Sport and Exercise Psychology BSc (Hons)
BSc Hons Sport and Exercise Psychology
Want to take your first steps on the path to becoming a British Psychological Society (BPS) Chartered Sport and Exercise Psychologist or Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) Registered Practitioner Psychologist?
On this BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Psychology degree course – accredited by the BPS – you’ll use the latest equipment and techniques in our comprehensively equipped laboratories, and be taught by our team of BPS Chartered and HCPC Registered psychologists.
- Use psychology and sports science facilities including a psychology laboratory (with interview room and media suite), biomechanics and kinanthropometry labs, and immersion pool and climatic chambers – for manipulating temperature, humidity and altitude
- Get your hands on specialist equipment like PLATO Liquid Crystal Spectacles and our ASL Mobile Eye System, which you can use to measure performance and get the most out of athletes
- Be taught by BPS Chartered and HCPC Registered psychologists who have extensive professional experience and access to the latest sport psychology research
This course is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS).
The course is really interactive so we have a nice mix of workshops, lectures and assignments that help us to really engage with what we are learning and to keep things fresh and exciting.
BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Psychology degree entry requirements
- A levels – AAB–ABB
- UCAS points – 128–136 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent, with 32 points from a Science subject (Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, PE, Physics, Psychology or Sports Science and the Active Leisure Industry or Sports Studies) (calculate your UCAS points)
- BTECs (Extended Diplomas) – DDD–DDM
English language requirements
- English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.
We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.
If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.
Facilities and specialist equipment
Record and analyse physical responses, such as electrical activity in the brain, neural processes, blood pressure and heart rate, to explore how the body reacts to different psychological states.
Eye tracking technology
Discover how eye movement can be analysed to reveal how quickly athletes respond to visual or auditory cues, using our ASL mobile eye-tracking system and PLATO Liquid Crystal Spectacles.
Use equipment including force plates, pressure plates and our electromyography system to explore the impact of exercise on the body in this lab, from the limits of human endurance to the effects of chronic health conditions.
Extreme environments laboratories
See how altitude and humidity affect people's comfort, performance and survival. Features an immersion pool and swimming flume, which acts like a treadmill for swimmers.
This lab includes treadmills, a swim bench, ergometers and a physiological monitoring kit for analysing athletes' blood, heart rate and urine.
Careers and opportunities
Sport and exercise psychologists help athletes, teams and amateur sportspeople deal with the mental demands of their sport. They work to improve the mindsets, behaviours and patterns of thinking that influence people involved in sport, while also aiming for progression in personal development and sporting performance.
On this BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Psychology, you'll learn how to apply psychological principles and theories to optimise the performance of athletes in the world of elite sport, and how to help the public reach their health, fitness and wellbeing goals.
When you complete the course, you'll be eligible to apply for Chartered Membership of the BPS on a graduate basis (GBC) – the first step to becoming a Chartered Sport and Exercise Psychologist or HCPC Registered Practitioner Psychologist.
To become Chartered, you'll also need to do further academic training for up to 5 years, including an MSc Sport and Exercise Psychology.
At Portsmouth we offer the full training route to Chartered Psychologist status in the domain of sport and exercise. You will study in a beautiful seaside setting and be taught by academics recognised internationally for their expertise.
What jobs can you do with a sport and exercise psychology degree?
Roles you can do after the course include:
- sport and exercise psychologist (with further training)
- sport and exercise scientist
- management roles in national governing bodies
- health promotion worker
Roles our previous graduates have gone on to work in, include:
- PE teacher
- personal trainer
- wellbeing access worker
- special educational needs and disabilities mentor
Ongoing careers supportAfter you graduate, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability Service as you advance in your career.
Ciara graduated in 2021 with a BSc and MSc in Sport and Exercise Psychology from the University of Portsmouth. She is now a wellbeing access worker for Herts Mind Network. Find out what Ciara’s role entails and how she’s applying the skills she learnt during her time at Portsmouth.
Either before or following your third year, you have the option to choose a work placement year to gain valuable longer-term work experience in the industry. A placement year gives you the opportunity to apply your knowledge in a real workplace, boosting your employability and making you stand out to employers after the course.
You can work for a company or organisation here in the UK or overseas, or you could go independent by setting up and running your own business with other students.
Whichever route you choose, you'll receive support and guidance. Our specialist team of Science and Health Careers advisors can help you with finding a work placement and improving your employability skills. They'll provide you with a database of placement vacancies, support with your job search – including help with applications and interviews – and support throughout your placement year.
Previous students have taken placement roles such as:
- sport for development project officer
- assistant exercise specialist
- performance analyst
- rehabilitation assistant
- exercise and mental health practitioner
Recent students have completed placements at:
- Bristol City FC
- Chichester and Selsey Ladies FC
- The Richmond Group
- Other professional sports clubs, sports injuries clinics, schools, the NHS and within universities
You'll also have the opportunity to study abroad at one of our partner universities. Studying overseas is a fantastic opportunity to enhance your CV and experience a different culture as an international student.
Many of our students describe their time spent studying abroad as truly life-changing, as well as an excellent way to stand out to future employers.
What you'll study on this BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Psychology degree
Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.
In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, four modules worth 20 credits and one module worth 40 credits.
Modules currently being studied
Core modules in this year include:
- Introduction to Sport and Exercise Biomechanics – 40 credits
- Introduction to Sport and Exercise Physiology – 40 credits
- Introduction to Sport and Exercise Psychology – 40 credits
There are no optional modules in this year.
Core modules in this year include:
- Biological & Cognitive Psychology – 20 credits
- Individual Differences & Psychometrics – 20 credits
- Preparing Research, Innovation or Enterprise Projects – 20 credits
- Principles of Skill Acquisition – 20 credits
- Psychology of Sport and Exercise – 20 credits
- Social & Developmental Psychology – 20 credits
There are no optional modules in this year.
On this course, you can choose an optional placement year between your 2nd and 3rd year of studies or after your 3rd year.
During the study abroad placement year, you'll experience life at a university in another country. Alternatively, you can spend a year developing your experience in industry in the UK or abroad with the work placement year.
We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your situation and ambitions. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.
Core modules in this year include:
- Applied Skill Acquisition – 20 credits
- Biopsychosocial Approaches to Physical Activity and Health Promotion – 20 credits
- Professional Practice in Sports Psychology – 20 credits
- Project – 40 credits
Optional modules in this year include:
- Issues in Clinical and Health Psychology – 20 credits
- Neuroscience – 20 credits
- Professional Development – 20 credits
- Social Construction of Disability – 20 credits
We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.
Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional modules may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.
How you're assessed
You’ll be assessed through:
- laboratory reports
- reflective accounts
You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.
You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.
The way you’re assessed will depend on the modules you select throughout your course. Here's an example from a previous year of how students on this course were typically assessed:
- Year 1 students: 47% by written exams and 53% by coursework
- Year 2 students: 64% by written exams, 8% by practical exams and 28% by coursework
- Year 3 students: 25% by practical exams and 75% by coursework
Teaching methods on this course include:
- online lectures
- one-on-one tutorials
Teaching staff draw on their varied experiences as practitioners and researchers to bring the subject to life.
The Participation and Performance podcast
In this podcast series course leader, Dr Daniel J. Brown, hosts a series of interviews with world-leading sport and exercise psychologists.
How you'll spend your time
One of the main differences between school or college and university is how much control you have over your learning.
We're planning for most of your learning to be supported by timetabled face-to-face teaching with some elements of online provision. Please be aware, the balance between face-to-face teaching and online provision may change depending on Government restrictions. You'll also do lots of independent study with support from staff and our virtual learning environment, Moodle. Find out more about how our teaching has transformed to best support your learning.
A typical week
We recommend you spend at least 35 hours a week studying for your degree. In your first year, you’ll be in timetabled teaching activities such as lectures, seminars, practical classes and workshops and guided independent study for about 9 hours a week. The rest of the time you’ll do independent study such as research, reading, coursework and project work, alone or in a group with others from your course. You'll probably do more independent study and have less scheduled teaching in years 2 and 3, but this depends on which modules you choose.
Most timetabled teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends.
The academic year runs from September to June. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter.
Supporting your learning
The amount of timetabled teaching you'll get on your degree might be less than what you're used to at school or college, but you'll also get support via video, phone and face-to-face from teaching and support staff when you need it. These include the following people and services:
Types of support
Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to independent study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your time at university.
As well as regular scheduled meetings with your personal tutor, they're also available at set times during the week if you want to chat with them about anything that can't wait until your next meeting.
You'll have help from a team of faculty learning support tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study.
They can help with:
- improving your academic writing (for example, essays, reports, dissertations)
- understanding and using assignment feedback
- managing your time and workload
- revision and exam techniques
As well as support from faculty staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK) for one-to-one support in areas such as:
- academic writing
- note taking
- time management
- critical thinking
- presentation skills
- working in groups
- revision, memory and exam techniques
If you require extra support because of a disability or additional learning need our specialist team can help you.
They'll help you to:
- discuss and agree on reasonable adjustments
- liaise with other University services and facilities, such as the library
- access specialist study skills and strategies tutors, and assistive technology tutors, on a 1-to-1 basis or in groups
- liaise with external services
Library staff are available in person or by email, phone or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from the faculty librarian for science.
The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.
Course costs and funding
Tuition fees (2022 start)
- UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
- EU students – £9,250 a year (including Transition Scholarship – may be subject to annual increase)
- International students – £16,200 per year (subject to annual increase)
Funding your studies
Applying from outside the UK? Find out about funding options for international students.
Additional course costs
These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.
Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.
You’ll study up to 6 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.
You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.
You’ll have to pay for meals and other living costs while completing compulsory fieldwork, amounting to £50–£1000. Travel and accommodation costs are covered by your course fee.
You’ll need to contribute towards the cost of optional fieldwork programmes, which usually come to £50–£1000.
You may need to a pay a returnable deposit for some field trips to ensure attendance. For day trips, this deposit is £20. For trips that last several days and require overnight stay, the deposit is £50. The deposit for these trips will be returned to you after the trip.
If you take an optional placement unit or placement year, you’ll need to cover the costs of travel, accommodation and subsistence. These costs will vary depending on the duration and location of the placement. The cost will usually be £50–£1000.
How to apply
To start this course in 2022, apply through UCAS. You'll need:
- the UCAS course code – C601
- our institution code – P80
If you'd prefer to apply directly, use our online application form.
You can also sign up to an Open Day to:
- Tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence
- Speak with lecturers and chat with our students
- Get information about where to live, how to fund your studies and which clubs and societies to join
If you're new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.
How to apply from outside the UK
See the 'How to apply' section above for details of how to apply. You can also get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.
To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section.
If you don't meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.
Admissions terms and conditions
When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.