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Sport and Exercise Psychology

MSc

Taught by experts

Our tutors and lecturers have wide-ranging global experience

Distance learning

The only UK course of its kind to be available entirely online

Get connected

We have strong links with leading sport and business organisations

Location:
Stoke-on-Trent campus
Study option:
Full-time, distance learning
Choose another study option
Duration:
1 Year
Start date:
2 September 2019
Come to an Open Event Enquire about this course Apply now

This MSc provides you with a critical understanding of current issues relating to the theory and practice of sport and exercise psychology. The course has been developed to support individuals whose work, family commitments or location make physically attending university challenging.

As the course is delivered exclusively online, you’ll gain access to a highly flexible and effective way to develop your knowledge, expertise and professional skills without disrupting your working life.

You’ll collaborate with staff and your peers in a dynamic learning environment, engage with content directly via video lectures, synchronous and asynchronous text and audio discussions supported by 24/7 access to a wide range of online resources.

The curriculum is focused on the key sub-disciplines of sport and exercise psychology covering areas such as performance under pressure, mental health, group dynamics and leadership, applied research methods, and the practice of sport psychology.

All modules are designed and delivered by staff with an international research reputation alongside excellent applied links with sports organisations, businesses and professional bodies.

The course is underpinned by research excellence – in the 2014 REF, our research was rated as being of international quality overall with 64% of the research considered either world-leading or internationally excellent.

The course achieved 100% Student Course Satisfaction and 100% Student Course Recommendation in the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES) Results 2017.

On successful completion of study, you'll receive the following award:

MSc Sport and Exercise Psychology

On successful completion of study, you'll receive the following award:

MSc Sport and Exercise Psychology

Part-time study

During part-time study, the six compulsory full-time modules will be spread out over 2 years.

Course content

On this one-year full-time course, you study 2 modules at a time between September and April (120 credits) and will focus only on the Masters Research Project from April to September (60 credits)

A summary of the modules is provided below.

In Physical Activity and Mental Health (15 credits) the current state of evidence regards the relationship between physical activity and mental health is examined. Physical activity theories and models are critically evaluated using a range of sources of evidence including traditional review, meta-analysis and epidemiological research. A central focus of the module is behaviour change with respect to physical activity. The mental health benefits of activity with respect to selected mental illnesses are also evaluated and practical physical activity interventions examined.

The module Advanced Research Methods and Data Analysis (30 credits) develops and enhances research methods, statistical and qualitative analysis skills. Key analytical techniques will be addressed via data sets in sport and exercise psychology.

The module Group Dynamics and Leadership in Sport and Exercise (15 credits) covers the application of social psychological theory to sport and exercise settings, with a focus on audience effects, groups, and leadership, and on how these processes may impact on the performance of athletes, coaches, trainers and managers. Adopting a social psychology framework the module will examine contemporary approaches related to the impact of audiences, group dynamics and cohesion in the performance domain.

In the first part of The Practice of Sport and Exercise Psychology (30 credits) a range of psychological techniques available to practitioners are outlined (e.g., self-talk, imagery). Students will be required to consider what psychological techniques are most appropriate and how they should best be applied to a range of scenarios (e.g., enhancing confidence in a novice exerciser, helping an elite athlete cope with a career ending injury). In the second part of the module the skills required to practice effectively (e.g., counselling skills, communication skills and reflective practice) are considered along with issues surrounding the delivery of psychological interventions to different groups (e.g., disabled athletes) are considered.

The Skilled Performance Under Pressure (30 credits) module uses psychophysiological interpretations of how athletes interact with motivated performance situations to explain skilled performance under pressure. First, the module will explore historical and contemporary approaches to understanding skilled performance. Second, recent approaches to understanding skilled performance under pressure will be explored. Finally, investigation will take place of the psychophysiological markers of the human reaction to stress in the context of their relationships to skilled performance under pressure by examining the use cardiovascular reactivity as an indicator of adaptive and maladaptive responses to stress.

The final module is the Masters Research Project Dissertation (60 credits). This module involves the planning and execution of an empirical research project. Typically, students are encourage to write their thesis in a journal style and where appropriate submit for publication. A formal presentation and oral examination of the research is a key feature of the module.

On this part-time course you study one module at a time over 2 years. The first three modules you study (60 credits) contribute to the PG Certificate. These modules in combination with the following two lead to a PG Diploma (120 credits), with successful completion of the final 60-credit Masters Research Project module leading to the MSc.(180 credits).

You’ll study four modules (90 credits) in Year 1 and two modules (90 credits) in Year 2.

A summary of the modules is provided below.

In Physical Activity and Mental Health (15 credits) the current state of evidence regards the relationship between physical activity and mental health is examined. Physical activity theories and models are critically evaluated using a range of sources of evidence including traditional review, meta-analysis and epidemiological research. A central focus of the module is behaviour change with respect to physical activity. The mental health benefits of activity with respect to selected mental illnesses are also evaluated and practical physical activity interventions examined.

The module Advanced Research Methods and Data Analysis (30 credits) develops and enhances research methods, statistical and qualitative analysis skills. Key analytical techniques will be addressed via data sets in sport and exercise psychology.

The module Group Dynamics and Leadership in Sport and Exercise (15 credits) covers the application of social psychological theory to sport and exercise settings, with a focus on audience effects, groups, and leadership, and on how these processes may impact on the performance of athletes, coaches, trainers and managers. Adopting a social psychology framework the module will examine contemporary approaches related to the impact of audiences, group dynamics and cohesion in the performance domain.

In the first part of The Practice of Sport and Exercise Psychology (30 credits) a range of psychological techniques available to practitioners are outlined (e.g., self-talk, imagery). Students will be required to consider what psychological techniques are most appropriate and how they should best be applied to a range of scenarios (e.g., enhancing confidence in a novice exerciser, helping an elite athlete cope with a career ending injury). In the second part of the module the skills required to practice effectively (e.g., counselling skills, communication skills and reflective practice) are considered along with issues surrounding the delivery of psychological interventions to different groups (e.g., disabled athletes) are considered.

The Skilled Performance Under Pressure (30 credits) module uses psychophysiological interpretations of how athletes interact with motivated performance situations to explain skilled performance under pressure. First, the module will explore historical and contemporary approaches to understanding skilled performance. Second, recent approaches to understanding skilled performance under pressure will be explored. Finally, investigation will take place of the psychophysiological markers of the human reaction to stress in the context of their relationships to skilled performance under pressure by examining the use cardiovascular reactivity as an indicator of adaptive and maladaptive responses to stress.

The final module is the Masters Research Project Dissertation (60 credits). This module involves the planning and execution of an empirical research project. Typically, students are encourage to write their thesis in a journal style and where appropriate submit for publication. A formal presentation and oral examination of the research is a key feature of the module.

Facilities

As a Staffordshire University online student you may wish to use our extensive set of facilities based on the Leek Road campus of the University. Our laboratory facilities can support you if you wish to undertake some lab-based research as part of your Maters Research Project module.

Professional body accreditation

Accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS). Graduates from the programme are deemed to have met stage 1 of the requirements for Chartered Membership of the Society (CPsychol) and full membership of the Division of Sport and Exercise Psychology

Modules

This map is an indicative list of compulsory modules for 2019/2020. The range of modules available, and the content of any individual module are subject to change in future years, and according to the mode of study, entry date, award type. In the event of any 2019-2020 compulsory modules changing, we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.

Year 1 compulsory modules
Physical Activity and Mental Health
Advanced Research Methods and Data Analysis
Group Dynamics and Leadership in Sport and Exercise
The Practice of Sport and Exercise Psychology
Masters Research project/Dissertation
Skilled Performance Under Pressure

Entry requirements

To get onto the course, you’ll need an undergraduate Honours degree (grade 2:2 or higher) in a Psychology or Sport and Exercise related discipline, from a UK university or international equivalent. We will consider applications from those without an undergraduate Honours degree in Psychology or Sport and Exercise in exceptional circumstances. Please contact us to discuss your eligibility for the course if you are unsure.

The Course is Accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS). On completion of the MSc course, you can pursue Stage 2 with the BPS to acquire Chartered Status (CPyshcol.) if you have Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBC). If you do not have GBC, you will need to obtain it prior to moving onto stage 2.

Please find further information about GBC here: https://careers.bps.org.uk/area/newcareer/am-i-eligible-graduate-basis-chartered-membership-gbc

You must be able to demonstrate a good standard of English. We require a minimum score of IELTS 6.0 (with a minimum of 5.5 in all bands) or an equivalent qualification.

To get onto the course, you’ll need an undergraduate Honours degree (grade 2:2 or higher) in a Psychology or Sport and Exercise related discipline, from a UK university or international equivalent. We will consider applications from those without an undergraduate Honours degree in Psychology or Sport and Exercise in exceptional circumstances. Please contact us to discuss your eligibility for the course if you are unsure.

The Course is Accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS). On completion of the MSc course, you can pursue Stage 2 with the BPS to acquire Chartered Status (CPyshcol.) if you have Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBC). If you do not have GBC, you will need to obtain it prior to moving onto stage 2.

Please find further information about GBC here: https://careers.bps.org.uk/area/newcareer/am-i-eligible-graduate-basis-chartered-membership-gbc

You must be able to demonstrate a good standard of English. We require a minimum score of IELTS 6.0 (with a minimum of 5.5 in all bands) or an equivalent qualification.

Facilities

Careers

The course provides a grounding if you’re seeking to develop a career as a sport and exercise psychologist. It provides the required postgraduate qualification if you’re seeking to engage in the accreditation process with the British Association of Sport & Exercise Sciences (BASES) in support of a career in sport and exercise science.

Together with a Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBC), on completion of the course you can seek Chartership with the British Psychology Society (BPS). To practice as a sport and exercise psychologist, practitioners must be Registered with the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC). Becoming a Chartered sport and exercise psychologist with the BPS is the typical route to HCPC Registration.

As with many postgraduate taught qualifications, students use the qualification to enhance an already existing career as part of CPD activity. So, lecturers in colleges of further and higher education/ teachers in the primary and secondary sectors can use the qualification for career progression. Graduates also seek out roles in sports clubs and organisations or as private consultants.

In addition, graduates use the qualification to go on to further study by commencing a PhD, having been able to obtain a Masters, without the need to disrupt busy working lives.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching

As a distance learning student you will be an active learner interacting with content, your fellow students and your module tutors

Our teaching is supported through our Virtual Learning Environment called Blackboard. This means you can access a range of materials to support your studies wherever you are, on desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.  This includes discussion forums where you can debate subjects with your tutors and fellow students. It also includes webinars, video lectures and podcasts.

As a distance learning student you will be an active learner interacting with content, your fellow students and your module tutors

Our teaching is supported through our Virtual Learning Environment called Blackboard. This means you can access a range of materials to support your studies wherever you are, on desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.  This includes discussion forums where you can debate subjects with your tutors and fellow students. It also includes webinars, video lectures and podcasts.

Assessment

This course is assessed 100% via coursework that is submitted, graded and returned to you electronically.

You’ll experience a wide variety of assessment formats including project briefs, negotiated assignments, self-initiated proposals and reports tailored in the form appropriate to professional outcomes required for each module.

For each assessment undertaken, you receive a set of guidelines and a set of specific grading criteria outlining the standards expected.

Summative assessment is provided in the form of a grade percentage, and annotated assignment and accompany summary feedback sheets.

This course is assessed 100% via coursework that is submitted, graded and returned to you electronically.

You’ll experience a wide variety of assessment formats including project briefs, negotiated assignments, self-initiated proposals and reports tailored in the form appropriate to professional outcomes required for each module.

For each assessment undertaken, you receive a set of guidelines and a set of specific grading criteria outlining the standards expected.

Summative assessment is provided in the form of a grade percentage, and annotated assignment and accompany summary feedback sheets.

Learning support

You’re supported throughout the course by specialist tutors within the modules you study.  In addition, you’re carefully introduced to the online learning process and have access to a subject specialist librarian and course administrator. Also, you are allocated a personal tutor during your time with us. We have a well-developed personal tutorial system and staff are only a phone call, e-mail or Skype chat away.

As an online student of the University you have access to all our facilities, including our laboratories and online resources and software to support your Masters Research Project:

Additional support

If you have additional needs like dyslexia or a sensory impairment, then our AccessAbility Services are here to help make sure nothing stands in your way.

Feedback

We know that it’s important for you to be able to gauge your progress. So, your tutor will give you feedback on assessments you do.

We give you feedback on formal assessments within 20 working days, but the format will vary for each module.

We know that it’s important for you to be able to gauge your progress. So, your tutor will give you feedback on assessments you do.

We give you feedback on formal assessments within 20 working days, but the format will vary for each module.

For the course starting on 2 September 2019 the tuition fees are:

Study option
Full time
UK / EU / Channel Islands
£7,620 per course
International (Non-EU)
£7,620 per course

For the course starting on 2 September 2019 the tuition fees are:

Study option
Part time
UK / EU / Channel Islands
£3,803. per year of study
International (Non-EU)
£3,803. per year of study

If you would like to know more about the fees listed and what this means to you then please get in touch with our Enquiries Team.

Alumni discount

If you have previously completed an undergraduate degree with us, you may be entitled to a discount off your course fee for any subsequent postgraduate taught course. For further information please contact Graduate Relations.

Our students

about
Kelly Jones
Athlete Support Office – Southampton Solent University. Graduate, MSc Sport and Exercise Psychology

The staff I have worked with at Staffs have been fantastic. Despite being remote, their communication has been brilliant and they are always understanding to the unique stresses of distance learning – they are always on the end of the phone or email which has always been reassuring.

The contact days have been great to meet the staff and expand our knowledge/ share best practise but also to meet your peers – over the last two years I’ve made lifelong friendships which I didn’t think I would do on a distance learning course. 

about
Pete Jackson
Strategy Director (Marketing) and Sport Psychology Consultant. Graduate, MSc Sport and Exercise Psychology

I would highly recommend the course. As someone who graduated initially in 2006, re-entering higher education was quite daunting, but the intensity of the course was managed very well. The variety of content was also very impressive (podcasts were particularly useful on the commute to work!) as was the support from all the tutors, who are hugely passionate. 

This course is not just stuck in the world of theory. Throughout the two years we were tasked with presenting, debating, and even applying our skills to a real world athlete. All in all it was a fantastic course and an experience I will always look back on with fondness and pride.

about
Joe Dixon
Lead Sport Psychologist - Stoke City Football Club. Graduate, MSc Sport and Exercise Psychology

My time on the MSc Sport and Exercise Psychology at Staffordshire University was extremely rewarding in terms of the skills I developed, the quality of the teaching, and the overall level of enjoyment I experienced. The distance learning aspect of the course was unique and challenged me to take ownership of my work whilst having fantastic interactive online resources available to communicate and share ideas with fellow students and tutors.

Support and guidance was always available from the tutors, responding promptly to any queries and offering great insights from their various experiences of working in sport. I have since been able to apply many of the learnings from this qualification in a full-time applied role in the sport industry.

about
Roy White
Consultant at Impact International. Graduate, MSc Sport and Exercise Psychology

The content was stimulating and delivered in a way that made it accessible. I was also surprised at how much was transferable to my current job, which was a great bonus. I particularly enjoyed the set up of the course that facilitated the opportunity to interact and share with the other students. 

I would highly recommend the course for anyone looking for a stimulating and challenging course on Sports Psychology with a great team of tutors who will give you great support.

about
Saqib Deen
Sport Psychologist – Malaysian Institute of Sport. Graduate, MSc Sport and Exercise Psychology

I was able to work full-time and still complete the MSc given the easy and flexible learning format, interactive online systems (including video lectures and voice notes). The course has a strong focus on the art and nuances of conducting applied work, and quality content for topics such as mental health and skill acquisition provide a great insight too.

My tutors set the target for my research to be published early on, and with their guidance and support the thesis was published and set the foundation for the current PhD I am completing with Staffordshire University currently.

about
Dr Tim Rogers
Consultant Sport Psychiatrist - Cognacity Wellbeing. Graduate, MSc Sport and Exercise Psychology

As a full-time consultant psychiatrist working in sport, I simply could not have accessed this CPD without the flexibility and uniqueness of the online learning provided. In some respects, I was taken aback by how easy it was to access everything from libraries and lectures to tutorials and presentations.

I learnt whenever I wanted, from the comfort of my own home or office. I found the department to be a cohesive bunch of really friendly tutors with a diverse range of research interests that added a lot to what I took away.

about
Andrew Wilkinson
PhD student. Graduate, MSc Sport and Exercise Psychology

The last two years spent completing the MSc in Sport and Exercise Psychology have been an incredible experience. The content in each module, such as leadership in sport, performance under pressure, and the practice of sport and exercise psychology, is delivered by lecturers rich in applied experience and declarative knowledge. The MSc programme is challenging but provides all the resources necessary for you to thrive and achieve your best. 

Apply

Stoke-on-Trent campus
MSc
Full-time, distance learning
02 September 2019

Rules and regulations

If you are offered a place at Staffordshire University, your offer will be subject to our rules, regulations and enrolment conditions, which may vary from time to time.

Students of Staffordshire University enter into a contract with us and are bound by these rules and regulations, which are subject to change. For more information, please see: University Policies and Regulations.

21/11/2018 12:11:54 / Sport and Exercise Psychology / Full-time, distance learning / 11.0 / 18.0 / SSTK-01762

21/11/2018 12:11:54 / Sport and Exercise Psychology / Part-time, distance learning / 14.0 / 18.0 / SSTK-06457