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MSc Sport and Exercise Psychology

Study a course that can prepare you for a career in sport and exercise psychology. You gain the Stage 1 Qualification in Sport and Exercise Psychology (QSEP) awarded by the British Psychological Society and prepare for the stage 2 qualification required for chartered status .

Course length 1-2 Year(s)
Location Collegiate Campus

Course description

If you hold the British Psychological Society (BPS) Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) this course will support you along the path to becoming a chartered sport and exercise psychologist. You can choose to study to obtain GBC after completing the MSc if you decide to follow the full pathway to becoming a registered sport and exercise psychologist.

Successfully completing the course provides you with Stage 1 of the BPS Qualification in Sport and Exercise Psychology (QSEP), and prepares you for stage 2, which is required for chartered status.

You gain core skills in the academic and intellectual understanding and researching of sport and exercise psychology. You also begin to consider applied practice in sport and exercise settings, enabling you to be supervised and taught by chartered practising psychologists.

The course provides you with opportunities to study psychology in both a sport and exercise setting. In this setting, you consider the role of psychological interventions for sport performers, coaches and teams as well as lifestyle behaviour change, such as exercise and physical activity adoption.

You develop your work-related and applied skills throughout the course whilst keeping a major focus on developing your core psychological skills, especially in the sport and exercise psychology subject area.

To gain the masters, you complete a major research project. It may be possible to study your project overseas if it satisfies the module aims and learning outcomes.

Professional links and experience
Our teaching team are chartered psychologists in the Division of Sport and Exercise and BPS supervisors for the QSEP. They also have substantial practice experience in both elite athlete and physical activity and exercise settings.

Sheffield Hallam are a skills development partner of the Chartered Institute for Managing Sport and Physical Activity.

Research expertise
75 per cent of Sheffield Hallam’s sport research is of international standard according to the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE). ‘Research Research’ ranks us as fourth in the country for sports research, based on the results of the 2008 RAE.

Postgraduate Diploma in Psychology
If you do not hold Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership, you can complete our Postgraduate Diploma in Psychology (conversion course) before or after completing the MSc.

Professional recognition

This course is accredited by the British Psychological Society.

Entry requirements

2017 entry requirements

You need a 2.1 honours degree or higher in a related subject and British Psychological Society (BPS) Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC).

If English is not your first language you will need an IELTS score of 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in all skills, or a recognised equivalent. If your level of English language is currently below IELTS 6.0 we recommend you consider an appropriate Sheffield Hallam University Pre-sessional English course which will enable you to achieve the required level of English.

International and European Union students - you must have been granted BPS GBC.

You may also be able to claim credit points which can reduce the amount of time it takes to complete your qualification at Sheffield Hallam. Find out more

International and European entry qualifications

If you are an International or non-UK European student, you can find out more about the country specific qualifications we accept on our international qualifications page.

Course structure

Full-time – one year
Part-time – typically two years
Starts September

Typical modules may include

Course structure

The masters award is achieved by successfully completing 180 credits.


Research methods (15 credits)
This module introduces the research process, its purpose and structure. It allows you to identify areas of investigation, critically evaluate and interpret the work of others and plan and present a research proposal. Topics include • epistemology and related philosophies • developing the research question • critical appraisal • types of research and research designs • ways of reporting research • ethical issues and risk assessment.

Data analysis (15 credits)
In this module you develop the skills required to conduct scientifically robust research. You explore statistical and measurement techniques commonly used in sport and exercise research and develop the skills to present and communicate research findings effectively. Topics include • statistical issues • relationships among variables • differences between groups • nonparametric techniques • completing the research process.

Psychology of sport and performance (15 credits)
You study the psychology in sporting performance and contemporary issues and debates in sport psychology. You explore the integration between theories in sport psychology and how they underpin applied practice.

Physical activity and health behaviour (15 credits)
You look at theoretical and applied issues in physical activity and health from a public health and a client-focused perspective. Topics include • physical activity and mental health • exercise motivation • adherence and models of exercise behaviour change. You develop communication and counselling skills, an important part of health behaviour change techniques.

Lifespan development perspectives in sport and exercise (15 credits)
You examine variations in health, exercise and sport at different ages and stages of life. You analyse different influences and perspectives on health, physical activity and sport across the lifespan, focusing on major theories of development in early life, mid-life and later life.

Applied techniques in sport and exercise psychology (15 credits)
You develop an understanding of the psychological knowledge and skills needed to enhance performance in sport and exercise. You explore some of the key issues associated with providing psychological support services to clients and client groups.

Individual differences in sport and exercise psychology (15 credits)
You examine • psychoanalytic • humanistic • behavioural • cognitive • biological theories of personality in sport and exercise psychology. You also study applications and debates in individual differences, such as • motivation • gender • arousal • anxiety • self-efficacy • self-perception • talent identification and special groups.

Developing professional practice in sport and exercise psychology (15 credits)
You develop your applied professional skills to understand the environment in which you practice in the future. You develop your theoretical knowledge of sport and exercise psychology as well as interacting with key stakeholders in these settings.

Project (60 credits)
You conduct an independent, in-depth investigation into a topic of your choice based on your specialist discipline.

  • examinations
  • portfolio
  • group and individual presentations
  • written reports
  • practical assessments


Our graduates are ideally positioned to progress to Stage 2 of the QSEP and work toward becoming a chartered sport and exercise psychologist.

Once chartered you can work in a range of settings including elite sport, physical activity and exercise or rehabilitation. This may be supporting athletes, coaches, parents, patients and families.


Home / EU student

Please note tuition fees may increase in each subsequent academic year of your course, subject to government regulations on fee increases and in line with inflation. More information can be found in the ‘Tuition Fee Increases’ section of our Fees Regulations (PDF, 2.10 MB)

2016/17 academic year

Full-time – typically £6,300

Part-time – typically £2,100 a stage for PgCert, PgDip and MSc stages

Postgraduate loans of up to £10,000 are available across the majority of subject areas.

2017/18 academic year

Full-time – typically £6,400

Part-time – typically £2,135 a stage for PgCert, PgDip and MSc stages

International student

2016/17 academic year

Typically £12,500 for the course

2017/18 academic year

Typically £13,250 for the course

Additional course costs

This link allows you to view estimated costs associated with the main activities on specific courses. These are estimates and, as such, are only an indication of additional course costs. Actual costs can vary greatly depending on the choices you make during your course.

Additional costs information

How to apply

Complete the application form available at www.shu.ac.uk/study/form

Any offer of a place to study is subject to your acceptance of the University’s Terms and Conditions and student Regulations.

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