Postgraduate study

Performance Psychology MSc, PgDip

Awards: MSc, PgDip

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

Programme website: Performance Psychology

Increasingly, high-level performance relies on an understanding of the psychology of stamina and success, not only in sport but in areas as diverse as business, the performing arts, the military and emergency services.

Drawing on current research and practice, this fascinating programme introduces you to the issues that relate to both individual and group performance, then encourages you to 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 you'll undertake will give you the knowledge and tools you'll need to be able to critically appraise and apply scientific literature, and to plan, conduct and disseminate your own research.

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

You will complete a series of seven courses:

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

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

This qualification could lead to a career that capitalises on the increasing interest in the application of performance psychology in a number of fields. Recent graduates have taken up roles in sports psychology, private consultancy in sports, business and the performing arts, outdoor and adventure training, and higher and tertiary education.

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.

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.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

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

English language tests

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

  • IELTS: total 6.5 (at least 6.0 in each module)

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 92 (at least 20 in each module)

  • PTE Academic: total 61 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)

  • CAE and CPE: total 176 (at least 169 in each module)

  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with a distinction in all four components

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, PTE Academic or Trinity ISE, 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.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.*

(*Revised 8/11/2018 to provide more accurate information on English language qualifications expiry dates. Revised 22/03/2019 to provide more accurate/comprehensive information.)

Find out more about our language requirements:

Read our general information on tuition fees and studying costs:

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, and your residency status. (Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.)

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Programme Director, Dr Amanda Martindale
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 650 9794
  • Contact: perfpsych@ed.ac.uk
  • Moray House School of Education and Sport
  • Old Moray House
  • Holyrood Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 8AQ

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

Further information

  • Programme Director, Dr Amanda Martindale
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 650 9794
  • Contact: perfpsych@ed.ac.uk
  • Moray House School of Education and Sport
  • Old Moray House
  • Holyrood Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 8AQ