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2023/24 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

SPSC2125 Skill Acquisition and Motor Learning

10 creditsClass Size: 120

Module manager: Dr Ioannis Delis

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

Module replaces

SPSC2131: Skill Acquisition and Motor Learning,10cSPSC2309: Skill Acquisition, Motor Learning and Rehabilitation, 20c

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: The brain and central nervous system and their roles in motor learning, anticipation and decision making, theories of motor skill learning, pedagogical considerations for motor learning, including constraints, imagery, focus of attention and eye movements.


Students will specialise in theoretical and experimental issues related to motor learning across the skill span. The module will provide a more detailed explanation of the underpinning theories that guide coaching/teaching/ learning of sports skills and current trends in rehabilitation.

Learning outcomes
On completion of the module students will be able to:
1. Identify and define the role that the brain, central and peripheral nervous system play in motor skill acquisition and learning;
2. Identify and describe elements of prominent theories of motor learning;
3. Discuss concepts of motor learning theory and their application for research and practice;
4. Discuss and evaluate pedagogical and technological approaches used to enhance motor skill learning.

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.


he Sporting Brain
Perceptual and cognitive expertise in sport
Ecological Theory: Perception Action Coupling
Motor Learning: A Dynamical Systems Perspective
Muscles synergies, Optimal Control Theory and Variability
Constraints and the Non Linear Pedagogical approach to Motor Learning
Focus of Attention and Implicit and Explicit Learning
Motor Imagery
Training Perceptual Expertise

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
On-line Learning52.0010.00
On-line Learning111.0011.00
Class tests, exams and assessment11.001.00
Independent online learning hours15.00
Private study hours46.00
Total Contact hours39.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

Background reading for screencasts: 3 hours per topic/screencast = 30 hours
Background reading for assessment = 16 hours
5 x Online formative activities.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students' progress will be monitored via guide questions used for laboratory/online sessions, and formative worksheets associated with labs and lectures which students peer mark and discuss with demonstrators.

Additional tutorials will be available to those students wanting extra assistance. All staff offer 2 hour consultation hours /week as a minimum.

Weekly MCQ will be used to provide feedback on understanding.

Padlet activities used to accompany lab activity to provide formative feedback on case study.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
In-course MCQMCQ online test in Minerva25.00
Case StudyIndividual case study (4 pages)75.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Further guidance on the assessment will be provided in Minerva.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 28/04/2023 14:48:33


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