MSc Sport and Exercise Psychology

Entry year
Course code
School of Social Sciences
One year full-time, two years part-time
Full-time, part-time, starts September
Programme leader
Lindsay Woodford and Danny Holmes

This course is open for applications

Page last updated 12 May 2023


Accredited by the British Psychological Society, this highly flexible Master's provides a strong theoretical background to sports psychology in practice. You'll experience excellent peer learning alongside applied experiences, where you'll observe sport psychology in action.

Accreditations and partnerships:

The MSc Sport and Exercise Psychology is designed to provide you with an advanced understanding of sport and exercise psychology theory. You'll build knowledge of the practical use of psychology in sport and exercise contexts, and develop a critical understanding of the relationship between theory and practice.

Because all members of the teaching team combine applied work with their academic roles, you can be sure that your learning will be up-to-date and shaped by real-life experiences of psychological support.

Our many industry connections include national governing bodies, organisations, athletes and professional teams. You'll have diverse opportunities to observe how sport and exercise psychology support is delivered in practice, and how psychologists work with coaches, other athlete support staff, and policy makers.

The MSc Sport and Exercise Psychology features a balance of online and face-to-face taught content, giving you the flexibility to fit your studies around work or other commitments. 

This course is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) and constitutes stage 1 training in sport and exercise psychology. As a graduate, you can go on to stage 2 training to gain chartership with the BPS by completing the Qualification in Sport and Exercise Psychology (QSEP) if you have Graduate Basis for Chartered membership (GBC) through your undergraduate psychology degree. Or you can complete the Sport and Exercise Psychology Accreditation Route (SEPAR) through the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES), if you have an undergraduate degree in sport science. Both options lead to registration with the Health and Care Professionals Council (HCPC).

Whether you wish to become a professional sport and exercise psychologist, enhance your coaching practice or work in the allied health professions, this MSc will provide you with an in-depth understanding of the application of psychology in sport and exercise contexts.  

Hear more about this exciting subject area by following our programme team on twitter: @UWEMScSportEx @sportingmindset@drzube @DHolmesPsych.

Watch: The learning and teaching experience



The course is made up of the following six compulsory modules:

  • Contemporary Issues in Sport Psychology - Develop a broader understanding of contemporary issues in sport psychology. These incorporate the social, developmental and clinical psychological components affecting athletes throughout their lives, and across all levels of sport competition. 
  • Psychological Skills - An introduction to the body of empirical work that investigates; cognitive processes and skill acquisition in sport, how individual differences may play a role in skill acquisition and execution of sport skills and how mental skills training can be used to enhance the performance of teams and individuals.
  • Conducting and Evaluating Psychological Research - Develop an understanding of research methods and data analysis in psychology. We aim to equip you with research literacy, whereby you are able not only to design and conduct psychological research appropriately, depending on the research question, but are also capable of critically evaluating published psychological research.
  • Professional Practice in Sport Psychology - An introduction to the lifecycle of the delivery of sport psychology support to target populations such as individual athletes, teams of athletes, parents of athletes and coaching staff. It will include key topics such as philosophical assumptions underpinning sport psychology service delivery and the ethics of psychological support. The module is designed to provide students with a detailed understanding of "how" to deliver sport psychology services from intake, needs analysis, case formulation, planning, delivery, monitoring and evaluating. 
  • Exercise Psychology - An introduction to the investigation of exercise and physical activity. You'll study key themes including current recommendations for physical activity, the relationship between physical activity and mental health, and the role of motivation.
  • Dissertation - To achieve the MSc award you will complete an in-depth research project, supervised by specialist subject tutors.

This structure is for the full-time course delivery only. For part-time delivery, the same modules will be studied. However, the structure will differ.

Full time students will study all modules over the course of 12 months. Part time students will study modules one to three in Year one and four to six in Year two.

The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved we will inform you.

Learning and Teaching

The course is delivered via a blended learning approach, incorporating asynchronous weekly lectures that students can engage with in their own time through our excellent virtual learning environment Blackboard. This is supplemented by three-day blocks of face to face teaching on campus every six weeks (two blocks in semester one and two blocks in semester two).

This innovative teaching and learning approach suits full-time and part-time study and means you can study in the most flexible and convenient way, around your professional and personal commitments.

For more details see our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.

Study time

Many of the modules that make up this course are useful for practitioners already working in the field of sport and exercise. You can even study modules independently as part of a personalised Continuous Professional Development programme.


The innovative assessment methods for this course have been designed to help you develop the skills necessary to practice as a sport and exercise psychologist. These include case studies, reflections, psycho-educational workshops, role plays and empirical research.

For more detail see our full glossary of assessment terms.


Professional accreditation

The MSc is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) and constitutes Stage 1 training towards practitioner sport and exercise psychologist status.

Study facilities

Find out more about the facilities and resources UWE has to offer.

Get a feel for the Psychology, Sociology and Criminology facilities we have on offer here from wherever you are.

You'll be taught by an experienced, research-active sport and exercise psychology teaching team of practitioner-academics. All are experts in their chosen research areas, whether they work with elite athletes or vulnerable and inactive populations, and they regularly publish in high-impact journals. Find out more from staff biographies and staff webpages.


Postgraduate support

Our support includes access to fantastic facilities, study tools and career consultants, plus practical help to access everything from funding to childcare.


A stunning city for student living with all the qualities to make you want to stay.

Sports, societies and activities

There is more to your experience here than study. Choose to make the most of it and try new things.

Health and Wellbeing

We provide support in the way you need it.

Campus and facilities

Discover our campuses and the wealth of facilities provided for our students.


Careers / Further study

Build valuable contacts with potential employers though opportunities for applied experiences. Our professional connections include Bristol Bears Rugby, England Surfing, Bristol Rovers FC, Western Storm Cricket and elite athletes training through UWE Bristol's Centre for Sport.

After completing this MSc, you'll need to complete Stage 2 training to become a Practitioner Sport and Exercise Psychologist. For further details of Stage 2 training through the BPS visit the Division of Sport and Exercise Psychology website or BASES.

Our award-winning careers service helps you develop your employment potential through career coaching, a vacancy service for internships, placements, jobs, global opportunities, volunteering and community activity plus support for entrepreneurial activity, and access to employer events.


Supplementary fee information

Further information about fees and funding.

See details of scholarship opportunities for international students.

Please also check whether you might be eligible for a bursary for this course.


Entry requirements

You should have either:

  • an honours degree awarded by a UK institute of higher education of at least lower second status, in Psychology or a relevant subject


  • qualifications deemed equivalent by the Course Leader

In order to be eligible to progress from the MSc to Stage 2 training in Sport and Exercise Psychology and become a Chartered Sport and Exercise Psychologist you must have GBC status. Applicants that do not have GBC status would not be eligible, under current BPS and HPC arrangements, to go on to Chartered Psychologist status. Those students without GBC who have studied sport and exercise science may be eligible for the SEPAR route through BASES.

We particularly welcome graduates with appropriate experience in sport and exercise psychology, and those who have been employed as sport and exercise psychologists for some time are welcome to apply.

If you have gained your degree from abroad you may be eligible for GBC and you should contact the BPS to clarify this. In many cases this can be a time consuming process so it is advisable to complete these enquiries prior to applying for the MSc, and well in advance of the application deadline to ensure your application can be considered for September entry.

We also offer the modules that make up this MSc as Continuing Professional Development (CPD) stand-alone courses. If you are interested in this option please contact the Course Leader for more details.

English language support

If you meet the academic requirements but require additional support to take your language skills to the required level, you may be able to attend one of our pre-sessional English courses. Students who successfully complete the pre-sessional course can progress onto their chosen degree course without retaking an IELTS or equivalent.

Read more about our Pre-Sessional English Programme.

English Language Requirement

International and EU applicants are required to have a minimum overall IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 with 5.5 in each component (or approved equivalent*).

*The university accepts a large number of UK and International Qualifications in place of IELTS. You can find details of acceptable tests and the required grades you will need in our English language requirements.

How to apply

Read more about international applications and key international deadline dates.

For further information