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Aims and Structure

Designed to impart an advanced knowledge and understanding of a range of theoretical and methodological issues concerning the psychology of performance enhancement, a particular emphasis will be on performance in sport and health. The programme aims to provide you with:

  • a critical understanding of the psychological factors that influence performance;
  • an advanced understanding of different theories of movement performance;
  • the ability to link theories of performance to practical interventions;
  • a raised awareness of how performance psychology can help improve quality of life in health related contexts;
  • the skills to use sophisticated technology that allows for the measurement, analysis and evaluation of performance;
  • the opportunity of obtaining Level 5 performance analysis accreditation from the  ISPAS;
  • the skills to use appropriate quantitative and qualitative methods to address theoretical and applied research questions as well as with the skills to interpret associated data.

The course consists of nine compulsory modules and a dissertation.  The modules are:

Psychology of Movement Performance:  Theoretical Approaches

This module will focus on the theoretical aspects of the psychology of movement performance. This includes an overview of how the brain controls movement and how skills are acquired across the lifespan. It will draw distinctions between motor learning and motor performance, taking environmental contexts into consideration.

Measuring and Evaluating Performance

This module will allow first-hand experience in using technology for performance evaluation in sport and health related contexts. This includes capture and analysis of video based data, capture and analysis of motion capture data and experience using immersive, interactive virtual reality to simulate and measure performance.

Psychological Dynamics of Performance

This module will give you a critical understanding of the theories of individual and group characteristics that influence performance. These include emotion, motivational and personality theories along with cultural and group dynamics. It will also look at cognitive based training and how it can be used to improve performance.

Enhancing Movement Performance in Applied Contexts

This module will equip you with a critical understanding of current interventions that aim to improve movement performance in different sports and health related contexts.


Using a variety of identified placement opportunities, this module will provide you with a critical understanding of practical considerations and limitations when implementing a movement enhancement programme in an applied setting. It will provide an opportunity of observing theory being put into practice.

Principles of Qualitative Research Methods and Data Analyses 1 and 2

These modules will introduce you to different methodological issues in designing and conducting qualitative research and equip you with the necessary skills to use approaches to qualitative data analyses such as Grounded Theory, IPA and Discourse Analysis.

Quantitative Data Analyses 1 and 2

These modules will provide you with the skills to conduct a range of multivariate statistical techniques (e.g. Analysis of Variance, Factor Analysis, Multiple Regression, Structural Equation Modelling) and interpret their findings.