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    Key information

    Location
    Edinburgh
    Mode of delivery
    On-campus
    Delivery type
    Full-time, Part-time
    Start date
    September
    Duration
    1 year
    Qualification
    MSc

    Contact

    Contact our enquiries team

    Contact us

    Overview

    MSc Sport Psychology combines expertise from our Department of Psychology with the sporting excellence of ORIAM, Scotland's National Sport Centre. Develop specialist psychological knowledge elite sport, community sport, team sport, and individual sport.

    The MSc Sport Psychology is supported by sport and exercise science provision across the university, and capitalises on world-leading sports facilities and resources at Oriam, Scotland's National Performance Centre for Sport. Students will have opportunities to work in partnership with practitioners, coaches, individual sports people and/or teams, as they develop their skills (e.g., through workshops).

    This specific degree will provide you with a stepping-stone towards the qualifications that are required to work with athletes and exercisers in psychological settings (e.g., youth and elite athletes in team and individual sports). The degree is also an ideal starting-point if you want to pursue further academic study in research driven environments, and ultimately careers in research (e.g., research fellow, PhD). Students will also obtain transferrable skills that they might be able to use in careers outside of sport and exercise psychology, both in the public and private sector. 

    Typical careers include Sport and Exercise Psychologist, PhD research and academia, PE teaching, Coaching, Health and Wellbeing Consultant, Local Council Wellbeing Team member, Charity sector roles.

    Peak Practice: the science of sport and performance

    In this episode of our podcast series 'A Future Made' we explore Sport and Exercise at Scotland's National Sports Performance Centre – Oriam, to find out first-hand how studying human performance at peak levels of sports can impact on everything from the safety of Olympic athletes, the rules for trans inclusion in competition, as well as the future health of the general public.

    Listen now

    Video

    Course content

    Year 1

    Our innovative and contemporary topics and teaching methods will allow you to acquire the knowledge and skills to successfully contribute to performance and well-being initiatives in dynamic sport and health related contexts.

    Our small and interactive group teaching approach (provided by a team with diverse academic and practice skills) and exclusive partnerships on campus will provide you with a truly unique community in which to thrive in your learning and professional development.

    Semester 1

    Research Methods in Psychology 1

    This course will provide you with opportunities to learn and demonstrate critical ability to use a range of techniques and research methods applicable to advanced scholarship in Psychology. You will develop critical knowledge and understanding of how to conduct qualitative and quantitative research of relevance to Psychology, including critically understanding research philosophies, research ethics, research designs, and how to collect and analyse quantitative and qualitative psychological data.

    Professional Practice in Sport Psychology 1

    This course will provide you with opportunities to learn and demonstrate critical ability in your knowledge and skills of practising Sport Psychology. Within the course, you will develop critical knowledge and understanding of ethics and professional standards, reflective practice, philosophy of professional practice, continual professional development, and working within a defined model of Sport Psychology practice. You will begin to critically evaluate initial elements of Sport Psychology practice including the range of assessment tools, frameworks, and processes used.

    Psychology of Team Sport

    This course is theme-based, designed to locate your learning within an important context in Sport Psychology – team sport. Within the context of team sport, you will critically evaluate ethics and professional standards, topics of importance to team sport, and demonstrate critical ability in your knowledge and understanding of Sport Psychology.

    Psychology of Community Sport

    This course is theme-based, designed to locate your learning within an important context in Sport Psychology – community sport. Within the context of community sport, you will critically evaluate ethics and professional standards, topics of importance to community sport, and demonstrate critical ability in your knowledge and understanding of Sport Psychology.

    Semester 2

    Research Methods in Psychology 2

    This course will provide you with opportunities to learn and demonstrate critical ability to use a range of techniques and research methods applicable to advanced scholarship in Psychology and develop a proposal for your independent project. Building on Research Methods in Psychology 1, you will develop critical knowledge and understanding of: further qualitative and quantitative approaches and analyses, identifying a research question and developing a research proposal to inform your Independent Project in Psychology, the research ethics process at Heriot-Watt University, and how to write core sections of a research manuscript.

    Professional Practice in Sport Psychology 2

    This course will provide you with opportunities to learn and demonstrate critical ability in your knowledge and skills of practising Sport Psychology. Building on Professional Practice in Sport Psychology 1, you will further develop critical knowledge and understanding of approaches to Sport Psychology practice and critically evaluate intervention designs including a range of psychological skills and strategies of relevance to Sport Psychology.

    Psychology of Individual Sport

    This course is theme-based, designed to locate your learning within an important context in Sport Psychology – individual sport. Within the context of individual sport, you will critically evaluate ethics and professional standards, topics of importance to individual sport, and demonstrate critical ability in your knowledge and understanding of Sport Psychology.

    Psychology of Elite Sport

    This course is theme-based, designed to locate your learning within an important context in Sport Psychology – elite sport. Within the context of elite sport, you will critically evaluate ethics and professional standards, topics of importance to elite sport, and demonstrate critical ability in your knowledge and understanding of Sport Psychology.

    Semester 3

    Independent project in Psychology

    This course will provide you with opportunities to learn and demonstrate critical ability to use a range of techniques and research methods applicable to advanced scholarship in Psychology and produce your independent project. Building on Research Methods in Psychology 2, you will critically evaluate relevant literature and apply detailed knowledge and critical understanding of psychological theories and methods to underpin your rationale for research, plan your project, collect/analyse data, critically evaluate and discuss your findings with reference to the extant literature, and summarise your research in a manner appropriate to the discipline.

    Examples of research topics include:

    • Exploring the relevance of 'us' through examining social identities in sport. 
    • Examining social support processes in sport. 
    • Examining leadership and active (engaged) followership in sport. 
    • Exploring career transitions of elite athletes out of sport. 
    • Exploring the reasons underpinning success and failure in sport and their impact upon subsequent outcomes. 
    • Examining pressure training in sport.
    • Exploring the benefits of exercise for those with neurodevelopmental conditions.
    • Examining the psychophysiology of stress and resilience in high performance athletes. 

    Go Global

    Some of our Postgraduate Taught Masters Programmes are eligible for Inter-Campus Transfer. Please contact goglobal@hw.ac.uk for further information.

    Fees and funding

    Tuition fees

    Tuition fees
    Status [footnote 1] Full-time Part-time
    UK 10736 5368
    Overseas [footnote 2] 23248 11624

    Footnotes

    1. Your residency 'status' is usually defined as the country where you have been ordinarily resident for the three years before the start of your course. Find out more about tuition fees.
    2. Overseas includes applications from European Union countries who do not hold Pre-Settled or Settled status in the UK. Read more about the application process for EU nationals.

    Additional fee information

    Sports scholarships

    We have recently launched a set of Sports Scholarships for a variety of student athletes. These scholarships are available on an individual and team sport basis and give you exclusive access to benefits as well as a percentage reduction on your tuition fees based on the level of scholarship.

    Scholarship for Academic Excellence

    Our Postgraduate Scholarship for Academic Excellence in MSc Sport Psychology offers a £1,000 tuition fee reduction.

    Scholarship for Academic Excellence

    Scholarships and bursaries

    We aim to encourage well-qualified, ambitious students to study with us and we offer a wide variety of scholarships and bursaries to achieve this. Over £6 million worth of opportunities are available in fee and stipend scholarships, and more than 400 students benefit from this support.

    View our full range of postgraduate scholarships.

    Entry requirements

    Entry

    You will have a relevant (e.g., psychology, sport science) First or 2:1 honours degree or equivalent. It is important that you have previously undertaken an empirical research project as part of your undergraduate degree and have completed a research design and analysis module.

    If you do not have these formal qualifications and experience but have significant relevant work/life experience (e.g., an elite-level athlete/coach), you may apply and, if shortlisted, you will be invited for an interview.

    English language requirements

    If English is not your first language a minimum of IELTS 6.5 or equivalent is required with all elements passed at 6.0 or above. Please refer to English language requirements for further details.

    Some applicants may be asked for alternative evidence in line with UKVI recognised English speaking countries. Applicants who have previously successfully completed courses delivered in the medium of English language may be considered and will be required to provide documentary evidence of this. Examples would be secondary school education or undergraduate degree. A minimum of at least one year of full time study (or equivalent) in the medium of English language will be required.

    All evidence of English language needs to be dated within two years of the commencement of study.

    We also offer a range of English language courses to help you meet the English language requirement prior to starting your master's programme:

    • 20 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.0 with no skill lower than 4.5)
    • 14 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.0 with minimum of 5.0 in writing and no skill lower than 4.5)
    • 10 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with no skill lower than 5.0)
    • 6 weeks English (for IELTS 5.5 with no skill lower than 5.5)
    "We view sport psychology as means of support to enable athletes to deliver their performance when it matters most. Sport psychologists support the creation and optimisation of psychologically underpinned and sustainable high performance environments and facilitate opportunities (through collaboration) for athletes, coaches and staff; individuals and teams, to develop holistically with a strong performance focus."

    Dr Danielle Adams Norenberg ,
    Head of Performance Psychology - English Institute of Sport

    Why Heriot-Watt?

    Psychology facilities

    Our Edinburgh-based researchers benefit from refurbished research facilities, comprising three expertise-specific research spaces

    Sport facilities

    Oriam, Scotland Sports Performance Centre offers state-of-the-art sports facilities, for all levels of sport and ability

    Psychology Student Society

    The Psychology society is a student run community who host a mix of academic and social events for Undergraduate and Postgraduate Psychology students.

    Edinburgh campus accommodation

    Living on our beautiful Edinburgh campus is a great way to meet others from all over the world. Our student accommodation is within easy reach of the teaching buildings, sports facilities, catering venues and the Student Union

    Edinburgh Campus facilities

    At Heriot-Watt University, we offer a wide range of services to help you deal with all aspects of your life with us, whether these be academic, personal, technical, financial or just plain fun!

    Health and wellbeing

    Student Wellbeing Services aim to provide a range of support, guidance, activities and advice to help students to be their best, and get the most from their university experience. From counselling to coaching we'll sure you are fully supported.

    Heriot-Watt Student Union

    There's more to university life than simply getting your degree, and Heriot-Watt University Student Union is all about helping you to have the best possible experience while you study here.

    Living in Edinburgh

    Historic and beautiful, a cultural capital that fuels the senses whether you love the arts or nature, nightlife or study life, Edinburgh is stimulating and inspirational and never, ever boring.

    Your career

    Employers around the world actively seek out our graduates because they are work-ready. All our degrees are career-focused and relevant to the needs of industry. Around 95% of our students are in employment or further study within six months of graduating.

    We are accredited by the following organisations

    At Heriot-Watt University we develop degrees that are relevant for the world of work. We work with Professional bodies and Institutes to gain appropriate Accreditations and Professional Memberships for your industry. Find out below how this degree aligns to industry.

    The British Psychological Society logo

    British Psychological Society (BPS)

    This programme is fully accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS). Accreditation gives students a route to Society membership, which is an integral part of their development as psychologists, or as part of the wider psychological workforce.

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