Sport and Exercise Psychology

Study options

Award

MSc

Key facts

Location:
Stoke-on-Trent campus
Location:
Stoke-on-Trent campus
Study option:
Full-time, distance learning
Study option:
Part-time, distance learning
Duration:
13 Months
Duration:
2 Years
Start date:
23 September 2024

Industry accredited

The course received four commendations from the British Psychological Society, including for providing an outstanding student experience

Internationally recognised research

Our staff are all research-active and this informs their teaching

Distance learning

Taught entirely online to allow for flexible study alongside your other commitments

Explore how psychology affects human performance, health and wellbeing and learn from experts who are internationally renowned for their research and applied practice in sport and exercise psychology on our online Sport and Exercise Psychology MSc.

Take our MSc in Sport and Exercise Psychology and you’ll be part of a diverse and supportive community of students. They include athletes, coaches and those with other professional skills who want to carve out new careers or improve their current practice.

The MSc looks at the links between physical activity and mental health, how athletes perform under pressure and wider strategies for handling stress. You’ll also cover group dynamics and leadership - giving you the skills to help others - as well as data analysis and the fundamentals of sport psychology professional practice.

If your goal is to become a sport and exercise psychologist, the course also counts as the first stage of your training as it’s accredited by the British Psychological Society (depending on your undergraduate degree programme). During our accreditation, the BPS awarded us four commendations for our outstanding work in student support, delivering a high quality student experience, excellent assessment feedback, and research collaborations between staff and students.

We place a key focus on combining theory and practice, so you’ll get to put what you’ve learnt into action through various interactive tasks such as role plays and group debates.

As the course is taught entirely online, you can fit your studies around other commitments and from anywhere in the world. Alongside video lectures, weekly tasks and discussions with other students, there will be regular drop-ins and networking opportunities.

We also have links with professional sports teams and a range of sport and business organisations that allow us to welcome exciting guest lecturers as well as potential for research collaborations.

Our staff bring a wealth of research expertise too, ensuring teaching is informed by the latest knowledge and research is at the heart of what you learn. They have presented at worldwide conferences and built international reputations. Their specialist areas range from social identity and leadership, applied practice, career transitions in sport, psychophysiological responses of human performance, action observation and motor imagery amongst others.

The innovative assessment process will involve recording and uploading presentations, producing reports and responding to case studies.

Although the MSc is completed through distance learning, you can also visit us on campus and use our specialist labs and other facilities. There is plenty of flexibility as well, with options to study full-time over one year or part-time over two years.

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 in the area of sport and exercise psychology 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, 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, the military, 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 consistently achieves 90%+ Student Course Satisfaction in the annual Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES) Results.

This MSc involves seven compulsory modules and can be studied full-time over 1 year, or part-time over 2 years.

On successful completion of study, we will issue the following award: MSc Sport and Exercise Psychology

On successful completion of study, we will issue 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.

Part-time study

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

Course content

The material covered provides students with a critical understanding of current issues relating to the theory and practice of both sport and exercise psychology. Some of the topics relate predominantly to exercise settings (e.g., physical activity and mental health), while other relate predominantly to sport settings (e.g., skilled performance under pressure) however most of the topics covered relate equally to both sport and exercise settings and include an exploration of the role of social processes in sport and exercise settings, the practice of sport and exercise psychology, and research methods and data analysis. Throughout the award a conscious decision has been made to have a strong link between theory and practice with many assignments requiring students to apply current theoretical and research knowledge to hypothetical ‘real life’ scenarios. Throughout the course every effort has also been made to draw upon the wealth of research and applied experience which the staff team have.

Staff on the award are excited by this approach to learning and teaching and will support you in delivering a learning experience that will allow you to develop personally, professionally and academically.

The material covered provides students with a critical understanding of current issues relating to the theory and practice of both sport and exercise psychology. Some of the topics relate predominantly to exercise settings (e.g., physical activity and mental health), while other relate predominantly to sport settings (e.g., skilled performance under pressure) however most of the topics covered relate equally to both sport and exercise settings and include an exploration of the role of social processes in sport and exercise settings, the practice of sport and exercise psychology, and research methods and data analysis. Throughout the award a conscious decision has been made to have a strong link between theory and practice with many assignments requiring students to apply current theoretical and research knowledge to hypothetical ‘real life’ scenarios. Throughout the course every effort has also been made to draw upon the wealth of research and applied experience which the staff team have.

The MSc in Sport and Exercise Psychology is accredited by the BPS. If you already have GBC, or plan to undertake a GBC (conversion) course during or after the MSc course, then the MSc in Sport and Exercise Psychology provides the first stage (Stage 1) in a training process towards becoming a Chartered Psychologist and registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as a Practitioner Sport and Exercise Psychologist. The second stage (Stage 2) is a supervised practice element of two years duration. Thus, successful completion of the MSc provides the academic knowledge required to begin a training process to become a Chartered (and therefore practicing) Psychologist in sport and exercise psychology, together with GBC. The award can also provide the required post-graduate qualification for an individual seeking to engage in the accreditation process with the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) that can also support a career in sport and exercise psychology.

The course is underpinned by excellent research. Staff delivering on the course are actively engaged in research within their fields of specialism and work hard at ensuring that research engaged teaching lies at the heart of module delivery. In the 2014 Research Excellent Framework (REF) the research in Sport & Exercise was rated as being of international quality overall with 64% of the research considered as either world leading or internationally excellent.

The course offers a significant challenge and opportunity for you. Staff on the award are excited by this approach to learning and teaching and will support you in delivering a learning experience that will allow you to develop both personally, professionally and academically.

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

British Psychological Society logo: 'promoting excellence in psychology'

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

British Psychological Society logo: 'promoting excellence in psychology'

Embracing stress helps young athletes develop a winning mindset

News

Sports psychology academics from Staffordshire University are helping young athletes learn how to perform under pressure

Modules

The tables provide an indicative list of the modules that make up the course for the current academic year. Each module is worth a specified number of credits. Our teaching is informed by research, and modules change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline. We aim to ensure that all modules run as scheduled. If for any reason a module cannot be run we will advise you as soon as possible and will provide guidance on selecting an appropriate alternative module.

Modules

The tables provide an indicative list of the modules that make up the course for the current academic year. Each module is worth a specified number of credits. Our teaching is informed by research, and modules change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline. We aim to ensure that all modules run as scheduled. If for any reason a module cannot be run we will advise you as soon as possible and will provide guidance on selecting an appropriate alternative module.

Entry requirements

  • A First or 2:1 (Hons) degree in Sport and Exercise Psychology or Psychology as recognised by the British Psychological Society (BPS), providing Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBC). Or a First or 2:1 (Hons) degree in Sport and Exercise Sciences as endorsed by the British Association for Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES).
  • An academic reference.
  • A personal statement outlining their interest in Sport and Exercise Psychology.

Please note: Completion of the course does not give BPS accreditation to students from a sport and exercise science background. However, a BPS accredited MSc like ours is recognised by the British Association for Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) meaning that students with a BASES accredited Sport and Exercise Sciences undergraduate degree are able to go on to Supervised Experience with BASES (SEPAR) upon successful completion of the MSc to become a HCPC registered sport and exercise psychologist.

If applicants do not meet our entry criteria:

  • If they have a BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Psychology, Psychology, or Sport and Exercise Sciences at a 2:2 level and recent relevant experience or other relevant qualifications, they may be eligible to apply for the course. In such cases, admission normally follows interview/preliminary task with the Course Leader and is at the discretion of the Course Leader.

  • If they have a BSc in a sport/exercise- or psychology-related discipline (e.g., Sports Coaching/Physical Education) at a First or 2:1 level and recent relevant experience or other relevant qualifications, they may be eligible to apply for the course. In such cases, admission normally follows interview/ preliminary task with the Course Leader and is at the discretion of the Course Leader.

  • This is not a conversion course and students within this category would be required to undertake a conversion course after graduating should they wish to become a member of BPS and/or pursue further studies to become a sport and exercise psychologist.

  • For students whose first language is not English, they must have achieved Level 6.5 overall and no lower than 6.0 in all components of IELTS (or equivalent).
  • A First or 2:1 (Hons) degree in Sport and Exercise Psychology or Psychology as recognised by the British Psychological Society (BPS), providing Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBC). Or a First or 2:1 (Hons) degree in Sport and Exercise Sciences as endorsed by the British Association for Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES).
  • An academic reference.
  • A personal statement outlining their interest in Sport and Exercise Psychology.

Please note: Completion of the course does not give BPS accreditation to students from a sport and exercise science background. However, a BPS accredited MSc like ours is recognised by the British Association for Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) meaning that students with a BASES accredited Sport and Exercise Sciences undergraduate degree are able to go on to Supervised Experience with BASES (SEPAR) upon successful completion of the MSc to become a HCPC registered sport and exercise psychologist.

More information is available on how to become a sport and exercise psychologist here.

If applicants do not meet our entry criteria:

  • If they have a BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Psychology, Psychology, or Sport and Exercise Sciences at a 2:2 level and recent relevant experience or other relevant qualifications, they may be eligible to apply for the course. In such cases, admission normally follows interview/preliminary task with the Course Leader and is at the discretion of the Course Leader.

  • If they have a BSc in a sport/exercise- or psychology-related discipline (e.g., Sports Coaching/Physical Education) at a First or 2:1 level and recent relevant experience or other relevant qualifications, they may be eligible to apply for the course. In such cases, admission normally follows interview/ preliminary task with the Course Leader and is at the discretion of the Course Leader.

  • To be clear, this is not a conversion course and students within this category would be required to undertake a conversion course after graduating should they wish to become a member of BPS and or pursue further studies to become a sport and exercise psychologist.

  • For students whose first language is not English, they must have achieved Level 6.5 overall and no lower than 6.0 in all components of IELTS (or equivalent).

MSc Sport and Exercise Psychology Online Information Session - 29th May

Event

Join us online to find out more about our Sport and Exercise Psychology MSc.

For equivalent entry requirements in your home country, please see the information on our country pages.

Choose your country

Check our entry and English language requirements for your country.

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Facilities

Blackboard (VLE)

Blackboard is a virtual learning environment which houses your learning content.  It enables online teaching/learning, provides spaces to build online communities and knowledge sharing.

Sports Equipment

Our facilities include a vast array of industry standard equipment, from our cryotherapy and electrotherapy machines to our eye tracker software.

Careers

The MSc in Sport and Exercise Psychology is accredited by the BPS. Alongside GBC (graduate basis for chartered membership, acquired through a BPS recognised undergraduate degree or GBC conversion course during/after the MSc), it counts as stage 1 of the training to become a chartered psychologist and registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as a practitioner sport and exercise psychologist. Stage 2 involves a minimum of two years of supervised practice.

Successful completion of the MSc provides the academic knowledge required to begin a training process to become a Chartered (and therefore practicing) Psychologist in sport and exercise psychology, together with GBC. The award can also provide the required postgraduate qualification for an individual seeking to engage in the accreditation process with the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) that can also support a career in sport and exercise psychology.

The award can lead to a range of other career options as well. These can include roles within sports clubs and other organisations or as private consultants.

Many students use the MSc to enhance their existing careers in areas such as sport coaching or teaching in schools and colleges.

Graduates can also go on to undertake PhDs.

All students have access to Career Connect, our dedicated careers team.

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, and supported by Microsoft Teams. 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, and supported by Microsoft Teams. 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 critical essays, online presentations, data analysis reports, research projects, and a viva voce 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 critical essays, online presentations, data analysis reports, research projects, and a viva voce 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 Teams 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 Student Inclusion 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 a given module you will typically need to devote 10-15 hours engaging with the weekly tasks set up and with assignment related activity, though of course actual study time will vary from student to student.

The focus of this course is supported, active learning combining individual study with peer to peer interaction to facilitate a learning community approach to your study.

Your study time will consist of a mix of tasks; watching video-based presentations, reading and discussing set material from a core text, commenting on and critiquing e-journal research with your fellow students, searching for additional resources to support assignment preparation.

For a given module you will typically need to devote 10-15 hours engaging with the weekly tasks set up and with assignment related activity, though of course actual study time will vary from student to student.

The focus of this course is supported, active learning combining individual study with peer to peer interaction to facilitate a learning community approach to your study.

Your study time will consist of a mix of tasks; watching video-based presentations, reading and discussing set material from a core text, commenting on and critiquing e-journal research with your fellow students, searching for additional resources to support assignment preparation.

Independent learning

The focus of this course is independent learning and individual study time. This could involve:

  • Set reading material or e-text books
  • Researching e-journals and e-books from the library or library books which can be posted to you (UK based students only)
  • Preparing for your MSc Research Project

The focus of this course is independent learning and individual study time. This could involve:

  • Set reading material or e-text books
  • Researching e-journals and e-books from the library or library books which can be posted to you (UK based students only)
  • Preparing for your MSc Research Project

Staff

You'll be taught by staff who have a range of academic and industry experience. 

Karla Drew

Lecturer

I am a Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Psychology, and Course leader for the MSc Sport and Exercise Psychology programme. I am also a BPS Chartered, and HCPC Registered Sport and Exercise Psychologist and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Karla's profile

Matthew Slater

Professor Of Sport & Exercise Psychology

Matt is a Professor of Sport and Exercise Psychology and recognised as an internationally leading scholar on the psychology of leadership and group dynamics.

Matthew's profile

Fees

For the course starting on 23 September 2024 the tuition fees are:

Tuition fees for MSc-Full-time, distance learning
Study option UK / Channel Islands International
Full-time £8,900 per course £8,900 per course

For the course starting on 23 September 2024 the tuition fees are:

Tuition fees for MSc-Full-time, distance learning
Study option UK / Channel Islands
Part-time £8,865 per course

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've previously completed a Staffordshire University undergraduate degree (excluding HND and foundation degrees) you may be entitled to a discount of up to 25% off your course fees for any subsequent postgraduate taught course (terms apply, see the alumni discount page for details). If you have any questions about how this relates to you, please contact feesandbursaries@staffs.ac.uk.

Included in tuition fees
Included in the fees:

As a Staffordshire University student, you’ll be entitled to a range of free software programs.

As a Staffordshire University student, you’ll be entitled to a range of free software programs.

Not included in tuition fees
Not included in the fees:

Core text books are not included in your fee. There are one or two core books for each module.

Core text books are not included in your fee. There are one or two core books for each module.

Accommodation and living costs
Accommodation and living costs

Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees. 

For more information on accommodation and living costs, please see: Accommodation

Sources of financial support

Providing you are studying towards a full Masters qualification you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan of up to £11,570 to help with tuition fees, maintenance and other associated costs. Student loans are available for many of our postgraduate degrees and are provided by the Student Loans Company (SLC). The loan can cover a wide range of postgraduate study options; part-time, full-time and distance learning. 

For more information and how to apply visit masters loan.

Our students

The staff I have worked with at Staffs have been fantastic.

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. 

Kelly Jones

Athlete Support Office – Southampton Solent University. 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.

Pete Jackson

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

I have since been able to apply many of the learnings from this qualification in a full-time applied role in the sport industry.

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.

Joe Dixon

Lead Sport Psychologist - Stoke City Football Club. 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.

Roy White

Consultant at Impact International. 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.

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.

Saqib Deen

Sport Psychologist – Malaysian Institute of Sport. 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.

Dr Tim Rogers

Consultant Sport Psychiatrist - Cognacity Wellbeing. Graduate, MSc Sport and Exercise Psychology

The MSc programme is challenging but provides all the resources necessary for you to thrive and achieve your best. 

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. 

Andrew Wilkinson

PhD student. Graduate, MSc Sport and Exercise Psychology

I’d already been a Staffs undergraduate and knowing the lecturers and them knowing me really helped my decision to move back home and do the Masters.

I was able to contact my supervisors when I needed them and speak to them on Skype as well as email and text to check I was on the right track and that really reassured me.

Harry Miller

Graduate, MSc Sport and Exercise Psychology

Apply

Location Award Study option Start date Apply Link
Stoke-on-Trent campus MSc Full-time, distance learning 23 September 2024 Apply now

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

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