitative biomechanical systems to analyze and evaluate human performance; provide the opportunity to develop an advanced understanding of the use of biomechanics in supporting and developing performance within elite athletes. Topics to be covered include: Meaning and functions of biomechanics in the field of sports; Kinematics-both linear and angular and its role in the field of sport; Kinetics-both linear and angular and its role in the field of sports; Motion and types of motion; Newton’s laws of motion and their implications in the field of sport; Lever and types of lever; Mechanical principles (Projectile, Aerodynamics, Mechanical analysis of following, Walking, Running, Jumping, Throwing);Fluid Mechanics; Application of Biomechanics in the various sports codes; Biomechanics of injury; Benchmarking how and the extent to which the biomechanics principles are applied in the process of identifying and developing athletic talent in Zimbabwe against the global best practices.

Part 1 Semester 2

This module aims to allow students to critically engage in the process of analysing sports performance. Students will also learn how to design and analyse technical and tactical aspects of sports performance and generate data for appropriate dissemination to both coaches and athletes utilising a range of pertinent software. The course will cover: The principles of observation, analysis and feedback; Performance analysis technologies; Setting and choosing Key Performance Indicators in sport; Forecasting and prediction; Trend Analysis and Modelling; Trajectory Models and Motion Analysis; Practical sessions on analysis procedures covering movement analysis in the pre-match phases, within a game, for post-match analysis; Using sports performance analysis feedback as a technical, tactical, scouting and talent identification tool in sports coaching; Case studies in sports performance analysis; The benefits and drawbacks of performance analysis; Benchmarking the use of performance analysis and coaching technologies in the process of identifying and developing athletic talent in Zimbabwean against the global best practices.

This course provides specialist training on the application of practical skills for fitness evaluation and exercise prescription. The course focuses on such areas as: Principles of evaluation; the importance of test, measurement and evaluation in the field of sport and exercise; Types and Characteristics of effective tests; Testing for motor ability: Test for physical and cardiovascular fitness; Measurement of Sport Specific Skills; Nutrition Analysis; Biomechanical analysis; The application of testing and measurement in talent identification and development and the development of training programmes; Benchmarking the use of laboratory and field testing and measurement in the process of identifying and developing athletic talent in Zimbabwean against the global best practices.

This course addresses the major issues related to athlete development from a coaching perspective. It covers the fundamental concepts of sports training as a process with all its components including training principles, the law of bio adaptation, different levels of training, physical fitness, the concept of load and its programming, methodology and evaluation systems. Characterization of various sporting disciplines and their respective training formats. Topics to be covered include: Coaching philosophies, styles, systems and behaviours and Individual athlete variation focusing on their impact on athletic performance; the coach-athlete communication, feedback and demonstration processes; Motivation and goal setting; Differing approaches to skill-learning; Technical and tactical skill acquisition; Preparation of training schedule; the periodization theory; Principles of sports training; Concept of warming up and warming down; Physical fitness and its components (speed training, strength training, endurance training, flexibility training); Concept of training load, adaptation and recovery; Challenges facing the modern coach such as ethical dilemmas, managerial aspects of athlete and team behaviour and public and media relations, drugs and ergogenic aids and application of technology in coaching; Benchmarking how and the extent to which the principles of sport training are applied in the process of developing athletic talent in Zimbabwean against the global best practices.

This course is designed to equip students with advanced knowledge and skills on the assessment and treatment of sports injuries and illnesses. Particular emphasis is placed upon the development of a sound systematic and methodical evaluation technique to assess abnormal biomechanics (pathomechanics) and abnormal physiology (pathology).
The course also provides students with advanced knowledge and skills in Sports Rehabilitation. Topics to be covered include: kinanthropometry, anamnesis, and hydrotherapy, and thermotherapy massage, physiological influence of massage on the nervous system, the skin, muscles, vascular system, joints and ligaments

Part 2

Students produce a research report through a supervised process.

The Course is designed to give students supervised practical application of studied theory. It allows student to observe and document how sports science professionals perform their job responsibilities for a minimum of three months. Students will also participate to a limited extent in performing tasks under supervision by program Lecturers and on-site staff. Students shall produce a report, based on their observations at the end of the Practicum.