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
Discover life as a postgraduate student at LJMU.
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Fees, funding and scholarships
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Discover the building blocks of your course
Your programme is made up of a number of core modules and a research project as detailed below.
Research Methods and Training in Sport Psychology
The module allows you to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to conduct qualitative research in Sport Psychology. You will critically explore the philosophical approaches appropriate to Sport Psychology research, and develop skills in qualitative research methods, data analysis and representation.
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 is done through exposure to Sport, Motor Behaviour and Exercise orientated aterial, enabling Performance and Development issues to be explored in different context.
Frameworks, Approaches and Skills in Sport Psychology
The module aims to critically review the theoretical frameworks, approaches and skills relevant to Sport Psychology practice. Initial focus is centred on consultant philosophy and its broad impact on performance enhancement and athlete development, and enables you to critically evaluate the different theoretical perspectives relating to Counselling approaches in Sport Psychology. The module also seeks to extend your appreciation of other therapeutic perspectives, including cognitive behavioural, psychoanalytical and existential approaches to practice. You will also learn about the counselling and interpersonal skills that are relevant to sport psychology work.
Professional Practice in Sport Psychology
You will develop a critical awareness of the theory to applied issues governing professional practice in Sport Psychology. You will explore literature relating to the applied philosophies and methods of evaluation governing effective professional practice.
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.
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 athlete’s 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
Joanne 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. Joanne 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. Joanne 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. Joanne 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)
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.
Order your brochure Research
You will need:
- a minimum 2:1 honours degree in Sport Psychology, Psychology or a related combined award
- Graduate Basis for Certified Membership (GBC) – only for the BPS accredited award
- Please note that initial applications for this programme will close on January 30th 2023 and decisions will be made on all applications before 20th February
- 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
- IELTS score 6.5
- RPL is accepted on this programme
- 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
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International Further Information
Please note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check via NARIC.
View country specific entry requirements
Contact LJMU's International Admissions Team for guidance on visa information. Further information is also available from our international web pages.
Application and selection
Securing your place at LJMU
You will apply for the majority of postgraduate courses using our online application form. You should complete the form thoroughly and provide a detailed personal statement which reflects your suitability and aptitude for the 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.