2024/25 entry Applications also open for 2025/26

DSportExPsy Professional Doctorate in Sport and Exercise Psychology

Start date(s):
Study mode:
Course duration:
27 months

Tuition fees

Home full-time per year
International full-time per year
General enquiries:
0151 231 5090
International admissions

Send a message >

About this course

The programme is designed to meet BPS Stage 2 requirements in Sport and Exercise Psychology and eligibility for HCPC registration.

  • The School of Sport and Exercise Sciences is ranked 6th for Sports Science (QS World University Rankings 2024)
  • Benefit from quality teaching and supervision provided by experienced sport and exercise psychologists
  • Study on a course underpinned by high-grade research and practice, designed to meet BPS Stage 2 training requirements in Sport and Exercise Psychology and eligibility for registration as a Sport and Exercise Psychologist with the HCPC
  • Enjoy the world-class facilities in the award-winning Tom Reilly Building
  • Look forward to enhanced career opportunities in Sport and Exercise Psychology professional practice and promotion, as well as education, teaching and research

The programme is underpinned by a strong focus on equipping future Sport and Exercise Psychologists with the competencies required to work in a range of professional practice scenarios. You will work closely with academic staff who are leaders in their research field and experts in training. In keeping with the nationally agreed curriculum competences for Sport and Exercise Psychologists, you will develop your professional skills in teaching and training (education and dissemination), ethics and professional standards, research and consultancy through your own work-based learning experiences, taught sessions on the programme and extensive supervision.

  • Daniel's story

    Daniel joined LJMU as an undergraduate and achieved his BSc and MSc Sport Psychology qualifications here before embarking on the Professional Doctorate in Sport and Exercise Psychology.

    "I s...

    Read more..

  • Go on a tour of the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences

  • Mike's story

    Mike moved to LJMU for his Masters following a recommendation from his undergraduate tutors at Leeds Beckett. He is now studying for the Professional Doctorate in Sport and Exercise Psychology.


    Read more..

  • David's story

    With an undergraduate degree in Psychology and Geography and a Masters in Sport and Exercise Psychology, David decided to study for a Professional Doctorate in Sport and Exercise Psychology.

    Read more..

  • Nick's story

    Nick moved to LJMU to undertake a Masters in Sport and Exercise Psychology. He is now studying for his Professional Doctorate.

    I was drawn to LJMU by the knowledge of the lecturers and their...

    Read more..

Professional body recognition

Designed to meet British Psychological Society (BPS) Stage 2 requirements in Sport and Exercise Psychology and eligibility for Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) registration.

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

Additional costs

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.

A growing number of Sport and Exercise Psychology graduates work in applied settings as Sport and Exercise Psychology practitioners and promoters, as well as taking up positions in Sport and Exercise Psychology education, teaching and research.

The student experience

Discover life as a postgraduate student at LJMU.

Course modules

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.

The Professional Doctorate in Sport and Exercise Psychology is available in various durations to suit your circumstances. The minimum is a statutory 2 years as a full-time student. The equivalent part-time programme is 4 years long. In addition, we also offer a full-time programme that is 3 years duration, and a part-time version that lasts up to 6 years.

All programme variants have the same essential structure, with the same taught sessions that occur primarily in the first year. The programme duration you choose is largely dictated by your work placement(s) and other work related opportunities you may secure. For example, if you are working on doctorate related activity full-time then it is likely you will opt for a full-time programme duration. If you are working half-time or more, but less than full-time, then you must opt for a part-time version. Anything less than half time is not suitable for doctorate completion.

The number of years you chose to study for will mainly be dictated by how busy you find yourself and how much spare time you have for the additional paperwork that the doctorate necessitates. For some, a two-year full-time programme is very packed and proves difficult, and the third year programme suits them better. The programme team at LJMU are happy to discuss your needs and what might suit you best depending on your personal circumstances; no two applicants are alike. It is also possible to change your study mode e.g. from full to parttime according to your circumstances.

If you wish to avail yourself of the Doctoral Loans scheme, please note that currently this is only available for programmes of durations of 3 or more years. Find out more.

Core modules

Planning Training in Sport and Exercise Psychology
30 credits

This module introduces the programme and helps you to produce a training plan in line with the competencies required by the British Psychological Society and Health and Care Professions Council. It also helps you to reflect on that plan in the form of a SWOT analysis. The module aims to:

  • establish that you can plan your training in relation to the requirements of the national competences for Sport and Exercise Psychologists
  • provide evidence of a critical view on your own planned development

Sport and Exercise Psychology Professional Practice
270 credits

The aim of this module is to capture the competences of Professional Skills and Standards (including ethics of applied practice), Consultancy, Research, and Teaching, & Training (education and dissemination) in sport and exercise psychology over the period of training.

Reflection in Sport and Exercise Psychology
60 credits

This module requires you to reflect on your learning experiences as a Sport and Exercise Psychologist by reflecting on your practitioner development and how this informs your future practice. It aims to enable you to demonstrate your:

  • overall professional skills development
  • ability to reflect and meta-reflect on your development and the decisions and choices you have made during your training


An insight into teaching on your course

Study hours

All teaching is on Thursdays 10am-12pm and 2pm-4pm, leaving you some time in the day to meet with your supervisor. Sessions are formally scheduled from January to June and September to December in year one and on an ad hoc basis in subsequent years.

Teaching methods

You will develop your skills in teaching and training (education and dissemination), research, consultancy and the generic professional skills needed to qualify as a Sport and Exercise Psychologist. This is achieved through your own work-based learning experiences, taught sessions on the programme and extensive supervision.

Applied learning

To be offered a place on the programme, you need to have secured your own placement, or work related opportunities (or a combination of the two) to satisfy the hours of client contact required. Once on the programme, you are likely to encounter other opportunities, sourced by you or our staff (who have extensive networks with numerous sport and exercise organisations) that you may choose to undertake as further support for your training.


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 Professional Doctorate in Sport and Exercise Psychology programme requires a portfolio of work to be completed. This includes: a log and reflective diary of professional practice and consultancy/teaching plus training case studies. In terms of research, you will be expected to produce a systematic literature review and two empirical papers of publishable quality.

Course tutors

Our staff are committed to the highest standards of teaching and learning

The most rewarding aspect of my role is providing a sport psychology professional training route that enables students to develop both professionally and personally to achieve their ambition to become a registered Sport and Exercise Psychologist.

School facilities

What you can expect from your School

The programme is delivered in the City Campus, in the £28 million Tom Reilly Building, which provides world-class sport and exercise science facilities.

Entry requirements

You will need:

Qualification requirements

Postgraduate degree (required for research programmes)

  • a good honours degree in Psychology conferring Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership from the British Psychological Society; and
  • a BPS Accredited MSc in Sport and Exercise Psychology, normally at merit level or higher (we offer a BPS accredited Sport Psychology Masters at LJMU) 

Additional requirements

  • Relevant work experience

    • a suitable pre-determined placement or work related learning opportunities (paid or voluntary)

International requirements


    • IELTS score of 7.0 (minimum 6.5 in each component)

  • Other international requirements

    • International students who have applied 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

Further information

  • Extra Requirements
    • The Professional Doctorate in Sport and Exercise Psychology is not eligible for the LJMU Alumni Award if the 20% discount has already been used for an alternative LJMU programme
  • RPL

    • 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.