Undergraduate BSc (Hons)

Psychology of Sport

School of Health and Society




Three year

Next enrolment

September 2024


In a nutshell

This degree provides an excellent foundation for students aspiring to become psychologists, with a specific emphasis on applying these skills within the field of sport and exercise. Throughout the programme, you'll discover how athletes and exercisers think, feel and behave.

This course is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS).

"The most valuable aspect of my experience at the University of Salford has been learning from lecturers who are passionate about their field of study. I chose the University as it has great facilities for my course, and the subject is not only what I would like to do for my career, but also interesting and fun to study."

Ollie Franks - BSc (Hons) Psychology of Sport Student

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 and exercise 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.

options available


students accepted

Course accreditations

The British Psychological Society logo

This is for you if...


You want to learn more about human behaviour.


You have a passion for sport and exercise.


You want to understand how world class athletes prepare for competition.


You have a desire to explore all areas of psychology.


You want to understand the importance and benefits of physical activity and exercise.

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. You will also be taught by our staff who are research-active and have applied experience in their discipline. 

During your first year, you will complete modules such as Introduction to Sports Psychology, Psychology of Exercise and Health, and Core Areas of 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, Behaviour Change and Research and Professional Skills in 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 The Psychology of Mental Health, Brain and Behaviour, Occupational Psychology, The Psychology of Extreme Violence and others. You will also undertake your final year research project (Dissertation). 

Year one

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.

Core Areas of Psychology

Embark on an exciting exploration of Psychology with our captivating module that delves into the intricacies of the five core areas as defined by the British Psychological Society. This integration of approaches will immerse you in the fascinating field of Psychology, to deepen your grasp of human behaviour through the exploration of both foundational theories and cutting-edge research. By mastering this module, you’ll not only gain a comprehensive understanding but also acquire the skills needed to confidently apply specialised knowledge at an advanced level. 

Philosophical roots, research approaches and academic skills in Psychology

Explore Psychology's origins and evolution in this module offering insights into its philosophical and scientific roots. Uncover the intriguing journey from early understandings to the establishment of Psychology as a distinct discipline, shaped by historical and cultural milestones. Consider the dynamism of research frameworks, from traditional approaches to post-modern influences. The module will also empower you with academic skills essential for a successful Psychology degree and future career development. 

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. 

Introduction to Qualitative Research

Gain a profound understanding of the philosophical foundations and practical applications or qualitative approaches to psychological research. Delve into diverse data collection methods such as interviews, observations, and focus groups. Elevate your analytical skills through a focus on thematic analysis, setting the stage for future specialisation and independent application at advanced levels of study. 

Introduction to Quantitative Analysis

Build a strong foundation in quantitative approaches, honing skills in data analysis techniques and specialised software applications. This knowledge forms the basis for advanced skills development at higher levels of study, enabling you to master the essential tools for impactful research and professional success. 

Year two

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. 

Research and Professional Skills

This multi-faceted module equips you with the knowledge and skills essential for both academic and professional excellence. Not only will you enhance your understanding of research but also lays the groundwork for a successful Level 6 dissertation and a flourishing graduate career. 

Biological Psychology

Building on your first-year knowledge, you'll further unravel the mysteries of human and non-human animal behaviour through a greater knowledge of the field of Biological Psychology. Topics range from the biological bases of behaviour to neuropsychology, genetics, and evolutionary psychology, offering a comprehensive and captivating exploration of this field. 

Classic Paradigms in Cognitive Psychology

Elevate your understanding of cognition with this advanced module. Immerse yourself in a world of empirical studies and contemporary theoretical models, to further enhance your expertise into such concepts as perception, learning, memory, language, and thinking and gain insights that bridge theory and practical application. 

Behaviour Change

You will develop a critical understanding of health behaviour, exploring the barriers to exercise, and considering motivation, confidence, competence, and self-efficacy. In this module, you will explore the application of psychological theory in helping individuals adopt new positive behaviours or cease negative behaviours. 

Developmental Psychology in Childhood and Adolescence

Further expand your knowledge of the depth and relevance of Developmental Psychology in understanding children and adolescents. Improve your skills by focussing on research techniques specific to this sub-field and witness the real-world impact as you apply module content to policy and professional practice. 

Individual Differences

Explore the rich history, theoretical frameworks, and methodologies of personality and intelligence. Consider diverse approaches, from trait-based and humanistic to cognitive and biological, providing a comprehensive overview and enabling you to apply your insights to real-world case studies. 

New and Critical Theories in Social Psychology

Extend your knowledge of Social Psychology through the consideration of ten areas for enhanced focus. These encompass aspects of both intergroup and interpersonal social functioning and provide basis from which to design and execute your own choice of mini research project. 

Further Research Methods

Further master the skills of research design and execution. Elevate your statistical ability to interpret complex results, including multivariate analysis, effect size, and confidence intervals. Dive further into the world of qualitative analysis, grasping methods like grounded theory, interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA), and conversational analysis. 

Year three


You will carry out a large-scale empirical research project on a topic of your choice. The range of skills you develop as you navigate the process of research design, applying for ethical approval, recruiting participants and carrying out your research, performing appropriate analysis, and writing up your work will be invaluable in any workplace.

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. 

Critical issues and 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. 

Become Unstoppable: Professional Skills

This module will provide students with the skills required to be an effective professional. Students will reflect on their career aspirations, their own wellbeing and that of others within the workplace. 

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.

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 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.

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

Further study options available:

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, a 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

112-120 UCAS Tariff points.


112-120 UCAS Tariff points.

BTEC National Diploma




Foundation Degree

Overall 60%

Access to HE

112-120 UCAS Tariff points.

Scottish Highers

112-120 UCAS Tariff points - BBBCC

Irish Leaving Certificate

112-120 UCAS Tariff 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
Full-time home 2025/26 £9,250.00per year
Full-time international 2025/26 £17,650.00per 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

Still have some questions? Register for one of our Open Days or contact us:

By email: enquiries@salford.ac.uk
By phone: +44 (0)161 295 4545

Enrolment dates

September 2024

September 2025

UCAS information

Course ID CC86

Institution S03