Master's degree 2nd year - Physical pactices: psychological prospects

MASTER' S DEGREE 2ND YEAR - Physical practices: psychological prospects

                                                          Research specialty

Course objective

This course emphasizes the role of the subject's behavior and the psychological aspects (cognitive, emotional, conative) that contribute to determine his/her attitude before, during or after the practice of physical activities. The concept framework and resulting theories pertain to experimental psychology in clinical psychology, and the methodological tools include both quantitative and qualitative approaches, group or individual-centered analyses. This course, unique in France, leads to major job prospects. Although its main goal is to train researchers, it also allows (with further training) students to become  specialists in sport psychology and physical activities (detection and evaluation of the athlete's potential, coaching, psychological follow-up, mental preparation and stress management, communication skills, etc.) in sporting federations, clubs, companies, or health care engineers (aging, handicap, rehabilitation, etc.)

Scientific objective: 

The  “Physical Practices: Psychological Prospects” (4Ps) specialty aims at training scientific psychologists in the field of physical practices (sport, mainly). This high-level course leads to doctoral work.

The 4Ps specialty focuses on the study of the cognitive, emotional and motivational determinants of motor learning and performance, both from the individual's point of view (personality, emotions, cognitions, motivations, etc), and in the sphere of group phenomena (attitudes and social values, social identity, etc). The theories and methodologies of  intervention (mental preparation, coaching, stress management) are also studied.

This specialty thus offers the students a wide variety of classes centered on physical practices, sport and human motricity. The course is jointly operated by the universities of Paris Sud 11, Paris X and Paris 5.and is registered in the Doctoral School of Sport Science, Motricity and Human motion (ED # 456, director: J. Bertsch; assistant director at Paris X: A. Le Pellec),The regional academic staff as well as a number of  foreign laboratories are proficient in the field of cognitive, social and clinical psychology.

Professional objective:

Because this specialty master's degree is centered on research, its main goal is to train graduates to become professionals by developing their research skills. It does not purport to offer short-term professionalisation, more often than not founded on effects of fashion and “pseudo knowledge” based on personal convictions (most notably in psychology). At the same time, this course constantly links up academic research and research applications and has links with other professional specialties (e.g Aging and Handicap: Motion and Adaptation at Paris Sud 11 and Paris 5; Conception and Evaluation of Adapted Physical Activities Programs at Paris X). Likewise, professionals participate in the course and internships follow up.

Job prospects

Research academics (STAPS, Psychology and Physical Education among others…); researchers (same specialties) in European universities or major public establishments (including CNRS, INSERM, INRETS, INSEP…) after a doctorate;

Specialists in  sport and  physical activities psychology (sports federations or clubs, companies) after a relevant professional specialization.

Target public

The 2nd year master's degree (M2): Physical Practices: Psychological Prospects is open to French graduate students in STAPS, psychology, cognitive science, etc) as well as European graduates in the same disciplines who successfully completed 60  ECTS credits in the first year (M1). Returning students are also welcome after validation of their professional experience. Depending on their origin and curriculum, students may be offered refreshing courses; additional reading may be advised.

Candidates enrollment will be based on their first year ranking, their motivation, the adequacy between their skills, the course project and the value thereof, and the academic and professional supervision.

Credits and course pattern

The 2nd year course is divided into 6 teaching units:

UE 9: Structures and behavioral regularity

UE10: Emotions, cognition, actions

EU 11: Psychosocial approach of physical practices

EU 12: Development, training and aging

EU 13 Theories and methodologies of intervention: mental preparation

EU 14: Internship and dissertation.


The 6 month + research internship must be done with a selected course staff (see below), duly accredited by the master's degree scientific board. Students are expected to participate in the laboratory routine and research seminars, and do an oral presentation before a jury. Further details to be announced.

Semester assessment rules

The course pattern (see above) indicates the number of credits for each teaching unit and the mode of assessment

The 2nd year level is granted following the successful completion of 60 ECTS M2 credits (30 credits per semester) during the twice-yearly written or oral sessions. The second session is reserved for deferred students. Students may conserve pass credits. Details to be announced.

Academic staff / Office

Paris 11:

Christine Le Scanff, PR  -  christine.le-scanff @

Secretary: Marie-Pierre Richoux  -  marie-pierre.richoux @   -  01 69 15 61 98

Paris 10:

Vincent Dru, PR  - (dru @

Secretary: Sophia Vincent  -  sophia.vincent @  -  01 40 97 56 49

Paris 5:

Blandine Bril, Dr étude EHESS  - (Blandine.Bril @

(Blandine.Bril @ Secretary:  Sylvie Bordeau  -  Sylvie.bordeau @  -  01 56 56 12 40