Thanks for making Sport and Exercise Psychology so interesting! The staff are all so approachable and open – I’m going to really enjoy studying here!

A current Sport and Exercise Psychology student.

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Your chance to explore the science between sport, exercise and psychology starts here.

This course offers you the chance to study psychology and how it applies to sport and exercise in combination with another subject of your choice.

Guided by a dedicated team of research-active staff, you'll explore a range of themes and relate them to the unique environments of sport and exercise. You'll also be able to explore the application of these themes in real situations, in an attempt to explain, predict and modify human behaviour.

Why study Sport and Exercise Psychology?

Sports psychology plays a key role in enhancing sports performance. It focuses on the mental qualities, such as concentration, confidence, emotional control and commitment, that are essential for successful performance.

On our course, you'll study a wide range of psychological concepts, for example, the intricacies of thoughts and cognitions, and the power of emotion. You'll explore the importance of these concepts in understanding, explaining and, in some circumstances, predicting or modifying human behaviour in a variety of situations, particularly those related to sport, exercise and physical activity.

As you immerse yourself in the course, you'll develop practical, analytical and research skills, so that you can understand how psychology is applied in sport and exercise. For example, you'll study a module about the psychology of sport, exercise and skill acquisition and you'll examine how these factors are applied to real sporting or exercise situations.

Entry requirements

A typical offer would be 88-112 UCAS Tariff points.

More information about entry requirements.

UCAS Points

All about the course

You'll learn about a number of psychological themes and how they relate to the unique environments of sport and exercise. The themes and typical questions you'll explore include:

  • The Psychology of the Individual: Is there a ‘psychological profile’ that predicts athletic success?
  • Social Psychology: How does our social environment influence the way we think, feel and act?
  • Motor Skill Acquisition and Coaching: How could a coach enhance a goalkeeper's perceptual anticipation of a penalty?
  • Health and Physical Activity: If regular exercise makes people happier and healthier, why do so few people actually do it?

You'll explore these themes using research and study skills where you'll analyse methods and procedures used to explore issues of a psychological nature in the physical domain. As a combined honours student, you'll have the flexibility to study more or less of these themes, depending on what and how you chose to study in your other subject.

By examining the theoretical, applied and practical literature underpinning each of these themes, you'll be able to develop your descriptive, investigative and critical thinking skills.

Module information

Please note that the list of optional modules and their availability may be subject to change. We continually review and where appropriate, revise the range of modules on offer to reflect changes in the subject and ensure the best student experience. 

In Year One combined honours students will take three core modules. These modules differ depending on the combining subject. They have been set to meet the learning needs of the combined honours subject and align with the specific combination. You can see the list of core modules for each combination here.

Core/optional modules

How you’ll learn

You will be taught through a combination of real and virtual lectures, seminars, practical sessions, labs, workshops and tutorials. 

Seminars and tutorials in smaller groups will enable you to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures and other sessions. In addition, you will meet with your personal academic tutor on a regular basis. 

All courses are informed by the University’s Learning and Teaching Strategy 2015-2022.


When not attending lectures, seminars, workshops or other timetabled sessions you will continue learning through self-study. Typically, this involves reading journal articles and books, undertaking research in the library, working on projects, and preparing for workshops, seminars, coursework and examinations.

Each module tutor will direct you towards specific readings and/or activities to complete before and/or after class to support your learning and development. Your allocated personal academic tutor will help you review your performance, and support your independent learning.


You'll have access to our dedicated laboratories and equipment including treadmills, weights, light gates and body composition apparatus used to measure and assess sport and exercise performance.

When developing our courses, research and consultancy work, we continually consider the needs of and advances in the sport and wider health and fitness industries.

Selected staff are accredited by or registered with the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES), the British Psychological Society (BPS), the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), and/or the Higher Education Academy (HEA). Many members of the teaching staff hold coaching qualifications awarded by a range of national governing bodies.

Your overall workload typically consists of 10-14 contact hours per week. You will also undertake 15-20 hours of independent learning and assessment related activity each week.

During each semester you will normally study three modules, so each module will have a 10-12 hour commitment per week.

The teaching team consists of highly qualified academics, supported by specialist professional services and skilled technical teams. They have a range of expertise and experience across the breadth of disciplines in psychology, and sport and exercise psychology.

The majority of staff hold the highest academic qualification (doctorate), with a small number of staff working towards achieving this standard. Staff are research-active and many of the teaching team are at the forefront of their research fields in the UK and beyond. They have substantial experience in delivering research led and research informed teaching.

You can find out more about the current teaching teams on our Sport and Exercise Sciences Staff and Psychology Staff web pages. You should note that members of the teaching team might change.

Postgraduate students sometimes assist in teaching and assessing some modules. However, experienced academics teach the vast majority of lectures and seminars.


How you’ll be assessed

Students will be assessed through a range of methods, including individual and group presentations, case studies, essays, scientific reports and examinations. These are planned to take account of two interdependent aspects:

  • The acquisition of relevant theory and principles.
  • The development of both academic and practical skills.

Accordingly, assessment procedures will take account of not only your newly acquired knowledge, but also the process of developing skills and the ability to apply such knowledge and skills in the world of work.

You will require 55% in the Year 2 Research Methods & Career Skills Development module to select the Applied Research Study module in Year 3.

Your future career

A degree in Sport and Exercise Psychology sets you up for many employment options. Careers in the health and fitness professions are common, and sport coaching roles are underpinned by the skills developed within the course, as are a variety of teaching positions (via postgraduate teacher training).

Many graduates work towards becoming full-time accredited sport or exercise psychologists (via continued postgraduate training) or ‘scientific support’ personnel. Other graduates continue their academic journey with further postgraduate study up to and including PhD level.

Many of the personal, academic, professional and social skills and competencies that are much sought after in a wide variety of positions are embedded within and systematically developed throughout the course, thus preparing you for a broad range of potential careers and post graduate study opportunities. These skills include information seeking, research, data handling, problem solving, interpersonal communication and critical evaluation.

Choosing to study here was one of the best decisions I ever made. Since graduating from University, I've been able to use so much of what I learned. I've also been able to apply the skills and knowledge gained on my course in my career as a fitness instructor.


Combination courses

Combined UCAS Codes


Course Name


Placement Year 

Applied Criminology



Business Management






Early Childhood Studies






Tourism Studies



Combined Honours explained. 


The 2020/21 annual tuition fees for this course are:

  UK / EU Overseas
Full-time £9,250 £13,000
Part-time £4,625 N/A

Tuition fees for all courses are payable on an annual basis, except where stated.

Please read the 2020/21 Tuition Fee Statement for further information regarding 2020/21 tuition fees and year on year fee increases.

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