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Module JXH-2037:
Exercise Psychology

Module Facts

Run by School of Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences

10 Credits or 5 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Dr David Markland

Overall aims and purpose

This module will provide students with an appreciation of the main areas of research in exercise psychology and their applied implications.

Course content

The following topics will be explored: 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.

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.
  2. Be aware of the key findings on the affective consequences of exercising.

  3. Be aware of the key findings with regard to the relationship between fitness and cardiovascular reactivity to stress.

  4. Be aware of the role of exercise intensity in moderating the effects of exercise on affective responses and well-being, and on adherence to exercise.

Assessment Methods

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

Teaching and Learning Strategy


Lectures based on practical activities.

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: