18 January 2017
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Sports psychology degree

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As interest in sport and exercise psychology continues to grow, this course is an ideal way for students to explore the cutting edge of psychological theory and research surrounding sport performance, exercise participation and adherence. The programme explains the practices and techniques used by sport psychologists to help athletes develop their mental skills and ultimately improve their performance. Students will learn how psychological factors can affect an individual’s performance, and how in return sport and exercise can affect a person’s psychological makeup.

The degree course will teach you how to help athletes prepare psychologically for training and competitions. It does not only focus on individuals, but also on teams and organisations from amateur to elite levels of competition. You will not only learn how to use psychological techniques and principles to improve motivation levels in sports people, but will also to critically consider the latest theoretical and practical issues in sport psychology.

It offers an exciting opportunity to begin your career in this fast developing field, with courses designed so that you are equipped with a range of knowledge and expertise that will set you apart from other graduates and make you attractive to potential employers. The work of a sports psychologist is centred on people and usually based in settings such as competition venues, team premises, clinical rehabilitation establishments and recreational exercise facilities.
Sports psychology is concerned with both sports and exercise, with a particular focus on performance, motivation, and the psychological benefits of sports and athletics.

This degree course is suitable for anyone who has a strong interest in sport, exercise and physical activity and who would like to advance their understanding of behaviours in these settings. Apart from newcomers to the industry it is also beneficial for experienced professionals such coaches who want to broaden their existing knowledge base and add a unique dimension to their coaching skills.

Sports psychology degree course overview

The course focuses on the application of psychology in sport and exercise settings by promoting the knowledge and skills required for research and consultancy practice. It is a practical hand’s on programme where student will work directly with athletes on a range of psychological tests to measure things such as intelligence and aspects of personality such as extraversion, neuroticism and psychoticisism.

Teaching methods will include traditional lectures to tutorials, seminars, reports, essays, workshops, presentations and a final year dissertation. Project work allows for the development of ideas and skills in investigating psychological issues while laboratory classes will enable practical activities and student research projects.

Assessments may include: essays, case studies, reflective practice reports, practical observations and oral presentations. Work will be assessed through a variety of approaches including examinations, and coursework. In addition to this many university sports departments provide personal tutors who will be there to review and discuss your progress with you and will be available for advice. These tutors will also give you practical advice on how to enhance your future employment prospects and apply for work experience.

Typical course modules and areas of study on a Sports Psychology Degree 

  • Psychology
  • Motivation
  • Concentration and Attention
  • Self-Confidence
  • Anxiety and Emotional Control
  • Professional Practice
  • Sports Science
  • Psychological Assessment
  • Approaches to Psychological Support
  • Practical Interventions in Sport Psychology
  • Psychological Skills
  • Physiological Assessment
  • Biomechanical Assessment
  • Nutritional Aspects of Sport & Exercise Performance
  • Muscular-Skeletal Sport Injuries
  • Introducing Sport and Exercise Psychology
  • Essential Skills in Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Biological Psychology
  • Exercise Science
  • Psychological Research Methods
  • Data Analysis
  • Coaching
  • Psychology of Sport and Exercise

Students will learn about

  • Rehabilitation
  • Assisting referees.
  • Statistics
  • The theory based interventions that help to develop mental skills.
  • The scientific study of mind and behaviour.
  • The influence of exercise on psychological wellbeing.

Students will learn how to

  • Set up exercise programmes.
  • Consistently maximise the optimal performance of athletes.
  • Intervene at the right stages of training to increase performance.
  • How to work on research projects.
  • Work independently and in groups.


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