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BSc single honours Psychology (Sport and Exercise) 2017/18

Year of entry

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 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. 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.

In this course, you will meet a dedicated team of research-active staff who are passionate about teaching. In relation to the Sport and Exercise Sciences more broadly, we are the number one research institution in Kent (REF 2014).

The course has been designed to deliver an excellent study experience, with a high level of linkage between modules enhancing the coherence of your learning about psychology, sport and exercise. For example, in your first year, as you study child observation in our Social and Developing Self module you will also cover observational techniques in our Research in Psychology 1 module. Similarly, the theoretical aspects of topics presented in our Psychology of Sport, Exercise and Skill Acquisition module are applied to real sporting or exercise situations and further examined in the Contemporary Themes in Sport and Exercise Psychology module.

“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. 

Psychology at Christ Church is applied. We focus on psychology in the real world and provide insight into the practical application of psychological knowledge from early on. If you are looking to combine your interest in psychology and discover how it is used in a sport and exercise context, this could be the ideal course for you.

The well-qualified and energetic team of research active staff is dedicated to ensuring that your course is thought-provoking and exciting. A fundamental aim of our staff is to facilitate your best performance throughout your educational journey.

“I absolutely love it here. We have excellent facilities, the University has loads of sports teams, and the staff are really supportive, enthusiastic and passionate about what they do. The Psychology (Sport and Exercise) course allows me to combine my two passions – psychology and sport – and is providing me with a really good grounding for a career in psychology.”

A current single honours Psychology (Sport and Exercise) second year student. 

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, and 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 and Study Skills 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.

Canterbury Christ Church University is ranked as the number one university in Kent for Sport and Exercise Sciences Research Quality and Quantity

REF2014

Work experience

In addition to curricular activity, we strongly encourage volunteering and personal development, and will help you connect with charities and organisations.

One member of the staff within the Section of Sport and Exercise Sciences is currently the Guinness World Record holder for the fastest 100km treadmill run (6 hours, 40 minutes and 35 seconds) – completed in our laboratory! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xZZnISnQC0

Other information

Industry stakeholders regularly contribute to the teaching programme to enhance the student experience. Guest lecturers have included multiple Olympians, international level coaches and medalists at the Commonwealth Games. The Section of Sport and Exercise Sciences has a research arm (Sport, Physical Education and Activity Research – SPEAR) and a consultancy arm (SportsLab). The psychology team has four active research groups: Creativity and Cognition; Health and Wellbeing; Learning and Development; and Society and Environment.

The Section of Sport and Exercise Sciences has a research arm (Sport, Physical Education and Activity Research – SPEAR) and a consultancy arm (SportsLab).

The psychology team has four active research groups: Creativity and Cognition; Health and Wellbeing; Learning and Development; and Society and Environment.

Year one

Core Modules

Introduction to the Psychology of Sport, Exercise and Skill Acquisition

This module will provide an introduction to the area of sport and exercise psychology. Central concepts such as personality, attributions, aggression, motivation, arousal, anxiety and stress are currently examined with reference to their implications for sport and exercise behaviour. The nature and development of groups and the influence of group dynamics on individual behaviour will be introduced. Cognitive processes involved in skill acquisition and performance, and the relationships between sport, exercise and health and well-being will be studied.

Brain and Mind

Psychobiology and cognitive psychology are core areas of the British Psychological Society’s curriculum for accredited undergraduate programmes. Hence, this module will introduce 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.

The Social and Developing Self

Social psychology, developmental psychology and individual differences are core areas of the British Psychological Society’s curriculum for accredited undergraduate programmes. Hence, this module will introduce 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.

Research in Psychology 1

The module aims to complement the work undertaken in other year one modules by introducing 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.

Key Studies in Sport and Exercise Psychology

This module provides an introduction to research methods relevant to 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.

Key Skills in Psychology 1

This module aims to help you identify and develop a range of transferable skills necessary for studying psychology at degree level in year one, which will support your future employability and recruitment. The module aims to develop a reflective approach by helping you to identify your strengths and weaknesses, plan for personal, educational and career development, and introduce you to practices which promote academic citizenship.

Likely optional module

Contemporary Themes in Sport and Exercise Psychology

This 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.

Our learning resources in Psychology (Sport and Exercise) have a 93% rating

National Student Survey, 2015

Year two

Core modules

In year two, a substantial amount of the content necessary for British Psychological Society accreditation is delivered. You will select two of the three modules focused on sport/exercise psychology or coaching, shown in the next section to compliment these core psychological modules.

Neuropsychology

This module aims to extend your knowledge and understanding of a range of topics and issues within the discipline of neuroscience. The module will examine the techniques used in neuropsychology and explore the relationship between brain and behaviour to enhance your understanding of issues such as cerebral asymmetry and movement.

Influences on Social Functioning

This module builds on material covered in The Social and Developing Self in year one, giving you the opportunity to acquire a comprehensive understanding of topics spanning the breadth of interpersonal relationships to intergroup relations (e.g. social influence), with special attention given to the potential for practical application, and to the epistemological and methodological variety on which relevant findings are based.

Social and Cognitive Development

This module builds on material covered in The Social and Developing Self in year one, in covering key perspectives and topics in the study of social-cognitive development. It considers aspects of development that are relevant to children’s developing understanding of the self and the social world such as infant cognition, play, gender development, moral understanding. The module aims to provide you with a knowledge and understanding of key theories, research findings, and debates in this area of developmental psychology.

Exploring Cognition

Expanding on content covered in the Brain and Mind module in year one, this module will further your knowledge and understanding of contemporary topics, theories and research in cognitive psychology.

Personality and Individual Differences

This module builds on material covered in The Social and Developing Self in year one, by 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.

Key Skills in Psychology 2

Continuing your skills development from Key Skills in Psychology 1, this module aims to help you further identify and develop a range of transferable skills necessary for studying psychologically driven modules at degree level in year two, which support your future employability and recruitment. The module aims to develop a reflective approach by helping you identify your own strengths and weaknesses, plan for personal, educational and career development and introduce you to practices which promote academic citizenship.

Research in Psychology 2

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

Likely optional modules

Psychology of Sport

This 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.

Psychology of Exercise and Health

This module examines a number of the psychological factors 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.

Perceptual and Motor Skills in Sport Coaching

This module aims to provide 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.

Year three

Core modules

In year three, there is a greater focus on the practical application of psychology in sport/exercise environments or coaching.

Sport and Exercise Psychology in Critical Perspective

This 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.

Psychology of Sustainable Living

The aim of this module is to introduce you to the various ways in which psychology can contribute to an understanding of sustainability and help facilitate sustainable lifestyles at an individual and sociocultural level. The module will approach the subject from a variety of perspectives, highlighting both the evidential and potential relevance of particular models and theories in this area.

Psychology Research Project

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 you may further explore the use of quantitative and/or qualitative research methodologies used within the discipline.

Likely optional modules

Applied Sport Psychology

This module provides you with a rich understanding of 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

This module will examine the processes and principles of coaching both adults and children in sport. Students 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 examines 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.

Applied Exercise and Health Psychology

This module explores the current perspectives and contemporary research in the psychology of exercise and health field. This module examines the potential for effective behaviour change interventions in the exercise domain. The module currently involves topic areas such as the psychology of exercise addiction, exercise and pregnancy, and eating behaviours. The module explores the impact of exercise behaviour on the holistic health of individuals, communities and the population.

A degree in Psychology (Sport and Exercise) affords you 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) 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.

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. These skills include information seeking, research, data handling, problem-solving, interpersonal communication and critical evaluation.

“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 

Fees

The 2017/18 annual tuition fees for this course are:

 UK/EUOverseas
Full-time £9,250* £11,000**
Part-time £4,625 N/A

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

*Full-time courses which have a Foundation Year 0 will have a 2017/18 UK/EU tuition fee of £6,165 in Year 0.

**Tuition Fee Scholarship discounts of £1,500 are available to eligible overseas students. Visit the International webpages for further information.

Please read the 2017/18 Tuition Fee Statement for further information regarding 2017/18 tuition fees and year on year fee increases

Further information

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) Yes, if the trip contributes to the course (whether it is part of an optional or compulsory module), but not including food and drink. Yes, if the trip is not an essential part of the course but is offered as an enhancement or enrichment activity, or for a student’s personal development.
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.

Composition of the course

Learning and teaching methods may include lectures, seminars, individual and group tutorials, directed independent study, practicals and research projects, workshops, reflective practice, and structured discussions. For a typical 10 credit module, you will receive around 25 hours of academic direction and invest around 75 hours of independent study. Contact takes place in face-to-face and online environments, and learning and teaching methods are continually informed by student feedback.

You will have access to both psychology and sport and exercise science-specific resources including online study skills materials and our dedicated laboratories, which include an eye-tracker, brain imaging equipment (EEG), and an observation suite equipped with a one-way mirror and video surveillance, as well as other sport and exercise related equipment such as treadmills and weights.

100% of Psychology (Sport and Exercise) graduates were in employment or further study six months after completing their studies

2013-14 DLHE

Academic input

There are currently approximately 33 experienced staff who teach and deliver the course. In January 2016 there was one professor, four readers, four principal lecturers, 10 senior lecturers, seven university instructors (half time academic), three postgraduate students, and one senior lab technician, supported by three other technical staff. The Section is supported by a professional services team comprising nine specialist roles. The consultancy unit, SportsLab, also has a manager and access to a number of experienced sport performance consultants.

Surprising terms

The single honours BSc (Hons) Psychology (Sport and Exercise) course is accredited by the British Psychological Society and confers the Graduate Basis of Chartered Membership (GBC). To gain GBC, you must complete your degree with a second-class degree classification or better, and pass the Psychology Research Project with a mark of at least 40.

You 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 inter-dependent 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.

An A2 level in Psychology is desirable, but not essential

Professional accreditation

The single honours Psychology (Sport and Exercise) course is accredited by the British Psychological Society and confers the Graduate Basis of Chartered Membership (GBC). To gain GBC, you must complete your degree with a second class degree classification or higher, and pass the Psychology Research Project with a mark of at least 40.

GBC represents the first step towards becoming a Chartered Psychologist and allows graduates to pursue postgraduate vocational training in areas such as clinical psychology, educational psychology and health psychology, as well as sport and/or exercise psychology. Other graduates continue their academic journey with further postgraduate study (up to and including PhD level).

The Psychology (Sport and Exercise) course adheres to the BPS Code of Ethics and Conduct, which can be obtained from the British Psychological Society at http://www.bps.org.uk/system/files/documents/code_of_ethics_and_conduct.pdf

Specialist facilities

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 software to conduct data analysis, including SPSS and NVivo. Finally, our academic tutors, technicians, administrators and support team together aim to make a positive difference to the student experience.

Industry links

Our course, research and consultancy work of the Section 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 psychology team are also Associates of the UK Institute of Migrant Research (UK-IMR).

Selected staff within the Section of Sport and Exercise Sciences 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 Admissions Enquiry Team:

Email: admissions@canterbury.ac.uk
Tel:+44 (0)1227 782900

EU/International

Contact our International Team

Fact file

UCAS code

  • C813 Psychology (Sport and Exercise)

Institutional code

  • C10

Length

  • 3 years full-time

    6 years part-time

Starts

  • September 2017

Entry requirements

Location

School

More about

100% students agreed staff are good at explaining things.

(National Student Survey, 2016)

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Last edited: 21/04/2017 15:55:00