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Sport and exercise psychology in action

This module explores topics associated with sport and exercise psychology and introduces you to their relevance to a range of roles, such as coach, athlete, fitness participant or health professional. You’ll learn knowledge and skills that can be applied to situations you’re familiar with, can inform your practice, and can help you develop both yourself and those you work with.

What you will study

Through the a range of case studies the module will engage and develop your knowledge of both psychological concepts and psychological strategies. And encourage you to use this learning to inform your own practice. You’ll also build on your academic skills. The module comprises five study topics:

Study Topic 1: Exploring sport and exercise psychology
This topic introduces you to the discipline of sport and exercise psychology and explores how you can apply the principles and skills to your own practice. You’ll also learn about how psychologists work in this field.

Study Topic 2: Sport Psychology: insights and applications
You’ll investigate key areas in sport psychology that impact on the wellbeing and performance of individuals and teams in sport and exercise environments. Topics include, anxiety, arousal, self-confidence and team work.

Study Topic 3: Psychological skills training
You’ll look in detail at some techniques that athletes, exercisers, coaches, and parents can use to manage factors such as anxiety, but also to maximise performance.

Study Topic 4: Exercise psychology: insights and applications
You’ll examine a range of concepts that align closely to exercise and health psychology such as wellbeing, mental health and exercise adherence. This topic also introduces you to the darker side of sport and negative exercise behaviours.

Study Topic 5: Special topics in sport and exercise psychology
This topic is a little different from others. You’ll choose one of two specialist topics: the psychological aspects of injury in sport and exercise; or athlete and coach burnout.

Entry requirements

This module has no entry requirements.

However, it would be beneficial if you have some experiences of working or participating in sport and exercise.

This is an OU level 2 module that builds on study skills acquired from OU level 1 modules. We make no assumptions about your subject knowledge.

If you’re not sure you’re ready, talk to an adviser.

Preparatory work

If you want to get a flavour of our OU level 1 module Working with people in sport and fitness (E119), complete our free badged open course Communication and working relationships in sport and fitness.

What's included

You will have access to a module website, which includes:

  • a week-by-week study planner
  • course-specific module materials
  • audio and video content
  • assignment details and submission section
  • online tutorial access

You’ll also be provided with two printed third-party texts.

Computing requirements

A computing device with a browser and broadband internet access is required for this module. Any modern browser will be suitable for most computer activities. Functionality may be limited on mobile devices.

Any additional software will be provided, or is generally freely available. However, some activities may have more specific requirements. For this reason, you will need to be able to install and run additional software on a device that meets the requirements below.

A desktop or laptop computer with either an up-to-date version of Windows or macOS.

The screen of the device must have a resolution of at least 1024 pixels horizontally and 768 pixels vertically.

To join in the spoken conversation in our online rooms we recommend a headset (headphones or earphones with an integrated microphone).

Our Skills for OU study website has further information including computing skills for study, computer security, acquiring a computer and Microsoft software offers for students.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You’ll have a tutor to help you with the study material and mark and comment on your assignments. You can also ask your tutor for advice and guidance. If you are new to the OU, you will find that your tutor will be particularly concerned to help you with your study methods. Contact with your tutor will be through the following methods:

  • online tutorials
  • online forum
  • email or telephone.


You can find the assessment details for this module in the facts box.

You must use the online eTMA system to submit your TMAs.

If you have a disability

The OU strives to make all aspects of study accessible to everyone and this Accessibility Statement outlines what studying E235 involves. You should use this information to inform your study preparations and any discussions with us about how we can meet your needs.

Future availability

Sport and exercise psychology in action (E235) starts once a year – in October.

This page describes the module that will start in October 2020.

We expect it to start for the last time in October 2026.

Course work includes:

3 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
1 Interactive computer-marked assignment (iCMA)
End-of-module assessment
No residential school