Psychology of Sport (Accredited)

MSc, Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate

98% of our postgraduate leavers are in employment or further study within six months of graduating (Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey 2015/16).


Taught by staff with consultancy and research experience, this MSc reflects the current industry trends and employer needs. The course has a broad focus and develops a critical understanding of contemporary theory, research and practice in sport psychology, with a focus on developing graduates who are able to integrate and translate theory and research into practice.

Your studies will include: theory and application of psychological skills, exploration of social processes, understanding of individual differences, learning applied research methods and developing knowledge of career transition management.

In addition to these core skills, the course places a great emphasis on professional practice and development through a work-based learning experience, alongside developing your own specific interests through a research dissertation.

Key information

EU Applicants
EU students enrolling for a postgraduate taught degree in the 2017/18 and 2018/19 academic year will be admitted as Scottish/EU fee status students and will be eligible for the same tuition support as Scottish domiciled students.

  • Qualification: MSc, Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate
  • Study methods: Part-time, Full-time, Campus based
  • Start date:


  • Course Director: Dr Calum Arthur
Download postgraduate prospectus

Sport Postgraduate Recruitment Team

Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport
University of Stirling

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Entry requirements

Academic requirements

A minimum of a second class Honours degree (2.1 preferred) or equivalent. Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant appropriate/relevant work/life experience are encouraged to apply.




English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

  • IELTS: 6.5 with 5.5 minimum in each skill
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade B
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic): 60 with 51 in each component
  • IBT TOEFL: 90 with no subtest less than 17

For more information go to English language requirements

If you don’t meet the required score you may be able to register for one of our pre-sessional English courses. To register you must hold a conditional offer for your course and have an IELTS score 0.5 or 1.0 below the required standard. View our range of pre-sessional courses.

Flexible Learning

If you are interested in studying a module from this course, the Postgraduate Certificate or the Postgraduate Diploma then please email to discuss your course of study.

Fees and costs


2018/19 Overseas £15,250
2018/19 Home/EU £4,700

Fees for all new applicants to postgraduate taught courses are held at the level set upon entry.

Please note there is an additional charge should you choose to attend a graduation ceremony. View more information

Cost of Living

Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling

Payment options

Find information on paying fees by instalments

Scholarships & funding

SAAS Postgraduate Loans

The Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) is now offering a generous loan scheme to assist eligible Scottish and EU-domiciled students pursuing a Masters at the University of Stirling during 2018/19. Find out more about SAAS Postgraduate Loans

information on possible sources of funding

Scholarship finder

Structure and teaching

Structure and content

Taught by staff with consultancy and research experience, the course reflects the current industry trends and employer needs. Staff comprise Chartered Psychologists, registered Sport and Exercise Psychologists with the Health & Care Professions Council, and BASES accredited practitioners, supervisors and reviewers.

You can study either full-time or part-time to Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma or MSc levels. To be awarded an MSc in Psychology of Sport, you must attain 180 SCQF points. You will achieve this by successfully completing the following modules:

  • Applications of Sport Psychology (40 credits)
  • Social Psychology of Sport (20 credits)
  • Research Methods for Sport (20 credits)
  • Key Readings in Sport Psychology (20 credits)
  • Public Engagement in Sport and Exercise Psychology (20 credits)
  • Dissertation (60 credits)

On successful completion of the above modules, you will be able to:

  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of key theories in sport psychology, including a broad knowledge base of psychological skills, strategies and techniques to facilitate performance enhancement within individuals and teams
  • apply a variety of assessment methods in order to develop comprehensive profiles for performance enhancement work
  • identify areas of practice that could benefit from research, and design, conduct and evaluate an appropriate investigation
  • develop and utilise quantitative and qualitative research skills

Delivery and assessment

Knowledge and understanding are acquired and enhanced through lectures, seminars, group work, presentations, staff/student tutorials, guided independent study, professional practice experiences and through the University’s virtual learning environment – Succeed.

Individual staff/student tutorials are available for providing feedback and for supervision of the Research Project. Students receive a Faculty handbook describing the course outline, module details, procedures and assessment criteria.

In addition, module handbooks include details of timetable, content, and assessments. The assessment procedures are in line with institutional policies and will be conducted in such a way as to adhere to adult learning principles. This means that content and learning demonstrate relevance, problem solving, learning by doing and a strong element of self-direction and ownership.

Assessment involves a mixture of coursework, presentations and written examinations, and will vary according to the context of each module.


  • Application of Sport and Exercise Psychology (SPSP040) (40 credits)
  • Social Psychology of Sport and Exercise (SPSP042) (20 credits)
  • Research Methods for Sport (SPSP039) (20 credits)
  • Key Readings in Sport and Exercise Psychology (SPSP043) (20 credits)
  • Public Engagement in Sport and Exercise Psychology (SPSP061) (20 credits)
  • Dissertation (SPSP010) (60 credits)

Recommended reading

Students will only be expected to purchase three to four key texts for the course. These texts will provide a sound foundation for quantitative and qualitative research methodologies, together with directing students towards key studies in sport psychology. In addition to core texts, modules will be further supplemented with relevant and contemporary (empirical) journal articles.


Modes of study

Certificate: 6 months
Diploma: 9 months
MSc: 9 months

Certificate: 9 months
Diploma: 21 months
MSc: 21 months

Example timetable

The timetable below is a typical example, but your own timetable may be different.

  9-10 10-11 11-12 12-1 1-2 2-3 3-4 4-5
Mon Applications in Sport & Exercise Psychology  
Tues Research Methods for Sport          
Thurs Social Psychology of Sport & Exercise          

Why Stirling?



In REF2014 Stirling was placed 6th in Scotland and 45th in the UK with almost three quarters of research activity rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.

International Students

The University of Stirling welcomes students from around the world. Find out what studying here could be like for you .


As Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence we are closely aligned with many sports organisations and have formal links with a growing number of organisations with regard to facilitating student research projects, work experience and guest lectures.

Academic strengths

This course is delivered by a team of highly qualified academics with experience and research interests that complement and support teaching activities.

Our staff

Dr Calum Arthur has worked within sport, business and the military as a researcher and consultant. He is a Teaching Fellow with the Higher Education Academy and is a Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society.

Dr Pete Coffee has worked with sports performers and teams as a consultant and researcher. Pete is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, a Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society, a registered Sport and Exercise Psychologist with the Health & Care Professions Council, and a BASES accredited practitioner, supervisor and reviewer.

Careers and employability

Career opportunities

This course is a major foundation for a profession in psychology. It is geared towards the field of sport and exercise psychology, but we anticipate graduates acquiring the skills to move into a broad range of career opportunities, including a number of sport and health professions, posts within a number of fields in the science industry, to careers within the civil service and government.


98% of our postgraduate leavers are in employment or further study withing six months of graduating - Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey 2015/16

Industry connections

There are a number of opportunities within the University for students to develop their knowledge and experience working with elite athletes at our Golf and Tennis Centres. 

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