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HL50072: The psychology of sport and exercise

[Page last updated: 03 August 2022]

Academic Year: 2022/23
Owning Department/School: Department for Health
Credits: 6 [equivalent to 12 CATS credits]
Notional Study Hours: 120
Level: Masters UG & PG (FHEQ level 7)
Academic Year
Modular (no specific semester)
Assessment Summary: CW 100%
Assessment Detail:
  • Exercise Psychology Question (CW 50% - Qualifying Mark: 40)
  • Injury Question (CW 25% - Qualifying Mark: 40)
  • Performance Psychology Question (CW 25% - Qualifying Mark: 40)
Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Learning Outcomes: Knowledge and Understanding.
After taking this unit the student should be able to:
1. Identify, critically analyse and apply to sports medicine the influence of psychological factors which affect predisposition to injury, reaction to injury and the treatment and rehabilitation of injury.
2. Discuss the role of the sport and exercise psychologist within the multi-disciplinary support team, their boundaries, codes of conduct and referral processes from sports medicine.
3. Critically analyse the role psychology plays in physical activity and sedentary behaviour.
4. Critically appraise and apply selected aspects sport and exercise psychology theory and literature as it relates to working in performance and recreational sport environments (e.g. motivation, arousal and performance).
5. Critique the models of consultancy and methods of assessment used by sport psychologists in sport and exercise
6. Appraise a range of psychological intervention tools and techniques and counselling skills that can facilitate adherence to rehabilitation and exercise programmes, develop mental skills in individuals in sport and improve team performance.
These learning outcomes will be taught and assessed.

Aims: Psychology of Sport and Exercise Unit aims to develop understanding of psychological factors in sport and exercise and how they relate to the role of the Sports Physician. In addition the unit will facilitate understanding of the role of the sport and exercise psychologist within a multi-disciplinary team of support for a client.

Skills: On completion of this unit students should be able to:
1. Develop a range of mental skills for use in personal development.
2. Demonstrate a range of written and online communication skills through a number of media.
3. Research, critically appraise, integrate and apply information gathered from a wide range of sources including the on-line module, text books, research articles and discussion forums.
4. Plan and manage their own learning and development needs in this area.
These learning outcomes will be facilitated and assessed.

Content: Person-centred approaches and their effectiveness in helping individual athletes. Motivation and the effects of stress and anxiety in relation to performance. Factors which predispose athletes to injury and which influence the psychological reactions of the athlete to injury. The effects of team cohesion on performance and explain theories of leadership in the context of sport.
* Personality and the athlete - how the personality is defined by examining the main themes and methods of measuring personality. Problems and possibilities of research and importance of a person-centred approach to athletes.
* Motivation - factors that define motivation and relating knowledge of processes of motivation to rehabilitation. Links between arousal and motivation and the importance of self-belief
* Causal attribution in sport - basic principles of attribution theory and the major research findings in the context of sport. Relevance of theory and research to medical practice
* Stress and anxiety in sport - methods of measurement and effect on performance
* Psychology of injury - psychological factors that predispose to injury, reaction of athlete to injury and the importance of the psychological dimension in rehabilitation
* Psychological preparation of the athlete - strategies to prepare an athlete for performance and discussion of the athlete's needs in development of psychological preparation skills
* Social psychology of sport - psychological background to aggression and how it may be controlled. Development of team cohesion and theories of leadership in sport.

Programme availability:

HL50072 is a Stage Required Designated Essential Unit on the following programmes:

Department for Health


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2022/23 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2023/24 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2022/23.
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