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How do athletes overcome setbacks? What is the best way for coaches to develop a great team dynamic? How do referees and officials deal with criticism? What factors influence people to take part in exercise?

Sport and exercise psychologists seek to understand the ways in which thoughts and emotions can affect performance and exercise participation. They use this knowledge to provide psychological skills support, increase motivation and develop self-belief at all levels, whether that’s encouraging the public to adopt a more active lifestyle or improving the performance of elite competitors.

This British Psychological Society (BPS) accredited Masters degree will develop the advanced psychological knowledge to understand critical issues in sport and physical activity, from recreational to elite level.

The MSc in Sport and Exercise Psychology provides the first stage of practitioner training needed to become recognised as a Sport and Exercise Psychologist.

Modules and Learning

At Northumbria, we take a practical approach to learning and assessment. Based in our well-equipped laboratory facilities and the state-of-the art Sport Central, you will be given the opportunity to work with athletes and client groups.

You’ll find that many modules use real-world scenarios, providing an opportunity to satisfy your intellectual curiosity as you work your way through evidence that often seems contradictory or controversial. You may find yourself helping to solve a real-life athlete issue; implementing intervention strategies to assist with performance; or developing a strategy to encourage behaviour change.

Assessment methods are varied and include exams, critical reviews and essays. Much of the course-based assessment has been developed to illustrate how the principles of sport and exercise psychology are applied in real world contexts. These may include reflections, case study reports, client/athlete needs assessments presentations, and handouts to coaches.


Module information is indicative and is reviewed annually therefore may be subject to change. Applicants will be informed if there are any changes.

Year one

  • PY0756 - Exercise Psychology (20 Credits)
  • PY0757 - Motor Processes in Sport (20 Credits)
  • PY0758 - Psychological Skills for Sport Performance (20 Credits)
  • PY0759 - Counselling and Interpersonal Processes in Sport and Exercise(20 Credits)
  • PY0774 - Qualitative and Quantitative Methods (20 Credits)
  • PY0775 - Professional Skills (20 Credits)
  • PY0776 - MSc Thesis (Core,60 Credits)

Fees and Funding 2019/20 Entry

Full UK Fee: £7,995

Full EU Fee: £7,995

Full International Fee: £15,000

  • Click here for UK and EU Masters funding and scholarships information.
  • Click here for International Masters funding and scholarships information.
  • Click here for UK/EU Masters tuition fee information.
  • Click here for International Masters tuition fee information.
  • Click here for additional costs which may be involved while studying.
  • Click here for information on fee liability.

Your Future

You will graduate with a wide range of professional skills, which include the ability to:

  • critically evaluate current theories and evidence which can be applied to understand and solve complex issues in real world contexts.
  • communicate your ideas and findings effectively to variety of audiences, whether it be coaches, parents, athletes or exercise enthusiasts.
  • apply relevant ethical, legal and professional practice frameworks (such as those required by the BPS and HCPC).

Your transferable skills will include oral and written communication, critical evaluation, problem solving, time management, IT and advanced statistical and qualitative analysis techniques.

Graduates with Stage 1 and Stage 2 qualifications who are interested in sport psychology will be in a strong position to work with major sports teams or field-based consultation at major sporting events. Options for exercise psychologists include working in private rehabilitation, gyms, the NHS, GP exercise referral schemes and local Councils.

Some of our recent graduates now work as teachers, coaches, consultants, in the healthcare sector and for organisations including the English Institute of Sport and Sunderland Association Football Club (SAFC). Many of our students have gone on to further postgraduate opportunities such as Ph.D. study whilst some have also secured placement opportunities in elite, amateur and recreational level sport. 

Visit the Sport and Exercise Psychology MSc page on the Northumbria University website for more details!




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