Psychology (Sport and Exercise) lacrosse header

BSc single honours Psychology (Sport and Exercise) 2019/20

Year of entry

100% of our most recent Psychology (Sport And Exercise) students were in jobs or further study 6 months after finishing their course.

Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Survey 2016-2017

Psychology seeks to understand human thoughts, emotions and behaviour though scientific study such as observations, interviews, experiments and questionnaires. A degree in Psychology (Sport and Exercise) gives you the chance to study an inherently fascinating and useful subject, within the specific contexts of sport and exercise, while offering you many opportunities for future development and employment.

The degree has three key strengths. First, the applied nature of our course provides insight into the practical application of psychological knowledge in the athletic and physical domain from early on in your academic journey. All core modules are designed to complement and balance one another. Second, aspects of employability are embedded within our course from start to finish, helping you to build a broad range of academic, personal and career skills, relevant to sport, exercise and physical activity. Finally, we are accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS). This ensures quality and affords those passing their final year project and graduating with a 2:ii or above the Graduate Basis of Chartered Membership (GBC) required for many postgraduate psychology training courses.

“Studying Sport and Exercise Psychology at Christ Church not only helped me become a teacher of PE but it also helped me become a subject specialist and am now helping students find their own passion in sport psychology! My own sporting achievements and coaching benefitted too - helping to channel arousal, stop negative thoughts, focus attention and to know what makes a team tick. Helpful on the hockey field, tennis and netball courts! I cannot recommend this course and staff highly enough - the best decision I have ever made. You will never watch sport the way same again!”

Laura Green, a single honours course graduate. 

Top reason to choose this course:

In this course, you will meet a dedicated team of research­active staff who are passionate about teaching. All Psychology (Sport & Exercise) students will have a ‘consultancy’ and ‘research’ informed experience.  Students will engage in activity aligned to the University consultancy unit ‘SportsLab’ that provides scientific services for sports people.  There are opportunities for paid employment for undergraduate students working for SportsLab when undertaking their studies. The programme staff are nationally and internationally recognised for their research, and we are the number one Research Institution for the Sport and Exercise Sciences in Kent (REF 2014).

Together, we have designed a course that provides an excellent study experience, with an interconnectedness between modules enhancing the coherence of your learning about psychology, sport and exercise. 

Awards to staff and students from within the Section of Sport and Exercise Sciences include:
  • British Association of Sport and Exercises Sciences (BASES) student conference presentation prizes.

    Joint BASES/British Association of Sport and Exercise Medicine (BASEM) award for best exercise science research conference presentation.

    Coubertin Prize 2008 awarded by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Pierre de Coubertin Committee (IPCC).

One member of the staff within the Section of Sport and Exercise Sciences recently broke the Guinness World Record for the fastest 100km treadmill run (6 hours, 40 minutes and 35 seconds) – completed in our laboratory!

Psychology is a diverse and fascinating subject that deals with how we perceive the everyday world. From early on, we provide insight into the practical application of psychological knowledge in sport and exercise contexts. If you have a keen interest in the thoughts, emotions and behaviours of others and want to study them in a scientific way, specifically in relation to athletes, teams and physical activity, then this could be the ideal course for you. You will develop a specific and generic knowledge and skills that will make you a valuable asset to any employer. The degree programme will qualify you for a range of careers related to sport, exercise, physical activity and the wider field of psychology. It also opens up routes into teaching, and further study to Masters level and beyond.

Our British Psychological Society accredited course is designed to offer a coherent delivery of subject specific knowledge, research skills, practical application and personal development at all levels of study. All the core areas of psychology are covered: biological, cognitive, developmental, individual differences, social, as well as conceptual and historical issues. These are related to key themes within the unique environments of sport and exercise. These themes, and typical questions asked, 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?

These themes are connected and supported by a common psychological research theme that seeks to unpick the methods and procedures we might use to explore issues of a psychological nature, particularly within in the physical domain. By examining the theoretical, applied and practical literature underpinning each of these themes and core areas, you can develop your descriptive, investigative and critical thinking skills at every successive level of study. lar exercise makes people happier and healthier, why do so few people actually do it?

These themes are connected and supported by a common psychological research theme that seeks to unpick the methods and procedures we might use to explore issues of a psychological nature, particularly within in the physical domain. By examining the theoretical, applied and practical literature underpinning each of these themes and core areas, you can develop your descriptive, investigative and critical thinking skills at every successive level of study. To further facilitate this development, our staff are enthusiastic and committed to helping you immerse yourself in research and consultancy activities.

Core modules

Year 1

Brain, Mind & Behaviour (20 credits)

Psychobiology and cognitive psychology are core areas of the British Psychological Society’s curriculum for accredited undergraduate programmes. Hence, this module introduces you to key topics and concepts within these areas to illustrate the contribution that psychobiology and cognition have made to our understanding of the brain, cognition, behaviour and the links between them, while maintaining a strong evolutionary focus. 

Key Studies in Sport and Exercise Psychology (20 credits)

This module provides an introduction to research methods in sport and exercise psychology. Through a combination, of lectures, seminars, and practical experiences, you will explore the strengths and limitations of different methodological approaches to examining psychological and behavioural processes in sport and exercise. Learning to analyse and interpret both qualitative and quantitative data will also strengthen your appreciation of the research process from inception to dissemination.

Psychology of Sport, Exercise and Skill Acquisition (20 credits)

The aim of this module is to provide an introduction to the fundamental psychology that underpins our understanding of human behaviour and learning in sport and exercise settings. Central concepts such as personality, attributions, aggression, motivation, arousal, anxiety and stress are examined with reference to behaviour in the sport, exercise, and the physical activity setting. The nature and development of groups and the influence of group dynamics on individual behaviour are also explored, along with cognitive processes involved in skill acquisition and performance, and the relationships between exercise participation and health and well­being.

Research in Psychology 1 (20 credits)

The module aims to introduce you to some of the basic concepts and techniques used in psychological research, ensuring some familiarity with the most commonly employed methods of data collection and data analysis. In addition, the module will foreground the importance of acquiring practical experience in designing empirical studies and analysing data manually and via computer (e.g. SPSS). The module will emphasise that an understanding of research methods is required not only to conduct research, but also to comprehend and critically evaluate psychological literature.

Social and Developing Self (20 credits)

Social Psychology, Developmental Psychology and Individual Differences are core areas of the British Psychological Society’s curriculum for accredited undergraduate programmes. Hence, this module introduces you to key topics and concepts within these areas to illustrate the contribution that Social and Developmental Psychology, and the psychology of Individual Differences, have made to our understanding of the person.

Year 2

Biological and Cognitive Psychology (20 credits)

Biological Psychology is a core area of the British Psychological Society’s GBC curriculum for accredited undergraduate programmes. This module expands on content covered within core modules at level 4 with the aim of extending your knowledge and understanding of a range of topics and issues within the disciplines of biological and cognitive psychology. For instance, you will examine some of the techniques used in these disciplines to explore the relationship between brain and behaviour. They will also explore the nature of cerebral asymmetry and human language, as well as human memory, problem solving, perception and recognition. 

Psychology of Exercise and Health (20 credits)

This module investigates a number of the psychological factors that are associated with the adoption of and adherence to active lifestyles. Specific attention is paid to the cognitive and affective consequences of participation in exercise programmes, and the impact of these on health and wellbeing. An additional topic currently explored is the motivational effects of music in exercise settings.

Research Methods in Psychology 2 (20 credits)

This module builds upon material covered in Research in Psychology (1) in extending your knowledge and understanding of research methods in psychology, introducing them to more sophisticated techniques widely used in the analysis of quantitative data (such as ANOVA and multiple regression) and qualitative data (such as thematic analysis and content coding) and providing them with further, more independent, experience in designing, conducting and reporting primary research. Methods of data collection are also revisited and expanded.

Skill Acquisition (20 credits)

There are many roles within the sport sector which require well-qualified people to teach, develop and enable others to successfully execute skilled movements.  This module provides insight into some of the factors which influence the acquisition and performance of perceptual and motor skills in sport. You will develop an understanding of selected cognitive and ecological methodologies to skilled performance. These theoretical approaches to skill acquisition will be used to critique the design and organisation of current coaching practice.

Social and Developmental Psychology (20 credits)

Social and developmental psychology are core areas of the British Psychological Society’s GBC curriculum for accredited undergraduate programmes. This module builds on material covered in The Social and Developing Self at Level 4, by giving you the opportunity to acquire a comprehensive and critical understanding of key perspectives, topics, methods, findings, and applications in these sub-disciplines. The curriculum aims to give coherence to a diverse range of topics from intergroup relations to children’s moral understanding, by promoting detailed intellectual and practical engagement with how children and adults make sense of the self and the social world.

Sport Psychology (20 credits)

The module examines a range of factors which influence the competitive sport performance of both individual athletes and teams. Psychological phenomena currently addressed on the module include individual motivation, confidence and anxiety and such social psychological processes as group motivation and cohesion, the nature of the group environment and the components of effective leadership.

Year 3

Personality and Individual Differences (20 credits)

Personality and Individual Differences is a core area of the British Psychological Society’s GBC curriculum for accredited undergraduate programmes. This module builds on material covered in The Social and Developing Self, in covering key perspectives and topics in the study of personality and individual differences. The module aims to provide you with a knowledge and understanding of key theories, research findings, and debates in this area.

Applied Sport Psychology (20 credits)

The module offers the opportunity to undertake an in-depth study of a particular topic in the sport and exercise sciences. The module affords an opportunity to build upon knowledge, understanding and skills developed in years one and two.  You will design, carry out, analyse and write up an individual research project under the supervision of a member of the academic staff with teaching responsibilities and/or research interests in the student’s area of study.

Sport and Exercise Psychology in Critical Perspective (20 credits)

The module covers a range of topics and issues central to psychology, from a critical standpoint. The included topics will reflect the ongoing and dynamic research taking place within the section, and will facilitate a sceptical and scientific approach to the nature of psychology applied to sport, exercise and the physical domain.

Extended Research Project (40 credits)

The final year empirical project is a core requirement of the British Psychological Society’s curriculum. This module offers you the opportunity to undertake a significant piece of independent research, under supervisory guidance, of a particular topic or issue related to and/or arising out of sport, exercise or coaching topics covered in the Psychology (Sport and Exercise) degree. The module offers you the opportunity to build upon the knowledge, understanding and skills developed in previous years, and a vehicle by which they may further explore the use of quantitative and/or qualitative research methodologies used within the discipline.

Likely optional modules

Year 1

Contemporary Themes in Sport and Exercise Psychology (20 credits)

The module encourages you to explore and examine contemporary issues in sport and exercise psychology and critically apply them to a wide range of scenarios. Within seminars, students currently present and explain an observed behaviour that may relate to psychologically relevant topics such as confidence, motivation and aggression. The module focuses upon contentious aspects of psychological theories and encourages you to reflect upon your own perspective in relation to such issues.

Year 3

Applied Exercise and Health Psychology (20 credits)

This module provides you with an opportunity to investigate the processes involved in developing, delivering and evaluating a sport psychology intervention. A critical consideration of the evidence base for sport psychology alongside an understanding of the practical techniques and processes commonly used by sport psychologists will equip you with a well-rounded perspective about the perils and promise of applied sport psychology.

Psychology of Sport Coaching (20 credits)

The module examines the processes and principles of coaching both adults and children in sport. You will gain significant theoretical and practical experience of different approaches to coaching practice and the application of coaching ideologies in a variety of sports. The module probes coaching research and current issues in coach behaviour, currently including such topics as the coach­-athlete relationship, coaching styles, modes of communication, and motivational climates.

A degree in Psychology (Sport and Exercise) affords you many employment and postgraduate study 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) or roles as sport ‘scientific support’ personnel. Psychology graduates also often find employment in the caring professions, education, business and management, and other people­ focused occupations. Accreditation from the British Psychological Society gives qualifying graduates the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC), which is the first step towards becoming a Chartered Psychologist. It allows graduates to pursue postgraduate vocational training in areas such as clinical psychology, educational psychology and health psychology.

“I currently work as part of a multi-disciplinary team on a Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit, specialising in Child and Adolescent Mental Health. Studying the Psychology of Sport and Exercise enhanced my interest in this area and provided me with a sound knowledge base, which I am utilising on a daily basis as I assist children in all aspects of their road to recovery. The subjects covered during my degree, combined with the invaluable support of my course tutors has certainly provided me with a springboard to success and a positive mind set!”

Charlotte Kay, Psychology (Sport and Exercise) graduate 

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 over the course of the degree, thus preparing you for a broad range of potential careers and postgraduate study options. These skills include information seeking, research, data handling, problem-solving, interpersonal communication and critical evaluation.

After a successful career in the Parachute Regiment, a former mature student was the first person to paraglide from John O’Groats to Dover in aid of the charity Help for Heroes.

Fees

The 2019/20 annual tuition fees for this course are:

  UK / EU Overseas
Full-time £9,250 £11,900
Part-time £4,625 N/A

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

Please read the 2019/20 Tuition Fee Statement for further information regarding 2019/20 tuition fees and year on year fee increases.

Additional course costs

Although we aim to minimise any additional costs to students over and above the course tuition fee, there will be some additional costs which students are expected to meet.

Costs applicable to all students

CategoryDescription
Text books Own purchase text books
Travel to other sites Where travel to other sites is required, this will be payable by the student
Library Fees and Fines Where students fail to return loaned items within the required time they will be responsible for the cost of any Library Fees and Fines applicable
Printing & Photocopying The cost of printing and photocopying undertaken by students to support their individual learning are payable by the student
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire / photography are additional costs payable by the student

Course specific costs

CategoryDescription
Clothing / Kit Corporate (badged by programme) sports kit purchase is optional. Price list by garment is sent to students via online induction web page normally in July prior to the start of their course. Prices of items range currently from £22 (for a t-shirt) to £50 (for a rain jacket).

General principle policy

The University’s general principles policy for additional course fees are set out here

CategoryIncluded in the tuition feeAdditional cost to student
Field trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc) No, if the trip contributes to the course as an optional module. Yes if the trip is optional.
Travel and accommodation costs for placements  No

Travel and accommodation costs for professional placements within the Education and Health & Wellbeing Faculties.

Travel and accommodation costs for other work placements. 
Text books No Own purchase text books.
DBS / Health checks No Yes
Professional Body registration No Yes
Travel to other sites (e.g. travel to swimming pool for lessons) No Yes
Clothing / Kit Yes, where the clothing / kit is essential for Health & Safety reasons. Yes, where the clothing is kept by the student and not essential for health and safety reasons.
Learning materials Essential learning materials (excluding text books) in connection with the course. Additional materials beyond the standard provision essential for the course or where the costs are determined by the student’s area of interest and the outputs are retained by the student.
Library fees and fines No Yes
Printing and photocopying No Yes
Social events No, unless the event forms an essential part of the course. Yes, unless the event forms an essential part of the course.
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire/ photography are additional costs payable by the student.

93% for teaching quality in Psychology (Sport and Exercise).

National Student Survey 2017

Teaching

You will be taught through a combination of real and virtual lectures, seminars, practical sessions, labs, workshops and tutorials. You will typically have around 10-14 contact hours per week. Your actual contact hours depend on the option modules you select.

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. 

As a Psychology (Sport & Exercise) student, you will have access to specific resources including state of the art laboratories housing  ‘gold standard’ equipment; including  eye tracker technology, brain imaging equipment (EEG), reaction timers, gas analysis systems, cardiac screening equipment, 3D imaging, isokinetic and balance dynamometry, sprint timing systems and other sport/exercise related equipment (treadmills and weights, for example). Psychology (Sport & Exercise) students have access to their own IT lab, and all teaching is supported by online study skills material.

There are many opportunities within the programme to focus study on areas of interest and study topics that are aligned with career ambition.  All students on the programme will have a ‘consultancy’ and ‘research’ informed experience.  Students will engage in activity aligned to the University consultancy unit ‘SportsLab’ that provides scientific services for sports people.  There are opportunities for paid employment for undergraduate students working for SportsLab when undertaking their studies. The Section of Sport and Exercise Sciences and Psychology staff are nationally and internationally recognised for their research, and you will have the opportunity to conduct a final year project (dissertation) which will based on a topic area of your choice utilising support from the academic, technical and professional services staff.

All programmes are informed by the University’s Learning and Teaching Strategy 2015-2020.

One member of the staff within the Section of Sport and Exercise Sciences recently broke the Guinness World Record for the fastest 100km treadmill run (6 hours, 40 minutes and 35 seconds) – completed in our laboratory!

Independent learning

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 tutors 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.

During the final year of study the extended research project (dissertation), offers the opportunity to engage in an independent research programme where you will work under the supervision of a member of the academic staff who you will meet regularly.

Overall workload

Your overall workload typically consists of 10-14 contact hours per week. You will undertake 15-20 hours independent learning and assessment related activity.  During each semester you will normally study three modules, so each module will have a 10-12 hour commitment per week.

Academic input

The programme team consists of highly qualified academics, supported by specialist professional services and highly skilled technical teams. They have a range of expertise and experience across the breadth of disciplines in Psychology and Sport & Exercise Psychology.

It is a University requirement that all academic staff have, or are working towards obtaining teaching qualifications, the Section of Sport and Exercise Sciences is 100% compliant with this regulation.  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 Sport and Exercise Psychology team are at the forefront of their research fields in the UK and beyond, and 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 webpages. You should note that members of the teaching team might change.

Both the Section of Sport and Exercise Sciences and School of Psychology, Politics & Sociology have vibrant postgraduate cohorts, and these  students sometimes assist in teaching some module content in their areas of expertise, and assist with peer learning. However, the vast majority of delivery is undertaken by an experienced academic team.

90% of our most recent Psychology (Sport and Exercise) students were satisfied with their learning opportunities.

National Student Survey 2017

Assessment

The course frequently provides you with opportunities to test your understanding of the subject informally before you complete the formal assessments that count towards your final mark. Many modules contain practice or 'formative' assessments or similar submissions for which you receive feedback from your tutor. Formative or practice assessments and submissions are developmental and any grades you receive for them do not count towards your module mark.

The formal or 'summative' assessments on each module are planned to take account of two inter­dependent aspects - the acquisition of relevant theory / principles, and the development of both academic and practical skills.

Assessment methods include a range of coursework assessments such as essays, reports, portfolios, presentations, your final year project (dissertation) and written examinations. The grades from formal assessments count towards your module mark.

Percentage of the course assessed by coursework

The balance of assessment by examination and assessment by coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. The approximate percentage of the course assessed by coursework over the duration of the programme is approx. 70%

Feedback

You will receive feedback on all practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback is intended to help you learn and you are encouraged to discuss it with your module tutor. We aim to provide you with feedback within 15 working days of hand-in.  The quality and quantity of our feedback is often highlighted as exceptional by external examiners who annually review our academic practices.

You will have access to both psychology and sport and exercise science­ specific resources including online study skills materials and our dedicated teaching spaces and laboratories, which include seminar rooms, an eye ­tracker, brain imaging equipment (EEG), and an observation suite equipped with a one ­way mirror and video surveillance. Our sport and exercise related equipment includes treadmills, weights, light gates and body composition apparatus. We also incorporate the use of specialist IT lab and software to conduct data analysis. These resources contributed to a 100% rating on the 2017 National Student Survey.

Our learning resources in Psychology (Sport and Exercise) have a 100% rating

National Student Survey, 2017

Our course, research and consultancy work are continually developed with consideration of advances and relevant stakeholder needs within the wider health and fitness industry. Our psychology team has numerous research groups that aim to collaborate with external organisations. For example, the Learning and Development group has conducted research in local schools, in local charities (e.g. SNAAP) and for CBeebies. Members of the team are also associates of the UK Institute of Migrant Research (UKIMR). We are currently one of 12 Universities working with the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA) to develop professional standards in the sector which are aligned with Higher Education qualifications.

Selected staff that contribute to the programme 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 the Higher Education Academy (HEA). Many members of the teaching staff within the Section hold coaching qualifications awarded by a range of national governing bodies.

UK/EU

Full-time study

Apply via UCAS

Part-time study

Apply directly to us

International

Full-time study

Need some help?

UK

For advice on completing your application please contact the Course Enquiry Team:

Email: courses@canterbury.ac.uk
Tel:+44 (0)1227 928000 (0)1227 928000

EU/International

Contact our International Team

Fact file

UCAS course code

  • C813 Psychology (Sport and Exercise)

UCAS institution code

  • C10

Length

  • 3 years full-time

    6 years part-time

Starts

  • September 2019

Entry requirements

  • A typical offer would be 88-112 UCAS Tariff points. We do not require you to have taken Psychology at A Level, although a background in the subject is always helpful. We do, however, require a GCSE C or above in Mathematics, or equivalent (including a GCSE in Statistics).

    More entry requirement details.

Location

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Last edited: 11/10/2018 11:31:00