PESS MSc Programmes in Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology – dr. matthew P. herring, PhD, FACSM.

Online application for our Masters programmes in the field of sport, exercise, and performance psychology will open later this Spring and will close on November 1, 2022. 

We intake approximately 20 students annually across our two MSc programmes, so we advise early applications to ensure a place. Our full-time one-year postgraduate programmes run January to December, with the final semester in Autumn dedicated explicitly to the research dissertation. The programme prepares successful graduates for a career in applying sport psychology as a practitioner or in the use of psychology in supporting other careers including sports coaching, sports management, rehabilitation, and health promotion. We have graduated approximately 100 students, some of whom have become performance directors of elite sport, practitioner sport psychologists, or gone on to further study.

Those who are applying with a background in psychology and who meet the requirements of the Psychological Society of the Ireland apply for the traditional MSc. Sport, Exercise and Performance Psychology route and those with primary degree qualifications in related fields (e.g., sport science, physical education, etc.) or seeking entry by accreditation through prior learning and experience should look to the companion MSc in Mental Skills and Mental Health in Sport and Exercise. Both programmes are identical with the exception of the entry qualifications and nature of dissertation supervision and projects.

These programmes in sport, exercise and performance psychology are offered by the Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences in the Education and Health Sciences Faculty and are linked to the outstanding Health Research Institute, eSport Lab, and Physical Activity for Health (PAfH) Research Cluster at the University of Limerick. The programmes combine a scientist-practitioner model with a strong focus on methodological rigour and contemporary approaches within psychology (e.g., applied positive psychology).

Programme Aims & Accreditation

The core aims of the programmes are to create an outstanding and distinctive learning experience through innovations in teaching (e.g., problem-based learning), and to promote a sound evidence-based approach for those engaged in a broad range of roles in sport, exercise and health contexts.  The programme is currently undergoing the accreditation process with Psychological Society Ireland.

Programme Outline


Application & Programme Requirements

We provide two options for those interested in gaining a Masters level qualification in this area. One route is for applicants with a ratified BSc 2:2 honours (Level 8 – National Qualifications Authority of Ireland) or higher, with preference given to applicants with a degree in a discipline related to sport and exercise sciences (e.g., physical education, strength and conditioning, kinesiology, physiotherapy, physical therapy, nutrition, biomedical sciences) who should apply to the MSc in Mental Skills and Mental Health in Sports and Exercise programme. In parallel, there is a route for those with an accredited degree in psychology-BSc 2:2 honours (Level 8 – National Qualifications Authority of Ireland) or higher that is recognised by the Psychological Society of Ireland (or equivalent e.g. British Psychological Society) who should apply to the MSc in Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology.

For more information, please visit: or

Graduate Testimonials/Feedback

Katie Kilbane: MSc. Graduate

“For me going down to UL was one of the best decisions I ever made. The greatest thing I took away from the course was a better understanding of research in the area of sport and exercise psychology. There is a lot of information put out to coaches and players but being able to pick apart the research and information that can help you to apply an intervention in an effective and safe manner has been invaluable. Since completing the MSc. I have been fortunate enough to work with a number of athletes and teams across codes, meeting incredible people and having the opportunity to build a career doing something I love and enjoy. I’m currently in the process of completing my application for accreditation with Sport Ireland.”

For those interested in more information about the programmes, please contact Dr. Matthew P. Herring, PhD, FACSM. Email:

Dr. Matthew P. Herring is the Course Director for the MSc Sport, Exercise and Performance Psychology & the MSc Mental Skills and Mental Health in sports and Exercise in the Department of Physical Education & Sport Sciences, University of Limerick.

Follow on Twitter @mph8  Google Scholar  ResearcherID  ORCID  SCOPUS Email:  

Tagged with: