Character Development in Sport & Exercise

This module will build upon the foundations of sociology explored in the year 1 module. It then explores a number of these concepts (for example interactionist and figurational theories and the work of theorists like Bourdieu, Elias and Foucault) as they apply to the spectrum of participation in sport (with a focus upon coaching). 

Students will be involved in the sociological analysis of issues such as (for example) talent identification; participant development; the coach athlete dyad; and the influence of the family on participation from the perspectives of key stakeholders, using the theoretical frameworks (e.g. social capital) to explore the meaning of participation at these levels. Theoretical analysis will be used to further develop depth and breadth of understanding of these issues and implications for teachers and coaches.

Other areas that will be explored include (for example) power, social positioning and socialisation. All of these will be explored along the spectrum of participation to performance levels, with emphasis on the engagement of the students on theorising and reflecting upon their own developmental experiences.

By the end of the module students should be able to:

  • Acknowledge the influence of key theoretical concepts and standpoints on participation in sport and physical activity at all levels.
  • Apply the theoretical constructs to their own experiences and explore these in a reflective manner
  • Critically evaluate the empirical evidence and pseudo-science which impacts upon participation and performance.
  • Understand the influences that sociological theories and concepts can have upon participation spectrum at all levels.


Assignment (2000 words) : Coursework (40%) 
Unseen Written 2 hour Examination : Exam (Centrally Timetabled) - Written Unseen (60%)