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PSY8077 : Psychological Techniques in Sport and Exercise Psychology Practice

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Tracy Donachie
  • Lecturer: Dr Gavin Clark, Dr Max Stone, Dr Daniel Eaves
  • Owning School: Psychology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


This module aims to provide an advanced understanding of the application of a range of effective evidence-based psychological techniques commonly used in sport and exercise psychology practice. This will include developing a critical understanding of how evidence and theory can be used to inform the selection, implementation, and evaluation of the effectiveness of appropriate evidence-based psychological techniques to address common psychological issues experienced in sport and exercise settings (e.g., performance enhancement and behaviour change). The module is devised to provide students with the opportunity to develop practitioner skills. Issues of ethical and professional conduct in the practice of sport and exercise psychology will also be covered in relation to 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.

Outline Of Syllabus

Students will cover a broad range of topics as outlined below;

Ethical and Professional Practice, Reflective Scientist-Practitioner and Evidence-Based Practice
NICE Recommended Behaviour Change Techniques
Motivational Interviewing
Solution Focussed Approaches
Cognitive Behavioural Approaches
Psychological Skills Training Program Development
Goal Setting and Enhancing Motivation
Imagery and Mental Rehearsal
Confidence and Self-Talk
Concentration and Attention Control Techniques
Ethical Dilemmas/Issues in Professional Practice
Heart Rate Variability Biofeedback
Skill Acquisition and Motor Control

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion190:0090:00Preparation and completion of observation and report including formative feedback
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading103:0030:00Preparation for lectures
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops102:0020:00Present in person interactive lectures
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study160:0060:00Self-directed learning and further reading
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The teaching methods will involve weekly workshops and independent study. The weekly workshops will provide students with an understanding of the core topics and include relevant theory and empirical content to present an overview of key information. Weekly workshops will incorporate a number of active learning exercises, such as students working in small groups on practical activities (e.g., problem-based case studies), designed to encourage group discussion, problem-solving, reflection, and collaborative learning.

Use of practical activities are also designed to enable students to develop skills in interpreting data within a theoretical framework, critical thinking, creative problem-solving skills and linking theory to practice through the use of case formulation. The requirement for the student to access and interpret research will encourage enquiry-based learning. In addition to the timetabled contact, students are expected to invest independent study time in directed reading of set articles and journal articles, study tasks, and reading around the subject. It is expected that students will come to workshops having completed the relevant reading and study tasks.

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
Observ of prof pract601M50Present in person: Students will be observed for 30-45 minutes via a two-way mirror
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report1M502000-word report includes analysis, bullet point plan of an intervention and reflections of observed practice
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Summative assessment of this module consists of observed professional practice and a report.

The observed professional practice assessment provides students with the real-world opportunity to work with an athlete to perform an intake interview, performance profiling (needs analysis) and explain a psychological technique (e.g. imagery, goal-setting) to the athlete. Students will be observed via a two-way mirror whereby the student will be conducting an intake interview, assess an athlete (to produce a needs analysis and case formulation in report) and discuss an appropriate psychological technique (e.g. imagery, goal-setting) with the athlete with an aim of educating the 'athlete/client' about one of these techniques.

The student will provide a 2000-word report providing an overview of the athlete’s case and outlining the needs analysis, case formulation, and an evidence informed intervention strategy to address the issues identified athlete’s needs analysis. The student will also provide a reflection on their experience of their observed practice. This will provide students with the opportunity to apply and understand the key psychological theories and processes which form the foundations for applied sport psychology practice.

Reading Lists