MSc Sport Psychology

The course

Delivery
Full-time
Course type
Taught
Location
Edinburgh
Entry date
September

The MSc Sport Psychology programme develops knowledge and understanding within contexts of practice including elite sport, community sport, team sport, and individual sport. Throughout, students engage in research and professional practice training.

Contact

Got questions about this programme?

Contact our enquiries team.

Overview

The MSc Sport Psychology is led by expert Sport and Exercise Psychologists, complemented by teaching and research strengths in the Department of Psychology in health and wellbeing across the life course, coaching and leadership.

The programme 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.

This programme is new for September 2023 subject to final approval. You can now register your interest before applications are officially open via the link at the top of the page.

Course content

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.

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.

Entry requirements

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.

Additional information

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)

Fees

Additional fees information

Tuition fees for Sept 2023 entry
Status Full-time
UK £9,120
Overseas £19,752
  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.

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.

Additional scholarship 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.