MSc Sport Psychology
About this course
Complete a BPS-accredited Masters in Sport Psychology at LJMU under the guidance of world-leading academic staff who carry out internationally recognised research.
- This programme is British Psychological Society (BPS) accredited for applicants with Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) and offers a route into Stage Two training to become an HCPC Registered Sport and Exercise Psychologist
- It is one of the first courses to be endorsed by the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) SEPAR Endorsement Scheme (PSES)
- Completion enables you to proceed onto LJMU's Professional Doctorate in Sport and Exercise Psychology, the British Psychological Society's Stage 2 training programme, or the British Association for Sport and Exercise Science's SEPAR training programme - all of which make you eligible to register as a sport and exercise psychologist
- Benefit from high levels of academic and pastoral support and access to world-class facilities in the award-winning Tom Reilly Building
- Look forward to excellent vocational opportunities, including a professional practice placement in a sport or exercise setting
The School of Sport and Exercise Science has been delivering this programme for over 20 years, yet we keep our course design current so that you can apply the most relevant theory and research within your practice. We have a strong ethos of theory and applied knowledge, and it is this practice-based learning that we instil in our postgraduates — a style of knowledge transfer that no other BPS accredited course offers.
The programme philosophy seeks to critically engage you with a broad spectrum of Sport Psychology perspectives, drawing on a range of research and applied methodologies. Founded on an academically rigorous knowledge base, studies focus on the impact that research and psychological theory has on applied practice.
Our academic team members have been selected for their specialist expertise, and you will be taught by these experts in performance enhancement. As a postgraduate on this programme, you will experience a rich and highly relevant education and be able to grow as a sport and exercise psychology professional in this elite environment of thought-leaders from the field of Sport and Exercise Psychology.
Our commitment to your ability to support the performance, development and welfare of sportspeople remains our primary focus. You will develop consultancy skills and the knowledge to counsel sportspeople. The results of your work, and the effect it will have on an athlete's physical and psychological development, will become one of your key outcomes.
Fees and funding
There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students
The fees quoted at the top of this page cover registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examinations as well as:
- Library membership with access to printed, multimedia and digital resources
- Access to programme-appropriate software
- Library and student IT support
- Free on-campus wifi via eduroam
Although not all of the following are compulsory/relevant, you should keep in mind the costs of:
- accommodation and living expenditure
- books (should you wish to have your own copies)
- printing, photocopying and stationery
- PC/laptop (should you prefer to purchase your own for independent study and online learning activities)
- mobile phone/tablet (to access online services)
- field trips (travel and activity costs)
- placements (travel expenses and living costs)
- student visas (international students only)
- study abroad opportunities (travel costs, accommodation, visas and immunisations)
- academic conferences (travel costs)
- professional-body membership
- graduation (gown hire etc)
There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students. From loans to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you’ll find all of the information you need on our specialist postgraduate funding pages.
Please be aware that the UK’s departure from the EU may affect your tuition fees. Learn more about your fee status and which tuition fees are relevant to you.
Further your career prospects
LJMU has an excellent employability record with 96% (HESA 2018) of our postgraduates in work or further study six months after graduation. Our applied learning techniques and strong industry connections ensure our students are fully prepared for the workplace on graduation and understand how to apply their knowledge in a real world context.
The integrated and critical nature of the programme promotes qualities and skills relevant to employability within the sport psychology field and many career opportunities are open to you on graduation. Many graduates continue their training to become registered sport and exercise psychologists. They go into applied work, teaching and lecturing in schools, colleges and universities or continue their studies with a doctoral research/training programme. Some graduates have engaged in sports science support and/or athlete support programmes with national governing bodies and professional sports clubs or acted as consultants in professional sport settings.
A large number of graduates continue in education, research or applied work, including BPS Stage 2 training, such as the Professional Doctorate in Sport and Exercise Psychology at Liverpool John Moores University. Some go into teaching and lecturing in schools, colleges and universities.
Past graduates have engaged in sports science support and/or athlete support programmes with national governing bodies and professional sports clubs or acted as consultants in professional sport settings.
The student experience
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Discover the building blocks of your programme
Your programme is made up of a number of core modules which are part of the course framework. Some programmes also have optional modules that can be selected to enhance your learning in certain areas and many feature a dissertation, extended report or research project to demonstrate your advanced learning.
Your programme is made up of a number of core modules and a research project as detailed below.
This module will develop and extend your knowledge and practical experience of the research process and the use of advanced research skills. This will involve a critical analysis of the methodology and results of research and the assimilation of a research project that demonstrates the ability to plan, design and conduct a piece of independent research within a discipline of Sport and Exercise Science.
Research Methods and Training in Sport Psychology
The module allows you to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills tocritically explore the philosophical approaches appropriate to sport psychology research, and to develop and extend students' skills in quantitative research design, and qualitative research methods, data analysis, and representation relevant to Sport Psychology
Performance and Development Issues in Sport Psychology
This module invites you to study contemporary topics in Sport Psychology from a performance and development perspective. This enables performance and development issues to be explored in different contexts and also enables individual differences to be embedded and considered within the delivery.
Professional Practice in Sport Psychology
This module requires students to provide theoretically informed accounts and engage in critical discussion and reflection about professional practice issues in the field of sport and exercise psychology, and experiences associated with work-related learning
Frameworks, Approaches and Skills in Sport Psychology
Consideration of salient Applied Sport Psychology frameworks and their impact on performance enhancement and athlete development will enable students to critically extend their appreciation of therapeutic perspectives, including cognitive behavioural and humanistic approaches to practice and critically evaluate their impact and contribution. Students will also learn about the counselling and interpersonal skills that are relevant to sport psychology work. The theory-to-application underpinning mental training is explored, and specific psychological skills and strategies that assist the development of 'behaviour change' in both sport and exercise populations are reviewed. The social processes involved in working with groups and organizations are explored, with specific focus on the impact of organisational culture and interpersonal / social relationships on athlete development. The module content also enables individual differences to be embedded and considered throughout the delivery.
An insight into teaching on your course
Semester 1: 1 x 20 credit module running on Tuesday and 1x40 credit module running on Wednesday
Semester 2: 1 x 20 credit module running on Tuesday and 1x40 credit module running on Wednesday
Year-long: 1 x 60 credit research project with submission deadline of last working day in July
We offer you a fantastic and supportive environment in which to study a sport and exercise science-related postgraduate course. You will develop consultancy skills and the knowledge to counsel sportspersons. The results of your work, and the effect it will have on an athletes physical and conscious development, will become one of your key outcomes.
Studies focus on the impact that research and psychological theory has on applied practice. We pride ourselves on our long standing status as a preferred training route and we welcome applications from ambitious sports scientists keen to ultimately contribute to our portfolio of experience and produce their own research grounded in the real world.
How learning is monitored on your programme
To cater for the wide-ranging content of our courses and the varied learning preferences of our students, we offer a range of assessment methods on each programme.
The programme is designed to train sports psychologists in how to successfully improve performance, the mind/body connection and the wellbeing of elite sportspersons. Assessment methods for this course include: essays, oral presentations, consultancy reports, a research proposal and ethics application, research papers and a viva.
Our staff are committed to the highest standards of teaching and learning
Prof Joanne Butt
Prof Joanne Butt
Professor Butt gained her MSc and PhD from Miami University, Ohio in the USA. Before joining LJMU, she worked at Sheffield Hallam University in the Centre for Sport and Exercise Sciences. Professor Butt has spent a significant portion of her career working in elite sport as a sport psychologist, including a secondment as Head of Performance Psychology for the English Institute of Sport and an assignment at the London 2012 Olympic Games. She is currently working with individual performers in golf and tennis. Professor Butt also works for the British Equestrian Federation as a practitioner and as part of their youth coach development programme. Her research interests include: key psychological constructs that impact on athletes performance; the factors influencing athlete development; and understanding how athletes can continue to thrive in pressure environments. Professor Butt has published over 50 journal articles and continues to take a research-informing practice approach to her work and teaching.
I enjoy helping our students at LJMU develop on their journey towards becoming a sport psychologist and sharing my research and consultancy experiences along the way. I particularly enjoy leading our Applied Sport Psychology research group as part of the Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences (RISES)
Where you will study
What you can expect from your School
This programme is based in the City Campus. LJMU has invested £35 million in state-of-the-art laboratory facilities for our current and future sport scientists. All of our labs are furnished with the latest equipment which enables us to work with our students and partners to enhance our understanding of the science behind human performance and behaviour.
You will need:
- a minimum 2:1 honours degree in Sport Psychology, Psychology or a related combined award
- IELTS score 6.5
Other international requirements
- International students applying to study a full-time taught Masters, MRes, MPhil or PhD at LJMU, you should check if you require an Academic Technology Approval Scheme or ATAS certificate. Please contact LJMU’s International Admissions Team for further details
- International students entering on a Tier 4 visa cannot study part-time
- Graduate Basis for Certified Membership (GBC) – only for the BPS accredited award
- Applications from students with alternative qualifications: you are not eligible for the BPS accredited Stage 1 award, so cannot complete BPS Stage 2 training to become a HCPC Registered Sport Psychologist or have access to Chartered Membership of the Society
- Applicants for the non-BPS accredited MSc Sport Psychology award would normally be expected to have the same level of honours degree in a related discipline e.g. Sport Science, where significant evidence of sport psychology study can be demonstrated
- RPL is accepted on this programme
Application and selection
Securing your place at LJMU
To apply for this programme, you are required to complete an LJMU online application form. You will need to provide details of previous qualifications and a personal statement outlining why you wish to study this programme.
The University reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University. Where this does happen, the University operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.
Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.