Coronavirus (Covid-19) Information

Module JXH-2020:
Motor Control & Learning

Module Facts

Run by School of Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences

10 Credits or 5 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Dr Vicky Gottwald

Overall aims and purpose

A good understanding of ‘how people learn’ is integral to being a successful teacher or coach. This module is directed towards enhancing students’ understanding of the learning process and how this may be optimised.

Throughout the course we will use theoretical understanding to help inform applied decision making in the sporting environment. For example, should instructions and feedback be directed to an athlete’s body or the environment? How can we make sure a ‘fake’ is truly effective? Should the triple jump be coached using a ‘whole’ or ‘part’ approach?

Course content

The course is led by a published academic who is also a UKCC Level 4 coach. As such, the content will be both theoretical and applied in nature. The course is broadly divided into two parts. Firstly understanding the underlying theoretical mechanisms to account for ‘how people learn and control movements’, for example information processing, motor programmes, stages of learning and schema theory. Secondly, applying this information to maximise learning e.g. instructional delivery, whole versus part practice, deception and control of complex movements.

IMPORTANT: Module failure that prevents you from passing your year will require resit assessment and attendance at supplementary assessment week during the summer period (dates TBC).

Assessment Criteria


To be awarded a mark above D-, you must have a clear understanding of the paradigms and empirical findings in the motor control and learning literature. You should be able to explain how theoretical concepts have evolved from the empirical evidence and how these theories can be applied to practical situations.


To be awarded a mark of higher than B- , in addition to the above, you must be able to integrate the various theoretical concepts. In particular, you should be able to explain how the various processes involved in the control of movement change at the different stages of learning and how the learning process changes throughout skill acquisition. The ability to interpret empirical data should be demonstrated.


To be awarded a mark of over A-, in addition to the above, an in depth interpretation of empirical data which incorporates evidence from your additional reading will be expected.

Learning outcomes

  1. Understand how the various processes involved in the control of movement and skill learning are integral to informing practitioner decision-making;

  2. Interpret relevant motor control and learning literature to explain key theories and findings;

  3. Seek out and critically evaluate relevant research papers to identify key messages, limitations, and future research ideas;

  4. Apply research and theory to the sporting environment in an appropriate manner.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
COURSEWORK Focus of Attention Task Worksheet 40
EXAM exam part a 18
EXAM exam part b 18
EXAM exam part c 24

Teaching and Learning Strategy


This course will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and optional tutorials. For September 2020 we will be starting the academic year with a blended learning approach in response to Covid 19. For the most up to date information on this please look at

Private study 79

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team

Subject specific skills

  • research and assess paradigms, theories, principles, concepts and factual information, and apply such skills in explaining and solving problems
  • critically assess and evaluate data and evidence in the context of research methodologies and data sources
  • describe, synthesise, interpret, analyse and evaluate information and data relevant to a professional or vocational context
  • plan, design, execute and communicate a sustained piece of independent intellectual work, which provides evidence of critical engagement with, and interpretation of, appropriate data
  • apply knowledge to the solution of familiar and unfamiliar problems
  • develop a sustained reasoned argument, perhaps challenging previously held assumptions
  • demonstrate effective written and/or oral communication and presentation skills
  • work effectively independently and with others
  • take and demonstrate responsibility for their own learning and continuing personal and professional development
  • demonstrate evidence of competence in the scientific methods of enquiry, and interpretation and analysis of relevant data and statistical outputs.
  • develop transferable skills of relevance to careers outside of sport, health and exercise sciences.
  • develop effective learning aids


Courses including this module