Undergraduate BSc (Hons)

Psychology of Sport

School of Health and Society





Three year

Six year

Next enrolment

September 2024


In a nutshell

This degree provides an excellent foundation for any student interested in a career as a psychologist with a particular focus on applying those skills in the broad areas of sport and exercise.

You will:

  • Gain an in-depth knowledge of a wide range of psychological concepts and in particular how these concepts might be applied in a sporting context
  • Develop a hands-on approach to developing research skills, applying theory to real-world settings
  • Have the opportunity to specialise in areas of psychology and sport that interest you and to undertake a supervised research project of your own

students accepted

Course accreditations

The British Psychological Society

This is for you if...


You have a passion for sport and exercise


You want to learn more about human behaviour


You have excellent written skills


You want to understand how world class athletes train their minds as well as their bodies


You want to make a real difference


You have a desire to explore all areas of psychology

Course details

All about the course

This course offers you the chance to study in an excellent department equipped to the highest standards with psychology and sports facilities.

During your first year, you will complete modules such as Psychology of Exercise and Health, Introduction to Biological and Cognitive Psychology, and Introduction to Sports Psychology.

Moving into your second year you will build on the knowledge gained in your first year of studies. You will study a range of modules including Practical Applications of Sports and Exercise Psychology, Developmental Psychology, and Individual Differences and Social Psychology.

During the second year you will also have the opportunity to apply for a sandwich year which will be taken between the second and third year of your programme, to either study abroad or gain professional experience. Please note, there is a limited number of placements available and therefore a place on the sandwich year isn't guaranteed.

Your third year will allow you to tailor your studies to your area of interest. You will study Advanced Sport Psychology Practice and Critical Issues and Topics in Sport Psychology, and choose two other taught modules. Examples of modules you can choose to take are Forensic Psychology, Brain and Behaviour, Workplace Psychology Placement and others.

Year one

Introduction to Research Methods

This module introduces the methods which are used in psychology and related fields. Statistical concepts and the quantitative methods which they underpin are taught alongside qualitative methods.  The module builds knowledge which is important in interpreting the research papers you will read over the course of your degree as well as providing the foundation for skills which you will need in order to conduct your own research projects.

Introduction to Developmental and Social Psychology

You will be introduced to key factors in human development including social, emotional, cognitive and biological foundation, as well as how children learn to talk. Within social psychology you will look at how individuals perceive, influence and interact with others, including through verbal and non-verbal communication.

Introduction to Sport Psychology

In Introduction to Sport Psychology, you will be introduced to psychological factors pertinent to sport at an individual and team level. You will explore relationships between psychological factors and develop an understanding of how they influence sporting performance.

Introduction to Individual Differences

This module introduces the study of personality, intelligence, gender and mental health. Understanding these differences can be applied later in your studies to understand, for example, why some children learn language faster than others, or why men’s and women’s language use is sometimes so different.

Introduction to Biological and Cognitive Psychology

You will be introduced to the basic biological processes and cognitive principles necessary for understanding human psychology. Language is a key cognitive skill, and this module covers topics such as reading and listening, automatic word identification, resolving linguistic ambiguities, and aphasia.

Psychology of Exercise and Health

In this module students will examine health, lifestyle and exercise-related behavioural conditions (such as obesity, addictive behaviour, sedentary behaviour, eating disorders) and their relation to widely used behaviour change models, and the biopsychosocial perspective. Students are encouraged to think of those issues most relevant to sports and exercise populations, as well as the general public. The module is delivered for 3hours per week in trimester 2. At the end of the module, students will write an essay (2000 words) on the biopsychosocial view of a chosen behavioural condition, and potential treatments.

Year two

Further Research Methods

This module extends quantitative and qualitative research methods training to more complex designs and forms of analysis. You will build on the skills developed in year one; designing, carrying out research, and analysing your results. You will also spend time looking at discourse and discursive analysis for analysing speech.

Further Biological and Cognitive Psychology

You will explore the links between biological and cognitive processes and examine how this relationship influences performance in real-world contexts.

Behaviour Change

You will develop a critical understanding of health behaviour, exploring the barriers to exercise, and considering motivation, confidence, competence and self-efficacy.

Developmental and Social Psychology

This module covers the influences of nature and nurture on human development, including exploring how these influence children’s communicative and language development. You will gain practical experience of conducting social psychological research, and examine the implications of research for education, policy, and clinical practice.

Individual Differences

Building on study of this area in the first year, the module invites you to explore the latest theories and research into personality and intelligence, gender differences and mental health. Understanding individual differences will enable you to think about differences in language use and language acquisition.

Practical Applications of Sport and Exercise Psychology

Explores the practical application of psychological skills and group-based interventions for psychology and performance. This module introduces you to the importance of evidence-based practice when working with athletes and teams in a consultancy role. You will examine different methods of needs analysis, measurement, intervention, and evaluation when applying sport psychology principles in practice.

Year three


You will carry out a research project on a topic of your interest, which may include aspects of English language as well as psychology. Recent dissertation topics have included the influence of parent-child interaction on child language acquisition, and the relationship between bilingualism and social anxiety. The range of skills you develop as you navigate the process of research design, completing an ethics form, recruiting participants and carrying out your research, performing appropriate analysis and writing up your work, will be invaluable in all workplaces.

Advanced Topics in Sport Psychology

Explores advanced psychological topics that are considered as current or emerging themes within sport. This module focuses on critical thinking in relation to psychological themes, theories, research, and interventions. You will critically appraise the current state of sport psychology to suggest applied and theoretical implications and avenues for future research that would advance the discipline of sport psychology.

Advanced Sport Psychology Practice

This module focuses on advanced sport psychology practice. Specifically, this module focuses on philosophies of sport psychology practice, counselling and practitioner skills. 

You will chose two optional modules which may include: 

Atypical Child Development

This module explores what it’s like for children growing up with various conditions like autism spectrum disorder, Down’s syndrome, deafness, and developmental language disorder, and well as the impact on development of growing up in adverse environments such as poverty.

Child Language Development

This module will develop your knowledge of how children learn language, from sounds, words and grammar, to the complexities of human communication. You will explore data from real children to increase your understanding and test out the theories discussed in class.

Behaviour Change: Children, Families and Communities

Explores the principles and theories of knowledge, attitude and behaviour change, behaviour change in context (health, education, and community), planning, delivering and evaluating interventions, policy and guidance in UK/international context.

Brain and Behaviour

This module examines in detail the relationships between behaviour and the nervous system. You will explore these relationships through the consideration of key topics in the field of neuroscience including learning, psychopharmacology, brain damage, aphasia/alexia, organic brain disorder, and mental health.

Educational Psychology

Develops your understanding of the relevance of psychology to education and provides opportunities to apply psychological theory and principles in the field of education and professional practice.

Effective and Affective Thinking and Processing

During this module, you will learn to apply theories and methodologies from cognitive psychology to real-world behaviour. You will explore the influence of emotional processing on human cognition and performance and reflect on the optimal conditions for thinking and decision-making.

Forensic Psychology

An applied module which will introduce you to offender profiling, lie detection techniques and psychological theories of criminal behaviour; guest speakers have included a serving chief investigating officer, a forensic psychologist and a probation officer.

Media Psychology

This module explores the effects that exposure to media has on people, as well as how people process information from media. It looks at advertisement, persuasion, news journalism, social media and internet use, including the use of metaphors in the media. It also covers conversation analysis and discursive psychology.

Occupational Psychology

A practitioner based module which will provide you with a tour of relevant theories and topics (including stress, selection techniques and change at work), as well as an assessment opportunity to apply these in real-world settings, including your own experience in the workplace.

Psychology of Ageing

Explore positive models of ageing and lifespan development in the 21st Century including: identity, physical and mental health, and the psycho-social implications of ageing.

Psychology of Health

This module aims to introduce you to the concepts, theory, methods and applications of health psychology. It is concerned with the psychological aspects of physical illness, their treatment and management as well as what it is that keeps people healthy and well.

Psychology of Mental Health

Explore conceptualisations of mental health, explanations of mental health., the legal and social ramifications of mental ill health, the range of conditions treated within psychiatry and different therapeutic modalities and agencies.

The Psychology of Extreme Violence

The psychology of serial homicide, mass shooting, and terrorism. The module also explores the neurodevelopmental and psychosocial risk factors in serial killers and mass shooters, the pathway to intended violence in such extreme cases of violence and the neuropsychodynamics of individuals who commit serial homicide and single homicide.

Work Placement

You have the opportunity to undertake a work placement where you will be able to put what you've learnt into practice.

Environmental Psychology

This module will introduce you to the field of Environmental Psychology, exploring current and seiminal research in key areas of human-environment interrelationships. Topics may include: 

The psychological significance of place; climate change denial and activism; psychologically informed architecture; media, politics and the environment. 


Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

What Will I Be Doing?


Throughout your course you will be taught by an experienced and enthusiastic staff team who are research active and are recognized at both international and national levels for their work on a variety of topics.

You will be taught alongside students on other courses with similar disciplines. This broadens the links between sport psychology, sports science and professions aligned to health care.

Research specialisms of the psychology and sport staff include clinical and health psychology, occupational stress, emotional intelligence, visual attention, terrorism, media and social media, child development, applied sport psychology and the inclusion of digital technologies within sport and psychotherapeutic fields.

Teaching methods will include:

  • Lectures
  • Tutorials
  • Practical sessions
  • Problem-based learning
  • Independent study
  • Placement


Assessment methods will vary depending on the modules you choose to study, you can expect:

  • Exams 25%
  • Research report 25%
  • Essays 25%

The remaining 25% will be split between:

  • Assignments
  • Practical reports
  • Group work
  • Presentations

Psychology Laboratory

Our Psychology Laboratory provides a comfortable and friendly environment for you to carry out a wide range of psychological testing. These include:

  • The eye tracker laboratory uses the Tobii x50 eye tracker to monitor conscious and unconscious gaze movements
  • An observation suite with a two-way mirror
  • A video game analysis laboratory where you can analyse the psychological and physiological effects of violent video games
  • A dedicated computer suite that allows access to a range of psychological programs such as ERTSLab and E-Prime.

You will also have access to:

  • Dedicated psychology laboratory cubicles
  • Private interview rooms
  • Dedicated social learning space.

Human Performance Laboratory

Our world-class human performance laboratory is one of the best equipped in the country and contains almost every type of physiological, performance analysis and biomechanical testing equipment, including a 30-metre sprint track with inbuilt force platforms, motion capture systems, blood and gas analysis equipment and speed guns.

We also have a separate physiological testing laboratory and fully equipped strength and conditioning suite, which includes an isokinetic dynamometer and portable force platforms.

School of Health and Society

We are focused on enhancing the health and wellbeing of patients, service users and athletes and our commitment to public involvement help us retain our strong focus on real-world issues.

Employment and stats

What about after uni?

You will be equipped to work in a number of environments, such as health, social care, business, education and sport. You will also be able to continue your study at postgraduate level. If you go on to become a chartered psychologist, you may specialise in clinical, forensic, educational, health, occupational or sport psychology.

Our graduates have taken a range of jobs within a variety of fields. Some graduates have gained employment as an assistant psychologist, mental health support worker or within drug and alcohol services or have gone on to pursue a career as a chartered psychologist. Alternatively you may take a role within advertising, marketing or retail. Whatever direction you choose, the key skills within this degree ensure that you will be both accomplished and imaginative in your career.

How do I become a qualified psychologist?

All practising psychologists must have postgraduate qualifications which means there isn’t a fast track route to a career in psychology. To become a chartered psychologist, you need to gain Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership by completing a BPS accredited degree. You can then look at further training in your specific field of interest. An undergraduate degree in psychology is typically the first step on the ladder for those wanting to become a psychologist. It generally takes around six years to become fully qualified, usually including a full three-year degree and three years of postgraduate training.

Further study (generally 1 - 2 years) will also be required for areas such as teaching, HR and counselling.

You can find more information about careers in psychology on the BPS website.


A taste of what you could become

A sport psychologist, an educational psychologist

A mental health support worker, a youth worker

A sport psychologist, An exercise psychologist

A health psychologist, A behavioural specialist

A teacher, A journalist, A researcher

And more...

Career Links

The British Psychological Society (BPS) accredits this course – if you achieve a lower second class degree or above, Graduate Basis for Registration is awarded. This is the first step to becoming a chartered psychologist.

We also have strong working links with top sports clubs in the north-west such as Sale Sharks, Salford Red Devils and Manchester Storm. You may have opportunities to conduct data collection for your final year research project with athletes from these clubs.


What You Need To Know


In your personal statement, you should show a demonstrable interest in sport and exercise as well as psychology.


If you are an international student and not from a majority English speaking country, you will need IELTS 6.0 with no element below 5.5. We also accept a range of other English language qualifications. If you do not have the English language requirements, you could take the Pre-Sessional English course, or the International Foundation Year to gain entry onto this degree.

Standard entry requirements


GCSE Maths, English & Science (science preferred) C/4 or above, equivalents accepted

You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.

UCAS tariff points

112 points

If applying to start from September 2024, you will need 112-120 UCAS points.


112 points

BTEC National Diploma



If applying to start from September 2024, you will need T Level - Merit

Foundation Degree

Overall 60%

Access to HE

112 points

Scottish Highers

112 points BBBCC

Irish Leaving Certificate

112 points

International Baccalaureate

31 points

European Baccalaureate

Pass in Diploma of at least 65%

International Students

We accept qualifications from all around the world. Find your country to see a full list of entry requirements. If you do not meet the entry requirements, you could take the International Foundation Year to gain entry onto this degree.

Alternative entry requirements

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)

We welcome applications from those who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we have received your application we will assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.

There are two different routes through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. Assessment will either be through a review of prior learning or through a formal test.


How Much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home 2024/25 £9,250.00per year
Full-time international 2024/25 £17,040.00per year

Additional costs

You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

Scholarships for international students

If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our scholarships.
See the full range of our International Scholarships.


Apply now

All Set? Let's Apply

Enrolment dates

September 2024

UCAS information

Course ID CC86

Institution S03