Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024 (archived)

Module SPRT2271: Advanced Sport and Exercise Psychology

Department: Sport and Exercise Sciences

SPRT2271: Advanced Sport and Exercise Psychology

Type Open Level 2 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2023/24 Module Cap 125 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.
  • Formative feedback will be provided (mock oral discussion) in seminars as a series of check-ins to assess progress and preparation for summative assessments.
  • The first summative will include a written portfolio assessing the needs of the selected client. A second summative will include an oral discussion 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
Lectures 20 weekly 1 20
Interactive seminars/practical workshops 8 4 per term 1 8
Case study consultations preparation and reading 172
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Assignment Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written Portfolio 1500 words 100%
Component: Assignment Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Individual Oral Discussion 30 minutes 100%

Formative Assessment:

Provided in-seminar feedback with feedback from seminar leader through a series of check-in activities to assess progress and preparation for summative assessment.

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