Sport Psychology uses the rigour of science to investigate how people perceive the world, structure their thinking, solve problems and interact with others, set against the context of sport and exercise. Our Sport Psychology degree is firmly embedded in both the disciplines of Psychology and Sport & Exercise Science. This approach allows you to study important psychological theory and apply this to a variety of sport and exercise settings.
You will take an interdisciplinary approach to the study of Sport Psychology, preparing for work as a practitioner in elite sport, exercise, and broader community health settings. The curriculum contains high level, research informed teaching delivered by skilled lecturers, drawing on their own research and expertise. The degree is designed to deliver a tailored skills-based experience which is underpinned by a foundation in subject knowledge and research skills and experience. You will also learn key transferable skills, enabling you to apply knowledge and undertake your own research, exploring the impact of Sport Psychology across specialist populations and in different contexts.
You will be taught in our excellent research facilities, including labs for experiments in cognition and perception, an Eye tracker lab, an EEG lab, an fNIRS lab, observational and transcription labs. You are supported by your lecturers to become an independent learner capable of questioning the world around you, with an emphasis on ethical issues relating to wellbeing, competition and research.
Teaching on this degree is structured into lectures, where all students are taught together, seminars of smaller groups of around 15-20 students, and tutorials which typically have no more than 10 students. You also have the opportunity to have a one-to-one meeting with your tutor each week.
During your first year of study, there are approximately 12 teaching hours each week, which reduces to approximately 10 teaching hours in your second and third years. On top of teaching hours, you are also expected to spend a number of hours studying independently each week, as well as studying in groups to prepare for any group assessments that you may have.
Throughout your three years of study you will have a number of assessments, including written exams and essays. Reports, individual presentations and portfolios are also extensively used, together with assessments geared to laboratory work. In the final year, you complete a dissertation, carefully prepared for in the previous years.
You will be given written feedback on your assessments, and you will have the opportunity to discuss this with your tutor in more detail.
The Foundation Year is a great opportunity if you have the ability and enthusiasm to study for a degree, but do not yet have the qualifications required to enter directly onto our degree programmes. A significant part of the Foundation Year focuses upon core skills such as academic writing at HE level, becoming an independent learner, structuring academic work, critical thinking, time management and note taking.
Successful completion of the Foundation Year will enable you to progress into the first year (Level C) of your chosen honours degree. Further details can be found here.
In your first year, you will gain a broad knowledge of the key themes that underpin sport psychology. You will study the psychology of sport, sport sociology, coaching and teaching, motor behaviour and sport management.
Within coaching and teaching, you will explore the four main principles of coaching: talent ID, development, children and young people, and community. This will be approached from both a coaching and teaching perspective and differing approaches to learning, such as Teaching Games for Understanding will be examined.
The sport sociology and history element will focus on the codification and history of sport, and the development of sport in the community. This will include work on differing ideologies of sport, as well as the impact of sport on local and national identity.
Within sport psychology, key theories such as motivation, confidence and personality will be assessed in relation to their impact on participation and performance. You will also explore motor control and explore how skilled movement is produced, learned and developed.
Finally, you will gain an understanding on the brain and the central nervous system through cognitive and biological psychology, and you will learn key research methods and analysis that will be useful in your following years of study.
In your second year, you will broaden your knowledge of sport psychology by covering themes centred on health and wellbeing and their impact on sport performance, participation and well being. These include theories of exercise behavior, body image and motivation/barriers to exercise. The motor control unit centres on attention and its effect on both performance and learning.
The sport sociology element examines the key contemporary issues of globalisation and commercialisation of sport. Additionally, there is a focus on the role of outside agencies, such as the media, and the management and governance of sport.
In coaching and teaching, guidelines and strategies for physical activity are investigated, with specific focus on the National Curriculum and school sport. The coaching element supplements this and begins to look at approaches to training for specific sports.
Sport Psychology covers themes centred on health and wellbeing and their impact on sport performance, participation and well being. These include theories of exercise behavior, body image and motivation/barriers to exercise. The motor control unit centres on attention and its effect on both performance and learning.
The seminar activities will be largely focused on developing research skills. Furthermore, the practical activities from Year 1 will be enhanced to cover further sporting activities, such as athletics and health and fitness training.
Other topics studied include learning and memory, brain-mind interactions, and language and communication. Finally, you will discuss social cognition and learn about group processes and dynamics.
In your final year, you hone your subject-specific research interests by completing a dissertation in sport psychology. This is closely supervised by an expert and research active member of the team.
In the taught component of the course, there is an increased focus on critical analysis. The first unit will focus on psychophysiology and examine how areas of motor control can be measured using state of the art equipment. You will learn about psychological skills training, and how this can enhance preparation and sport performance. This will be supplemented later in the year with a block of sport psychology focused on mental health and well being, including social support, effective career transitions and perfectionism.
Other topics studied include moral development, intelligence, decision making and deductive reasoning, and problem solving.
The Sport Psychology degree programme represents the first step towards a professional career in Sport Psychology. As the course is accredited by the British Psychological Society, it allows students to apply for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC). Graduates of Sport Psychology go on to work as Sport Psychologists in professional sports, work on health-based exercise intervention programmes and wider community-based projects. Other career routes of past graduates have included performance enhancement specialists and lifestyle consultants.
Additionally, the degree provides an excellent foundation for postgraduate study, especially for those who are interested in careers in teaching, research and academia. With their interest in working with people and their good research, problem-solving and communication skills, graduates of Sport Psychology are also well placed in many other areas such as health and social care, business, management and marketing.
The Service and Leadership Award (SALA) is offered as an extra-curricular programme involving service-based experiences, development of leadership potential and equipping you for a career in a rapidly changing world. It enhances your degree, it is something which is complimentary but different and which has a distinct ‘value-added’ component. Find out more on our Service and Leadership Award page.
As part of your degree, you can choose to spend either a semester or a full year of study at one of our partner universities as part of our Study Abroad programme. Find out more on our Study Abroad page.
The tuition fees for the 2020/21 academic year are £9,250 for full-time undergraduate courses.
If you are a student from the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands, your tuition fees will also be £9,250.
The University reserves the right to increase Home and EU Undergraduate and PGCE tuition fees in line with any inflationary or other increase authorised by the Secretary of State for future years of study.
On top of your tuition fees, you need approximately £200 to cover the cost of any fieldtrips and to buy key textbooks.
There is a small cost for student BPS membership, and once you graduate, there is a registration fee and annual fee thereafter for Graduate Membership – full details of costs can be found on the BPS website.
You will also need to consider the cost of your accommodation each year whilst you study at university. Visit our accommodation pages for further details about our Halls of Residence.
We have a range of scholarships to help with the cost of your studies. Visit our scholarships page to find out more.
The International tuition fees for the 2020/21 academic year are £11,400 (provisional) per year for full-time undergraduate courses.
Visit our International fees page for more information.
With Foundation year, this degree is only available to study as a Single Honours course.