Sports and Exercise Psychology is a profession growing across sports and exercise settings. When addressing issues such as enhancing the performance of a premier league football team or tackling the obesity crisis in the UK, organisations are increasingly turning to sports and exercise psychology professionals to improve performance and well-being.
This degree will prepare you for working with sporting teams or individual athletes as you develop the skills and knowledge required to support their well-being and performance. You will learn to base your practice on your own and others' research as well as through learning applied skills and underpinning theory.
Most of our academics are active sports professionals involved in sport and exercise consultancy, active in current research, and working with professional athletes and clubs. We maintain strong links with the industry to ensure current professional practice informs your studies. Our excellent placement and practical learning opportunities will support your application of knowledge and development of skills.
This programme has been developed to provide you with the skills and knowledge to further your career into sport and exercise related fields. It's been designed in line with BASES guidelines for MSc study, allowing you to progress on to a supervised experience route upon graduation. This course is BASES accredited (The British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences).
The modules aim to demonstrate key topics within sport and exercise populations, performance and well-being and will give you an overall understanding of psychological issues, contemporary theme’s, current policy and research lead interventions relating to athletes and coaches. You will also gain the knowledge and applied techniques that can be utilised to enhance human performance form a psychological perspective.
You will develop your ability to independently critique bodies of research and integrate key theories into your professional practice. There will be extensive opportunities for you to develop and refine your applied skills, such as needs analysis and intervention delivery through teaching and learning, and reflective practice.
This module aims to give you advanced knowledge of the key psychological constructs related to individual differences and group phenomena. You will develop a critical understanding of concepts such as personality, resilience, motivation, appraise the body of research within each area, and develop applied considerations when working in sport and exercise contexts.
The aim of this module is to explore the relationship between physical and mental wellbeing in a sport and exercise environment. You will gain advanced insight into particular developmental and social issues in relation to sport and exercise such as mental health, exercise adherence and applied considerations.
This module aims to give you advanced knowledge of applied sport psychology theories and techniques that can be utilised to positively impact performance. You will develop an understanding of a variety of psychological frameworks and approaches that can shape the direction of needs analysis and intervention protocols. The application of this knowledge will be supported through the development of essential skills for sport psychology practitioners working with skilled performers.
The aim of this module is to provide you with the research skills and expertise required by areas in Sport and Exercise Psychology. This module is designed to provide a critical overview of the main methods and approaches used for research at masters level, and to equip you to apply this knowledge in planning a research proposal
This module aims to develop your ability to apply knowledge gained from other modules in relation to a real work scenario. You will be required to adopt a reflective and critical approach to your working practice and to promote a problem-solving approach in a work environment.
In this module, you will embark on an independent research project which will be written in a format relevant to a sport psychology article. You will be provided with guidance from supervisors on matters of ethical application, research methods, data collection, analysis and report writing.
See the course specification for more information:
Optional modules are not offered on every course. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.
The small class size on this course means that you will have plenty of opportunities for key interaction with staff and peers, creating a strong learning community. A variety of teaching practices will be employed including seminars, student lead sessions, role play, critical reflection and independent study.
You will be assessed in a variety of ways including critical essays, presentations, case studies, oral examination and independent research projects. These assessments have been created to support the development of skills relevant to future professional activity.
With the ever-increasing focus for the sporting world to enhance athlete performance and wellbeing, sport psychology professionals are in demand at all levels from school sport to elite competition. Sport and Exercise Psychology will allow you to develop key skills, acquire a body of knowledge, and gain exposure to the frontiers of the subject.
Opportunities exist for sport psychology practitioners with the governing bodies of most sporting organisations, as well as with organisations such as the English Institute of Sport. Roles are increasingly becoming available in exercise, athlete welfare and military organisations, and as a graduate of this programme you would be well placed to progress into these roles. You will also be capable of establishing your own consultancy business or progressing on to additional study.
Dr Hannah Newman completed a PhD in women’s experiences of competing in strength sport at Loughborough University. Hannah’s research experience in sport and exercise psychology includes work on a project exploring the body image experiences of retired elite athletes and another exploring the physical activity experiences of Thalidomide survivors.
Dr Linda Duffy is a founding member of the Division of Sport and Exercise Psychology of the British Psychological Society (BPS) and a registered practitioner with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Her doctoral thesis investigated the acquisition of expertise among professional dart players following her own highly successful career a World Champion dart player. Dr Duffy is currently engaged in research and doctoral supervision related to the development of expertise in sport, psychological resilience, coaching behaviours, sport as a medium for rehabilitation and the psychological effects of training and practise.
Dr Rhonda Cohen conducted her PhD in psychology of extreme sport and is a registered BPS Stage 2 supervisor. She has worked across a multitude of sports and is regularly featured in the media.
We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.
Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.
Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.
At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.
Start: October 2023, EU/INT induction: September 2023
Duration: 1 year full-time, 2-3 years part-time
Start: September 2023
Duration: 1 year full-time, Usually 2 years part-time
Code: MSc: PGC60A
Start: October 2023
Duration: 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time