University of Bath Featured Professional Doctorate Programmes
University of Bath Featured Professional Doctorate Programmes

Professional Doctorate in Sport and Exercise Psychology


About This Professional Doctorate

Course Description

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.

Module Details

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)
  • 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.

We use the best and most current research and professional practice, alongside feedback from our students, to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.

Programme Assessment

You will be assigned a main supervisor who will be supported by team of up to three additional supervisors. Supervisors will be aligned with your area of research and professional development needs. There are further opportunities to attend research seminars and workshops organised by the University's Graduate School.

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.

Careers and Opportunities

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.

Our Careers and Employability 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. Alumni can call on Careers and Employability service for five years after graduation.


Visit the Professional Doctorate in Sport and Exercise Psychology page on the University of Portsmouth website for more details!

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Entry Requirements

An undergraduate degree or conversion course in Psychology or Sport and Exercise Psychology which confers Graduate Basis for Chartered status (GBC), and a BPS accredited masters degree which confers Stage I of the BPS Qualification in Sport and Exercise Psychology. If an applicant has not completed these prior degrees, it is possible to complete these pre-requisites within the department before progressing onto the Professional Doctorate. Applicants are subject to interview. All offers are subject to Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance.

English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 7.0 with no component score below 6.5.


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