module specification

ST6002 - Sport Psychology and the Elite Athlete (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title Sport Psychology and the Elite Athlete
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 300
104 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
196 hours Guided independent study
0 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 25%   Essay (1500 words)
Seen Examination 25%   Seen Exam (60 minute)
Coursework 50%   Case study (2500 words)
Running in 2024/25

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
No instances running in the year

Module summary

This module explores contemporary theory in sport psychology and its relevance to the competitive sporting environment. Approaching from an applied perspective which relates to employability, important concepts are considered in terms of their potential impact on an athlete’s psychological state and therefore their engagement and performance.

The module aims to introduce students to the key real-life psychological demands associated with sports performance, in conjunction with coping mechanisms and solutions used to deal with those demands. In terms of employability, students will gain a critical insight into the applied practice of sport psychology and gain experiences of some of the key interpersonal skills that make an effective sport psychologist.

Assessment: Essay (001) (25%) + Seen Exam (002) (25%) +
Case Study (50%)

Prior learning requirements

ST5002 or ST5052


• Goal setting for optimal performance LO1
• Setting the motivational climate LO1
• Coping and emotions in sport LO1
• Mental toughness and personality shaping LO1
• Optimal performance and flow LO1
• Sport psychology and injury LO1
• Disordered eating in sport (prevalence, impact and outcome) LO1
• Persistence, perfection and obsession LO1
• Data collection in sport psychology LO2, LO3, LO4 
• Psychological intervention (needs analysis and intervention) LO2, LO3, LO4
• Neuro-linguistic programming LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4
• Applied sport psychology (communication, rapport, interviewing and listening) LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4
• Cognitive and somatic control strategies LO1, LO2, LO3

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The basic structure to teaching and learning will involve a theory driven lecture supported by an interactive practical seminar. Lectures will provide the essential theoretical base, whereas seminars offer students the opportunity to discuss this knowledge and its relevance to practice. Reflective practice is a continuous element as an important employability strand and driving force in personal development.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Critically discuss key psychological characteristics associated with elite athletes.
2. Appraise methods of psychological needs assessment and intervention strategies.
3. Propose theoretically informed intervention strategies appropriate for specific athlete needs.
4. Demonstrate effective communication and interpersonal skills.



Core texts:

• Hardy, L., Jones, G. & Gould, D. (2002), Understanding psychological Preparation for Sport, Wiley-Blackwell

• Hemmings, B., & Holder, T. (2009), Applied Sport Psychology: A Case-based Approach, Wiley-Blackwell.

• Williams, J.M. (2006) Applied sport psychology: personal growth to peak performance 5th ed. McGraw-Hill, New York

Other texts:

• Anderson, M. B. (2000), Doing Sport Psychology, Human Kinetics, Champaign, Illinois
• Gonzalez, D.C.  (2013), The Art of Mental Training : A Guide to Performance Excellence, GonzoLane Media
• Hanton, S., & Mellalieu, S. (2006), Literature Reviews in Sport Psychology, Nova Biomedical.
• Horn, S.H. (2008), Advances in Sport Psychology, Human Kinetics, Champaign, Illinois
• LeUnes, A. (2008), Sport Psychology, Psychology Press, New York
• Sanderson, C.A. (2016), Sport Psychology, Oxford University Press
• Thatcher, J., Jones, M., & Lavallee, D. (2011), Coping and Emotion in Sport, Routledge.
• Thompson, R. A., & Sherman, R. T. (2010), Eating Disorders in Sport, Routledge, New York

The Sport Psychologist
International Journal of Sport Psychology
Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
Journal of Sports Sciences