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Foundations of Exercise and Sport Psychology

Module titleFoundations of Exercise and Sport Psychology
Module codeESS1605
Academic year2024/5
Module staff

Dr Sam Vine (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

Psychology is an increasingly important aspect of sport and exercise science. This module will provide you with a foundation in the topics and theories surrounding this interesting area. You will cover topics such as personality, , stress and group dynamics, examining their role within both sport performance and exercise participation. You will also cover more contentious and challenging issues such as how to help people become more active, and how exercise can help with mental health. This module will introduce you to psychological skills training and highlight interventions, (e.g. goal setting) that are adopted by sport and exercise psychologists to improve performance and increase participation. At the end of this module we hope you will have an understanding of psychological science, that will underpin future psychology focused modules.

There are no pre- or co-requisites to this module, and it is suitable for non-specialist students who have studied some science at A-Level or equivalent.

Module aims - intentions of the module

Psychology is increasingly seen as an important aspect in sport and exercise, and as such it plays an integral part in exercise and sport sciences related programmes. This is an introductory level course that will introduce you to some of the core principles of psychology, as well as underlying theories, and popular research topics within the area of sport and exercise psychology.

Graduate attributes. As part of this module you are expected to develop the following skills:

  • Teamwork in group tasks and formative assessment.
  • Strategic thinking and problem solving in response to questions.
  • Building confidence as a communicator in debating topics and assessing empirical evidence.
  • People skills in communicating with peers and the module teaching team.
  • Enquiring mind in pursuing further reading on topics covered in the module.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Appropriately use psychological terminology
  • 2. Understand fundamental theories and models in sport and exercise psychology
  • 3. Demonstrate how theoretical knowledge can be used in applied sport and exercise psychology

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 4. Compare and contrast competing theories and models; gain analytical essay writing skills

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 5. Manage self-learning: assess strengths and weaknesses; reflect on progress; manage time; learn independently

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, it is envisaged that the syllabus will cover some or all of the following topics:

  • Introduction to module and background of sport and exercise psychology
  • Personality
  • Arousal, anxiety and stress  
  • Psychological skills training
  • Examination 1
  • Group dynamics and cohesion  
  • Group cohesion (‘peer assessed’ formative essay)
  • Ex-psych behaviour change
  • Ex-psych mental health – depression and anxiety  
  • Ex-psych mental health 2 - positive states

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching44Lectures
Guided Independent Study37.5'Week-by-week' questions
Guided Independent Study34.5Readings and reading tasks
Guided Independent Study12Revision and tutorial
Guided Independent Study12Scenarios (4 x 3 hours)
Guided Independent Study10Questionnaire tasks (5 x 2 hours)


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Timed essay40 minutes1-5Oral or written

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Examination (week 6)5045 minutes1-2, 4-5Written
Examination5045 minutes1-2, 4-5Written


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Examination (week 6)Examination1-2, 4-5August/September assessment period
ExaminationExamination1-2, 4-5August/September assessment period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to sit a further examination. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

The following book is a recommended 1st year purchase. Copies will be placed on TR in St Luke’s Library:

  • Weinberg, R. and Gould, D. Foundations of sport and exercise psychology. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics. (Note: there are 1995, 1999, 2003, 2007, and 2009 versions of this text, with similar content. The library holds up to the 2003 version although I would recommend buying the 2007 or 2009 version.)

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Module has an active ELE page

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

  • Journal articles / book chapters as provided by the lecturing staff

Key words search

Psychology, sport, exercise, psychological skills training, psychological theory

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date