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.
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.
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.
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.
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.