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Durham University

Faculty Handbook 2022-2023

Module Description

Please ensure you check the module availability box for each module outline, as not all modules will run each academic year.

Department: Sport and Exercise Sciences

SPRT2271: Advanced Sport and Exercise Psychology

Type Open Level 2 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2022/23 Module Cap Location Durham


  • Introduction to Sport and Exercise Psychology SPRT1261


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To develop an advanced understanding of the psychological principles that underpin sport and exercise engagement and participation;
  • To develop a critical awareness of the strengths and limitations of psychological research and theory;
  • To translate and apply this knowledge and understanding in a ‘real world’ context;
  • To develop the skills required for effective one-to-one psychological consultations.


  • Indicative content will include:
  • Psychological theories that underpin exercise and physical activity participation (motivation; attitude theories; theory of reasoned action; theory of planned behaviour; transtheoretical theory, etc.);
  • Controversies linked with psychological methods and testing with athletes;
  • Measurement issues in applied exercise psychology;
  • Stress and resilience in sport and exercise contexts;
  • Psychological benefits of physical activity: mechanisms & hypotheses; mental health & well-being;
  • Evidence based interventions in sport (performance enhancement) and exercise (behaviour change and activity promotion);
  • Professional practice: using real-world scenarios to consider and problem solve athlete issues, and negative effects of chronic exercise;
  • Professional practice: implementing intervention strategies to enhance performance or developing a strategy to encourage behaviour change.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Explained how psychological theory and research can aid understanding of behaviour and wellbeing in sport and exercise contexts.
  • Demonstrated understanding of the challenges of sport and exercise psychology research, theory and practice.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Analysed determinants of behaviour and wellbeing in sport and exercise contexts.
  • Demonstrated the application of psychological theory and research to design interventions.
Key Skills:
  • Delivered and engaged in reflective practice concerning applied psychological consultancy.
  • Demonstrated clear verbal communication skills

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Staff-led content, including individual and group-based activities, will introduce students to the basic concepts & key theories underpinning exercise participation.
  • Interactive group activities will enable students to discuss the relative merits of specific theories, assessment tools and empirical research;
  • Independently students will be required to invest time in directed reading, research activities, group-based activity preparation, and study tasks;
  • Assessment is structured around consultations the students will undertake; one with an athlete, and one with an inactive individual. For each case study, students will plan and justify an approach, interpret the data received using their knowledge of psychological theory and research, and form recommendations for further intervention support.
  • A formative tutorial (mock oral discussion) will allow students to prepare for their summative from both a process and learning perspective. Students will have an opportunity to discuss understanding gained from their first case study, and gain feedback on their insights and planning for case study 2;
  • A summative individual oral discussion will allow students to discuss their case studies in depth, providing a theory- and evidence-base for their interpretations, recommendations and decision making during the process.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Interactive lectures/workshops 20 weekly 1 20
Interactive seminars 8 4 per term 1 8
Case study consultations preparation and reading 172
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Assignment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Individual Oral Discussion 30 minutes 100%

Formative Assessment:

1x 20 minute individual tutorial (mock oral discussion) (Optional).

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University

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