Postgraduate Course: Psychology of Physical Activity (SPRT11002)
|School||Moray House School of Education and Sport
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||The physical health benefits of physical activity are well-established. However, a substantial proportion of the population are still inactive, and psychology has a role to play in understanding and changing behaviour. The aim of this course is to examine the psychological determinants and consequences of physical activity. Specifically, the course will draw from current psychological theory and critically examine its contribution to understanding physical activity behaviour. Additionally, the course will consider the relationship between physical activity and mental health. Lecture material will be supplemented with practical activities and seminars. This course will be taught by staff who are members of the Physical Activity for Health Research Centre (PAHRC: http://www.ed.ac.uk/education/pahrc)
Taught from a social-ecological perspective to understanding physical activity behaviour, the first half of the course will consider in detail key motivational theories to behaviour change (e.g., Self-Determination theory) and also consider current developments relating to behaviour change techniques. The second half of the course will focus on the psychological consequences of being physically active, such as influence on mood and mental illness. Throughout the course we will draw from recent research and consider application to practice.
It is likely that the course will include sessions on:
Understanding understanding psychological perspectives to physical activity
Theoretical perspectives on physical activity behaviour
A role for behaviour change techniques in physical activity?
Using theory to enhance practice (exercise consultations/motivational interviewing)
Physical activity and mental health
Students will be encouraged to actively participate in interactive discussions and learning activities. Students will be set tasks to guide their reading and engagement with the material. Assignments will further facilitate consideration of the lecture material and how it relates to additional research papers and application. Students will also have the opportunity to engage with PAHRC-led research activities.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
|| Students MUST have passed:
||Other requirements|| No specific pre-requisites are required but please contact course organiser to discuss suitability
Information for Visiting Students
|Pre-requisites||No specific pre-requisites are required but please contact course organiser to discuss suitability
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2020/21, Available to all students (SV1)
|Course Start Date
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Lecture Hours 20,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||Total mark for the course will be a weighted average of the two pieces of written coursework.
||Students will be provided with detailed individual and cohort feedback on their first assessed written assignment. This formative feedback should be used to inform the second assignment, and students are specifically asked to detail their 'Action on Prior Feedback' on the cover sheet of their second assignment. In class feedback will be provided on initial progress on assignment 2, and detailed summative individual and cohort feedback will be provided for the second assignment
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Explain and evaluate the psychological determinants for participation and non-participation in physical activity and critically evaluate how these relate to an ecological model of physical activity behaviour
- Demonstrate critical understanding of the consequences of physical activity on psychological health
- Examine how psychology is related to current public health physical activity agendas
- Reflect on how knowledge acquired relates to own personal and work experiences
|Key references for this course include:|
Biddle, S. J. H., Mutrie, N., & Gorely, T. (2015). Psychology of physical activity. 3rd edition. London: Routledge
Roberts, G. C., & Treasure, D. C. (Eds) (2012). Advances in motivation in sport and exercise. (3rd ed). Champaign, Il: Human Kinetics,
Faulkner, G. & Taylor, A. (2005). Exercise, health and mental health: Emerging relationships, London: Routledge.
Specific readings from various journals including Psychology of Sport and Exercise, Journal of Physical Activity and Health, Preventive Medicine, International Journal of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||During this course students will have the opportunity to practice and develop their ability to:
1) Apply critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis to forefront psychological issues in physical activity.
2) Critically review, consolidate and extend knowledge, skills, practices and thinking in the psychology of physical activity.
3) Communicate with peers, more senior colleagues and specialists.
4) Undertake critical evaluations of numerical research data
5) Exercise substantial autonomy and initiative in professional and equivalent activities.
6) Take responsibility for own work
||We welcome students from outside the MSc Physical Activity for Health programme, but students should first contact the course organiser to determine suitability.
|Keywords||physical activity,psychology,exercise,mental health,public health,medicine
|Course organiser||Dr Ailsa Niven
Tel: (0131 6)51 6679
|Course secretary||Dr Calum Wright
Tel: (0131 6)51 6138