Module code: BMS3084

Module Overview

This module addresses the psychological aspects of exercise and how this related to health. The orientation is towards exercise for those who do not currently do enough exercise, including children, rather than on exercise for the fit and/or sports people.

Module provider

School of Biosciences and Medicine

Module Leader

FIFE-SCHAW Christopher (Psychology)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 118

Lecture Hours: 22

Practical/Performance Hours: 10

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

• Effects of exercise on psychological functioning – benefits and limitations

• Mood effects of exercise

• Motivation/Reasons for not exercising

• Adherence – the transdisciplinary model of exercise adherence – tailoring interventions

• Encouraging exercise in children

• Control and agency

• Social environment and willingness to exercise

• Exercise and depression and anxiety

• Exercise as an adjunct therapy

• The role of the exercise professional inc. exercise referral

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Examination EXAM (90 MIN) 75

Alternative Assessment

In the event that a student is unable to take part in the research project they will be asked to write a critical evaluation of a research paper involving the relationship between self-reports of activity and objective measures of the same.

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to critically engage with academic literature. Their ability to conduct a critical review of the literature and to assess the quality and quantity of evidence in psychology. The assessment will also allow students to demonstrate their ability to present clear, coherent and concise arguments to an academic audience. The research report is used to summarise the students’ ability to conduct and report a small research project.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • One research methods report (25%) (6 pages using formatted template) (due ~ week 9-10)

  • One 90 minute unseen essay format examination (75%) (in formal semester exam period)

Formative assessment and feedback

Throughout the module students will receive verbal feedback in question and answer sessions linked to the lectures.

  • Written Feedback on research methods report

  • Dialogue between students and staff in lectures/seminars/tutorials

  • Generic written feedback on examinations

  • Use of electronic voting in some lectures

Module aims

  • Provide students with an understanding of the key psychological antecedents and consequences of exercise
  • Explore the psychological factors that underpin exercise participation, and the benefits and risks associated with exercise.
  • Provide an understanding of the role for health psychology in promoting physical activity in health interventions
  • Provide an understanding of psychological models of behavioural change
  • To understand the methodological issues and applied challenges for health practitioners and researchers
  • Provide both a theoretical rationale and practical guidelines for interventions; promoting health-related physical activity at the individual level

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Describe the motives for exercise participation, and the strategies used to enhance exercise adherence K
002 Demonstrate an understanding of the psychological benefits of exercise, harmful psychological problems associated with exercise participation K
003 Explain the work of the exercise professional to promote physical activity, and address exercise adherence issues from a public health perspective. KP
004 Demonstrate knowledge of methodological and measurement issues in exercise psychological research KCP
005 Critically evaluate theory-based psychological interventions designed for the adoption and maintenance of physical activity KC
006 Demonstrate knowledge of the wider context surrounding psychological interventions K
007 Demonstrate and apply research skills relating to the principles and procedures of exercise research, including: recruitment; data collection, entry and analysis; and report writing. PT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

  • Provide students with the foundational knowledge to enable them to describe key theoretical accounts of behaviour change

  • Give students the skills to critically evaluate these theoretical perspectives and the empirical evidence that tests them.

  • Provide students with the skills to critically discuss the implications of key findings relating to

  • Create links between different theories and topics that enable students to synthesise different perspectives.

  • Enable students to develop, demonstrate and apply research skills by engaging with key aspects of the research process such as recruitment; data collection, entry and analysis; and report writing.

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Lectures or 2hrs duration for 11 weeks

  • Five practical classes of 2 hours duration

  • Use of Surrey Learn discussion board facility

The practical classes will be used to introduce students to basic psychometric principles and the use of actigraphy.


Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: BMS3084

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Sport and Exercise Science BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2020/1 academic year.