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Course content

This interdisciplinary course, delivered in association with Everton in the Community (the official charity of Everton Football Club), provides you with a unique opportunity to undertake cutting-edge, impact-focused and policy-relevant teaching and research related to health and wellbeing in sport, physical activity and related sectors.

You will have the opportunity to work with academic experts, practitioners and other professionals to further your understanding of the complex links between sport, physical activity and mental health and develop expertise in the design and evaluation of programmes intended to promote mental health and wellbeing. You will also examine how mental health may be compromised, as well as enhanced, by participating and working in community and professional sport.

The programme is suitable for graduates as well as current practitioners, professionals and policy makers, who have an interest in sport, physical activity and mental health or health and wellbeing more broadly. The course will also be highly relevant for those working in community and professional sport, including coaches, current and former athletes, safeguarding and welfare officers, and support staff.

What will I study?

This programme enables you to study the prevalence and determinants of mental health and illness and their association with various forms of inequality. You will analyse how sport and physical activity are commonly used to address mental health and illness, become familiar with how sport and physical activity programmes are designed and evaluated, and explore how these programmes emerge out of local, national and international policy processes and priorities.

Optional modules provide you with the opportunity to study how mental health can be compromised and enhanced at community and/or professional levels of sport and physical activity, in addition to investigating how the mental health needs of different populations can be addressed.

Following an introduction to major research methodologies, methods and approaches, undertaking an independent research dissertation on a topic of your choice will enable you to develop an in-depth understanding of project and people management, how organisations address mental health and illness, and the ethical dilemmas involved in researching mental health in sport and physical activity contexts.

You will be encouraged to inform this project with any insight derived from relevant work experience in sport, physical activity and mental health settings. If you wish to undertake applied work experience to inform your studies, you will be supported to do so by engaging with key partners including Everton in the Community.

How will I study?

The course will be delivered in a variety of ways, including lectures, workshops, student-led seminars and discussions, tutorials, applied work experience, and practitioner-oriented mentoring.

You will typically be required to attend one afternoon/early evening session per week and engage in supported activity (e.g. tutorials) as appropriate.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed through a combination of coursework (including essays, policy briefings and reports, and programme evaluations), individual presentations and a research dissertation.

There are no formal written examinations as part of the current assessment methods on this programme.

Who will be teaching me?

You will be taught by academic staff who possess expertise in a variety of disciplines allied to sport, physical activity and mental health, including sociology, psychology, psychiatry, physiology, policy analysis, and performing arts.

Practitioners and professionals who work in sport, physical activity and mental health, in addition to other guest speakers involved in teaching and research, will also regularly contribute to the delivery of the programme.

What are my career prospects?

You will graduate well placed to pursue a variety of career paths, including working in community and professional sport as a mental health practitioner, programme manager/worker, policy maker, coach, administrator, safeguarding and welfare officer, or as part of a sports science support team.

Alternatively, you may wish to pursue a career in research, youth and social work, or in the sport, leisure and business management sectors. The course also provides ideal preparation to progress onto doctoral study in sport and physical activity.

Visit the MSc Sport, Physical Activity and Mental Health page on the Edge Hill University website for more details!

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