MSc Sport and Exercise Psychology

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

This course is open for applications.

Page last updated 2 August 2021


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 such as Bristol City Women's FC. 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 gain chartership with the BPS by completing stage 2 training. You may also be eligible to enrol on the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) programme of Supervised Experience. Both options could eventually lead to registration with the Health and Care Professionals Council (HCPC).

Whether you wish to become a chartered professional, 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



You'll study a range of core modules:

  • Professional Practice in Sport Psychology - An introduction to the process of delivering sport psychology support to target populations, including individual athletes, their teams, parents and coaching staff. Key topics include the philosophy underpinning service provision and the ethics of psychological support. You'll gain a detailed understanding of how to deliver services from the initial needs analysis to final evaluation.
  • 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. 
  • 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. Throughout the module, students will critically evaluate current research and investigate and comment on these issues.  
  • Psychological Skills - Build your understanding of the theory around skill acquisition in sport, exercise and physical activity. Explore current cognitive theories around skill acquisition, how perception is involved in skill acquisition, and the relationship between skill acquisition theory and current practice in sport and exercise psychology.
  • Conducting and Evaluating Psychological Research - Investigate the science underpinning different approaches to research, including research design and the collection of qualitative data, including semi-structured interviews, focus groups and questionnaires. You'll also cover approaches to data analysis, including grounded theory, thematic analysis, interpretative phenomenological analysis and discourse analysis.
  • Dissertation - To achieve the MSc award you will complete an in-depth research project. Full-time students will be supervised by specialist subject tutors, while part-time students will complete their project over two terms in the second year of study.

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.

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

You'll develop your skills and knowledge through block teaching days, and we provide an excellent virtual learning environment to support you throughout. 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

As a result, many of the modules that make up this course are useful for health professionals already working in sport and exercise promotion. You can even study modules independently as part of a personalised Continuous Professional Development programme.


We assess taught modules through written examinations and coursework. Coursework comprises case studies, a portfolio of experience, critical incidence analysis and oral presentations.

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.

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.


Careers / Further study

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, visit the Division of Sport and Exercise Psychology website.

To be eligible to progress for Stage 1 training in Sport and Exercise Psychology you must have Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBC) status.

Students with a sport and exercise science-related undergraduate degree will be eligible for the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) Supervised Experience. This is a requirement for training as a BASES Accredited Sport and Exercise Scientist.

Build valuable contacts with potential employers though opportunities for applied experiences. Our professional connections include Bristol Rugby, Bristol City Women's Football Club, elite athletes training through UWE Bristol's Centre for Sport, and dual-career athletes on the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS).

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.


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
  • an honours degree in Psychology and be eligible for the Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBC) for membership of the British Psychological Society (BPS)
  • qualifications deemed equivalent by the Course Leader

Applicants without a BPS accredited Psychology degree may be invited to interview ahead of being offered a place on the course.

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 may have a route for becoming HPC registered Sport and Exercise Psychologists in the future.

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.

For further information