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PSY8076 : Applied Sport and Performance Psychology

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Max Stone
  • Lecturer: Dr Tracy Donachie
  • Owning School: Psychology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


The module has been developed to provide students with a critical, practical, and contemporary understanding of sport and performance psychology.

Outline Of Syllabus

Topics will be focussed on the multidisciplinary aspects of working as a practitioner psychologist across sport and performance psychology. Issues of ethical and professional conduct in the practice of sport and performance psychology will also be embedded throughout the module, incorporating The British Psychology Society’s Code of Ethics and Conduct and Practice Guidelines, and the Health and Care Professions Council Standards of Conduct, Performance, and Ethics.

The syllabus will cover a breadth of contemporary issues and indicative content will be selected from the following:

History and Development of Sport Psychology as a Discipline
Role and remit of the Sport Psychologist
Organisational Psychology and Sport
Home Advantage
Positive Psychology
Peak Performance and Flow
Emotional Control and Coping
Athlete Burnout
Athletic Injury
Mental Toughness
Concentration and Attention
Decision Making
Performance Routines and Superstition
Career Transitions

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion155:0055:00Assessment Preparation
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading1123:00123:00Preparation for workshops and student-led group activity
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops101:3015:00Present in person interactive workshops
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity22:004:00Present in person interactive group work
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery21:303:00Present in person
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Taught sessions will introduce students to contemporary issues and practice in sport psychology which will be debated and discussed. Real-world case studies will be embedded throughout interactive workshops to provide students with the opportunity to evaluate the evidence base and develop bespoke interventions for athletes. Students as part of the student-led workshops will be introduced to experiential learning whereby they will design and deliver short workshops as part of the module and receive formative feedback on their efforts from the tutor and their peers.

The module will also afford students the opportunity for formative practice and feedback. Discussions will take place in workshops, group work and during active learning exercises enabling students to gain verbal feedback from both the module leader, lecturers, as well as their peers, concerning their theoretical knowledge and understanding of core concepts and communication skills (Intended Knowledge Outcome 1, 2, 3, & 4; Intended Skill Outcome 1, 2, & 3).

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Oral Presentation201M50Group podcast on a contemporary area of performance sport psychology (20 Mins)
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Poster1A50Present in person individual evidence based poster presentation (10 mins) followed by viva (10 mins)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The first assessment provides students with the real-world opportunity to communicate and evaluate areas of performance sport psychology to an academic and applied audience in the form of a podcast and poster. Students will work together in groups of 2 or 3 to develop and produce the podcast. Additionally, students will be provided in advance with two pertinent questions from coaches or applied practitioners as part of the Q&A section which needs to be answered in the podcast. The podcast has become a key form of communication for applied practitioners because they pull together key theoretical concepts and methodologies which are accessible around the globe. It is, therefore, important that students are able to communicate complex theories in this accessible format with innovative methods and concepts to engage the listener.

The poster presentation will provide students with the opportunity to present individually a contemporary evaluation of an area of performance sport psychology. The poster content should encompass key theory and research and make intervention recommendations for athletes and/or coaches. The poster should include a series of recommendations to move the area forwards (research and practice). Following the poster students will defend their position and ideas from their poster whilst drawing upon their wider knowledge in the form of an academic viva. The viva prepares students to develop a fully informed argument, grounded in research which is then debated with an academic tutor.

Reading Lists