MSc in Sport, Exercise and Performance Psychology

Key Points

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This master’s programme is dedicated to provide a solid foundation in the knowledge and application of psychological principles to sport, exercise and performance environments to enhance wellbeing and performance. There is a demand for training in this field for those whose ambition is to work in high performance sporting environments. In Ireland and the UK, many of those trained in sport psychology have taken up roles as performance managers, professional sport coaches and sport management.

This programme seeks to equip candidates with a sound understanding of theory and research and to develop core competencies and professional skills in a range of key domains including the following: motor cognition and skill acquisition; performance psychology; exercise and mental health; applied positive psychology; organisational behaviour and wellbeing; professional issues and ethics; and research design and methods. The main aims of the programme are to create an exceptional and distinctive learning experience through innovations in teaching (e.g. e-learning module in applied positive psychology).

 This master’s program aims to:

  • To provide a connected, learner-centered curriculum that enables students to develop their ability to think critically and acquire a broad set of attributes identified by UL as knowledgeable, proactive, innovative, responsible, articulate, and collaborative.
  • Broaden the traditional scope of sport psychology by focusing on performance restoration, resilience and mental health, rather than focusing solely on performance enhancement.
  • Improve understanding of mental health challenges in sporting contexts using a positive psychology approach.
  • To develop a multidisciplinary mode of graduate research along with an ethical scientific-professional basis.
  • To lead the provision of postgraduate training in this evolving field of performance psychology.
  • Provide stage one of the recognition process to sport and exercise psychologists for PSI and BPS.
  • Include appropriate skills to enable graduates to develop a case study as part of their application for professional membership of the Irish Institute of Sport.

Program Structure

Semester 1 – Spring

  • Performance Psychology (6 credits)
  • Work Design and Employee Well-Being (6 credits)
  • Motor Cognition: Understanding Action in Performance and Rehabilitation Contexts (6 credits)
  • Exercise psychology and mental health

Choose from:

  • Advanced Empirical Psychology (6 credits)
  • Qualitative Research Methods in Psychology (6 credits)

Semester 2 – Summer

  • Psychological Skills Training for Sports Performance (6 credits)
  • Professional competences 4 (6 credits)
  • Professional Issues and Ethics in Applied Psychology (6 credits)
  • Applied Positive Psychology (6 credits)
  • Development of research thesis in psychology (6 credits)

Semester 3 – Fall

  • Thesis in Sport, Exercise and Performance Psychology (30 credits)

Career Options

The MSc. in Sport, Exercise and Performance Psychology, the first programme of its kind at university level in Ireland, aims to prepare students for a variety of employment opportunities in the four tracks identified by the American Psychological Association, Division 47 Sport and Exercise Psychology. Specifically, these include:

  • Teaching / research in sports science and also consultancy;
  • Teaching/research in psychology and also consulting;
    Clinical/counseling services for various populations, including athletes;
  • Health promotion and work with clients, but not necessarily with athletes;

Admission Requirements

  • An honours degree (National Qualifications Authority of Ireland level 8 or other internationally recognised equivalent) in a relevant or appropriate subject, e.g. psychology. 
  • In the case of international candidates, the foreign equivalent is required. In addition, a degree officially translated into English will be required.
  • In addition, a CV (Curriculum Vitae) should be included with the application; Scanned copy of any psychological society membership and CPD workshop attendance; and a copy of birth certificate or passport.
  • IELTS 6.5, with no less than 6 in any component (or its internationally recognised equivalent).

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