Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Foundations of Exercise Psychology
Academic Year
Semester 1
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Due to Covid-19 students should refer to the module Blackboard pages for assessment details

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Laboratory report  Bibliography of journal articles.  Mini qualitative study and bibliography (1,200 words and references).  70%
Semester Assessment Poster  A3 size poster creation and presentation (600 words maximum).  Poster presentation: A3 size poster creation and presentation (600 words maximum).  30%
Supplementary Assessment Laboratory report  Mini qualitative study (1,200 words).  Mini qualitative study and bibliography (1,200 words and references).  70%
Supplementary Assessment Poster  Students must take elements of assessment equivalent to those that led to failure of the module.  Poster presentation: A3 size poster creation and presentation (600 words maximum).  30%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Provide a critical appreciation of the relationship between sport and exercise activities and interventions in a range of groups in various settings.

2. Demonstrate advanced level knowledge and understanding of theories and principles that underpin the study of physical activity.

3. Appropriately evaluate sources of information.

4. Communicate information, ideas, problems and solutions in written &/or oral formats to specialist &/or non-specialist audiences.

5. Gather and use information from a range of sources.

Brief description

The main aims of the module are to present an overview of key theories in exercise psychology and nurture a fundamental understanding of how these relate to physical activity promotion. The content of the module is based on the psychological, physical and social benefits of exercise participation and aims to develop a critical awareness of the importance of physical activity to well-being throughout childhood, adolescence, adulthood and old age. Influential theories to be examined centre on self-perceptions, body image, motivation and adherence and quality of life, and strategies to be evaluated target individuals and groups through a wide variety of methods.


“What is exercise psychology and why do we need it?”: Aims and topics in exercise psychology; An introduction to the study of exercise psychology at Aberystwyth University.

“Why do we choose to be physically active?” VERSUS “Why aren’t we physically active?” Exercise motives and models of active behavior VERSUS Barriers to beginning and threats to adhering!

Assessment preparation: data collection and analysis practicals.

“Why should we all choose to be active? (1)” Effects on self-esteem.

“Why should we all choose to be active? (2)” Physical activity, cognitive functioning, and psychological effects in non-clinical populations.

“Why should clinical populations choose to be active?”

“Why should older populations choose to be active?”

“How can we increase exercise and physical activity participation rates?” Public health initiatives, interventions and psychological strategies.

“The ‘dark side’ of exercise”: Exercise effects on body image and affect, exercise dependence and eating disorders.

Mock public health event (poster presentations).

Module recap and end of module quiz, building towards second year Improving Physical Activity & Sports Performance.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Physical activity and self-esteem data will be collected and analysed to test research hypotheses that students generate. Students will interpret quantitative research papers.
Communication Students will evaluate information and data and develop the ability to communicate their ideas about exercise psychology to each other and to prospective beneficiaries. These skills readily transfer to employment circumstances.
Improving own Learning and Performance Students will have the opportunity to pilot test their interview guides and will be encouraged to reflect on their experiences for the betterment of their interviews proper.
Information Technology The students will need to present their content analysis appropriately, using IT, and this presentation will constitute a small proportion of the available mark for the assessment. Students will use Microsoft Excel to answer basic questions of data they will collect in practicals.
Personal Development and Career planning These skills are implicit in the nature of the module – they will be given ideas about potential career paths and they will develop personal skills that will be helpful whatever path they ultimately take.
Problem solving Weekly seminar tasks and the module assignments will assess students’ ability – individually and in small groups – to solve a variety of applied exercise psychology “problems.” These skills readily transfer to employment circumstances.
Research skills Students will develop these skills through set tasks that relate to and are designed to consolidate their understanding of the taught content. These skills readily transfer to employment circumstances.
Subject Specific Skills Research design, data collection, research question generation, basic data analysis and interpretation.
Team work Predominantly during seminars and practicals, students will work in teams to interrogate sources of information and work through problems.


This module is at CQFW Level 4