Postgraduate study
Edinburgh: Extraordinary futures await.

Performance Psychology MSc, PgDip (ICL), PgDip

Awards: MSc, PgDip (ICL), PgDip

Study modes: Part-time Intermittent Study, Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

Programme website: Performance Psychology

This is the only programme in Europe that focuses not just on Sport but on Performance as a whole. To me this is a no-brainer - other areas such as the military, the arts, business, emergency services etc, also call for the same mental skills required by athletes and sports coaches.

Matilda Mayne MSc Performance Psychology 2016
Matilda Mayne               MSc Performance Psychology 2016

Drawing extensively from research and practice in sport psychology this programme examines how psychology can contribute to maintaining and enhancing high-level performance across a variety of domains such as:

  • sport
  • military
  • emergency services
  • forensics
  • medicine
  • business
  • performing arts.

You will be introduced to the issues that relate to both individual and group performance, looking at current research and practice. You will develop techniques to minimise the influence of limitations, such as anxiety and distraction.

Striking a balance between psychological methods and the wider professional skills needed to apply them, the courses will give you the knowledge and tools you will need to critically appraise and apply scientific literature and to plan, conduct and share your own research.

Your learning will be in the form of lectures, seminars and directed reading.

You will complete a series of seven taught courses that cover key topics related to performance psychology as well as essential professional skills for scientific practitioners such as legal and ethical issues and effective communication.

Courses are designed to develop your ability to critically appraise scientific literature and to apply research methods. This will enable you to plan, conduct and disseminate your own research, following the established principles of rigorous scientific study.

These courses are:

  • Dynamics of Performance Teams
  • Peak Performance
  • Planning and Instruction for Performance
  • Professional Skills in Development Environments
  • Research Process
  • Stress: Coping and Control
  • Understanding Research Concepts

To graduate with the MSc degree, you will also produce an independently researched dissertation.

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScPerformance PsychologyUp to 6 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyProgramme structure 2024/25
MScPerformance Psychology1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2024/25
MScPerformance Psychology2 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2024/25
PgDip (ICL)Performance PsychologyUp to 4 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyProgramme structure 2024/25
PgDipPerformance Psychology9 MonthsFull-timeProgramme structure 2024/25
PgDipPerformance Psychology2 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2024/25

This programme is ideally suited for those interested in working in sport psychology and in related areas, where you can capitalise on the increasing interest in the application of performance psychology, such as:

  • occupational or business psychology
  • executive coaching
  • team building
  • outdoor management and adventurous training

Recent graduates have taken up roles in:

  • private consultancy in sports, business, music/performing arts
  • management and technical roles in sporting bodies
  • sports psychology practice in Sport Institute (public funded)
  • lifestyle management in Sports Institute
  • military and training agencies (for example, primary medical care)
  • research (PhD in sports and business/management fields)
  • further professional training, such as for Clinical or Educational psychology
  • initial jobs in business to develop into Human Resource role
  • teaching / lecturing (Higher & Tertiary education)
  • outdoor and adventure training

You may choose to extend your studies with a doctoral degree (after completion of the MSc) or apply the transferable skills you will gain in areas such as communication and project management to a career in any field.

These entry requirements are for the 2024/25 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2025/26 academic year will be published on 1 Oct 2024.

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in a relevant discipline, such as psychology, exercise psychology, organisational behaviour, or sport science.

We may also consider your application if you have relevant employment or experience; please contact us to check before you apply.

Students from China

This degree is Band C.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

Regardless of your nationality or country of residence, you must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 7.0 with at least 6.0 in each component. We do not accept IELTS One Skill Retake to meet our English language requirements.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 100 with at least 20 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • C1 Advanced (CAE) / C2 Proficiency (CPE): total 185 with at least 169 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with passes in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: total 70 with at least 59 in each component.

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, Trinity ISE or PTE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries (non-MESC).

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than five years old* at the beginning of your programme of study. (*Revised 05 March 2024 to extend degree validity to five years.)

Find out more about our language requirements:

Tuition fees

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScPerformance PsychologyUp to 6 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyTuition fees
MScPerformance Psychology1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
MScPerformance Psychology2 YearsPart-timeTuition fees
PgDip (ICL)Performance PsychologyUp to 4 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyTuition fees
PgDipPerformance Psychology9 MonthsFull-timeTuition fees
PgDipPerformance Psychology2 YearsPart-timeTuition fees

Moray House Country Scholarship

Moray House School of Education and Sport is pleased to offer five £10,000 scholarships to study a Master’s degree programme commencing in September 2024. These will be based on merit and available to applicants from eligible countries.

Moray House Access Scholarship

Moray House School of Education and Sport is pleased to offer a scholarship covering tuition fees and living costs for one student. The scholarship is for UK nationals domiciled in the UK, from backgrounds or groups which are underrepresented in our School.

GREAT scholarship: Mexico

One GREAT scholarship will be available to applicants from Mexico who apply for 2024 entry. This award is for £10,000 towards postgraduate taught (Masters) degree tuition. Further details on eligibility criteria and how to apply can be found on the GREAT scholarship website.

India Merit Scholarship

The University is offering a new international scholarship for the most academically gifted Postgraduate Taught (PGT) Masters students applying from India. These awards cover £5,000 towards tuition fees for PGT Masters students studying on campus during the 2024/25 academic year. The Scholarships will be tenable for the first year of study only and will be automatically deducted from your student tuition fee balance. 

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments.

The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on:

  • your programme
  • the duration of your studies
  • your tuition fee status

Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.

(Updated 15 May 2024 to include India Merit Scholarship information)

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Programme Director, Dr Neil Buchanan
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 6282
  • Contact: perfpsych@ed.ac.uk
  • Moray House School of Education and Sport
  • Old Moray House
  • Holyrood Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 8AQ
Programme start date Application deadline
9 September 2024 30 June 2024

Due to high demand, the school operates a number of selection deadlines. We will make a small number of offers to the most outstanding candidates on an ongoing basis, but hold the majority of applications until the next published selection deadline when we will offer a proportion of the places available to applicants selected through a competitive process.

Please be aware that applications must be submitted and be complete, i.e. all required documents uploaded, by the relevant application deadline in order to be considered in that round. Your application will still be considered if you have not yet met the English language requirement for the programme.

Deadlines for applicants applying to study in 2024/25:

Round Application deadline Places awarded by
1 01 November 2023 19 December 2023
2 11 December 2023 28 February 2024
3 04 March 2024 16 May 2024
4 06 June 2024 30 July 2024

You must submit one reference with your application.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Programme Director, Dr Neil Buchanan
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 6282
  • Contact: perfpsych@ed.ac.uk
  • Moray House School of Education and Sport
  • Old Moray House
  • Holyrood Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 8AQ