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Sport and Exercise Psychology

Course overview

(MSc) Master of Science
Sport and Exercise Psychology
University of Essex
University of Essex
Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences (School of)
Colchester Campus
MSC C60512
A 2:2 degree in a relevant Sport and/or Exercise and/or Psychology subject
If English is not your first language, we require IELTS 6.5 overall with a minimum component score of 5.5 If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

Additional Notes

The University uses academic selection criteria to determine an applicant’s ability to successfully complete a course at the University of Essex. Where appropriate, we may ask for specific information relating to previous modules studied or work experience.

External Examiners

Dr Sandy Wolfson
Northumbria University
Principal Lecturer

External Examiners provide an independent overview of our courses, offering their expertise and help towards our continual improvement of course content, teaching, learning, and assessment. External Examiners are normally academics from other higher education institutions, but may be from the industry, business or the profession as appropriate for the course. They comment on how well courses align with national standards, and on how well the teaching, learning and assessment methods allow students to develop and demonstrate the relevant knowledge and skills needed to achieve their awards. External Examiners who are responsible for awards are key members of Boards of Examiners. These boards make decisions about student progression within their course and about whether students can receive their final award.

eNROL, the module enrolment system, is now open until Monday 21 October 2019 8:59AM, for students wishing to make changes to their module options.


Core You must take this module You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options You can choose which module to study
Compulsory You must take this module There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Compulsory with Options You can choose which module to study
Optional You can choose which module to study

Exit awards

A module is given one of the following statuses: 'core' – meaning it must be taken and passed; 'compulsory' – meaning it must be taken; or 'optional' – meaning that students can choose the module from a designated list. The rules of assessment may allow for limited condonement of fails in 'compulsory' or 'optional' modules, but 'core' modules cannot be failed. The status of the module may be different in any exit awards which are available for the course. Exam Boards will consider students' eligibility for an exit award if they fail the main award or do not complete their studies.

Programme aims

The MSc in Sport and Exercise Psychology aims to:

• Provide students with theoretical knowledge and understanding of key topics in sport and exercise psychology.
• Develop analytical and reflective skills that are relevant to a critical understanding of issues in sport and exercise psychology.
• Develop students’ knowledge, understanding and skills relating to the application of psychological principles in sport and exercise.
• Enhance students’ knowledge of research methods and analytical procedures in sport and exercise psychology.
• Enable students to plan and conduct a research programme in sport and exercise psychology.
• Equip students with the knowledge, skills and experience to progress on to further study and/or professional training in sport and exercise psychology.
• Develop a range of transferable skills such as communication, numeracy, IT use, problem solving, working with others, self-evaluation, self-improvement and autonomous learning, in the context of sport and exercise psychology.

Learning outcomes and learning, teaching and assessment methods

On successful completion of the programme a graduate should demonstrate knowledge and skills as follows:

A: Knowledge and understanding

A1 A knowledge of individual difference, social, cognitive and developmental factors in sport and exercise psychology.
A2 A knowledge of psychological factors underpinning physical activity behaviour and well-being.
A3 A knowledge of psychological skills and how they are applied in sport and exercise.
A4 An understanding of issues within professional practice in sport and exercise psychology.
A5 A knowledge of different research methods and analytical procedures.
A6 An understanding of how to conduct empirical research in sport and exercise psychology.
Learning Methods: A range of teaching and learning methods will be employed to enhance students’ knowledge and understanding. Seminars/lectures will be the principal method of delivery of A1-A5 and contribute to the delivery of A6. These sessions will comprise a blend of lecturer-led delivery, student-led presentations, discussions of research articles and case-studies, and role play scenarios. To reflect the applied nature of the discipline, practicals and laboratory sessions will provide students with a knowledge of skills and techniques relevant to research and applied practice. Across all modules, a range of online resources will be provided via the virtual learning environment and students will be supported to undertake relevant reading and associated activities. In class activities and the virtual learning environment will faciltate group discussions and peer learning. The completion of a research project will underpin A6, contribute to A5 and a range of A1-A4 dependent on the project topic.
Assessment Methods: A range of methods will be utilised to assess students’ knowledge and understanding. These include written assessments such as examinations, literature reviews, research proposals and reports, analysis of current psychological practices, intervention proposals, and the research project. These will be completed by oral presentations, practical assessments, and the production of psychological resources such as vodcasts.
Exams: A1, A3, A5
Research proposal: A2, A5, A6
Research report: A1, A5
Analysis of current practice: A1, A4
Intervention proposal: A4
Research project: A1-A6, but especially A5 and A6.
Oral presentations: A1, A2, A5, A6
Literature review: A1, A5
Practical assessments: A1, A3, A5
Vodcasts: A1-A4

B: Intellectual and cognitive skills

B1 Systematically retrieve, select and integrate appropriate information
B2 Synthesise and evaluate evidence, arguments and ideas from both primary and secondary sources in a self-directed manner
B3 Apply theoretical knowledge to real world settings.
B4 Select, apply, and evaluate appropriate research methodologies and analytical procedures.
Learning Methods: Seminars/lectures across all modules will contribute to B1-B3. B4 will primarily be developed in the Research Methods and Research Project modules through the use of seminars, computer laboratories, and tutorial support. Across the programme, taught sessions will be complemented by online resources and through the completion of tasks and assessments to help achieve B1-B4.
Assessment Methods: A range of methods will be utilised to assess students’ intellectual and cognitive skills.

Exams: B1-B4
Research proposal: B1, B4
Research report: B1, B2, B4
Analysis of current practice: B1-B3
Intervention proposal: B1-B3
Research project: B1-B4
Oral presentations: B1, B2, B4
Literature review: B1, B2, B4
Practical assessments: B1-B3
Vodcasts: B1-B2

C: Practical skills

C1 Demonstrate appropriate laboratory and field skills in an accurate and safe manner.
C2 Able to use appropriate software for data collection, presentation, analysis, etc.
C3 Design effective psychological interventions at individual, group, community or population levels in sport and exercise.
C4 Design and appraise monitoring and evaluation tools in sport and exercise.
C5 Critically evaluate ethical issues in research and applied sport and exercise psychology.
C6 Critically reflect upon own professional skills to benefit future learning and practice.
Learning Methods: C1 and C2 will primarily be developed in the Research Methods and Research Project modules, along with Cognitive, Social Differences, and Development modules. C1 will particularly developed in practical and laboratory sessions, which will provide opportunties to learn and develop a range of relevant skills in a supervised and supportiv environment. C2 will be developed in computer laboratories and tutorial support. C3 will primarily be developed in the Applied Techniques module, alongside the Professional Practice and Social/Individual Difference module. Specifically, the use of seminars, discussions of case studies, and role play scenarios will enable students to develop evidence-base interventions and associated resources. C4 will be primarily be developed in the seminars delivered on the Professional Practice, Applied Techniques and Developmental modules. C5 and C6 will primarily be taught in the seminars and associated discussion tasks on the Research Methods and Professional Practice modules. Across the programme, taught sessions (lectures, seminars, practicals and laboratories) will be complemented by online resources and through the completion of tasks and assessments to help achieve C1-C6.
Assessment Methods: A range of methods will be utilised to assess students’ practical and professional skills.

Exams: C2, C3, C5
Research proposal: C2, C4, C5
Research report: C2
Analysis of current practice: C2-C6
Intervention proposal: C2-C3
Research project: C1, C2, C5, C6
Oral presentations: C2, C5, C6
Literature review: C2
Practical assessments: C1-C6
Vodcasts: C2

D: Key skills

D1 Communicate clearly and concisely in written and oral form.
D2 Proficient in various word-processing, spreadsheet, presentation, web browsing and email packages, and able to use appropriate online databases.
D3 Apply appropriate quantitative and qualitative methods to collect and analyse data.
D4 Able to explore, analyse and find effective solutions for problems involving reasonably complex information.
D5 Work effectively as part of a team to collect data and/or to produce reports and presentations.
D6 Study independently, set realistic targets and plan work and time to meet targets within deadlines and evaluate and reflect on own performance.
Learning Methods: Seminars/lectures across all modules will contribute to D1, D2, D4 and D6. D3 will primarily be developed through the use of seminars, computer laboratories, and tutorial support. In SE738 Research Methods, students will learn qualitative and quantitative research designs and analytical techniques, and these will be applied to tackle specific issues in other modules including the Research Project and Social Psychology. D5 will primarily be developed in the group assignments and interactive tasks on Research Methods, Applied Techniques and Social Psychology modules. D6 will primarily be developed in the Research Project module with support from a allocated supervisor, along with ongoing support from a personal tutor across the programme. All taught sessions (lectures, seminars, practicals and laboratories) across the programme will be complemented by online resources and through the completion of tasks and assessments to help achieve D1-D6.
Assessment Methods: A range of methods will be utilised to assess students’ key skills.

Exams: D1-D4, D6
Research proposal: D1-D4, D6
Research report: D1-D3, D6
Analysis of current practice: D1, D2, D4, D6
Intervention proposal: D1, D2, D4, D6
Research project: D1-D6
Oral presentations: D1-D6
Literature review: D1, D2, D4, D6
Practical assessments: D1-D6
Vodcasts: D1, D2, D6


The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

Should you have any questions about programme specifications, please contact Course Records, Quality and Academic Development; email: