Coronavirus (Covid-19) Information

Module JXH-2037:
Exercise Psychology

Module Facts

Run by School of Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences

10 Credits or 5 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Dr Tommie Du Preez

Overall aims and purpose

What do you think is the activity people spend most of their waking hours doing? Is your answer sitting? To put things in perspective, population-based studies indicate that we spend on average about 50% of our waking hours sitting. Sedentary behaviour such as sitting is linked with a multitude of adverse health outcomes such as cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, stroke, osteoporosis, depression and cancers that lead to premature mortality. Indeed, increasingly sedentary behaviour is ‘killing us softly’, which makes exercise crucial to our health and well-being across our lifespan.

Throughout this course, we will explore the psychology of exercise by examining the latest research and how we can translate these understandings into simple applications to encourage people around us to engage in regular exercise.

Course content

In this course, you will explore a range of topics such as social cognitive models of exercise behaviour; the role of autonomy in exercise promotion; affective responses to exercise; exercise affect and exercise adherence; implicit social cognition; fitness and cardiovascular reactivity to stress. Besides appreciating the relevant research, this course is also focused on the applications of exercise psychology in the real world. To achieve this, students will gain first-hand experience in laboratory sessions on how to apply exercise psychology in an exercise setting. Further, assessment in this course will be based fully on the experiences in the laboratory sessions so that learning outcomes relevant to the real life applications of exercise psychology.

Module failure that prevents you passing the year will require resit assessment and attendance at Supplementary Assessment Week (exact date TBC but expected to be second week of July 2018).

Assessment Criteria


Shows very good understanding of the theory and evidence of wider reading/independent research. Demonstrates a solid understanding of the analysis and results. Accurate interpretation of the results. Critical discussion of the results.


Shows little understanding of the theory and no evidence of wider reading/independent research. Demonstrates partial understanding of the analysis and results. Lacks accuracy interpretation of the results. No insightful or critical discussion of the results.


Shows in-depth understanding of the theory and evidence of wider reading/independent research. Demonstrates a strong understanding of the analysis and results. Highly accurate interpretation of the results. Insightful and critical discussion of the results.

Learning outcomes

  1. Demonstrate an ability to collect and interpret lab-based exercise psychology data.

    1. Understand the differences between the principle constructs in social-cognitive models.
    1. Be able to critically assess the limitations of social cognitive models of exercise behaviour.
    1. Be able to generate questionnaire items to empirically examine the relationships between beliefs and expectancies about exercise and the adoption or maintenance of exercise behaviour.
    1. Demonstrate an ability to conduct a data collection, manage data in SPSS, interpret the data and write a brief research paper.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Data collection and management. 10
Brief journal-style report. 60
Lab practical report 30

Teaching and Learning Strategy


Lectures based on practical activities. This course will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminar, tutorials and workshops. 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 78

Interactive and student-led.


Interactive and student-led.


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • 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
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

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
  • 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
  • self-appraise and reflect on practice
  • 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 knowledge of psychometric instruments
  • accurately interpret case study data
  • demonstrate effective robust data collection methods


Resource implications for students


Talis Reading list

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: