MSc Applied Sport and Exercise Psychology

Our MSc Applied Sport and Exercise Psychology concentrates on the application of psychology to maximise the performance of athletes and the therapeutic aspects of sport and exercise. Completing this postgraduate qualification is an essential step towards becoming a chartered Sport and Exercise Psychologist.

Applied Sport and Exercise Psychology

Key information

Award:

MSc

Mode of Study:

Full-time

Duration:

18 months

Location:

The University of Bolton

Start date:

20/09/2021

Course Details

The MSc Applied Sport and Exercise Psychology at the University of Bolton offers you the opportunity to develop a comprehensive theoretical understanding of the sport and exercise psychology literature, as well as the ability to apply this knowledge in professional sport and exercise environments. This focused postgraduate qualification forms an ideal springboard for those wishing to pursue further professional training towards chartered status as a Sport and Exercise Psychologist.

Our expert team will work with you to develop your theoretical and applied knowledge. To facilitate and deepen your learning, you’ll undertake two professional practice placements in relevant sport and exercise environments. You’ll work alongside seasoned practitioners who will challenge you to apply your knowledge to a variety of key stakeholders. Alongside the professional practice placements, you’ll learn a range of practical skills relating to performance enhancement and the development of psychological wellbeing. Your studies will also focus on assessing the needs of an organisation and developing and delivering culturally sensitive interventions within a professional environment.

You’ll be encouraged to critically reflect on your applied experiences to help you learn from your mentors and integrate theory with practice. This will begin to develop and shape your philosophy of practice and practitioner identity in preparation for supervised training towards chartered Sport and Exercise Psychologist status, should this be your goal after graduating from this course.

Highlights
  • This programme focuses on supporting you to develop in-demand knowledge and skills that are fundamental to supporting individuals and groups in a professional sport and exercise psychology environment.
  • The professional practice placements will offer you the opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge in a sport and exercise context.
  • Our highly qualified and dedicated sport and exercise psychology team offer a wealth of experience working in professional sport and exercise settings.
  • Placements and practical assessments throughout the course will help you develop critical applied skills highly sought after by employers.
Key Features
  • This programme is designed to meet the master’s-level academic requirements set by the British Psychological Society (BPS) and the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) as a pre-requisite for their supervised training pathways to become a chartered Sport and Exercise Psychologist.
  • You’ll be expected to complete two placements (45 hours each), totalling a minimum of 90 hours – one in a sport setting and one in an exercise setting.
  • Your research project will bridge the gap between theory and practice and offer you an opportunity to engage in the publication process to advance knowledge in the field of sport and exercise psychology.
  • Learning and teaching are student-centred, with small group sessions and one-to-one tutorials. This is supported by the University’s virtual learning environment.
Professional recognition

We are seeking accreditation with both the British Psychological Society (BPS) and the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) (validation pending).


  • Normally, you should have at least an upper second class (2.1) honours degree in a relevant subject. Relevant subjects include psychology, sport and exercise psychology, sport and exercise science, and sport rehabilitation. We’ll also consider other psychology, sport or exercise-related undergraduate programmes.
  • If your intention is to pursue a career as a chartered Sport and Exercise Psychologist through supervised training with the British Psychological Society (BPS), then please read the entry requirements for the BPS Qualification in Sport and Exercise Psychology (QSEP) (Stage 2) route on the BPS website,
  • Alternatively, if your intention is to work towards chartered Sport and Exercise Psychologist status through supervised training with the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES), then please read the full entry requirements for the Sport and Exercise Psychology Accreditation Route (SEPAR) on the BASES website.
  • You’ll be required to attend an interview and/or provide a portfolio of work.
  • Many professional practice placements involved in this course involve unsupervised access to children and/or vulnerable young people and adults, also known as regulated activity. If you’ll be undertaking a placement that involves regulated activity (and the vast majority of our students will do), you’ll have to get an Enhanced Disclosure certificate from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) beforehand. Charges are payable to cover the cost of the DBS Enhanced Disclosure application and annual registration with the online Update Service.
  • If English isn’t your first language you’ll also need IELTS 6.5 with normally no less than 6.0 in any band (or equivalent). We also accept a range of other English language qualifications – please visit our English Language Requirements web page for more details.
  • Please note that this course is subject to the University of Bolton's Fitness to Practise procedure.

Want some reassurance or advice? Speak to one of our advisors. Email us at admissions@bolton.ac.uk or call us on +44 (0)1204 903 394.

Where changes are made to material information contained in this course description or a decision is taken to suspend a course between the offer of admissions and enrolment, we will inform applicants at the earliest possible opportunity and will outline the various options available to the applicant.


This master’s degree is ideal if you wish to pursue a career in sport and exercise psychology. After graduating from this course, you’ll possess a strong grounding in sport and exercise psychology. If your ultimate goal is to become a chartered Sport and Exercise Psychologist, you’ll also possess a wealth of knowledge and skills required to progress onto the required professional supervised training.

How you work towards chartered Sport and Exercise Psychologist status will depend on your undergraduate qualifications and prior knowledge of psychology. The British Psychological Society (BPS) offers the Qualification in Sport and Exercise Psychology (QSEP) (Stage 2). This MSc is a pre-requisite requirement for the BPS Stage 2 supervised training route. This route is often preferred by students who possess a BPS-accredited undergraduate degree or conversion course and have already achieved the Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBC).

Alternatively, you may be able to pursue the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) Sport and Exercise Psychology Accreditation Route (SEPAR) supervised training. This route is often more appropriate for students who hold a sport-related undergraduate degree as well as a BPS-accredited psychology conversion course (or other psychology qualification that is acceptable to BASES).

Once you’ve successfully completed either the BPS QSEP Stage 2 training or BASES SEPAR training, then you’ll be eligible to apply for professional registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) to practice as a chartered Sport and Exercise Psychologist.

Please note: As every student’s prior qualifications and experience are different, it is your responsibility to research your route towards chartered Sport and Exercise Psychologist status thoroughly before you enrol on this MSc Applied Sport and Exercise Psychology. This will ensure you fully understand the entry requirements of your chosen professional body.

What can I do with this qualification?

Depending on the undergraduate degree and psychology qualifications you hold, successful completion of this programme can offer you an exciting opportunity to progress onto either the BPS QSEP Stage 2 or BASES SEPAR supervised training. Both of these routes allow you to work towards becoming a chartered Sport and Exercise Psychologist and professional registration with the HCPC.

As the course offers the opportunity to engage in practice-based learning in both sport and exercise settings, you can learn to apply your theoretical knowledge and practical skills in a variety of professional contexts. This can enhance your employability and give you the edge over candidates whose experience is limited to one type of setting.

In addition, the research and critical thinking skills you’ll develop will provide you with an excellent foundation should you wish to pursue a PhD or professional doctorate qualification in the future.

Alternative career options

This course is primarily designed for students wishing to pursue a career as a chartered Sport and Exercise Psychologist. However, graduates can also use the qualification as a stepping-stone into a range of other careers. For some of these roles, relevant experience and/or alternative or additional postgraduate study may be required. Some of these careers include:

  • Sports coaching
  • Physiotherapy
  • Sport and exercise science
  • Sport rehabilitation
  • Performance lifestyle advisor
  • Well-being officer
  • Higher education teaching and research

Course fees

Home students starting this course in the first year will be required to pay a Home fee of £3,600 for the academic year 2021/22.

Overseas students starting this course in the first year will be required to pay a Overseas fee of £12,450 for the academic year 2021/22.

Useful information

Please note, the total course fee for a Home student starting this course in 2021/22 will be £5,400. As this is an 18 month course, the fees are £3,600 for the first year and £1,800 for the final semester.

The fees for a student’s course of study will be set for the normal duration of that course subject only to inflationary increases – measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded in March each year to take effect for subsequent start dates.

The university is currently awaiting government guidelines as to EU fee charges for students commencing study in 2021-2022.

Bursaries

Click here for more information on our 2020 Master's Bursaries.


For details of how to apply for this course, please choose your status from the options below:

You may apply directly to the University using the University's online application form. Please select your chosen start date from the list below:

You should have to hand:

  • Details of the educational establishments you attended and dates

  • Your certificates for the qualifications you are using to gain entry to the course – you will need to enter the completion date and upload copies

  • Details of any employment history including name, address, dates and role

  • Personal statement – this can be either input into the relevant field or uploaded separately

  • Details including e-mail addresses of two referees, at least one of which should be someone who can provide an academic reference

Please make sure any documents you wish to upload in support of your application are in pdf or jpeg format. Personal statements may be word documents.

Please ensure your data is correct at each stage of the application before you proceed to the next page. If you use the back button at any time during the application, you should check the validity of the data you have already input.

If you experience difficulties during the application process, contact the Admissions Team on 01204 903394 or admissions@bolton.ac.uk

The University welcomes applications from international students from all over the world. We try to make the application process as simple and as fast as possible for our international applicants.

How you apply is determined by your current location and what you are choosing to study:

  1. Apply direct to the University. Links for the next available intakes of this course are shown below. Please click the link which will direct you to the online application form. Please read the user guidance before completing this.
  2. Apply via one of our approved in-country referral partners. A list of our partners may be found on the International pages of this website.
  3. Apply via UCAS for courses starting in September only – visit www.ucas.com.

Should you have any queries please contact the International Team on +44 (0) 1204 903110 or email international@bolton.ac.uk

  • Apply online: University of Bolton MSc Applied Sport and Exercise Psychology-20 September 2021 (Intake not currently accepting international applications)


Teaching will occur in small groups as we believe that this is the most effective way to support you to develop the knowledge and skills required to complete the programme successfully. Rather than formal lectures, you can expect face-to-face sessions to feel more like seminars. This will allow our academic team to engage you and your classmates in debates and discussions, share good practice, and demonstrate core psychological skills. You’ll also be expected to take part in role-play activities. These are designed to consolidate your learning, helping you develop practical skills in delivering psychology support in sport and exercise settings. We’ll also set individual and group work during classroom teaching, and tutorials will be available to supplement your in-class learning. In particular, we’ll encourage and support you to use reflective practice to support your progress and consolidate your learning.

The assessment strategy for the programme is designed to support your professional development and reflective practice. We use a variety of assessment methods such as case studies, research proposals, one-to-one practical activities, workshops, vivas, and stakeholder reports.

Practical placement experiences will be arranged for you and are a core component of the programme. The Sport and Exercise Psychology in Professional Practice (SEP7002) module will run throughout the programme, offering you the opportunity to engage in, and learn from, a variety of practical experiences. During the placements, you’ll receive informal feedback on your performance to help you assess your progress and improve your practice, as well as formal assessment that will contribute to your overall grade for the course.

Modules

The modules listed below may be a mixture of compulsory and optional. You may not have the opportunity to study all the modules shown as part of the course.

  • Research Project
  • Sport and Exercise Psychology in Professional Practice
  • Psychological Strategies: Exercise and Behaviour Change
  • Individual Support: Person and Performer
  • Organisational Psychology: Context and Culture
  • Research Methods
Assessment methods
LevelAssesment method
Level oneCoursework 45%, Practical exams 55%
Learning activities
LevelLearning activity
Level oneGuided independent study 80%, Placement/study abroad 5%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 15%

Disclaimer

The university will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver your course as described in its published material and the programme specification for the academic year in which you begin your course. The university considers changes to courses very carefully and the university will minimise any changes. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis and changes may be necessary due to legitimate staffing, financial, regulatory and academic reasons. The content of course modules and mode of associated assessments may be updated on an annual basis. This is to ensure that all modules are up-to-date and responsive to employment and sector needs. The published course material and the programme specification contain indicative ‘optional modules’ that may be subject to change due to circumstances outside of our control. For this reason, we cannot guarantee to run any specific optional module.

The academic staff detailed above teach across a range of courses in this subject area and may not teach on this course specifically.

Programme Contacts

Nick Wadsworth
Dr, Programme Leader and Senior Lecturer

N.Wadsworth@bolton.ac.uk

+44 (0)1204 903887

Gill Brown
Dr, Associate Teaching Professor

G.Brown@bolton.ac.uk

+44 (0)1204 903686

Enquiry Team
University of Bolton

enquiries@bolton.ac.uk

+44 (0)1204 903903

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