Professional Doctorate in Sport and Exercise Psychology - University of Portsmouth
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Sport and Exercise Psychology

Become a Chartered Sport and Exercise Psychologist or register with the Health and Care Professions Council as a Practitioner Psychologist.

Course Overview

Why take this course?

This course was the first Professional Doctorate in Sport and Exercise Psychology to be approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). On completion of this course you will hold a doctoral degree and be eligible to apply to register with the Health and Care Professions Council as a Practitioner Psychologist.

The course offers a unique blended learning opportunity for those who wish to achieve both the highest level of academic degree and vocational qualification to practice as a psychologist within the sport and exercise domain. Holding these dual qualifications is increasingly important for both career and professional development in the field of sport and exercise psychology.

What will I experience?

 On this course you will:

  • Gain advanced research skills through the completion of a doctoral level programme of research.
  • Be supervised by BPS Chartered Sport and Exercise Psychologists, Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) Registered Psychologists, and British Association of Sport and Exercise Scientists (BASES), Accredited Sport and Exercise Scientists. All supervisors are experienced researcher-practitioners with extensive applied experience.
  • Develop advanced ethical, communication, and consultancy competencies in applied sport and exercise psychology practice.

What opportunities might it lead to?

Specific careers directly related to this qualification include becoming an applied practitioner, researcher, or lecturer in sport and/or exercise psychology. Applied practitioners tend to be self employed or employed by national governing bodies, sport institutes, or private sport organisations.

Researchers tend to be employed by commercial companies and academic institutions. Lecturers in this field are employed by further and higher educational establishments.

You will not only be qualified for a career in applied sport and exercise psychology, but also in sports and exercise science, and management roles within the world of sport, for example, national governing bodies. Alternatively, given the range of general employability skills developed throughout the course, you could also go on to a variety of careers in other sectors, for example, business, the police and the armed services.

 


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Structure & Teaching

The Professional Doctorate comprises two stages:

Stage 1 relates to the completion of a British Psychological Society accredited undergraduate degree or conversion course (conferring Graduate Basis for Chartered Status) and a British Psychological Society accredited Masters degree (conferring Stage 1 of the BPS’s Qualification in Sport and Exercise Psychology). If you have completed the requirements for Stage 1 (i.e. Stage 1 BPS QSEP), you will be compensated for this through APEL and will enter the programme at Stage 2 of the Professional Doctorate.

Stage 2 of this course contains three core units: Publication and Dissemination (30 credits), Proposal for Professional Research and Development Project and Professional Practice and Research (30 credits), and Professional Research and Development Project in Sport and Exercise Psychology (360 credits). These units are made up of component parts and are assessed through portfolio work, presentation, and viva voce examination.

Teaching and Assessment

You will be assigned one or more University supervisors, depending on the area of research and professional development. Access to specialist advisors in the workplace will be required for Part 2 of the programme and will vary according to the area of investigation. We have excellent support systems for our Professional Doctorate students and you will be assigned a Personal Tutor for Part 1 as well as two Supervisors for Part 2 of the course. There are further opportunities to attend research seminars and workshops organised by the University's Graduate School.

How are you assessed?

The Professional Doctorate consists of coursework and research and is credit based. The coursework component is designed to help build on professional expertise by exposing students to challenging and innovative ideas in their field.

Assessment is by coursework (including preparation of manuscripts for publication and documents for review and oral presentations. This should normally take 36 months to complete.

Tutor's view

sample

Dr Chris Wagstaff
Course Leader

As the first HCPC-approved course in the UK to offer professional registration eligibility and a doctorate degree, this course is special. You will benefit from a supervision team including BPS chartered and HCPC registered Sport and Exercise Psychologists and BASES accredited Scientists. This course is ideal for those with combined interests in applied practice and research. Given its novel integration, places on this course are very competitive.


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Facilities & Features

The Psychology Laboratory

Our lab has a range of specialist equipment including PLATO Liquid Crystal Spectacles allowing reaction timers to see how quickly we respond to visual or auditory cues, and various targets to assess the accuracy of skill development or performance. Our ASL Mobile Eye System enables researchers to examine exactly where individuals visually attend to when they are performing a movement or making a decision. There is also a separate interview room for non-practical research studies that houses a fully equipped media suite.

Learning Environments and Specialist Equipment

We are one of the leading departments offering sports science-based programmes in the UK according to the National Student Survey (NSS), the Times Good University Guide, the Independent University Guide, and the Guardian University Guide league tables. You will learn in a several different environments including our biomechanics, physiology and kinanthropometry labs, plus plenty of indoor space for practical activities, all located at the heart of the University. These house some of the country’s finest facilities, including:

  • 3 climatic chambers for manipulating temperature, humidity and altitude
  • an immersion pool
  • a swimming flume
  • an automated tracking system
  • visual 3D software

Research Groups

Our academic staff have a close affiliation with sport and are research active within their chosen specialism. We have three main research areas which include biomechanics, physiology and psychology, with BASES accredited and BPS chartered members of each area possessing prolific research profiles. Here are the areas of our current research:

  • Extreme Environmental Medicine and Science (co-ordinator: Dr Jim House)
  • Breast Health (co-ordinator: Dr Joanna Scurr)
  • Human Performance and Health (co-ordinator: Dr Jo Corbett)

University Library

Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.

Budgeting for your studies

There may be extra costs arising from your studies which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.

Some are common costs to all courses of study. These may include the cost of study texts, reference books, photocopying and computer supplies. Others relate to specific courses and may include field trips, materials and specialist equipment.


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Careers & Opportunities

Career prospects

This course is specifically tailored for individuals seeking to become a sport and exercise psychologist and hold a doctoral research degree. It's the first course to provide this blended approach to gaining the qualifications in one programme of work. The course is designed for those interested in a career in academia such as research and lecturing, and/or applied practice in the domain of sport and exercise psychology.

Career planning

One of the benefits of studying at Portsmouth is the support that we provide to our Master's and Research Degree students in career planning. Our careers and recruitment service can assist you in career research and finding employment opportunities. Help is also available if you wish to find a part-time job while studying your degree.

We offer our postgraduate students and alumni one-to-one appointments with a careers adviser, or an online service for those not able to travel back to the University. Our alumni can call on our career services for five years after graduation.

In addition, regular employability events offer you the chance to meet employers, find out about different career sectors and improve your applications or CV. The Graduate Summer Programme provides a range of guidance and employability seminars and workshops.

Benefits of Postgraduate Study

Regardless of whether you are seeking to build on your studies, further your career or pursue a career change, a postgraduate qualification adds to your achievement record.

  • Postgraduate study may greatly improve your chances of getting that first break.
  • Many graduate employers prefer the higher intellectual rigour displayed in postgraduate students.
  • Recruiters for roles requiring specialist knowledge or research particularly target those with higher level qualifications.
  • Postgraduate study shows you can take the challenge of in-depth study; acquiring transferable skills in team working and problem solving techniques.
  • If you have a passion for a particular subject, postgraduate study can also be something undertaken as part of your own development at an appropriate time in your life.


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Apply now or visit us

Online application form

Apply direct using our online form

Your application will be received by the University Admissions Centre for consideration.

Postgraduate Information Days

We will confirm the dates of events related to 2018 entry soon. Visit the link below to get a reminder when booking opens.

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Other opportunities to visit

Download our free walking tour PDF for a self-guided tour of the University.

We have an open-door policy so you will be able to take a look in our buildings, speak to some of our support services and get a feel for the campus.

Find out more about our self-guided walking tours.

Can't get to Portsmouth?

If you can’t make it to Portsmouth, come and see us at one of the events we attend around the UK.

If you would like to speak with a member of staff about any courses you are interested in, please email postgraduate@port.ac.uk and we will arrange this for you.

Staff from our International Office also regularly attend overseas exhibitions. To find out more about these and our visits to your region see our International Office exhibitions page.

Fees and Funding

Find out more about fees and funding available to you at Portsmouth.

University of Portsmouth
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Winston Churchill Avenue
Portsmouth PO1 2UP

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