Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences

P.O.BOX 35 (Street address: Keskussairaalantie 4)
Postal code: 
Phone number: 
+358 50 395 6024

The responsibility for higher education in sport and exercise science in Finland has been allocated to the Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences at the University of Jyväskylä, where extensive research in the field is carried out. It is the sole sport science university in Finland.

The entire human life span is the focus of research and education in the Faculty Departments and their research institutes. The Faculty aims at increasing knowledge on sports, exercise, health, functional capacity and well-being. In addition to sport science, which is the main subject, there is an extensive line of studies in health sciences.

There are more than 1200 students completing a basic degree (Bachelor's and Master's) and approximately 140 doctoral students in the Faculty. Each year approximately 120 Master of Sport Science and 60 Master of Health Science students graduate from the Faculty.


There are three departments and four research units in the Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences.

1. The Department of Biology of Physical Activity (https://www.jyu.fi/sport/laitokset/liikuntabiologia/en) is known worldwide and respected of its quality of research. The Department has its own study lines in the area of biology of physical activity. The Department has intense international collaborations.

There is three major pathways to study in department of Biology of Physical Activity: Exercise Physiology, Biomechanics and Science of Sport Coaching and Fitness Testing.

Department is responsible for the fundamental bioscience teaching for all the students in the Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences. The Department has also close collaboration concerning biology of physical activity with the Finnish Defence Forces (National Defence University).

The Head of Department is Professor Keijo Häkkinen (PhD)


Underneath the department of biology of physical activity acts also the Neuromuscular Research Centre (https://www.jyu.fi/sport/laitokset/liikuntabiologia/nmrc/), which is focused to investigate the neuromuscular system, its functional mechanisms and adaptability, especially during exercise and different growth and development phases.


2. The Department of Health Sciences (https://www.jyu.fi/sport/laitokset/terveys/en/disciplines) focuses on contributing in research concerning health and well-being in all age cohorts with main emphasis on the impacts of physical activity, fitness and sport on lifelong well-being and health. The idea is to develop new methods to investigate those issues.

Prevention, treatment and rehabilitation are highlighted.

The department has plenty of multidisciplinary research collaborations both internationally and nationally. Also gerontology research is highly acknowledged worldwide.

The Department gives education in four different disciplines: Physiotherapy, Gerontology and public health, Health promotion and health education and Sport and Exercise Medicine.

The Head of Department is Professor Ari Heinonen (PhD)


There is two research centers acting under the Department of health sciences: Gerontology Research Center (http://www.gerec.fi/en) and Research Centre for Health Promotion (https://www.jyu.fi/sport/laitokset/tutkimusyksikot/tetk/en).

While life expectancy in Europe is rapidly increasing and population aging has changed our societies in many ways, Gerontology Research Center (GEREC) produces new scientific knowledge for the aging society, contributes to academic training and increases expertise in the field of aging. The aim of GEREC is to generating knowledge that can help make our longer lives healthier and promote an active and full life at any age.

The Research Center for Health Promotion is focused to produce high impact scientific research in the area of health promotion with social scientific perspective. The center also promote multidisciplinary research training in health promotion and health education and facilitate national and international networking of researchers.


3. The Department of Sport Science (https://www.jyu.fi/sport/laitokset/liikunta/copy_of_en) includes two disciplines: Physical Education and Social Sciences of Sport. It’s a unique department in Finland as it trains all physical education teachers in the country and also a major part of the leading experts in sport management. The department has significant role on education and research of sport psychology, social sciences of sport and adapted physical education.

The Head of Department is Professor Kalervo Ilmanen (PhD)


The Motor Behaviour Research Unit (MBRU) operates underneath of the department of sport sciences. It develops and produces theoretical and practical knowledge to solve problems of motor behavior and development, and creates solutions for educational challenges. Please, see more information (https://www.jyu.fi/sport/en/dept/motorskills).