Dr Howie Carson

Programme Director: MSc Strength and Conditioning / Lecturer in Motor Learning and Control


Prior to joining Moray House School of Education and Sport in 2019, I completed my undergraduate degree at The University of Birmingham (2007-2010). Between 2010-2014 I completed my PhD at University of Central Lancashire which addressed technical refinement in performers with already well-established movement patterns. Following my PhD I spent 5 years as a Research Fellow in Skill Development and Coaching at University of Central Lancashire. During that time I conducted research and supervised doctoral students within the topics of motor skill development, coaching, decision making, talent development, sport psychology and movement analysis. Within my current role at The University of Edinburgh I am responsible for teaching motor control and applied sport science at undergraduate level and am the programme director for the MSc in Strength and Conditioning. In addition, I continue to pursue my research interests.

From an applied perspective, I am a PGA Fellow Professional golf coach and Accredited Sport and Exercise Scientist (BASES: Skill Development, Support). Reflecting these roles, I offer both individual as well as group consultancy sessions on issues relating to skill learning, skill refinement and skill optimisation. Provision to performers is almost always done in association with the personal coach, so providing the basis for future work without my input. In similar fashion, group sessions are usually educational, equipping coaches with practical tools which they can add to their armoury. Educational activities include consultancy, of which I have previously provided to national governing bodies in golf (The PGA), cricket (ECB), motor sport (MSA), winter sport (FISI), National Olympic Association (CONI), as well as to Accrington Archery Academy, Lancaster Golf Club and Leicester Tigers Rugby Club.


BA(Hons) (The University of Birmingham)

PhD (University of Central Lancashire)

Responsibilities & affiliations

Accredited BASES Sport & Exercise Scientist

Chartered Scientist (The Science Council)

Fellow member of The Professional Golfers' Association

Undergraduate teaching

Course Organiser: Applying Sport Science 3, Motor Control 4

Postgraduate teaching

Programme Director: MSc Strength & Conditioning

Course Organiser: Dissertation (MSc S&C)

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Areas of interest for supervision

Topics of Interest:

Motor Learning and Control

Coaching Practice

Current PhD students supervised

Peljha, Z. Establishing the relationship between selected physical fitness parameters and the efficiency in Olympic clay target shooting.

Collins, R. Developing and facilitating psychomotoric concomitants of high level performance

Orr, S. Examining the role of attentional focus in golf coaching and its impact on learning and performance in elite players.

Simon, S. Technical templates and mental models in elite para-canoe coaches.

Past PhD students supervised

Taylor, R.D. (2019). Exploring the impact of siblings on talent development in sport. PhD, University of Central Lancashire.

Moffat, D. (2019). Golf Putting: Establishing the impact and mechanisms of a target focus with high level golfers. PhD, University of Central Lancashire.

Mather, B-J. (2019). Changing grass roots culture in Australian rugby league. DProf, University of Central Lancashire.

Rotheram, D. (2019). Talent identification and development in Rugby League. DProf, University of Central Lancashire.

Research summary

As an active researcher I seek to understand the optimal process of, and methods for, technical refinement in performers with already well-established movement patterns. This is invariably evidence-based  and individually focused. Recognising the unique challenges presented, refinement objectives include long-term permanency, resistance against the negative effects of competitive pressure and timely durations. Other areas of research interest include skill acquisition, performing under conditions of stress, coach decision making, talent development, kinematic and biomechanical sports motion analysis.

Current research interests

Translational research design; applied sport and dance science

Research activities

View all 4 activities on Research Explorer

View all 35 publications on Research Explorer