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2020/21 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

SPSC2131 Skill Acquisition and Motor Learning

10 creditsClass Size: 50

Module manager: Dr Sarah Astill

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2020/21


SPSC1031Motor Control:Foundations

This module is mutually exclusive with

SPSC2309Skill Acquisition, Motor Learning and Rehabilitation

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

The module examines theoretical and practical principles of motor skill learning, and examines the applications of these across a range of sports/activities. The key aspects of the study of motor skill learning include: Experimental Design Issues, Measurement techniques (kinematics, EMG, FMRI), theories of motor skill acquisition, pedagogical considerations, including constraints, feedback and practice regimes.


Students will specialize in theoretical and experimental issues related to motor learning in elite and clinical populations.
The module will provide a more detailed explanation of the underpinning theories that guide coaching/teaching/ learning of sports skills. This module will also give you an opportunity to collect, and analyse your own data.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module students will be able to:
- Explain and discuss the prominent theories of motor control and learning that guide research and practice;
- Identify and explain variables the role of feedback and practice in the acquisition, retention and transfer of movement skills;
- Identify and outline methods used to collect and analyse data that explores motor learning;
- Apply theoretical principles of motor skill learning to a range of activities.

Skills outcomes
- Managing Knowledge: collecting, selecting, organising and interpreting data, data evaluation and synthesis, use of IT skills.
- Managing Self: planning, time management, independent study;
- Managing Interrelationships: teamwork and cooperation, decision taking, learning from others, peer reviewing;
- Presentation Skills: visual presentation of data, scientific writing.


- Measuring Learning: Outcome and Performance Measures
- Measuring Learning: Retention and Transfer
- Hierarchical and Neurocomputational Theories of Motor Learning
- Motor Skill Leaning Theory: A Dynamical Systems Perspective
- Constraints and Non-Linear Pedagogy
- The Learning Environment: Structuring Practice
- The Learning Environment: Providing Feedback

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Independent online learning hours5.00
Private study hours79.00
Total Contact hours16.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

Background reading, seminar preparations and working on coursework:
30 hours - 3 hours per lecture
3 hours- 3 reading per tutorial
3 hours - 3 reading per practical
5 hours- formative MCQ'
59 hours - student directed project

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

- Students' progress will be monitored via guide questions used for laboratory sessions, and formative worksheets associated with labs, which students peer mark and discuss with demonstrators.
- A range of MCQ’s associated with lecture and lab content to be completed for ‘homework’. Students will be alerted to their score and can discuss content with the teaching team (see below).
- Additional tutorials will be available to those students wanting extra assistance. All staff offer 2 hour consultation hours /week as a minimum.
- Students are encouraged to post on a tutor led blog that addresses gaps in knowledge to check understanding

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
In-course MCQMCQ25.00
In-course AssessmentSkills training plan75.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Failure to complete Case Study to pass standard will result in a V code being appended to the final module mark.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 13/11/2020 08:19:16


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