Psychology Division

The BASES Division of Psychology seeks to represent and support both the academic and practical interests of those who have a passion for the progressive field of sport and exercise psychology. This includes a focus on scholarly activity and research through expert statements, conference presentations and grants; as well as the quality assurance of psychology practitioners through the BASES accreditation and supervised experience programme.

The Division promotes the engagement and knowledge-development of its members in a variety of topic areas and organises its Divisional activities within three core strands:

  1. Performance Excellence – focused on those topics, processes and populations that relate to human performance enhancement;
  2. Engagement and Development – focused on those factors, processes and stakeholders that relate to athlete development, and lifelong sport and exercise participation;
  3. Mental Health – focused on those factors, interventions and processes that relate to the mental health spectrum in sport and exercise settings

If you are a BASES member, check out the Psychology Division Hub in the Members' Area, where you can access a range of resources including videos and presentations from the BASES Conference and Division events.

Meet the Psychology Division

Prof Zoe Knowles FBASES

Prof Richard Thelwell FBASES
Deputy Chair

Rachel Cunningham
Membership Representative

Liz Carlin
Student Representative

Contact the Divisions

Prof Zoe Knowles FBASES:
Prof Richard Thelwell FBASES:
Rachel Cunningham:
Liz Carlin:

Division News and Events

The latest Division newsletter and information on upcoming Division events can be accessed via the Members' Area.

Pre - conference workshop - Monday 26 November at Leeds Beckett University. This will be a ‘Cross Division event – hosted by the Psychology Division, open to BASES members and conference attendees. Click here to book.

Morning session - ‘Qualitative methods event’

Afternoon session - a BASES Psychology Division event 

Evening session - student event in conjunction with ASP-SIG. 

More about Sport and Exercise Psychology

Sport Psychologists

Sport Psychologists are interested in:

  • Helping athletes to perform better, more consistently and, in many cases;
  • Improving the quality of experience of participation in sport;
  • Other issues such as career transitions (such as retirement), coach behaviour and communication skills.

Some sport psychologists are also trained in clinical psychology and are qualified to provide assistance with problems such as drug abuse and eating disorders.

Exercise Psychologists

Exercise Psychologists are more interested in helping people to become more active, more often. The goal driving this is not performance, but health and well-being. The link between physical activity and physical health – and the danger of a sedentary lifestyle - is well-documented. The psychological benefits of exercise, captured by the maxim “healthy body, healthy mind”, are such that physical activity and/or exercise are legitimate therapeutic interventions for some psychological disorders.

Many of the concepts that interest sport psychologists relate well to exercise psychology, with different emphasis. For example, where sport psychologist may be interested in achieving optimal motivational patterns for performance, exercise psychologists might be interested in why certain groups of people exercise less than others. Similarly, while self-confidence is key to performing under pressure, related concepts such as physical self-esteem can be an important influence on whether someone participates in exercise.

Psychology Related Links

The American Psychological Association
The APA is the licensing professional body for psychologists in North America.

The Australian Psychological Society
The APS is the equivalent Australian body to the APA and the BPS.

The Association for the Advancement for Applied Sport Psychology
AAASP is based in North America, but offers accreditation for applied sport psychology consultants around the world.

The British Olympic Association
The BOA is the organisation that is responsible for the United Kingdom’s involvement in the Olympic movement, which has its own register of sport psychologists. BASES has a Memorandum of Collaboration with the BOA.

The British Psychological Society
The BPS is the professional body that is responsible for the development of the discipline and maintenance of standards in the range of sub-disciplines across psychology (such as educational, occupation and clinical). The BPS does not yet offer chartered status in Sport or Exercise Psychology. BASES has a Memorandum of Collaboration with the BPS.

The European Federation of Sport Psychology
FEPSAC is a pan-European society, to which members of recognised home country bodies are automatically affiliated.

Health and Care Professionals Council Health and Care Professions Council are a regulator, and set up to protect the public. To do this, the HCPC we keep a Register of health and care professionals who meet their standards for their training, professional skills, behaviour and health and this includes Practitioner Psychologists.

The International Society of Sport Psychology
ISSP is an organisation devoted to promoting research and development in the discipline of sport psychology throughout the world.

Psychology Related Journals

Case Studies in Sport and Exercise Psychology:

Journal of Applied Sport Psychology

Journal of Physical Activity and Health

Journal of Sport Behavior

Journal of Sport Sciences

Pediatric Exercise Science

Perceptual and Motor Skills

Psychology of Sport and Exercise

The International Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology

The Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology

The Sport Psychologist

Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology


BASES stands for the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences. BASES is the professional body for sport and exercise sciences in the UK.



Contact us
  • Rooms G07 and G08 Fairfax Hall, Leeds Beckett University, Headingley Campus. Headingley, Leeds LS6 3QT
  • 0113 812 6162