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Human & Aerospace Physiological Sciences, Centre of (CHAPS) MPhil/PhD



CHAPS was founded in 2010 and currently comprises:

  • Seven academic staff

  • Nine PhD students

  • Three post-graduate/post-doctoral researchers.

2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF): 

Overall, ranked 6th for both our Grade Point Average and Quality Index ranking of the 51 submissions in this UoA (Unit of Assessment 26 - Sport and Exercise Sciences, Leisure and Tourism).

Recent publications include:

  • Power output during FES cycling in trained spinal cord injured people

  • Sera from young and older humans equally sustain proliferation and differentiation of human myoblasts

  • The effect of repeated visual motion stimuli on visual dependence and postural control in normal subjects

  • CCL2 is a key mediator of microglia activation in neuropathic pain states

  • Respiratory modulation in response to high-frequency airway occlusion delivered during inspiration or expiration.

Current Projects Include:

  • The relationship between visual performance and visual dependence: the effect of healthy ageing

  • Characterization of the Wnt signalling pathway relation to ageing in primary human skeletal myoblasts

  • The effects of whole body vibration on motor unit excitation and inhibition.

  • The effects of hypoxia and high +G on cerebral perfusion

  • Neuroimaging of Mechanical and Neuropathic Low Back Pain.

Partner organisations include:

  • RAF Centre of Aviation Medicine, Crew Medical Support Office (European Space Agency), Qinetiq.

Key information

Duration MPhil 2 years FT, 3 year PT; PhD 3 years FT, 4-6 years PT. Research degree registration may begin in October, January, April or July.

Study mode Full-time,Part-time

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine

Department Department of Physiology


Entry requirements

Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.

Bachelor's degree with 2:1 honours (or overseas equivalent) in a relevant subject. A 2:2 degree may be considered only where applicants also offer a Master's degree with Merit or above.

Please do not complete an application form until you have spoken to your preferred supervisor.

Application procedure

Before applying formally, applicants should make contact with their likely supervisor to discuss their project. Applicants will be interviewed by two members of the Centre prior to admission on to a research degree programme.

Personal statement and supporting information

No information required.

Course intake

No set number

Application closing date

There is no specific deadline for applications. Applications will be considered subject to the availability of places, thus we encourage you to submit your application as soon as possible. Please note funding applications may be subject to specific deadlines.


Course detail


The Centre for Human & Aerospace Physiological Sciences (CHAPS) is focused on research and postgraduate teaching in human and aerospace physiology in its broadest sense. We have close links with numerous related external bodies including the Royal Air Force Centre of Aviation Medicine and Crew Medical Support Office (European Space Agency). Our taught master’s programmes in Human & AppliedPhysiology, Space Physiology & Health, and Aviation Medicine, complement our varied postgraduate research opportunities.

Our wide range of research expertise spans basic science and clinically-related fields including: human ageing, skeletal muscle function, plasticity and growth. Our work in multi-systems neuroscience explores our interactions with the environment, investigating issues such as how our movement and balance control our sensory and cardiorespiratory physiology. Our research also investigates how such systems adapt to low levels of oxygen or the absence of gravity.

Course study environment

The Centre has a number of different research laboratories reflecting the wide range of research undertaken. These include: Psychomotor/Pain Laboratory; Gait Analysis and Sensory-Motor Control Laboratory; Muscle function Laboratory; Muscle and Exercise Physiology Laboratory; Ernsting Aerospace Physiology Laboratory; Interventional Neurophysiology Laboratory; Controlled Environment Laboratory; Conditioning and Rehabilitation Laboratory; Cellular and Molecular Muscle biology Laboratory.

Two offices are designated for postgraduate student use and regular, student-led journal clubs and seminars help to broaden the horizons beyond indivudal projects.

CHAPS is located in Shepherd's House and provides a dynamic enviroment for research. Regular contact with individual supervisors as well as with other research staff within CHAPS is a key component of the research training experience within the Centre.

Postgraduate training

The training of our postgraduate research students is a high priority for our research students. The School of Biomedical Sciences and the College itself provide a number of levels of support and training to assist you in your research degree. Our centre also has an active student-led journal club providing peer support in addition to that given by your supervisors.

Head of group/division

Professor Stephen Harridge

Contact for information

Professor Stephen Harridge (Centre Director) Tel: +44 (0)20 7848 6164 Professor Di Newham Tel: +44 (0)20 7848 6320

Contact email,,

Course website

Career prospects

Career destinations

Postgraduate research students from our Centre have gone on to careers in research, clinical trials project management as well as returning to their clinical careers.


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Fees and funding

Self funded.

Full time tuition fees - Home/EU
£4,600 (2016)

Full time tuition fees - Overseas 
£20,000 (2016)

Part time tuition fees - Home/EU
£4,600 (2016)

Part time tuition fees - Overseas
£10,000 (2016)

Please visit our web pages on fees and funding for more information.


Next steps

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