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Sport Psychology

Module titleSport Psychology
Module codeESS3808
Academic year2019/0
Module staff

Professor Mark Wilson (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

Sport psychology can play a significant role in enhancing sports performance, especially under pressure. This module will provide you with an understanding of contemporary developments in sport psychology. You will work from the scientist-practitioner model to understand how trait like individual differences, stress appraisal, and specific attitudes influence performance under pressure.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The module aims to go beyond the basic concepts and theories in sport psychology and develop your ability to apply this knowledge in a real-world setting. You will learn the importance of ‘psychological needs analysis’ when working with clients and how to propose relevant and evidence-based (and theoretically driven) interventions to help atletes deal with competitive pressure.

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

  • Strategic thinking and problem solving in answering questions and completeting independent study.
  • Application of knowledge in interpreting empirical research.
  • Building confidence as a communicator in discussing independent study and literature in seminar settings.
  • People skills in communicating with peers and module teaching team.
  • Enquiring mind in pursuing further reading on topics covered in the module.
  • Data management skills in collecting and recording data and analysing findings in seminars and independent study.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

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

  • 1. Discuss specific theories and models within sport psychology

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

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

  • 2. Compare and contrast competing theories and models
  • 3. Interpret, synthesise and evaluate relevant empirical findings
  • 4. Organise and present academic evidence
  • 5. Link research findings to applied practice
  • 6. Evaluate effectiveness of various needs assessment techniques

ILO: Personal and key skills

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

  • 7. Learn independently and cooperatively
  • 8. Communicate ideas effectively by written and oral means

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

The module will start by focusing on how to conduct a needs analysis in performance environments and the use of technology to better understand psychological factors underpinning performance.

  • Understanding your client’s needs
  • Observation
  • Interviewing / listening
  • Technology

We will then explore psychological factors underpinning performance, including:

  • Flow states – What are these and how do we make them happen?
  • Attentional control – How does pressure affect this and what can we do to improve attentional control?
  • Stress appraisals – How can we better adopt a challenge rather than threat mindset?

This second section will focus more on theoretical explanations that might explain why some performers choke and others are clutch, and evidence-based interventions to help individuals perform at their best when it matters most. Specifically we will examine the application of Mindfulness as one possible intervention and you will all work through a self-led sport-specific mindfulness program.

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 Teaching22Lectures
Scheduled Learning and Teaching22Seminars
Guided Independent Study66Directed reading
Guided Independent Study60Study tasks including homework questions, preparation for seminars, and group work
Guided Independent Study20Preparation for formative assessment
Guided Independent Study110Preparation for summative assessments


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Mock examination1 hour1-6, 8Written

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
Individual case study401500 words written report1, 3-8Written
Individual abstract20500 words written report1-4, 7-8Written
Examination402 hours1-6, 8Written


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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Individual case studyWritten report1, 3-8August/September assessment period
Individual abstractWritten report1-4, 7-8August/September assessment period
ExaminationExamination1-6, 8August/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 majority of readings during this module will be taken from selected key journals (e.g., The Sport Psychologist, Psychology of Sport and Exercise, Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, Journal of Applied Sport Psychology etc.).

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Sport psychology, performance, needs assessment, interventions

Credit value30
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites

ESS2710 Sport Psychology

Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date