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Current Issues in Sport Psychology

Module titleCurrent Issues in Sport Psychology
Module codeSHSM038
Academic year2019/0
Module staff

Dr Sam Vine (Convenor)

Professor Mark Wilson (Lecturer)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

This module will provide you with up-to-date information and a critical review of current issues in Sport Psychology, such as visuo-motor control (quiet eye), motor learning and performance under pressure. You will gain an understanding of how research is carried out to understand mechanisms and develop theories relating to these topics; as well as an awareness and understanding of how interventions can be developed to support motor learning and skilful performance.

The module is suitable for students with a wide range of backgrounds, but ideally you should have some understanding (at undergraduate level) of theories and approaches to sport and performance psychology. A wide range of quantitative and qualitative papers are critically considered so a sound background in research methods would also be desirable. Students from disciplines other than Sport and Health Sciences are welcomed, particularly as we will discuss applications to a range of domains (including sport, rehabilitation, paediatric populations, military settings and laparoscopic surgery).

Module aims - intentions of the module

The aim of this module is to give you an opportunity for advanced critical analysis of issues and debate related to sport psychology.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

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

  • 1. Demonstrate a systematic understanding of the topics in sport psychology
  • 2. Comprehensively explain the mechanisms underlying the effects of interventions designed to promote skilful performance of motor skills

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

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

  • 3. Develop a research proposal
  • 4. Develop an appropriately rationalised and detailed research design
  • 5. Interpret data, elucidate principles and draw detailed theoretical conclusions
  • 6. Critically evaluate current research and apply this to practical applications in applied settings

ILO: Personal and key skills

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

  • 7. Communicate critical reports through oral presentation
  • 8. Learn independently with self-direction and originality
  • 9. Link theory to practice

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
  • Anxiety and attention
  • Quiet eye and quiet eye training
  • The BPSM:¬†Challenge vs Threat
  • Research proposal writing
  • Being a sport psychologist
  • Flow
  • Focus of attention and the OPTIMAL model
  • Dual tasking and motor learning
  • Research methods in sport and performance psychology

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 Teaching33Lectures and small group work
Guided Independent Study67Tutor-directed assignments
Guided Independent Study200Preparation for weekly lecturers through reading and ELE tasks


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Presentation10 minutes1-8Written/oral

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 oral and PowerPoint presentation of research proposal4015 minutes (+ 5 minutes of questions)1-9Written
Research proposal603000 words1-9Written


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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Individual oral and PowerPoint presentation of research proposalIndividual oral and PowerPoint presentation of research proposal1-9August/September assessment period
Research proposal Research proposal 1-9August/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 50%) you will be required to sit a further a further assessment as necessary. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 50%.


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading


  • Vickers, J.N. (2007). Perception, cognition and decision training: The quiet eye in action. Champaign IL: Human Kinetics.
  • Wilson, M.R., Walsh, V., & Parkin, B. (2017). Sport and the Brain. The science of preparing, enduring and winning (Part B). Progress in Brain Research, Vol 234, Elsevier.¬†
  • Baker J. & Farrow D. (2015) The Routledge handbook of sport expertise. London: Routledge.
  • Hanrahan, S. & Andersen, M. (2010). The Routledge handbook of applied sport psychology: A comprehensive guide for students and practitioners.


  • Wilson, M.R. (2012). Anxiety: Attention, the brain, the body and performance. In S. Murphy (Ed), The Oxford handbook of sport and performance psychology (pp. 173-190). New York, NY: Oxford University Press. DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199731763.013.0009.
  • Vine, S.J., Moore, L.J., & Wilson, M.R. (2016). An integrative framework of stress, attention, and visuomotor performance. Frontiers in Psychology, 7:1671.
  • Wulf G. & Lewthwaite R. (2016). Optimizing performance through intrinsic motivation and attention for learning: The OPTIMAL theory of motor learning. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 23, 1382–1414.

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

  • ELE page:

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Sport, skill acquisition, motor learning, quiet eye, visuomotor control, anxiety, stress

Credit value30
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date