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Athletic development: a psychological perspective

In this module, you’ll explore some of the most significant psychological factors influencing participants’ development in sport. Through critical analysis of relevant research and psychological theory you will consider the developmental influences of factors such as families, coach-athlete relationships, mental health, and transitional experiences on individuals’ pathways in sport. It’s suitable for you if you have an interest in sport and exercise psychology or are working in the field in a coaching or a related role. Whilst the module is focused predominantly on sports performance, it does also consider some aspects of exercise participation.

Modules count towards OU qualifications

OU qualifications are modular in structure; the credits from this undergraduate module could count towards a certificate of higher education, diploma of higher education, foundation degree or honours degree.

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Module

Module code
E312
Credits

Credits

  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
60
Study level
Across the UK, there are two parallel frameworks for higher education qualifications, the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Northern Ireland and Wales (FHEQ) and the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). These define a hierarchy of levels and describe the achievement expected at each level. The information provided shows how OU module levels correspond to these frameworks.
OU SCQF FHEQ
3 10 6
Study method
Distance Learning
Module cost
See Module registration
Entry requirements
See Entry requirements

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What you will study

This module comprises six study topics to help you explore the psychological aspects of athletic development:

Study topic 1: Introduction to athletic development
In this first study topic, you're introduced to the athletic development themes that underpin the module and will consider how athletic development paths are researched. The psychological characteristics of athletic development are examined, and you will explore a framework of athletic development that is helpful in drawing together the topics studied in the rest of the module.

Study topic 2: Family influences on athletic development
The family can have a significant impact on a young athletes’ potential to develop within a sport. In this study topic you'll examine, from a psychosocial perspective, research that investigates family influences on the development of young performers.

Study topic 3: The coach-athlete relationship
The relationship between a coach and athlete is fundamental to an individual’s athletic development. In this study topic you will analyse research examining some of the factors that facilitate and hinder the development of a successful coach-athlete relationship.

Study topic 4: Mental health and wellbeing in sport
The importance of mental health is being increasingly recognised in sport. In this topic you will examine the nature and prevalence of mental health difficulties in athletes and coaches and consider how they can be prevented or treated. You'll also explore how positive mental health and wellbeing can be promoted in sporting environments to facilitate effective athletic development.

Study topic 5: Topical issues in athletic development
Mental health and wellbeing is further explored in this study topic where you choose which further options you wish to study. The options examine:

  • Resilience – In order to protect their mental health on the journey through sport athletes need to be able to cope with the potential stressors they will be exposed to. In this option you'll explore what resilience is and how it can be developed.
  • Thriving – Competitive sport can create a high-pressure environment. In order to promote positive mental health and athletic development it is important that athletes and support staff are able to thrive under this pressure rather than just survive. In this option you will examine the concept of thriving in sport.
  • Athlete welfare – With several high-profile athlete welfare and abuse cases in the media in recent years in this option you will examine the important topic of safeguarding and welfare in sports environments in the context of athletic development.

Study topic 6: Transitions through sport
As an athlete progresses through their sporting career, they will make several transitions. In this study topic you'll examine some of the psychological influences and responses to transitions within sport (e.g. the move from junior to senior level) and out of sport (retirement).

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You will have a tutor who will help you with the study material and mark and comment on your assignments, and who you can ask for advice and guidance. Contact with your tutor will be though the following methods: 
  • Online tutorials, which we strongly encourage you to participate in since most students find these extremely useful.
  • Online forum in your tutor group.
  • Personal email or by phone

Contact us if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.

Assessment

The assessment details for this module can be found in the facts box above.

You must use the online eTMA system to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs).

Future availability

Athletic development: a psychological perspective starts once a year – in October.

This page describes the module that will start in October 2021. We expect it to start for the last time in October 2028.

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the academic regulations which are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website.

    Course work includes:

    3 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
    End-of-module assessment
    No residential school


    Entry requirements

    There are no formal qualification requirements for this module. However, as it is a OU level 3 module it is recommended that you have completed at least one sport and fitness module before embarking on study in this area.

    You will be required to read and interpret detailed research articles so your academic skills should reflect these expectations.

    If you have any doubt about the suitability of the module, please speak to an adviser.

    Register

    Start End Fee
    - - -

    No current presentation - see Future availability

    This module is expected to start for the last time in October 2028.

    Additional Costs

    Study costs

    There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as set books, a computer and internet access.

    If your income is not more than £25,000 or you are in receipt of a qualifying benefit, you might be eligible for help with some of these costs after your module has started.

    Ways to pay for this module

    Open University Student Budget Account

    The Open University Student Budget Accounts Ltd (OUSBA) offers a convenient 'pay as you go' option to pay your OU fees, which is a secure, quick and easy way to pay. Please note that The Open University works exclusively with OUSBA and is not able to offer you credit facilities from any other provider. All credit is subject to status and proof that you can afford the repayments.

    You pay the OU through OUSBA in one of the following ways:

    • Register now, pay later – OUSBA pays your module fee direct to the OU. You then repay OUSBA interest-free and in full just before your module starts. 0% APR representative. This option could give you the extra time you may need to secure the funding to repay OUSBA.
    • Pay by instalments – OUSBA calculates your monthly fee and number of instalments based on the cost of the module you are studying. APR 5.1% representative.

    Joint loan applications

    If you feel you would be unable to obtain an OUSBA loan on your own due to credit history or affordability issues, OUSBA offers the option to apply for a joint loan application with a third party. For example, your husband, wife, partner, parent, sibling or friend. In such cases, OUSBA will be required to carry out additional affordability checks separately and/or collectively for both joint applicants who will be jointly and severally liable for loan repayments.

    As additional affordability checks are required when processing joint loan applications, unfortunately, an instant decision cannot be given. On average the processing time for a joint loan application is five working days from receipt of the required documentation.

    Read more about Open University Student Budget Accounts (OUSBA).  

    Employer sponsorship

    Studying with The Open University can boost your employability. OU courses are recognised and respected by employers for their excellence and the commitment they take to complete. They also value the skills that students learn and can apply in the workplace.

    More than one in ten OU students are sponsored by their employer, and over 30,000 employers have used the OU to develop staff so far. If the module you’ve chosen is geared towards your job or developing your career, you could approach your employer to see if they will sponsor you by paying some or all of the fees. 

    • Your employer just needs to complete a simple form to confirm how much they will be paying and we will invoice them.
    • You won’t need to get your employer to complete the form until after you’ve chosen your module.  

    Credit/debit card

    You can pay part or all of your tuition fees upfront with a debit or credit card when you register for each module. 

    We accept American Express, Mastercard, Visa and Visa Electron. 

    Mixed payments

    We know that sometimes you may want to combine payment options. For example, you may wish to pay part of your tuition fee with a debit card and pay the remainder in instalments through an Open University Student Budget Account (OUSBA).


    Please note: your permanent address/domicile will affect your fee status and therefore the fees you are charged and any financial support available to you. The fees and funding information provided here is valid for modules starting before 31 July 2022. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees. 

    This information was provided on 24/10/2021.

    What's included

    You'll 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
    • online group forums.

    You’ll also be provided with a printed module reader.

    Computing requirements

    You'll need a desktop or laptop computer with an up-to-date version of 64-bit Windows 10 (note that Windows 7 is no longer supported) or macOS and broadband internet access.

    To join in spoken conversations in tutorials we recommend a wired headset (headphones/earphones with a built-in microphone).

    Our module websites comply with web standards and any modern browser is suitable for most activities.

    Our OU Study mobile App will operate on all current, supported, versions of Android and iOS. It's not available on Kindle.

    It's also possible to access some module materials on a mobile phone, tablet device or Chromebook, however, as you may be asked to install additional software or use certain applications, you'll also require a desktop or laptop as described above.

    If you have a disability

    The OU strives to make all aspects of study accessible to everyone and this Accessibility Statement outlines what studying E312 involves. You should use this information to inform your study preparations and any discussions with us about how we can meet your needs.

    To find out more about what kind of support and adjustments might be available, contact us or visit our Disability support website.