module specification

ST6052 - Principles of Sport Psychology and the Elite Athlete (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Principles of Sport Psychology and the Elite Athlete
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 150
98 hours Guided independent study
52 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Written report (1500 words)
In-Course Test 50%   Class test (1hr)
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Monday Morning

Module summary

This module explores contemporary theory in sport psychology and its relevance to the elite athletic performer. Approaching from an applied perspective, important concepts are considered in terms of their potential impact on an athlete’s psychological state. 

Prior learning requirements


Module aims

The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s Framework for Higher Educations Qualifications. This module aims to introduce students to the key psychological demands associated with elite sports performance. The module allows students to explore key theories that explain how athletes cope with these psychological demands. Students are provided with an insight into how key concepts and thoeries inform the practices of an applied sport psychologist. the knowledge gained is applicaple to a variety of employment opportunities, most pertinently that of a coach and sport psychologist.


Coping and emotion in sport: models of stress and coping,
Mental toughness: definitions and characteristics, measurement issues, phenomenological perspectives
Athlete eating disorders: incidence and prevalence, clinical features, risk factors, treatment and prevention, lived experiences
Psychological Interventions: counselling approaches, neuro linguistic programming, psychological assessment, mental skills training


Learning and teaching

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 and to reflect on the learning that has occurred and its role in future employment.

Key strategies:
Workshops/Seminars/Practicals (discussion/interaction/experiential learning)
WebLearn (blended learning/information point/discussion board)
Self-directed learning
Students’ study responsibilities are articulated in the FLS Staff/Student Agreement which is available via the Faculty Web site.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
1. Critically discuss key psychological characteristics associated with elite athletes.
2. Demonstrate theoretical and conceptual understanding of coping and emotion in sport.
3. Appraise methods of psychological needs assessment and intervention strategies.

Assessment strategy

Written report (LO 1 & 2, assessment strategy: 1500 words): scientific writing, theoretical discussion, critical analysis, framing arguments, information gathering and synthesis.
Class test (LO 3, assessment strategy: 1hr): information recollection, knowledge application, interpretation of materials, performing under time pressure


Anderson, M. B. (2000). Doing Sport Psychology. Champaign Illinois: Human Kinetics.
Hanton, S., & Mellalieu, S. (2006). Literature Reviews in Sport Psychology. Nova Biomedical.
Hemmings, B., & Holder, T. (2009). Applied Sport Psychology: A Case-based Approach. Wiley-Blackwell.
Thatcher, J., Jones, M., & Lavallee, D. (2011). Coping and Emotion in Sport. Routledge.
Thompson, R. A., & Sherman, R. T. (2010). Eating Disorders in Sport. New York: Routledge.

Journal of Applied Sport Psychology
Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
Psychology of Sport and Exercise Journal