EXERSCI 204 : Psychology of Physical Activity


2020 Semester Two (1205) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

An introduction to the study of psychology as it relates to physical activity, sedentary behaviour and health.

Course Overview

EXERSCI 204 “Psychology of physical activity” provides an introduction to the study of psychology as it relates to physical activity and sedentary behaviour. During this course, we will examine the relationship between physical activity (and inactivity), sedentary behaviour, and various physiological and psychological health outcomes. In addition, we will consider the psychological and non-psychological determinants of physical activity and sedentary behaviour in general and some special populations.

The course consists of weekly lectures (two per week) and five two-hour tutorial sessions: 

The lectures are divided across 2 modules: i) outcomes and determinants of physical activity behaviour; ii) behaviour change and physical activity interventions 

The tutorials will require you to put your learning to practice and will support you as you work your way through the course’s two main assignments: i) a scientific essay; and ii) an exercise intervention plan.

Course Requirements

Restriction: SPORTSCI 204

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities
Graduate Profile: Bachelor of Science

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Explain the relationship between physical activity, sedentary behaviour and different health outcomes (Capability 1)
  2. Explain the different psychological and non-psychological determinants of physical activity and sedentary behaviour in healthy individuals and some special populations (Capability 1)
  3. Explain different models of behaviour change that guide the promotion of physical activity (Capability 1)
  4. Put your knowledge to practice, as you advocate the promotion of physical activity in real-world contexts and design evidence-based exercise interventions (Capability 2, 3, 4 and 6)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Essay 25% Individual Coursework
Reports 20% Individual Coursework
Presentation 5% Group Coursework
Final Exam 50% Individual Examination
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4
Final Exam

All assessments need to be completed in order to pass the course

Learning Resources

The required textbook for this course is:
  • Biddle, S. J. H., Mutrie, N., & Gorely, T. (2015). Psychology of Physical Activity: Determinants, Well-Being and Interventions (3rd Ed). London: Routledge. ISBN 978-0415518185.
The textbook is available for purchase through Ubiq:
In addition, a reading list with required journal articles will be made available through Canvas.

Special Requirements

Due to group work involved in the second course assignment (i.e., Exercise Intervention Plan - Report and Presentation), attendance of tutorials 3, 4 and 5 is compulsory.

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard [15] point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect [24] hours of lectures, [10] hours of tutorials, [36] hours of reading and thinking about the content and [80] hours of work on assignments and/or test preparation.

Digital Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.


The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.

You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website at http://disability.auckland.ac.nz

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page: https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/academic-information/exams-and-final-results/during-exams/aegrotat-and-compassionate-consideration.html.

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Student Feedback

During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.

At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.

Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter (https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/forms-policies-and-guidelines/student-policies-and-guidelines/student-charter.html).


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course you may be asked to submit your coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. The final decision on the completion mode for a test or examination, and remote invigilation arrangements where applicable, will be advised to students at least 10 days prior to the scheduled date of the assessment, or in the case of an examination when the examination timetable is published.

Published on 13/07/2020 12:09 p.m.