This course is designed for students wishing to specialise in the discipline of sport and exercise psychology, to gain professional training, acquire vocationally related psychological skills, develop acritical thinking approach and conduct research, in a science practice model. This MSc was developed in the context of the increasing professionalisation of sport and exercise psychology, the accreditation criteria for the British Psychological Society (BPS) and the need for a university level course in Ireland. The MSc will provide graduates competencies in applying interventions professionally and ethically. The programme will provide students a grounding in the theory, themes, issues and practical skills central to the knowledge base of sport and exercise psychology. The 3 main themes– 1. theory-practice 2. Individual content 3. stability-change –permeate throughout each of the taught modules. The themes are embedded to serve as a heuristic tool to enable students to apply and underpin critical thinking. This thematic approach supports and reflects the critical philosophy that underpins the programme and is central to teaching, learning and assessment. Graduates should possess professional skills in consulting, advanced research, relevant personal skills and an understanding of the high performance environment.
The University regularly refreshes courses to ensure they are up-to-date. This process is academic revalidation. This course is being refreshed, with changes being put in place for students entering from Sept 2018 onwards. Contact the Course Director for information.
The overarching aim of the programme is to provide a recognised level of training for aspiring professionals in the field of sport and exercise psychology by providing them with the competencies required to apply psychology professionally and ethically in sport and exercise settings. The programme has three themes at its core which influence the pedagogical outcomes throughout the modules: theory practice; stability-change and individual-context.
Both the overall objective and the themes are achieved through the goals outlined below:
1. To provide students with a sound understanding of key theoretical issues in the field of sport and exercise psychology.
2. To enable students to develop an in-depth understanding of the application of theory to sport and exercise settings.
3. To provide the opportunity for students to gain practical skills that will enhance their ability to work with individuals and groups in the sport and exercise context.
4. To provide students with the skills to plan, implement and evaluate work in an applied setting.
5. To enable students to develop a range of practical competencies pertinent to completion of Stage 1 with the BPS. In order to gain accreditation as a Sport and Exercise Psychologist, completion of an approved HCPC stage 2 qualification and registration with the HCPC is required.
6. To help students to develop the skills necessary to design, conduct, analyse and report empirical research in the field of sport and exercise psychology.
7. To facilitate students in acquiring employment and entrepreneurial skills that would enable them to commercialise their skills and intellectual property.
8. To facilitate the development of critical and self-reflective awareness of the ethical concerns and implications of applying psychology in sport and exercise settings.
Teaching and learning assessment
The course will aim to deliver a range of learning experiences that will enable students to
develop their knowledge and skills (at Level 7) and support the development of Graduate
Qualities. The primary aim is to encourage students to become active and motivated learners, to question and critically analyse subject material and make specific reference to the role of psychology in addressing change in both the high performance environment and in the public health domain. Successful students will be able to achieve this prime aim in the first instance by employing scientific theories, concepts and empirical knowledge. To further help fulfil this aim, the course team encourages critical thinking, creative and strategic skills in students.This is directly in line with two of the University's strategic teaching and learning aims, these being to promote and foster creativity and innovation in curriculum design and delivery, and to promote learning, professionalism and employability through the integration of academic theory and relevant professional and vocational experience. Creativity is defined here in its broadest sense to include critically informed approaches to existing issues in sport and exercise psychology, as well as innovative ways of delivering and evaluating physical activity and exercise interventions to help improve health outcomes. Thus, it has direct relevance for the development and enhancement of professional and practical skills. The breadth and relevance of the curriculum, the resources available to students, the flexible options for attendance coupled with the variety in teaching, learning and assessment methods are anchored in the University's strategic teaching and learning aims, particularly in seeking to enhance the overall student learning experience and seeking to target, recruit and retain a diverse range of students.
Teaching, learning and assessment takes a wide variety of forms, and in order to achieve this, approaches will vary across modules depending on the prescribed requirements. All students have on-line access to a programme handbook, as well as a distinct Course Support Area on BB Learn, made available at the start of the academic year. This details the organisation of teaching and learning, it describes the programme-wide arrangements for submission and return of assessment as well as specific information regarding the expectations that the programme team will have of each student. Individual module learning will also be supported by the provision of module handbooks including the module descriptor, module content, assessment information and any other material considered relevant for teaching and learning.
British Psychological Society (BPS)
Accredited by the British Psychological Society, this makes up Stage One of the training in Sport and Exercise Psychology. In order to gain the eligibility to apply for registration with the HCPC, to practise and use the protected title of Sport and Exercise Psychologist, an approved HCPC Stage Two programme needs to be completed.