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Sport and exercise psychology

Job Summary

Sport Psychologists work with individuals on a one-to-one basis or with groups and teams. Their aim is to ensure that an athlete is psychologically prepared for the demands of competition and training, and for the emotional consequences of an injury. They work with a variety of people at different levels ranging from amateur to professional athletes.

Some of their key roles include:

Exercise Psychologists use the application of psychological theory to promote exercise participation and motivation levels in the general population rather than athletes. They can work with individuals to plan exercise regimes. A few aspects of the job involve:

To find out more about life as a sport and exercise psychologist, take a look at the BPS video:

Qualifications - How do I become a Sport Psychologist or an Exercise Psychologist?

1. You will need a 3 year degree in Psychology that meets the standards of accreditation by the British Psychological Society. Qualification with a 2i or more provides eligibility to apply for GBC (Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership of the BPS).
2. You will need relevant work experience.
3. You will need a BPS accredited Masters in Sport and Exercise Psychology OR Stage 1 of the BPS Qualification in Sport and Exercise Psychology.
4. You will need to complete Stage 2 of the BPS Qualification in Sport and Exercise Psychology (two years supervised practice) to be eligible for registration with the HPC (Health Professions Council).

What relevant work experience would I need?

It would be best to identify what particular courses you are interested in and then ask your course tutors how to go about getting it.

Work experience may be just as important to a postgraduate selector as your degree. It proves that you are committed to the particular area and it helps you to stand out from the crowd.

The following points include examples of relevant work experience, some include jobs in the local area.

Southampton City Council is working with Southampton Universities and voluntary services to increase the level of sports volunteering in the area. The type of voluntary work available can range from coaching a sports team to assisting at a sporting event. Find out more here about volunteering opportunities in the local area.

The University of Southampton runs a programme for a Voluntary Research Assistant (VRA). This is unpaid and usually runs over the summer. It is a great opportunity to increase your chances of achieving a place on a post graduate course. In addition, the researchers could write a letter of reference for you.

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