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- Mode of delivery
- Delivery type
- Full-time, Part-time
- Start date
- 1 year
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Fees and funding
Additional fee information
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.
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.
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
Our Edinburgh-based researchers benefit from refurbished research facilities, comprising three expertise-specific research spaces
Oriam, Scotland Sports Performance Centre offers state-of-the-art sports facilities, for all levels of sport and ability
The Psychology society is a student run community who host a mix of academic and social events for Undergraduate and Postgraduate Psychology students.
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
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!
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.
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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.
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.