Psychology of Sport & Physical Activity

Program of Study and Degree (MSc/PhD0

The graduate program in psychology of sport and physical activity is designed to meet the needs of a wide range of student interest. Students develop an understanding of sport and physical activity psychology based on cognitive behavioural principles. Students may focus on applied and/or theoretical research ranging from exercise counseling, performance enhancement, cognitive and behavioural aspects of expert performance, and/or the impact of social psychological environments on sport and exercise involvement and/or performance.

Students who are interested in applied sport psychology may become involved in working with local athletes and/or sport teams. Those interested in applied exercise psychology may pursue a similar experience in exercise counseling. These opportunities normally occur in the second year of the program.

A small number of students are admitted each year, permitting greater opportunity to meet and interact with the faculty involved in the program.

The Master of Science degree consists of a minimum of four one-term graduate level courses, and a thesis defended orally. Under the guidance of a thesis supervisor, students complete their studies accordance with the regulations of the Queen's School of Graduate Studies. Doctoral students complete two one-term graduate level courses, comprehensive examination, and write and orally defend their thesis.

Recent Research

Titles of theses recently completed under faculty include:

  • The role of parental influences and activity involvement in elite and novice hockey players
  • A retrospective analysis of leadership development through sport.
  • Evaluating the microstructure of practice: The examination of coach expertise and practice structure
  • Deliberate practice and expertise in the marital arts: The role of context in motor recall
  • Development and validation of an instrument to evaluate perceived barriers for physical activity in an Aboriginal population
  • Analysis of physical activity interventions from the Kahnawake Schools Diabetes Prevention Project using an ecological approach

Facilities and Funding

Graduate students in the social sciences are provided with offices in an area which includes: computer work stations, interview rooms, a quite work space, a video room with computerized editing facilities and a seminar room. In addition, there is a fully equipped psycho-motor behaviour laboratory where the research emphasis is in the areas of skilled memory, deliberate practice, and expert performance. Mechanisms responsible for skill acquisition through observation is investigated with software developed for this purpose.

Students may receive funding and experience through research and teaching assistantships within the School. Funding is also available from scholarships, fellowships and graduate awards offered by the University and external funding agencies.


To complete the degree students are required to successfully complete four one-term graduate level courses taken at the direction of their supervisor. Typically students take courses in cognate departments in education, psychology or organizational behaviour. Students are strongly encouraged to prepare and present papers at scholarly meetings and to publish in professional and academic journals. Students are required to complete an original research project that will be presented as a thesis.

Visit Queens's University Sport Psychology Lab

Faculty Research Interests

For further information please contact one of the following faculty members:

Dr. Jean Côté  (Ottawa) Professor.  My research interests focus on the developmental and psychosocial factors that affect sport and physical activity performance and participation.

Dr. Luc Martin (Western) Assistant Professor, Tenure-Track.  My research interests lie in the general area of sport psychology with a particular focus on group dynamics principles. More specifically, I am interested in the psychosocial influences present in sport and physical activity settings, and how individuals’ can be influenced by, but can also influence the groups to which they belong.


For further information contact
Graduate Coordinator 

School of Kinesiology and Health Studies
SKHS Building
28 Division Street, KHS 206
Queen's University
Kingston, Ontario K7L 3N6

Tel:  613-533-6000 x2666
Fax: 613-533-2009