Psychology of Exercise and Health


This module addresses the determinants and consequences of in physical activity as well as interventions to increase participation and decrease sedentary behaviours.


The aim of this Module is to: 1. Develop a critical understanding of current issues in health and exercise psychology, with respect to the theory and measurement of determinants and outcomes of physical activity; 2. Identify factors that may affect physical activity interventions among different populations.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module the student should be able to:

1.  Critically examine the psychological principles which underpin physical activity participation, and physical inactivity.

2.  Explain the relationships between physical activity and mental health, well−being and quality of life.

3.  Identify a variety of psychological interventions to particular individual and community−related scenarios.

Indicative Content

1 Psychological determinants of exercise

Exercise motivation; self−competencies; social physique anxiety; attitudes and beliefs about health.

2 Psychological outcomes of exercise

Mechanisms and hypotheses; self−esteem; mood enhancement through activity; harmful psychological effects of exercise.

3 Models of health behaviour

Health belief model, Attitudinal−based theories, Self− efficacy and competence−based theories, Self− determination, transtheoretical model.

4 Physical activity promotion

Individual/group and community interventions.

Statement on Teaching, Learning and Assessment

The module is designed to explore both theoretical issues and practical considerations in exercise psychology. The module will also focus on the professional role of the Exercise Psychologist, as well as consider both individual and community approaches to increasing levels of physical activity. Lectures will introduce you to the basic concepts and key theories underpinning decisions for exercise participation. The seminars will include interactive group activities which will encourage problem−solving, collaborative learning, and reflection and where you will have the chance to discuss the relative merits of specific theories, assessment tools and empirical research in this subject area. Independent study will encourage self−determination and the development of independent learning, in which students will actively construct their own knowledge. Sessions will be conducted under a strong enquiry−based learning environment. Teaching and learning strategies focus on developing students skills. Assignments will assess width and depth of knowledge. Knowledge and application of contents is formally tested. An coursework will assess level of understanding commensurate with level of study. The case−study will require students to critically interpret the physical activity behaviour of an individual. In addition to the core text, weekly readings will allow students to be fully prepared and engage confidently in tutorials activities, by sharing knowledge and experiences and reflecting on them in a collaborative environment.

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Total 200
Lecture 12
Tutorial/Seminar 18
Supervised Practical Activity 6
Unsupervised Practical Activity 0
Assessment 34
Independent 130

Guidance notes

Credit Value – The total value of SCQF credits for the module. 20 credits are the equivalent of 10 ECTS credits. A full-time student should normally register for 60 SCQF credits per semester.


We make every effort to ensure that the information on our website is accurate but it is possible that some changes may occur prior to the academic year of entry. The modules listed in this catalogue are offered subject to availability during academic year 2019/10 , and may be subject to change for future years.