PY0759 - Counselling and Interpersonal Processes in Sport and Exercise

What will I learn on this module?

This module brings together theory, research and practice from the literature of counselling and interpersonal processes in the context of sport and exercise. You will gain knowledge of, evaluate and debate the underlying principles of the most widely used counselling perspectives (focussing on psychoanalytic, humanist and cognitive behavioural approaches) and reflect on their rationale for proposing distinctive ways of working with clients in the sport and exercise domain. These perspectives will be contextualised through typical challenging interpersonal processes such as life events, belief systems, cohesion and venue effects. You will reflect critically on cognitive processes, including self-aggrandizement, unrealistic optimism, illusion of control and counterfactual thinking, and theorise on the means by which counsellors should attempt to deal with these. This module meets criteria set by the British Psychological Society for the core areas of cognitive processes, psychological skills and strategies and social processes, as well as professional skills with regard to ethics and practice, thus enhancing your graduate attributes for further qualifications and employability.

How will I learn on this module?

You will participate in lectures, workshops and tutorials designed to provide breadth and depth of conceptual knowledge across topics in counselling and interpersonal processes in sport and exercise. Independent study will give you further opportunity to enhance skills in critical analysis and explore key theoretical underpinnings and practical contexts relating to professional practice. Much of the learning on this module will be experiential, including some student-led workshops where you will work collaboratively in small groups to generate and present interactive sessions, facilitated by small group tutorials. As a recipient of others’ workshops you will experience and reflect on ethical guidelines and controversial issues in the discipline. You will also develop employability skills by gaining access to a range of experiences, resources and potential career pathways.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Resources will be available via the e-learning portal, including lecture slides and related supplementary materials, recommended readings and useful psychometric instruments. Discussion boards, workshop preparation meetings and tutorials will support the planning of workshops, and current information will be presented to help you to explore a range of potential graduate employment pathways, self-employment and further study options. You will also be given a logbook template on which you can record the topics covered in the module and your personal reflection on these. Your entries can form the basis of tutorials, act as reminder of the areas you have covered, as well as enhance your employability options.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. Formulate a rationale for, and critically evaluate, the use of theoretical approaches to counselling.
2. Debate and reflect on research into interpersonal issues in sport and exercise contexts.
Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
1. Communicate effectively and disseminate information appropriately to a range of stakeholders.
2. Develop and enhance professional competence and employability skills through engagement with a variety of sources.
Personal Values Attributes:
1. Articulate and integrate ethical guidelines relating to practice and research in sport and exercise psychology.

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment:
Module tutor feedback will be given during the preparation of and after the student-led workshop presentations.
Written, anonymised peer feedback will be provided after the workshops.
Summative assessment:
The module assessment will comprise of one submission with two parts:
Part 1 – 80%: a 3000 word written assignment based on a case study which will provide the opportunity for students to demonstrate their achievement of learning outcomes KU1, KU2, IP2, PV1.
Part 2 – 20%: a one-page hand-out to a specified sports coach, manager or leader providing advice on how to deal with particular interpersonal issues KU2, IP1.





Module abstract

The aim of this module is to critically examine theoretical perspectives used in counselling and apply them to a number of interpersonal processes encountered in sport and exercise settings. Weekly lectures complemented by experiential workshops will give students the opportunity to examine life events, belief systems and cognitive distortions. Some of the workshops will be student-led, where small groups will work collaboratively to plan and deliver an experiential session designed to expand in depth on as aspect of the lecture topic. Assessment will consist of a case study report supported by psychological research and include your own rationale for adopting a particular counselling approach, as well as a report written in lay language advising a sports coach, teacher or manager. These experiences satisfy British Psychological Society criteria for coverage of core areas of cognitive processes, social processes and professional skills, thus enhancing your graduate attributes for further qualifications and employability.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 2 years Part Time
1 other options available

Department Psychology

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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